a: in the time, space or interval that separates
Sigler State of Mind – Week 30 Rewind
As I look back over the past week, there is much to celebrate. The first round of STAAR testing is behind us, TELPAS writing samples and TELPAS testing in general, is all but completed and we very well may have hosted one of the best multicultural nights that an elementary school has ever seen.
As public school teachers and administrators, the STAAR test is put upon us and our students and we do our very best to prepare our students to do “more” than “just pass the test” as it was written in a 5th grade classroom this past week. Expectations are high for our students and the boys and girls who took the test this past week and in the upcoming weeks are more prepared now than ever to be successful. While students in grades 4th and 5th were busy taking the test, students in grades KN-3rd were busy learning just as they do everyday. I want to thank each of those students and teachers in grades KN-3rd, as their schedules were impacted just as much, if not more so than the students who were actually taking the test. While it would be easy to list all of the reason why I am not a fan of the high stakes testing, I will not use this platform to do so. Rather, I will celebrate the fact that we are through with phase I and we owe it to the teachers, students, staff and campus CTCs for sacrificing their time to ensure all went well and students still received the highest level of education possible.
As if the teachers and students were not busy enough with STAAR, TELPAS was also winding down. The teachers who were rating and verifying writing samples went above and beyond to collaborate with one another to ensure our Sigler students would be getting the most accurate assessment results possible; results that matched the students abilities. Teachers met after school, during planning and in the early morning hours to compare their thoughts as they read writing samples, scored their students English proficiency and answered questions their colleagues may have had regarding TELPAS.
Finally, the week was capped off with a celebration for the ages! The evening began with a musical performance featuring our first graders. The first graders set the tone for an evening meant to celebrate the various cultures that make up the Sigler community. Regardless of the students’ race, ethnicity, or background, together they sang songs celebrating many countries. Following the music performance the cafeteria was arranged with 15-20 different tables which were decorated with cultural artifacts, foods and clothing by parents and students who were so proud of their heritage. The honor that was on display was amazing as parents, students and teachers shared themselves with other parents, students and teachers. An evening full of music and dancing and a strong sense of community made me proud to be the principal of an elementary school made up of such a fine group of students, parents and teachers. One of my proudest moments without a doubt. An evening like this cannot be pulled off without a strong cast of folks working behind the scenes to make sure everything is ready to go! Thank you to PTA parents who went above and beyond. Thank you to the families who signed up to share their families heritage. Thank you to the Plano Senior High School students who volunteered to help students make crafts during this special night and make sure folks felt welcome as they walked through the door. Thank you to the staff at Sigler Elementary who led our first graders through a spectacular music performance and kept them organized before and after the event. Finally, thank you to the teachers and staff, who helped decorate, plan and prepare, cut out dolls for students to decorate, provided time in the classrooms for students to decorate their dolls, helped hang the dolls on the walls, stapled and stamped passports, prepared and sent home flyers for our families and even helped clean up at the end of a long evening! I am sure I am missing someone or something. Thank you to all who played a role. It truly was a community effort!
Use the link here to check out some pictures from our Multicultural Night:
This week will be a tough one to top, but with the dedicated staff at Sigler Elementary, a group of such talented students and parents who will stop at nothing to help their children, I know it is only a matter of time. Until then, keep making me proud and keep giving our students your all! There is no place I would rather be!
Make it a TRRFCC week Sigler Elementary.
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It was another busy, busy week at Sigler Elementary!
Tuesday Martha Pursley and Roz Himes led the staff through Cultural Competency training. Taking the time at the ended of the day proved invaluable as it left us all reflecting on how we think of others, regardless of culture, gender, race or age. The day concluded with a video clip sharing the story of the “Lost Boys” and wouldn’t you know it, as I am typing this email, the “Lost Boys” are on 60 minutes. Both of these ladies did a great job of facilitating and leading the conversation.
I’d be remiss if I didn’t acknowledge the snacks provided by our Special Education Team. They were delicious!
Many members of the staff went above and beyond Wednesday and Thursday as the entire 1st grade and KN teams were able to visit a neighboring elementary school to see how students in grades KN and 1st were setting a strong foundation in writing. The visit would not have been possible if the teachers who stayed behind were not willing to cover the classrooms for the time the teachers were off campus. I know I speak for the KN and 1st grade teachers when I say thank you. The visit was the first in a while for teachers from Sigler to visit neighboring schools and we are mindful of just how important it is to continue our professional learning through observing others and then reflecting upon the observation. Thank you KN and 1st grade teachers for your open-mindedness and I look forward to next steps in making our students’ writing even stronger!
Over the past several weeks our BL teachers and teachers of limited English proficient students have been busy collecting writing samples and rating them to ensure our students’ language acquisition continues each year. Thank you for your patience and perseverance over the past several weeks as you have been steadfast in collecting writing samples and rating each of them.
In closing, the month of April brings with it, high stakes testing, known as he STAAR test in Texas. This is the test that keeps teachers and administrators up at night and increases anxiety levels in some students. The work our students and teachers have put in over the course of the year is measured by many through students’ performance on this single assessment. It’s the tool we are given as educators in Texas, so we do our best to prepare our students. As the principal at Sigler Elementary, I have told our teachers that know one shall be judged by the results of a single assessment and we must look at the entire body of work to reflect on how we can improve instruction.
So, with that being said here is a little perspective. Yes, the test is important, but so are many other things in our lives. As a marathon runner, I can across two motivational pieces this past weekend, that gave me perspective and I hope they do the same for you.
The 2013 People’s Marathon
Dick and Rick Hoyt
“Every Runner Has a Reason”
Make it a TRRFCC week Sigler Elementary!