Weekly Words | November 20, 2022
We still have a few days remaining with our Annual St. Mary's Thanksgiving Food Drive! Please encourage your students to donate and recognize the value of community service; this is an incredible opportunity to weave in character building with our classes!

An Overlooked Lever
Team and Family,

While we immerse our planning in academic vocabulary, higher order thinking questions, exit ticket data, and constructed responses, I want to also emphasize one often overlooked lever of student achievement:


Our relationships with students are our responsibility. We are not solely responsible for a student’s performance and behavior, however, our relationships with students are our responsibility. Prioritizing strong relationships yields huge dividends. Sometimes, our students doubt that we care for them. It is natural in a highly disciplined environment. However, if you have not taken time to individually express your care and belief in your most challenging students, the time is now. It is not easy, but it is necessary. If our students genuinely believe that we care about them, they will care about us. If our students care about us, they will care about our classes. If they care about the class, they are much more likely to be successful because they will be putting effort and energy into the work. Invest your belief frequently and consistently, and watch your students grow!

In Service to You,
Mr. Walker
Teacher & Staff Spotlight
Each week, we will celebrate teachers and staff members who have gone above and beyond in their efforts to provide all scholars a high-quality education.

This week, we recognize:
Ms. Koch visited our Flower family as a guest teacher during the 2020-2021 school year. Before Ms. Koch became a permanent member of our Flower family, I remember rushing out to the parking lot to meet Ms. Koch as she was leaving campus for the day. I remember sharing with her how impressed we were with her performance as a guest teacher and how her talents and personality just ‘clicked’ with our team. I mentioned that if she were interested, we’d love to speak with her about opportunities with AMS Flower!

Long story short, Ms. Koch has now served our Flower community for multiple school years as a Middle School Science Teacher. We are so proud of the teacher and colleague Ms. Koch has become. She engages her students on a daily basis with lessons that empower students to recognize their role in protecting our Earth by researching, investigating, conducting analyses, promoting sustainability, and much more. Additionally, Ms. Koch has made additional impact with co-leading student council with Ms. Pavone this year, providing students an opportunity to develop leadership skills to benefit our community and lift student voice.

Ms. Koch is also a terrific colleague as she provides strengths such as energy, planning, and collaboration to our team. These qualities make it so enjoyable to work alongside her in our work to support our Flower community!

This work is not easy and we know it takes incredible amounts of time, and energy. We love and appreciate you, Ms. Koch!
School Culture & Events:
Daily Attendance

Our daily attendance average goal is 95%. We know that many variables for student attendance may be outside of our control, however, we must focus on what is within our control. Our families who provide unexcused absences must be contacted on a daily basis as a check in, to stress the impact of an absence, and to offer support - such as providing a clear plan for completing make up assignments. Our contact tracker is near completion, however, in the meantime, we must continue to first call and then, rely on platforms such as ClassDojo, to reach our families. The graphic attached provides staggering statistics regarding the impact of chronic absenteeism.
School Culture & Events:
Wednesday Detention

Parent communication must be made and confirmed by the teacher assigning the detention! The deadline to assign a detention is each Tuesday, by EOD.

Important Reminders: 
The detention list will be sent to teachers and front office staff prior to detention. During detention, students will complete behavior reflection forms, restorative letters, or copy essays related to why they are in detention. Essays need to be taken home and signed by the parent. If not returned the next day, they have recess detention and are copying the essay again.

School Culture & Events:
Native American Heritage Month

November is Native American Heritage Month. This month is designated as the month to honor Native American traditions, language, and culture. Native American History is American History and working together, we can build a future that is equitable and inclusive. As we celebrate and honor Native and Indigenous peoples and nations, here are 22 books to share with staff and students to learn more about Native American history, culture, and heritage:

School Culture & Events:
Girls on the Run

Girls on the Run is an after-school program that will be starting soon for girls in grades 3-5! We are almost there, with a few remaining spots to go! Girls on the Run involves empowering students to learn about leadership and social emotional skills, while staying active and completing an end of year 5K run! Interested in learning more information? Please contact Ms. Ciesla ([email protected]) and Ms. Thorpe ([email protected]), who will serve as Girls on the Run Coaches this year!
School Culture & Events:
Students vs. Staff Volleyball

Our annual Students vs. Staff Volleyball game takes place during our November Assembly on November 30. Our first game with K-4 staff will be 8:30 a.m. and our second game with 5-8 staff will be 9:45 a.m. Sign up here: Students vs Staff Volleyball Form
School Culture & Events:
St. Mary's Thanksgiving Food Drive

Our 4th Annual Give Thanks Food Drive is starting this Monday! Our school turkey named "Fred" is in the front office please help us feed him! We have partnered with St. Mary’s Food Bank to collect non-perishable food items from November 14 until November 22.

The GRADE level with the most donations will receive a pizza lunch and the top three students who donates the most will get to Pie an Administrator on Wednesday, November 23!
School Culture & Events:
Future for KIDS

Future for KIDS continues this week, Tuesdays from 3:15 – 5:15 p.m. Future for KIDS students are to be dismissed with walker students at 3:12 p.m. to the BACK DOOR of the cafeteria.

School Culture & Events:
Winter Carnival IS COMING!
Our annual Winter Carnival is rapidly approaching! It will be Thursday,
December 15 from 4 - 6:30 p.m.

Please continue to work on your planning document and contact campus leadership team with questions and resource needs!
School Culture & Events:
Boys' Volleyball
Boys' Volleyball has begun with Coach Cruz!
November schedule is below!
School Academics & Instruction:
Into Math Module Assessments
Please take note of the upcoming Into Math Module Assessments. These are to be administered, regardless of where a teacher is at with pacing. Our goal is to acquire student data to prepare students for the next interim assessment.

Additionally, supplements to exit tickets (the Check Understanding) are provided for every lesson that does not meet the specifications for the standard. Visit the link to plan for instruction for each group of lessons in each module.

Link to the documents: Exit Tickets per Grade Level
School Academics & Instruction:
Draft CFA
Draft PDFs have been uploaded to SharePoint and can be accessed by following this link: CFA2.2

Note: Final versions of CFAs published in SchoolCity are not visible outside of the test administration window. Therefore, to implement backwards design, we must access the PDF versions on SharePoint.

Next CFA administration and grading window is from 11/21 – 12/1. All assessments must be administered AND graded by EOD on 12/1.
School Academics & Instruction:
Interim Assessment Preview
Interim 2 Assessments in School City are ready in PDF form in SharePoint. This is for you to utilize to prepare instruction for students to successfully master standards.

Link to the PDF’s: Interim Assessments PDF's  

School Academics & Instruction:
Upcoming Testing Dates
DIBELS #2 Window: 11/15 – 12/15
INTERIM ASSESSMENT #2: 12/5 - 12/9
 Writing, Reading, and Math Grades 3 - 8 only
Copies of Interim #2 now available on SharePoint
i-Ready Diagnostic #2: 1/9 – 1/13
  Use SharePoint for resources

School Academics & Instruction:
Computer Based Testing
Are our scholars ready for computer-based testing? The Science-Tech Academic team will begin visiting Computer Science classes to ensure that the curriculum is being used most effectively. Preparations for Semester 2 coding, with continued practice in Applied Digital Skills, is underway. The global event, Hour of Code (hourofcode.com) takes place during Computer Science Education Week December 5-11, with celebrities already lined up. ADE has resources and training for hosting an Hour of Code

School Academics & Instruction:
Teacher Pacing

We recognize that factors such as student comprehension, accommodations, fire drills, assemblies, parent-teacher conference schedules, etc. can present challenges with staying on pace with curriculum content, however, we have identified that over 66% of our teachers are off pace by at least 1 week in their respective curriculum pacing.
To support our students, we cannot continue at this pace.

In response, our campus leaders are committed to supporting you in catching up. In the coming days, please plan to meet with your admin coach and members of the AMS Academic Team to work together to catch up on pacing.
School Academics & Instruction:
TLaC Focus:
While actively tracking student progress and providing intervention support in class, we must never forget that as we assist a scholar, we must still be cognizant that there are several other students in the classroom who need to recognize you are "still looking." As you assist students with individual questions during independent practice time, position yourself so that you are still "seen looking" by your classroom.
School Operations:
Raptor is COMING
We will begin using the Raptor Visitor Management System at our Flower campus to strengthen our program of campus safety for students and faculty. The Raptor system will better allow us to screen visitors, contractors, and volunteers in our schools and provide us with a safer environment for our students and staff.

Upon entering a district building, visitors will be asked to present an ID such as a Driver’s License, which can either be scanned or manually entered into the system. If a parent or guardian for any reason does not have a US government-issued ID, the school staff member can use any form of identification and manually enter the person’s name into the Raptor system. The Raptor system will check to ensure that registered sexual offenders are not entering our school campuses without our knowledge. The Raptor system checks the visitor's name and date of birth for comparison with a national database of registered sex offenders. The registered sex offender database is the only official database checked by the Raptor system. No other data from the ID is gathered or recorded and the information is not shared with any outside agency.

Once entry is approved, Raptor will issue a badge that identifies the visitor, the date, and the purpose of his/her visit. A visitor’s badge will not be necessary for those who visit our schools simply to drop off an item in the office or pick up paperwork.
School Operations:
Maintenance Tickets
There is a new maintenance ticket system should you need maintenance support with items in your classroom. It is pretty straightforward, please be sure to provide as much detail as possible and include photos whenever possible to support the ticket. Please reach out if you have any difficulty accessing the ticket system.

Ticket Link Below:
School Operations:
Field Trips
Field Trips take a lot of behind the scenes planning and coordination. From budgeting and planning details to ironing out logistics, field trips are challenging to plan…and execute. If you are interested in planning a field trip for our students, the authorization form is attached. Please notify Ms. Medina once you are beginning to complete the form and we will work together to ensure we have all bases covered. We need at least 3 weeks prior notice to the date of the trip.

School Operations:
Clubs, sports, tutoring needs to be approved prior to starting. This is vital as several behind the scenes operations must take place with setting up a club, sport, or tutoring activity after school. From logistics to planning purposefully, extracurriculars take time to develop! Please review the attachment to gain a better idea of the approval process. Feel free to reach out to me if you have any questions. 

School Reminders & Resources:
Lesson Plan Objectives
Lesson objectives must be posted in a visible place daily in 100% of classrooms. Objectives are a requirement and an AMS Essential. They guide your planning, set purpose for the lesson’s activities and should be aligned to your end of lesson exit ticket or assessment. Please make this adjustment, beginning Monday.
School Reminders & Resources:
Lesson Plans
Lesson Plans must be submitted weekly via SharePoint. Each teacher has a folder labeled by their name. Within each folder, there are cascaded folders by quarter. If you have questions on how to upload to SharePoint or do not have access, please contact me immediately.

School Reminders & Resources:
Unity Circle Plan
2 p.m. - Staff Gathering

We are in gymnasium, please bring laptops.
Shout-out to Mr. Chappell for receiving the P.OW.E.R. Unity Chain! As an interventionist and mentor, you roll up your sleeves each day to perform an incredibly challenging task for our community, thank you for everything you do!

Shout-out to Ms. Koch for her urgency with her morning routine! Time constraints were utilized and the students completed their routines before the clock stopped, they celebrated their own urgency, and then a rubric was introduced for students to score themselves on their bell-work. Way to raise the rigor with students and level up!
Shout-out to Desiree for reinforcing classroom expectations with students and using least invasive techniques to correct student behavior! Shout-out for also supporting grading and evaluating student work! 
Shout-out to Ms. M for practicing right is right with teaching Russian numbers to her students. I want to stop here and emphasize this shout-out because if students learn numbers and vocabulary incorrectly in another language, it sets them up for failure with all subsequent learning of the language. Let’s have this same mindset with all our content areas. We all must stop in real-time and make correction to student misconception! 

Shout-out to Arely for doing an outstanding job with 1:1 support with students! As Arely takes time to provide checks for understanding with identifying sight words and letter sounds, she pauses to build a relationship with the student she is with. It is really nice to walk past and witness these special moments! Nice work, Arely!

Shout-out to Ms. Tan! In a culture and geography lesson on China, Ms. Tan had students highly engaged! What I want to focus on here is how she MAINTAINED the engagement. In Illinois State University, there were 19 students. Each of Ms. Tan's discussion questions led to 7-8 students raising their hands. Ms. Tan did not call on each volunteer. She instead SAVED time and INCREASED engagement by saying, "Hands down, turn and talk to a shoulder partner for 1 minute." This continued throughout the lesson with choral responses, student modeling, and table discussions.
2022-23 AMS Flower Calendar: