Ram Nation News

Week of November 12, 2018

Vision

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

Mission

At Thomas J. Rusk Middle School, our mission is to empower our students to become

college and career ready by providing them a culture of excellence through challenging

opportunities, powerful relationships, and strong community partnerships.

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Attendance

Regular attendance is essential to providing students with opportunities to learn. Let's continue to support our students in transitioning in an expedited manner from class to class.


The following is the percent for attendance for the week of 11/5 - 11/09:

  • 6th Grade - 96.46%
  • 7th Grade - 95.80% - Improved by 0.02%
  • 8th Grade - 95.89%


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. Winton, Mr. Rivera, and Mr. Salazar for their dedication and support as they lead our soccer teams during practice and Saturday games. Our students continue to work hard and grow as a team. Shout out to Coach Addison, Ms. Minter, and Mr. Alarcon for coming out to cheer our teams and support their fellow teachers.
  • Coach Addison, Ms. Buitron, Coach Clark and Mr. Thornton for their leadership and commitment to building the whole child. Last week, they led the basketball teams in their first game of the season. Our students played hard against a very strong Long team.
  • Ms. Turnbull, Ms. Safford, and Ms. Shelby for their leadership and commitment as they represented our school during the No Bully training. It was very informative and helps strengthen our practices to prevent bullying.

Instructional Practices

Modeling

Mr. Geiger, Ms. Minter, and Ms. Perez were caught using their LED displays to model their thinking and doing explicit teaching. Through explicit modeling, each one of them provides students with a clear example of a skill or strategy. They recognize the importance of knowing ahead of time what they want students to know as a result of the modeling, so when students are set out to work on their own students know expectations and requirements.

Leadership

As part of the commitment of the Teaching and Learning department of building pathways to develop teachers and instructional staff, Ms. Lewis, Ms. Rocha, Mr. Patel, and Ms. Molla supported and led PD sessions last Saturday during the 2018 Language, Literacy, and Social Studies Fall Conference at Adamson HS. Their commitment is to assist with developing content knowledge, providing strategies to support social emotional learning and culturally responsive learning environments, and building skills to support specialized student groups. They supported teachers in learning strategies to increase student engagement as well as improve their practice of data driven instruction.

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Climate and Culture

As you already know, our goal for our climate survey is to rank in the 5th quintile in all areas! This means that all of our areas of our climate survey will be green. Also, we want to provide our students opportunities to explore the various options they have as they transition to high school as well as providing them with a college going culture. I want to shout out our counseling team, Ms. Calderon, Ms. Shelby, and Mrs. Mooty for their leadership and coordination of the High School Fair last week. We had 20 high school that came out and provided information to our students. We heard great feedback regarding our students' questions, interest, and behavior. Also, thank you to all the 8th grade teachers who supported our students as they learned more about the various paths available to them with our collegiate academies and high schools. Shout out!!!

  • Mrs. Maloy- Our chef/baker extraordinaire!
  • Our marvelous cafeteria staff for helping prepare a delicious meal for our guests.
  • 8th grade teachers for their support
  • Mrs. Lewis, Ms. Perez, Mrs. Trent, Mrs. Brown, and our lovely CIS ladies for facilitating and monitoring during the event.
  • Mrs. Wells for helping set up a wonderful area for our guests.
  • Mrs. Baker for providing us with 4 AVID ambassadors who were INCREDIBLE! They represented Rusk honorably. All her hard work truly shined during this event!
  • Mrs. Miranda for reaching out to business partnerships for donations.
  • Administration team for helping provide lunch to our guests.


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Debate

Our Debate team continues to show great enthusiasm and represent our school very well. As we continue to build the whole child, Mr. Johnson and Ms. Iberosi supported and led our debate team during the Conrad competition last Saturday. We are proud of their work!

REMINDERS FOR THE UPCOMING WEEK OF SCHOOL

  • During 8:00 a.m. - 8:20 a.m., students must be engaged in meaningful activities: homework support, organizing binder, CNN news with reflection sheet.
  • 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.
  • 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.
  • During transitions, let's make sure to have 100% participation and hold each other accountable to be present in the hallway supporting students. Our goal is to narrate the positive and have at least 10 positive interactions each transition. APs, CICs, and counselors will be working with each one of you to provide individual support. (TEI 3.3 and 3R Positive Attitude/Enthusiasm).
  • Engage learners throughout your lessons and ensure we incorporate bell-to-bell instruction. It will support the increase in student achievement and reduce disruptions. While students are more familiar with engagement strategies such as Think Pair Share, we need to ensure that we have taught, modeled, and practiced these skills in order for effective implementation (TEI 2.4, 3.1, and 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
  • Submit lesson plans by Thursday at 6:00 p.m. (TEI 4.2)

DAILY EVENTS

Monday, November 12-

  • B Day - Wear camouflage as we War Against Bullying! (Attire includes: camouflage shirt and/or pants; if only shirt is worn, uniform pants are required.)
  • We will continue to work on sizing students who have not received their school jackets. Also, Ms. Saucedo will continue to distribute student ID badges; this is safety measure and it is a part of the dress code. Wait until Ms. Saucedo finish distributing badges before sending students to the office.

  • Weekly PLC - Room 115. Data Walls, Exemplar, and Aggressive Monitoring - Mr. Cordoba. Bring your exemplar and aggressive monitoring tracker.
  • 4:45 Grade Level Meeting - Grade level location

  • We will have our soccer games at 6:30 p.m. and 7:30 p.m. for the girls and boys respectively at Loos Stadium against Spence MS.


Tuesday
, November 13-
  • A-Day. Meme Day!. (Attire includes: school uniform. Stop laughing at other people and enjoy the day by laughing at memes. Students may wear their favorite school appropriate meme.)
  • Report cards are distributed to students. Students who are failing 2 or more subjects will receive a blank report card. Parents must meet with an administrator or counselor to receive report card.

  • 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.
  • Tutoring is cancelled this week. We will resume tutoring after Thanksgiving break.

  • 4:45 p.m. planning and collaboration with department. Deliverables for Thursday are lesson plans and exemplars week of November 26, and data wall update based on information shared during PLC.

  • Remember to clock out at or after 6:00 p.m.


Wednesday, November 14-
  • A-Day. Super Hero Day! Be a super hero and stop bullying by dressing up as your favorite super hero!
  • Selected 6th grade students will be attending a college tour at University of Texas at Dallas. Please, ensure that the permission slip has been turned in and that students are wearing their uniform.
  • Calibration Walks - We will be walking classrooms checking for alignment, exemplars, and aggressively monitoring.
  • 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.
  • Tutoring is cancelled this week. We will resume tutoring after Thanksgiving break.
  • 4:45 p.m. planning and collaboration with department. Deliverables for Thursday are lesson plans and exemplars week of November 26, and data wall update based on information shared during PLC.
  • Remember to clock out at or after 6:00 p.m.
  • Lady Rams’ basketball game at 6:30 p.m. and 7:30 p.m. at Loos Fieldhouse against Franklin MS.


Thursday, November 15-

  • A-Day. Blue Out Day! Blue is the official color of kindness and bullying awareness; wear all blue to support kindness.

  • 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.
  • 6:00 - Lesson plans and exemplars week of November 26, and data wall update based on information shared during PLC.
  • Boys’ basketball game at 6:30 p.m. and 7:30 p.m. at Loos Fieldhouse against Franklin MS.


Friday, November 9 -

  • A-Day. Boots Day! Stomp on bullying! Wear your boots.
Annual Policy and Compliance Acknowledgment

On November 1, 2018, you will receive a communication from the district regarding the steps to follow to complete the Annual Policy and Compliance Acknowledgment. Please, access the entire memo by clicking the link above.

To comply with state and federal laws, Dallas ISD requires that all employees complete an Annual Policy and Compliance Acknowledgement. Between Nov. 1 and Dec. 20, using their EAD user name and password, employees are required to log into the Annual Policy and Compliance Acknowledgement application at http://PolicyAcknowledgement.dallasisd.org/ to review and acknowledge the following:

  • Employee Handbook
  • Annual Employee Notification of District Policies
  • Conflict of Interest Notice
  • State Board for Educator Certification (SBEC) Reporting Notice
  • Confidentiality Requirements

Visit the Annual Policy and Compliance page for more information and access to the documents (you must be inside the district's network to complete acknowledgement). In addition, the deadline for compliance training for all employees with respect to Child Abuse, Copyright Law, FERPA, Sexual Harassment, and The Texas Educators’ Code of Ethics is Nov. 16.

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Teacher Training Video

Here you will find the teacher training video to support you getting started in the use of the LED displays. Face-to-face training forthcoming.

Videos and other reference materials

Here you will find brochures, overview videos and "how to" videos to support you getting started in the use of the LED displays.

Welcome!!!

Mr. Raymond Rivera joins our team as one of our Teacher Assistants. Please, take some time to greet him and get to know him.


Ms. Anya Cooray comes back from her maternity leave and is eager to meet her 6th grade students. We know it is hard to leave the baby behind and we appreciate the commitment to our school and community.

Happy Birthday

Wishing you the very best!!!


Dolores Reyes – 11/4

Thomas Lowry – 11/4

Taylor Iberosi – 11/16

Destany Morgan – 11/18

Arryan Baker – 11/22

Gabriel Hernandez – 11/26