Merrifield Staff Update

September 19, 2016

WE ARE PLANTING THE SEEDS FOR SUCCESS!!! Week 5...let's grow our learners!!!

I would like to THANK YOU for your hard work and intentional instructional efforts thus far. Can you believe we have completed 19 days of school thus far? As I shared during our last staff meeting, we have created a strong INSTRUCTIONAL FOUNDATION for this year. Thus far we have established the following INSTRUCTIONAL SYSTEMS (our foundation/"soil"):
  • September Instructional Focus: Instructional Design & Instructional Delivery
  • Collaborative Grade Level Lesson Planning (per our Campus Planning Guidelines)
  • Established a PLC Structure, Purpose, Roles, & Determined PLC dates
  • Completed Developmental Reading Assessment (DRA) for all students
  • Completed I-station BOY reading screener for grades 3-4

You have also set our instructional foundation by completing training in the following areas:

  • Priority TEKS identified and Vertical Alignment of TEKS by grade level: Slaughter
  • Writer’s Workshop: Slaughter
  • Effective Math Journals: Edwards
  • Literacy Library Usage: Garcia
  • Discipline/RTI: Price
  • Counseling Services/504/At-Risk: Bartels
  • Instructional Non-Negotiables: Towels
  • Skyward Gradebook/Online Literacy Resources/Library Program: Williams
  • I-station Training: Garcia
  • Spring Forward Reading Kit (K-2): Phillips
  • Professional Learning Community (PLC's): Towels
  • T-TESS Overview: Towels/Price
  • RTI Academic Presentation: Edwards/Garcia
If you still need further training in any of the areas above, feel free to notify a member of the Support Team. We are more than happy to provide a follow up training if desired.

Now that we have laid the foundation/soil, we will begin to plant individual seeds. At this time, for the next 5-9 weeks, we will swift our focus to INDIVIDUAL STUDENT INSTRUCTIONAL PLANS. Guided reading and small math groups should begin this week. Many teachers were at the school on Saturday, selecting books for their guided reading groups.

During the September 26th Staff Development Day, you will learn more about our plans to track and monitor INDIVIDUAL STUDENT PROGRESS. We will begin to:
  1. Input student data on a class tracker form.
  2. Analyze our RTI reading & math groups and how we will track their progress throughout the year.
  3. Create class data charts (will be located in the PLC room)
  4. Create and monitor Individual student data walls (will be located in the PLC room).
  5. Student goal setting plan (by grade level)

In closing, I need each of you to make sure you are "Balancing your Buckets". Ensure that you are balancing your personal and professional life. Helpful hints include:

  • Plan your upcoming dates and action items in advance and categorize by priority.
  • Establish your four buckets: (1) Do today, (2) Complete this week, (3) Read & complete next week.
  • Also don't forget your personal bucket: (4) Spend time taking care of yourself. (i.e. exercising, quiet/meditation time, personal reading time, or just quality family time).

Below is a cute video reminder of how we all need to "BALANCE OUR BUCKETS", so that we take care of ourselves first, then we will be ready to serve and support our Merrifield kiddos with positive intent and purpose. ENJOY!

(You tube video titled: The Empty Pickle Jar Movie)

Upcoming dates for this week:

  • Monday, September 19th: 2:15pm-BOY Scout Assembly for boys in grade 1st-4th @ 2:15pm in the cafeteria
  • Monday, September 19th: 4:00pm-Duty Rotation Committee will meet in the library with Mrs. Price
  • Tuesday, September 20th: 1:45pm-Reverse Evacuation Drill for classes with Reeve/Eaker.
  • Tuesday, September 20th: 4:00pm-PBIS committee will meet in room 109 with Mrs. Bartels
  • Tuesday, September 20th: 6:00pm-Boy Scout Night in the cafeteria
  • Wednesday: September 21st: Lesson planning day for all grade levels
  • Thursday, September 22nd: NO STAFF MEETING (cancelled)
  • Thursday, September 22nd: 4:00pm-Social/Morale Committee will meet in the library @ 4:00pm

October Newsletters

It is now time to start preparing your October grade level parent newsletter. Each grade level should create a newsletter by the 1st of each month. Remember, you are not required to complete weekly newsletters this year. (only once per month)

In your October newsletters, please include the parent lunch days for your grade level. You may also include your scheduled lunch time.
  • PK-2nd (Monday & Wednesday)
  • 3rd-4th (Tuesday & Thursday)

Miscellanous Reminders

PARENT COMMUNICATION: Don't forget to document all parent communication efforts in Skyward under the notes section. In August, Mrs. Williams taught us how to document the parent log information in Skyward. If you forgot how to do this, please contact Mrs. Williams. Remember, we don't want to wait until the October parent conference day to communicate with our parents. Let's connect with them to share when students are doing well.

COORDINATORS: We still need a SCIENCE FAIR COORDINATOR & GEOGRAPHY BEE COORDINATOR for our campus. The district will soon meet with the coordinators from each campus. Please notify Mrs. Towels, if you are interested in serving as our science fair or geography bee coordinator.

COMMITTEE LIST: As part of T-TESS Domain 4 Dimension 4.3 (The teacher enhances the professional community outside of his/her classroom.) We need every professional teacher to sign up for at least ONE CAMPUS COMMITTEE for the school year. The google sign up link is below.

2016-2017 Committees:

From Alicia Phillips, ELAR Coordinator

We have some great professional development sessions planned to support ELAR in the next 6 weeks. We are covering topics such as guided reading, phonics and independent work time in reading workshop.

Please ask your teachers to sign up in Eduphoria Workshop. I will also be offering some virtual sessions in November, look for information on that coming in the next month. Thank you for all that you do!

From Taivaya A. Johnson, Math Coordinator

The 9 Week Blueprints for elementary / intermediate math are now available on the math matters page, under 2nd – 6th grades. Have a good week!

From Candice Wilson, Teacher Specialist

Big image

From Angela Bartels, Counselor

PBIS Team Members wanted!

Staff, we are in need of PBIS committee members. Our job will be to set up the parameters of our school-wide motivation system which will be starting soon. We will keep the basic format (points for prizes) but have some decisions to make regarding implementation. Prerequisites include: a heart for kids and the ability to meet after school once in a while on Mondays. Please email me ASAP (Bartels) if you are interested in participating.

Guidance this Week

4th grade and 3rd grade, you have guidance this week. There have been some schedule changes, so please check the calendar in the 16-17 Folder on Google docs for your most up to date schedule.

Parent Event: Unlocking the Heart and Mind of your Child

If parents let you know that they would like to attend this event, please remind them to call and RSVP OR please feel free to take the reservation and just let me know and I will add them to the list. We need somewhat of a count due to the nature of the training.

Food 4 Kids Applications

You may begin submitting Food4kids applications at any time throughout the year. Once you submit your application, I will speak with your student and make a final determination and let you know if they will be participating in the program. Please make copies of the application that I gave you at the staff meeting. I have also placed a form on Google docs in the same folder as my counseling calendar. To date I have only received 1 application, but I know we have kids in need. Please be looking for those signs/symptoms and special circumstances.

504 Referrals

Remember that if parents report any 504 “mental or physical impairments” to you such as but not limited to ADHD, a dyslexia diagnosis, or a serious medical condition please inform me so that we can determine if we need to do a 504 evaluation.


Remember to be keeping your ears open for reports of the following At-Risk criteria: Failing STAAR scores, Retention, CPS/foster care, alternative school placement, mental care facility placement. The last week of September, you will get your class roster and be asked to report on your students. Remember, proper identification is crucial as it affects our funding!


Kudos to....
Tiffany Washington: Mrs. Washington arrives to her parent meetings prepared. She knows her individual students and is ready to discuss their progress with parents. Mrs. Washington prepares for her parent meetings by bringing the student DRA scores, I-station report, current student work samples, progress report grades, and student CUM folder. THANK YOU FOR BEING PREPARED and ready to articulate the student progress. The parents were very impressed. Way to go Mrs. Washington!

Patti Plemons: Mrs. Plemons has set her students up for homework success. Mrs. Plemons faithfully checks out books from the guided reading literacy library in the portable. She has already sent home leveled readers in a baggie. I have attached an example of her parent letter. Teachers, feel free to use. Way to go Mrs. Plemons!

Oscar Rodriguez: Mr. Rodriguez is off to a great start with building relationships with parents to showcase his student talents. Mr. Rodriguez has invited the parents of his class to a mini-poetry recital. Students will be reciting their favorite poems and poems they created for their parents. This is a culminating activity as part of the first grade poetry unit. Way to go Mr. Rodriguez!

Kim Edwards/Joe Garcia: Thank you Mrs. Edwards & Mr. Garcia for leading our RTI PLC's last week. I heard that our teachers were engaged during our last PLC. Thank you for your support and leadership. Way to go Mrs. Edwards & Mr. Garcia!

Nicole Williams: As mentioned above, thank you Mrs. Williams for organizing our Spring Creek BBQ fundraiser night! We appreciate your organization of getting the aprons and information out to the teachers. We also appreciate your communication efforts to the Spring Creek corporate director. Job well done Mrs. Williams!

All Staff Update Links....

.....Can be found in the Merrifield 16-17 google folder.

Merrifield 16-17 google folder link: