Ram Nation News

Week of January 14, 2019


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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As we prepared our students during the first semester, we had talked about MOTIVATION of our students so that they may do their very best to be and feel successful. We focused on providing a school climate and culture where students and staff feel recognized and valued. We discussed the importance of following the testing procedures shared by Mrs. Mooty. We were very purposeful in our active monitoring of students in order to be on task actively working on their test. Also, we implemented the accommodations that our Special Education, 504, and ESL students have during testing. All of these considerations and recommendations allowed our students to represent our school very well during ACP testing. Let's continue to stay focused and make sure our students understand in which areas they need to improve to ensure there are no gaps in their learning. Identify students who are at risk academically and adjust instructional strategies to better meet these students' needs.

  • As we looked at the ACP data, we know that we are heading in the right direction continuing to make a difference in the lives of our children and community. 88% (8% increase from this time last year) of the staff members believe that, "Overall, my campus is headed in the right direction."
  • We outscored the District in 24 out of 37 tests (65%) as compared to 48% last year.
  • We had double digit growth in 14 out of 24 tests in our core content classes.
  • Among middle schools, we ranked 14/34 with a -1.7 from last year in RLA, 5/34 with a +9.5 from last year in Social Studies, 10/34 with a +6.1 from last year in Math, and 9/14 with a +16.2 from last year in Science.
  • We ranked 9 out of 34 middle schools using School Leadership Domain Projections.
  • All of our sections of our climate survey went up by one quintile; Beliefs and Priorities, College Going Culture, and Teacher-Principal Trust - 4th quintile and College Going Culture ranking 6 out of 61 secondary schools.

As we continue to prepare our students for the next grade level at the appropriate level of rigor,

    • Model expectations.
    • Provide scaffolding to support students’ thinking and reasoning while building on their prior knowledge.
    • Ensure there is a tight alignment between the TEKS, LO, DOL and instruction.
    • Incorporate the lesson cycle to ensure students have opportunities to be involved in the presentation and learning of meaningful content.
    • Engage students throughout the lesson (at the beginning, middle, and end) using MRSs or other strategies that solicit responses and interactions from and with all students. By doing so, students will have a better chance to internalize concepts and, in turn, your TEI scores in 2.4 will go up.
    • Continue to work on generating “rich classroom discussion” in the classroom. We know that good discussions produce higher-quality student thinking, expression, and achievement. Reformers’ aim is to replace traditional teacher-dominated discussions with “students talking in class about their ideas, asking questions of peers, engaging in debates with peers, explaining their reasoning, and sharing some roles traditionally assumed by teachers.
    • 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.
    • Let's make sure that we are using profile sheets, All in Learning, Istation and Achieve 3000 reports, and other tools that you have available to track the progress students make. By doing so, we can ensure our students are on the path toward the mastery of the TEKS for a given subject.

Attendance Review

Regular attendance is essential to providing students with opportunities to learn. Let's continue to support our students in transitioning in an expedited manner from class to class.

The following is the percent for attendance for the week of 1/08 - 1/11:

  • 6th Grade - 98.08% - Awesome job 6th grade team.
  • 7th Grade - 96.18%
  • 8th Grade - 94.53%

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


  • Our students had an opportunity to display their leadership skills during our AVID visit in the student panel and world cafe. Thank you so much to Ms. Baker and Ms. Wells for coordinating, leading and supporting our students as they prepared for these parts of our visit.
  • Ms. Lewis, Ms. Vargas, Mr. Johnson, Ms. Perez, Ms. Molla, Ms. Rendon, Ms. Miller, and Ms. Ingram for their support with the implementation of the AVID strategies as they were visited and highlighted during the AVID visit. Our students did an awesome job with their collaboration and inquiry skills.
  • Mr. McCann for his support and passion for music as he led the band during the greeting of our AVID guests. Our students are very confident and sound awesome; they continue to make believers out of each one of us!
  • Ms. Turnbull for her dedication in making our cheerleaders the best. She led our cheerleaders during the AVID visit and our students did a very nice job welcoming our guests and setting a happy atmosphere for our visit.
  • AVID Site Team for their passion for learning and transforming as well as leadership during preparations and AVID panel. They were able to communicate how AVID continue to support our transformation journey and our experiences with AVID.
  • As always, to each one of our Rusk staff members for coming together as a team in the preparation for our AVID visit as well as during the visit; it was evident that teamwork makes the dream work.
  • Mr. Proctor, Mr. Johnson, and Ms Safford for preparing our students to speak so eloquently about chess, debate, and robotics. Students were able to articulate how AVID ties in to their extra curricular activities and how it enhances their academic success!

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Climate and Culture


  • 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 announce your laps, create the pathway 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 2.2 and 2.3).
  • Teachers have to acknowledge in Cornerstone for a submitted spot to be marked complete and show up as complete on our tracker; if you have not acknowledged previous SPOTs, please do so to ensure accuracy and plan accordingly. (TEI 4.2)
  • 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)
  • 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. (TEI 3.1)
  • 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.
  • 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 6:00 p.m. (TEI 4.2)


Monday, January 14-

  • SPOT observations continue
  • A Day - We will be checking for exemplars and aggressively monitoring in action!
  • Meet with your grade level teams to align your Lesson Plans, determine misconceptions, create exemplars, and analyze data for your students.

  • 4:40 - 5:30 - Grade Level Meeting with GL administrator

  • Lady Rams’ basketball game at 6:30 p.m. and 7:30 p.m. at Tasby MS against Tasby MS.

Tuesday, January 15-
  • B-Day. We will be checking for exemplars and aggressively monitoring in action!
  • Meet with your grade level teams to align your Lesson Plans, determine misconceptions, create exemplars, and analyze data for your students.

  • Tutoring is cancelled!
  • 5:00 - 8:00 - Parent Conference Night. Pizza will be provided in the cafeteria by New York Life Insurance (optional) - 10 minute orientation is requested to learn more about the services provided by this company.

Wednesday, January 16-
  • A-Day.
  • 7:00 - 5:00 Food Services and State Audit
  • Calibration Walks - We will be walking classrooms checking for alignment, exemplars, and aggressively monitoring.
  • Meet with your grade level teams to align your Lesson Plans, determine misconceptions, create exemplars, and analyze data for your students.
  • 12:30 - 3:30 Special Education Program Review Follow Up w/Dr. Collier - School Site Visit
  • 4:30 p.m. After School Program Continues.
  • Remember to clock out at or after 6:00 p.m.

Thursday, January 17-

  • B-Day.
  • Weekly PLC
  • 6:00 - Lesson plans due.
  • Boys’ basketball game at 6:30 p.m. and 7:30 p.m. at Tasby MS against Tasby MS.

Friday, January 18 -


Ms. Akin - 1/3

Ms. Eddy - 1/13

Mr. Willis - 1/21

Ms. Minter - 1/26