The Quintanilla STAR

News you can use---January 11th edition

Core Beliefs

Core Beliefs

  • Our main purpose is to improve student academic achievement.

  • Effective instruction makes the most difference in student academic performance.

  • There is no excuse for poor quality instruction.

  • With our help, at risk students will achieve at the same rate as non-at risk students.

  • Staff members must have a commitment to children and a commitment to the pursuit of excellence.


We want to thank all the students who participated in the Science Fair in December. We would like to give a HUGE round of applause to our winners from Quintanilla Middle School campus:

Congratulations to the campus winners that topped the charts. These projects will be advancing to the regional competition. Congratulations to all our future scientists.

1. 8th Individual Project: Valerie Leos: 2nd place District Fair
2. 8th Individual: Naomi Fernandez: Competing at the Regional Level
3. 8th Group: Natalia Martinez-Sanchez & Eva Ortiz: 1st Place District Fair
4. 8th Group: Angel Ibarra & Nadia Ramirez Medina: 1st Place District Fair
5. 8th Group: Christabel Rocha, Jannitza Mata: 1st Place District Fair
6. 6th Group: Nancy Aldava and Sarah Wilson: 1st Place District Fair

1st place - Nadia Ramirez Medina and Angel Ibarra (8th grade)

1st place - Sarah Wilson and Nancy Aldava (6th grade)

1st place - Eva Ortiz and Natalia Martinez-Sanchez

1st place - Christabel Rocha and Jannitza Mata (8th grade)

2nd place - Valerie Leos Naomi Fernandez did not place in regionals, but campus winner

Congratulations to the Counselors!

Congratulations to QMS’s Counseling Team for winning the CREST award. Way to go Stars for your outstanding work!

Press Release from Texas School Counselor Association

In 2005, Texas School Counselor Association began a program called CREST to recognize schools with outstanding counseling program. This year, 56 schools will be recognized for excellence in school counseling. CREST stands for Counselors Reinforcing Excellence for Students in Texas. Schools receiving CREST awards have demonstrated a commitment using the school guidance and counseling program to improve the lives and achievement of students in academic, career, and personal social domains. The Texas School Counseling Association is proud to announce CREST winners for the 2015 school year.

CREST is a continuous improvement document that gives a school counseling program an opportunity to demonstrate effective communication and a commitment to getting results. CREST helps counselors to evaluate their counseling programs, promote their programs to the stake-holders in their districts, demonstrate the effectiveness of their guidance and counseling programs through empirical means, and to implement the Texas and National models for School Counseling Programs.

CREST looks at the counseling program in 7 areas: Principal’s Support, School Counseling Advisory Council, School Climate and Safety, Student Results, Major Achievements, Community Partnerships and Resources, and Parent Collaboration. The guidance support team prepares a document that highlights these areas and communicates just what the counseling program is doing to help students succeed. These documents are sent to reviewers throughout the state of Texas to be judged according to pre-set standards of excellence.

Important Upcoming Events/Dates

1/11/2016-1/15/2016--ACP makeups

1/12/2016--Parent Teacher Conferences

1/14/2016--Family Fun Fitness Night 5:30PM-7PM

1/22/2016--Progress Report Grades are due

1/26/2016--Progress Reports are issued to students

1/30/2016--National History Day at QMS

Article of the Week

The New ESEA Legislation and Reading Instruction

In this Education Gadfly article, Robert Pondiscio continues his campaign for a different emphasis in the reading curriculum, and sees hope in the revised ESEA bill that may soon become law. “If you want more of something, subsidize it. If you want less of something, tax it,” quipped Ronald Reagan. “During the No Child Left Behind Era,” says Pondiscio, “test-driven accountability has too often stood Reagan’s maxim on its ear. Annual reading tests have practically required schools and teachers to forsake the patient, long-term investment in knowledge and vocabulary that builds strong readers, critical thinkers, and problem solvers. High-stakes accountability with annual tests that are not tied to course content (which reading tests are not) amounted to a tax on good things and a subsidy for bad practice: curriculum narrowing, test preparation, and more time spent on a ‘skills and strategies’ approach to learning that doesn’t serve children well.”

Pondiscio believes that states, with the flexibility they’re about to be granted (along with a continued mandate for annual testing) need to think through the incentives in their curriculum and testing policies. “Does what you are about to do in the name of accountability tax or subsidize student knowledge across the curriculum?” he asks. “Does it incentivize adding more social studies, science, art, and music to the school day, or does it encourage schools to do less? The sooner schools see building knowledge across the curriculum as Job One in strengthening reading comprehension, the better… You don’t build strong readers by teaching children to ‘find the main idea,’ ‘make inferences,’ and ‘compare and contrast.’ You do it by fixing a child’s gaze on the world outside the classroom window.”

The other part of the new ESEA that Pondiscio likes is the changed posture on teacher evaluation. “The best course is to abandon efforts to use tests to evaluate teachers – or, at the very least, stop using reading tests for those purposes,” he says. “The moment you attempt to evaluate teachers through reading tests, which are de facto tests of background knowledge, you’re taxing good teaching and subsidizing bad… There’s no incentive to build knowledge in a particular domain – plants, astronomy, colonial America, the Harlem Renaissance – since there’s no guarantee that those subjects will come up on the reading test this year, next year, or ever. But increasing breadth and depth of students’ domain knowledge is exactly how you build strong readers. States need to subsidize it – or at least stop taxing it.”

“ESEA and the Return of a Well-Rounded Curriculum” by Robert Pondiscio in The Education Gadfly, December 2, 2015 (Vol. 15, #47),