Ram Nation News

Week of August 20, 2018

Vision

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

Mission

At Thomas J. Rusk Middle School, our mission is to ensure our scholars are provided a culture of excellence through challenging opportunities, powerful relationships, and strong community partnerships that will empower them to become college and career ready.

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During our last two weeks, we had the opportunity to reflect on our main purpose, plan for a successful year, and renew our commitment of working together toward our mission. I was very excited to see each one of you engaged in the learning process and preparing to continue to provide a trans formative experience for our students and community.


We are very excited and proud about the progress and accomplishments we have made so far!!! From Improvement Required two years in a row (IR2) to Met Standard with three distinctions in one year. These are amazing results and show that our work is crucial in creating transformation for our students. All this progress was possible by the hard work and dedication of our teachers, support staff, and administrative team. Of course, we are very proud of our students’ and parents’ for their buy in, their continuous support, and their commitment to making our school a better place. We know that great things are possible when we have growth mindset, high expectations, and inspiring relationships. #ACEDallasISD.

On Monday, Thomas J. Rusk Middle School will have 670 scholars return to our classrooms for the start of a new school year. I know that each grade level has its own special group and everyone is excited to greet each and everyone of our Rusk Rams!!! I know you are ready, let's make of this year the best for our students!!!

THANK YOU

  • Rams for your commitment to our scholars; your participation during our PD sessions and collaboration in PLCs was amazing. We appreciate your vulnerability, open-mindedness, and positive attitude.
  • Mr. Ramirez, Ms Velazquez, and Ms Cruz for making sure our building was ready for teachers, parents, and students.
  • Ms. Miranda and Ms Galvan for their planning, support, and other logistics during breakfast on our PD days. We really appreciate having something to eat during PD time to help us focus on the learning.
  • Mrs. Mooty, Ms Shelby, Ms Calderon, Ms. Araujo, and Ms Reyes for ensuring that 100% of the students who registered were scheduled in classes by day one.
  • Mr. Geiger, Mr. Carballo, and Mr. Willis for their commitment, eagerness, and support to ensure that each one of our teachers and offices had the furniture, materials and supplies needed. Being prepared makes a huge difference in the lives of our kids!!!
  • Mr. Johnson, Ms. Minter, Ms. Stripling, Ms. Miller, Ms. Lewis, Ms. Baker, Mr. King, Ms. Molla, Ms. Rocha, Ms. Perez, Ms. Michael, Mr. Thornton, and Mr. Geiger for their leadership and support during PD and PLCs as they presented various important topics related to instructional practices, culture, and our evaluation system. This is a great example of expanding leadership in our campus.
  • Our Administrative Team, Ms. Guerra, Ms. Tucker, Ms. Woods, Ms. Davis, and Ms. Wells for their leadership and commitment as they led PLCs and supported the collaborations. These PLCs will continue to focus on planning sessions, data analysis sessions, and the sharing of best practices.
  • Mr. Lowry and Ms. Saucedo for collaborating and distributing all technology to our teachers. By doing so, students will have the opportunity to receive Good First Instruction from day one.
  • Mr. Proctor for his support and flexibility as he set up the laminating machine to ensure staff members have instructional materials that are appealing to students and last longer.

Building Trust through Developing Effective Teams

Our staff members engaged in various team building exercises and activities to continue to develop trust. Building high effective teams is crucial to support the development of an organization.

Learning and Collaboration

Our teams engaged in the learning during PD. We had a variety of learning opportunities to address learning styles, consider years of experience, and support small group discussions.

Community Involvement and Partnerships

One of our school goals is to broaden constructive relationships with the members of school community. During our Meet the Teacher Night, we had a great opportunity to share our vision, discuss our progress, and set the stage for a great year. Let's continue to make sure we encourage parent participation in school events, parent workshops, and parent conferences to create partnerships to build the whole child.
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REMINDERS FOR THE FIRST WEEK OF SCHOOL

  • Be prepared and provide high expectations for our students
  • Greet students with smiles and consistent firmness
  • During transitions remember WALQ (Walk on the right side, All hands, feet, and object to self, Low voices, Quick pace)
  • Engage learners throughout your lessons. It will support the increase in student achievement and reduce disruptions
  • Incorporate your classroom culture expectations and routines within your instruction
  • As you begin to fill your bulletin boards, ensure that you have an appealing and purposeful display to reflect what is taking place in your classroom
  • Purposefully plan to build positive relationship with our students
  • Remember we cannot do pre-tests. We must use the data we already have and then we can give MSTAR and reading level assessments (ISIP, DRA/F&P)

DAILY EVENTS

Monday, August 20-
  • First day of school!!! Doors will open at 7:30 a.m.
  • 10:15 a.m. Enrollment count due. Remember to count students who are present only not the number of students in your rosters.
  • Meet with your grade level teams to align your Lesson Plans, continue the analysis of the common assessment, and analyze data profiles for your students.
  • 4:45 First day of school staff meeting - Library


Tuesday, August 21-

  • 10:15 a.m. Enrollment count due. Remember to count students who are present and those who are absent, but were present on Monday.
  • Meet with your grade level teams to align your Lesson Plans, continue the analysis of the common assessment, and analyze data profiles for your students.
  • 4:45 - 6:00 After school collaboration with PLCs.
  • 4:45 - 6:00 BOC and activity fund training - club sponsors and Ms. Galvan - Library.


Wednesday, August 22-

  • 10:15 a.m. Enrollment count due. Remember to count students who are present and those who have been present this week, but are absent.
  • Meet with your grade level teams to align your Lesson Plans, continue the analysis of the common assessment, and analyze data profiles for your students.
  • 4:45 - 6:00 After school collaboration with PLCs


Thursday, August 23-

  • 10:15 a.m. Enrollment count due. Remember to count students who are present and those who have been present this week, but are absent.
  • Department Collaboration PLC - Department Chair and AP/CIC
  • 6:00 - Lesson Plans Due


Friday, August 24-

  • 10:15 a.m. Enrollment count due. Remember to count students who are present and those who have been present this week, but are absent.
  • Fire Drill - Mr. Willis

UPCOMING EVENTS

September 21 -
  • Compliance Video Deadline


September 14 -

  • Professional Development Plans (PDPs) Due
  • Development of the Student Learning Objective (SLO) and submission online using Cornerstone

ACE Website

Please check out our ACE website by clicking the hyperlink.

Visit the “Learning Lounge” for instructional tools ---the password is “ACE”.

Congratulations!!!!

Ms. Cooray and her husband welcomed Baby Rhone Viva Rathore. She was born on August 16 - She weighted 7 lbs and measured 20 inches long.

Happy Birthday -

We want to wish our August birthdays the best and many blessings for the years to come.

4- Ms. Cooray

13- Mrs. Tucker
24- Mrs. Shelby

27 - Ms. Zuniga

Welcome to RamNation!!!

Please, join me in welcoming the following staff members to our school. Take some time to meet them and make them feel right at home.

  • Mr. Gabriel Hernandez - Urban Teacher. He joins the math team as a student teacher intern who will be working in 6th grade.
  • Mr. William Howlett - Hall Monitor. He joins the security staff and is very eager to support our efforts. He will be working the first floor.