Ram Nation News

Week of April 29, 2019


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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We are #OnANewLevel and I am excited of the difference that we continue to make in the lives if our kids. We had a very busy week!!!

As you know, our goal is to accelerate transformation and ensure our kids have access to quality education. As we received results from the first STAAR administration for 8th grade, looking at the grade to grade comparison, in reading we improved 8% points from 68% last year to 76%this year . In math, we had a 12% gain from 75% last year to 87% this year. Also, analyzing the cohort of students, they had an overall improvement in reading of 11% from 65% in 7th grade to 76% in 8th grade; in math, they had an overall growth of 24% from 63% in 7th grade to 87% in 8th grade. We know that we are on the path to show great academic results and improvement as a campus!!! We are seeing lots of great performance and growth!! 8th grade set the bar very high.

Each one of you plays a critical role in shaping the lives of our kids as you are that beacon of hope for our students. However, in order to be the best, we must perfect our various practices and adapt to change.

  • We still have 5 weeks left before the end of the year as we prepare our students for the next grade level. Also, we have 10 days before our students face the next milestone, STAAR testing; therefore
  • we must be purposeful and strategic on how we target our instruction to meet our students' needs and address their gaps.
  • We know that aggressive monitoring is one of the instructional strategies that quickly improves student learning. This strategy will continue to assist us in making sure our students are on track to meet their goals, they are implementing their subject knowledge in everything that they do, and are focused in the learning.

Attendance Review

Regular attendance is essential to providing students with opportunities to learn.

Check out the percent for attendance for the week of 4/15- 4/18:

  • 6th Grade - 95.27% an improvement of 1.56% from last week.
  • 7th Grade - 96.35% an improvement of 1.42% from last week and continues to lead the attendance board!
  • 8th Grade - 94.52%

Let's continue to encourage our students to be present and on time on a daily basis. It really makes a huge difference when our students are present learning.

Thank You

  • Ms. Rocha, Mr. Martin, Mr. Patel, Ms. Perez, Ms. Iberosi, Ms. Rendon, Ms. Vasquez, and Ms. Tucker, for their dedication, commitment, and support as they attended Saturday School providing small group support as they addressed low TEKS and areas of improvement. I know students took advantage of this opportunity and are grateful for having your support. Also, Mr. Ramirez, Ms. Cruz, and Ms. Valdez for opening the building and
  • Ms. Turnbull, and Ms. Shelby as they participated in the final coaching session of the No Bully program. We are seeing great results in the reduction of bullying reports!!
  • Coach Ford and Ms. Buitron for their dedication to our softball team. They had a game on Saturday and had a great game; our students finished the game in a tied game giving us a shot at the championship depending on the scores from another team. What a great season!!!
  • Ms. Beck, Ms. Barrera, Ms. Acosta, Ms. Robles, and Ms. Thorns as, on May 3, we celebrate School Lunch Hero Day recognizing and celebrating our cafeteria workers for their work and their contributions making Rusk a better place. Let's take some time to thank them for their service and for all they do for us.

Growth Mindset

We must believe that our students can learn and will learn even. We must provide the opportunities for our students to grow and shine!

High Expectations

Our students continue to rise to the level of expectations that we have set for them. We know that we also have to have high expectations for ourselves so that we can make the highest impact in our kids.

Inspiring Relationships

Our district's goal number four is about supporting students and the participation in extracurricular or cocurricular activities; it is great to see our students participating in the various sports and activities. Our students continue to represent our school in a very positive way; we are very proud of their accomplishments!!!

We had many events taking place; see below....

Academic Pentathlon

Under Ms. Brown's guidance and leadership and Ms. Baker's support, our students participated in this academic competition. We believe in the potential of our students and they represented us very well; they worked hard and took 2nd place in the Super Quiz!


Under Mr Johnson’s leadership, our students did a phenomenal job in the last debate competition of this year. So many staff and family members came out to support our kids on the "City Championship" debate competition. Shout out to Mrs. Woods, Mr. & Mrs. Feaster, Mr. Cooper, Mr. & Mrs. Lewis, Ms. Perez, and Ms. Minter.


Join me in congratulating our cheerleaders in winning 1st place during the competition In Oklahoma City. They are very excited about this accomplishment and we are very proud of them. Shout out to Ms Turnbull and Ms Gray for their leadership and guidance.

School Priority # 3 is to broaden constructive relationships with the members of school community.

The health fair sponsored by UT South Western was a success. This was a great community event where we had over 700 people attend. We had several students who volunteered and supported the event as well as many of them who actively participated in the various activities. Let's continue to make sure we encourage parent participation in school events, parent workshops, and parent conferences to create partnerships to build the whole child.

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  • As we work on making sure all of our students meet their goals to finish their year successfully, let's work on tracking students' performance and progress by having students profile (use link to access two samples of profile sheets to use) and conduct conferences with students so that they know what mistakes they made as they take their daily DOL. Also, set goals so they know what they need to do to achieve and make significant progress. (TEI 1.2 and 1.5)
  • Aggressive Monitoring (see tracker and coding system if needed) should be done with at least the independent practice and DOL. Remember it is a check for understanding where all students receive feedback. You planned your pathway keeping in mind students level of achievement; then, you announce your laps, execute the pathway and provide feedback to students in the moment using the aggressive monitoring trackers and coding system. Every student receives written and verbal feedback. If you see an error or misconception clear it up immediately using the 3 Fs (feedback, fix it, follow up), show call, or modeling. (TEI 2.2)
  • As we continue to strengthen a great and solid testing environment to support the success of our Rusk Rams, use the active monitoring sheet for testing during your CDOL or any testing that may be longer than 45 minutes so that you can collect qualitative data to make instructional decisions and to have goal conversations with our students.

  • It is critical to be prepared with lessons and materials to avoid having issues with students. When we are not prepared, our students can tell and will find their own way of entertainment. (TEI 3.1)
  • We must have 100% presence in the hallway during transition times. Our students notice when there is a lack of adult presence in the hallways and will take advantage of it.
  • Submit lesson plans by Thursday at 6:00 p.m. (TEI 4.2)


Monday, April 29

  • B-Day.
  • Extended Observations and SPOTs continue
  • 2nd Period - Student Surveys. Follow protocol shared during meeting.
  • Meet with your grade level teams to align your Lesson Plans, determine misconceptions, create exemplars, and analyze data for your students.
  • 4:45 - 5:45 - Monday Meeting - Library
  • 6:00 Softball Makeup game - pending and waiting confirmation of details.

Tuesday, April 30-

  • A-Day.
  • 9:00 - 2:00 Model UN at Ellis Davis Field House - Ms. Ingram
  • 1:30 - 3:30 AVID End of the Year Certification - Ms. Baker
  • Shirt distribution "I Am the Future" - Ms. Miranda, Ms. Zuniga, Ms. Galvan, and Ms. Saucedo will coordinate through lunches.
  • Meet with your grade level teams to align your Lesson Plans, determine misconceptions, create exemplars, and analyze data for your students.
  • 4:30 p.m. After School Program Continues. Let's make the best out of this time being very purposeful in the material covered with students and the students who must attend your sessions. We need to work on the recruitment of students for our after school program since it impacts student growth, our school performance, progress, and, ultimately, part of our stipends are tied to the attendance of our students to our tutoring/enrichment sessions. As a reminder, students do not have the option to opt out; if you need assistance with parents, please let anyone from the leadership team know.
  • Remember to clock out at or after 6:00 p.m. during the 2 days that you will stay after school
  • 4:30 - 6:30 Counselor Celebrations at Adamson HS
  • 6:30 - 7:30 Volunteer and Partner Awards at 5151 Samuel Blvd

Wednesday, May 1

  • B -Day.
  • Calibration Walks - We will be walking classrooms checking for alignment, exemplars, and aggressively monitoring. Ensure trackers have students listed, color-coded by band, and noting whether they are in bucket or out of bucket.
  • Meet with your grade level teams to align your Lesson Plans, determine misconceptions, create exemplars, and analyze data for your students.
  • 4:30 After school program continues - Let's be very purposeful in our lessons and our recruitment of students.
  • Remember to clock out at or after 6:00 p.m.
  • 6:00 - Softball game Vs. Tasby MS at Conrad HS.
  • 6:00 - Baseball game Vs. Tasby MS at Tasby MS.

Thursday, May 2-

  • A-Day.
  • 9:00 - 12:00 Lubbock ISD visit to learn more about ACE program and practices.
  • Weekly PLC -
  • 4:30 After school program continues.
  • 6:00 - Lesson plans due.

Friday, May 3-

  • B-Day
  • School Lunch Hero Day
  • FREE Jean day for students who wear "I Am the Future" shirt.
  • 9:00-1:30 p.m - 7th grade band field trip: Sun Fest at the Colony High School - Mr Alarcon.

Saturday, May 4-

  • Saturday School Continues - Adults 8:30 - 1:00; Students 8:45 light breakfast 9:00 - 12:30

Upcoming Events

May 8

  • Algebra EOC test

May 10

  • SLO Accomplishment Due. As you are work with students on addressing low TEKS and give common DOLs, incorporate TEKS addressed in your SLO setting in order to target this component. The deadline to submit your SLO accomplishment is May 10.

May 11

  • Oncor Kid's Race and Get Kidz Fit Fest at the Centennial Building At Fair Park from 11:00 a.m until 3:00 p.m. - Coach Addison.
  • Reunion Tower Field Trip - Tentative - Mr Patel

May 13 -16

  • 6th - 7th Math STAAR and 8th grade Math retest
  • 6th - 7th Reading STAAR and 8th grade Reading retest
  • 8th Grade Science STAAR test
  • 8th Grade Social Studies STAAR test

May 17

  • Tentative - 8th grade activities (college field trip or museum visits)
  • 6:00 - 9:00 p.m. 8th grade dance

May 20

May 22

  • ACP Begins

May 30

June 10 - 20

  • Summer Readiness - Selected personnel has been notified. All other who applied will be notified if other opportunities come up.

June 10 - 26

  • SSI - Selected personnel has been notified. All other who applied will be notified if other opportunities come up.
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2019-2020 Approved Calendar

As you begin planning your summer vacation, use this link to access our 19-20 school calendar. As an ACE campus, we will begin on August 1, 2019.

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HOW TO FINISH THE SCHOOL YEAR STRONG (click hyperlink to access the entire article)

  1. Don’t coast; instead, be more intentional. Don’t allow yourself to go on autopilot. Instead, choose to be intentional about making these last days count. Set one or two end-of-the-year goals and make it a priority to do all you can to influence your students during these last few days.

  2. Keep first things first. When you’re overwhelmed and there are a million things to do, remember to keep first things first. Focus on what really matters and realize that the rest will get done eventually. (You might also want to try the intentional procrastinating to-do list system.)

  3. Draw on relationships you’ve built. You’ve spent a whole year building relationships with your students and their parents, and as a result, you likely have more influence now than you ever did before. You may never get another chance to inspire them, believe in them, guide them, or counsel them. So take advantage of every opportunity you get to speak the truth and impact their lives.

  4. Strategically prioritize what to teach. If you’ve got way more material to cover than you have time to teach, don’t just keep plodding along. Instead, sit down and decide what is most important for them to learn. Then focus on that.

  5. Don’t plan to finish teaching too early. For those of you who are right on track and are about to finish your curriculum, I have a word of caution for you – don’t finish too early. One of my first years I finished my math curriculum a week early, planning review games for the last week. The problem was that once I told the kids we were done with the book, they turned into crazy people. Well, not really, but it was definitely much harder to keep them focused. Since then, I’ve scheduled the final test closer to the last day of school.

  6. Communicate with parents. Don’t just turn in your final grades and walk out the door. Take the time to have one last communication with the parents of kids who have struggled in your class. Give them suggestions of things they can do over the summer to help prepare their student for the next year. Even if you don’t think they’ll heed your advice, taking a few moments to send them a final email shows them how much you care about their student.

  7. Try to leave things as organized as possible. Notice I said try. Yes, there’s a bazillion things to do, but the more organized you can leave things now, the smoother things will go next fall. So take a few moments to jot down notes for yourself of what worked and what didn’t. And maybe even to tackle those disastrous desk drawers. (Do I dare even mention the closet?)

  8. Decide to enjoy these last days. Simple but profound. Instead of counting every moment till you’re done, choose to enjoy these last days you have with this group of students. Soon school will be over and you’ll be relaxing. But this opportunity – your time with these students – will be done. So choose to enjoy these days while you have them and to view them as a gift. This one mental decision will impact everything else you do.

Happy Birthday

We wish you a happy birthday!

  • Edwina Woods 4/2
  • Martin Brown 4/4
  • Barbara Perez 4/11
  • Shelly Kannada 4/22
  • Kiara Brunson 4/30