Monday Morning Message

Excellence and High Expectations With A Commitment to All

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October 13, 2015

Happy Week 8 of School!!!!

Happy Tuesday! I truly hope everyone has had a great start to the week. My weekend was full of blessings. I had a chance to visit Chicago to attend a wedding and catch up with friends from Chicago Public Schools, see my niece [she is now 7 months] and spend time with my parents.

This past weekend I continued to work on the District Theory of Action for improving Graduation. Remember our district goal is:
  • Increase the graduation rate by 5 percentage points between the 2012 and 2013 graduation cohorts

I am proud to say that our Graduation Dream Team is about 23 people deep - and every one of them has an unwavering commitment to ensuring we [TPS] provide the best for our students. We have developed another version and will soon be at a final version.

This is a great segue into the work this week:
- Check in with your attendance practices
- preparation for Parent Teacher conferences
- progress with the implementation of the Culture Response Action Plan

NOTE: Portfolio Meeting Feedback: Our portfolio meeting last week was a day of great learning. Meeting materials will be shared with everything this week. If there is any specific item you need now - send me an email and I will get that to you as soon as possible. Please provide your feedback regarding the day here: (A very cool new tool)
- Made with love:

-Your ILD, Julio César Contreras

RESOURCE: If you are in need of interpreters for school parent-teacher conferences be sure to complete the Site Interpreter Request Form.

National Bullying Prevention Month: October

Did you know October is National Bullying Prevention Month? Here is a great link with resources for you to incorporate with Student Of The Month (STOM) or other school activities.


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Attendance Data: Week 8 - Data monitoring

As we enter week 8, it has come to my attention that there may be some data error communication between StudentStat and our reports. Specifically, while on a site visit last week, a Principal and I reviewed attendance data and noticed that StudentStat showed 1 day with only 1 student absent. This was not the case. I will keep everyone posted on my learning.

Click here to access the StudentStat website

Portfolio Legend:

(Jr) 95+ Green; 93-94.99 Yellow; 92.99- Red

(Hs) 93+ Green; 87-92.99 Yellow; 86.99 - Red

REMINDER: Kris Serna and Dave Casper are available to provide onsite support to your attendance clerk and Attendance Improvement Team. While we have not formally established an Attendance Improvement Team (AIT), the reality is that improving attendance requires more people than just the attendance clerk. Be sure to reach out Kris Serna to schedule an on-site training training for your AIT to:

- Review reports to monitor for the year (i.e. Truancy List, Daily Attendance Report)

- Establish a cycle of check-ins (i.e. Every 3 weeks)

- Identify the bite-size look-fors that will make a difference (side by side with check-in cycle)


Cage Busting Leadership - Resetting our Leadership Lens

As I reflect on conversations school leaders and teachers, one constant theme emerges - this year has been really busy and feels like there is a lot going on. I absolutely agree with both statements. Which makes this year a very exciting year for us!

It's times like this when I often pick up an old book and read for inspiration. In this case, I picked up Cage-Busting Leadership by Frederick M. Hess. Last year, every Principal received this book. This year we will engage in the lessons shared in this book.

Click here to read the Preface of this great book


Have You Heard???

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Hispanic Heritage Month (September 15-October 15)

This week in Latino History...

October 11, 1972 - Panama adopts the Constitution of the Republic of Panama.

October 12, 1811 - Paraguay declares its independence from Spain and Argentina.

October 13, 1987 - Costa Rican president Oscar Arias wins the Nobel Peace Prize for a plan designed to put an end to the cruel civil wars that were devastating Central America.

October 14, 1962 - A U.S. U-2 aircraft took several pictures clearly showing the construction of nuclear missile in Cuba. These pictures were the onset of the Cuban Missile Crisis.

October 15, 1522 - Emperor Karel I names Hernan Cortez governor of Mexico.

click here to teacher resources from

District Information

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A New Electrnic Education Magazine coming out...

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A new electronic magazine on the horizon

The Gap EMagazine is America's Elite Diverse Education Forum. And is having a National Virtual Launch to offer special pricing for the Emagazine subscriptions. They plan to offer up-to-date conversations and articles on best practices and strategies that will close the achievement gap in all of our urban educational areas. There will be an incredible lineup of urban journalists and academicians that are leaders in their perspective fields.

Maybe you to be apart of this amazing oppurtunity

Our Line Up of Events:

World's Largest #UrbanED Twitter Chat @ 7PM EST

World's Largest Urban Education Virtual Town Hall Meeting: Education NO Chaser

Launching of The Gap EMag: America's Elite Diverse Education Forum

Click here to learn more about this upcoming event
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White House Initiative on Educational Excellence for Hispanics

This fall marks the 25th anniversary of the White House Initiative on Educational Excellence for Hispanics and in honor of this historic milestone, the Initiative, throughout the month highlighted the tremendous progress Latinos are making in education. On Thursday, October 15, as we celebrate the end of Hispanic Heritage Month, the Initiative will launch a national day of action with the #LatinosAchieve Campaign that will highlight Latino achievement, inspire a positive narrative on Latino contributions, and recognize the urgent need to continue investing in Latino educational achievement as inextricably linked with the nation’s success.

I encourage you to join through social media platforms, using videos, selfies, photos and tweets/posts, on October 15 to share the following:
What #LatinosAchieve means to you?
Why #LatinosAchieve is important? or
What you do to help #LatinosAchieve? and
Tag your friends and have them tell us how they help #LatinosAchieve

Click here to keep informed
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SRI- Leveraging the Lexile during instruction

During this year we have talked about the importance using Lexiles to prepare our students for College, Career and Life. Attached is the article referenced in the meeting. Use this information as you start to work with your staff on your school's literacy action plan.
- SRI College and Career Readiness Through Lexiles
- Developing College and Career Readiness Lexile Chart

Previous Reports / Tools:
- Lexile Framwork for Reading: A System for Measuring Reader Ability and Text Complexity
- Growth Expectations: Setting Achievable Goals

The Online Lexile Analyzer: This is a software program that evaluates the reading demand—or readability—of books, articles and other materials. Membership is FREE. Don't hesitate to pass this resource to your teachers. Currently there are over 225,287 books online FREE that have been leveled!

All Principals and Assistant Principals have been granted access to the Scholastic data base:
link: (save bookmark)
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Important Dates

  • 10/17 National Black Poetry Day
  • 10/19 Required Child Abuse Law and Policy Training (on Edivate)
  • 10/21 National Unity Day

Star Student Of The Week

Meet Jordan

Q) What do you plan to do as a career?
A) A Chemical Engineer
Q) What is one thing you hope to accomplish this year?
A) Get straight A's in English
Q) How do yo spend your freetime?
A) Playing video games
Q) What is your favorite class?
A) Science