Thursday, November 16, 2017

Weekly Communication from Central Office - 11/16

Wink’s Weekly Words

Thank you

Thanksgiving break is upon us, and I would like to take this opportunity to thank each and everyone of you for all that you do for BRISD.  As your superintendent, I am continuously humbled by how hard you work, how much you give, and how committed you are to your students and to your personal growth as an educator.  I pray that you will have a restful break full of family and friends and that you come back to school on Monday, November 27 ready to chase excellence in December.

#NoExcuseNovember - Ending the ‘I Don’t Know’ Excuse

The excuse of “I Don’t Know” can be eliminated by adding the following phrase, “but I will find out.”  The secret to learning is not found in what you know but in confidently taking on what you don’t know yet.  The best teachers are learners first.


Amy’s Announcements

REMINDER....MANDATORY STAFF TRAINING!As we know, 504 and SpEd students receive accommodations for state testing. Now, in some cases, our RtI students can also receive designated supports if they're already using them in everyday classroom instruction. Come and learn how to use these supports/accommodations to assist your students, which in turn, gives them needed support for STAAR. This information, applied in your classroom, will make a huge difference with these students.

Two more opportunities after Thanksgiving - November 27 and 29.




COMING in DECEMBER....
with prizes to be earned!




Staff Shoutout

A huge thanks to Roma Morgan for working so diligently to complete FA2 for her 8th graders and all of the 7th graders while Mrs. Wade has been out. She's a great team player and very appreciated!



Technology Announcements

As many of your know, we have had issues with the keyboards on our original order of Lenovo Chromebooks (used by all HS students, on a few carts at the MS and some teachers). Because of the continuing problem, Lenovo has agreed to replaced every keyboard on all 400 originally ordered devices.

To accomplish the repair, we will be sending EVERY DEVICE to Lenovo over the Christmas holiday. This will require us to collect these devices before the break and reissue upon return.


FOR TEACHERS WHO HAVE A LENOVO DEVICE: We will need to collect yours, as well. We are working to see if we have enough devices in inventory to issue you a temporary device. More details will follow concerning this.



Sorry for this inconvenience, but we're glad that Lenovo will be helping to get these devices back to a desired condition.

Professional Learning

  • November classes are listed in Eduphoria and HERE  - https://goo.gl/9YfN8r
    • Make sure you sign up and complete the survey to receive credit.

Special Programs Announcements


Friday, November 10, 2017

Weekly Communication from Central Office - 11/10


Wink’s Weekly Words

The Details are Excellence Makers
Once the FA data is inputted, what happens next is the difference between mediocrity and excellence, and the difference can be found in the details.  As we review data, the overall grade and student growth tell us how they did, but it doesn’t tell us how we can grow students.  The pathway to excellence requires us to analyze by student by skill.  

Looking at your essential skills, find the kids who are still not mastering them.  Then build your guided learning plans and tutorial periods around those students.   If all kids are still not mastering them, that means that you will have to make plans to spiral those skills into the next 4 weeks of instruction.  

The details is where you will find the opportunities for growth in each individual student.
#NoExcuseNovember - What Excuses are You Defeating?
Leave a comment on this blog to help your colleagues learn from your excellence.


Amy’s Announcements

MANDATORY STAFF TRAINING COMING UP!As we know, 504 and SpEd students receive accommodations for state testing. Now, in some cases, our RtI students can also receive designated supports if they're already using them in everyday classroom instruction. Come and learn how to use these supports/accommodations to assist your students, which in turn, gives them needed support for STAAR. This information, applied in your classroom, will make a huge difference with these students.We are holding 4 training sessions in November to explain this to all staff. This is a mandatory training, so every staff member will need to attend one of the after school trainings. Dates are: November 9, 16, 27, 29. Sign up in Eduphoria to get PD credit.

Thank you for your diligence in preparing our students to take their FA2 this week. Because of the crazy schedule on Friday, we extended the deadline for having tests scanned. Please be sure this is done by Monday so we’ll have adequate time to compile the data for campus meetings.

Staff Shoutout

This week’s post starts with an awesome email Mr. Wink received from Stacy Norton.   
“I just want to give a big shout out to Ms. Patterson.  What a great addition to our staff she is.  That lady is all business!!!!   Everything she says and does is with purpose.  I don't really know how she covers all the area she does but it is always full steam ahead.  
Who will you celebrate this week?



What a wonderful Veterans Day Program today - Mrs. Kay, Mr. Figueroa and so many others that contributed to an impactful ceremony - thanks for all of your hard work. I know this sweet veteran and many others appreciated the gratitude shown today.


Technology Announcements

As many of your know, we have had issues with the keyboards on our original order of Lenovo Chromebooks (used by all HS students, on a few carts at the MS and some teachers). Because of the continuing problem, Lenovo has agreed to replaced every keyboard on all 400 originally ordered devices.

To accomplish the repair, we will be sending EVERY DEVICE to Lenovo over the Christmas holiday. This will require us to collect these devices before the break and reissue upon return.

FOR TEACHERS WHO HAVE A LENOVO DEVICE: We will need to collect yours, as well. We are working to see if we have enough devices in inventory to issue you a temporary device. More details will follow concerning this.

Sorry for this inconvenience, but we're glad that Lenovo will be helping to get these devices back to a desired condition.


Professional Learning
  • November classes are listed in Eduphoria and HERE  - https://goo.gl/9YfN8r
    • Make sure you sign up and complete the survey to receive credit.
Special Programs Announcements

Miscellaneous Announcements


  • If you haven’t heard the news, Cathy Agan, who serves in many capacities at Central Office (personnel, substitutes, volunteers, etc.) has resigned to be able to spend much needed time with family. We will miss her terribly at Central Office! Please join us for a come-and-go, goodbye send-off reception on Tuesday, November 14th from 3:30 - 4:30 in the Board Room at Central Office. Her last day in the district is Friday, November 17th.

Friday, November 3, 2017

Weekly Communication from Central Office - 11/3

Wink’s Weekly Words


FA’s are Next Week!! Don’t miss your opportunity to motivate your students to reach their +10 Goals

No Excuse November - Response to Learning  

Our metal is tested in times of challenge not times of success.  This month is No Excuse November, and I challenge you to join me in eliminating excuses that we are so quick to throw up when we encounter difficulty. The biggest excuse is the excuse of not having enough time.  That’s an excuse that I am prone to throw up every now and then, but I have to remind myself that someone better and more effective than me has the same amount of time as me and they are getting the job done.  So when it comes to the excuse of time, I must ask myself where I am wasting it, not where can I find more of it.  


Excuses are nothing more than our inner negative naysayer telling us that we’ll never get there.  They tell you that it’s ok to not reach your goals.  The only way to win in No Excuse November is to do what Dr. Scott Leslie says.  Be Stronger than Your Excuses.  You can beat excuses if you commit to telling them to take a hike.


When it comes to learning, I challenge you to bank more time in your day by staying focused on whether the students are learning or not.  If they are, ask yourself how can you release them to independent tasks that don’t need you as much, so that you can dedicate your time  to those who aren’t there yet.  By extending students with independent task that require less time from you, you are setting your sights on helping all kids with skills that need your direct expertise.

PRIZE PATROL




Amy’s Announcements

MANDATORY STAFF TRAINING COMING UP!As we know, 504 and SpEd students receive accommodations for state testing. Now, in some cases, our RtI students can also receive designated supports if they're already using them in everyday classroom instruction. Come and learn how to use these supports/accommodations to assist your students, which in turn, gives them needed support for STAAR. This information, applied in your classroom, will make a huge difference with these students.We are holding 4 training sessions in November to explain this to all staff. This is a mandatory training, so every staff member will need to attend one of the after school trainings. Dates are: November 9, 16, 27, 29. Sign up in Eduphoria to get PD credit.




FA2 Assessments will begin next week!!


Thanks in advance for motivating our students to do their best, knowing the results will provide needed data for interventions.

Start now thinking about how you’ll respond to the data.Use the BRISD Instructions for Formative Assessment 17-18, - https://goo.gl/kqmhBo. Scroll down to Week 6 & 1.  
These are the important steps that you will need to go through in order to analyze your data.  It is critical that you analyze your 8-12 most essential standards which in all likelihood will be your readiness standards.  Use the data to make a plan to do the following:
  • Spiral critical skills into your 2nd 6 weeks instruction,
  • Make guided learning plans and tutorial groups.
  • Reflect on instructional strategies that need to be replicated, revamped or replaced.


Also, it is critical that you make a plan to have the students analyze their data using the Student Goal Sheet. This step is critical so that they take ownership of the data and make their +10 plans for future growth.

In our October 16th Staff Learning Day, we identified the 2-3 critical standards you would be focusing on for weeks 2.1 through 2.4. As we worked through the tasks for that day (https://goo.gl/pF6KnM) , many of you entered 2017 STAAR and FA1 data into your lesson plans. If not, here’s a video showing where to get the data and where to enter it - https://goo.gl/jurizk


PLEASE HAVE YOUR STAAR 2017, FA1 and FA2 DATA ENTERED BEFORE YOUR FA2 DATA MEETING WITH YOUR PRINCIPAL. It’s imperative that we continue to analyze the data for your most critical standards.

Professional Learning

  • November classes are listed in Eduphoria and HERE  - https://goo.gl/9YfN8r
    • Make sure you sign up and complete the survey to receive credit.

Special Programs Announcements

Miscellaneous Announcements


  • If you haven’t heard the news, Cathy Agan, who serves in many capacities at Central Office (personnel, substitutes, volunteers, etc.) has resigned to be able to spend much needed time with family. We will miss her terribly at Central Office! Please join us for a come-and-go, goodbye send-off reception on Tuesday, November 14th from 3:30 - 4:30 in the Board Room at Central Office. Her last day in the district is Friday, November 17th.

Friday, October 27, 2017

Weekly Communication from Central Office - 10/27

Wink’s Weekly Words

What if the student isn’t learning the standard?  
Last week, I introduced this graphic below to show how the most effective teachers respond when students are learning or are failing to learn the standard. This week I want you to think about how you enrich students if they are learning.  When it comes to enrichment, there are a few choices you have to guide students to even higher levels of success.


  1. You can give them more of the same work to build automaticity with the content.
  2. You can add more complexity through questions and prompts to extend the student in unpredictable situations.
  3. You can give the student choices of different products he could create to show mastery of his learning. (PBL)
  4. You can assign the student to lead a small group of students or individual students to help them teach the standard to their peers.


Here’s the thing about differentiation.  There is no correct answer, only a best match with each student.  This week, I invite you to share your differentiation strategies with all of us.


PRIZE PATROL


BLUE RIDGE FALL FESTIVAL - SHOUTOUT

There are so many people I would like to thank for making the Blue Ridge Fall Festival a huge success.  First, I would like to thank Shawn Harris for being the point person for everyone.  She is outstanding and committed to making Blue Ridge a better place everyday.  
Special thanks go to Terra Mathers and Stacey Raymer for organizing the Zombie Run.  It was so much fun.
Thank you to Carolyn Wink and Denise Avery for being our community contacts to get so many community members involved.
Thank you to the following staff members who either organized the kids to be involved or worked with us on Saturday.

  • Phillip Lentz, Matthew Todd, Dena Hamilton, Jennifer Stroup, Courtney Christenson, Roma Morgan,Angie Lillard, Tiffani Johnson, Katie Pelzel, Kevin Wiggins, Missy Douglas, Leslie Packard, Roma Morgan, Theresa Wade, Michael Gelvin, Casey Moore, Sherry Lord, Kim Mounger, Terri Rodriquez.
  • If I forgot your name, I apologize.  Please let me know.

Amy’s Announcements



The beginning of the year MAP window has officially CLOSED! Whew!
Thanks for your patience as we worked through this assessment for the very first time. We believe that, over time, the data can be used to give us valuable information about student growth. 

Just a little info about MAP:
MAP uses anonymous assessment data from over 10.2 million students to create national norms, placing our students within a representative national sample. By drawing from an incredibly wide pool of anonymized test records (pulled from more than six million test events, 23,000 schools, and 49 states), MAP is able to accurately represent the US school-age population.

REMEMBER...MAP scores students by RIT score. 
MAP® Growth™ measures student performance with RIT scale. Like centimeters on a ruler, it measures in equal intervals, regardless of a student’s grade or performance—and it remains stable over time. This gives you an accurate measure of student performance, regardless of whether they’re performing on, above, or below grade level.
The video below gives more information on RIT scores (it's written for parents).




When looking at your students RIT score, compare their scores to this MAP NORMS CHART, to see the median RIT for your grade/test. This will help you determine if your student is above or below the average. Keep in mind that there's a standard deviation for each grade/test, meaning the average could be a certain number of points above the RIT or below the RIT. The standard deviation gives you an AVERAGE RANGE, instead of just one specific number.

Here's the chart of NORMS to compare your RIT score to - https://goo.gl/SYLYqq




I know many of you have already printed reports and are starting to look at student data. 
If you haven't looked at data yet, here's a starting point:

1. Look at the CLASS REPORT  - this report shows class performance for a term, including norms status rankings, so you can analyze student needs.


2. A second good report to view is the STUDENT PROFILE REPORT. This report brings together the data you need to advise each student and support his or her growth, including learning paths and growth goals.




Need or want help with interpreting MAP Reports?

  • Your principal can help!
  • See your MAP Coordinator - Elder, Townsend, Raymer (SHOUT OUT to these ladies for all the work they've done with MAP.
  • Come to a MAP Q & A training session...these will be scheduled in November...be watching!



Professional Learning


  • October classes are listed in Eduphoria and HERE  - https://goo.gl/9YfN8r
    • Make sure you sign up and complete the survey to receive credit.

  • A few November classes are already listed on the iMPACT Training calendar - https://goo.gl/9YfN8r if you want a preview. Want to suggest a class or TEACH a class? See your iMPACT Team Lead - Stiney, McPherson, Brummett, or Pelzel.

  • This past Monday was our 2nd Twitter Chat of the school year, which focused on DOK Questions and Exit Tickets. THANKS Katie Pelzel, for moderating the chat. If you missed it, here's the Storify of the tweets - https://goo.gl/v8kSVy




Special Programs Announcements



Miscellaneous Announcements


  • If you need to send an email to all staff members at Central Office with news/announcements, you can send to centraloffice@brisd.net and all CO staff will receive it.
  • Counselor’s Corner - https://goo.gl/4jCkhf

Thursday, October 19, 2017

Weekly Communication from Central Office - 10/20

Wink’s Weekly Words - (click here to read my Blue Ridge community blog)

Thank you all for such a great day of learning and for another great week of pushing kids to find their excellence.  The thing that impresses me every time is your passion for continuous improvement.  I hope that as you look at the planning you have done this week leading to Thanksgiving that you direct your focus to this student centered question.


TIGER BAND EARNS FIRST EVER 1st DIVISION AT UIL MARCHING CONTEST.
We are so proud of David Terry and the Tiger Band for earning a 1st Division Rating at Marching Contest for the FIRST TIME IN SCHOOL HISTORY.  Read more here.

Is the student learning the standard?  

The graphic below shows how we must respond based the answer being yes or no.  This week I challenge you to ask this question throughout your lesson and take note of your findings and responses to those findings.


BLUE RIDGE FALL FESTIVAL - SAT, 10/21 IS HERE!!!

CLICK HERE FOR MORE INFO ABOUT THE EVENT

We are so excited that the BR Fall Festival is set for Saturday, October 21 from 8 - 4.  This event is going to have tons of fun events including a Zombie Run, Pony Rides, Inflatable Bounce Houses/Obstacle Courses in the Gym, and lots of food, vendors, etc.  


JOIN ME AS WE TAKE PART IN THE ZOMBIE RUN AT 9 A.M.


BRING THE KIDS FOR PONY RIDES, BOUNCE HOUSES, FOOD, PUNT, PASS & KICK COMPETITION, AND GREAT FELLOWSHIP


Amy’s Announcements

Thanks for a wonderful day of collaboration and planning on Monday. I really enjoyed working with our ELA teachers - such a dedicated group!


Hopefully, you felt it was a productive day of purposefully planning for your next 4 weeks. On Tuesday, I saw this quote and I thought it very fitting for our staff.




Our plan is to continue this type of planning every few weeks. Your FA2 is due on October 20. Our testing calendar with dates can be found here and on the Curriculum Calendar in Google Calendar can be found  here on the iMPACT Website.


Be sure to sign up for the Staff Learning Day in Eduphoria to receive credit, after doing the feedback survey. IT WILL CLOSE ON ON FRIDAY THE 27TH, so don’t delay.




Staff Shoutout

Our band is AMAZING! Congratulations to Mr. Terry and Mr. Carpenter for all of their hard work in leading our band to NEW, awesome accomplishments. Also a huge shoutout to Mr. Chaffin, for volunteering his time to assist our directors and band - we’re so glad to have you!
I’m so appreciative of your efforts with our students...especially my band kid! :)


Terry.jpgCarpenter.jpg
Chaffin.jpg


Professional Learning


  • October classes are listed in Eduphoria and HERE  - https://goo.gl/9YfN8r
    • Make sure you sign up and complete the survey to receive credit.
  • Make plans to participate in our 2nd Twitter Chat of the year on Monday the 23rd. Katie Pelzel will be monitoring the discussion on DOK Questions and Exit Tickets. Make sure to use the hashtag - #BRISDLearns




Special Programs Announcements

Miscellaneous Announcements

  • Save the date!! Flu clinic will  be held Wednesday, October 26, 2017 at the Admin. Bldg.  6:30 A.M. until 8:30 A.M. Please bring your insurance card and your drivers license. I will get a list of the insurances that will cover. the cost of the shot. Otherwise, the cost is $28.00. Participation is voluntary. Our Tiger Teachers are important. Stay well !!
  • If you need to send an email to all staff members at Central Office with news/announcements, you can send to centraloffice@brisd.net and all CO staff will receive it.


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Upcoming Events (next 3 weeks)

See Mr. Wink’s blog for sports & community events.


  • Fri, Oct 20 - End of 1st 9 Week Grading Period
  • Sat, Oct 21 - Blue Ridge Fall Festival from 8 a.m. - 4 p.m.