The Knightly News 3-23-2015

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

Instruction:
You all have pushed hard to have a strong week!  I am proud of the work you and your students have done.  When we return – the 7th grade students have one week until their writing STAAR!  The 7th grade students have been writing, editing, and more writing these last couple of weeks!  The students and teachers at NMS are committed to doing their best on this writing test!  I know they will do their best!  We are at the time of year – all state tests are coming soon – so again, the urgency for staff and students should be evident in classrooms!  I don’t have the results of all of our practice STAAR tests, but I will send an IR update when all the data is in!

Culture:
Some reminders about Discipline and Student behavior:
*   All teachers should be stating expectations for students before the beginning of any activity.  If students are not following the expectations – teachers can call students back and restate expectations.
*   Relationships are most important to students complying with teacher requests.
*   Passports are not a behavior management system – it is a way to record and remind students about behavior – CHAMPS is critical to the Passports being successful
*   At NMS we are NOT punishment driven – we want to teach students how to behave in class to maximize student achievement and learning.
*   Teachers who work at NMS are committed to creating and maintaining classrooms that follow these tenets and create amazing spaces for students to flourish!

General Reminders:
TELPAS testing all week – please check Kathy’s email daily and send the correct students to the lower library for testing
Please remind students taking the TELPAS that this test is super important for them and it is important for them to do their best!
No Knights Grade level meeting this week
STAAR Writing is March 30 and 31, and 8th grade Reading is the 31st
All Staff are expected to attend Community Night

Here is the schedule for the week after spring break:
Monday, March 23, 2015
B Day
SS Teachers Data Day in B117
TELPAS testing begins – 2 testing times most days in library
2:00 ILT Meeting
Beautification Day at NMS
4:30 District Track Meet @ SHS

Tuesday, March 24, 2015
A Day
TELPAS Testing

6th & 7th grade ELA Data Conference – B117
8:15 CSHAC Meeting in Clinic
8:45 Base Camp
9:15 ReVision Meeting
2:30 Val @ meeting
4:30-7:00  Community Night in cafeteria – light snacks for teachers in lounge by cafeteria – Thank you PTA!

Wednesday, March 25, 2015
B Day
8:00 STAAR Security Training – Parent Center
TELPAS Testing
9:00 Val @ Meeting
1:30 Joint Chiefs Meeting – conference room
4:30 District Track meet Day 2 @ SHS

Thursday, March 26, 2015
A Day
TELPAS Testing

8:45 NHS Girls Athletics here to speak with 8th grade girls in Theater – more info to come
9:00 Front Office Meeting
10:00 Master Schedule meeting
4:00 No Knights Grade Level Meeting
4:15 Meet and greet @ Don Coleman  – Job Fair

Friday, March 27, 2015
B Day
Algebra EOC Practice Test
TELPAS testing
9:15 Kid Team meeting
11:30 ReVision Luncheon in Parent Center
12:30 YES  in new gym
5:00 YES in theater

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The Knightly News 3-9-2015

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

Instruction
I have been so proud and impressed with the teachers who have had their data conferences so far.  The amount of work, effort, and thought that have been put into the plans using the data has been outstanding.  We have only a few weeks to move some of our students and with the planning going on – it will happen!  Keep making that march – it will happen!  Go Knights!

Here are the goals for Root Cause 1 – Quarter 3 (Feb. March, April)
55% of all students:
* Pass the 6th grade Released Reading STAAR test
* Pass the 7th grade Released Reading STAAR test
* Pass the 8th grade Released Reading STAAR test – DONE! YEAH!!!!
* Pass the 8th grade Released SS STAAR test –
75% of all Students:
* Pass the Reading Unit Tests
100% of core subject area classrooms using ELL strategies – DON’T FORGET THE ELL STRATEGIES!
Root Cause 2 – Quarter 3 (Feb. March, April)
* 60% of students pass the Writing STAAR  – Writing Released Practice was 27% – we are almost 1/2 way there
Root Cause 3 – Quarter 3 (Feb. March, April)
At least 50% of all students will score 85% or abovve on all unit tests

These are our goals for the next three months!  We need to be focused, focused, focused on these goals and on the readiness standards and make sure our students have the success we know they can have!  I will have the final scores for the other Released STAAR tests next week and will put them on the bulletin.

Climate
You all are continuing to do a great job using the Passports with your students.  Please be sure you state your CHAMPS expectations with your students so that everyone knows what to do!  We can never assume they know – always state what you want them to do, and follow the CHAMPS chart!  You are doing a great job – I am proud of you all!!

Don’t forget this week is Adult Only Dress Up Week!  Which area is going to do this best?  Here is the schedule for the week:
Monday, March 9, 2015
A Day
Beach Day

Math Data Day
1:30 Check in with RD
2:00 ILT Meeting

Tuesday, March 10, 2015
B Day
Pajama Day

8:00 CIT Meeting
8:45 Base Camp
9:15 ReVision Meeting
6:30 Kempwood North Civic Association Meeting in NMS Cafeteria

Wednesday, March 11, 2015
A Day
Rodeo Day

4:30 Boys Track Meet

Thursday, March 12, 2015
B Day
Decade Day

9:00 Val @ Principal’s meeting
4:30 Girl’s Track Meet

Friday, March 13, 2015
A Day
Sports Day – In it to win it!

6th, 7th, Grade Reading Practice STAAR, 8th grade SS Practice STAAR
9:15 Kid Team Meeting

Make every moment count!  We got this!!! 

The Knightly News 3-2-2015

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

Instruction:
8th grade Reading Practice STAAR.  CONGRATULATIONS TO 8TH GRADE ELA TEACHERS! The Q3 goal for Improvement Required was 55% of our 8th graders passing the practice Released STAAR.  – well there were 57% of our students who passed the reading practice!  And…. 8% commended!  Congrats to those 8th grade reading teachers and 8th grade students, and congrats to all of the teachers who taught those students in the past!  We want to increase that score on the real STAAR – but I am so proud of meeting this goal!!!

 Here are the goals for Root Cause 1 – Quarter 3 (Feb. March, April)
55% of all students:
* Pass the 6th grade Released Reading STAAR test
* Pass the 7th grade Released Reading STAAR test
* Pass the 8th grade Released Reading STAAR test – DONE! YEAH!!!!
* Pass the 8th grade Released SS STAAR test –
 75% of all Students:
* Pass the Reading Unit Tests
100% of core subject area classrooms using ELL strategies – DON’T FORGET THE ELL STRATEGIES!
Root Cause 2 – Quarter 3 (Feb. March, April)
* 60% of students pass the Writing STAAR  – Writing Released Practice was 27% – we are almost 1/2 way there
Root Cause 3 – Quarter 3 (Feb. March, April)
At least 50% of all students will score 85% or abovve on all unit tests 

These are our goals for the next three months!  We need to be focused, focused, focused on these goals and on the readiness standards and make sure our students have the success we know they can have!  You all are doing such a great job!  I am proud of the hard work you do!  Team NMS Rocks!!

Culture
We will have out first Culture Task Force meeting on Wednesday, March 11. I am excited about this Task Force and what this staff can create!!   The Passport System is working well!  We have about 9-10 students on RISE in each grade level.  That is fantastic!  Your hard work with students creating good work and behavior habits has been super productive!  Don’t forget to CHAMP your expectations each time you change an activity.  You will build success in your class if you state your expectations for each change!

Here is the schedule for the week:

Monday, March 2, 2015
B Day
UIL Advanced Treble Choir
8th grade ELA Data day
8:30 Steve @ testing meeting
12:00 Library CTR
1:30 Val @ meeting
2:00 ILT Meeting

Tuesday, March 3, 2015
A Day
8:00 DC Meeting
8:45 Base Camp
1:00 Meet with YES (Kat)
3:30 Program of Studies meeting

Wednesday, March 4, 2015
B Day
8:00 Department meetings
11:00 Val @ Testing meeting
3:30 Val @ YES meeting
4:00 YES in cafeteria
4:30 Boys Track Meet @ MHS

Thursday, March 5, 2015
A Day
6th & 7th Math Practice STAAR, 7th grade PreAP Practice STAAR, 8th grade Science Practice STAAR
4:30 Girls Track Meet @ Crump Stadium

Friday, March 6, 2015
B Day
YES Content Day – no electives
8th grade Math Practice STAAR
9:15 Kid Team Meeting

Have a super week!!!

The Knightly News 2-23-2015

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

Instruction:
I have been reading some great lesson plans!  I can see that at NMS there are many teachers writing very detailed and focused plans, which leads to very focused lessons!  The more focused  and thought out the plans, the better the lesson and the higher the student achievement!  I have seen it and have seen some amazing lessons with high student achievement.  When teachers know the exact outcome of what they want, and plan for that, those teachers are making it happen!  We have talked about input as being one of the components of your lesson plan.  Input is the information you are going to give them as part of the new learning, or review of learning. This is when you are the expert and are providing students with the information that they need.  This week – make sure your input is focused and you have thought out what it will be for each lesson you are delivering!  There are many teachers at NMS making this happen!  Great work!
There are two practice STAAR tests next week!  I know that teachers are excited to see how their kids will do!  Pump those kids up!  This is a great opportunity for kids to show us what they have learned!  Go NMS Knights!!!
I have seen ELL strategies in classrooms this week!  That is fantastic!  Keep pre-teaching vocab, having students speak in complete sentences, using stems, cold-calling on students, and having students WRITE, WRITE, WRITE!!!  We have to move the needle on our ELL students’ achievement and using literacy and ELL strategies is the way to make that happen!!

I appreciate all you do for our kids!  I do and would hold the teachers at NMS up to any teachers anywhere!  You all work magic and I am proud to work with you!!   Here is the schedule for next week!

Culture
I know that 6th and 7th grade are slowly beginning to figure out the passport system.  You all have held firm – given marks when appropriate – and the students are learning how they have to behave in order to earn props and not earn marks!  I love how the teachers at NMS are using CHAMPS to manage their classes and giving marks when students don’t follow the expectation after a couple of reminders!  You probably know by now – who in your class may need more than one reminder.  If students are SPED – please be sure you are following their IEP – they may need several redirects from the teacher.  The marks are not a “Gotcha”, the marks are an opportunity for learning!  Kudos to those teachers who are making it happen in classrooms all over NMS!

Here is the schedule for next week!

Monday, February 23, 2015
A Day
GT testing in MPR
2:00 ILT Meeting – conference room

Tuesday, February 24, 2015
B Day
YES Prep 4th Six weeks report card grades due
9:15 ReVision Meeting with AP’s
2:30 Val @ NHS

Wednesday, February 25, 2015
A Day
8:00 Faculty Meeting – in Parent Center
8:00 YES in MPR
10:00 8th grade Field Trip to Symphony

Thursday, February 26, 2015
B Day
8th grade Reading Practice STAAR
4:00 Knights Grade level meeting

Friday, February  27, 2015
A Day
Go Texan Day
8:00 February Book Club 1D
9:15 Kid Team meeting
10:15 Board Members visiting NMS – we will be out and about visiting in classrooms

Saturday, February 28, 2015
TE Saturday – all first floor classrooms used for Teaching Excellence

Have the most productive week!!!

The Knightly News 2-17-2015

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

Instruction
I have seen great work going on in the classrooms!  I really appreciate how this week I saw several teachers using ELL strategies with their students.  As we move toward the season of testing – don’t give up on these strategies.  This is when they are really critical!  Be sure your kids are speaking in complete sentences and when they don’t – remind them and have the students say it again!  Pre-teach that vocabulary!  Give students word banks to use when they write!  The more interaction students have with new words – the better they will understand them!   Remember – we have to move the needle for our ELL students’ achievement!
We talked a little with the 7th grade teachers on Friday afternoon how February is a really tough month for teachers and kids! The stress of the STAAR test begins and kids often react to our stress with not optimum behavior!  So – keeping the class focused, engaged, and on task becomes even more important!  Here are Practice STAAR dates coming up:
Feb. 26 – 8th grade Reading Practice STAAR
March 5 – 6th & 7th grade Math Practice STAAR. 7th PreAP Practice STAAR, 8th grade Science Practice STAAR
March 6 – 8th grade Math Practice STAAR
These tests give us great data to inform our instruction!  Keep up the hard work!  We are going to do this!

passport

Culture
Wow!  I want to thank Jamecia for her hard work and great start to the “Building a Culture of Achievement/Excellence at NMS”  Campaign!  I know many of you have also indicated interest in working with Jamecia as we take NMS to the next level!  I am really excited to see what we can grow here and with the teachers making it happen – I know it will be outstanding!!  Again – Jameicia – You Rock!  Great Work!

Passports – You all are doing really well with the passports!  I am super excited to see what you all have accomplished with the students.  As I have already said – February is a tough month – discipline goes up in February – so the fact there are many kids on RISE is totally normal.  I am sure you heard the same things from the YES teachers on Friday during our PD.  There is no magic bullet!  This is tough work – and it requires all teachers to be consistent, fair, and follow through!  I think what I have heard the most is that some teachers aren’t giving marks for students on RISE talking.  Everyone must follow through!  We all have to be united!  When kids see we all mean it – and marks are given consistently – most kids will get in line!  Remember – we are going to always struggle with 2-3% of the kids!  There interventions may look very different!  My soap box is this:  The passports are not classroom management.  CHAMPS is your classroom management, as well as the other strategies we have learned about in Teach Like A Champion.  When you use those plus CHAMPS – your kids know what is expected, they get feedback from you, and you create success.  There are so many teachers at NMS with FANTASTIC classroom management – that the Passport is only needed infrequently, and only after at least one redirect!  If you find yourself giving mark after mark, then classroom management needs to be addressed!  If you need any help or support – please let me know!  What I am so excited about is the positivity that I hear from so many teachers!  NMS teachers are the best!!

Here is the schedule for the week:
Monday, Feb. 16, 2015
Holiday

Tuesday, Feb. 17, 2015
A Day
YES Prep Common Assessments – quiet upstairs!!!  YES students not in electives
Free Dress – tickets already purchased
8:45 Base Camp

Wednesday, Feb. 18, 2015
B Day
YES Prep Common Assessments – quiet upstairs!!!  YES students not in electives
8:00 Val @ meeting
8:00 Department Meetings – except ELA:  SS and Science use protocol to look at student writing, Math with vendor
9:00 Computers and Testing meeting in conference room

Thursday, Feb. 19, 2015
A Day
YES Prep Common Assessments – quiet upstairs!!!  YES students not in electives
8:00-11:30 or 1:00-4:30 AP Meetings
8:00 ELA Department Meeting
9:00 Master schedule Meeting
1:30 Vic’s group in MPR
4:00 Knights Grade Level meeting

Friday, Feb. 20, 2015
B Day

9:15 Kid Team meeting

Have a great week!  Have those kids Work Hard!!!!!

The Knightly News 2-9-2015

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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.

Instruction:
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!

Culture
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 2-1-2015

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

Instruction:
This week, science writing samples are due on Friday, 2/6!
We are still focusing on lesson design and lesson cycle!  At NMS, those teachers who are committing to the lesson cycle and the required components are delivering really thoughtful lessons!  NMS teachers do the heavy lifting in their planning and create opportunities for students to do heavy lifting in the classrooms, along with ample time to practice, practice, and more practice!

We have now concluded our Q2 work for our IR plan.  The Campus Leadership Team will be working this week to collect the data – the leads will be preparing this information for our meeting on Thursday, at 4:00 in the MPR.  At this time – we will examine our goals for Q3 and make any needed adjustments.

Please continue to use the ELL strategies that research has shown help students acquire a language.  Students should be answering in complete sentences the large majority of the time.  I have been in about 10 classrooms in the last week or so and I have not been able to locate the class seating charts.  Please make sure those are on the chalk tray and available.  I know it feels like STAAR is still far away – but we have to make every moment count!

Thanks to everyone for your valuable input at Wednesday’s faculty meeting.  I will be meeting with the Senior Staff Monday morning to present our proposal.  I will keep you posted.

Culture:
This Monday starts all grade level implementation of the Passport system.  What I believe is the most important thing to remember as we put this in place is this:  This system does not take the place of CHAMPS – CHAMPS must be done for each activity every day – so that students know what is expected of them.  You will be giving nonstop marks if  the expectations aren’t clear!  This system also doesn’t take place of the most important part of any classroom management and that is building strong relationships with students.  Strong relationships are the key to all good management and teaching!  I do believe the Passports will help with some of the small behaviors, that weren’t big enough for a referral, but happen often and in many classrooms all day.  This will be a learning experience for everyone – so let’s keep that in mind as we start!  I know this amazing group of teachers will build this so that our kids will learn from the marks and help all of our kids be in control of their behaviors!

Here is the schedule for this week:
Monday, Feb. 2, 2015
Ground Hog Day
A Day
Free Dress
8:00 ELA Department meeting – Angela’s room
8:45 Base camp –  6th and 7th only.  Elective teachers – if you have 8th graders, please be in your classroom.  8th grade will not have Base camp on Monday
1:30 Check in with TE
2:00 ILT Meeting
5:00 BB @ NMS

Tuesday, Feb. 3, 2015
B Day
8:00 DC Meeting
8:45 Base Camp all grades
YES Prep 4th Six Weeks Progress Report

Wednesday, Feb. 4, 2015
A Day
Department Meetings – look at student writing
2:00 Master Schedule Meeting – conference room
5:00 Girl’s BBall
5:00 YES Prep Parent meeting in cafeteria

Thursday, Feb. 5, 2014
B Day
9:15 5th grade Transition Day – you will see 5th graders touring the school
4:00 Campus Leadership Team Meeting in MPR

Friday, Feb. 6, 2015
A Day
9:15 Kid Team Meeting
4:00 Valentine Dance

Have a great week!!

ground hog day

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