The Pillow Page


'Twas The Week Before Winter Break

Hello Pillow Panther Staff!

One week left!!! Can you believe it?! I'm so excited that y'all will get a break soon. You deserve it for all of the hours and hard work you put in. 5 more days...40 more hours...woohoo!!! Thanks in advance for making sure that this last week isn't a waste. Remember, your kiddos will feed off of your attitude and actions. If you're super lax and not utilizing the classroom time wisely, your kiddos will pick up on that and act out. So, let's make sure we have fun, engaging, educational activities planned each day this week...just like every week.

Of course, this week does have some changes to the regular schedule. On Monday I will meet with a rep from CDK Global. They are the company that has donated over $6,500 for books! And more money is on its way in the spring! The read aloud event will be on Thursday at 1:30, but I'll get more details tomorrow and send them out to you. I believe employees from their Austin location want to come read to classrooms and share snacks with the kiddos. We will have books on hand that were ordered with their donations, and they can read those to the kiddos. I think they are only wanting to read to PreK through 2nd classrooms, but I could be wrong. So, just be flexible with your afternoon schedule on Thursday, as you might have a guest reader or two.

Also, we have rehearsals for the Holiday Traditions Performance on Tuesday and Wednesday and the Holiday Traditions Performance will be Thursday at 9:00am. The evening performance will be at 6:00pm on Thursday, followed by the Neighborhood Association luminarias on the track. Lots of fun! Wednesday after school will be a chance for everyone to celebrate and unwind at the staff party. Thanks to the Social Committee for organizing this. And, of course, Friday is when we are having classroom parties. Please monitor your children during the parties (sugar makes kiddos go crazy) and make sure your room is cleaned up at the end of the day. If your room is clean, trash is bagged and put in the hallway, all technology is shut down, lights are out, blinds are shut, and doors are locked and closed, then you are good to go for the break!

A few things before the break, too. If you haven't yet, please get with your PPfT appraiser and schedule a quick post conference before we leave for the break. You have to go in and click on Teacher Reviews Fall Observation #1 and finalize your fall observation. Then you'll have a post conference with your appraiser and they will finalize the fall observations. Remember, appraisers switch in the spring and you be observed by the opposite appraiser when we return. These are two pieces of data factored into the whole "pie" that is your PPfT score. Your SLO, campus STAAR scores, etc. also factor in.

Speaking of STAAR scores, remember that we are a level 2 campus. One of our goals is to be a Level 3 or 4 campus. This is all based off of STAAR scores. We just took MOY tests and will be using this data to look at which of our 3rd through 5th grade Panthers are struggling and where exactly they need help. This will drive our instruction in the spring. If a Panther is struggling with fractions, then more time will be spent with them on fractions during math groups in the classroom. If the majority of the class struggles with summary questions, then the teacher must review summary questions. We can't sit back and hope that kiddos just get it, We have to explicitly teach and reteach it, and the MOY data will be great for seeing where those gaps are. Part of our PD day on January 4th will be spent looking at this data with the 3rd through 5th grade teachers. I'll send more details out to those teachers soon. PreK-2nd teachers, specialists, special areas teachers, etc. can help out in a few different ways. Incorporating gen ed material into parts of your lessons for cross-curricular instruction. Math is the easiest to incorporate in to a special areas class. Also, if we have the money (I think we do but we are reviewing the books) to pay for a couple of days of after school tutoring in the spring, then those teachers could take a small group too. We are a family and we are a team, and it's going to take us all working together to help our Panthers succeed. These tests are very difficult and a majority of our Panthers enter school well behind where they need to be. We are in a different boat than our Vertical Team elementary schools. But, that just means we need to work harder and the rewards will be much greater. STAAR score don't tell the whole story, but they tell the story the public sees. In the spring, as I begin to deploy some heavy marketing strategies to bring families to our schools, it helps when the STAAR scores are high and the distinctions are many. I will be attending the Board Meeting tomorrow night to represent Pillow and our 2 STAAR distinctions from last year. 2 distinctions is a great thing, but all 6 is even better (can you tell I'm competitive?). And we can do it. We can earn all 6 distinctions, without sacrificing the whole child education we are providing. It's just going to take some data driven savviness to make it happen. We can't afford to sit back and hope our kids get it. We have to make sure they do. And it starts with the teacher in the classroom, knowing where their kiddos are academically, and pressing and supporting our kiddos to be successful each and every day.

Lastly, feel free to wear jeans and t-shirts (college or Pillow) all this week, since it is the last week and many people will be working their rooms as we get ready to close out the semester. I'm excited for a new week. I'm excited for y'all to get a break soon. And, I'm excited to hit the ground running when we return. This is the best school I've ever worked in or supervised, so let's show everyone outside of Pillow why that's true.

-Mr. Hill

Recent Pics

Upcoming Events

12/14/15 - Mon

6:30pm - ... - Board Meeting To Recognize 2015 STAAR Distinctions

12/15/15 - Tue

Holiday Traditions Performance Rehearsals

3:00pm - 4:00pm - CST Meeting

12/16/15 - Wed

Holiday Traditions Performance Rehearsals

9:00am - 1:00pm - 4th Grade Field Trip

3:00pm - Staff Holiday Party

12/17/15 - Thur

9:00am - 9:45am - Holiday Traditions Performance

1:30pm - 2:30pm - CDK Read Aloud (Details Coming After Monday Meeting)

6:00pm - 7:00pm - Holiday Traditions Performance

7:00pm - NSCNA Luminarias At Pillow Track

12/18/15 - Fri

Last Day Before Winter Break!!!

Holiday Classroom Parties

Useful Links