ARMS Legend

Excellence Without Boundaries

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January 19, 2016 4th Six Weeks, Week 3


Principal Message

Greetings Rangers!

As we prepare to review the Climate Survey data on Wednesday, I am asking everyone to read the Marshall Memo article before the meeting. What is confirming from the article, what questions do you still have? what is surprising?

When we address climate and culture and the growth of ARMS growth mindset is critical. Thank you in advance for actively engaging in the reflective and solution oriented conversation.

Have a fantastic week!

Ranger Pride,
F. Taylor
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Ranger News

ARMS Updates

7th Grade Processes Revised

Entry Procedure:
7th Grade students that have a 1st period electives (classes off of the grade level hallway) are directed to the AUDITORIUM, escorted to breakfast kiosks.

Schedule of how classes enter either cafeteria and gym
Recess time suspended until further notice

Revision details have been sent out to 7th Grade and Electives teachers

ARMS January Weekend Openings

For those Rangers that are interested in working at school on a Saturday, the following days the building will be open.
Saturday, January 30th 9 - 12

Please ensure that the building is empty no later than 12:30 pm.

ARMS Reminders

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Pertinent campus wide WAIP information will be posted in the weekly ARMS Legend. Please ensure that you stay informed of district updates and general information. WAIP information that is specific to a team, grade, content, will be emailed directly.

DISD United Negro College Fund Campaign

Click here for more information.

DISD STEM Day @ Skyline HS

DISD STEM Day is quickly approaching. This is a fantastic opportunity for our students to gain exposure via the information that is shared and the hands on experiences available throughout the day!
Click here for more information.
We will be promoting the event on campus and with parents. A treat will be provided to the POD that has the most students attend. More information to come!

DISD Professional Development - Spring 2016

Click here for more information about the upcoming PD sessions provided/coordinated through Teaching and Learning Department.
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Marshall Memo

What is the Marshall Memo?

Kim Marshall was a teacher, principal, and central office administrator in Boston for 32 years. He currently advises and coaches new principals through the New Leaders for New Schools program. He is also the author of the Marshall Memo. He subscribes to 64 top-quality publications, and every week he sifts through them to select the most significant articles with the most potential to improve teaching and learning.

In the spirit of our second "G" GROWTH, every week I will share 1 or 2 of the article summaries with ARMS staff. In hopes of sparking interest, sharing another perspective, or strategies as we all collectively work to improve teaching and learning @ ARMS. Take what works for you, leave what doesn't.

Please review before the Climate Survey review meeting on Wednesday.

A Sea Change in School Discipline Policies

“The idea that a zero-tolerance philosophy based on punishment and exclusion could create effective learning climates has proven to be illusory,” say Russell Skiba (Indiana University) and Daniel Losen (University of California/Los Angeles) in this article in American Educator. Recent research has overwhelmingly discredited the “get tough” approach to school discipline: it isn’t effective in reducing individual misbehavior or improving school safety; frequently-suspended students are more likely to engage in antisocial behavior and get involved with the juvenile justice system; and there are often negative academic consequences for disciplined students, including lower grades and increased incidence of dropping out. In addition, the logical-sounding and politically popular zero tolerance policies have produced the most negative social and academic outcomes for students from historically disadvantaged groups. The widespread investment in security – video cameras, metal detectors, officers – has not improved most students’ sense of safety in school.

Here are the troubling statistics on the percentage of U.S. secondary students who received at least one out-of-school suspension during the 2011-12 school year (the national average was 10.1%):

- African-American – 23.2%

- Students with disabilities – 18.1%

- American Indian/Alaska Native – 11.9%

- English language learners – 11%

- Latino – 10.8%

- Hawaiian/Pacific Islander – 7.3%

- White – 6.7%

- Asian – 2.5%

Studies have revealed racial bias in suspensions and other disciplinary consequences, with African-American students more likely to receive harsher consequences for the same offenses than their white peers. Recent research also shows that lesbian, gay, bisexual, and transgender students are at increased risk of expulsion, experiencing a hostile school climate, and being stopped by the police and arrested.

The unintended consequences of harsh discipline policies have registered with many policymakers, educators, and parents, and new approaches are being implemented in many parts of the U.S. There are four types of promising alternative strategies, some of which are being implemented simultaneously:

Relationship building – Interventions that foster positive teacher-student interactions have been shown to reduce the use of suspensions and expulsions, especially for black students. Restorative practices that build relationships and repair harm after conflicts have also shown positive results (a 47 percent drop in suspension rates in the Denver Public Schools), as has the MyTeachingPartner professional development program.

Social-emotional learning – These programs aim to build students’ skills in recognizing and managing their emotions, appreciating others’ perspectives, establishing positive goals, making responsible decisions, and handling interpersonal situations effectively. When the Cleveland Metropolitan School District implemented an SEL program, it recorded a 50 percent drop in negative behavioral incidents.

Structural interventions – Positive Behavioral Interventions and Supports (PBIS) is a widely-used program that focuses on staff training to prevent discipline problems. It’s had some success, although Skiba and Losen note that it needs to be supplemented with additional components to bring about the best outcomes for African-American students. For PBIS to be effective, there needs to be staff buy-in, administrative support, and the time and money to implement it consistently schoolwide. Other structural interventions include improving school climate, rewriting codes of conduct, and being systematic in responding to threats of violence.

Classroom content and climate – Another study addressing racial disparities in discipline had several specific recommendations: teachers communicating high expectations and fairness for all students; creating a bias-free and respectful environment; ensuring academic rigor; and engaging in culturally relevant and responsive teaching.

These approaches all depend on professional development, administrative support, collaboration with community agencies, well-formulated alternative strategies, increased presence of mental health and instructional support personnel in schools, working with parents to promote less-punitive approaches at home, and ongoing collection and analysis of disaggregated discipline data.

“From Reaction to Prevention: Turning the Page on School Discipline” by Russell Skiba and Daniel Losen in American Educator, Winter 2015-16 (Vol. 39, #4, p. 4-11, 44),

ARMS Athletic Events - Week of 1/18

No Athletic Events This Week

Weekly Events 1/18-22

Monday, Jan. 18th
Martin Luther King, Jr. Day - School Closed
Tuesday, Jan. 19th
POD Action (AP)
Wednesday, Jan. 20th,
ARMS Staff Meeting, 4:30 PM - 5:15 PM
Thursday, Jan. 21st
Math Blitz
SBDM Meeting, 5:00 pm.
Friday, Jan. 22nd
Student $1 Jean Day,
Saturday, Jan. 23rd,
Teaching Trust Summit (Exec. Ed Team)- 8:00AM - 5:00 PM

On the Horizon...

Wednesday, Jan. 27th
ARMS Career Day
ARMS PD Session/ Maximizing Reteaching- 4:30 PM - 6:00 PM
Thursday, Jan. 28th
Empowerment Meeting, 7:30 AM, Parent Center
Math Blitz
Grade Level Earned Free Dress Day
ARMS University (during POD time)- Effective Grading Practices
ARMS Ignite Academy Session, 4:30 PM - 5:30 PM
Friday, Jan. 29th
Student $1 Jean Day
Saturday, Jan. 30th
ARMS Saturday School - Science, RLA, & Math
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ARMS Destination Imagination Team!!

Parent Teacher Conferences

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The Most Important Work of our Time! Always remember YOUR IMPACT!

Ann Richards Middle School

At Ann Richards MS, our vision is to be a flagship middle school at the hub of the community, nurturing diverse leaders, and empowering intelligent trailblazers.