The Mata Memo

January 11, 2022

Principal's Message

Mata Family!

We've had a great start to the New Year due to you, our staff, and our students! I commend our staff and our community for their commitment to students and to excellence as we battled many absences due to the Covid pandemic. Our staff has been stepping up and filling in for each other to ensure that instruction continues for your children. Our community really has shown support for each other. Parents that you for your continued support and understanding as well. We are all in this together!

The data for our ACPs are coming in and for most areas, our students showed academic growth as compared to Common Assessment 1. Please see the correspondence below regarding how ACP grades will be utilized. We are excited to see our students continue to show growth! We have also begun middle-of-the-year testing with MAP for students in 1st-8th grade. The window also opens for Circle testing for students in PreK and TX-KEA for students in kinder. Please reach out to your teachers if you have any questions.

Mark your calendars for the week of January 24th for report cards and parent conferences. Our teachers look forward to discussing your child's progress with you!

Also please remember that Monday is the Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. holiday, there will be no school!


Tomeka Middleton Williams


Please read the memo carefully for information regarding:

  • Calendar at a Glance
  • Covid 19 Testing
  • ACP Grading and Communication
  • Montessori Research Article
  • PTA Reflections Winners
  • 5th Grade Poetry Slam
  • Yearbook pictures
  • How Parents and Children Learn Emotional Skills together
  • Traffic Advisory
  • Tutoring Waiver
  • Campus Visitor Procedures
  • Dallas ISD Safety Protocols
  • Mata Positive Staff Referrals
  • and, much much more!

Calendar at A Glance

  • Jan. 17th - Dr. Martin Luther King Holiday - No School

  • Jan. 19th - Prospective Student Virtual Open House

  • Jan. 19th - 5th Grade Poetry Slam

  • Week of Jan. 24th- Parent Conferences

  • Jan. 20th - SBDM Meeting

  • Jan. 25th - General PTA Meeting

  • Jan. 27th - CICC Meeting

  • Jan 31st - Choose Dallas ISD Application Window Closes

The Mata Middle School Broadcast

Covid Quarantine, Isolation, and Testing Updates! - Please Read

Please do not send your child to school sick. Symptoms of Covid include headache, sore throat, runny nose, cough, congestion, and fever. Many are reporting cold and allergy-like symptoms. If your child is exhibiting any of these symptoms please do not send them to school and call your healthcare provider. If your child has been tested for Covid-19 and results are pending, do not send your child to school until a negative result is received.

Rapid antigen testing is available on campus! To help keep Mata a safe learning environment, Nurse Nikki is able to test students in the school clinic. At this time tests will only be offered for Mata students on campus who are symptomatic. Written and verbal consent from a parent or guardian must be acquired prior to administering a test. If you would like to provide consent for your Mata student for rapid antigen testing on our campus, please fill out the consent form here: Our campus access code is EDMATA. We encourage you to provide consent for your student in advance to streamline the testing process. Each consent is valid for the remainder of the school year.

This link is only valid to provide consent for minors under 18 years old. The district will not be testing parents, siblings of students, or other community members. Each DISD campus has a unique access code, so if you have other DISD students, please contact their campus nurse for an access code.

If your student has been exposed to a positive person and/or is experiencing any Covid-19 symptoms, please keep him or her at home and call the clinic for the next steps. Again, please do not send your child to school sick. It is imperative that parents assist us in maintaining the health and safety of those on campus. If you have any questions regarding Covid-19 testing or exposure policies, please call the clinic at 972-749-7519.


New quarantine and isolation policy changes have been announced from DISD to reflect recent CDC guidance. As of January 10th, students who test positive for Covid-19 must isolate for five calendar days from the start of symptoms or from the positive test day if asymptomatic. A positive student may return to campus on day 6 if symptoms have improved, and must continue wearing a mask at all times during days 6-10. Please do not send your child back to campus on day 6 if symptoms have not improved.

Students placed in quarantine due to an unvaccinated status and close contact with a positive individual must quarantine at home for five calendar days from the date of exposure. They may return to campus on day 6 after exposure only if they are symptom-free. Testing on day 5 is recommended by DISD but a negative test is not required to return.

If your student is currently in quarantine and you have questions about their return date, please call the clinic at 972-749-7519. If you need to report a positive test or exposure for your student, please call the clinic.

ACP Grading Communication - Grades 3rd-8th - Please read.

At the December 2021 Board meeting, the Board of Trustees approved a waiver to specific ACP policy language to ensure student semester grades are not negatively impacted by Fall ACP results.

Currently, EIA (LOCAL) requires the ACP to count for a percentage of the student’s semester average (15% of a high school, 10% of a middle school and 5% for elementary). Understanding that the impact of the pandemic will require additional time to accelerate learning, it is our intention to hold students harmless during the recovery process.

Approved protocol

To ensure students are held harmless by the Fall ACP results and to ensure that teachers, leaders, and the District retain key data to inform instructional support decisions, the following protocol will be implemented:

  • The Fall ACP grade will be included in the semester grade calculation only if it helps the student's semester average (i.e. only if the ACP will bring the semester average up).
  • The Fall ACP will NOT be included in the semester grade calculation if it will harm the students’ semester average (i.e., the ACP will bring the semester average down). In this scenario, the student's semester grades will be determined by averaging the first two grading periods of the semester.

This ensures that students receive the most benefit related to semester average calculation while maintaining the focus on using data to improve future achievement outcomes.

Other Things to Note

  • Principals and teachers would continue to get the ACP data aligned with STAAR projections to plan for Spring semester instructional adjustments at the campus level.
  • Student grades would only be positively impacted by this proposal, they could not be made worse.
  • The final grade for the semester, whether it includes the ACP or waives the ACP based on this protocol, will still be utilized to determine class rank calculations for applicable courses per EIC (Exhibit B).

At this point, no proposal is being made for Spring ACP inclusion in semester grades. Any discussion on the Spring will come at a later date.

En la reunión de la Junta escolar de diciembre 2021, La Junta Escolar aprobó una exención al lenguaje especifico de la póliza del ACP para garantizar que las calificaciones del fin de semestre de los estudiantes no se vean afectadas negativamente por los resultados de los exámenes de ACP del otoño.

Actualmente, EIA (Local) requiere que el ACP cuente como un porcentaje del promedio del semestre del estudiante (15% de la escuela secundaria, 10% de la escuela intermedia y 5% de la primaria). Comprendemos que el impacto de la pandemia requerirá tiempo adicional para acelerar el aprendizaje, es nuestra intención mantener a los estudiantes indemnes durante el proceso de recuperación.

Protocolo Aprobado

Para asegurarnos que los estudiantes no serán responsables de los resultados de los exámenes de ACP del otoño y para garantizar que los maestros, lideres y el Distrito retengan datos claves para informarles las decisiones de apoyo instructivo, se implementar el siguiente protocolo:

· La calificación de examen ACP del otoño se incluirá en el cálculo de la calificación del semestre solo si ayuda al promedio del semestre de los estudiantes (es decir, solo si el ACP aumentara el promedio del semestre).

· El examen de ACP de otoño NO se incluirá en el cálculo de la calificación del semestre si perjudica el promedio del fin de semestre de los estudiantes (es decir, el ACP reducirá el promedio del semestre). En este escenario, las calificaciones del semestre de los estudiantes se determinarán promediando los dos primeros periodos de calificaciones del semestre.

Esto asegura que los estudiantes reciban el mayor beneficio relacionado con el cálculo del promedio del semestre mientras se mantiene el enfoque en el uso de los datos para mejorar los resultados de rendimiento futuros.

Otras cosas que se deben tener en cuenta

· Los directores y maestros continuarían alineando los datos del examen de ACP con la proyección de STAAR para planificar los ajustes de instrucción del semestre de primavera a nivel de la escuela.

· Las calificaciones de los estudiantes solo se verían afectadas positivamente por esta propuesta, no podrían empeorar.

· La calificación final del semestre ya sea que incluya el resultado del ACP o no, según este protocolo, se seguirán utilizando para determinar los caculos del rango de clase para los cursos aplicables según EIC (Exhibit B).

En este momento, no se está haciendo ninguna propuesta para la inclusión de los exámenes de ACP de la primavera en las calificaciones del semestre. Cualquier discusión sobre los exámenes de primavera se llevará acabo en una fecha posterior.

Montessori Children Often Turn into Happy Adults

Check out this article from Psychology Today - New Research highlights the long-term benefits of a Montessori Education.

Mata's Virtual Open House

Mata's Virtual Open House for prospective parents will be held next Wednesday, January 19th at 6:00 PM. Please share this information with anyone new who is interested in learning about our school.

Join Zoom Meeting

Meeting ID: 831 0875 6275

Passcode: 078714

Poetry Slam Update!

The district has decided to extend the deadline for student submissions. The deadline for students to submit their poem to Ms. Ebiai is now THIS FRIDAY, January 14th. If you have a child who has written or is currently writing a poem based off the theme "Be the change". Please notify them that this Friday is the last chance them to submit and participate in the Poetry Slam!

Our on campus Poetry Slam will now occur on next Wednesday, January 19th.

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PTA Reflections

Thank you to all our students who participated in PTA’s Reflections this school year.

3 of our Mata Eagles have advanced to the next round of DISD’s Competition.

PTA would like to give a big congratulations to the following students:

Jeanne Lyons. - 1st grade

Emma Cooper - 3rd grade

Charlotte Cooper- 3rd grade

Congratulations to all our entries and best of luck to our students in the next round.

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Yearbook Candid Pictures Please!

The yearbook staff needs your help! If you have photos of your student on the first day of school, Red Ribbon Week, or pajama day, please email them to These could be published in the 21-22 yearbook.

Traffic Advisory

Please see the traffic advisory below and consider your drive time.

Thank you!

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How Can Parents and Children Learn Emotional Skills Together?

You can better connect with your children and their communities by learning social-emotional skills alongside them. Research suggests that there are many ways for parents to get involved in their children’s character development, and one of the most important things we can do is model behavior. Read more about the research here. (Greater Good Magazine)
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Tutoring Ratio Waver - Please complete

Join PTA

We would like to encourage you to join our Mata PTA. Join here!

Check out their webpage at

Sign up for the PTA newsletter: Click Here

Dallas ISD Updates for Campus Visitors

While Dallas County is in Level Red, campus visitors and volunteers will not be allowed. We will use virtual meeting options to limit campus visitors. All visitors who enter the building will be required to wear a face covering and those who proceed beyond the reception area will follow specific guidelines for visitors.

Visitor Screening/PPE Requirements

  • Please self- screen before entering any Dallas ISD facility. If visitors have COVID-19 symptoms, or are lab confirmed with COVID-19, they must notify the campus and remain off campus until they meet the criteria for re-entry.

  • All individuals entering the building will be required to wear face masks.

  • Visitors will stand behind the shield guard installed at reception desks or recommended 6 feet distance.

  • Any individuals permitted to proceed beyond the reception area must follow all safety and campus protocols.

  • Parent curbside pick up of students and materials

Dallas ISD School Safety Protocols

Parents and caregivers, please see Dallas ISD's School Safety Protocol for Parents Handbook 2021-2022 Download and view the handbook here:
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Mata Montessori School's Vision and Mission

Vision Statement: To provide an academic foundation which allows our students to be successful life-long learners.

Mission Statement: To provide an authentic Montessori education by focusing on educating the whole child academically, socially, and emotionally for all children.

Mata Montessori School's Key Actions

  • Maintain a climate and culture that fosters academic excellence.
  • Improve quality of instruction and student achievement through an aligned Montessori curriculum.
  • Actively engage parents in education in meaningful and relevant ways.

The Mata Memo

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