Ram Nation News

Week of March 25, 2019


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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As we continue to prepare our students for the next grade level, we have 11 days before 7th and 8th grade reach a very important milestone, first administration of STAAR for 8th grade and 7th grade Writing. As school, we accomplished great things last year and went from being 33 out 33 in SEI to 2 out 33. The pressure is on and now we have to either maintain or reach # 1. As you continue to build inspiring relationships, set high expectations and accelerate instruction, consistency is key! It's crucial that we continue to aggressively monitor student work, differentiate instruction, know your data/students, act on your data, and provide feedback in the moment to grow our students!

Let's be strategic in our work and.....

  • IMPLEMENT with fidelity the five practices that yield improvement in schools:

    · Laser-like focus on what students need to learn

    · Collaborate on how to teach content, map curriculum and design lessons

    · Use results of classroom formative data to measure student progress

    · Find patterns in data and use them to improve instruction

    · Build relationships so that students trust teachers and teachers trust administrators

  • collaborate with grade level teachers, teachers assistants, and other teachers who support for RTI to ensure we are addressing students’ needs based on STAAR release, Common Assessments, classroom performance, and DOLs.

  • MOTIVATE students - we know that some students are self-motivated, with a natural love of learning; however, many others need your magic. We know that a great teacher can make learning fun and inspire them to reach their full potential. Let's encourage our students, get them involved, offer incentives, be creative, and make connections to real life.

Attendance Review

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

The following is the percent for attendance for the week of 3/18 - 3/22:

  • 6th Grade - 95.87 - an increase of 1.21% from the previous week and takes the lead again!
  • 7th Grade - 94.74%
  • 8th Grade - 94.24 - an increase of 2.98% from the previous week

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

  • Mrs. Mooty, Ms. Herrera, Ms. Carreras, and Mr. Lowry for all the support and dedication during the TELPAS online testing. It was a smooth testing environment!!!
  • Ms. Molla, Mr. Martin, Ms. Brown, Ms. Rocha, Ms. Vargas, Ms. Minter, and Ms. Maloy for their dedication, commitment, and support as they attended Saturday School providing small group support as they addressed low TEKS and areas of improvement. Also, Ms. Zuniga, Ms. Reyes, and Mr. Ramirez who came out to support in various ways with building preparation, copies, and attendance for credit. I know students were engaged and grateful for having your support.
  • Ms. Woods for her leadership and coordination of Attendance for Credit. We have received great feedback regarding the documentation and processes implemented to identify, communicate, and complete the requirements for students.
  • RLA team, Ms. Baker, and Ms. Tucker for their commitment to our school as they came together for two PLCs to interview and select for the RLA Lead Teacher for next year. It was a great team effort!

Growth Mindset

We must believe that our students can learn and will learn even. We must provide the opportunities for our students to grow and shine!

High Expectations

We must provide our very best to our students!!!

In collaboration with North Dallas HS, our 8th grade students had the opportunity to explore an engineering class provided by one of the HS teachers and supported by Ms. Rendon, Ms. Minter and Ms. Kannada. Students had the opportunity to collaborate with other 8th graders to build a machine. Students had a great time while learning about engineering and the opportunities offered at North Dallas HS.

High Expectations

Collaboration, Learning, and Support

As a school, one of our goals is to increase the number of partnerships in order to support our students. We want to expose our students to various careers and jobs so that they can learn not only about the various options they have, but also about the education necessary to pursue those jobs. We have the opportunity to partner with Garver, an engineering company, so that our students can compete in STEM related competitions as well as be able to visit Dallas Love Field airport runway construction and learn more about airplanes. Let's continue to impact the lives of our Rusk Rams and making sure that our instruction is focused on helping students to get ready for college, the military, and the workforce. Shout out to Ms. Rendon, Ms. Minter, and Ms. Guerra for representing our school in receiving a $300 donation to our science department.

Inspiring Relationships

Our district's goal number four is about supporting students and the participation in extracurricular activities; it is great to see our students participating in the various sports and activities. Our students continue to represent our school in a very positive way; we are very proud of their accomplishments!!!


  • Aggressive Monitoring (see tracker and coding system if needed) should be done with at least the independent practice and DOL. Remember it is a check for understanding where all students receive feedback. You planned your pathway keeping in mind students level of achievement; then, you announce your laps, execute the pathway and provide feedback to students in the moment using the aggressive monitoring trackers and coding system. Every student receives written and verbal feedback. If you see an error or misconception clear it up immediately using the 3 Fs (feedback, fix it, follow up), show call, or modeling. (TEI 2.2)
  • As we continue to strengthen a great and solid testing environment to support the success of our Rusk Rams, use the active monitoring sheet for testing during your CDOL or any testing that may be longer than 45 minutes so that you can collect qualitative data to make instructional decisions and to have goal conversations with our students.

  • 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.
  • Submit lesson plans by Thursday at 6:00 p.m. (TEI 4.2)


Monday, March 25

  • A - Day
  • Open Transfer application is available through March 29. See below for more specific details.
  • Extended Observations and SPOTs continue
  • As we continue to ensure students receive the best instruction possible and to hold them accountable for their active learning in the classrooms, we will be checking for exemplars and aggressively monitoring in action! Ensure trackers have students listed, color-coded by band, and noting whether they are in bucket or out of bucket.
  • Meet with your grade level teams to align your Lesson Plans, determine misconceptions, create exemplars, and analyze data for your students.
  • 4:45 - 5:45 p.m – Department Meeting
  • 6:00 p.m. Softball Game Vs. Franklin at Franklin Field
  • 6:00 p.m. Baseball Game Vs. Franklin at Franklin Field

Tuesday, March 26-

  • B-Day.
  • Band UIL Competition
  • 9:30 - 2:00 6th Grade Perot Field Trip - Ms. Cooray
  • 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. - North Dallas HS Middle School Softball Appreciation Night - Ms. Buitron, Coach Ford, and Coach Addison.

Wednesday, March 27-

  • A-Day.
  • Calibration Walks - We will be walking classrooms checking for alignment, exemplars, and aggressively monitoring. Ensure trackers have students listed, color-coded by band, and noting whether they are in bucket or out of bucket.
  • 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.

Thursday, March 28-

  • B-Day.
  • Weekly PLC
  • 4:30 After school program continues.
  • 6:00 - Lesson plans due.
  • Remember to clock out at or after 6:00 p.m.
  • 5:30 - 7:30 p.m. Job Fair at Wilmer Hutchins HS
  • 6:00 p.m. City Championship Meet at Jesse Owens Complex

Friday, March 29-

  • A-Day.
  • 8:00 a.m. - 12:00 p.m.The Holdsworth Center visit - 20-25

    school and district level leaders from seven different Texas public school districts will visit our campus. Holdsworth staff along with Principal Supervisors, Principals, Assistant Principals and Teachers will use this experience to see evidence and provide feedback regarding our systems and instructional practices.

Saturday, March 30-

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

Upcoming Events

April 1

  • 6th Grade Math 5th CA (STAAR released test)

April 2

  • 6th Grade Reading 5th CA (STAAR released test)

April 6

  • 8th Grade science and physics field trip to Texas A & M Physics Festival – Selected students – Mr. Proctor, Ms. Minter, and Ms. Rendon.

April 9-10

  • 8th Grade Reading STAAR test (Tuesday 4/9)
  • 8th Grade Math STAAR test and Algebra 5th CA (Wednesday 4/10)
  • 7th Grade Writing STAAR test (Tuesday 4/9)
  • 7th Grade Math Pre-AP test – STAAR Test (Wednesday 4/10)
  • 7th Grade Math 5th CA (STAAR released test)

April 11

  • 8th Grade Science 5th CA (STAAR released test)
  • 7th Grade Reading 5th CA (STAAR released test)

May 8

  • Algebra EOC test

May 13 -16

  • 6th - 7th Math STAAR and 8th grade Math retest
  • 6th - 7th Reading STAAR and 8th grade Reading retest
  • 8th Grade Science STAAR test
  • 8th Grade Social Studies STAAR test

May 30

  • Last day for teachers and TAs

June 10 - 20

  • Summer Readiness - Selected personnel has been notified. All other who applied will be notified if other opportunities come up.

June 10 - 26

  • SSI - Selected personnel has been notified. All other who applied will be notified if other opportunities come up.


Mrs. Mooty shared the link and information last week regarding this training. The modules are,

  • Active Monitoring
  • Distribution of Test Materials
  • Proper Handling of Secure Materials.
The modules are accessed at http://texasassessment.com/administrators/training/. The modules do not require you to log in. You should be able to click on each module, click enter, and begin without logging in.

ALL test administrators must complete all modules; this includes teachers and support staff. Everyone must complete this training because you may be asked to support for small groups or in case of an emergency. Once you have successfully completed a module, you will be given a certificate. Please put you name and date on the certificates, then email them to Mrs. Mooty or place in her box in the mailroom or drop by her office. All three (3) certificates must be received (by hand or email) by the end of day Saturday, March 30, 2019.

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.

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2019-2020 Approved Calendar

As you begin planning your summer vacation, use this link to access our 19-20 school calendar. As an ACE campus, we will begin on August 1, 2019.

Happy Birthday

We wish you a happy birthday!

Lindsay Molla 3/14

Erin Miller 3/22