The Pillow Page

1/18/16

A Chance To Brag

Hello Pillow Panther Staff!


I hope you are enjoying your 3-day weekend. Rest is always needed, especially for teachers, so I hope you are getting some rest this weekend. I'm looking forward to a fun filled four day week.


Whenever I get the chance to (and it's more often than you think) I brag about y'all. I'm constantly bragging about our students, our families, our school, and mainly our staff. I truly believe that we work at the best school in AISD. Best can mean a lot of things to a lot of people (best test scores, best attendance, best fine arts program, etc.). When I say that we are the best school in the district, I mean the best all around school. So, whenever I have the chance to brag about the campus, I take full advantage. Even when the conversation might not have anything to do with Pillow, I find a way to brag. Even if the conversation starts off with someone who is not happy about something at Pillow, I brag. I brag because it's so easy to do so. Our campus is a diamond in the rough, that has flown under the radar over the past few years, but it's starting to have attention put on it. This is a good thing.


This week we have a few more opportunities to brag about our campus. Tomorrow, the 19th, we will be visited by our Associate Superintendent, Mr. Hicks, and his Director, Ms. Taylor-Schkade. True, this visit is happening because we are a level 2 campus and because our MOY scores weren't the top in the district. But, like I said earlier, this is an opportunity for me to brag about our campus. I'm going to brag about the work being done by our 3rd through 5th grade teachers to close the gaps present on the MOY, among other things. And Wednesday, we will be visited by 2 guests. At 7:25am, the Anderson HS theater group will perform a 5 minute preview of their Cinderella play before we start our assembly. This is a chance for Anderson to see how well behaved our Panthers are at assembly. That's bragging. And then, at 7:30am, our board trustee, Ms. Cowan, will be reading to our students. After assembly, I will be giving her a tour of the campus. I'm going to be bragging about our amazing PreK through 2nd grade teachers and the work they are doing to lay the foundation for our 3rd through 5th grade teachers. I'm going to, again, brag about the work our 3rd through 5th grade teachers are doing to close gaps for our Panthers. I'm going to brag about our specialists/interventionists and the work they are doing with our needy Panthers. I'm going to brag about our dyslexia program that Ms. Anderson is leading (Ms. Cowan is big on helping children with dyslexia). I'm going to brag about our amazing special area teachers and the work they are doing with our Panthers. I'm going to brag about our special education team (teachers, TA's, diagnosticians, service providers, etc.) and the very difficult work they do with some of our most challenging students. And that's just a handful of things I will brag about. I'm going to brag and brag and brag, because that's all I can do. Because there is so much to brag about.


And the bragging is working. Your hard work is paying off. People are hearing about our little school and they are asking questions. The neighborhood association is spreading the word. Our mentors are spreading the word. Our superintendent is spreading the word! I've got neighborhood parents calling me to set up tours. I had an AISD police officer visit with me last week because he'd heard good things about our school and is thinking of out-of-district transferring his kids to our school from Round Rock ISD. And AISD employees, as you know, can choose to transfer their kids to ANY school in the district. The word is getting out, and it's because of the Whole Child approach to education that we are giving our Panthers. It's a Whole Child education in a very diverse setting with novice and experienced teachers who all care about student success, academically and socially and emotionally. That's what sets us apart, because you won't find that combination anywhere else in the district.


As I've said before, parents new to the neighborhood are more than likely going to look at test scores first. And our scores are not the best in the district. But that's why we are working together as a team to make sure they improve. But, we also are going to make sure that we don't lose sight of the Whole Child approach that makes us different too. It's a process, and it will take time. But I know we are going to be a school that focusses on Whole Child development, AND has great results on state tests as well in the near future. Thanks for all that you do for our kiddos each and every day. We have a lot of work to do and I'm glad you're up for the challenge! And I hope you feel the urge to brag about Pillow too, because you really are the best.


P.S. Ms. Brookhart and her No Place For Hate Student Coalition are working on a project that involves the whole campus. We will be showing a video at assembly that will lead into the classroom project. It won't take long and it is important that all classes participate. After the video, each classroom will decorate a fence post that reflects your classroom discussion around putting up barriers between ourselves (cardboard post provided for you) and return it to Ms. Brookhart. This is one of the 3 activities that we do as a campus to be able to be designated as a NPFH campus. So, I look forward to 100% participation. See Ms. Brookhart if you have any questions. Thanks!


-Mr. Hill

Recent Pics

Upcoming Events

1/18/16 - Mon

No School - MLK Jr Day


1/19/16 - Tue

Kinder - 2nd MOY Primary Reading Assessment Window Opens

10:30am - 11:30am - Mid Year Planning Visit w/ G. Hicks & V. Taylor Schkade

3:00pm - 4:00pm - CST Meeting


1/20/16 - Wed

7:25am - 7:30am - Anderson HS Cinderella Performance

7:30am - 8:30am - Trustee Cowan Reads & Tours Pillow

8:30am - B.Hill Out

1:00pm - Science Fair Setup

3:00pm - 4:00pm - EdAustin Visits Teacher's Lounge


1/21/16 - Thur

Morning Assembly In The Gym

All Day - B. Hill Out

8:00am - 11:00am - Science Fair Judging

10:40am - 1:00pm - Lunch In Classrooms For Science Fair

After Lunch - Classes Can View Science Fair Projects

3:00pm - 6:30pm - Science Fair Public Viewing


1/22/16 - Fri

1:30pm - 2:30pm - Austin Jazz Workshop Performance (3rd-5th)

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