The Knightly News 1-26-2015


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

Thanks to the teachers in the math department who turned in their writing samples on Friday!  Social Studies – this is your week!  
I have seen some really spot on lessons this week – What I mean by that is this:  The lesson has great flow, the teacher is prepared with all of the materials needed,  their is a clear lesson cycle, the teacher provides input (new learning) to the students and works with them to learn the new material, and then the students get time in class to practice the same learning. This can be done in many ways – but the bones of the lesson cycle are there!  Mr. Barry said it well the other day when he said, “The teachers heavy lifting is done in the planning so that the students can do the heavy lifting during the lesson”.  This is how we do it at NMS!!

IR Plan Reminders:  This is the last week for our Quarterly Goals 2!
As we work on our Second Quarterly goals for each Root Cause – I want to remind you of the data we will collect.
Root Cause 1 – Reading
Quarterly Goal 2 – 70% of students pass Reading Unit Tests and Reading CBA’s – Data Wall to monitor
75% of core subject area classrooms using targeted ELL strategies – ELL observations will monitor – as I have been in classrooms these last two weeks – I am not always hearing students answer in complete sentences – remember – if a student does not answer in a complete sentence – prompt them to do so!  If they then need you to give them a starter – do that too!  This will help them learn the material and learn English at the same time!  Thanks everyone!!

Root Cause 2 – Writing has not been the focus
Quarterly Goal 2 – 100% of teachers use writing protocol 2 a month in department meetings – writing samples/action plans
50% of 7th grade students pass the released STAAR writing-ILT analysis form
35% of 7th grade LEP students pass the released STAAR writing-core writing samples, Data from practice         STAAR, small group assignments

Root Cause 3 – Increasing the Rigor
Quarterly Goal 2 – 40% of all students will score 80% or above on all unit tests. -Lesson Cycle, planning, data wall,     enrichment tutoring, types of questioning

At the end of January we will gather data to monitor these Q2 goals, look at our Quarterly 3 goals, make adjustments if necessary and then begin work on Q3 goals!!

This week is the 7th grade practice STAAR Writing – Tuesday and Wednesday.  Lesli sent out the tentative schedule last week – the final schedule will be sent tomorrow morning.  If you are an electives teacher – you will not have 7th grade students in your classes until sometime after 1:00.  The students get 4 hours to test, so if we start at 9:00 – they have until 1:00 – but there is also lunch in there too.  We will make an announcement when they are going to be dismissed to class.  YES students have already taken their writing practice – so electives teachers – you will have the YES students.

TELPAS Training – will be rescheduled – it is NOT on Feb. 5 – that is a CLT meeting for Improvement Required

Scheduling for next year:
There has been a proposal that I have spoken to the CIT and the DC’s about.  I want to be sure and get feedback from everyone,so here is the proposal:
Next year, we would have early release every Friday at 2:00.  Students would come to class at 8:30. we would have to apply for a waiver from the state for this. This would increase our advisory period.  We have some thoughts about that – but would want and need a lot of feedback about what to do with that time in advisory.  ELA and Math classes would be 75 minutes – which is about 15-20 minutes shorter than the classes are now.  All classes would see their students every day, with class periods being 46 minutes.  Early release on Friday would be for PD, planning, DC meetings, Professional Learning Community time, and faculty meetings.  This would eliminate any whole staff meetings in the am, unless emergency type meetings.  If we run this schedule – teachers would not have common planning periods.  I would like to spend time at our next faculty meeting having this discussion – but I wanted you to have some of the basic thoughts before we meet.  As I prepare for this faculty meeting – I would love to have questions, thoughts, and concerns before I prepare so I can include all of those things in the agenda.  Thanks so much!!

Student Culture
6th and 7th grade teachers have decided to use the Passport system for the rest of the school year.  I am excited to see where you all can take this!  With a staff this strong – seriously, you all can do anything – I see some big culture changes on the horizon!  We are working on a Knights Passport Guide for everyone! This should help as we all try to implement this with fidelity.  This Thursday’s Knights’ Grade Level Meeting will be devoted to implementing and executing the system!  I am not in the classroom as a teacher – but from what 8th grade teachers have told me – they believe it is working as a part of a management tool – CHAMPS is one other piece of the management tool – and not to forget the most important piece school culture is the relationships that we build with students!  One piece of information I have about the 8th grade passport system is that tardies are down by about 75%.  Go 8th grade!!

Base Camp – this week Base Camp will be on Monday morning – same times and places because of testing on Tuesday and Wednesday.  We will let the kids know in the am!  All teachers need to be in their Base Camp places so that they can hear what the kids hear about Passports.  

Here is the schedule for the week:
Monday, January 27, 2015
B Day

8:45 Base Camp
1:30 ILT
5:00 Boys Basketball

Tuesday, January 28, 2015
A Day
7th grade Writing Practice STAAR
8:15 CSHAC meeting clinic
9:15 ReVision meeting with AP’s
11:30 Val @ meeting
2:30 SKY Partner Principal’s meeting at NMS
4:45 District Cross Country Meet @ Nottingham Park

Wednesday, January 29, 2015
B Day
8:00 Faculty Meeting
7th grade Writing Practice STAAR
9:00 Val @ ELPS for Administrators

Thursday, January 30, 2015
A Day
See to Succeed – select students off campus to get glasses
10:30 Tour of Guthrie Center 8th grade
4:00 IKnight’s Grade Level meetings
6:00 YES in cafeteria for Parent meeting

Friday, January 31, 2015
B Day
Social Studies Writing Samples due
9:15 Kid Team meeting

Have a most productive week!  make every moment count!


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