Ram Nation News

Week of September 18, 2017


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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I continue to see great evidence of a positive climate and culture by seeing staff members smiling, narrating the positive, and building relationships with students. Also, there is great evidence of planning and preparation to provide students the best instruction possible. It is because of your dedication and commitment that we are able to have a great beginning of the school year. Our students have noticed the difference and are appreciative of what we are doing this year; they are eager to learn and enjoy learning in your classrooms.

We will need to stay the course and make adjustments to ensure that accelerated learning is taking place. Our focus on improving teaching and learning through the effective implementation of PLCs, progress monitoring through Data Driven Instruction, classroom observations using the TEI rubric, and taking advantage of various professional learning opportunities will allow us to continuously improve. I am very proud of the work you continue to do, the impact that you are making in the lives of our children, and the fact that you are creating active, engaged scholars.

This week's planning review by the leadership team will focus on the alignment of the objective throughout the lesson cycle. In classroom visits, we will be looking and listening for students engagement using Think Ink Pair Share where students are given time to think, write down thoughts, get with a partner, and share their thoughts. Based on my observations, we need to ensure that we have taught, modeled, and practiced this skill in order for effective implementation. Also, we will be looking for Format Matters where students are standing up and sharing their answers when participating.

Let's continue to do a great job of highly effective delivery of instruction to our young rams while building the whole child through building relationships, engaging families, and promoting enrichment activities. I know we are making of this year the best for our students!!!


  • Ms. Ingram for displaying student work in the hallway; this practice helps students know that their work is important and is validated by the teacher. I look forward to seeing more authentic work posted in the hallways.
  • Mr. Willis for his leadership with the emergency operations team and the fire drill on Friday. Everyone did an awesome job walking out in a calm and quiet manner to their designated areas. We evacuated the building in 2 minutes and 32 seconds; it was faster than the time at my precious elementary campus. Let's continue to follow all safety instructions and beat this time for next month.
  • Mr. Geiger for his leadership and support as he volunteered to help other teachers last week with the drafting and submitting process of the SLO.
  • AVID Site team under the Baker's leadership as they met to discuss the upcoming visit from the district to check on our readiness for our AVID National Demonstration visit. We know that the implementation of Cornell Notes and other WICOR strategies will provide us with favorable points in these visits.
  • Grade Level Chairs for providing feedback and support in how to make dismissal better. I have already seen a great improvement with students walking and using low voices as they walk out with teacher supervision.


  • Plan, align, and write our LO and DOL in student friendly terms and post them in a prominent place. Remember to use the Knowledge and Skill statement to ensure the appropriate level of rigor is being addressed in the LO.
  • As we continue our SPOT observations, please 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
    • 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
  • Engage learners throughout your lessons. It will support the increase in student achievement and reduce disruptions. We know that our students need hands-on items, such as index cards, sticky notes, white boards, graphic organizers and other tools so that you can address multiple intelligence and allow students to internalize their knowledge.
  • During transitions remember WALQ, Walk to the right, All hands, feet, and object to self, Quick pace, Low voices
  • Continue to greet students with a smile and support their development by being consistent in everything that you do; by doing so, you will be able to provide a positive climate and culture for our students.


Monday, September 18-
  • Education Go Get It Week - Please, refer to the e-mail sent by Ms. Calderon and Ms. Shelby. Encourage students to participate in the various activities (click in the link for a list of activities).
  • Weekly PLCs - Room 103. Please, bring your technology to access the Google Drive folders with your instructional materials.
  • 6th Grade Field Trip - See e-mail from Ms. Woods for those attending. All other students will attend classes with teacher/teachers who go on day 2.
  • 4:45 Weekly PD- Library
  • 6:00 and 7:30 p.m. - Volleyball games at Hillcrest HS.
  • 6:00 and 7:30 p.m. - Football games at Franklin MS.

Tuesday, September 19-

  • CIC/AP Planning and preparation with 6th grade
  • 6th Grade Field Trip - See e-mail from Ms. Woods for those attending. All other students will attend classes with teacher/teachers who went on day 1.
  • 4:25 p.m. After school begins

Wednesday, September 20-

  • CIC/AP Planning and preparation with 7th grade
  • Enrollment Verification during second/seven period. Ms. Araujo will provide the attendance sheets. Please, follow the instructions provided since this is critical for our allocations and other budget implications.
  • 4:25 p.m. After school

Thursday, September 21-

  • CIC/AP Planning and preparation with 8th grade
  • Independent Reading follow up.
  • 3:00 Teaching Trust Teams 2 meeting at TT office - Ms. Michael and Ms. Lewis.
  • 4:25 p.m. After school
  • 5:00 Lesson Plans Due

Friday, September 22-

  • SLO and PDPs Due. Please refer to e-mail sent by Mr. Cordoba. As a reminder, when drafting the PDPs, goal number one is from TEI Domain 2 and the second goal can be from any domain. Also, please write a short explanation of why you selected that goal and the impact you expect to see in your classroom by having focused in these domains.

Upcoming Events

Friday, September 29

  • Compliance Videos Due - See email sent by Mr. Cordoba with more details. Once you have completed all videos, please turn the certificates either in the main office or via e-mail to Ms. Miranda.

Saturday, September 30

  • Writing Collaboration PLC - Ms. Davis
  • Crisis Prevention Intervention Training - Ms. Woods, Crisis Prevention Intervention Team, and other team members who need restrain training.

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Day of Discovery

In partnership with Garland Independent School District, Discovery is hosting a Day of Discovery on October 7, 2017! This is a fantastic opportunity for you to network with educators across Texas to share best practices and to learn about how Discovery Education is impacting 21st century learning!

Please find details below and REGISTER HERE!

Location: Rowlett High School (4700 President George Bush, Rowlett, TX 75088)

Date: October 7, 2017

Time: 9am-3pm (registration opens at 8:30am)

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