Ram Nation News

Week of January 20, 2020

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 continue to make great strides toward our vision of creating catalyst of change, life-long learners, and competitors in a global society as we are on our road to EXCELLENCE and we are back at it again.

We have had several visits this year from various groups and it has been great to hear the feedback about the work that each one of you is doing. It is awesome to see the ownership that our students have of our school;

As we continue to strengthen our work and support our kids to be ready for the next grade level so that they can be college ready, let's make sure that we


  • collaborate with our teams; we know that success in education is powered by effective teams and effective practices.
  • prepare and plan our lessons so that teaching is purposeful and we are able to maximize instructional time.
  • challenge students through academic rigor.

  • Incorporate the lesson cycle to ensure students have opportunities to be involved in the presentation and learning of meaningful content.

  • Implement student progress monitoring. We know that student progress monitoring is a practice that helps us to use student performance data to continually evaluate the effectiveness of our teaching and make more informed instructional decisions.

  • send homework that students really need instead of sending tons of homework. Look at students’ deficiencies and target those skills.

  • use the TEI rubric to know exactly what is expected of you and how you may move from one level to the next. Also, you may ask anyone from the leadership team if you need specific ideas or examples in teaching practices to support your performance.

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 1/13 - 1/17:


  • 6th Grade - 95.58% an increase of 1.25%
  • 7th Grade - 95.96% an increase of 0.14%
  • 8th Grade - 95.38% an increase of 0.15%


7th grade takes the lead for the second week in a row!!!

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.

As a reminder, our school attendance goal is to achieve 97.5%; therefore, grade levels will be recognized with a popcorn party or other incentive when they reach this goal on a given week.

Aggressive Monitoring (AGMO)

We have adopted AGMO as one of our best instructional practices and it should be done at least with students' independent practice and DOL. It starts with a pre-planned pathway and an exemplar. During instruction, you announce your laps, follow the pathway and provide feedback to students in the moment using the Coding System your team has agreed on. If you see an error or misconception clear it up immediately using show call.

Exemplar Feedback and Next Steps

Using the Qualities of a Great Teacher Exemplar, teachers and administrators provide positive comments and upgrades to exemplars during our PLCs. Great input, reflections, and next steps!!!

It is great to see our staff members collaborating and learning during the various opportunities available.

Teach to Lead Collaboration

Ms. Lewis, Ms. Perez, and Ms. Guerra, as part of the Teach to Lead program, had an opportunity to collaborate all day Saturday to develop a plan for strategic hiring and support to continue the school initiatives and bridge the transition from ACE to a traditional campus. We will be reviewing and bringing to the whole staff.
It is great to see our staff members taking initiative, collaborating and learning during the various opportunities available.

School Vertical Collaboration

As you may be aware, we are working to increase our enrollment and retention of students in our school. Therefore, counselors, elective teachers, teacher leaders, and some of our student leaders participated of the Elementary Parent Conference Night at Maple Lawn and Medrano to share information with our elementary students and families. This collaboration will continue this week with Obadiah Knight and Sam Houston during those parent conference events.

We saw great initiative and preparation by Ms. Calderon, Mrs. Mooty, Ms. Woods, Mr. Maymi, Mr. Bales, Ms. Michael, Ms. Reeves, and Mr. Alarcon providing great information and quality program/school pamphlets.

Climate and Culture

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!!!

  • We made great improvements as we moved at least one quintile from Fall 18 to Fall 19.
  • We want to provide a welcoming and collegiate working environment for each person who comes to make a difference in our community.
  • Our goal is to improve morale knowing that pressure is on and our students must be the priority.

REMINDERS FOR THE UPCOMING WEEK

  • Aggressive Monitoring should be done at least with students' independent practice and DOL. Remember it checks for understanding where no Ram is left behind. You use your pre-planned pathway, announce your laps, and provide feedback to students in the moment using the Coding System your team has agreed on. Students should receive written and verbal feedback. If you see an error or misconception clear it up immediately using show call (TEI 1.2, 1.3, 1.5, 2.2 and 2.3).
  • We must have 100% presence in the hallway during transition times. Our students notice when there is a lack of adult presence in the hallways and will take advantage of it. (TEI 3.3 and 3R Positive Attitude/Enthusiasm).
  • 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)
  • 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
  • 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.
  • Submit lesson plans by Thursday at 8:00 a.m. (TEI 4.2)

DAILY EVENTS

Monday, January 20-

  • No School


Tuesday, January 21-
  • B Day.
  • 9:00 a.m. - 12:00 p.m. Preview Day - Elementary campuses will visit our school to learn more about our school/program as well as support 5th to 6th grade transition.
  • 9:00 a.m - 10:00 a.m. - Communications will interview be on campus to campus feedback from me regarding school autonomies, then get miscellaneous action shots like: team meeting, working in office, walking the hallway, and visiting a class. Please make sure rooms are clear of clutter and that any students who may be videotaped have a release form on file. - Cordoba
  • MAP Middle of the Year Math Testing - 8th Grade. See below a link for a refresher on how to set up and monitor. If you need more support one-on-on, see Ms. Tucker.
  • 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. 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.


Wednesday, January 22-
  • A Day
  • 9:00 a.m. - 12:00 p.m. Preview Day - Elementary campuses will visit our school to learn more about our school/program as well as support 5th to 6th grade transition.
  • MAP Middle of the Year Math Testing - 7th Grade. See below a link for a refresher on how to set up and monitor. If you need more support one-on-on, see Ms. Tucker.
  • 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.


Thursday, January 23-

  • B Day
  • 8th Grade "endorsements" selection through science classes - Ms. Woods/Science Teachers.
  • MAP Middle of the Year Math Testing - 6th Grade. See below a link for a refresher on how to set up and monitor. If you need more support one-on-on, see Ms. Tucker.
  • 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.
  • 4:00 p.m. - 7:00 p.m. Counselors and Elective/Selected Clubs will attend the Elementary Parent Conference at Sam Houston and Obadiah Knight to promote school programs and recruit students for programs.


Friday, January 24-

  • A Day
  • AVID $1 Jean Day


Saturday, January 25

  • Saturday School Begins - Adults 8:30 - 1:00; Students 8:45 light breakfast. Session is from 9:00 a.m. - 12:45 p.m.

Upcoming Events

MAP Middle of the Year Reading Testing

  • January 27 - 8th Grade
  • January 28 - 7th Grade
  • January 29 - 6th Grade

Open Transfer Period

The Open Transfer application will be available starting March 6, 2020. Eligible employees must apply via the open transfer application online at https://www.dallasisd.org/careers within the time frame established. Principals will have an opportunity to submit open transfer recommendations no later than April 10, 2020. Transfers are not final until an approval email notification has been sent from Human Capital Management. All notification will be completed by April 24, 2020. While I have sent a form in the Fall, I will be sending another form where you will have an opportunity to let me know of your plans for next year. However, if you know that you are planning to transfer or leaving the district, please let me know as soon as possible so that we can plan accordingly. As we are working on having a solid and effective team, transfers will not be approved after the April 10 deadline. In previous years, I have tried to be flexible and supportive allowing staff members to transfer; however, we have found ourselves in a bind trying to fill vacancies for transfers approved after the deadline. Therefore, while I want to keep as many of you as possible, I know that life happens and some of you will be transferring. Please, plan accordingly and let me know of your next steps.

MAP Testing Proctor Quick Start

Here is the link with how to do the map testing. It is the same material as earlier in the year, but it may be helpful as a refresher. Teachers and students now have a clever link under apps to access it quickly.

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Teacher Report & Input -ARD Meetings / IEP Development

In order to provide our students with the best possible IEP plan, your input and report is very important. Use this link to access the teacher report so that our inclusion teachers can plan and prepare for ARD meetings and develop IEPs.

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Great Events for Educators!!!

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Talk It Up! Toastmasters

Wednesday, Jan. 22nd, 6pm

9400 North Central Expressway

Dallas, TX

Join to learn these skills in a supportive, self-paced environment:

  • Confident Communication
  • Effective Leadership Skills
  • Impromptu Speaking
  • How to Give Constructive Feedback

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New Teacher New Year Mixer

Thursday, Jan. 23rd, 4:45pm

9450 North Central Expressway

Dallas, TX

New Teacher Mixer and Resource Fair HCM, Communications, and Teaching/Learning are sponsoring a FREE New Teacher celebration and resource fair on January 23rd, from 4:30 to 7:00p.m. at Dave and Busters.

  • We are excited for this opportunity to celebrate the fall semester
  • Connect the new teachers to their peers and district leaders
  • Provide professional resources that support teacher success in 2020.


See the invitation above for more information or register online through Eventbrite at this link: https://tinyurl.com/DBnewteacher

Welcome Back!!!

We are excited to have Mr. Orlando Garcia back with us!!!

Happy Birthday -

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

  • Ms. Ford 1/2
  • Ms. Cagle – 1/3

  • Mr. Morshed 1/7
  • Ms. Cato – 1/9
  • Ms. Eddy – 1/13
  • Ms. Eze 1/24
  • Mr. Thornton 1/24
  • Ms. Minter 1/26
  • Mrs. Gardner 1/28