Sunday, September 28, 2014

ENews 09.28.2014

It's crazy to believe that the end of the 1st six weeks is here! You guys are doing a great job supporting each other and helping with kids... Keep up the good work!!

Technology Resources
Here's a few technology resources that were shared with me this past week... and I wanted to share them with you.

Google for Education -
Resources and programs teachers can use with students and where can participate. Here you can find Connected Classrooms and go on virtual field trips or collaborate with others on a project. Or Education on Air to learn from experts about Math, Science, or Socials Studies. Or used it connect with authors on the books your reading with the students.

Matt Gomez
He's a good friend of mine and teaches Kindergarten in Plano ISD. He also works with Region 10 to support classroom teachers to integrate technology in their instruction. Here's a web series called Hanging Out with Matt Gomez. Be sure to check it out!

Student Council Elections
Mrs. Ortega has done a great job organizing our Student Council elections. It's great to see so many students take an interest in this process and get excited about these positions. All the kids have done any excellent job with their posters. I love seeing student work displayed in the cafeteria... can't wait to see the results!

AIE Conference
Some of our Scott Family attended the Advancing Improvement in Education (AIE) Conference this year with Kenny Kaye Hudson and Julia Robinson. I was please to have Mrs. Padgett, Mrs. Jones, Mrs. Garcia, and Mrs. Worley attend this conference with us. This group is working diligently by developing some exciting ideas to help us enhance our instructional program. 

On October 9th, our Campus Leadership Team (CLT) will be meeting again to develop a TARGETED plan for our campus. Based on several of the conversations I've had with these individuals, a focus on Reading will be a part of the plan. These teachers have some great ideas for us. One thing I will be committing to this year is sharing and communicating the implementation of our plan. So I've asked Julia Robinson to speak at our next staff meeting on Monday, October 13th,  to discuss our targeted plan and how we can implement it this year.

We're working on a tutoring schedule for this 1st Semester. Tentative, the dates for tutoring will be Tuesday, October 28th - Thursday, November 20th. Please mark your calendars but WAIT on communicating this out with parents for now.

Also, we're examining the processes we have in place for tutoring including HOW we select students for tutoring, WHAT we do with the students during tutoring, and WHO will be responsible for tutoring at this time. ALL staff members will need to be prepared to support our after-school tutoring efforts. More details will be coming in the next several weeks.

AR Reading Plans
Since Reading will be a focus of our campus, I've asked Mrs. Jones to help organize a new direction for our AR program. We've using many of the ideas Julia Robinson has shared with us and I believe this will be a great way to help increase the number of readers for Scott Elementary. Here's part of the original message Mrs. Jones sent us this last week about the AR program:

As a reminder, we want to emphasize meeting their goal each week by having students make it to certain steps as follows:

1st week students should be at 17%
2nd week is 33%
3rd week 50%
4th week 67%
5th week 84%
6th week 100%

Each week, I will run off your AR goal reports that have been highlighted with students that are not at the appropriate step. We will need to conference with these students and ensure that they are testing to achieve their goal. Therefore, please make sure to enter your AR goals next week as well.

In the meantime, please STAR test your students, set up your students' goals, and create their AR folders with their AR reading level and goal. I sent you an AR guide sheet in an earlier email showing how to do this. 

Communication with Parents
The next TWO Fridays will be unique and communication with parents will be critical. On Friday, October 3rd, there will be NO school. This is one of flex days we did during the Summer. The following Friday, October 10th, we will be an early release for all students @ 12:00pm. It's a significant change from our normal early release days - be sure to communicate with parents now about these two Fridays so they can make arrangements. Send reminders via Newsletters, Social Media, or Remind.

Homecoming Float
Yes! We have a float... thanks to Mrs. Gilliland Scott Elementary has a float entered in the Homecoming Parade. I would like to see 100% participation from our Scott Family participating in this event. The plan for our float will be focused around our PAWS-itive Behavior at Scott Elementary. We'll have two groups of teachers for riders and walkers. Our riders will hold two banners (one either of side) with our PAWS-itive message... while our walkers will be on the side of the float handing out candy. 

So apparently someone realized what life is like in the Jacobs household... because they decided to shoot this video. However, we all know this video is "based on a true story" and they decided to change the names to "protect the innocent". So here's a reenactment of a day in the Jacobs Family!

Friday, September 12, 2014

ENews 09.12.2014

Lead4ward -

This organization has some great resources for you has you plan your lessons. For example, lead4ward has created a 2014-2015 School Year Update which has a document about our phase-in levels. TEA recently updated the Level II Phase-In Performance Standards. We are still in Level II Phase-In 1. Next school year we will move to Level II Phase-In 2 for 3 years, then Level II Phase-In 3 for 3 years, and Level II Phase-In Final Recommend afterwards. The Final Recommended level will now start in the school year of 2021-2022... you can see additional details about the accountability system here.

And here's a pic of Julia Robinson's favorite smart guy (after her husband)...

PDAS Walkthroughs
Next week, Dr. Bright and I will begin with classroom walkthroughs. You will see us more frequently in classrooms in the hope to give you more instructional feedback. Now the whole district will be using the same walkthrough form for each teacher (you can see it HERE). Here's a short video about this form...

This year Homecoming is the week of October 7-10. Mr. Worthy is encouraging all schools to participate in the Royse City Homecoming parade with a float or some other participation such as walking together. If you have any suggestions how our campus can participate, please let us know in the office. 

Also, our early release day is Friday, October 10 and we're getting out of school at 12:00pm on this day... and there's no curriculum meeting either! Be sure to share the early release time with parents via social media, text messages, and classroom newsletters.

Gym Morning Duty
Please make sure that if you have morning duty in the gym, that the kids aren't eating or drinking in here. We've had several open wrappers left and liquids spilled on the gym floor. Also, some students had slipped and fallen. Let the students know they must eat their breakfast in the cafeteria first thing in the morning.
Also, we're working on a way for students to have books in the gym so all students can read first thing in the morning. Encourage all your students to bring their library their books to the gym and read as they wait to be dismissed to the classrooms.

Other Reminders
Thank you so much for getting your money into Martha for Jeans Days and Sunshine Committee... you guys are awesome!

Snowball Express will be coming soon... be sure Martha has your most recent contact information.

Google Training with Christiana Finch will be next Wednesday, October 17th in the Library. Prizes will be given to teachers who participate!

Picture Day is next week - Please be sure to have your picture taken next Thursday, September 18th for the yearbook.

Reminder... please participate in the Payroll Contribution w/ Education Foundation. Here's a video from the Ed Foundation they shared with us last month... it's way too funny!!

So do you guys like having our activity calendar embedding on the blog OR would like me to list our upcoming dates for you?? I don't know how you read this information (on a mobile device or computer) but I want you to have the information you need. Let me know...but for now here's the Scott Activity Calendar embedded for you to view...

Tuesday, September 9, 2014

Teacher of the Month

Congratulations to our Teacher of the Month

Suzette Worley,
 Special Education Teacher

Thursday, September 4, 2014

E-News 9.04.2014

Call for Education Grants
From JoNell Melody: This is a Call for Innovative Grants from the Education Foundation. The grant deadline is October 3rd - midnight. The grant application must be submitted from Eduphoria by midnight on October 3rd, the principals will need to approve by end of day the followingTuesday, 10/7. The grant application is available on the RCISD website intranet - Eduphoria - FormSpace - submit new - Education Foundation. Please complete the form and submit by the deadline if you have an idea for a grant.

For anyone new to Grant writing we will hold Grant Writing Workshops on
September 10th at 3:45 PM & September 24th at 4:15 PM The workshops last about 45 minutes and will be in the Epps ESC - admin building, 810 Old Greenville Road.

Payroll Contribution for Education Foundation sign ups need to be turned in September 17th for a September 25th start date. If you miss the deadline - no problem the contributions will just begin in October. Payroll contributions must be monthly, a one-time donation can be cash, check or through our website at - donate.

Also, be sure to pay your $1.00 for Jeans on Fridays to Martha... and if you want 20 Jean Passes for the school year, be sure to contribute $20.00 to the campus Sunshine Committee... See Martha for details.

Fun Resources
Great open-ended question stems you can use with your small groups of students
Staar4ward Pinterest Board - great ideas for using the Staar4ward information

Faculty Meeting
Just a reminder of our staff meeting Monday, September 8th @ 3:30pm in the library. All staff members will be present since Mr. Worthy will be here to share some information with us. Be sure to clear your schedule until 5:00pm that day.

PDAS & Teacher-Self Reports
The Teacher-Self Report will be due Friday, September 12th. Be sure to include your focus readiness/processing TEKS for this school year (here's directions if you need them). We'll be focusing on Reading/Writing/Math TEKS for all grade levels, content areas, and PDAS teachers. If you need help identifying these TEKS, please let me know (specials teachers...come visit with me during conference time and we'll talk about this). 

Also, the state of Texas does not allow waivers for PDAS Evaluations for campuses in "Improvement Required". Dr. Bright and I will be determining appraisers for this school year by next week and we'll be scheduling 45-minute observations earlier this school year... more details coming soon.

Improvement Planning
Our campus is moving into another phase of the improvement planning process with the state this year. This phase requires us to develop a Reconstitution Plan and give considerations to 10 areas about the instructional program for Scott Elementary. Here's a link our plan for this school year. These are only the BIG ideas we'll be engaging into this school year and we'll be including other pieces to the plan at the year continues. 

We must address each of the areas in this Reconstitution Plan during the school year. A school improvement "data day" has been scheduled for Wednesday, September 17th where we'll review our progress this past year and determine measurement goals for this year. Also four teachers will be attending the Advancing Improvement in Education (AIE) Conference with Julie, Kenny Kaye, and myself. One of the many goals this year is to keep everyone informed about the information being shared in this process. So you will see me post more information this year about our improvement efforts. 

Ladies and Gentlemen... Please know that I believe we can do this! We can meet state expectations and regain the trust of this community. We can do this work and do it well.  But it's going to require everyone to join together, divide up the work, and take on NEW challenges head-on. So let's help each one another... if you must, call on others to help us... if you don't know what else you can do, come on over and look for solutions together. ALL hands must be in this together. 

Sandy Hook Letter
Judy Caskey (our campus PSP) sent me this letter: it was posted by a mother of a Sandy Hook victim ( a six year old child)! It is actually addressed to all teachers and school people. I thought it was so very meaningful, and I wanted to share it with you. Remember, you are doing a very special job, preparing students for their life's future! Therefore, you are VERY SPECIAL people! Sandy Hook Letter

(finally...if you are viewing this on your phone or mobile device... you may not be able to see the calendar I have listed below this message... it's from our Scott Activity Calendar. Be sure to view this section from a computer or Chromebook to see... Thanks)