Weekly Words |December 11, 2022
The Road to Mastery is already underway! Our scholars in Grades 3-8 took the second round of interim assessments this week and our community not only gained experience and exposure with the academic content of the assessments, but with a high stakes testing environment as well. This week proved to provide celebrations and lessons learned as we prepare for April! We have some fun and interactive test prep competitions that will take place with some mind-blowing prizes for individual students and classes!
The Why
Team and Family,

We look forward to meeting this week with great energy and commitment in our content areas and with our scholars. It will be great to get back into the routine after a week of testing to see the high-quality of instruction and learning happening in our buildings! Continue to build that momentum with your scholars as we make the big push into 2023 with the AASA and AzSci right around the corner!

This is where the systems and routines pay off to make the most of instructional time, but do not forget that our scholars cannot hear the “bigger picture” of the WHY enough. Keep pumping up WHY they need to work hard so that YOU are a daily source of leadership, guidance, and positivity in their lives!

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:
Our year did not begin as expected in kindergarten and while we searched and searched for candidates to fill this void, we never thought we would be as fortunate to find someone as amazing as Ms. King! We had an incredible first impression of Ms. King. We learned of her passion for education and just how ready and driven she was to return to the classroom after moving to Arizona from Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania.

We were impressed with her skills to immediately jump in and begin planning, fostering relationships, and contributing to her awesome kindergarten team of teachers. We know that kindergarten is such a critical time in a students’ life and academic journey and it is incredibly challenging to teach the foundational skills for a lifetime of success. Ms. King always wears a warm smile and radiates positivity to our Flower community.

We appreciate her crucial contributions to her team as well as the insights she provides with the data she collects on a daily basis for student growth and achievement! The work is demanding, however, we want you to know how proud of you we are! We love and appreciate you, Ms. King!
School Culture & Events:
Winter Wonderland Express

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!

Next weekend on December 17 and December 18, we will have a table at Enchanted Island Amusement Park, where there will be Christmas card making and games with some new AMS swag as prizes! Please let me know if you are interested in one or both days!

1202 W. Encanto Blvd.
Phoenix, AZ 85007
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:
Winter Spirit Week

Next week is Winter Spirit Week! Please see our line up below:

Monday - Polar Express Pajama Day
Tuesday - Channel your Flannel - Wear Flannel!
Wednesday - Grinch Day - Wear Green
Thursday - Ugly Sweater Day - Prize for Best Sweater!
Friday - $1 Dress Down Day!
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:
Kids Korner Holiday Shoppe

Our Kids Korner Holiday Shop was on site all week to provide students and families the opportunity to purchase holiday gifts for friends, family, and loved ones at affordable rates. We had such a great time all week seeing the holiday spirit fill the halls of AMS Flower!

We send a huge shout-out to Mrs. Rushing for planning and coordinating the week long event, along with shout-outs to Ms. Betsy, Mr. Boozer, Ms. Cinthia, Mr. Darwin, Ms. Olga, Ms. Reyna, and Ms. Trina for supporting the event with key contributions!

Last, but certainly not least, a special shout-out goes to parents, Aracely A. and Martha O., for their support as well!

Thank you all for a record breaking week in sales, your generosity, and support!

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

Please continue to work on the planning document and contact campus leadership team with questions and resource needs!

School Culture & Events:
Boys' Volleyball
It was a bummer to have our opponents cancel and forfeit the matchup against AMS Flower for the final game of the season, but our teachers and coaches put together a fun scrimmage so that our students could still showcase their competitive spirit! What a great time!

Thank you, Coach Cruz, for a wonderful season!
School Academics & Instruction:
Interim Assessment 2 - 8th Grade Math
Eighth grade teachers were notified that there needs to be a re-assessment of math interim assessment. We apologize for the inconvenience and will work our hardest to never be in this situation again, however, stay tuned for further guidance and details on when the re-assessment will take place.
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.
Below are the assessments that should have been given last week for math and the % of scholars who completed the test, as well as the average score and the percentage of proficiency by grade level. 

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 and have not entered grades for last week or a previous week, please correct by end of week. Grades for Q2 are due December 16. 

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:
Upcoming Academic Dates
Quarter 2 Grades Due: Friday, December 16
i-Ready Diagnostic #2: January 9-January 13
AZELLA Spring Reassessment: January 30-March 17 
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 continue to remain off pace with executing our curriculum.
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:
No Opt Out

Ever have a student answer incorrectly, but then you immediately move on to another student without returning to the original student with the misconception?

No Opt Out ensures that you return to the student to scaffold questioning so that you effectively check for understanding with that student.

For example, Teacher asks: "Elias, from what point of view did the author tell this story from?" *Elias answers incorrectly with 3rd person point of view.*

Teacher responds: "Not quite, Amy, from what POV did the author tell the story from?"
*Amy answers correctly with 1st person point of view.

Teacher: "Amy, that is correct, how did you know?"
*Amy explains correctly.

Teacher needs to return to Elias to identify why he answered 3rd person and then, move to asking Elias why the correct response is 1st person to effectively check his understanding.
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.

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 - 2:30 p.m. - Staff Meeting/Data Dive Prep
2:30 - 3:30 p.m. - Data Diving
3:30 - 4 p.m. - Teacher Work Time

We are in gymnasium, please bring laptops.
Shout-out to Mrs. Rushing for receiving the Turtle-ly Awesome Pin! It was a long week and you were there to address student disengagement, provide community resource, assist with campus operations, and coordinate the Kids Korner Holiday Shoppe!

Shout-out to Coach Leshikar for receiving the P.O.W.E.R Unity Chain! You have made great strides this year as a teacher, athletic director, coach, and mentor! We are so proud of you!

We send a huge shout-out to Mr. Carrillo for earning Teacher of the Month and Mrs. Getting for earning Staff Member of the Month! We keep that same energy going for our paraprofessionals who earned Team of the Month! Congratulations to all!

Shout-out to Mrs. Getting and Ms. Snyder for decking the halls! Our holiday doors and bulletin boards look amazing!

Our Kids Korner Holiday Shop was on site all week to provide students and families the opportunity to purchase holiday gifts for friends, family, and loved ones at affordable rates. We had such a great time all week seeing the holiday spirit fill the halls of AMS Flower!

We send a huge shout-out to Mrs. Rushing for planning and coordinating the week long event, along with shout-outs to Ms. Betsy, Mr. Boozer, Ms. Cinthia, Mr. Darwin, Ms. Olga, Ms. Reyna, and Ms. Trina for supporting the event with key contributions! Last, but certainly not least, a special shout-out goes to parents, Aracely A. and Martha O., for their support as well!

2022-23 AMS Flower Calendar: