Shawnee Trail Elementary, January 11, 2015

SHAWNEE TRAIL MISSION: Why do we exist? What is our fundamental purpose?

  • To create a safe, nurturing and inclusive environment, to inspire ALL students to become passionate, lifelong learners.
  • To make meaningful and enjoyable connections as we educate the whole child academically, emotionally, and socially.

At Shawnee Trail we believe ALL Means ALL:

  • ALL students will learn at their highest levels.
  • ALL decisions are based on what is best for students and are aligned with the mission of our school.
  • ALL, students and teachers, learn by doing and building on our own strengths and the strengths of others.

Collective Commitments:

Cultivate a collaborative culture of continuous improvement:

  • Read all resources before collaborative learning meetings.
  • Be prepared to share, listen and participate in all group discussions.

Foster a save supportive and trusting environment:

  • Start on time.
  • Be engaged 100% of the time. (Leave unnecessary distractions behind and focus wholly on the tasks at hand.)
  • Collaborate and contribute equally and meaningfully

Practice all of these collective commitments by asking, “How did we do? Are we holding ourselves accountable for the team’s norms?”

  • Be willing to apologize or confront with passion and purpose when a team member fails to honor the commitments.

Celebrate success large and small.


Shawnee Trail is The Best School in FISD!

SHOUT OUT to Shannon for her dedication to Shawnee Trail. She is such a vital part of our school family! We cannot do it without your support!

Lindsie Petty wants to give a SHOUT OUT to Casie Schneider for always being there for our kiddos and for 'saving the day' for us teachers.

SHOUT OUT to Trickett, Feichtinger, and Abbas! All were observed putting the question/conversation stems into play after Wednesday's staff learning meeting.

SHOUT OUT to 1st and 2nd grade! Their learning meetings were strategic and had rich discussion.

SHOUT OUT to all staff for consistently emailing Collaborative Planning meeting and Progress Monitoring meeting notes to the ILT team.

SHOUT OUT to the AMP team for being part of our professional learning! We appreciate your contributions and collaboration!!

Whitney wants to give the specials teachers a SHOUT OUT for working hard to teach our students and a SHOUT OUT to her teammates for their work ethic. "They are always thinking about what is best for our students and how to support one another!"

Professional Learning


We've had lots of positive feedback about last week's staff meeting. Mia enjoyed being part of our learning time. The district ICs spent some of their time together this week on the same subject, academic discourse. We've already seen students successfully practicing some of the question/conversations stems in classrooms.

Heather, Shannon and I will meet Tuesday to revise our SMART goal and plan for future professional learning. We would like to have your teams facilitate several more after school professional development opportunities. Watch for a follow-up email Tuesday or Wednesday.

Get Students Talking to Each Other

Language is how we think. It's how we process information and remember. It's our operating system. Vygotsky (1962) suggested that language is the tool children use to find solutions to a problem before acting impulsively and is necessary for mastering academic learning. To foster problem solving and increase student engagement, classrooms should be filled with academic conversation, because conversation is a requirement of thinking.

Here are a few links to short videos that provide practical ideas for increasing students' academic discourse.


  • Be sure to copy the ILT on emails when scheduling learning walks. We want to be sure at least one of us is able to attend with you.

January's Character Focus is Grit

Grit is perseverance and passion for long-term goals.

As an educator, you may be hearing a lot about grit these days—and with good reason. Studies show that kids who demonstrate grit persist at hard tasks and outperform their competitors. Grit is a critical strength of most people who are successful. It is especially complex because it is related to other skills and mindsets such as optimism, purpose, growth mindset, bravery, and even self-control.

There are a lot of misconceptions about grit. Grit is much more than just encouraging kids to “try harder” or not give up—it’s also about helping kids find their passion. Having grit does not mean never quitting—it means quitting responsibly (and not just because times get tough) and sticking to the things to which you are truly dedicated.

Observing Grit

Grit is a combination of passion and persistence. Demonstrating grit could involve:

  • Finish what you begin.
  • Staying committed to your goals.
  • Working hard even after experiencing failure if when you feel like quitting.
  • Sticking with a project or activity for more than a few weeks.

January Reminders:

Monday, Jan. 11

  • 1st Grade CogAT Testing
  • Food Drive through Jan. 15th

Tuesday, Jan. 12

  • 1st Grade CogAT Testing
  • 4th & 5th Grade Choir Practice 2:50-3:30

Wednesday, Jan. 13

  • 1st Grade CogAT Testing

Friday, Jan 15

  • GMST
  • Protected Day

Monday, Jan. 18

  • MLK Day/Holiday

Tuesday, Jan. 19

  • Instructional Team Leader Meeting 7:10-7:50
  • Protected Day
  • School Board Appreciation Day
  • 4th & 5th Grade Choir Practice 2:50-3:30
  • Campus Intervention/Discipline Team Meeting 3:15-4:00

Wednesday, Jan. 20

  • Dinah Chancellor
  • Staff Meeting 3:15-4:15
  • Watch-Dog Kickoff @ 6:30

Thursday, Jan. 21

  • Dinah Chancellor here
  • Report Cards go home

Friday, Jan. 22

  • GMST

January Birthdays

Christie Seda 1/3

Antonio Ayala 1/15

Elizabeth Meza 1/24

Best of the Best

"The spirit, the will to win, and the will to excel are the things that endure. These qualities are so much more important than the events that occur." Vince Lombardi

Looking forward to seeing us of all together tomorrow, united in our spirit to give our students the greatest education possible, one that will build a strong education foundation and love of learning.

Enjoy a special treat in the pass-through Friday!