Ram Nation News

Week of March 9, 2020

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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#EXCELLENCE, Back At It Again

Spring Break here we come!!!! I want to thank each of you for your continued hard work and dedication to Thomas J. Rusk Middle school and our students. I know everyone is looking forward to being off next week, I wish you a safe and restful break. As the weather gets warmer, outdoor activities increase, so please remember to be safe and enjoy time with your family and friends.

The second semester kicked off very fast and has been a busy time preparing our students for the next grade level, assessing our students' progress, taking action towards our goals, and preparing for our next milestone - STAAR.

  • I recognize that STAAR and testing brings added pressure and work.
  • I want to recognize all of the teachers, teacher assistants, support staff, and administrators who work together to improve student achievement and make Rusk a better place to learn and be.
  • I have seen your dedication first hand and I greatly commend you for it!!!
  • We have seen improvement in the various domains throughout the year and I am highly optimistic we will continue to see positive changes in our future STAAR scores. I am more excited each day for the success story about our Rusk Rams.


We have 16 instructional days before our first administration of STAAR. As we continue in our journey of EXCELLENCE, we must track student performance and intervene in the moment. It's crucial that we continue to aggressively monitor student work, differentiate instruction, and provide immediate feedback to grow our students.

Attendance

Regular attendance is essential to providing students with opportunities to learn. It is awesome to see all of our students being on time to school and transitioning in an expedited manner from class to class. The following is the percent for attendance for the week of 3/2 - 3/6:


  • 6th Grade - 95.92%
  • 7th Grade - 95.94%
  • 8th Grade - 96.79% an increase of 2%


8th grade steps up and takes the lead on the attendance board!!!

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.

As a reminder, our school attendance goal is to achieve 97.5%; therefore, grade levels will be recognized with a popcorn party or other incentive when they reach this goal on a given week.

Saturday School

Mr. Martin, Ms. Molla, Ms. Maloy, Ms. Brown, Ms. Stripling, Ms. Vasquez, Ms. Robinson, Ms. Miller, Ms. Rocha, Ms. Cagle, and Ms. Ford for their commitment to closing academic gaps for some of our neediest students as they attended Saturday School. They provided small group support as they addressed low TEKS and areas of improvement. Kudos to Mr. Ramirez, Mr. Maymi, and Ms. Ford for opening the building and making sure the building was ready for our teachers and students.

Climate and Culture

Our goal for our climate survey is to rank in the 4th and 5th quintile in all areas. This means that all of our areas of our climate survey will be green!!!

  • We made great improvements as we moved at least one quintile from Fall 18 to Fall 19.
  • We want to provide a welcoming and collegiate working environment for each person who comes to make a difference in our community.
  • Our goal is to improve morale knowing that pressure is on and our students must be the priority.

The Running Rams - Track Team

The Running Rams were small but mighty at the track meet this past weekend due to dual sport athletes competing in baseball and softball games on Saturday. With a modified team, The Rams competed in every event on the track. The lady Rams were able to pull in 28 team points with just 8 girls in attendance:


  • The girls 4x2 team came in 1st in their heat with 7th graders Abbigayle Rodriguez, Makayla Williams, and 8th graders Cindy Can and Shandria Jones
  • Abbigayle Rodriguez came in 3rd in the high jump with a jump of 3 feet 3 inches
  • Makayla Williams came in 1st in her heat of the 100 meter dash
  • 8th grader Annabelle Rodriguez came in 3rd in the shot put and 1st in the discus throw with 76 feet 2 inches.
  • On the boys team, Emeka competed in in the 800 meter run and 300 meter hurdles; he did a very nice job!

Shout out to our coaches, Coach Bey, Coach Clark, Mr. Harris and Ms. Martin for a great track meet. Also, kudos to Mr. Brown and Ms. Minter for coming out to support our students.

REMINDERS FOR THE UPCOMING WEEK

  • 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. (TEI 3.3 and 3R Positive Attitude/Enthusiasm).
  • 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.
  • 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)
  • 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
  • During 8:00 a.m. - 8:20 a.m., students must be engaged in meaningful activities: homework support, Grade checks, organizing binder, CNN news with reflection sheet.
  • Submit lesson plans by Thursday at 8:00 a.m. (TEI 4.2)

DAILY EVENTS

Monday, March 9-

  • B Day
  • 8th Grade TELPAS Listening and Speaking
  • 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.
  • 1:45 p.m. - 2:50 p.m. Social Studies ILT interviews - Social Studies Department and Selected Members
  • 4:45 - 5:45 p.m - Grade Level Meeting - GL chairs / APs
  • 5:30 p.m - 7:30 p.m. - ACE Open Transfer job fair at Dade MS - Leadership Team (Selected Members)
  • 6:00 p.m. Softball Game Vs. Medrano MS at North Dallas HS - Coach Ford


Tuesday, March 10-
  • A Day
  • 8th Grade TELPAS Listening and Speaking
  • 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.
  • 1:45 p.m. - 2:50 p.m. Social Studies ILT interviews - Social Studies Department and Selected Members.
  • 2:00 p.m. - 6:00 p.m. Principal Community Panel Interview at 9400 NCX - Ms. Calderon, Ms. Gomez, Mr. Johnson, Ms. Minter, Ms. Molla, and community members.
  • 4:30 p.m. After School Program Continues. Let your appraiser know who will be staying for tutoring to plan for after school meals. 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.


Wednesday, March 11-
  • B Day
  • 7th Grade TELPAS Listening and Speaking
  • 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.
  • 4:30 p.m. After School Program Continues. Let your appraiser know who will be staying for tutoring to plan for after school meals. 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.
  • 6:00 p.m. Baseball Game Vs. Medrano MS at Medrano - Ms. Michael.
  • 6:00 p.m. District Track Meet at Loos Field Stadium - Coach Bey/Clark/Martin/Harris.


Thursday, March 12-

  • A Day
  • 9:00 a.m. - 1:00 p.m. - Career Day - Ms. Woods and Counseling Team.
  • Tentative in the afternoon - 7th Grade TELPAS Listening and Speaking
  • 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.
  • 4:30 p.m. After School Program Continues. Let your appraiser know who will be staying for tutoring to plan for after school meals. 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.
  • 6:00 p.m. District Track Meet at Loos Field Stadium - Coach Bey/Clark/Martin/Harris


Friday, March 13-

  • B Day
  • 7th Grade TELPAS Listening and Speaking
  • Meet with your grade level teams to align your Lesson Plans, determine misconceptions, create exemplars, and analyze data for your students.


Saturday, March 14 -

  • 9:30 a.m. - 4:30 p.m. - Esports Inaugural Middle School MELEE Tournament and Ribbon-cutting Ceremony at Barack Obama Leadership Academy. Ms. Reeves

Upcoming Events

March 24-25

  • TELPAS 6th Grade Listening and Speaking


March 24


  • Spring Family Night (Census Night, STAAR Information, AVID Recruitment)



March 26

  • TELPAS 6th Grade Reading


March 31

  • 6th Grade Math CA5


April 1

  • 6th Grade Reading CA5


April 7

  • 8th Grade STAAR Math
  • 7th Grade STAAR Writing


April 8

  • 8th Grade STAAR Reading


April 22

  • Student Survey


May 5

  • Algebra I EOC


May 7

  • 8th Grade STAAR Science


May 8

  • 8th Grade STAAR Social Studies


May 12

  • 6th and 7th Grade STAAR Math
  • 8th Grade STAAR Math Retest


May 13

  • 6th and 7th Grade STAAR Reading
  • 8th Grade STAAR Reading Retest

Open Transfer Period (updated)

The Open Transfer application for regular schools will be available starting March 6, 2020. There will be a special open transfer window for ACE campuses that will begin on February 25, 2020. 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 April 10, 2020. Transfers are not final until an approval email notification has been sent from Human Capital Management. All notification will be completed by April 24, 2020. While I have sent a form in the Fall, I will be sending another 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. As we are working on having a solid and effective team, transfers will not be approved after the April 10 deadline. In previous years, I have tried to be flexible and supportive allowing staff members to transfer; however, we have found ourselves in a bind trying to fill vacancies for transfers approved after the deadline. Therefore, while I want to keep as many of you as possible, I know that life happens and some of you will be transferring. Please, plan accordingly and let me know of your next steps.

Teacher Report & Input -ARD Meetings / IEP Development

In order to provide our students with the best possible IEP plan, your input and report is very important. Use this link to access the teacher report so that our inclusion teachers can plan and prepare for ARD meetings and develop IEPs.

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GFIT 2019
  • Application window is Monday, January 13 – Sunday, March 22, 2020
  • All Dallas ISD educators are eligible to apply
  • Projects span all grade levels (K-12) and across all subject areas
  • Educators may request funding up to $2,500 for innovative teaching projects
  • Application can be completed using the fillable format attached and submitted electronically
  • Projects MUST be completed within the allowable time frame of September 1, 2020 – April 1, 2021.
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Happy Birthday -

We want to wish you the best and many blessings for the years to come.


  • Lindsay Molla 3/14

  • MacKenzie McCloud 3/20

  • Erin Miller 3/22
  • Karina Miranda 3/27

Athletic Events

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