Ram Nation News

Week of September 4, 2018

Vision

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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#OnANewLevel

I trust you had a great and relaxed 3-day weekend and are now refreshed for our third week in school. We are #OnANewLevel very strong, with a lot of enthusiasm and positive attitude. I know that each one of you continue to work hard being very purposeful in the planning and execution of each lesson. Also, I have seen the strengthening and collaboration of the various teams as you build trust as the foundation of a high effective team. Our students are very blessed to have a group of dedicated and enthusiastic educators as part of their educational path.


Ms. Saucedo and her family worked this weekend in beautifying our teacher's lounge. One of the boards displays the picture above which reminds me of the reason why we selected each one of you. I am very proud of the team that we have become and that each one of you chose to be a part of this team!!! There is a high level of responsibility when hand picking teachers, great teachers. Research shows that a good teacher not only improves academic achievement in the classroom, but also enhances his or her chances to attend college and earn more money. Also, as educators, we have a very significant, lifelong impact on all of our students. This impact involves not only the teaching of particular academic skills, but building the whole child and fostering students' self-esteem.


We hand picked each one of you because the qualities you displayed related to laser-focused work, growth mindset, high expectations, and inspiring relationships. Because of our shared beliefs and our implementation, our students will have a bright future with a life of opportunities.

Attendance

Regular attendance is essential to providing students with opportunities to learn. It is awesome to see all of our students being on time to school and transitioning in an expedited manner from class to class. While we know that there have been changes in schedules and students have been enrolling during the last two weeks, the following is the percent for attendance for the week of 8/27 - 8/31: 6th Grade - 96.95%; 7th Grade - 97.29%; and 8th Grade 97.21%. Way to go 7th grade team!!!!

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

  • All teachers who have updated bulletin boards; I have noticed many appealing and purposeful displays reflecting what is taking place in our classrooms and promoting a college-going culture.
  • All teachers and support staff who are on time and present during morning duty and present during transitions so that our students are safe while building positive relationship with each one of them.
  • Mr. Willis for his leadership and support as he has agreed to be our Safety Coordinator for this year. We had a very smooth fire drill last week and will make some adjustments to decrease our evacuation time.
  • Ms. Guerra, Ms. Woods, and Ms. Davis for their leadership as they led the expectations assemblies with their respective grade levels. We know that having these type of conversations with our students helps to have everyone on the same page and have a clear understanding of our expectations. Couldn't ask for a better group of principals!!!
  • Ms. Rendon and Ms. Ingram for the support and being a team player as they have been working diligently making sure that materials and lessons are ready for the substitute teacher filling in for the science and social studies vacancy respectively. We are excited that we have our science teacher on board and we have recommended the candidate for the social studies position.

Climate and Culture

There is a quote that says, "Classroom culture is the shadow of the teacher." It is very important to being purposeful in setting a great culture and building inspiring relationships with our students and colleagues. Below we see Ms. Vargas consistently greeting students at the threshold of her classroom door. Also, Mr. Geiger builds relationships with students as he plays football while students wait for the buses. Finally, Ms. Saucedo's family came together to support our campus and having a nice place for break time.

Collaboration in PLCs

It is great to see our staff members collaborating in PLCs as we grow as a high effective team. In the various collaborations I have observed, there is an increased commitment to the mission and goals of the school. There is a shared responsibility for the total development of students and collective responsibility for students' success. Also, there is powerful learning that defines good teaching and classroom practices. Below, we see Ms. Woods and Ms. Guerra with their respective teams depth in the learning and collaboration.

REMINDERS FOR THE THIRD WEEK OF SCHOOL

  • Continue to be prepared and provide high expectations for our students. Remember, consistency is key and will set up our students for success. (TEI 1.5 and 3.2)
  • Greet students with smiles and consistent firmness (TEI 3.3)
  • In order to have a solid foundation for our climate and culture, it is critical that we practice and be intentional about one of our core values - Inspiring Relationships. During arrival and transitions, let's ensure we are present in the hallways and be very intentional in narrating the positive while encouraging students to follow WALQ and getting to class on time. (TEI 3.3)
  • Be very consistent in the effective implementation of various practices discussed during our TEI orientation and lesson alignment conversations. With regards to Alignment (learning objective), the proficient rating states: Focuses students at the beginning and throughout the lesson, by clearly stating (TEI 2.1)
    • What they are learning
    • Why it is important
    • What mastery looks like
    • How to connect it to prior knowledge and their own lives and explaining to students
  • Engage learners throughout your lessons. It will support the increase in student achievement and reduce disruptions. (TEI 2.4 and 3.3)
  • As you continue to update your bulletin boards, ensure that you have an appealing and purposeful display to reflect what is taking place in your classroom. (TEI 3.1)
  • Submit lesson plans by Thursday at 6:00 p.m. (TEI 4.2)

DAILY EVENTS

Monday, September 3-
  • Labor Day - No School

  • Tuesday, September 4-
    • Staff is reminded that summer dress code ended Friday, Aug. 31. The district will return to full business attire on Tuesday, Sept. 4. For more information about the district’s dress code, see DH Local.
    • Doors will continue to open at 7:40 a.m. everyday.
    • Meet with your grade level teams to align your Lesson Plans, continue the analysis of the common assessment, and analyze data profiles for your students.
    • 4:45 Monthly Staff Meeting after school - Library


    Wednesday, September 5-
    • Calibration Walks - We will be walking classrooms checking for alignment, exemplars, and aggressively monitoring.
    • National Life Group during lunches - Snacks/light lunch is available if interested.
    • Meet with your grade level teams to align your Lesson Plans, continue the analysis of the common assessment, and analyze data profiles for your students.
    • 4:45 - 6:00 After school collaboration with PLCs to analyze students' data and current performance to draft tutoring list.
    • 5:30 p.m. to 7:00 p.m Debate Coaches Meeting - Edison Middle School, 2940 Singleton Blvd. - Mr. Johnson / Ms. Iberosi


    Thursday, September 6-

    • 8:30 - 10:30 - A cross-district team of 15-18 people from the various departments such as, Reading Language Arts, Social Studies, Bilingual/ESL and ILCs will be visiting our campus to engage in learning walks to get on-the-ground exposure to how the curriculum and coaching are playing out.
    • AFT during lunches - Snacks/light lunch is available if interested.
    • Meet with your grade level teams to align your Lesson Plans, continue the analysis of the common assessment, and analyze data profiles for your students.
    • 4:45 - 6:00 After school collaboration with PLCs to analyze students' data and current performance to draft tutoring list.
    • 6:00 - Lesson Plans Due


    Friday, September 7 -

    • Department Collaboration PLC - Department Chair and AP/CIC
    • Tutoring List due - Turn in to grade level AP and copy Mr. Cordoba

    Upcoming Events

    September 11,

    • Middle School Campus Activity Coordinator Meeting, 4:30 p.m. to 6:30 p.m. - Edison Middle School, 2940 Singleton Blvd. - Ms. Baker


    September 13,

    • 12:30 - 3:30 p.m. - ACE Connection - Meadows Foundation Visit. We will have 30 guests who will be visiting classrooms and collaborating to learn about the impact of our practices in student achievement.


    September 14 -

    • Professional Development Plans (PDPs) Due - Follow instructions from your appraiser.
    • Development of the Student Learning Objective (SLO) and submission online using Cornerstone (see below for steps and refer to separate e-mail with more details and attachments)


    Tuesday, September 18

    • After School Program Begins


    September 21 -

    • Compliance Video Deadline

    Presidential Service Awards

    Mr. Patel and Ms. Baker will be working on implementing a program that will allow for our students to earn Presidential recognition for volunteering/community service. Receiving Presidential recognition during middle school will set our students apart from their peers at other schools. What we need from you is to create opportunities or send Mr. Patel and Ms. Baker ideas for our scholars to serve on campus or off campus. All their hours must be logged in and certified by a teacher or coach in a form that Ms. Baker has created (it was e-mailed to you). Mr. Patel will then log the hours in the PVSA system and order the awards. Our students can earn a bronze medal for 50 hours, a silver medal for 75 hours and a gold medal for 100+ hours: https://www.presidentialserviceawards.gov/the-award Please turn in all completed service hours form to Ms. Baker as soon as students complete either of the levels of service mentioned above.

    Keep in your thoughts and prayers!!!

    Ms. Brunson's parents were in a motorcycle accident in New Mexico on Friday. Let's keep Ms. Brunson and her family in our thoughts and prayers as they are going through this difficult time. Pray for her parents for a prompt recovery and for the doctors for wisdom as they work with Ms. Brunson's parents.

    Congratulations!!!

    Mrs. Hayes for completing her Master of Education degree at the University of Texas, Arlington. It is a great honor for her and we are very excited for this accomplishment.

    Happy Birthday -

    We want to wish you the best and many blessings for the years to come.


    9/5 – Iresha Hayes

    9/28 – Perla Calderon

    9/29 – Carlos Carballo