Mustang Message

January 9, 2017

A Principal's Perspective

I don't know about you, but I enjoy easing back to school with a staff day and two student days! I want to thank you for a great professional development day on Wednesday. The math and ELA book studies along with the vertical team discussions provided opportunities to reflect on our instructional practices. Thank you to Pattie Bartosh and Amanda Simmons for leading our book studies. Thank you to our specialists for facilitating stimulating conversations and focused feedback.

My take away from the vertical team discussions about our student community could also be said for our professional community, the staff. Words such as respectful, supportive, valuing the thinking of others, problem solver, not comparing or competitive at the expensive of others, risk-takers, and not afraid to fail describe our GP staff. Working together to build a positive school community for our students has a positive impact on our work environment as well. That doesn't just happen. It happens when all 80 staff members are intentional about our school and what we want our school to be for our students and colleagues. A construction worker takes on a whole new meaning in this context!

Stay warm this weekend!

Be Innovative - Design the possibilities!


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Morning Duties for the Week

Morning Assembly (7:20): Sullivan

Gym (7:20): Williams

Cafeteria (7:20): Paine

Bus (7:15 - Buses/ Cafeteria after all buses arrive): Lewis

Parent Drop Off Direct Traffic (7:20-7:50): S. Anderson

Parent Drop Off Car Doors (7:20-7:50): Lutz & Seagraves

Counselor Schedule: 3rd & 4th

Librarian: PC

Week at a Glance

Monday: K & 4th Switching CAMP; Orchestra visiting 4th grade; Report cards sent home; STAAR School Report Cards go home with student report cards; PTO Teacher Appreciation - Stocking the Staff Lounge refrigerator

Tuesday: STEM Club 3:15-4:00

Wednesday: Training for new GP teachers with Amanda Simmons 3:30-4:30; Tech & Specialists' open office hours

Thursday: REACH 3:15-4:15; UIL; SIT Group #1 (Gibbs, Owen, LeBlanc, Bingaman/Sullivan, Simmons/Hughes/Rhine, Cooper McGregor )

Monday: Staff & Student Holiday

News & Notes

  • Bonnie Roy, our secretary, will be in the office in the afternoons next week. Lara Lewis will sub as our secretary in the mornings.
  • The district will be replacing the copier in the staff workroom scheduled for sometime next week. We will keep you posted on the delivery date.
  • The library now has a portable screen (very large) & portable projector for check out.

State A-F Report Card

As you know, the state will release to the public the A-F grades for each school and district this afternoon. I would like to provide each staff member with GP's grades along with a description of each domain. It is important to remember that this is a system that CSISD's School Board along with many other school boards and professional organizations have approved resolutions opposing this accountability system because of the flaws within the system. We will talk more in-depth about the grades at our January faculty meeting.

Domain 1 - Student STAAR Performance (Grades 3 & 4)

GP Domain B

Domain 2 - Student Progress Measure (Students from grade 3 to 4)

GP Domain A

Domain 3 - Closing the Achievement Gap (Stay tuned on this one - not what you would think)

GP Domain C

Domain 4 - College Readiness (Based on student attendance for elementary schools.)

GP Domain B

Statewide Summary:

• Domain 1: 13 percent got As, 18 percent got Bs, 36 percent got Cs and 32 percent got Ds and Fs in student achievement.

• Domain 2: 12 percent got As, 21 percent got Bs, 34 percent got Cs and 33 percent got Ds and Fs in student progress.

• Domain 3: 10 percent got As, 25 percent got Bs and 23 percent got Cs and 42 percent got Ds and Fs in closing performance gaps.

• Domain 4: 11 percent got As, 24 percent got Bs and 35 percent got Cs and 31 percent got Ds and Fs in postsecondary readiness.

Things to Think About:

  • This is not an official system. Legislative changes could be made before actual reporting system is in place 2018.
  • Our school is a GREAT school!
  • We do not mind being held accountable- just in meaningful ways!
  • Not new information
  • We know the challenges we have and are addressing these challenges
  • We have always been considered a school that meets or exceeds expectations, and STILL ARE
  • It’s a confusing system
  • It’s based on a flawed test
  • Most importantly... RESIST the urge to compare!

Talking Points to the Public:

  • Our school is successful...and let me tell you why!
  • We do not mind being held accountable- just hold us accountable in meaningful ways.
  • It’s a confusing system- the letter grades seem simple but they aren’t.
  • It’s based on a test being used in ways it wasn’t designed to be used; so we would like to tell you how our kids are doing in other areas…Oh...I’m not sure, I don’t have that data but I do know that every school in our district is one to be proud of. I’m sure they can tell you great things as well. We each have such a different school personality and make up; that is what makes this place so great!

Want to Know More?

Austin Statesman:

First publication reporting district & school grades along with explanation of the reporting system.

Dallas News:

Another explanation of the system prior to the grades being published.

Huffington Post:

An interesting article about the STAAR test from an author of one of the poems included in the middle school STAAR test.

Mustang Yee Haws!

Happy New Year!