Ram Nation News

Week of February 19, 2019

Vision

A middle school that cultivates scholars to be catalysts of change, life-long learners, innovators, and competitors in a global society
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#OnANewLevel

We continue to make great strides toward our vision of creating catalyst of change, life-long learners, and competitors in a global society as we are racing OnANewLevel.

As a school, we have spent hundreds of hours in PLCs planning engaging and aligned lessons, we have analyzed data and work with students to profile their assessment performance, we have provided small group instruction and after school tutoring to close gaps, and now it is time for our students to show what they know! This week, our students will be taking their 4th six weeks common assessments, let's be very intentional to provide a great learning and testing environment for our kids. As I shared previously, a great deal of student achievement lays on the level of motivation students have. Therefore, this week, it is imperative that our students are greeted with motivating and encouraging words every morning. As I collaborate with other principals and share communication with our staff, I want to share some lines that a fellow principal, Ms. Rockell Stewart from Martin Luther King Elementary, shared with her staff and resonated with me, "Students look to teachers for approval and positive reinforcement, and are more likely to be enthusiastic about learning if they feel their work is recognized and valued. You're the best resource to help students accomplish their goals, build their self-esteem and experience success! A positive mental game is the success behind great athletes and professionals. Be enthusiastic! Be authentic! Be motivational!" Each one of you in our building can exert power over students or you can create an environment where students feel energized and capable of achieving their goals.

Let's be very purposeful and have a laser focus as we work on having double digit gains across all subjects in all buckets and reach number 1!!!

Attendance Review

Regular attendance is essential to providing students with opportunities to learn.


The following is the percent for attendance for the week of 2/11 - 2/14:

  • 6th Grade - 93.47%
  • 7th Grade - 94.72%
  • 8th Grade - 95.07% Continues to take the lead for the second week in row!


Let's continue to encourage our students to be present and on time on a daily basis. It really makes a huge difference when our students are present learning.

THANK YOU

  • Ms. Maloy, Ms. Trent, Ms. Buitron, Mr. Brown, and Ms. Martin for their commitment to our special education students and our school as they went through an audit with our district's special education department. While we did not receive the results as of yet, we know that all the documentation was in order and, normally, we would hear any negative right away. Awesome work, team!
  • Ms. Guerra and Ms. Davis for their leadership as they prepared and lead PD in small group sessions based on feedback from teachers. We received great comments and look forward to the implementation of these sessions.
  • Coach Clark and Ms. Rendon for their dedication to our students as they prepared our students for the first track meet of the spring semester. Also, kudos to Ms. Iberosi for her commitment as she supported Mr. Clark during the track meet. Isaiah Johnson got 2nd place in the 100 meter dash and the boys got 4th in relay! We are very proud of all the great things happening at Rusk.

High Expectations

Inspiring Relationships

We know that teamwork makes the dream work. Thank you so much for being fully invested in making our school a better place where we look forward to come to work and feel that we trust each other. Let's continue to be very purposeful in building relationships in order to strengthen our trust.

REMINDERS FOR THE UPCOMING WEEK OF SCHOOL


  • Our Remarkable Rams will have testing all week. Remember to incorporate the testing message/script your team prepared for your students since students will be mixed. During testing, we should be intentional as we actively monitor and provide accommodations to identified students. Please refer to the handout provided during PLC - Testing Expectations.
  • As common assessment scores are available, have students profile (use link to access two samples of profile sheets to use) their assessment and conduct conferences with students so that they know what mistakes they made as they took the common assessment. Also, set goals so they know what they need to do to achieve and make significant progress. (TEI 1.2 and 1.5)
  • Teachers have to acknowledge in Cornerstone for a submitted spot to be marked complete and show up as complete on our tracker; if you have not acknowledged previous SPOTs, please do so to ensure accuracy and plan accordingly. (TEI 4.2)
  • As we work on documenting the progress our students are making, remember our policy regarding failure rates and the various opportunities needed to ensure our students are successful. EIA (Regulation) (TEI 2.2, 4.2, 4.5)
  • It is critical to be prepared with lessons and materials to avoid having issues with students. When we are not prepared, our students can tell and will find their own way of entertainment. (TEI 3.1)
  • We must have 100% presence in the hallway during transition times. Our students notice when there is a lack of adult presence in the hallways and will take advantage of it.
  • Be very consistent in the effective implementation of various practices discussed during our TEI orientation and lesson alignment conversations. With regards to Alignment (learning objective), the proficient rating states: Focuses students at the beginning and throughout the lesson, by clearly stating (TEI 2.1)
    • What they are learning
    • Why it is important
    • What mastery looks like
    • How to connect it to prior knowledge and their own lives and explaining to students
  • Submit lesson plans by Thursday at 6:00 p.m. (TEI 4.2)

DAILY EVENTS

Monday, February 18

  • NO School!


Tuesday, February 19-

  • CA 4 - Modified Schedule
  • Common Assessment Testing - Math. We will follow the testing plan shared by Mrs. Mooty; please, see 4th Six Weeks Common Assessment Schedule and Expectations in our "Staff" section of our website.
  • TELPAS Writing - Science content prompt. Science teacher responsible for administering and collecting the writing samples. Please, refer to e-mail sent by Mrs. Mooty for more details.
  • We will be checking for exemplars and actively monitoring in action during testing. Ensure having a copy of the seating chart and a copy of the Testing Actively Monitoring sheet where anecdotal notes are being recorded to share with the content teachers.
  • Meet with your grade level teams to align your Lesson Plans, determine misconceptions, create exemplars, and analyze data for your students.
  • 4:30 p.m. After School Program Continues. Let's make the best out of this time being very purposeful in the material covered with students and the students who must attend your sessions. We need to work on the recruitment of students for our after school program since it impacts student growth, our school performance, progress, and, ultimately, part of our stipends are tied to the attendance of our students to our tutoring/enrichment sessions. As a reminder, students do not have the option to opt out; if you need assistance with parents, please let anyone from the leadership team know.

  • Remember to clock out at or after 6:00 p.m. during the 2 days that you will stay after school.

  • 4:30 - 6:00 p.m. Baseball tryouts - Ms. Michael and Mr. Rivera


Wednesday, February 20-
  • Modified Schedule (see Monday)
  • Common Assessment Testing - 6/8 Reading and 7 Writing
  • TELPAS Writing - Science content prompt for those students who missed it on Tuesday due to modified testing schedule. Science teacher responsible for administering and collecting the writing samples. Please, refer to e-mail sent by Mrs. Mooty for more details.
  • Meet with your grade level teams to align your Lesson Plans, determine misconceptions, create exemplars, and analyze data for your students.
  • 4:30 After school program continues - Let's be very purposeful in our lessons and our recruitment of students.
  • Remember to clock out at or after 6:00 p.m.
  • 4:30 - 6:00 p.m. Baseball tryouts - Ms. Michael and Mr. Rivera


Thursday, February 21-
  • Modified Schedule (See Monday)
  • Common Assessment Testing - 6/8 Science and 7 Reading
  • TELPAS Writing - Math content prompt. Math teacher responsible for administering and collecting the writing samples. Please, refer to e-mail sent by Mrs. Mooty for more details.
  • Meet with your grade level teams to align your Lesson Plans, determine misconceptions, create exemplars, and analyze data for your students.
  • 4:30 After school program continues - Let's be very purposeful in our lessons and our recruitment of students.
  • Remember to clock out at or after 6:00 p.m.


Friday, February 22-

  • Modified Schedule (See Monday)
  • Common Assessment Testing - Social Studies
  • TELPAS Writing - Math content prompt for those students who missed it on Thursday due to modified testing schedule. Math teacher responsible for administering and collecting the writing samples. Please, refer to e-mail sent by Mrs. Mooty for more details.
  • Annual Ram Nation Soul Food Unity Luncheon - During 3 lunches. Requesting small donation of $10
  • Meet with your grade level teams to align your Lesson Plans, determine misconceptions, create exemplars, and analyze data for your students.
  • 4:30 - 7:30 p.m. - Valentine's Dance - Coach Addison and the Athletic Dept.

Saturday, February 23 -

  • Saturday School Continues - Adults 8:30 - 1:00; Students 8:45 light breakfast 9:00 - 12:30

Upcoming Events

February 25-26

  • TELPAS Writing - Past Tense Narrative RLA 6th and 7th
  • TELPAS Online Reading - 8th Grade


February 27-28

  • TELPAS Writing - Past Tense Narrative RLA 8th
  • TELPAS Online Reading - 7th Grade


March 2

  • Saturday School Continues - Adults 8:30 - 1:00; Students 8:45 light breakfast 9:00 - 12:30


March 19

  • Deadline to input designated supports
Online Documentation of Designated Supports- GenEd St.

Information about documentation of the designated supports for general education students. It addresses all core and elective content areas.

2019-2020 Plans - Thomas J. Rusk

The purpose of this survey is to notify me of your plans for the upcoming school year. I want to plan as early as possible to ensure our students have a teacher from day one.

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Technology Resources - STAFF Section of Website

Technology creates opportunities for student-centered learning. Access the link to be routed to access Technology resources in the STAFF section of our website, you will find information about Apps, TruTouch, and Chromebooks.

Communication with Parents!

Great tip, from Mr. Proctor, to communicate with parents who have limited English....

I wanted to share something that has helped make parent contacts with parents who speak mostly Spanish.
Although there is a district translation hotline to call, there is often a long wait, and you may not at all be connected with a translator after about 4:45 pm. So I have been using Google Translate instead.https://translate.google.com/ You can type introductory messages in English, and it will translate them into Spanish, and you can play it over the speakers into the phone. Also, is the phone quality is good, your laptop microphone can pick up and translate the parents’ words, and translate them back to English.

Open Transfer

The Open Transfer application will be available starting March 4, 2019. Eligible employees must apply via the open transfer application online at https://www.dallasisd.org/careers within the time frame established. Principals will have an opportunity to submit open transfer recommendations no later than March 29, 2019. Transfers are not final until an approval email notification has been sent from Human Capital Management. All notification will be completed by April 12, 2019. I will be sending a form where you will have an opportunity to let me know of your plans for next year; however, if you know that you are planning to transfer or leaving the district, please let me know as soon as possible so that we can plan accordingly.

Let's Keep in our Thoughts and Prayers

  • Ms. Rendon and her family for strength and comfort as her grandmother's health has declined and these tough news have to be shared with Ms. Rendon's mother.

Congratulations!!!

Ms. Vasquez and her son, Juan, who recently received a congratulatory letter from CollegeBoard. Juan scored in the top 2.5% on the PSAT/NMSQT among all Hispanic and Latino high school junior test-takers in our region. As a result of this test performance, Ms. Vasquez and Juan were invited to participate in the National Hispanic Recognition Program. This is a great honor and Ms. Vasquez is a proud mother!

Happy Birthday

We wish you a happy birthday!


Mrs. Mooty - Feb. 2