Ram Nation News

Week of November 11, 2019

Vision

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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#EXCELLENCE, Back At It Again

We are making tremendous progress and I believe, without a doubt, that it is because of our people. It's November and traditionally it's the time of year when we reflect on what we're thankful for.

I know that we have many wonderful things for which to be thankful.

  • I am grateful for each one of you who is a dedicated staff member to our children here at Rusk; the support you provide our scholars continues to make a positive impact in each one of them believing, achieving, and succeeding.
  • I am grateful to be a part of this remarkable school filled with hard-working staff striving to provide quality learning and a safe environment for our Rusk Rams.


The last few weeks have been busy ensuring academic readiness for our students and we continue to witness great things taking place at Rusk. We are seeing an improvement in effective staff/teacher collaboration, and there is evidence of a strong culture and climate. I am very proud of your work and the dedication you exemplify. Let's keep our heads up, stay focused on providing the best for our students and support each other. It's less than 5 weeks until our District's ACPs and our kiddos continue to need the very best from us.

Attendance

Regular attendance is essential to providing students with opportunities to learn. It is awesome to see all of our students being on time to school and transitioning in an expedited manner from class to class. The following is the percent for attendance for the week of 11/04 - 11/08:


  • 6th Grade - 95.54%
  • 7th Grade - 96.52% - an improvement of 0.49%
  • 8th Grade - 97.24% - an improvement of 2.39%


Way to go 8th grade team taking the lead!!

Let's continue to encourage our students to be present and on time on a daily basis. It really makes a huge difference when our students are present learning

Thank You

  • Happy Veteran's Day - Mr. Geiger, Ms. Scott, and all others who have served our country as part of the United States Armed Forces. We appreciate your service and dedication.
  • Ms. Winton, Mr. Alarcon, and Mr. Salazar for their dedication and support as they led our soccer teams during practice and Saturday games. Our students continue to work hard and grow as a team.
  • Coach Bey, Coach Clark and Mr. Thornton for their leadership and commitment to building the whole child. Last week, they led the basketball teams in their first game of the season. Our students played hard against a very strong Long teams.

Student Work

Coach Bey, Mr. Bales, and Ms. Brunson proudly display students' work showing concepts learned and put into a final product. This is a great way to validate and show the relevance of doing a job well-done. Look forward to seeing relevant and authentic student work in your classrooms.

PLC and Collaboration

It is great to see our staff members collaborating and learning in PLCs as we grow as a high effective team. Our RLA teachers had the opportunity to work together and learn more about the use of ELLevation as Ms. Vasquez shared this platform to support our ELs in the classroom. Also, Ms. Mason, Ms. Lewis, and Mr. Morshed collaborate to address individual students' needs as they work in reading skills. Finally, our Counseling Queens participated in a counseling conference to learn more about supporting students with trauma and addressing the socio-emotional needs of our students. We look forward to seeing this learning into practice!

Climate and Culture

As I shared with you at the beginning of the school year, our goal for our climate survey is to rank in the 4th and 5th quintile in all areas! This means that all of our areas of our climate survey will be green. Also, we want to provide our students with the opportunities to participate in after school or co-curricular activities as we support our district's goal #4.

I appreciate the hard work, dedication, and commitment as we continue to engage in various activities that supports building climate and culture. We had our Hispanic Heritage Fall Preview Night with fun and informational activities for our families as well as showcasing the various opportunities that our students have to get involved in the after school clubs. It was great to see how staff and students participated in this event and to see our students leading conversations with adults explaining their clubs. Shout out to Ms. Reeves for her leadership and support as she led the efforts for this event. Kudos to Ms. Perez for being the MC for the evening and for her support during the event. Thank you so much to Mr. McCann and Mr. Alarcon for the band performance as well as Ms. Michael and Ms. Gray for showcasing our cheerleaders.

College Going Culture

We want to provide our students opportunities to explore the various options they have as they transition to high school as well as providing them with a college going culture. I want to shout out Ms. Reeves for her leadership and coordination for our students to participate in the AVID Student Leadership Conference and College Fair; also, shout out to Coach Bey, Ms. Maloy, Ms. Melchiorre, Ms. Cagle, and Mr. Thornton for chaperoning and supporting our students during this event. I heard great feedback regarding our students' participation, questions, and behavior.

REMINDERS FOR THE UPCOMING WEEK

  • During 8:00 a.m. - 8:20 a.m., students must be engaged in meaningful activities: homework support, Grade checks, organizing binder, CNN news with reflection sheet.
  • It is critical to be prepared with lessons and materials to avoid having issues with students. When we are not prepared, our students can tell and will find their own way of entertainment.
  • As we work on documenting the progress our students are making, remember our policy regarding failure rates and the various opportunities needed to ensure our students are successful. EIA (Regulation) (TEI 2.2, 4.2, 4.5)
  • During transitions, let's make sure to have 100% participation and hold each other accountable to be present in the hallway supporting students. Our goal is to narrate the positive and have at least 10 positive interactions each transition. APs, CICs, and counselors will be working with each one of you to provide individual support. (TEI 3.3 and 3R Positive Attitude/Enthusiasm).
  • Be very consistent in the effective implementation of various practices discussed during our TEI orientation and lesson alignment conversations. With regards to Alignment (learning objective), the proficient rating states: Focuses students at the beginning and throughout the lesson, by clearly stating (TEI 2.1)
    • What they are learning
    • Why it is important
    • What mastery looks like
    • How to connect it to prior knowledge and their own lives and explaining to students
  • Submit lesson plans by Thursday at 8:00 a.m. (TEI 4.2)

DAILY EVENTS

Anti-Bullying Week - See below for the rest of the activities.


Monday, November 11-

  • B Day
  • Be a Buddy NOT a Bully! – Dress in matching outfits
  • We will be walking classrooms checking for alignment, exemplars, and aggressively monitoring.
  • Meet with your grade level teams to align your Lesson Plans, continue the analysis of the common assessment, and analyze data profiles for your students.
  • 4:45 - 6:00 p.m. - Grade Level Meeting - GL Chair Room.


Tuesday
, November 12-
  • A Day.
  • We will be walking classrooms checking for alignment, exemplars, and aggressively monitoring.
  • Meet with your grade level teams to align your Lesson Plans, continue the analysis of the common assessment, and analyze data profiles for your students.
  • 1:40 - 4:30 p.m - RLA Visit from Network Schools and Big Rocks visit during 7th Grade LF PLC.
  • 4:30 p.m. After School Program Continues. Let's make the best out of this time being very purposeful in the material covered with students and the students who must attend your sessions. We need to work on the recruitment of students for our after school program since it impacts student growth, our school performance, progress, and, ultimately, part of our stipends are tied to the attendance of our students to our tutoring/enrichment sessions. As a reminder, students do not have the option to opt out; if you need assistance with parents, please let anyone from the leadership team know.
  • Remember to clock out at or after 6:00 p.m. during the 2 days that you will stay after school.
  • 5:00 p.m - 8:00 p.m. Parent Attendance Success Initiative (PASI) - District Meeting at Rusk (no requirement of attendance on your behalf)


Wednesday, November 13-
  • B Day
  • 9:00 a.m.- 12:40 p.m. 8th Grade Field Trip to North Dallas HS. - Ms. Woods
  • We will be walking classrooms checking for alignment, exemplars, and aggressively monitoring.
  • Meet with your grade level teams to align your Lesson Plans, continue the analysis of the common assessment, and analyze data profiles for your students.
  • 4:30 p.m. After School Program Continues. As a reminder, students do not have the option to opt out; if you need assistance with parents, please let anyone from the leadership team know.
  • Remember to clock out at or after 6:00 p.m. during the 2 days that you will stay after school.
  • 4:30 p.m. - 7:00 p.m. 8th grade Field Trip to SMG to see Harriet - Ms. Lewis
  • Girls Basketball Game at Cobb Vs. Franklin - 6:30 p.m.


Thursday, November 14-

  • A Day
  • 8:00 a.m. - Lesson Plans Due
  • 10:30 a.m. - 12:45 p.m. School Leadership Visit Follow Up - Mr. Kastl.
  • We will be walking classrooms checking for alignment, exemplars, and aggressively monitoring.
  • Department Collaboration PLC
  • 4:30 p.m. After School Program Continues. Remember to clock out at or after 6:00 p.m. during the 2 days that you will stay after school.
  • Boys Basketball Game at Cobb Vs. Franklin - 6:30/7:30 p.m.


Friday, November 15-

  • B Day


Saturday, November 16 -

  • Soccer Game at Loos Vs. Marsh - 10:00 a.m. Girls. 11:00 a.m. Boys.

Upcoming Events

November 19-21

  • After School Programs are cancelled. Plan to stay on these two days after school from 4:30 - 6:00 p.m. for PD and planning in preparation for our last stretch of ACP preparation.


November 22 -

  • High School Fair - 8th Grade


December 5

  • Bandsgiving


December 10

  • Winter Concert and Performance - Band and Cheerleaders


December 13 - 19

  • ACP Week
  • Dec. 13 and Dec. 16 full days
  • Dec. 17 - 19 Early Release


December 19

  • 4:00 p.m. Staff Holiday Party at Big Al's


December 20

  • Teacher Work Day


January 6

  • Staff Development
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Assessment Training

As we prepare for ACP and STAAR testing all staff must complete the STAAR security training modules, per our district and TEA recommendation. Complete all 3 Modules.

Anti-Bullying Week Activities

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Happy Birthday -

We want to wish you the best and many blessings for the years to come.

  • Ms. Reyes - 11/4
  • Ms. Robinson - 11/7
  • Mr. Hernandez - 11/29