NMS Faculty Bulletin 10-28-2013

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Know our Kids, Meet their Needs, Up the Mountain to T-2-4!

Where you are casual with your time – you will be causal with your results.  The Breakthrough Coach 2013

Yeah, congrats to everyone, we survived Red Ribbon Week!  I hope everyone had an opportunity to have some real conversations with kids as well as some fun dress days! 

We have almost survived the October slump!  This is a long hard month.  The next two months, are not full months, they go by fast, and we must use every moment to push our kids and create rigorous learning experieneces for them!  This is the time when we must show how gritty we are!  We need to model it, never give up!  I am enclosing a link that Gretchen sent me about Grit.  It is a TED talk with Angela Duckworth!  She is the queen of the research on Grit!  It is not too long – please take a moment to watch!  Grit is not just for the kids – us adults have to be gritty also!  Like Angela Duckworth says:   “Grit is living life like it is a marathon, not a sprint.  We can’t believe that failure is a permanent condition.”!!!  That should be our mantra at NMS!  We are definitely running a marathon!
http://www.ted.com/talks/angela_lee_duckworth_the_key_to_success_grit.html

I spoke with the DC’s this week at our DC meeting about copy use!  We talked about how many worksheets the students are being asked to complete each day!  I am not concerned about the cost of the paper, or the clicks on the copier.  I just know the numbers, I see them weekly, and I know there are better ways to deliver lessons, have great intros to lessons, model, and do guided practice, than always with a worksheet!  As we work through this the next couple of weeks – be reflective about what you are asking kids to do.  Are they being creative?  Are they just filling in boxes?  Are they using foldables?   In many classes, students are given 3-4 sheets of paper per day, per class.  Put this on your radar – sort of as a status check – really relfect and see what adjustments you can make.  

I got to share with the 8th grade and 7th grade team the fabulous feedback that we got from the Developmental School Review.  They said they were in love with the warmth and friendliness of the staff, the politeness of our students, how secure, safe, and unchaotic the hallways and school feel.  Kudos to all of you!  Our building is all of those things – and you guys create the warmth!  I know that our hallways were so calm because of the adult presence in the halls that day.  it does make a difference, and it needs to be that way every day!   One addition not from the Developmental team:  It would be most helpful if all teachers would follow their students out the doors at the end of the day and stay in the halls until the students clear out of the locker area.  Thank you for that!

As we move into November, I want to remind you about the ICLE meeting we had with Shawn a couple of weeks ago.  Our focus for this next month is going to be on objectives and tasks.  We are going to focus on our tasks being at a high level, so if our objective says our students will analyze, then the task will be a task that requires students to do just that.  I am excited to push our thinking on this, and to push my thinking!  

Chick Fil A Spirit Night is Nov. 7, 2013
Here is a preview of the following weeks and some events to show our spirit for NMS Knights, Rockets, and the SKY Partnership!
On Nov. 4th and 5th – NMS plays Landrum in football and it’s the last game of the season – Landrum is our big rival!
On Nov. 6th – the two schools play each other for the last volleyball game of the season.  On all 3 of these nights – we are going to give away coupons for Chick Fil A and the CFA Cow should also make an appearance!  It will be a very fun way to close out the season with lots of school pride and spirit!   On the day of Spirit Night , CFA will accept orders in the store and in the drive-through in the name of the SKY Partnership or any of the individual campuses all day long!  So – anyone who wants a little CFA – please head to the one on I-10 at Silber!  Maybe we could send someone to get us lunch or someway to increase our profits for the day!  CFA said we could take over the Chick Fil A for that night, we can serve drinks to the kids, bring food to the tables, or just hang out – they are going to give away prizes provided by CFA – all night!  I just wanted everyone to know this is coming the following week!

ICU begins this week!  I believe each grade level has prepared a plan!

LiveSchool goes live on Monday!  I am excited and hope this software works even better than Kickboard.  NMS teachers did such a great job last year using Kickboard – let’s make it happen again this year!  The kids are ready!!  As we continue to work on creating a positive school culture – Tracey was meeting with her Rights 7th graders this morning (Knights only) and she came to get me to join the conversation.  These 7th graders were talking about the way just a few students are treating substitutes.  Tracey was working on ways these kids can use their influence to create a tipping point so that it is not cool to do this.  But – at the same time – I would like to ask you all to make sure anytime a sub leaves you names of students who misbehave – that those students receive a referral from you.  They will receive an after school detention for their behavior.   We must have names – because I know when a sub says the whole class, that is not accurate.  Tracey also told her kids, if it is out of control in a class they are in, to ask to come to the bathroom and get an administrator.  Several did that today – and it really helped!  The large majority of our students do the right things every day  – and they want to feel safe in class when there are subs!  Thank you for writing referrals for any names you are given!  

One other item that I spoke with 7th and 8th grade teams about, but didn’t get to the 6th grade team because they were making home visits – is our start and end time for next year.  I am getting feedback from you on moving our school hours from 9:00-4:00.  Teacher hours would be 8:15-4:15.  We could also look at 8:00-4:00 for teachers – the number of hours you would work don’t change, just the times. This would allow us to do some things that aren’t possible now.  Research shows this age of student does better with a later start!  if you are an early riser – you would have time in the morning to get lots of work done and then leave at the end of the day. The city of Houston is in very short supply of bus drivers.  At my SKY Partnership meeting, I began to think about our schedule with YES’s schedule and how our schedules could match up if we all got out at 4:00.  So – we are going to seriously investigate this and see what we can do!!   I see many possibilities – I want your feedback!  Send me any thoughts you have.  Thanks in advance for your input!

Culture:
6th grade:   Teamwork—Sixth grade team gets props for their teamwork on home visits this week.  We visited with four families on Thursday, and met with numerous kids around the apartments.  The team has embraced these visits and are building a community within our community.  They exemplify the saying “It takes a village to raise a child.”  Special props to Ms. McEnany and Ms. Ringler for joining us on our visits.

Here is the scheduel for the week: There is a teacher representative from one of the teacher organizations coming this week – I have it on my calendar in two places – I will correct this bulletin on Monday when I can confirm the right date and time.  Thanks
Monday, October 28, 2013
A Day
Base Camp – 7th and 8th grade switch places – 7th in the theater, 8th in old gym
7:50 Electives Teacher Meeting
1:30 ILT Meeting
5:00 Volleyball
7:00 NMS 7B football v. LMS

Tuesday, October 29, 2013
B Day
7:50 Social Studies planning
3:30 Math Planning
5:00 Football v. SBMS @ Grob

Wednesday, October 30, 2013
A Day
Regular lunch schedule – students go to Periods 1-5 only, Period 5 will go until 2:00 and then kids are dismissed to go home
2:00 Early Release Day – Staff PD

Thursday, October 31, 2013
Happy Halloween
B Day
3:30 Grade Level Meetings

Friday, November 1, 2013
A Day
8:00 New Teacher Meeting
9:00 Kid Team meeting

Have a most productive week!

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