02.14.16 Staff Update

A Communication Tool for the Seven Hills Staff

Personalized Learning at Seven Hills: You are Capable of More Than You Know!

I want to thank you for your active engagement in last week's Staff Meeting. It was important information to share with everyone, proving that we are, in fact, "capable of more than we know!"

The TAIS Improvement Plan is heavily focused on data and has been broken into content specific goals. After looking at the goals and strategies carefully, I am certain you noticed that, with the exception of the writing goal, the strategies listed align with our campus Instructional Focus and Theory of Action steps, extending across content areas. Don't let the structure of the plan limit your ability to recognize that we are focusing our efforts across content areas. The intent in sharing the plan and qualitative data with you was to generate awareness and celebrate our work so far! As I completed the second quarter update, I seriously sat back and said, "Wow! We have been very busy!" Did you honestly think that we would have been able to accomplish so much in such a short period of time? Well, we have...proving that we, together as a campus group, are very much like Dorothy! My hope is that by sharing our progress to date, we can take a deep breath, give ourselves a well deserved pat on the back, and use our current circumstances to refocus the lens on our WHY!

I asked the staff in August and again last week to consider these three questions:

  • Where are we now?
  • Where do we want to be?
  • What evidence will we have to demonstrate progress?

When I reflect on these questions, I cannot help but make connections to my experience at The Leader in Me Symposium. "The Leader in Me is like an operating system on a computer or smartphone. It is an underlying philosophy that impacts many aspects of a school." It focuses on the whole school...the adult and student stakeholders...the environment...the community partnerships...instructional decision making...the whole school. It promotes a learning community where culture, academics, and leadership are all connected. My passion as a school leader is for school to be a GREAT place for students to learn, staff to work and grow, and visitors to engage. I believe Seven Hills is a GREAT school, and we are at a prime point for helping ALL stakeholders discover their GREATNESS! If you haven't already done so, please complete this short Google form by the end of the week...you have to be logged in to your NISD Google account to complete: http://goo.gl/forms/d56xTYjKNa

Thank you for letting me share my experience with you! I believe this could be a powerful move for Seven Hills...Do you?

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Fabulous February Kindness Campaign

Kindness Campaign:

  • Be kind to yourself this week: drink lots of water and eat a healthy snack every day; engage in physical activity at least 3 days (the weather is supposed to be great - get outside and get moving!).
  • Tuesday: Smile at 25 people!
  • Thursday: "Thank You Thursday": write a Power Thank You today. If you are on Twitter, tweet a Power Thank You using the hashtag #powerthankyou
  • Kindness Matters: Thank you for the Twitter "love" last week! I seriously teared up when I read all of the sweet notes! I love being your Principal, and couldn't imagine leading and serving any other place! Thank you again for the kind words! #noplaceidratherbe

Fabulous February:

  • Monday: Wear jeans and a shirt of your choice
  • Wednesday: Warm-up Wednesday
  • Thursday: "Thank You Thursday" Thanks for being a GREAT staff...wear jeans with a shirt of your choice
  • Friday: "You Make My Heart Pop!" Wear jeans with a "pop" of color and enjoy a cold "pop" in the Teacher's Lounge.

What's Happening Next Week at The Hills?

  • Monday, February 15th:
Staff Development Day:

-Schedule: https://drive.google.com/a/nisdtx.org/file/d/0B8yhX3NGzE4hSEJ6S2kya2hPV3c/view?usp=sharing

- Staff may wear jeans (yes, even if you are attending an off campus workshop)

-K-2 teachers need to take iPads with you to your training

-Read any additional notes sent by curriculum coordinators regarding materials you need to take with you

-9:00 AM: General Security Training for Para’s and support staff that are on campus.

  • Tuesday,February 16th:

-General Security Training during conference period for anyone who has missed this training.

-TELPAS Rater Calibration Day 1 after school in computer lab

  • Wednesday, February 17th:

-Kim off campus at Principal PLC

-TELPAS Rater Calibration Day 2: during the day and after school

  • Thursday,February 18th:
-Kim off campus morning only for Profile of a Classroom Committee Mtg

-Vertical Team Meetings, 3:15 - 4:30 pm (Plan on meeting in the same locations you met last time. Please make sure you come to the meeting prepared to engage in the work your team determined in your last meeting.)

  • Friday, February 19th:

Save The Date: (please add these dates to your calendars)

  • February 23: Family Math Night, 6:00 - 7:30 pm - We will be asking for teacher support for this family/community event
  • February 24: Class and Spring Picture Day
  • February 25: Techno Expo

Happy Birthday To:

Kim Blackburn 2/21

Updates and Information

Middle of the Year & Benchmark Assessments:

  • Benchmark Dates and Information:

Wednesday, February 24: 3rd & 4th Grade Reading; 5th Grade Math (this is Spring picture day. Unfortunately, we cannot reschedule this. Every effort will be made to build the schedule so that there is limited interruption to testing.)

Thursday, March 3: 3rd Grade Math

Thursday, March 10: 4th Math; 5th Science

On each of these days, we will run testing type of schedule – students will be allowed 4 hours of uninterrupted testing time. We will be creating small groups and utilizing the Star teachers and SPED during these times. Please plan on Star teachers not pulling students for intervention groups these mornings. SPED services and Specials schedule will also look different on these days. (Specials teachers – Leslie will try to not cancel specials classes these days, however we are not sure how many small groups we need yet or the number of rooms we will need – especially when we test on February 25th).

We will provide the tests, scantrons, and supplemental aids as necessary. If students need highlighters, sticky notes, chunking paper, scratch paper, or whisper phones, you will need to gather those.

  • Spring Data Teams:
I will continue to schedule Data Teams. Several grade levels and content areas have already been scheduled. For grades 3- 5, Data Teams will be content specific rather than grade level specific. K-2, Spring Data Teams will be after Spring Break.

Staff Member of The Week!



Fun facts were not available at the time of publication. I will send these fun facts as soon as I have them! Learn more about Wilma and Dora when you stop by the "Star Staff" board in the Teacher's Lounge!