Weekly Words |January 8, 2023
We can assemble our own Avenger’s squad with the talent we have here! Our teachers and staff are the true heroes! Amazing first week back prioritizing relationships with students, reviewing procedures, and pushing the rigor with content lessons!

Team and Family,

How do you plan to recommit to the work and show up as your best self each day?

With a new year comes a fresh start. While the feeling of a "new chapter" is exciting and liberating, it also brings the need for recommitment.

It's our responsibility as the adults to reflect and recommit to our core duties in serving our kids and pushing ourselves to be better each day for them. This new year will bring inspirational moments, stiff challenges, and the formation of strong bonds between colleagues and students.

Join me in being that "push" to our students and ourselves to believe that every day matters and has impact. It's up to us to put in the work and ensure that the impact of our efforts each day is positive and conducive to student success!

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:
We met Ms. Jimenez as she was preparing to embark on one of the biggest adventures of her life; leaving the state of New York for a change of scenery in Arizona. It was a joy to meet Ms. Jimenez, as she shared what inspired her to become a classroom teacher. From her experience with pre-K to tutoring children, Ms. Jimenez developed a love and passion to serve students and school communities.

Transitioning to Arizona has presented so many opportunities for Ms. Jimenez. As a Fourth Grade Math and Science Teacher, Ms. Jimenez has jumped in and has impressed us all with her ability to create a strong classroom culture while pushing and challenging student thinking. Ms. Jimenez spends early mornings and late evenings meeting with students to check in with them, tutor them, and provide an accountability system to meet their needs.

One of my favorite things about Ms. Jimenez is her innovation, teaching style, and ability to be relentless in seeking information and answers to have the most thorough plan for her students and for her own growth and development as a teacher. Ms. Jimenez has a whatever it takes attitude towards her craft and we want you to know we appreciate the long days, nights, and weekends you devote to serving the Flower community!

We love and appreciate you, Ms. Jimenez!

School Culture & Events:

Our online re-enrollment forms launch tomorrow, 1/9. This is our students' homework to help parents finish the online re-enrollment process. We want to make sure families secure their child's spot before the deadline of 1/26. Afterwards, students who are not re-enrolled, go on a wait list. It is so important that we keep our students so that they truly benefit year after year from the positive changes we continue to make. The data shows that the longer the students stay with us, the more successful they are. Please help us spread the word about re-enrollment and direct any families with questions to our front office! 
School Culture & Events:
Health Tech Re-Location

We also bring 2023 in with a change in location with our Health Tech Office. The Health Tech Office will now be stationed in our Building B, outside of Ms. Medina's Office so that Kimberly can have sufficient space to operate. Kimberly will still assist the front office during arrival, dismissal, and high traffic periods of time, but she will administer medication and provide treatment to student injuries here. A friendly reminder that students should only be sent to the Health Tech with emergencies that cannot be treated in the classroom. Minor cuts, minor scrapes, mild stomachaches and headaches can be remedied without a visit to the Health Tech.
School Culture & Events:
AMS Enrollment Events

As we launch into open enrollment season, it is critical that we go out into our communities, spread the word about the wonderful things happening with AMS, and recruit future Turtles!

We would love to see our staff represented at various events this winter and spring! Our next event of 2023 is a Night out at Great Skate event on Friday, January 13 from 4-7 p.m.! We will have fun with families, students, and staff, but will also be taking time to recruit new families!
School Culture & Events:
Daily Attendance &
Family Communication Log

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 completed. 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.

Family Communication Log is below. Please update it on a daily basis.

  1. Go to your class tab
  2. Find the scholar
  3. Fill out all the required fields: date, time, reason, type of communication, outcome, and follow-up.
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:
Coffee with the Principal
Our next coffee with the principal PAC meeting will take place on Wednesday, January 11 with families in the cafeteria at 8:30 a.m.!
School Culture & Events:
Great Skate
Please make sure to mark your calendars for our welcome back fundraiser event held at Great Skate on Friday, January 13 from 4 - 7 p.m.

Admission will be:
$12.00 (includes skate rentals)
Non-Skaters: $5.

A portion of the proceeds will benefit AMS Flower!

Bring your scholars to enjoy roller skating with friends, great music and awesome deals!
School Culture & Events:

MLK Day is Monday, January 16. There is no school. Please incorporate MLK Day lessons and service projects into your content areas as we celebrate Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. and his life of service to others.
School Culture & Events:
P.O.W.E.R. Assembly
Our next P.O.W.E.R. Assembly is Wednesday, January 25! Please mark your calendars and adjust lesson plans to accommodate.

Grades K-4 will be 8:30 - 9:15 a.m. and
Grades 5-8 will be 9:45 to 10:30 a.m.

Ms. Medina/Mrs. Rushing will be in contact with information to gather your student of the month, be on the lookout for students showing P.O.W.E.R!
School Culture & Events:
Q2 Affirmation Celebration

Our next Affirmation Celebration will be Tuesday, January 31! This is for our students who had stellar performances throughout Q2 as reflected in Affirmation Signatures and positive notes home for early elementary students. Stay tuned for details!
School Culture & Events:
Girls' Basketball
Girls' Basketball season is right around the corner! Coach Leshikar is excited to start the year picking up where the AMS Flower Athletic Department left off in 2022! We look forward to another great season, below is the calendar for Janaury!
School Academics & Instruction:
Interim Assessment 2 - Data Dive
We will continue our data dive analysis of K-3 DIBELS and 3-8 Interim Assessment Data this week! Please submit your completed Data Dive documents that we began working on together at our December 14 Unity Circle Data Dive in your lesson plan folder by
Monday, 1/9, EOD!

Please utilize the leadership team and each other for support!
School Academics & Instruction:
i-Ready Assessments
i-Ready Diagnostic 2 begins Monday, 1/9! While we will have school-wide incentives and competitions for classes and individuals with the highest growth, pump these assessments up this week as these will be a key indication of how students are progressing this year in Math and Reading! Please review the schedule below to know when your homeroom will test!

The Diagnostic Assessment is set to HIDDEN for all classes. Proctors activate the Diagnostic Assessment for all students by flipping the Assessment to SHOW. How to instructions and Proctoring FYI's are available in i-Ready PD SharePoint folder titled Teachers and Diagnostic. Here is quick link to video on how teachers flip the Assessment (Reading or Math) from HIDDEN to SHOWN to activate and proctor diagnostic. This should be flipped back to HIDDEN at the end of the test sessions until students are being proctored again to finish. Submit Happy Fox ticket if any issues occur. 
School Academics & Instruction:
Weekly Assessments
Weekly assessments must be proctored the week they are scheduled in the pacing guide, regardless of current pacing.

Unless there is an emergency (lockdown, internet issues, etc.), tests should be taken. In the event of an emergency, please connect with admin on how best to proctor the assessment. If you have an absence, please plan accordingly to ensure that students are tested during the week when you are present.
School Academics & Instruction:
Grades & Gradebook Expectations
Remember that two grades, per week, per subject, should be entered weekly. If you are listed in the weekly report that Mrs. Riffenburg sends out and have not entered grades for last week or a previous week, please correct by end of week.  

School Academics & Instruction:
AZELLA Updates
The AZELLA spring reassessment is quickly approaching! Utilize the Arizona Dept. of Education’s resources (link below) to help student’s prepare for their testing. This would be beneficial for all students, not only EL students. After clicking the link, select 2022-2023 AZELLA Placement Sample Tests and Resources. Students are assessed on listening, reading, writing, and speaking. You can view the rubrics utilized for the speaking and writing portions and sample placement tests for the various stages. Stage I is kindergarten, stage II is 1st and 2nd grade, stage III is grades 3-5, and stage IV is grade 6-8.
School Academics & Instruction:
Learning A-Z
Over break, I purchased an annual subscription to Learning A to Z. Learning A-Z's site has premium access to a library of leveled reading texts, lesson plans, worksheets, and assessments to teach guided reading, reading proficiency, language arts and vocabulary. There is also Raz-Plus, which supports EL student populations.

This subscription includes a school-wide access to:

Reading A to Z – Leveled reading texts and materials for all grade levels.
Raz-Plus – Resources for all students and a special pool of resources for EL students.
Foundations A to Z – Resources for all students with letters, sounds, blending,
decoding, etc.

To login:
Click Login at the top of the page
Enter the following credentials:
Username: AMSF2022
Password: GoTurtles!
Navigate between Reading A to Z, Raz-Plus, and Foundations A to Z at the top of the page.

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:
TLaC Focus:
Tracking, Not Watching

Something that has begun to re-surface again is the common mistake of watching students complete tasks, instead of tracking their progress. When students are working independently, this is the critical time to monitor the real-time data students are giving us. It is also a critical time to check in with specific students, especially our students receiving SPED services. While you are human and a breather is understandable from time to time, there should be no downtime in class where the teacher is at their desk and students are working.
School Operations:
Raptor is Here
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.

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.
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 - 2:30 p.m. - Staff Meeting/Data Dive Reflection
2:30 - 3:15 p.m. - PBIS
3:15 - 4 p.m. - Mentor Meeting

We are in gymnasium, please bring laptops.
Shout-out to Ms. Anundson for receiving the Turtle-ly Awesome Pin! Ms. Anundson has always been a great source of positivity and energy for our campus as well as a resource to others!

Shout-out to Mr. Flanders for receiving the P.O.W.E.R Unity Chain! Congratulations on the birth of the newest addition to your family! Thank you for being such a great teacher, teammate, and mentor!

Shout-out to Xinyi Tan for capturing the engagement of all students throughout a lesson on Chinese Zodiac Signs! It was incredible to see Ms. Tan deliver content at high levels of rigor, students being ecstatic about learning, and one of my most favorite things about the lesson was that Ms. Tan, was able to reel the energy in, when necessary. Loved the poise management of a room, while still creating a joyful learning environment!

Shout-out to Justin Cruz for having crucial 1:1 conferences with students today. This type of communication with students is so important to relationship building and peeling away layers to find root causes to student behaviors and actions.

Shout-out to Victoria Mnatsakanova! Learning a new language is challenging, love seeing Ms. M integrate kinesthetic movements so that students can associate words with physical movement/gestures! Kids were challenged, but were having a blast at the same time!

Shout-out to Rachel Leshikar! Coach L is starting this year where she left off with high expectations, structure, and pure joy! Loved seeing Coach L use CHAMPS, collaborative groups, whiteboards, and targeted questioning to prep her students for success!

A shout-out to Adrian Carrillo for picking up where he left off in 2022! As the reigning Teacher of the Month, Mr. Carrillo took no time to get down to business with resetting routines, procedures, and diving into the curriculum! Mr. Carrillo was also seen actively monitoring and intervening, providing students individual support! #trackingnotwatching

Shout-out to Carrie Ganske for pushing the rigor with subtraction this afternoon! Students faced challenges and Ms. Ganske met them with motivation, intervention, and support! Love the active monitoring Ms. Ganske provided so that she didn’t have to wait until an exit ticket to know where students were taking a wrong turn!

Shout-out to Thea Larsen for an awesome showcase of providing students wait time, mystery and suspense, cold call, and more… while navigating through a Reading Mastery text - categorizing moles with other animals!

Shout-out to Mary Taylor for instilling confidence and pride in her classroom’s upcoming performance with I-Ready Diagnostic 2 - next week! So nice to hear Ms. Taylor leverage the art of generating an atmosphere of healthy competition amongst second grade!

Shout-out to Siu-Hung Lau for properly implementing use of new technology in class! As you all know, Mr. Lau was finally provided his long awaited wireless keyboards, mice, and headphones for the lab. Mr. Lau did not rush to get these new gadgets in the hands of students; he thoroughly modeled and stressed the importance of handling technology, especially when it is new. Great job building self-discipline and respect with our students!

Shout-out to Christopher Boozer! For the first time in years, the keyboards were brought out for students to begin 2023 with a piano study! Mr. Boozer covered the musical alphabet, tone, finger placement, and much more! Exciting to see!
2022-23 AMS Flower Calendar: