ARMS Legend

Excellence Without Boundaries

Big image

September 28, 2015 1st Six Weeks, Week 6


Principal Message

Greeting Rangers!

I was inspired this weekend at the Teaching Trust Executive Ed. Team training, by the words and thought process of Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. He gave a speech at Western Michigan University on December 18th, 1963 where he addressed the idea of creative maladjustment.
Maladjustment can be defined as, one's inability to react successfully and satisfactorily to the demands of one's environment. Dr. King, described his resolution to being maladjusted for the betterment of mankind. He stated,

"But I say to you, my friends, as I move to my conclusion, that there are some things in our society and somethings in our world to which I am proud to be maladjusted, and I call upon all men of good will to be maladjusted to these things until the good society is realized. I say very honestly that I never intend to become adjusted to segregation and discrimination. I never intend to become adjusted to religious bigotry. I never intend to adjust myself to economic conditions that will take necessities from the many to give luxuries to the few. I never intend to adjust myself to the madness of militarism, to self-defeating effects of physical violence. "

As I listened to what Dr. King shared and how he embraced his maladjustment, I asked myself what this meant to me, about education in general an our ARMS community.
I will never adjust to the notion we do not have the ability to change the trajectory of a students' life. I will never adjust to the notion that the quality of education should differ based on what zip code one resides. The list goes on and on.

What do his words mean to you? What maladjustment will you embrace? Or what will you never be adjusted to?

Please take a minute and provide a comment at the end of the ARMS Legend (in the comment section). BE MALADJUSTED!!

Ranger Pride!
F. Taylor
Big image

TG2 Spotlight

TG2 Spotlight is an opportunity for staff members to highlight another staff member who has demonstrated Team, Grit, or Growth. Please provide the characteristic you are spotlighting them for (Team, Grit, or Growth), a brief explanation, and a picture (if you can). In your email to me, Subject line should read: RED: SPOTLIGHT: (Teacher Name). We will spotlight two people a week.
Big image

ARMS Counselors!

Thank you ARMS Counselors for your unrelenting commitment to our students academic and social emotional success! Thank you for once again involving the whole campus in being college minded!!

ARMS Teacher Websites

Ms. Chapa would like to "shine a spotlight" on Ms. Leake and Ms. Burns for the work on their websites.

Ms. Chapa will be supporting all teachers as we develop sites for all our classrooms. She is learning much about your content as she reviews and approves the sites. Sites will begin to be connected to the ARMS website.
Click here to input your website link.

Ms. Leake's site

Ms. Burns site


Big image

Ranger News

Executive Education Teaching Trust Monthly Meetings

The Executive Ed. Team will begin the monthly Wednesday meetings, this Wednesday 9/30.

The entire leadership team will be off campus on this one day, each month. Administrators have already spoken to their teams and there will be staff members who will be taking a more active role on these Wednesdays.

Officer Hopkins and Ms. Chapa will be supporting throughout the day and overseeing lunches.

All hands on deck is critical every day and especially on this one day a month. Our systems are in place and everyone is leading ARMS WAY ALL Day, with our students. We want to have a heightened awareness because the support from administration will not be readily available.

Please ensure that on these Wednesdays that you do everything in your power to be on campus. Due to the administrative team being off campus, arrange for any planned absences to happen on days other than these.

Refer to ARMS Calendar for dates.

SLO Revisions Completed by Monday, Oct. 28th

  • Thank you teachers for being thoughtful in choosing your SLO's and students groups!! Your efforts will drive the positive impact on your students and your growth as a teacher.
  • CRITICAL ACTION STEP: Ensure you have shared your SLO with your administrator. I noticed some teachers are "In Progress" mode.
  • CRITICAL ACTION STEP: If you have multiple SLO entries, delete the SLO entries that you started in error.

DISD Compliance Videos:
Click here for more information. As a reminder, the videos provide you with a wealth of information in regards to health and safety. Due date Oct. 31st. Please do not let this responsibility be left to the last minute. The videos are lengthy.

75% enrollment in ARMS PTA

Thank you to everyone for supporting the PTA, which is in turn supporting teachers and the ARMS community. 100% is right around the corner (and so are those jeans :-).

October 17th is right around the corner!! Please Sign Up!

ARMS for the Cure:

The ARMS Community Service Team has formed the Ann Richards Race team has been formed for Susan G. Komen. The team name is ARMS for the Cure. We hope to have a group of staff, students, and community members to join us for the race.

33rd Annual Komen Dallas Race for the Cure
NorthPark Center - 8687 North Central Expressway, Dallas, TX 75225
Saturday, October 17

Our team site can be found here:

October IS here before we know it so let’s get involved!

ARMS Campus Wide Math Support

REVISION: Math Blitz will be moved to THURSDAYS.
Math Blitz will be starting Oct. 8th. Please be on the look out for email communications from Mrs. Davis and Mrs. Addison on the preparation sessions and further explanation of the process. Thank you in advance to Mrs. Davis and Mrs. Addison for their commitment and hard work that this initiative is going to entail!!
Big image
Pertinent campus wide WAIP information will be posted in the weekly ARMS Legend. Please ensure that you stay informed of district updates and general information. WAIP information that is specific to a team, grade, content, will be emailed directly.

Fall ACP Filum Festival

Please make sure that you have signed up to view the Fall ACP. This is a phenomenal opportunity for teachers to have insight into the content and structure of the test.
Click here for more information.

State Fair Tickets

Middle Schools are to pick up tickets at the district office between Oct. 12 - Oct. 15th. We will have tickets available to staff and students on either Oct. 13th or 14th.
Big image

Marshall Memo

What is the Marshall Memo?

Kim Marshall was a teacher, principal, and central office administrator in Boston for 32 years. He currently advises and coaches new principals through the New Leaders for New Schools program. He is also the author of the Marshall Memo. He subscribes to 64 top-quality publications, and every week he sifts through them to select the most significant articles with the most potential to improve teaching and learning.

In the spirit of our second "G" GROWTH, every week I will share 1 or 2 of the article summaries with ARMS staff. In hopes of sparking interest, sharing another perspective or strategies as we all collectively work to improve teaching and learning @ ARMS. Take what works for you, leave what doesn't.

Handling Confrontations with Particularly Challenging Students

In this AMLE Magazine article, consultant Grace Dearborn list some qualities exhibited by teachers who still love their work after 15-20 years in the classroom:

- They use effective tools for handling student misbehavior.

- They empathize with negative experiences students may be having outside the classroom that cause disruptive school behaviors.

- They aren’t discouraged by occasional bad days or bad moments.

- They don’t see themselves as failures when a student doesn’t succeed or change.

“Still,” says Dearborn, “managing difficult student behaviors eventually sucks the energy from most teachers, no matter how talented or experienced… So how can we help our most challenging students without completely depleting ourselves?”

Students with serious behavior problems have learned the hard way that adults are not trustworthy – in fact, will eventually abandon or abuse them, physically or psychologically. Deep inside, these kids hope to find an exception – a genuinely trustworthy grown-up – so they act out, putting teachers through multiple tests to see if they might be the one. “We are only human,” says Dearborn, “and in the face of such a protracted onslaught of negative behaviors that gets worse over time no matter how safe, structured, and consistent we are, no matter what consequences we use, we eventually give up. Eventually we get exhausted… And now we are just another statistic in their growing body of evidence against adults.”

When teachers are on the verge of giving up, Dearborn suggests an unusual strategy: “Imagine that all your students have an invisible subtitle running along in front of them that is communicating to the adults in their lives what they really need. Everything else – the nonsense that comes out of their mouths and bodies during difficult interactions – is just noise, interference meant to get in the way of our reading and responding to their subtitle.” For example, what the student says is, “This is stupid! Why we gotta do this?” The subtitle reads, This is hard for me. Help me to succeed and let me save face, too. Responding to the subtitle, a teacher might say, “Yes. I know this is hard and sometimes hard things feel unnecessary and we want to avoid them. But I’m here to help. Let’s work it out.”

Dearborn admits that students’ outbursts and resistance often tax our patience. “When that happens,” she says, “it’s harder for me to stay calm enough to remember to look for the subtitle, especially if I feel personally attacked.” At such times, she conjures up several default subtitles:

- Please help me!

- Don’t give up on me!

- What can I do right now to behave better?

“Any one of these helps me stay calm and respond productively to their misbehavior instead of unintentionally escalating the confrontation,” she says. “Remember, my baseline assumption is that student outbursts are tests to pass, not a show of disrespect. Consequently, it’s not personal; it’s a cry for help.”

Dearborn recommends a six-step process when a student irrationally resists a request to do something (or stop doing something):

Assume the best. “I can pass the test by being safe, structured, and consistent,” she says. “The student wants me to pass the test.”

Soft eyes, soft voice. Be calm, Dearborn advises. “I need that calm to be expressed in both my verbal and body language. If I concentrate on keeping the muscles around my eyes soft, or neutral, my voice will naturally follow.”

Offer a choice. Kids need to know that they can comply or continue to resist, and whatever they choose, there will be a consequence.

Respect the choice made. This is not personal, says Dearborn. “I am not being attacked or disrespected. It is just a test.”

Give the consequence. This can be positive or negative, depending on the choice the student makes.

Escalate the choice. If the student chooses not to comply, another more uncomfortable consequence is calmly proffered. This continues until the student complies – or is temporarily removed from the interaction or class.

“Struggling teachers sometimes hold the belief that respect is something that should automatically be afforded them because they are the adult authority figure in the room,” says Dearborn, “rather than something they must earn through a series of interactions over time. Or, from the student’s perspective, a series of tests being passed over time… [J]ust because students don’t change on the outside (behavior), that doesn’t mean they aren’t changing on the inside (belief). Some kids are battling a lifetime of not being able to trust adults. Some kids need to experience more than one year of consistent, loving accountability in order to internalize trust.”

“Compassionate Discipline: Dealing with Difficult Students” by Grace Dearborn in AMLE Magazine, September 2015 (Vol. 3, #2, p. 8-11),; Dearborn can be reached at

Addressing Various Parent Concerns

In this article in Principal Leadership, New Jersey social worker/family therapist Brett Novick lists some troublesome parent behaviors and suggests ways to deal with each one:

My child is never at fault – “Stick to the facts,” advises Novick. “Document your conversations… Documentation can help clarify facts, reduce emotional exaggeration, and avoid legal disputes.” To prevent teachers, administrators, and other adults being played off against each other, he suggests including the student in meetings.

The teacher or administrator must be wrong about what my child did – Let the parent have his or her say first, says Novick. “Encouraging parents to share their worries first enables you to remind them in a firm-yet-understanding tone that the rules of the school apply even if they don’t necessarily agree with all of them.” It’s helpful to have another educator present at the meeting.

He’s your problem now – “Some parents are drowning in a world of financial despair and/or emotional, physical, or family issues,” says Novick. “First, see if these survival concerns are being met.” If the parent isn’t in a position to help with a child’s issues, work with the school counselor to find rewards, motivations, and consequences within the school.

Second-guessing teachers and administrators – Don’t always assume the worst and avoid getting defensive, says Novick. The parent may be using questions about the curriculum and other matters to understand what’s going on and feel part of a child’s education. “The more information that these parents have on the front-end, the less apt they are to question how things were handled on the back-end,” he says.

Harassing, intimidating, or bullying behaviors – When parents are in this mode, Novick advises against using e-mail (it can come across as confrontational) or picking up the phone while angry. Timeliness is also important – getting to the parent with the school’s side of the story before the child has a chance to stoke anger at home.

My child will attend school when he or she chooses to – Look for patterns in children’s absence, advises Novick, as well as signs of abuse or neglect, and provide missed work for chronically absent children.

Passive-aggressive behavior – Becoming too friendly with parents – accepting a daily cup of coffee or a bagel, chatting on social media or the soccer field, accepting a compliment that includes an invidious comparison with another educator – can come back to haunt you, says Novick. Maintain appropriate boundaries at all times.

My child is being victimized by teachers (or other students) – Steer the conversation away from blaming or victimizing, says Novick. “Remind them that it is the behavior that you are addressing. You are not condemning their child’s character or, consequently, their parenting skills.” In addition, it’s important for the school to work toward consistent discipline policies from classroom to classroom.

Helicoptering – Be proactive in contacting these parents and affirming their deep and passionate concern for their children’s well-being. “These parents are concerned that their child will not be able to handle the proverbial ‘real world’ without their intervention,” says Novick. “When you report successes to the parents, it helps them to realize that they do not have to do everything for their child.”

Distrustful of public schools, administrators, and teachers – “Don’t focus on being right or wrong,” says Novick. “Focus on what is right for the student.” And look for face-saving “win-win” solutions.

“The 10 Most Challenging Types of Parents – and How to Work With Them” by Brett Novick in Principal Leadership, September 2015 (Vol. 15, #1, p. 44-48), no e-link available

Back to page one

WEEKLY EVENTS ( 9/28 - 10/3)

ARMS Athletic Events -

Plan on attending at least 1 of our students athletic event!! Our students love to see us there supporting them!

ARMS vs. Gaston @ Forester Athletic Complex
Monday, September 28, 7th grade @ 6 pm and 8th grade @ 7:30 pm

ARMS vs. Gaston @ Bryan Adams HS
Thursday, October 1st, B-team 6:30 pm & A-team 7:30 pm

Cross Country:
Saturday, October 3, Seagoville Invitational,
Time: TBA
@ Seagoville High School

Come Support our Rangers!!
EMPOWER Team meetings - Tuesday, 9/29, 7:30-8:00 -Review Rubric &Checklist (Parent conference Center)
1st Six Week Common Assessment -
Tuesday, 9/29
1st Six Week Common Assessment - Wednesday 9/30
POD Meetings w/APs will occur this week, AP will communicate more details
Executive Ed Team Teaching Trust Day -
Wednesday, 9/30
SBDM Meeting - Wednesday, September 30, 5:00-6:00 p.m. (in the library)
1st six weeks end -
Friday, October 2.
Math Saturday Tutoring -
Saturday, October 3

Be on the Look Out for in October

On the Horizon: October

2nd Six Weeks Begin - 10/5
POD Action Planning -
10/6 (POD Leader)
EMPOWER Team Meeting -
10/7, 7:30-8:00 (Parent Conference Center)
7th Grade Free Dress Day -
Ignite Academy -
Thursday, 10/8, 4:30-5:30, in the library
$1 Student Jean Day -
Friday, 10/9
Region 10 Math PD - Saturday, ELL Math 10/10, 9:00-1:00 p.m.
Region 10 ELAR PD -
Saturday, Expos. Writing - 10/10, 9:00-1:00 p.m.
Science Saturday School -
Saturday, 10/10 9:00 - 12:00 p.m.
Executive Ed. Teaching Trust Day - Saturday, 10/10, 800 - 5:00 pm

ARMS Climate Survey (Staff & Students) - Monday, 10/12
POD Action Meeting (AP)- Tuesday, 10/13
Coffee w/Principal - Wednesday, 10/14, 8:45 AM in Library (NEW TIME)
Parent Workshop - Wednesday, 10/14, 9:30 AM in Library (NEW TIME)
Empower Team Meeting - Thursday, 10/15, 7:30 AM, Parent Center
Ignite Academy- Thursday, 10/15, 4:30 -5:30, in Library
Free Dress - Grade level who earns Best Attendance (TBA), Thursday, 10/15
Middle School Fair Day (No School) - Friday, 10/16
Susan B. Komen Race for the Cure - Saturday, 10/17

ARMS Institute - Monday, 10/19, 8-4:30pm in Library
POD Leader Meeting - Tuesday, 10/20, 7:30 AM - 8:00 AM, in Library
POD Action Meetings (PL)- Tuesday, 10/20
Staff Breakfast - Hosted by 6th Grade, Wednesday, 10/21 in Teacher's Lounge
ARMS Parent Info Night for DISD Magnet School - 6:30 - 7:30 pm
Ignite Academy, Thursday, 10/22, 4:30 -5:30, in Library
Student $1 Jean Day- Friday, 10/23
Halloween Desert Bake Off, Friday 10/23, in Teacher's Lounge (all three lunches)
Social Studies Saturday School - Saturday, 10/23, 9 -12
Region 10 - ARMS ELL Training PD, Saturday, 9 -1pm, in Library

POD Action Meeting (AP) - Tuesday, 10/27
Staff Meeting - Tuesday, 10/27, 4:30 - 5:30 pm, in Library
Empower Meeting - Wednesday, 10/28, 7:30 am, in Parent Center
ARMS University -Wednesday, 10/28, POD time, in Library
Parent Workshop - Thursday, 10/29, 9:30 - 10:30 in Library
Fall Student Dance - Friday, 10/30 (Time TBA), in cafeteria
Compliance Videos Due - Friday, 10/30 (via Region 10)

ARMS Calendar Has Been Updated~ Please Review

Take a moment to review the highlights of our ARMS Calendar. One more way to be informed. Click here for updated ARMS Fall Calendar.
Big image
Big image
ARMS GT students robotics training on Saturday, 9/26, at UT Dallas,Issac Green and Logan Cantu

The Most Important Work of our Time! Always remember YOUR IMPACT!

Ann Richards Middle School

At Ann Richards MS, our vision is to be a flagship middle school at the hub of the community, nurturing diverse leaders, and empowering intelligent trailblazers.