Ram Nation News

Week of November 27, 2017


A middle school that cultivates scholars to be catalysts of change, life-long learners, innovators, and competitors in a global society
Big image


The power of the mind is amazing!!! One of our core values is Growth Mindset. In her book Mindset, Carol Dweck, talks about "effort creates ability." These are 3 key words that can do great things for our kids.
  • Our students need to know that they can reach high academic levels and the importance for doing so. If you can psych them into believing that they can reach greatness, then they will definitely live up to your expectations. Many times, it is harder for teachers to believe in students’ potentials than students believing in themselves. Even if you do not believe in the student, pretend to believe at least long enough until the student will make a true believer out of you.
  • If a student knows that the teacher is in charge, the teacher will have a greater influence over the student. Always take control and command of your students’ decisions, so you can guide their destiny to a great extent. Students know who cares for them by one’s authority and persistence for them to learn.


I am very proud of the dedication and support that each one of you has for our students. I know that we are doing everything that we can to ensure our students continue to grow and learn.

  • Let's use our ACP sample items and blueprints as our guide to ensure students are prepared. Let’s make this learning relevant and incorporate engagement strategies to motivate students. Games such as, Jeopardy, Kahot, use and reference to study guides, stations, and Quizlet are a few examples of engaging activities while reviewing.
  • As we review for ACPs, continue to make sure that you are addressing, What students are learning, Why it is important, What mastery looks like, and How to connect it to prior knowledge and their own lives
  • As we use TEKS specific questions, there should be evidence in the implementation of the Lesson Cycle and quality questions, check for understandings, MRSs, while modeling of the expected outcomes.
  • If you have not already done so, ensure that you recruit parent support to hold every stakeholder accountable for the progress of our students.
  • Be very intentional in the type of work and tasks that you are putting in front of our students. As you know, there are things that students must know and other things that are nice to know; therefore, have a laser-focus on the learning that is critical for each grade level and focus on the must know.

This week's planning review by the leadership team will focus on reviewing the alignment of the LO and DOL, we will look at the actual DOL, and the level of rigor as compared to the STAAR. In classroom visits, we will be looking for teachers implementing aggressively monitoring and using "show call" during instruction.


  • Ms. Saucedo, Ms. Galvan and Ms. Miranda for setting up and coordinating our Thanksgiving luncheon. We appreciate Ms. Miranda for getting the donation from Big Al's!!! Everyone had an opportunity to share food and a great time with colleagues.
  • Mr. Willis, Mr. Carballo, and Ms. Zuniga for their support as they have led the Attendance for Credit sessions for students who qualify to make up the time missed during school. We know that this is a big component of ensuring our students regain credit when they have missed 10% of school.
  • Ms. Brown, Ms. Perez, Ms. Stripling, Ms. Maloy, Ms. Trent, Ms. Rocha, Mr. Patel, Ms. Miller, Ms. Buchannon, Ms. Wells, Ms. Baker, Ms. Davis, and Mr. Willis for their dedication and support during Thanksgiving Camp. They either held activities with students, came to school to plan, supported students with logistics, or prepared for our AVID visit. We are proud of the work done and how our staff members are going above and beyond.
  • Mr. Ramirez for his commitment and support as he ensure the building was ready for students during Thanksgiving Camp. Also, shout out to our Cafeteria Staff for providing meals for our kids during this camp. Our students were able to benefit from the extra help and activities during this time.
  • Ms. Calderon and Ms. Shelby for their leadership with Coffee with the Principal. This is a great opportunity to hear from parents and get their input to support our efforts. Shout out to Ms. Miranda, Ms. Saucedo, and Ms. Galvan for setting up and getting the donations for this event.

Thanksgiving Camp

Big image

Helping the Community

The Rusk family helped the homeless on Thanksgiving. Our love for one another extend outside the walls of Rusk. We are grateful for everyone who was able to attend this event and make it a special day, Ms. Brown, Ms. Cooray and her husband, Ms. Carroll, and Ms. Calderon.


Monday, November 27- B Day
  • Have you completed your technology inventory? Anybody with technology assigned in office, classroom, laptop, or any other device must complete. Please, see more details below
  • Planning Meeting with CIC/AP - 6th Grade (Math, SS, Science), and 7th / 8th Grade RLA
  • 4:40 AVID Site Team Meeting - Ms. Baker in Room 405
  • 4:40 Planning time with team. Remember to follow the Planning Expectations document to support you with the backwards planning design. (you must log in to the website using your EAD credentials.)

Tuesday, November 28- A Day

  • District Campus Survey begins - see below for more details.
  • Planning Meeting with CIC/AP - 7th Grade (Math, SS, Science), and 6th Grade RLA
  • 3:00 - 5:00 Football Pictures during Athletics - Coach DeLeon
  • 4:25 p.m - After School Continues

Wednesday, November 29- B Day (not a mistake)

  • Planning Meeting with CIC/AP - 8th Grade (Math, SS, Science), and 7th / 8th Grade RLA
  • 4:25 p.m - After School Continues

Thursday, November 30 - B Day (not a mistake- demo day had to be on a B day due to AVID classes)

  • AVID National Demonstration Revalidation Day. Less than two percent of the most successful AVID campuses across the country can be called National Demonstration Schools, and Thomas J. Rusk MS has another chance to be part of this two percent again. Let's show our best and follow the guidelines shared by Ms. Baker.
  • 12:45 p.m. AVID announcement in Auditorium Pep Rally Style - AVID students will attend, 6th grade will attend; 7th grade - we will confirm attendance due to lunch time
  • 4:25 p.m - After School Continues
  • 5:00 Lesson Plans Due
  • 6:00 p.m. Soccer Game Vs Marsh At Loos Stadium

Friday, December 1 - A Day

  • Weekly PLC - Room 103

Upcoming Events

Friday, December 8

  • Winter Dance - Cheerleaders Fundraiser event. More information forthcoming.

Saturday, December 9

  • Mayor Race - Let's join in and have a great race. Free for staff members and students.

Thursday, December 14

  • 5:00 - 8:00 Christmas Party. Based on feedback received from grade levels .

ACP Testing Dates

  • December 18th is a full day. AM will be testing session; PM will be Social Emotional Learning/Celebration session - No review sessions can be done.
  • December 19th – 21st - half days. AM will be testing sessions

District Climate Survey

Each semester our District sends out the climate survey to staff members in an attempt to

  • improve as an organization
  • gain integral feedback from our school-based employees
  • align systems to student outcomes, and
  • get feedback from employees on their perceptions of climate in their individual schools and for the district as a whole.

To ensure confidentiality, the survey will be administered by an external organization, Hanover Research, an independent education research firm located in Washington DC. While the survey is anonymous and we don't have a baseline for participation, our goal is to have at least 90% of the staff provide feedback.

I want to encourage everyone to respond to an email you will receive by Tuesday, November 28, 2017 to complete the survey. The subject line will be Climate Survey - Dallas Independent School District” If you do not receive the e-mail by Wednesday, November 29, 2017, please check your Junk mail. If you do not receive the e-mail, please let me know and e-mail Conor Kelly at ckelly@hanoverresearch.com and Babatunde Aideyan at baideyan@hanoverresearch.com or call at 202-795-4027.

The deadline to complete the survey is December 13, 2017. You may wear jeans the week of December 4th if you take the survey and send Ms. Saucedo and I the confirmation of your participation.

TipWeb - IT - Technology Inventory

  • Secondary Campuses begin technology inventory.
  • All Staff Members on campus will receive an email asking to complete the inventory. It will have a note similar to this "Complete Room Inventory Audit for _______" This e-mail will state the Staff Member’s name and the instruction that they have been assigned to inventory their assigned (issued) items.
  • To inventory items assigned to you, you only need to enter the asset tag on each item in the Enter Tag Number box.
  • The items prelisted on the Staff screen are those showing in TIPWeb-IT as assigned to you. Do not base your inventory on that list.
  • All technology items in your possession must be inventoried.

Should you have any questions or support, please see Ms. Saucedo in the main office.

Let's keep in our thought and prayers!!!

Ms. Maloy and her family as her brother passed away last Monday night.