Monday, August 16, 2010

Tim Tyson's Teachings

I hope you've enjoyed Tim Tyson today!

What are you willing/committed to put into practice?

Mr. Mac's Memo #1

It’s great to welcome you back today to what promises to be a memorable year! Sheri & I are blessed to work with the most outstanding staff in the district, & we are excited about the work that lies ahead. You are such an integral part of what we do at Denton Creek & I hope you are ready for an exciting year. Although our summer break is never long enough, we hope you are returning revitalized & energized about the celebrations & the challenges that await us.

We want to welcome once again our new staff members. They are in a great place & will add so much to our faculty. We are fortunate to have them, so welcome aboard to Miguel Rivas, Debbie Lukert, Lindsey McCartney, Lisa Stokes, Tessa Knickerbocker, Jennifer Coates, & Allison Pryor. You will love Denton Creek & I know we will enjoy having YOU!

Here’s a reminder of our schedule for this week:

I’m excited to welcome Tim Tyson back to Denton Creek to kick off our year! Tim has a lot of great information to share with us. Here’s what today will look like:

7:30 – 8:00 – Coffee & Connection Time – PTO is providing breakfast for us!
8:15 – 9:30 – Teachers as 21st Century Instructional Leaders (Overview)
9:45 – 10:45 – Teachers as 21st Century Instructional Leaders (Demo)
11:00 – 11:30 – Hands on with Animoto (Lab workshop for teachers who want to put together a video intro of themselves for their blogs.) Space will be limited on this one.

12:30 – 1:15 – Blogging 101 in the Lab for teachers with no blogging experience
1:15 – 2:00 – Intermediate Blogging for teachers with some blogging experience
2:00 – 2:45 – K-2 teachers – Personal Learning networks & other resources
2:45 – 3:30 – 3-5 teachers – Personal Learning networks & other resources

Please choose a blogging session to attend in the afternoon in the computer lab.Barbara’s specials team will attend with K-2 teachers at 2PM & Glenda’s team will attend with 3-5 teachers at 2:45.

Tuesday – District Convocation – Irving Bible Church – 8:00 – Coffee & our Celebration begins at 9:00. Michelle King has worked hard to put together a great event for us!
Please be there by 8:30 so Denton Creek can sit together – you may dress up for the NASCAR theme or wear your DC t-shirts which you will receive today. Please pay Sheri $13.00 for your t-shirt.

Lunch on your own immediately following convocation. Please be back & ready to start by 1:15 to hear Steve Knagg whose humorous talk will center on balance in our lives…don’t we all need more of that?! His talk is titled, “Sane Living in an Insane World” & I’m confident you will enjoy him – a lot!

Wednesday – District Day – We will have schedules printed so you will know where to go.
As you may have heard we are not posting class lists this year, so Wednesday is student registration/teacher assignment pick up from 8:00 AM – 7PM in the cafeteria. We will see how the new system goes!

Thursday – District Day – Meet the Teacher Night – 5:30 – 6:30 PM

Friday – Happy New Year Party!!/Faculty meeting, Cafeteria – Light breakfast 8:00 – 8:15

Team-building, Nuts & Bolts –We’ll do our best to have you out by 11:15 – possibly sooner!

We are planning on having your class lists to you late Tuesday afternoon – but not before!
Please don’t ask Donna to see them ahead of time.

We are excited to be getting new library furniture sometime this week. We will not be able to meet as a group in the library any this week until all of the furniture has been delivered, so our meetings today, tomorrow afternoon, & Friday morning will be held in the cafeteria.

Early dismissal for students in K-2 is scheduled for week after next (Monday, Tuesday, & Wednesday) for assessment as we’ve done in the past. Sheri is working on a schedule that you will receive soon.

We will continue our school-wide D.E.A.R. program & ask that you have it in place no later than the second week of school. Please respect the integrity of the program by ensuring that you are reading/modeling with your kids the entire time. (8:10 – 8:30.)
I think you know how important this is to me!

Courtney Jennings will be our RTI specialist this year. Congratulations to her on her new position!

Your PTO teacher reps this year are Martha Brown, Kathy Flatt, & Barbara Larsen.

The following teachers will serve as content specialists this year:
Janet Dickerson – Social Studies
Kerry Webb – Math
Cynthia Alaniz – ELAR
Kathy Flatt – Science

We will provide you with 6 hours of flex hours opportunities this year & you will be responsible for getting 6 hours, & we’re asking that you obtain at least six hours of technology training this year. Please remember that approval for flex hours must be given ahead of time! See me if you’re not sure about this so there won’t be any confusion as to what’s allowed for flex hours, etc.
Your team leaders have lots of information to share with you regarding things you need to know for the new school year. If they haven’t already met with you, they will!

One of the neat new things this year is our access to AWARE – a new assessment data system that will put student data in your hands much sooner. Aware is an online computer adaptive assessment system (for grades 2-9) that identifies individual students’ instructional level. It will provide data instantaneously, give us diagnostic information, information on sub groups of students, etc. so it will be a valuable tool for us. Sheri will be our trainer!

Our Most Important School Goals For This Year Include:

· Delving deeper into 21st Century learning – both as educators & learners.
· Improving our Commended scores & continuing to focus on rigorous instruction with special emphasis given to Math & Science & a greater focus on our subgroups.
· We will embrace our Dual Language program wholeheartedly & make sure we do everything we can to support the program & ensure its’ success.
· We will strive to create a sense of belonging for ALL students & will work to reduce & prevent bullying – our new R-time program will help us with this initiative.

Although next Monday will be my 23rd “Opening Day”, I never lose the nervous edge I felt on my very first day of school when I began my career as a fifth grade teacher in Amarillo.
As we begin a new school year, I hope you share my sense of excitement, rejuvenation, & anticipation of what will be a tremendous year of growth for our students & staff.

Although our success as professional educators will depend to a great extent on our specific skills & the breadth of our knowledge base, I firmly believe that our character & our human relations skills are even more vital to the ultimate success we experience with our students & our entire school community.

We will follow the same NORMS/EXPECTATIONS that we had last year which are:

· We will treat all students with dignity & respect.
· We will ensure success for all students.
· We will grow professionally both individually & collectively as a staff.
· We will communicate consistently, positively, & professionally with parents.
· We will work together to promote a team-oriented environment conducive to learning.
· We will listen to & respect the opinions of others & be willing to compromise.
· We will base decisions on fact rather than supposition & support decisions that are made.
· We will tell the truth; admit mistakes; take responsibility; keep confidentiality.
· We will be perceptive to the needs of others & be willing to help; remember, we are part of a team.
· We will have FUN!

If we can all adhere to these norms we will be in great shape!

Upcoming Important Dates:

Meet the Teacher Night – Thursday, August 19th from 5:30 – 6:30
Curriculum Night – September 7th – K, 1, & 2 – 5-6PM & 3, 4, & 5 from 6:15 – 7:15PM
Grandparent’s Tea – October 1st

We know this is one of the busiest times of the year as there are many last minute things to do to prepare for your students, & we truly appreciate the effort you have already put into your classroom preparation, lesson plans, etc. so that you are ready for kids on Monday!


Coming together is a beginning;
Keeping together is progress;
Working together is success!
-Henry Ford

Today we decide how tomorrow will look.


· Coppell ISD being an EXEMPLARY school district for the first time in 10 years!

· Denton Creek’s EXEMPLARY status as well! We will strive to take our school to even greater heights this year!

· Our new staff members – Miguel, Debbie, Lindsey, Lisa, Tessa, Jennifer, & Alli!

· The beginning of a new year with new students, new colleagues, new learning, & new excitement!