The Knightly News Final Edition 6-1-2015


Summer here we come!

Well, it has finally boiled down to our last 3 days of school, and they are 1/2 days with our students!  As a reminder – be sure you are on duty in the hallways during the passing period. We would like for teachers to do lunch duty with their grade level these last 3 days.  You all can eat at 12:30 – after the students have gone – and that will ensure smooth dismissals and lunches these last 3 days!  You have the finals schedule – we will hand ring the bells each day!  We are still waiting for communication regarding the make up day –  Here is the schedule for the week:

Monday, June 1, 2015
Finals Periods 1 & 3
4:30 Parent Meeting Stanford Testing
6:00 8th grade Awards

Tuesday, June 2, 2015
8:00 DC Meeting
Finals Period 2 & 5
12:30 – lunch provided to teachers by Henry Barrientos – will confirm Monday

Wednesday, June 3, 2015
Finals Periods 4 & 6
2:00 CLT Meeting Room 1C

Thursday, June 4, 2015
11:30  Hot Dog and Hamburger lunch – Parent Center
1:00 Begin check out – Remember – I am the last person you see for check out

Have an awesome and amazing summer!


The Knightly News 5-18-2015


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

Hey Team!  I think our 8th graders did great on the second round of Reading STAAR!  I want to thank all of the 8th grade ELA teachers for working so hard with their kids in small groups!  I also want to thank Angela and Katie for their hard work intervening with the 8th graders also!  Thanks to Donovan for working with the SPED kids.  A huge thank you to all of the teachers who helped support this effort!  Those staff members are:
Tracy Ache, Ahmad, Gina Blanco, Kendrick, Darren, and Isaac. I apologize ahead of time if I missed someone!  Thanks Lesli for getting everything up and running!

There are still many subs being called for each day!  Please make every effort to be here!  We are scrambling each morning – having to pull your colleagues to cover classes!  That means that students who need co-teachers are not getting them!  Thank you for your consideration, I am sure you colleagues thank you also!

As time moves on, and this year is almost out – I am going to say it is critical that we all  maintain learning in your classrooms.  Your students should be working on relevant classwork every day, bell to bell.  Please do not show movies and give students the perception that school is almost out!  If students need to leave your room – they need to have a pass.  If you want students to come to your room during lunch – they need a pass or they won’t be able to go!  Thank you for keeping students focused and working from now to the last day!  For all the new teachers out there:  We don’t have parties in middle school!  Everyone gives a final in each class – the final needs to be given during finals week, on the appropriate day.

Here is the schedule for this week and the following week!  This week is super easy, and there is a lot the following week!

Monday, May 18, 2015

A Day
Theater used by YES all day

Tuesday, May 19, 2015
B Day
8:45 Base Camp
9:00  CBE Spanish Test in Theater all day

Wednesday, May 20, 2015
A Day

Thursday, May 21, 2015
B Day
Sand Castle Field Trip
YES Prep Six weeks grades due
4:00-6:00 YES Prep Theater

Friday, May 22, 2015
A Day

Monday, May 25, 2015

Tuesday, May 26, 2015
B Day
8:45 Base Camp
10:00 National Junior Honor Society Induction
6:00 pm 8th grade Awards – cafeteria

Wednesday, May 27, 2015
A Day
8:00 Department Meeting
Knights Council Field Trip
3:00 Faculty v Student Basketball game

Thursday, May 28, 2015
B Day
12:15 – 3:00  8th grade picnic and Field Day – more info to come
3:00 – 4:00 Powder Puff Football game
4:10 Campus Leadership team Meeting MPR

Friday, May 29, 2015
B Day
8:45-10:21 7th period Final
Modified Schedule the rest of the day – Tracey will resend Friday, May22


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

Hey Team!  Time is marching on quickly!  Before you know it, finals week will be here and then school is over!  It will be important that we work with our students on staying focused and working until the very last day.  Now is not the time to give the students lots of free time.  There is plenty left to learn in each subject – so you all keep doing the great work and let’s end this year super strong!  Here is the schedule for next week:

Monday, May 11, 2015
B Day
YES Prep Map Testing MPR
Math Consultant works with 8th grade teachers
2:00 ILT Meeting
6:00 Spring Choir/Orchestra concert

Tuesday, May 12, 2015
A Day
8th grade Reading STAAR Retest
Math Consultant works with 6th grade
YES Prep Map Testing MPR
8:45 BaseCamp 6th and 7th grade
4:30 YES in Theater
6:00 Spring Band Concert
6:30 Kempwood North Civic Assoc. in Theater

Wednesday, May 13, 2015
B Day
YES in MPR Map Testing
Zoo Field Trip
6:00 Soccer Game

Thursday, May 14, 2015
A Day
8:45 Parent Meeting Parent Center
1:30 Vic’s Group – Parent Center
4:00 Duncan’s Retirement Celebration
5:00 Mentor/Mentee Dinner

Friday, May 15, 2015
B Day
9:00 Textbook Meeting
9:15 Kid Team Meeting
3:00 Faculty Basketball game
6:00 Bright Stars of SBISD Celebration

The Knightly News 2-9-2015


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

I wanted to publicly thank the Campus Leadership Team for their work on Thursday afternoon/evening.  The CLT spent time going over the 2nd Quarter’s Goals, interventions, and the monitoring results.  You will get this information next week.  Thank you CLT for your commitment and work on Thursday.

One of the interventions on the Improvement Plan is teachers using ELL strategies.  We have been doing the ELL walk throughs since October.  It was noted that use of the strategies has decreased.  It is imperative that all teachers are Referencing word walls and Anchor Charts (we see both of these items on walls) but in order for them to help ELL students, they must be referenced all the time!  This can be done by the teacher or by students through out the classes.  Another ELL strategy that needs to be implemented is expecting and reminding students to answer in complete sentences.  This gives students more practice in using academic English, as well as helps to cement answer and understanding of the content.  As we begin this nice long instructional time until the STAAR – please make a habit of expecting and reminding students to speak in complete sentences.

ELA writing samples are due on Friday, Feb. 13.  Thank you.

I met with Senior Staff regarding the proposed schedule and have some feedback to share.  Senior Staff fully supports us in our choice to have early release on Friday.  We are not there yet – but I will keep you posted!

I want to give Props to all the teachers at NMS!  What an amazing job everyone has done putting Passports into place!  You all have done great work in explaining the system to students, having patience as the students learn how it is used, and using it as a teaching tool!  I have seen many of you still stating your CHAMPS expectations – having those in your flip chart and referring to them as you change activities.  Props to you!  I think a key piece of information as we work to put this in place with fidelity is to know what RISE stands for and to keep that in mind.  RISE stands for:  Restoring Individual Student Excellence.  Using those words with students would be great.  When they earn their way to RISE – we are going to put structures in place to help them.  CHAMPS is how we manage behavior – and the passport is where we record behavior.  When a mark is given – teachers have a conversation with that student regarding the mark, why it was given, and what could the student have done instead.  There are many moving pieces to this so when you have questions – please ask!  Again, Props to you all for taking this on.  I can see it is going to help our students learn to be more respectful and responsible!

Remember the Valentine Bags in the Copy room for next week!  Let’s take the time to celebrate each other!

Here is the schedule for next week:
Monday, February 9, 2015
B Day
12:00 Tracy @ Library meeting
2:00 ILT Meeting
4:00 TELPAS Training Make up day – office conference room

Tuesday, February 10, 2015
A Day
8:00 CIT Meeting – conference room
8:45 Base Camp
9:15 ReVision meeting with AP’s
3:00 Nurses meeting

Wednesday, February 11, 2015
B Day
1:15 Master Schedule Meeting

Thursday, February 12, 2015
A Day
8:00 Val @ Principal’s Meeting
1:30   25 Northbrook HS teachers visit NMS
4:00 Knights Grade Level Meeting

Friday, February 13, 2015
B Day
ELA Writing Samples Due
Shared PD
2:15-3:15 NMS in MPR – please take Culture Survey by Wednesday in preparation for this first hour of PD
3:15-3:30  Ice Cream in Parent Center, get your ice cream and arr at your assigned grade level location by 3:30
6th grade – Upper Library (Lesli, Kathy, Abby)
7th grade – MPR (Val, Steve, Patty)
8th grade – (Jones, Tracey, Victor)
Bring your laptop so you are prepared to share resources during collaboration time.
* Culture & Management Consultancy Protocol
* Get in groups of 3-4.  Each person will share a recent struggle specifically related to classroom management and culture

Pre-work:  Come prepared to share a recent struggle you’re facing related to classroom management and culture.  Examples: growing a culture of achievement, motivation around STAAR Prep, classroom management, learning to use the Passport, struggle with a specific student, etc…

4:15-4:30  We will bring the grade level groups back together to share out and shout out

The Knightly News 12-15-2014


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

Well – this is it!  The final week of the semester!  Great work everyone!  It’s time to land this plane!!

Here are a few reminders:
Jan. 5 we will begin at 8:00 am.  We will have coffee and donuts in the MPR!  The day will be dedicated to getting ready for the spring semester – with most of our work centered around planning.  Please bring with you your TEKS, computer, and any lead4ward documents that you have.  Please bring the Improvement Required plan from Wednesday’s faculty meeting as well.  6th and 8th grade Core teachers will be meeting with 5th and 9th grade teachers in the afternoon time at SWMS and at NHS to work on vertical planning.

Congratulations to the Orchestra, Band, and Choir for two super Holiday Performances!  Thank you for your hard work and dedication!

I know not everyone got their TriPod survey done on Friday – thanks for being flexible!  Be sure to get it done on Monday!

The last week before the break is a busy and crazy time for all!  I would like ask that all teachers to be on duty when you can – in the am, in the hallways, and in the pm!  Things run much smoother when there is a strong adult presence.  Thank you for your support.

Here is the schedule for the week:
Monday, Dec. 15, 2014
B Day
Free Dress for those students with tickets.
7:45 ELA Data Conference – conference room
2:00 Val @ Admin. Bldg.

Tuesday, Dec. 16, 2014
7:45 Math Data Conference
Monday's schedule

Wednesday, Dec. 17, 2014 – Early Release 12:30
Knights Council Teacher Appreciation Cookie Delivery
Tuesday's schedule
2:00 Campus Leadership Team Meeting – MPR

Thursday, Dec. 18, 2014 – Early Release 12:30
Thursday's schedule
2:45 Faculty Christmas Luncheon and Holiday Mug Exchange

Friday, Dec. 19, 2014 – Early Release 12:30
Friday's schedule
9:15 Kid Team meeting

Please wear jeans Tuesday – Friday of this week, if you so desire!  I wish you all a very Merry Christmas and all the best in 2015!

merry christmas

The Knight’s News 12-8-2014

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


At department meetings this week the discussion centered around lesson plans.  The point of the lesson plan is to “plan and think through” the lesson for delivery in order to have the biggest impact on students and their achievement.  We have also been working on writing very clear and clean objectives that have high level verbs when appropriate and activities that match the verb.  When teachers do the heavy lifting in their lesson design and planning – then you can create amazing opportunities for the students to do the heavy lifting in class.  In order to write good strong objectives – we need to start with the TEKS.  What is the TEK asking the student to be able to do and at what level.  If every objective you write starts with a TEK – you know you are teaching exactly what the student needs to know and learn.   In planning meetings – working on the objectives for the next week is a great place to spend your time – activities should come and be developed AFTER the objectives have been written.  Everyone should have 5 essential elements in their lesson plans:
1.  Hook or set (what are you using or doing to motivate students)
2.  Input – what information are you delivering to the students and how are you delivering it?
3.  Guided Practice
4. Independent Practice
5.  Closure – remember to tie up your lesson with a bow at the end – this increases student learning

How is CHAMPS going in your classroom?  Are you stating your behavioral expectations before each activity?  Do the students know what is expected of them?  Do you give them feedback on how they are doing?  Are you reinforcing desired behaviors with LiveSchool?  Behavior management is not just a beginning of the year or a beginning of the semester job for us!  It will never end!  Please don’t expect that you can lighten up and behavior will remain just how you want it.  Managing behavior is part of a teachers job every day for the whole school year!  You all know the minute you let up – kids see it and feel it and they take advantage!  They are adolescents and that is what they do!!  If you feel like behavior management has gotten away from you a little – the second semester is a great time to tighten up, reset expectations and create the classroom you want to have!  If anyone wants more info on CHAMPS or want to borrow my book over the holidays – please let me know!!

Here is the calendar for the week:
Monday, Dec. 8, 2014
B Day
2:00 ILT Meeting
5:00 Boys Basketball @ Landrum

Tuesday, Dec. 9, 2014
A Day
8:45 BaseCamp
4:45 Cross Country Meet @ MMS

Wednesday, Dec. 10, 2014
B Day
8:00 Faculty Meeting
5:00 Girl’s Basketball v. SFMS @ NMS

Thursday, Dec. 11, 2014
A Day
7:45 Science Data Conference – Conference room
1:30 Gang Task Force in MPR
4:00 Knights Grade Level Meeting
6:00 Holiday Concert in new gym – Come here our Band, Orchestra, and Choir Perform!

Friday, Dec. 12, 2014
B Day
Crazy Christmas Sweater Day for Staff
TRIPOD Survey during 2nd period
8:15 New Teacher Meeting – 3E
9:15 Holiday Concert for 5th grade students from feeder elementary schools – all band, orchestra, and choir students will report to advisory, check in, and then need to be dismissed to go to their concert.  A list of students will be coming to you from the directors.
3:00 Intramurals
4:00 Holiday Dance

This is your last week of instruction for 2014 – so make it count!!

The Knights News 12-1-2014

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

I am sure that everyone enjoyed their time off!  The next 3 weeks go by so fast!  It is really hard to believe that in just 3 short weeks the first semester will be over.  Please make every moment count!

Each of the grade levels determined what ELL strategy they are going to focus on these next 3 weeks!  I know word walls is one area of focus!!  Our ELL students will succeed with your help and attention to their learning needs!  The kids at NMS are lucky to have teachers that are working so hard for their success!  Keep pushing them, using the ELL strategies, and monitoring student success!

Lesson Planning – As you plan your daily lessons – please keep in mind for each lesson the “input” that you are going to deliver to your students.  Your attention to detail for this section of your plans is critical.  You are the expert – you know what you want them to learn that day – so pay close attention to how you are going to deliver that instruction.  This is where your planning it critical – As you create your daily plans – really think through and write down what you will say and do to deliver the instruction – nothing should be left to chance.

Thank you to the ELA department for all of you turning in your writing samples on time!  Nice job!  Social Studies your writing samples are due on Monday, Dec. 1.  Math Department your writing samples are due on Dec. 8!  Thank you!

Here is the schedule for this week:
Monday, Dec. 1, 2014
A Day
Free Dress
Tracy A. @ Library mtg
8:30 Joint Chiefs Meeting with YES
1:30 ILT Meeting
5:00 Boys Basketball game

Tuesday, Dec. 2, 2014
B Day
8:00 DC Meeting
8:45 Base Camp
9:30 Val @ meeting @ Ad Bldg.
3:30 Program of Studies meeting

Wednesday, Dec. 3, 2014
A Day
8:00 Department Meetings
9:00 Val @ Vertical Team Meeting
5:00 Girl’s Basketball

Thursday, Dec. 4, 2014
B Day
8:00 Math Department meeting with Bruce Goodner – Building a rubric
8:00 Strategy Leads Meeting
4:00 Electives Meeting & Knights Grade Level Meetings

Friday, Dec. 5, 2014
A Day
NMS Shared PD – early release 1:51 pm
9:00 Val @ Administrative Mid Winter Conference

Saturday, Dec. 6, 2014
TE  Saturday
9:30 Ace Program Field Trip

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