Monday Morning Message

Excellence and High Expectations With A Commitment to All

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September 28, 2015

Happy Week 6 of School!!!!

Happy Monday everyone! I hope each of you took time to relax and re-energize yourself for the week. Personally, I took time to some time to watch a fascinating and saddening documentary: Fixing the System. This documentary spoke to me in a spiritual manner about the importance of the work our teachers and leaders [you] do every day. [Did I mention Oklahoma was highlighted during this documentary?] Our hope for the future rests in ensuring each one of our students receives a quality and rigorous education. I also spent some time doing reading some great articles and reports around Scholastic Lexiles and Leadership. I will share about each below

This week, on Monday and Tuesday, I will be participating in work with the Wallace Foundation around Principal Supervisor Initiative and Leadership Pipeline development. There will be several school districts across the nation involved and I look forward to networking and sharing / learning around leadership practices.

In order to follow up with the 1:1 with each Assistant Principal [as mentioned is last week's M3], I will ask for your flexibility with our weekly scheduled visit. Each leadership team will receive an invite with a window of my visit to the school. During this time I will still make time to meet with the Principal [agenda topics below] and each Assistant Principal will need to review their schedule and plan a 20 minute meeting with me. The purpose of the meeting is the following:

- share what is going well this school year [glow]
- goal for the end of the school year
- professional aspirations
- supports / experiences I can assist with [grow]

Note: there is no material to prepare for this meeting. Please identify a place for us to meet.

Leadership Reminders for this week:
1) I will be reviewing 2OCGs this week

ILD Focus for this week:
- We will review school data: attendance, log entries, literacy plan
- Review Early Release Agenda for October 2 [submit via email to me COB 9/30]
- Continuation of creating Time-Management Calendars & TLE Schedule [See below]

Can't wait to touch base this week! Have a wonderful Monday!

-Your ILD, Julio César Contreras

RESOURCE: If you are in need of interpreters for school parent-teacher conferences be sure to complete the Site Interpreter Request Form.

Attendance Awareness Month: September

Did you know September is Attendance Awareness Month? Seems right considering school has just started. Feel free to access the Attendance Works website for additional resources.


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Attendance Data: Week 6 - Time to reflect

We are now entering week 6 and progress reports have gone out. This is a perfect time to meet with your Attendance clerk, overseeing administrator and Attendance Improvement Team to review:
- student attendance and truancy reports
- identify bright spots and hot spots
- ensure fidelity of reported attendance

This past week, I would like to take time to shine the spot light on our Schools:

- This past week Junior High schools averaged over 93% for the portfolio (except Friday)

- Kudos to ECJR for taking attendance to new heights ---> 97.4% WOW!

- East Central High School pushed their students to 90% for three days (That's 2 weeks in a row)

GREAT JOB! Keep it going. Our Goal as a Portfolio is 95%.

Click here to access the current attendance data image


(Jr) 95+ Green; 93-94.99 Yellow; 92.99- Red

(Hs) 93+ Green; 87-92.99 Yellow; 86.99 - Red

REMINDER: Kris Serna and Dave Casper are available to provide onsite support to your attendance clerk and Attendance Improvement Team. While we have not formally established an Attendance Improvement Team (AIT), the reality is that improving attendance requires more people than just the attendance clerk. Be sure to reach out Kris Serna to schedule an on-site training training for your AIT to:

- Review reports to monitor for the year (i.e. Truancy List, Daily Attendance Report)

- Establish a cycle of check-ins (i.e. Every 3 weeks)

- Identify the bite-size look-fors that will make a difference (side by side with check-in cycle)


REMINDER: Culture Response Action Planning - Due October 2

During our site visit last week, we discussed the process and findings the data is showing in relationship to the TPS Culture Rubric. You are all working on your Culture Response Action Plan which is due Friday, October 2.

Reach out to me if you have any questions.


The importance of creating a schedule that works for you and your team...

This past few weeks we spent time reviewing time management calendars and priorities that should drive your work. It is all to easy to get involved with operations and putting out fires without ever stepping into the classroom for 1 day which then turns to 5. Not being in classrooms limits our ability to correctly support our teachers. This is why it is important that every leader have a strategic calendar.

This is where the calendar make a difference. My personal opinion and experience has taught me that a school leader should align all of their activities that enhance three things:
- Instructional Capacity
- Culture (Staff / Student / Parents / Community)
- Operations: Systems and structures that support enhancing instructional capacity and / or culture

This weekend I came across an article that stresses the importance of preparing for the demands of today's schools.

Principals struggle to find balance in the ever-changing role

I am requesting for all administrators to share their outlook calendar with me by October 1, 2015.


Have You Heard???

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Hispanic Heritage Month (September 15-October 15)

This week in Latino History...

September 28: [1928] Dr. Rodriguez Vargas published in the "Journal of the American Medical Association" his findings in the effectiveness of Iodine and other chemical agents as disinfectants of the mucous membranes of the mouth.[68] Since then, other scientists have used the findings of his investigations as the basis in the study of the bacteriology of dental caries.
September 29: [2003] Dr. Gonzalez became the first Puerto Rican to be named Director of the Arecibo Observatory (the world's largest single dish radio telescope)
September 30: [2007] The people of Ecuador voted on electing a constitutional assembly to rewrite the constitution.
October 1: (1968) Chicano (Mexican American) students at the University of Washington, mostly from the Yakima Valley, establish the United Mexican American Students (UMAS), later changed to MEChA (Movimiento Estudiantil Chicana/Chicano de Aztlan).
October 2: (1928) A day to never forget in Mexican History: The Massacre of Tlateloco [the government against a student movement]. If you have 10 minutes watch and learn more here.

click here to teacher resources from

District Information

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Scholastic Critical Data

This past week we visited and reviewed SRI data for your school. In addition each of you received that data and direction on three critical reports to focus on:
- Growth Report
- Growth Goal Report
- Instructional Planning Report

All Principals and Assistant Principals have been granted access to the Scholastic data base:
link: (save bookmark)

Over the next weeks we will be doing deeper work around Lexiles and instructional planning. Two reports each of you should read are:
- Lexile Framwork for Reading: A System for Measuring Reader Ability and Text Complexity
- Growth Expectations: Setting Achievable Goals

We will go deeper with these reports during our visit this week and the upcoming October portfolio meeting.
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Parent Teacher Conferences

Parent teacher conferences are around the corner. Each of you submitted a request for a modified schedule than what is on the TPS district calendar. Your submissions are approved.

If you have any changes to your schedule be sure to email me no later than COB Friday, October 2, 2015.
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Reminder: Agreement with TCTA around grade entry awarerness

Per the TCTA CBA (Collective Bargaining Agreement) all teachers / staff are to be notified at the beginning of the year of district deadlines regarding grades and report cards.

Click here to access the district grading calendar
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Important Dates

9/29 ACT Testing: Information sent via email
9/30 Submit Early Release agenda to JC via email
10/1 Share calendar with me (should include TLE observations for semester 1 and time management plan)
10/2 Email ILD any changes to original submitted dates for parent teacher conference
10/2 School Culture Response Action Plan due via email to ILD

Getting to Know One of Our Family Members...

Meet Jacky

She has achieved over a 4.0 GPA in two years in HS and is second in her class.
Q) What did you do before working for TPS?
A) Prior to working for TPS, I worked for Memorex-Telex as a Supervisor where we provided Computer Technical support for Domestic and International Airline clients.
Q) What is your favorite movie?
A) ”Beaches” I know, A girl flick, I just loved Beth Midler in this film. I cry each time I watch it.
Q) How many siblings do you have?
A) I am the 9th child out of 11 siblings. I have two sisters who work for TPS as well.
Q) What is your favorite quote?
A) “Students don’t care how much you know until they know how much you care.” Anonymous.
Teachers Make Differences - Short Film