Wilson Ranger Post

March 16, 2015

Your Very Own Opus

Most of us have gone through the trials and errors of finding our teaching voice. We all also, have different stories of what inspiried us to take up the adventure that is the teaching profession. Many start out with gusto and a fire in our belly that just seems impoossible to put out. Then, somewhere along the way, probably in a faculty meeting, that fire starts to diminish. The passion that was once there gets replaced with a to do list that never seems to shorten. I invite you today, to take a journey with me in the life of Mr. Holland. He too passed through much of the same situations that we do today.
Mr. Holland - Stuck Compass

Watch this one from 2:47-4:22

Mr. Holland's Opus - Part 5
Mr. Holland's Opus - Play the Sunset
Mr. Holland - The Compass
Mr. Holland's Opus - Farewell, Mr. Holland
No matter where you are in this adventure, please never forget why we are here. Never lose sight of what first sparked that flame that burned so brightly. Please know that you are important. You do make a difference. You change the world, one learner at a time.

Support Services


Please make sure that you are aware of your accommodations for STAAR. To make sure learners are ready prepared, teachers need to make sure they are using their supplemental aids. Get them used to requesting a question/answer choice be read if that is one of their accommodations.

Whitney and Beth are providing tutoring for our learners after school on Tuesdays (Math) and Thursdays (Reading) from 3:15-4.

Below are a few great tips!

“Brain Breaks, Energizers, Take 10, and Instant Recess are all done individually by all students in a class setting, therefore variations in body parts used, speed of movement, and number of repetitions can be easily adjusted for mobility limitations or low fitness students.

Efforts should be made to provide students with disabilities choices about activities and stories that reflect their interests and needs. Teachers working to support specific disabilities will be most familiar with the capabilities of their students and can provided reduced repetitions, different positions, extra reinforcement and guidance without interrupting the movement of the students without limitations. Once classroom routines are established, the energizers and activity breaks will become familiar to all students including those with disabilities. Again these are short bouts of activity that will not be limiting to medical, social-psychological, or cognitively challenged students. The students with mobility and sensory limitations may be assisted to develop adaptations that they will use each time the class does these activities.

Mobility: Some of the activities may be done from a seated position allowing mobility challenged students to participate with peers or doing similar motions with hands/arms as others are doing with feet legs. Aids may be able to support guided stretching for students with severe motor impairments.

Sensory: Students with deafness, speech, self-management or cognitive problems may be able to participate fully in a follow the leader manner. These are very short periods of activity and done in groups of fewer than thirty so students are able to keep up to peers. Supervision by the teacher is easier in the confined space of the classroom.”

Math Training Available

Building Computational Fluency through Algebraic Relationships (Grades 3-5)


9:00am – 4:00 pm

Region 10 ESC/Spring Valley Site

Burnet Room

Building Computational Fluency through Algebraic Relationships (Grades K-2)


9:00am – 4:00 pm

Region 10 ESC/Spring Valley Site

Be a Voice for Education

From TASA:

"TASA Executive Director Johnny Veselka has submitted a letter to Commissioner of Education Michael Williams asking him to respond to the SBOE’s request for relief from the accountability provisions associated with the new grades 3-8 math TEKS for this school year." Link to Letter

The way it stands now, there will be what is called a bridge study to link the old math TEKS to the new ones for accountability purposes in grades 3-8. An explanation is at this link. I’ll let you know the Commissioner’s response as soon as I find out.

Senate Education Committee Passes SB 149 Substitute

Yesterday the Senate Education Committee unanimously approved a substitute bill for Sen. Kel Seliger’s SB 149.

The current version allows students who failed up to two EOCs to receive their diplomas with the unanimous approval of an individual graduation committee composed of teachers, counselors, administrators, and parents. An earlier version of the bill would have allowed students who failed all five EOC exams to graduate with committee approval.

A requirement that students maintain a 2.0 GPA was removed, but the current bill still requires students to pass all their classes. The new version also requires, rather than allows, the graduation committee to assign a project or portfolio of work as a demonstration of proficiency in the subject area in which the student failed the EOC.

An expiration date of September 1, 2017, was added to make it easier for the legislation to be reversed if it does not function as intended. This change was in response to some committee members’ concerns that the number of students who fail EOCs might increase dramatically due to some students not taking the tests seriously because they know they can appeal to graduation committees.

Language was also added to ensure the bill would apply to charter schools as well as traditional public schools.

SB 149 will now go to the full Senate. TASA encourages all members to contact their senators in support of this bill.

Senate Finance Committee Makes Workgroup Assignments

The workgroup on issues related to Article III (education) includes:
Sen. Larry Taylor, chair
Sen. Kelly Hancock
Sen. Joan Huffman
Sen. Kel Seliger
Sen. Royce West

Emergency Special Election Called

Gov. Greg Abbott set an emergency special election for March 31, 2015, to fill the House District 124 (San Antonio) seat recently vacated by Sen. José Menéndez, who was elected to the Senate in a special election.

From Dr. Waldrip...Don’t want to wear out everyone with this, but this piece of legislation would be of great assistance to our high schools. It puts decision making power back into the hands of the people that know these students best. Senator Huffines, one of our senators is on the Senate Education Committee, a very influential committee, and voted for this bill to go to the full Senate. It would be good gesture for us to send him a note of thanks and encourage his continued support of public education. An email is easy to send: http://www.senate.state.tx.us/75r/senate/members/dist16/dist16.htm - a call is good too.

Open House

Open house will be rescheduled for March 17th from 5:30-7:00 with the Silent auction continuing on through 8:00pm.

Curriculum Night

In an effort to reduce the amount of evening activities, the team leaders have elected to cancel the curriculum night. In lieu of that activity, please have a detailed handout indicating what will be covered in each subject matter. This will have to more detailed than normal since you will not have an opportunity to actually talk to the parents in a formal presentation at open house.


The halls look clean and the bulletin boards look awesome!

Remember: If you are chosen to be observed for GE model school visit and you are doing small groups, math menu, writing conferences, or PBL please stop and explain to your visitors what you’re doing by asking your class a question about what they are working on. Do a poem or quote to get their attention, ask a question which will give your learner an opportunity to stand, address by name, and speak in a complete sentence. Then, celebrate his/her answer with a short power clap.

Don’t just keep working and ignore the visitor, because we need to get credit any way we can.

Summer PD

  • Balanced Literacy implementation will be an expectation next year, so you are highly encouraged to attend.
  • Summer conference June 15-17 at New tech
    • 5 strands
      • k-2
      • 3-5
      • 6-8
      • 9-12
      • k-5 2.0 (for those who went during the year)
    • Open to all educators
    • Registration window:
      • april 1st - June 5th in eduphoria
      • must register to attend

  • Ed camp Coppell
    • 3 saturdays during the school year next year
    • designed with Nancy Garvey

What R U doing for Spring break?

You certainly don't have to but we would love to hear what you are doing for spring break and maybe even see some pics posted here at the bottom of the page!!!

Like Sand Through the Hour Glass...

Big image

The Old Lady Returns!

Michael Maden will be at Barnes and Noble on March 26th for a book signing. That evening, Wilson will receive a portion of the proceeds by mentioning our school at checkout. Additionally, to those of you who absolutely love our wonderful old lady, Angela Maden, she is hosting a get together for us all at BJ's in the back room starting around 6PM. The room holds a lot of people, so don't be shy and come on out!!! I know she would love to hang with you all.