12.07.15 Staff Update

A Communication Tool for the Seven Hills Staff

Personalized Learning at Seven Hills:

It feels so good to be "home"! I want to thank you all so much for your thoughts, kindness, and compassion. Thanksgiving 2015 was difficult for my family, and returning to work after the break was a challenge for me personally. The campus tragedy pulled me to Seven Hills, but my heart (and mind) were with my parents. Your patience and understanding made it easier to return. I so appreciate that everyone stepped in to fill in the gaps for me last week. Seven Hills truly "has heart!" Many have asked about my parents, so I will share a brief update:

My dad had a second surgery last Tuesday. Surgery went well, and on Friday, he was moved to a rehab facility closer to home. This will be a long road to recovery. My mom is doing well. I may continue to be out periodically to help my parents. They are both retired educators, and they truly dislike for me to miss school because of them. So, in order to save the guilt trip from them, I choose when to be out very carefully. :)

Words cannot express how much your concern and support has meant to me!

Reflection and Celebrations:

Reflection and celebration are important components of a healthy learning organization. I know that I have asked you to think deeply and, in some instances, differently about using data to drive a personalized approach to learning. This kind of work is hard. It can be a challenge. It will be frustrating. But, when small wins are celebrated and we engage in reflection about struggle, the work is worth it! It can ensure student growth. And, it will be rewarding!

We have set up a few ways to be intentional in our efforts to engage in reflective practice and celebration. Next time you are in the PLC room, please take a minute to look at and/or engage in the following:

  • Reflective Celebrations: So many grade levels have had successes to celebrate related to their SMART Goals! Woo Hoo! We want everyone to take a minute to reflect on the celebration, and ask yourself:

What does this data mean to you?

What can we do differently to have a greater impact on student achievement?

What evidence do I have that students are growing and learning?

What factors contributed to student success?

After reflecting on the celebrations a little, record your celebration and reflection on one of the handy "Reflective Celebration" cards in the PLC room, and attach to the data you are celebrating.

  • Reflective Design: We have embraced the growth mindset at The Hills. We will not view struggle and low performance as failure. Rather, we will capitalize on the opportunity for greater potential impact on student achievement and teacher learning! When faced with data that "didn't turn out exactly as you had hoped," ask yourself:

Does this data accurately reflect student learning?

How will this impact instruction?

What were the barriers to student achievement? Which of these can we have an impact on?

What can we do differently?

After reflecting, either record the reflection on PLC Minutes. Don't forget to print your PLC minutes each week, and hand in the PLC room.

  • Evidence of Action: The work of the PLC and the work in your classrooms should be aligned with the campus Instructional Focus. The Instructional Focus can be found on the bulletin board in the PLC room. Each Theory of Action has been broken down, and a modified version of a Frayer Model has been created to help provide clarity to each. Additionally, the PLC room is becoming a "hub" of activity, with a variety of displays charting our road to success! That being said, most of the evidence to date is reflective only of the work of the PLC and Data Teams (another PLC, really). The Instructional Focus also highlights classroom instruction! In an effort to capture instructional celebrations and evidence toward accomplishing our goals, an "Evidence of Action" board has been created! We are asking for teachers to post their evidence on these boards connected to achievement of each instructional theory of action! We already have a few pieces of evidence displayed! Go ahead...show off...you and your students have been working so hard!

Remember....celebrate and reflect on everything...no matter how small or insignificant you think it may be...Small daily improvements are the key to staggering long-term results!

Note: All reflective questions have been posted in the PLC room for your reference!

Updates and Information

What's Happening Next Week at The Hills?

  • Monday, December 7th:
Winter Social 6pm at Eaton HS

  • Tuesday, December 8th:

Grade Level PLCs in the PLC Room- more instructional strategies work with Hayley and Kelly

(PLC Agenda: https://docs.google.com/a/nisdtx.org/document/d/1p3l_TCXe7YQBLiFH5xZ8QTUGavQUJgB4fpBDhmFAbdA/edit?usp=sharing)

Math CPR with Kasey and Shaunda 3- 5 pm

  • Wednesday, December 9th:

Math CPR with Kasey and Shaunda 3 -5 pm

  • Thursday, December 10th:

Yearbook picture make-ups

  • Friday, December 11th:

CTMS Choir, Band, and Orchestra Performance 9:45 (more details to come)

  • Saturday, December 12th:
PTA Breakfast with Santa 10:00 am

  • Monday, December 14th:
2015 - 2016 Exemplar Educator nominations due to Kim, Leslie, or Tanya

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

  • 12/7 - 12/12 PTA Holiday Shoppe "Winter Wonderland"
  • 12/14 - Fire Drill, Money for Staff Party due to Wilma
  • Fundraiser delivery 12/14
  • 12/15 - Fall Choir Concert, 6pm

Happy Birthday To:

Staff Member of The Week!

Jovann Kiser:

Mariah McGlothlin:

Staff member interesting facts were not available at the time of publication, and their photos and information were not posted last week, so Jovanne and Mariah will continue this week. :)

Information and Reminders:

  • Seven Hills Staff Holiday Party: If you are attending the staff holiday party, please make sure you pay for you and your guest by Monday, December 14.

  • 2015 - 2016 Exemplar Educator Nomination Window Open: It is time to nominate your peers. Nomination criteria and nomination forms were emailed to all staff on Monday, December 7th. Paper copies can be found in the teacher's lounge. All nominations are due to Kim, Tanya, or Leslie by Monday, December 14th.

  • Math "CPR" with Shaunda and Kasey! Shaunda Garrison and Kasey Rogers will be offering after-school CPR (Collaborate, Plan and Respond) at The Hills on December 8th and 9th from 3:00-5:00 p.m. Their goal is to meet with any math teachers (or teachers who support math instruction) that would like support with planning, content deepening, analyzing CBA data, guided math groups and any other math related need that might arise. CPR is optional, but highly recommended, and is certain to provide anyone who attends an instructional boost. Both days will be come and go as attendance is not required. Please complete the short Google form by following the URL, http://goo.gl/forms/Tw3WLH9xxI, so that we can plan accordingly and manage the time. This is an incredible opportunity, and Kasey and Shaunda are eager to work with the Seven Hills staff!

  • Winter Social Tonight! This year, the Winter Social will be held at Eaton High School. This is an incredible opportunity for Seven Hills students and families! We need teacher help to ensure a great experience for all! Grade level teachers will be needed to help monitor students before, during, and after the program. Assistance will also be needed with program management (getting students on and off the stage, etc.). I am requesting that all grade level teachers attend the performance. If you are unable to attend, please let me know. Non-classroom teacher help is also needed and valued. If you are a non-classroom teacher who is able to help, please let Tiffany Howe know. We also need several people who would be willing to help transport the xylophones and recorders to Eaton HS and back to our school that night. If you are available to support this need please let Tiffany Howe know.

  • PDAS 45 Minute Observations: I want to provide a little clarification about how PDAS observations are being scheduled this year. I understand that this may be a new scheduling practice for many of you. Please know that the "dog and pony" show isn't what Leslie and I are interested in. We want to see high quality instruction, we want to see what happens every day in your classrooms. Take a deep breath - :). Teachers turned in a form indicating two different one week windows of time that would be their preference for observations to be completed. Our goal is to schedule everyone in their first choice. Teachers also indicated two different 45 minute blocks of time for the observation to be completed. We will notify you of the week we have you scheduled, but in an effort to avoid multiple reschedules (because of unexpected circumstances, etc.) we will not schedule a specific date and time. You know the two times of day that you indicated as your preference. If you indicated you wanted to schedule a pre-conference, your evaluator will work with you to get that date and time set.

  • Winter Parties: The Winter Party times were sent out last week. Please make sure you send these times to your parents and post on your grade-level web page.

    PK PPCD –9:45-10:45 and 1:30-2:30

    3rd Grade – 8:00 – 9:00

    5th Grade – 9:00-10:00

    4th Grade - 10:30-11:30

    1st Grade – 11:40-12:40

    2nd Grade – 12:30-1:30

    Kinder – 1:30-2:30