EMS ISD Administrator Newsletter

January 18, 2016

Welcome 2nd Half of the 2015-16 School Year!

In Gregory and Kaufeldt's The Motivated Brain, the question is asked, "Can we really motivate others, or is it a personal thing that happens when conditions are right?" (2015, 9). The authors go to discuss how the entire process of student engagement and motivation is so complex that it is based on the interaction of the teacher, student and curriculum and creating learning environments that function at the apex of optimal performance--a perfect balance between pressure (stress) and performance, "a 'just right' balance of excitement and challenge without undue stress for our students" (2015, 11). What a complex work we have as educators as we work to build relationships, motivate and engage, "fostering a culture of excellence" for our learners in the work!

Doing what is right is never simple; but when it is done right, it looks simple. The master teacher takes a complex lesson and has designed it with such intention that the observer would see it as a simple process. We know better. We know it takes looking at the big picture of where we want to take students, knowing what they need to be at that point, and then working backward to design the work. There is nothing simple about crafting engaging questions, planning for collaboration for engagement at the highest level, and building the lesson so that all the differentiated needs are met. It takes a team, a PLC that works together to analyze data, both formative and summative, and then based on the data designs the work to take our students to the next level while spiraling the taught content back through the lesson to close gaps. Finally, it takes the individual teacher who can frame lessons, monitor progress, give feedback with specificity, make adjustments on the fly, all the time moving the class to meet the learning target and master the standard. Creating lessons of engagement that balances the stress with the performance is a challenge, a challenge leaders must support teachers in meeting.

As administrators our work is to keep the school focused on the goals set in the Campus Instructional Focus created for 2015-16, working to remind, encourage and support the work of the PLCs as well as the individual classrooms. Time to analyze data from daily work, common assessments and benchmarks must be provided so we know the current reality of where we are, and then can adjust to make sure we get where we need to be. In the summer of 2015, we committed to learning for ALL students. We must make sure the daily routine leaves out no child. Ensuring the success of every learner is the responsibility of each of us. As our journey continues through the early months of 2016, ask yourself, "What have I done and am I doing to make sure the children on this campus are getting what they need to meet the goals we have outlined? How am I being a leader that ensures success for ALL? Are my students and teachers motivated to learn?"

Continue to "Carry the Torch!"

Dr, P

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Communications News & Information

Social Media Guidelines

With more campuses actively communicating through social media channels, the Communications team reviewed and revised our district Social Media Guidelines and Electronic Media FAQs for Employees to provide

The Social Media Guidelines outline the do's and don'ts regarding public comments on district or campus posts. We strongly suggest these guidelines be posted on your campus social media pages as Terms of Use. This will be important if/when a comment needs to be removed or a community user blocked from posting. On Facebook, this can go either in the Notes section or under the long description section in the About tab. On Twitter, it can go in the profile as a link to the district web page here: http://www.emsisd.com/Page/468. These documents are attached to this newsletter and also are posted in the Communications folder on the Administrator Toolkit. Please contact Communications if you need assistance!

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Professional Portraits

We recently completed our mid-year session for professional portraits. If you missed this session and need a portrait, please contact Megan Carradine at x2777. As we continue to build upon our professional image, it is important that all administrators have a professional headshot on your campus or department websites. The Communications department is replacing any non-professional portrait (ie selfies or cell phone photos) with the professional portraits we have on file. Some of these in our files may be outdated, so we encourage you to contact us if you would like a new photo. The next formal session with a professional photographer will be in August. Thank you for being positive, professional faces for our schools and district!

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Board Recognition Posters

Thank you to everyone who worked on posters, cards, and tokens of appreciation for our Board members! You are all so creative and came up with some great items with the super hero theme. It's obvious the amount of work that went into these -- if you would like your poster back to hang in your school, please let Amanda in the Communications office know and we will save it for you to pick up at your convenience (or bring by the next time we visit your school)! Any posters not claimed by Friday, January 22, will be discarded. Thank you again for making this a special recognition for our Board members.

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Student Heroes!

Nominations being accepted for Student Heroes Program

AUSTIN – The State Board of Education (SBOE) is now accepting nominations for the 2016 Student Heroes Award.

The Student Heroes awards program recognizes Texas public school students in prekindergarten through high school who do outstanding things to benefit their fellow Texas students.

SBOE Chair Donna Bahorich urged school leaders to nominate those students who are shining examples of good character and citizenship for their communities.

“We have so many wonderful students who give so much of their time to benefit Texas students, schools and communities,” Bahorich said. “These unselfish acts of kindness should be spotlighted and recognized by all.”

One student per each of the 15 State Board of Education districts can be recognized for this annual honor. Anyone may nominate a public school student for the award. Award requirements include:

  • The service/assistance or good deed must be voluntary and not part of any curriculum, graduation requirements or class or community project.
  • The service/assistance or good deed must benefit other students in Texas, either individually or as a whole.
  • The benefit may be to students of one campus, a district or a community.

Recipients of the Student Heroes awards will be announced in May. A certificate of recognition will be awarded to the Student Hero by his or her State Board of Education member. The deadline for nominations is March 11.

Nomination forms and program guidelines are available at http://tea.texas.gov/About_TEA/News_and_Multimedia/Awards/Student_Heroes/ or for more information please email heroes@tea.texas.gov .

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Crisis Team & AED Drill Reminder

Principals, if you have not done so already, please meet with your nurse to get the crisis team members set up and look at available dates to meet as a team and to set up an AED drill? Most have completed this, but this is a reminder for those that have not yet completed this drill.

Transfer Guideline Update

The 2016-2017 transfer guidelines have been updated, and the new forms are available on the website. The 2016-2017 In-District Transfer Request Forms can be submitted beginning Monday, February 15, 2016 - Friday, April 22, 2016. Consideration for these requests will not occur until after May 23, 2016. Late transfer requests received after the Friday, April 22, 2016 deadline will not be considered until after Monday, June 27, 2016. Parents/guardians that submit a late transfer request after Friday, April 22, 2016 must contact Student Services beginning Monday, June 27, 2016 to check the status of their transfer request.

Dates to Remember

Jan. 20 AP LEAD 8:30--11:30 @ Saginaw Elementary & 12:30-3:30@Boswell HS

Jan. 21 DLT @ HCTC 8:30--4:00 Communications Training

Jan. 24-26--TASA Midwinter @ Austin

Feb. 2 EDGAR Training--Finance Training for Federal Funds HCTC 8:30--3:30

Feb. 4 ALI 2 Meetings HCTC

Feb. 5 Principals Writers Workshop 8:00-10:00 HCTC

Feb. 17 Digital Learning Day

Feb. 18 DLT @ HCTC 8:30-11:30

Feb. 19 Elementary Principals at EMES for Link Project 8:30-10:30

Feb. 29-March 4 Celebrate TX Public Schools Week

March 14-18 Spring Break

March 25 Bad Weather Day

May 28 Foundation Academic Excellence Awards Gala HCTC 6:30 pm

Celebrating our Students in EMS ISD!

Individual Student Goal Setting at Northbrook Elementary using Technology!

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Celebrating our pilot program LINK!