Common Sense

Thomas Jefferson Feeder Pattern News - May 25, 2015

About the Title

Common Sense was a pamphlet authored by Thomas Paine in 1775-76. It was written to inspire American colonists to declare independence from British Rule at the beginning of The Revolution. This weekly, modern, online relative of that pamphlet documents the news, events, updates, and celebrations of the TJ Revolution - the educational sensation sweeping through northwest Dallas.

TJ Feeder Pattern News in Brief

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President Obama Surprises Knight ES 2nd Graders

Earlier this spring, students in Ms. Ortiz's 2nd grade class at Obadiah Knight ES were studying the significance of Presidents' Day and how we choose our leaders. The students decided to write letters to President Obama. They wrote about a variety of things from their dreams of being president to asking the President if he liked pizza. One student even wondered if he could read in Spanish, since the letters were in Spanish. The most common subject in their letters was immigration reform. They asked the President to help their undocumented family members stay in this country and to allow them to pursue college. Their letters were very heartfelt and sincere.


This week, the class received a response! The students were ecstatic when they saw the envelope that said “The White House.” They received several pictures: one of the First Family, President Obama, a map of the White House, and even two pictures of the First Dogs. The letter addressed to the students reminded them to stay focused on their goals and education. Ms. Ortiz also received a letter from the President thanking her for her service and encouraging her to keep pushing her students to dream big. Way to go Knights!

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Saldivar ES Students Kick Off 'City of Learning' with Mayor Mike Rawlings

Julian T. Saldivar ES Scholars traveled to Klyde Warren Park on Saturday morning, courtesy of Big Thought, to kick off the new Dallas City of Learning. The students were joined by Mayor Mike Rawlings, celebrating the second year of this unique summer initiative.



Families gathered at Klyde Warren Park on Saturday to get a taste of the experiences and activities kids can expect with this year’s Dallas City of Learning program.At the event, themed “Learning in Uncommon Spaces,” kids constructed paper buildings for their dream city with help from folks at the Dallas Center for Architecture, built circuits with Best Buy’s Geek Squad Academy, and painted sections for a collaborative mural with Catalyst Arts Movement.


Education nonprofit Big Thought and Mayor Mike Rawlings’ office launched Dallas City of Learning last summer as a way to help youths ages 5 to 18 further their knowledge beyond the classroom. By partnering with more than 150 organizations across the city, from libraries and museums to nonprofits and businesses, the program weaves together activities for kids to engage in a variety of interest areas both in person and online. Kids can earn digital badges for completing activities and track their progress through an online profile.

TJ Feeder Pattern Climate and Culture Tops in Dallas ISD

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Executive Director's Message

With an eye toward next year, the leadership of TJ Feeder Pattern schools will begin a systematic reflection on this school year. Through the annual Systems Review process, we will collaboratively analyze campus philosophy, processes, implementation, and leadership. Rubrics will be utilized to rate each indicator.


While this process will cause us to take a focused look at the past and present, the results of the Systems Review have a significant impact on your work in the future. Apply lessons learned to your 2015-2016 campus action plan.


In the meantime, our students are counting on us to make the most of their final days in school for the 2014-2015 year. Classrooms should reflect print-rich, inviting learning spaces. Lessons should be aligned, rigorous, and focused on appropriate standards. Continue classroom walkthroughs to observe the quality of instruction and provide targeted feedback to assist your teachers in refining their skills.


Have a great week with students!


Timothy J. Hise

Executive Director, Thomas Jefferson Feeder Pattern

Future Facilities Task Force Community Meeting - May 27 - 6pm - Medrano MS

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Future Facilities Task Force Community Meeting

Wednesday, May 27th, 6pm

9815 Brockbank Drive

Dallas, TX

TJHS & Brookhaven College Partner to Offer Spanish Classes for Educators

Have a blast all year long – outside the classroom! Up your game, develop your talent and learn new skills –- anywhere & everywhere in Dallas -- and online!


What’s your thing? Want to sing like Taylor Swift? Build a robot? Solve a mystery? Rap out a poem? Great! Learn from the experts!


Through Dallas City of Learning, you’ll find tons of cool activities, DIY challenges and learning opportunities, created just for you. Want to write code? Maybe you’d rather write fiction. Or become the next Nick Jonas. Whatever you’re into, we’ve got it. So, click Explore and start scrolling!

Harvard Business Review: Effectively Onboarding New Team Members

Hidden Assumption that Undermine Good Teaching

from Marshall Memo #587


“When we articulate our assumptions, we can examine and evaluate their implications and decide if they’re aligned with our deeply-held beliefs about teaching and learning,” say veteran international educators William Powell and Ochan Kusuma-Powell in this Kappan article. Drawing on the work of Robert Kegan and Lisa Laskow Lahey, they list some goals embraced by many teachers:


- I would like to see all my students achieve success.

- I want to better meet the needs of diverse learners in my class.

- I want to be more student-centered.

- I want to personalize learning so every student feels included and invited to learn.


But here are some unconscious tendencies that pull teachers in another direction:


- I like to feel in control of the classroom.

- I need to be needed.

- I want students to feel I am indispensable to their learning.

- I don’t want to try something new, fail, and look like a fool.

- I tend to think that the way I learn is the best way.


And here are some of the ways these tendencies manifest themselves in the classroom:


- I have a tendency to jump in to “save the day.” I like to be helpful.

- I look for (or manufacture) situations in which students depend on me for their learning.

- Sometimes I don’t listen well.

- I have difficulty appreciating that other people may learn differently.

- I’ve taught this way for many years, and it works for most kids.


And here are the underlying assumptions that need to be confronted for transformational change to occur:


- I assume I won’t feel professional satisfaction unless all learning in the class comes from me.

- I assume that success (mine and students’) is monolithic and defined by outside forces over which I have no control.

- I assume that failure (mine and students’) is something to be avoided, rather than something to be learned from.

- I assume that to engage in public learning may be a sign of weakness (that I don’t know everything I’m supposed to know) and may make me look like a fool.


“Overcoming Resistance to New Ideas” by William Powell and Ochan Kusuma-Powell in Phi Delta Kappan, May 2015 (Vol. 96, #8, p. 66-69), www.kappanmagazine.org; these thoughts are adapted from Immunity to Change by Kegan and Lahey (Harvard Business Press, 2009).

Leadership Quote of the Week

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Week At-a-Glance

Monday, May 25
  • Memorial Day Holiday


Tuesday, May 26

  • Future Facilities Task Force Bus Tour @ Medrano MS & TJHS - 8am
  • Principal Assessment Center @ Haskell (12-6pm)
  • Dallas ISD Budget Community Town Hall @ Cigarroa (6-7pm)


Wednesday, May 27

  • Systems Review @ TJHS (8:30-10:30am)
  • Future Facilities Task Force Community Meeting @ Medrano MS (6-7:30pm)


Thursday, May 28

  • Systems Review @ Field ES (8:30-10:30am)
  • Systems Review @ Foster ES (1:30-3:30pm)
  • Teacher Focus Group @ Cary MS (4-5pm)


Friday, May 29

  • Systems Review @ Saldivar ES (8:30-10:30am)
  • Systems Review @ Knight ES (11am - 1pm)


Saturday, May 30

  • HCM Job Fair @ Conrad HS (9am-12pm) - Deadline for ZERO VACANCIES
  • TJHS Graduation Ceremony @ Loos Field House (12:30-2:00pm)

On The Horizon

May 30 - HCM Job Fair

May 30 - Deadline for ZERO VACANCIES

May 30 - Thomas Jefferson HS Graduation @ 12:30pm @ Loos Field House

June 3 - Principal Focus Group

June 5 - Final Day of School for Students

June 6 or 8 - Final Day for Teachers, TA's, Counselors, Nurses, CIC's

June 8 - Four Day Work Week Begins

June 11 - Complete and Submit Fire Drill & EOY Log

June 17--District-wide Principal Meeting

July 21 - Job Fair @ Conrad HS 6-8pm

August 8 - Job Fair @ Conrad 9am-12pm (Tentative)

Action Items