Monday Morning Message...

Excellence and High Expectations With A Commitment to All

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March 9, 2015

Happy Monday!

Good Morning! I hope everyone had a wonderful and relaxing weekend. It's great to be back! The National Association for Bilingual Education Conference provided some great learning and I look forward to sharing it with you over time.

As of this week, we have approximately 9 weeks of school left. The month of March is the time where all of our learning comes together. You and your leadership team should be engaging in Focus Walks, Instructional Walks and McREL Observation walks. In addition, you and your APs should be discussing your Coaching tracker data. Being in the classrooms is the ultimate lever for identifying the best support our dedicated Teachers need in order to succeed.

A quick recap of last week: we had a two more snow days, and WE ARE GOING TO STATE! Our very own Memorial High School boys basketball team is advancing to the State Tournament and East Central High School's girl basketball team is advancing to the State Tournament. Go Chargers and Go Cardinals!

Have an AMAZING start to the Week!

-Your ILD, Julio César Contreras


Attendance Rates for March

Below is a summary of student attendance for the first week of March. The weather definitely presented some challenges to us. Nevertheless - Congrats to Memorial Junior for keeping student attendance above 87%.

I have also include a link to access the image of the data
Click here for last week's attendance data chart

I have also included an overall snapshot of our portfolio attendance for this year:

*Click here to access last our overall attendance data chart

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6 Steps of Highly Effective Feedback: The Practice

Did you know that the most common skipped step of the 6 Steps of Highly Effective Feedback is: The Practice?

As you read this - consider your process - Do you skip or rush through The Practice stage? What about your APs? Why do you think it is uncomfortable for people to dive-deep into The Practice Stage?

As a coach, the Practice is key for the coachee to get real-time practice in a safe place with a safe person (you).

Click here for the one page resource on 6 Steps of Highly Effective Feedback.

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TLC: Real-Time Coaching: Code Coaching

Last month, we reviewed Signal Coaching, a non-verbal coaching approach. Sometimes, while meeting with a teacher, we agree on a verbal queue as an entry point for me to jump in and co-instruct with the teacher. Sometimes, the support is modeling and other times it is in the moment-co-instructing. The win-win here is that both the teacher and I jointly support the teaching and learning.

Note: I am careful not to call this approach co-teaching because co-teaching is a deeply planned approach for delivering instruction. In this instance, it is an agreed upon word, phrase or statement that secretly communicates the time for the coach to jump in and support.
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Have You Heard???

The Dropout Crisis...

Below are links to articles I came upon this past week and want to share with you. I have included a brief snippet of each article and hope you take the time to read them. I look forward to engaging in conversation regarding our the journey that lays before us.

High School Dropout Rates: Causes and Costs

Why are students dropping out?

One unchanging factor when it comes to the dropout rate is socioeconomic background. Since the National Center for Education Statistics first started tracking different groups of high school students in the late 1960s, the socioeconomic status of each pupil has impacted the graduation rate. Students from low-income families are 2.4 times more likely to drop out than middle-income kids, and over 10 times more likely than high-income peers to drop out.

Household income is the not the only disadvantage many dropouts have, though. Students with learning or physical disabilities drop out at a rate of 36 percent. Some behaviors that are often characteristic in dropouts include being retained from advancing a grade level with peers, relocating during the high school years and the general feeling of being left out or alienated by peers or adults at the school. Overall, a student who does not fit the traditional classroom mold, or who falls behind for some reason, is more likely to lose motivation when it comes to high school and decide to give up altogether.

How valuable is a high school diploma?

The U.S. Census Bureau estimates that dropouts bring in just $20,241 annually, which is $10,000 less than high school graduates and over $36,000 less than a person holding a bachelor’s degree. The poverty rate for dropouts is over twice as high as college grads, and the unemployment rate for dropouts is generally 4 percentage points higher than the national average. In the end, the lifetime earnings of high school dropouts are $260,000 LESS than peers who earn a diploma.

Click here to
Click here to download the article

Is the Dropout Rate Really A Crisis?

What is the high school dropout rate in the U.S.?

According to the National Center for Education Statistics, the national dropout rate was 7 percent in 2011. The number is calculated by taking the number of 16 to 24 year olds that are not enrolled in school and do not have a diploma, or a general educational development (G.E.D.) certificate. In 1990, that number was 12 percent so based on that criteria, the dropout rate has dropped in the past two decades. In fact, dropout numbers have been on the decline since 1970 when it was 15 percent. Perhaps a more interesting stat is that the percentage of 16 to 24-year-old dropouts who were in employed in 1970 is the same as 2011 – 49.8 percent. As dropout rates have declined, the importance of finishing high school has increased in America. One big problem with the NCES dropout calculations are that they imply that a high school diploma and G.E.D. are equal when it comes to opportunities for earners. In reality, studies have found that G.E.D. holders earn about the same amount as dropouts long term.

Who is dropping out?

Since the government started tracking the dropout rates specifically for Hispanic students in 1972, this group has consistently had the highest percentages.
Click here to
Click here to download the article
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The Most Important Pi Day We Will Ever...

Every year, Pi Day is celebrated on March 14; however, this year 2015 brings a very special experience to Pi. Can you see it? Yes...Pi equals 3.141592653589... But if you look closely, you will see that this year we will actually live Pi!

3.141592653 = March 14, 2015, 9:26:53 Am or PM (Yes we get to experience it twice)!

The first calculation of pi was done by Archimedes of Syracuse (287–212 BC), one of the greatest mathematicians of the ancient world. Archimedes approximated the area of a circle by using the Pythagorean Theorem to find the areas of two regular polygons: the polygon inscribed within the circle and the polygon within which the circle was circumscribed.

To say the least, it is all Fascinating stuff! So where ever you are at on Saturday, be sure to take a moment to absorb this very unique time in space.

Click here to learn more about Pi


District Information

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2015 Support Employee of the Year Finalist Announced...Memorial Jr High

Yes - It's True! Our very own Ms. Penny Plaster from Memorial Junior High is a finalist for the Support Employee of the Year. Read more about it here. What a SMILE!

We are behind your Ms. Penny!

Parent-Teacher Conference Schedule -> submit via email

Be sure to submit via email your Parent-Teacher Conference Schedule to Ms. Kathleen Rasco and me. I will stop by as many as I can.

Important Dates

3/10 Leadership Development Day (Wilson)

3/13 Parent Teacher Conferences (submit your schedule via email)

3/13 Spend additional Tech Funds (first window)

3/16-3/20 Spring Break (No School)

3/23 Quarter 4 starts

** 4/3 Early Release Day

Star Student of The week


Cornelius has made impressive Academic gains since the start of the school! Lets get to know him a bit more...

Q. What high school would you like to go to?

A. East Central High School

Q. What is something fun you like to do when you are not in school?

A. Play sports

Q. Do you plan to attend college? If so, where

A. Yes. ORU

Q. What is a big dream you have for yourself?

A. To make it to college

Q. What is your most successful accomplishment this year?

A. Getting good grades

Keep up the GREAT WORK Cornelius! You will make it to college!

Community Outreach

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Are you in the Tweet-Tweet Community?

Getting into the Social Media world can be very intimidating. Personally, I have come to understand that the most important thing is to have a Brand and be consistent. Twitter is another way of briefly sharing what is happening in your immediate community as well as being in the know of what is happening with those you connected with.

in Twitter, you only have 140 characters to share your thought and you "tag" it by using the (hashtag) # + a common phrase. For example: #oklaed = Oklahoma Educators. I can understand how this may all seem a bit confusing, but as we continue to learn together how to leverage Social Media - we will grow our presence together.

Whether you are new or an expert user, I offer this up as a resource to strengthen your Social Media presence.


5 Tips for Using Twitter

10 Must Learn Lessons for those new to Twitter

Feel free to view mine here

Get To Know...

One Of Our Leaders...Meet Darin

1) What did you do before working for TPS? A) I was an Assistant Principal at Jenks High School for 7 ½ years and taught Science 7 ½ years at the same school before that
2) How many siblings do you have? A) A brother and a sister. Both in education
3) What is something you look forward to this year? A) A vacation with the family
4) What is your favorite quote? A) Attitude is Everything

5) Who would you like interviewed next? A) Caleb Starr or Mike Crase