Shawnee Trail Elementary, January 18, 2015

SHAWNEE TRAIL MISSION: Why do we exist? What is our fundamental purpose?

  • To create a safe, nurturing and inclusive environment, to inspire ALL students to become passionate, lifelong learners.
  • To make meaningful and enjoyable connections as we educate the whole child academically, emotionally, and socially.

At Shawnee Trail we believe ALL Means ALL:

  • ALL students will learn at their highest levels.
  • ALL decisions are based on what is best for students and are aligned with the mission of our school.
  • ALL, students and teachers, learn by doing and building on our own strengths and the strengths of others.

Collective Commitments:

Cultivate a collaborative culture of continuous improvement:

  • Read all resources before collaborative learning meetings.
  • Be prepared to share, listen and participate in all group discussions.

Foster a save supportive and trusting environment:

  • Start on time.
  • Be engaged 100% of the time. (Leave unnecessary distractions behind and focus wholly on the tasks at hand.)
  • Collaborate and contribute equally and meaningfully

Practice all of these collective commitments by asking, “How did we do? Are we holding ourselves accountable for the team’s norms?”

  • Be willing to apologize or confront with passion and purpose when a team member fails to honor the commitments.

Celebrate success large and small.


Shawnee Trail is The Best School in FISD!

Alyssa wants to give Shannon a SHOUT OUT for or helping her better incorporate the Exemplar strands into her problem solving. She says "I am already seeing a vast difference in their journals and with their conversations."

SHOUT OUT to the C.A.B.S. and K.E.Y.S. teams who came to provide support to our kinder team. Their work has impacted not only one student, but at least 20 or more by allowing teachers to learn new positive behavior supports and focus on high levels of learning for all. We couldn't do it without you!

Feb. 5th -National GO RED Day

Let’s unite to prevent heart disease and stroke.

Our mothers, daughters, sisters and friends are at risk. Heart disease and stroke cause 1 in 3 deaths among women each year – more than all cancers combined. Fortunately, we can change that because 80 percent of cardiac events can be prevented with education and lifestyle changes.

Get informed about the risks of heart disease and stroke. Know the red flags. Know your heart health story. Go Red For Women inspires women to make lifestyle changes, mobilize communities, and shape policies to save lives. United, we are working to improve the health of women in your community.

We will all wear red on Feb. 5th. If you would like to make a donation to the American Heart Association, the last day to order shirts is JANUARY 20TH, 2015. You do not have to order a t-shirt to particpate, anything red will do. But if you would like to oder a Go Red t-shirt, here is the link: HTTP://GORED.KINTERA.ORG/FRISCOISD

Professional Learning

Meaningful Discussion/Academic Discourse

SMART GOAL: Increase student’s advanced academic performance by 5% on campus based CFAs by improving meaningful peer conversations (academic discourse).

STRATEGY: Teacher will teach mini lessons, demonstrate, and provide practice using sentence stems and conversations structures. (Seravallo, Lone STAAR Problem Solving, Kagan Structures and Exemplars)

FORMATIVE ASSESSMENT: Administrative walk-throughs and campus CFAs will be used to measure progress.

Staff Meetings 3:20-4:20

January 20th

Each grade level teacher needs to bring at least one sample of a student’s readers response, a copy of your ELAR TEKS, and a reading response rubric (if you have one). 4th and 5th grade math teachers, please bring a student reading response sample as well.

February 3rd

Topic will be academic discourse. (More information to come.)

February 17th

Focus will be on students written response to math problem solving and mathematical thinking.


  • To accurately measure performance toward our academic discourse goal, each team needs to determine a baseline. How many students are performing at or above grade level currently? Count the number of students in your most recent sorts for reading and math and determine a percentage. Instructional Team Leaders will share these at our next ITL meeting on January 19th)
  • Be sure to copy the ILT on emails when scheduling learning walks. We want to be sure at least one of us is able to attend with you.
  • Sign-up for you and your team to present Academic Discourse at a staff meeting. The presentations only have to be 20 minutes, a mini lesson. :-)

January's Character Focus is Grit

Grit is perseverance and passion for long-term goals.

As an educator, you may be hearing a lot about grit these days—and with good reason. Studies show that kids who demonstrate grit persist at hard tasks and outperform their competitors. Grit is a critical strength of most people who are successful. It is especially complex because it is related to other skills and mindsets such as optimism, purpose, growth mindset, bravery, and even self-control.

There are a lot of misconceptions about grit. Grit is much more than just encouraging kids to “try harder” or not give up—it’s also about helping kids find their passion. Having grit does not mean never quitting—it means quitting responsibly (and not just because times get tough) and sticking to the things to which you are truly dedicated.

Observing Grit

Grit is a combination of passion and persistence. Demonstrating grit could involve:

  • Finish what you begin.
  • Staying committed to your goals.
  • Working hard even after experiencing failure if when you feel like quitting.
  • Sticking with a project or activity for more than a few weeks.

January Reminders:

Tuesday, Jan. 19
  • Instructional Team Leader Meeting 7:10-7:50
  • Protected Day
  • School Board Appreciation Day
  • 4th & 5th Grade Choir Practice 2:50-3:30
  • Campus Intervention/Discipline Team Meeting 3:15-4:00

Wednesday, Jan. 20

  • Dinah Chancellor
  • Staff Meeting 3:15-4:15

Thursday, Jan. 21

  • Dinah Chancellor
  • Report Cards

Friday, Jan. 22

  • GMST

Week of Jan. 25 (Olweus Kick-Off)

  • Monday -
  • Tuesday-
  • Wednesday-
  • Thursday-
  • Friday- Rowdy (Cowboys Mascot) will be here for GMST!

January Birthdays

Christie Seda 1/3

Antonio Ayala 1/15

Elizabeth Meza 1/24

Best of the Best

"Betsy Hubbard of the Two Writing Teachers blog inspired me with her recent post. In it she shares her struggle to find a positive word that would serve as a driving force in her life for 2016, one that she could rely on when faced with uncertainty. The word she chose is: possible. She also shared the following quote from the novelist, Margaret Drabble.

“When nothing is sure, everything is possible.”

Her quote got me thinking...

No one is braver than a teacher. You believe in what is possible. You continuously engage and participate in learning to improve for the sake of your students. You are the first to admit when you’ve made a mistake or failed because there is no real failure when you are learning. You rely on each other and take risks. Every day you open your hearts to children who struggle in ways most people do not understand.

In 2016, when I am feeling unsure, I will remind myself of these words and think of you. No endeavor is certain, but there is definitely a chance it is possible,

Enjoy an extra jeans-day this Thursday, January 21. Remember the darker the better and no holes or t-shirts please. –Pam