Cheetah Chat

Building Tomorrow Today

One Word Challenge

One of the beautiful things about the start of a new year is the opportunity to focus, refocus, change and recharge. Many people set resolutions for the year that often include getting healthy, spending more time with family, save money, etc. Although we have good intentions, many of us fall short of maintaining focus on our resolutions by the end of January.

There was a challenge put out by a member of my PLN (professional learning network) via Twitter to select one word to focus on for 2016. I accepted the challenge because the thought of only focusing on one word seemed easier for me to stick to than a list of resolutions.

It is not an easy task to think of one word, especially if that one word is going to hold value and importance in your life. After some deep, introspective thinking, the word that I choose to focus on for 2016 is BE.

Be is a simple word, but it changes ideas into actions. For example, the word awesome is a great word, but without the be in front of it, there is no call to action. The beauty about reflection is that we learn so much about ourselves as we go through different phases in our lives. Where I am at this moment in my life is learning how to just "be."

Be Still-Be Purposeful-Be Positive-Be Present

While my one word is simple, the word BE puts feet to all other words that describe my present state. Although we are early in 2016, I have found that when I remember the word that I have chosen to anchor my thoughts and actions on, I have found that I am able to honor the commitment that I made to myself. If you had to choose one word as your anchor word in 2016, what would that word be?

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PBIS Behavior Expetations

The natives will be waking soon, if they have not already so. It is very important to we review our school-wide expectations. Please take some time to review the behavior matrix with students. We have well-behaved students and I attribute it to our school-wide expectations and consistency.

Retention Timeline and Deadline

We are at the midway point in the semester and it is time to begin focusing on students who may be in danger of not meeting the requirements for promotion. Below is the retention timeline. This can also be found on pg. 18 of the EGRH. There will be more info coming about our campus process shared in a few weeks, but be sure that you are keeping detailed data on your students. Small group notes, RTI progress measure notes, and other data will be useful during retention conferences.

  • August through January: Teacher keeps parents informed of unsatisfactory student progress.
  • By February 1: The principal is notified in writing of students at risk of retention if their performance does not improve.
  • By February 15: The principal/teacher notifies parents by letter of students at risk of retention. Parent signature is required. Documented communication from teacher with parents continues throughout the spring indicating possible retention.
  • By May 1: Campus Promotion/Retention Review Committee reviews the progress of any student for which a retention form has been completed.
  • By the last instructional day of the school year: Retention conferences completed. A list of all students to be retained and the reason for their retentions must be submitted to the principal. Documentation of all the above must be in each student’s Permanent Record folder. (Exhibits 21, 26)

Note: In accordance with the Student Success Initiative (SSI), additional information regardingretention/placement timelines can be found in the Student Success Initiative (SSI) manual. The manual is updated annually and is accessible via the Texas Education Agency’s SSI page at

Instructional Snap Shots

We will be conducting an instructional snapshot visit on Wednesday, January 13th. The focus of the snapshot will be reading instruction. We have spend the past 4 years implementing the reading workshop model. The purpose of this snapshot will be to answer the following question: What does and engaged reader look like at Cimarron? There is no preparation that needs to be done on your part. Remember snapshots help us grow as a campus. This is a learning process and not an evaluation Below are the collective agreements we agreed upon:

Silence all technology

Quietly observe

Be purposeful

Share positive communication

Give respectful feedback

Actively participate in the process

I look forward to really honing in on our growth in the area of reading instruction and seeing the great things going on in your classrooms.


· Transportation cards are to be given daily. Please be diligent in making sure students leave your classroom with their transportation card.

· Be prepared to meet students once they enter the building. Be at your door and not huddled up in the halls. Students will enter the building at 8:00. They should be working on an activity that reinforces what is being learned in class.

· Be sure to keep classroom doors locked at all times. It is very important that our classrooms are secure. Also, secure iPads each night. Do not leave the iPads on the charger when not in use. Only charge when they are low.

Dress Code Reminders

o Monday-Building Tomorrow Today shirt w/jeans

o Tuesday-Professional Dress

o Wednesday-Team shirt/Cimarron spirit shirt w/jeans or Cimarron Warm-up

o Thursday-Professional Dress

o Friday-Core Essential Color or College Shirt w/jeans