Betsy's Bits

January 2, 2016

Happy New Year!

I hope everyone has had a restful and enjoyable break. It was very quiet at the Bridges house week 1. I've spent week 2 at school getting ready for the big push of the second half of this year. Much of that time was spent revisiting our School Improvement goals, reflecting on what we have put into place to ensure student growth and academic achievement, what needs refinement, and what still needs to be done.

Please take a little time to review, reflect, and refocus on our goals. Think about all we as a school have put into place to accomplish these goals and what you have done to support these efforts. Remember: It takes a village to raise a Stallion.

  1. Plan and utilize writing, inquiry, collaboration, organization, and reading to learn research-based strategies (WICOR)to increase academic rigor across all content areas and increase student achievement by 10% in all tested areas by May 2016.
  2. Align our practices vertically and horizontally in core content areas by using common language and strategies across the school for the purpose of increasing student achievement by 10% in all tested subjects by June 2016.
  3. Build positive, working relationships between staff, students, families, and our community with purpose of increasing student performance and achievement by 10% in all tested areas by May of 2016 and decrease teacher turnover by 5% by July 2016.

One HUGE school-wide initiative we kicked off before break is after school tutorials in math and reading. My heart swells with pride when I think about ALL the students and faculty which have committed to making this happen. On Tuesday before break we had over 200 children stay for Math Power Hour, and Thursday we had around 180 stay for Reading Power Hour. We are selling this idea to students and families as a way to go from "good to great". We believe that everyone of our students is capable of making a 5 on the EOG, and we're going to show them how! Eighth grade science Power Hour will begin in the second semester.

Another initiative we have taken school-wide is AVID, Advancement via Individual Determination. We are learning a common language of research-based strategies to teach to and support our students in their learning. All teachers are planning for reading, writing, inquiry, organization, and collaboration at HIGH levels in ALL lessons every day. All teachers are utilizing the school-wide binder and agenda to assist students to become better organized and prepared for learning.

We are still working to find a replacement for Intro to Ag and Intro to Bio Tech position. Ms Gracie Williams has agreed to come in and sub for us for the remainder of the semester. We are so lucky to have her as part of the Stallion Family!! If you know of someone with an Ag Science degree looking for a job, please send them this way!!!!

Ms. Linda Davis will return in February from her maternity leave. I have not heard any news about the arrival of a new Stallion, but will pass the news on as soon as I hear. Coach DJ has committed to substituting for Linda while she is out. This is another one of our extended family which always is there when we need him!

Tommy Harrington will be joining our team officially on Wednesday, January 20, as Boys Health & PE teacher. Tommy is the father of Blake and Thomas, two of our Stallions, and has been our assistant baseball coach for the past two years. You may see him around in the coming weeks, getting ready for the transition. He already spent some time with us before the break, and I've told him he's welcome anytime!

At this time I do not know about student logins for McGraw Hill Math and Science. I was told before break that this was going to be worked on over break. I will let everyone know as soon as I hear back from Mr. Dietrich.

IReady reading materials were delivered to the office the day before break. I will get these out to the grade level ELA teachers on Monday so you may look through, plan on Tuesday, and use at Thursday during Power Hour.

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Coming Up:

Mark your Calendars:

Monday: UnMeeting 2:50 pm in Media Center

Tuesday: Math Power Hour

Wednesday: Proctor and Admin test training for SS NCFE (you'll get an email from Natalie if you're involved), iReady Training during electives (math, reading, and any person helping with Power Hours), ELA and Math Dept PLC's @ 3pm - moved because of Power Hours

Thursday: Reading Power Hour, 6th grade band & orchestra parent meeting 5:30-6:30pm

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Great read for the New Year!

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Thinking about grading and assessment...

Looking Ahead:

Tuesday, January 12th: Social Studies Final Exam (self-contained students)

Friday, January 15th: Second Quarter Ends

Monday, January 18th: No School - Martin Luther King Holiday

Tuesday, January 19th: Teacher Workday - Required

Thursday, January 21: Friday, January 29: 3rd Quarter Benchmark window (no other testing may take place during this window)

Thursday, January 28th: Report Cards go home (Joy will give us a date for grades to be turned into her) & Safe Schools modules due (due date is Jan 29 online).

Anyone which went to AVID Summer Institute needs to complete your Boosts before the end of January! See Shane if you have questions ;)

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