Thursday, January 28, 2016

Week of February 1

What OUTSTANDING learning experiences you provided our learners this week!  Twitter alone was overflowing with evidence of your talented design!  THANK YOU!  We are so proud of the work that is happening with each house's CBL and are even more excited to see the actionable solutions the children come up with.  Keep it up!!  This next week will be productive as we host our second CBL Planning days.  We are looking forward to supporting you.

OUR GUIDING PURPOSE: We empower learners to positively impact the world by designing learning experiences that promote relationships, risk taking, and collaboration in a flexible environment.
Thank you to the Red House designers for posting this purpose in their spaces!

  • that you are doing an AWESOME job of taking care of technology issues?  You are so good that some of you are not putting in tickets through Zen Desk.  I met with technology on Friday and they shared that Zen Desk will validate the need for campus help, so it is imperative that you put questions and requests in through the system. They will filter out to our CTA (Layne), Alli, or Jennifer and show that we NEED these personnel units.
  • when you signed your CISD Employee handbook that you are agreed to be responsible for the iPad and MacBook if damages occur?  I strongly urge you sign up for insurance to protect you from costly repairs if you drop, spill, or cause other damage to your devices.  Here is the company that provides insurance at a reasonable price to us.
  • Friday is the last day to submit Super Teacher Nominations for this semester.  Turn someone in!
  • that the 9.2.1 ioS update is ready?  If you haven't already, please have your learners install the update ASAP as well as do this on your teacher devices.
  • Lindsay Ayers will be here from 10:00 10:30 each design day to help with community and business outreach and connections?  YAY!

This week we will review the academic learning environment.  According to our CISD Educator Evaluation System: the educator creates a nurturing, learner-centered environment in which learners gradually construct their own meaning through rigor, prior knowledge, learner interest, and relevance.  
  • an environment that considers learner emotions, interests, previous experiences, and learning styles 
  • designs learning experiences that encourage learners to reflect and construct their own meaning
  • encourages and respects differences of opinions
  • capitalizes on making learning relevant
  • collaborates with learners to determine how learning is demonstrated and assessed
Let's think about YOUR academic learning environment this week. Are your learners reflecting THROUGHOUT the day? Do they have voice in HOW they show what they know?  Is EVERY activity that learners participate in relevant to the real world?  Push yourself to reflect about these questions this week as you grow as a Designer.

Groundhog Spirit Sticks will be on sale on Monday and Tuesday.  Please send learners to recess with their dollar. 1, 3, 5 LEEders will sell on Monday and K, 2, 4 on Tuesday.  Thanks for encouraging the sale of these.  We ordered 400, so we need half of our school to support our sale.  Please remind LEEders to wear their shirts on Thursday. We have a meeting at 1:00.

There have been several changes to TELPAS Calibration this year. One of the changes that will directly affect all of us is that TEA is now requiring calibration sessions to be monitored. Please save the date for our K-5 Designer Calibration Session on February 16th beginning at 3:30pm.  Please BYOM (Bring Your Own Mac) and HEADPHONES (required) to complete the calibration activities. In addition to the monitored calibration, you will have two chances to pass this year instead of three- Have no fear!! There is good news: In addition to earning 2 professional development hours for the calibration and 5 hours awarded for the K-1 and 2-12 basic training courses (for all of our NEW Designers) you will have SNACKS!

Friday is our Lee Spirit Night at the CHS Basketball game.  Designers get in free with a guest with their ID. Learners get in free by wearing a Lee spirit shirt.  We will have 4 of our fifth grade boys serving as "Ball Boys" so, please come out and support the Cowboys! 

Our Book Fair will be delivered on Thursday and previews will start on Friday.  Please share this website with your parents for online previewing, ordering, and downloading of the Scholastic app. Supporting Book Fair means more books for our school library and YOU!  

Please get your items turned in to Todd by Tuesday.  The Curriculum Audit team will be here on Wednesday and will walk the building and talk to some of you.  We ask for you to be open and honest with them while they visit Lee.  Thank you for your fast turn around on these requested items!


Please be sure to have learners check the ‘forgotten lunch’ table in the cafĂ© before purchasing a lunch or going without.  Parents drop off lunches at all times during the day and it is frustrating for them to find out that their child never received it.

When a learner calls home…..please be sure that they leave a message and not just hang up. We get a multitude of calls from parents returning a call from our number and the office has no way to determine who called or why.    

Loyalty- faithfulness to another

"I will speak ill of no man and speak all the good I know of everybody." Benjamin Franklin

If you hear something negative about one of your friends, don't repeat it. If necessary, let an Designer know what was said.


Counselor Appreciation Week
Feb 1:  Groundhog Spirit Stick Sale
Feb 2:  Groundhog Spirit Stick Sale
            Red and Black Attack Shirt & Jeans
            Dad's Club Mtg. (7:00)
Feb 3:  College T-shirt w/ Jeans
             Walk at School Wednesday
             Geo Bee in 4th and 5th Grade Classes
             Curriculum Audit at Lee (8:00-10:30)
             Staff Mtg. (3:30)  
Feb 4:  Spur Savings (7:30-7:50 Cafe)
             Green House Music Performance (8:15 and 6:30)
             Geo Bee Semi-Finals
             Campus Tour (9:15)
             LEEdership Council (1:00)
             Campus Tour (4:00)
Feb 5:   Geo Bee Final
             Book Fair Preview
             Lee Night at CHS Basketball (8:00)

Sunday, January 24, 2016

Week of January 25

What a fast and furious four day week it was!  MOY meetings were a WONDERFUL time to meet with each of you to check in on your goals.  Todd and I are constantly impressed with the growth we see in each and every one of you.  

I'm sorry I missed out on Staff Meeting, but our friend who went via ambulance for an allergic reaction needed me more.  I appreciate your understanding!  I am reminded that we have alert staff, an incredible nurse, and a dedicated front office staff.  Because of each of you our little guy is safe and we have accurate information at school regarding his allergies.

I want to brag on your effort with our book study and PLC journey.  Your honest discussion posts show the passion you have for teaching and learning.  I sometimes have to remind myself that we are only in year two.  Our systems and procedures are not set in stone yet because our work does not look like any other campus on the planet.  It will get there as we work together to live out our vision at Lee.  EACH OF YOU are an important and valuable part of our team.

OUR GUIDING PURPOSE: We empower learners to positively impact the world by designing learning experiences that promote relationships, risk taking, and collaboration in a flexible environment.
What YOU are doing to do to LIVE out this VISION at Lee?  

  • Chantel will be in Austin on Wednesday and Thursday this week?  I will be at my Principal's Institute and attending TASA Midwinter while there.
  • that Megan WANTS copied on your weekly communication to parents?  Please include her AND ME on your distribution list.  I know I still only get weekly communication from 5 of you.
  • when you call 911 that you need to ask for Dallas Medical or Dallas Fire? If you just dial 911 it connects you to IRVING Medical and IRVING Fire.  This will help with a timely response and we will post it on the phones.
  • you have a chance to give input regarding Science training?  Stacey shared this in email, so please take time to share your thoughts: 

Part of our District and Campus Improvement Plans has an action step stating we will provide professional learning options that focus on the different chapters of the Learning Framework.  We had one day of training this summer on the Assessment chapter.  Instead of having more meetings I would like to "chunk" some of this learning through my weekly blog.  We will begin with Chapter 1: Environment.  Please reread chapter one.  While reading, frame your thinking with some of these questions:

  1. What am I doing to create a learner-centered academic environment?

      2.  Is my physical and virtual environment enhancing learning?

     3.  Are the relationships with my learners and with each other mutually respectful?

      4.  What are things I can do to engage families in our space?

Thank you for your hard work preparing for Saturday.  Please arrive by 8:30 and plan to stay until 11:15.  You will need to drop by my office before leaving to sign documentation to get paid.  This will be on your February paycheck.  If you choose flex hours, please submit through Eduphoria and I will approve. 

Please make sure you take the survey in this week's Curriculum Courier.

Enjoy your one hour on Wednesday where you learn about a topic of YOUR choice related to YOUR goals, and earn flex credit for it.  This is a time for learning.  Please post to this Today's Meet after 4:30, but before 5:00, on Wednesday.  Please share what you learned during your time to get credit for your hour.  Those who post will automatically be enrolled through Eduphoria.

Alli will be hosting a session during FedEx and all are welcome!

What’s Cooking, Lee? The iPad Test Kitchen
What's cooking in your classroom kitchen? Spice up your classroom and find your inner digital chef by collaborating with others to explore exciting apps and design learning experiences through the art of app smashing.  Bring your “A” game for a friendly competition in the style of the Food Network’s show, Chopped!

If you are interested in joining us, please sign up here!

Thursday is Buffalo Wild Wings Night.  Please make an effort to head over after school or for dinner to support this business that is giving back to our campus.  Please also remind parents to share

Please share this flyer with your parents. 

Integrity- acting according to a sense of right and wrong.

"The measure of a man's character is what he knew he wouldn't be found out." Thomas Macauley

Do what you know is right even if no one is watching.


Jan 23:  Angela's Birthday
Jan 24:  Jess' Birthday
Jan 25:  Kick off of Jump Rope For Heart
Jan 27:  House T-shirt w/ Jeans
             Walk at School Wednesday
             New Learner Luncheon (Red, Blue, Green)
             Fed Ex (3:30)  
Jan 28:  Honor Choir (all day)
             Learning Walks @ Lee (8:00-9:00)
             Campus Tours (9:00 and 1:00)
             Buffalo Wild Wings Night 
Jan 29: Super Teacher Nominations Due
            Drama Performance (8:15 and 7:00)
            New Learner Luncheon (Purple, Yellow)
            Social Spurs Happy Hour @ Chilis

Wednesday, January 13, 2016

Week of January 18

I hope that you have a wonderful THREE day weekend!  Don't forget that there are two very large tours coming through on Thursday.  The morning is a revisit from Eagle Mountain Saginaw and the afternoon is from Wichita Falls ISD.   Nancy Garvey will also tour 4 Apple representatives during our 9:00 tour time.

OUR GUIDING PURPOSE: We empower learners to positively impact the world by designing learning experiences that promote relationships, risk taking, and collaboration in a flexible environment.
What YOU are doing to do to LIVE out this VISION at Lee?  


It would be like totally RAD if you channeled your inner 80's by joining us for the Red House Breakfast in your 80's attire on Friday.  If you wear 80's attire on Friday, you can wear jeans and a school shirt on Thursday.

We hope you can join our PTO and learners at Chuck E Cheese for a short time between 3:30 and 9:00 this Friday night at the Grapevine Mills location.  Your attendance MATTERS and is APPRECIATED!

Please make sure you notified parents of the adjusted lunch schedule for this day.

Please follow this map and sit with your learners for Friday's Spirit Rally.  We will call you down to the gym when it is time for your house to head to the gym.  Thank you, Todd, for restructuring for us.

Don't forget if you have a K or 1 learner being tested, Ayesha will be pulling them Tuesday-Thursday.

Since there is no school on Monday, report card grades will be due on Wednesday, instead of Tuesday.  ENJOY Monday off, and THANK YOU, TODD for your flexibility!!

Please make sure that you post to the two discussion questions and complete the action items by Wednesday.  This is a campus expectation.

Please join us in the gym on Thursday to help kick off our Jump Rope For Heart Program in PE. Learners will be reviewing how to stay heart healthy, practice jumping in PE, and watch a jumping demonstration as a school.   If this is during your conference time, please let Specials Designers take care of your learners during this time.

LEEdership Council will sell Super Hero spirit sticks during their recess this week.  Grade 1, 3, and 5 council members will sell during Thursday's recess and grade K, 2, and 4 council members will sell during Friday's recess.  Please advertise this in your weekly email to parents. 

Please join us in the cafeteria at 8:15 next Friday.  Our Drama Club learners will perform for the school.

Please make sure to complete the extra duty pay form on Saturday in order to get paid for working this day.  We also request that you link your presentation (asap) to the catalog so that we may share it with our parents ahead of time.  Here is the flyer to advertise.

We have enjoyed our meetings so far and look forward to visiting with the rest of you for your middle of the year goal setting!  Please reflect on these questions before your meeting so that we can have a meaningful thirty minutes together.

The Middle of Year Behavior RtI Screening Window is from January 18 – February 12. The folder can be found here: If after meeting as a House, you have learners to bring forward to Tier II Behavior RtI, simply email Todd and Angela to get that meeting scheduled.

Commitment- keeping a promise or pledge

"Go put your creed into deed." Ralph Waldo Emerson

Be committed to your family, friends, and your values.  Follow through with your responsibilities at school and at home. 


Jan 18:  NO SCHOOL (Flex Day)  ENJOY YOUR DAY!
Jan 19:  Mid Year Goal Setting
Jan 20:  Report Card Grades Due (8:00 a.m.)
             Mid Year Goal Setting
             House T-shirt w/ Jeans
             Walk at School Wednesday
             PLC Chapters 5 & 6 Due in Schoology
             Jump Rope For Heart Pep Rally (8:40 Gym)
             Staff Mtg. (3:30)  
Jan 21:  Spurs Savings (7:30-7:50 a.m.)
             LEEdership Council (8:00 Cafe)
             Campus Tours (9:00 and 1:00)
             Spirit Sticks for Sale During Recess
Jan 22:  Report Cards Go Home
             Drama Performance (8:15 and 7:00 p.m. Cafe)
             ESL Walkthroughs (9:00-10:30)
             Spirit Sticks for Sale During Recess
Jan 23:  MATHurday (9:00-11:00)
             Online Store closes for Yearbook
             Angela's Birthday
Jan 24:  Jess' Birthday

Thursday, January 7, 2016

Week of January 11

What a fantastic week back from Winter Break.  I enjoyed being in classrooms, again, and seeing the incredible instruction that you deliver and provide our learners.  It was evident that you all took time to RECHARGE over the break.  THANK YOU!!

Great work was done to prepare for our Saturday MATHurday.  I enjoyed checking out your planning resources online.  Todd will be creating a flyer to send home to spread the word.

I want ask you to reflect about our guiding purpose for a moment.  We are deep enough in our PLC book study to understand the importance of shared commitment and values. We came together as a staff and agreed upon this vision.  You have included the guiding purpose in our email signatures, and now you are posting it in your spaces.  Do you think this is enough?  

Think about: What YOU are going to do to LIVE out this purpose at Lee?  We will revisit this at our next staff meeting.

OUR GUIDING PURPOSE: We empower learners to positively impact the world by designing learning experiences that promote relationships, risk taking, and collaboration in a flexible environment.

  • that today we have an Apple Executive and the State Board of Education Chairperson coming to check you out during two afternoon tours?  
  • that next Thursday we have a 25 person tour in the morning AND another 25 person tour in the afternoon?
  • there is such a thing as organizational desktop wallpapers?  You do now!

Thank you for your hard work in grade level PLCs to get next year's school supply lists created!   

Todd and I appreciate your efforts to get caught up on our book study over the break.  I enjoyed reading your discussion responses and commenting on them.  If you have time, you might want to check out what your peers have posted.  I know I have a broader perspective after reading how people responded.  I want to complement you on your honesty and transparency in your replies.  It is nice to know that people feel safe to do so at Lee!  New due dates are posted in our Schoology course and on the staff calendar.  By Friday the new discussion questions and action items will be posted. Leadership team, it is a GREAT idea to get our book study on your meeting agendas.

I request that in Monday, Tuesday, or Wednesday's house PLC that ALL staff members review our Campus Improvement Plan.  This plan clearly states our campus shared goals for this year. Have you ever wondered where these goals originate?  They begin by being based on the District Improvement Plan.  We then add in campus specific growth points and goals established from parent surveys, our leadership team, and campus needs assessments.  

Leadership Team, do you remember how we documented during our first Site-Based Meeting by going through each action step and writing evidence in the last column?  As a house and Specials Team, document what your group has as evidence of achieving our shared goals.  Remember, this is a working document that brings common focus for all of us on campus.  When you review it, you will see HOW MUCH you have already accomplished these first two nine weeks and how we are working together as a school to make a difference.  WAY TO GO!  

Remember Brenda from our December training?  She will be here twice next week to lend Writing support. On Monday, she and I will participate in learning walks through your spaces.  We will be looking for integration of Thinking Maps and also be observing writing lessons.  On Thursday, she will participate in your house meetings.  This is an IDEAL time to share with her where you want and need support.  She will be coming back on February 15 for campus-wide professional learning in Expository Writing.

Instead of lunch, Red House will be providing breakfast on Friday.  More information will be coming your way, so mark your calendar.  Thanks Red House!

Please be in the gym and ready to go by 8:15 on Friday.  We are going to try something NEW this time...we will sit as HOUSES during Spirit Rally.  A map will come your way before Friday.  The office will start calling down HOUSES at 8:00.  Designers, please sit mixed in the bleachers and on the floor with your learners during the assembly.  

Please sign up for a middle of the year conference with Todd and I.  During this time, we will review how you are progressing with your goals, review completed walkthroughs and observations, seek input from you, and find out as an administrative team how we can support you. ALL staff needs to sign up for face time with us.

Kudos to those of you that have been posting, daily, on Twitter.  Speaking of KUDOS, don't forget to recognize someone on our Shout Out board for a job well done!

Honesty- truthfulness in words and actions.

“Honesty is the first chapter in the book of wisdom.” -Thomas Jefferson

No matter what the circumstances always be honest. Even if you have done something wrong, it is best to be honest.


Jan 11:  Learning Walks with Brenda from Thinking Maps (10-12)
             School Board Meeting (7:30) to recognize Wendy
Jan 12:  PTO Mtg. (6:30)
Jan 13:  Convocation T-shirt w/ Jeans
             Walk at School Wednesday
              Leadership Mtg. (3:30)  
Jan 14:  Campus Tours (9:00 and 1:00)
             Brenda from Thinking Maps in your House Meetings
Jan 15:  Social Spurs Breakfast
             Spirit Rally (8:15 Gym)
             PTO Chuck E Cheese Night

Monday, January 4, 2016

Happy New Year

Welcome back!  Thank you for greeting our learners with a warm and genuine smile this morning.  It has been a fantastic day of walking through the building and seeing everyone back "home" at school. I truly feel we are "Lucky at Lee!"

Last year we came back from Winter Break and at our first staff meeting we created blocks with our "one word" on them.  If you haven't seen mine in my office before, mine was:

I feel good about my journey last year and will keep this word in my office to encourage myself to continue to inspire.  

I encourage each of you to choose a new one word to keep you focused and motivated this year.  We will ask you about this word in your middle of the year goal setting.  After thinking about it all break, this year my word is:

In an effort to start the year off spreading happiness, please take a look at the 30 Day Happy Teacher Challenge.   I positiveLEE plan to use this as a guide to help me on my journey to be even happier the next 30 days and thought you might, too!