Welcome Back 2019-2020

EXCELLENCE - Back At It Again


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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Welcome back to Thomas J. Rusk Middle School, Home of the Rams!!!

Thank you for taking the stance of engaging in the greatest profession of all!!! We are fortunate because this amazing profession allows us to have a fresh start every year. I trust you enjoyed your well-deserved break, and had an opportunity to enjoy time with family and friends. I hope you used this time off to pursue some personal and professional projects and goals.

As we reflect on our main purpose, our accomplishments, and our commitment of working together toward our mission, I hope that each of us will renew our promise of providing our scholars a culture of excellence to support them academically, emotionally, and socially as they become career and college ready to access a life of opportunity.

Last year, we had great accomplishments in our academic achievement as well as the increase of partnerships. Also, we had multiple opportunities to highlight the great work we are doing and the impact our work is having on our students and community. It is because of your dedication and commitment that we were able to reach these targets.

Our year in review using STAAR is shown in the chart below. Huge shout out to our Social Studies team, represented by Mr. Johson and Ms. Akin, who ranked first among all comprehensive middle schools in the district as well as to the Science team, represented by Ms. Rendon and Ms. Minter, who ranked 4th.

Based on projections from the district, once again, I am very proud to announce that our school is projected to have a “B” designation potentially with at least a few distinctions; however, we will not know the specifics until next week.

We will continue to focus on our vision of cultivating scholars to be catalysts of change, life-long learners, innovators, and competitors in a global society. Two years ago, we embarked in our journey AlltheWayUP under the ACE framework. Last year, receiving the news of being removed from the "IR" list and receiving 3 distinctions, we took off OnANewLEVEL where we made adjustments and worked on strengthening our systems to ensure our students received high level of instruction across subjects and grade levels. As you may have heard me say before, our goal from day one has been to provide a culture of excellence to ensure we are beacons of hope for our community; therefore, this year, we will stay the course with EXCELLENCE Back At It Again. We will be focusing on distributive leadership to support improved teaching and learning, progress monitoring through Data Driven Instruction, classroom observations using the TEI rubric, and taking advantage of various professional learning opportunities.

We know that the beginning of the academic year is a great event for our community and we want to be very purposeful in our parental involvement efforts to impact the lives of our Rusk Rams. We will make sure to build and foster dedicated partnerships with our parents so that Thomas J. Rusk can be a better place to learn and grow together. Therefore, we want to welcome all of our parents during our Meet the Teacher Night on Wednesday, August 14th from 5:00—7:00 p.m. This will give our scholars and parents the opportunity to pick up their schedule, meet teachers, find classrooms, and bring school supplies.

If you have any questions, feel free to e-mail me or call me at 972-809-8855.


Juan Cordoba, M. Ed

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Summer Months

The summer months were a busy time for us as faculty and other staff prepared for the new year. Faculty and administrators had an opportunity to support the selection of campus personnel to fill vacancies, collaborate in workshops to improve the implementation of our Professional Learning Communities (PLC), participate in workshops with Teaching Trust and School Leadership to strengthen our distributive leadership model and culture practices, attend a leadership conference and the AVID Summer Institute, and participate in the SMART and the Advanced Placement Summer Institute program among others. And of course, many of you participated in professional development to learn innovative strategies for enhancing the classroom environment as well as do community service.

Logistics and Reminders

  • On August 1, 2019, New Teachers to the district will report to Fellowship Dallas at 9330 North Central Expressway, Dallas, TX 75231, just behind the administration building. All other days, August 2 - 7, you will report to campus. Several of our School Leadership cabinet members will be there; therefore, dress to impress.
  • Please, send Ms. Tucker (regtucker@dallasisd.org) pictures of your summer adventures by August 4, 2019. We want to share with everyone your adventures as we continue to get to know each other personally as a way to support building trust among each other.
  • On Thursday, August 1st and Tuesday, August 6th breakfast will be provided by the leadership team. Ms. Miranda is working on securing other items for breakfast throughout our in-service days and I will let you know so that you may plan accordingly.
  • Jeans are appropriate throughout the in-service times since many of you want to begin working in your classrooms.
  • For our new staff members or those who did not have an active website profile, I sent out an e-mail asking for you to submit some information to complete updating our website. If you have not received this e-mail, let me know so that I can share the information needed. If you have not completed this task, please follow up accordingly. Also, I will continue to add participants to our Remind 101 group as I get phone numbers of our new Rusk Rams.
  • The building will be open from 7:00 a.m. to 7:00 p.m. starting August 5th. I am working with our leadership team members to consider opening the building on Saturdays based on requests we have already received.
  • As you work on moving into your classroom or moving furniture from one classroom to another one (once approved), please let me know of any big moves you need to make to coordinate with the custodians to support you with such move. Our floors looks immaculate; let’s keep them this way scratch-free.
  • As you prepare your classroom, keep in mind that all curtains and/or bulletin boards covered with fabric will need to be sprayed with fire retardant.
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The following staff members have birthdays during this month. We hope you enjoy your special day.

If you are a new staff member and have a birthday during the month of August, please let me know to add you to my list and recognize you.


13- Mrs. Tucker

23 - Mr. Clark