David G. Burnet Elementary

Shining Stars Gazette - May 16th, 2016

Excellence Will Lead to Success!

5th Week of the 6th Six Weeks

David G. Burnet Elementary


Providing excellence in the physical, emotional, social and academic growth of every child to ensure all student achieve their maximum potential.


Teachers will create strong classroom cultures, build relationships with students, and implement instructional practices that engage all students.

Notes from the Principal!

All Star Family,

The work began this year with building TEAM Effectiveness. We did this by having our PLC on Thursdays in which we carefully looked at aligning the I do (Modeling), We do (Guided Instruction) and You do (Independent Practice) to assessments (DOL, Tri-Weekly, ACP and STAAR Blueprints). We also engaged in DDI meetings in which teachers shared best practices in their exemplars and also reteach strategies. We celebrated Burnet being number 1 in the entire world for All In Learning. Next year, we will dive deeper in the initiative of TEAM Effectiveness. Please read the article below on the importance of Team Effectiveness to ensure that we continue to engage in true PLC.

Please also read the article on teaching students responsibility. The article provides great suggestions to reduce student negative behavior. Kudos to our TAs for already engaging in this work and eliminating negative behavior and instead promoting positive behavior through CHAMPs.

We have 2 more weeks with our students! Let's make this the two BEST WEEKS EVER for them, they deserve it. Thanks for all that you do and for choosing to make a difference at Burnet.

We are Burnet! We are the home of All Stars! Believe it! Lead it! We will Achieve it!


Ms. Loskot, Proud Principal of All Stars!

From Marshall Memo 636

Richard DuFour on PLCs and Teacher Evaluation

(Originally titled “Educators Deserve Better: A Conversation with Richard DuFour”)

In this Educational Leadership interview with Naomi Thiers, veteran educator Richard DuFour takes note of the embattled status of U.S. teachers and contrasts it to the way educators are viewed in countries like Finland and Singapore. “They’re viewed as nation-builders,” he says. “They’re viewed as one of the most important professions. Teaching is the profession that creates all other professions.”

Nevertheless, DuFour continues, “A lot of things are within [U.S.] teachers’ sphere of influence… I haven’t seen anything in any law that prevents teachers from coming together and working as a team that takes collective responsibility for achieving goals… The fundamental message to get out to educators is, don’t wait for somebody else to do it. Superintendent, don’t wait for a more-enlightened state policy. Principals, don’t wait until the central office decides it’s a good thing to do. And teachers, influence up – go to your principal and say, could we do this?”

The most effective thing schools can do, DuFour believes, is getting high-quality professional learning communities working. He lists the key factors in real PLCs (as opposed to the unfortunate “PLC lite” he sees in too many schools):

  • Teacher teams organized to meet by grade level and course (for example, all the third-grade teachers, all the biology teachers);

  • Absolute clarity about the nature of their work;

  • Supports so teachers can succeed at what they’re being asked to do;

  • Agreement on what exactly students are supposed to learn, and at what pace;

  • Techniques for assessing student learning minute by minute and day by day;

  • Common interim assessments crafted by the team;

  • Team analysis of the results and follow-up with struggling students;

  • Looking at the teaching practices that produced good results and emulating them;

  • Supporting colleagues who are less effective teaching particular skills;

  • Continuously improving teaching and learning.

    “When those things are in place for teacher teams,” says DuFour, “and the school has a systematic way of intervening when kids don’t learn, then the school is going to see gains in student achievement… Teachers in these schools virtually all report the highest levels of satisfaction in their careers, the greatest self-efficacy… Building shared knowledge, learning together, is essential to every step of the PLC journey… If you just put teachers together in a room and tell them to collaborate, there’s no evidence that that’s going to improve student achievement at all.”

    On the subject of teacher evaluation, DuFour is blunt: How helpful was it when he, an Illinois high-school principal who had taught social studies, evaluated a calculus teacher? “The way we’re going to improve schools is not by supervising and evaluating individual teachers into better performance,” he says; “it’s by creating a culture in which teams of teachers are helping one another get better.” DuFour advises principals to do the absolute minimum of teacher evaluation required by law and use the time and energy saved to orchestrate effective PLC work.

    But will teachers really push one another when performance is less than effective? asks Thiers. Three things are essential to overcome “the gentlemen’s agreement that we won’t be critical of one another,” says DuFour. First, teams have to be looking together at the results of well-crafted common assessments. Second, conversations must be based on evidence – for example, “If we’ve given a test and I have 40 percent of my kids unable to demonstrate proficiency on a particular skill and you had 100 percent of your kids demonstrate proficiency, and these are heterogeneously grouped classes, the evidence speaks for itself.” Finally, team leaders need to be trained in leading discussions and presenting feedback in ways that aren’t hurtful.

    This requires that principals constantly develop leadership at all levels, says DuFour. “I don’t think everybody needs to be a leader. But everybody needs to have an opportunity to lead. Some will choose not to, and that’s fine. But I don’t think the ability to lead is reserved for an elite few – it’s available to anybody who’s got passion and purpose.” And the best PD won’t come from off-site leadership workshops, he believes, but from doing the work in teacher teams and getting feedback.

    “Educators Deserve Better: A Conversation with Richard DuFour” by Naomi Thiers in Educational Leadership, May 2016 (Vol. 73, #8, p. 10-16),


A Strategy for Teaching Students Responsibility

In this article in AMLE Magazine, writer/consultant Rick Wormeli lists some ineffective ways to teach students self-discipline and responsibility: F grades, berating students, standing them outside the classroom door, keeping them in from recess in perpetuity, removing them from sports, music, or martial arts. Here are Wormeli’s ideas for a more effective approach:

• Know that students really want to be responsible and self-disciplined. “There is no such thing as laziness,” says Wormeli. “The natural state is to be curious, connect with others, grow, and succeed. When it looks like the student is lazy, there is always something else going on that we can’t see, or that we can see but can’t control. Investigation and removal of those factors will help the student reveal his or her core self.” It’s also helpful for a trusted adult to give students matter-of-fact feedback on the results of their less-than-responsible actions.

• Embrace redundancy. Struggling students need more than one method to get better at being responsible – for example, breaking large tasks into smaller chunks; checking things off a list as they’re completed; using a graphic organizer to display salient points and see how they fit into the big picture; and experiencing the satisfaction of being “in the know” during a class discussion because of a close reading of the text.

• Connect learning to students’ interests and the real world. “When something is meaningful,” says Wormeli, “we don’t have to cajole students into doing the task. They’ll work long hours, listen carefully to periodic feedback from classmates and teachers, and do high-quality work. If it’s drudgery, they’ll drag every foot, obstruct every enthusiasm.”

• Provide tools and self-efficacy. “Sometimes we have to introduce students to their own competencies,” says Wormeli. And some students are much more fortunate than others in the resources they get from home.

“Teaching Students Responsibility” by Rick Wormeli in AMLE Magazine, May 2016 (Vol. 3, #9, p. 39-40),


; Wormeli can be reached at


Key Action 1: Promote a positive climate and culture that ensures student achievement by establishing a common vision. (Philosophy)

Key Action 2: Strengthen the instructional program and data system by providing differentiated professional development. (Process)

Key Action 3: Promote student achievement by implementing and monitoring a system of data and feedback on instruction. (Implementation)

One School, One Vision, Together We Are On A Mission

Week At-A-Glance

National Educational Bosses’ Week!

Thank you Administrators

Monday, May 16th, 2016

  • Classroom Entry & Ten With a Pen (Day 163)
  • Classroom Visits/Feedback
  • No Tutoring or Afterschool Club
  • Faculty Meeting (K-5 ACP Training, Field Day & LPAC CUM party)
  • PreK & Specials PTO Meeting @ 5

Tuesday, May 17th, 2016

  • Classroom Entry & Ten With a Pen (Day 164)
  • Classroom Visits/Feedback
  • No Tutoring or Afterschool Club

Wednesday, May 18th, 2016

  • Classroom Entry & Ten With a Pen (Day 165)

  • Classroom Visits/Feedback

  • Validations for the 5th

and 6th Marking Period will be placed in your boxes. Requires signature on each sheet.

  • 3-5 ACP Social Studies
  • No Tutoring or Afterschool Club

  • Soccer – Burnet vs. Calliett @ 4:30

Thursday, May 19th, 2016

  • Classroom Entry & Ten With a Pen (Day 166)

  • Classroom Visits/Feedback

  • 3-5 ACP Specials Paper Pencil

  • Thursday Folder goes home

  • No Tutoring or Afterschool Club

Friday, May 20th, 2016

  • Classroom Entry & Ten With a Pen (Day 167)

  • Classroom Visits/Feedback

  • Validations due from teachers by 2 p.m. to Ms. Smith

  • End of the Year Checklist placed in boxes

  • 3-5 ACP Language Arts

  • No Tutoring or Afterschool Club

  • Please send kudos to Ms. Loskot by 2:00

  • Complete Climate Survey by 5 p.m.

Quote of the Week

Think BIG

Keep Calm and Shine On!

Finish Strong!

Action Items

Action Items