Week of 12/3 - 12/7/18

Hello Panthers!
I hope you had an incredible weekend! What weird weather we had Friday night with 10 minutes of heavy rain, lightning, wind, and even hail. How do you like these weeks of 30’s to 80’s. I don’t want to speak too soon, but looks like we might have that happen again this week. We truly are fitting the stereotype of Texas weather.

It is officially December! That usually means that we are getting close to the end of the semester. Doesn’t seem that long ago that the semester ended in January. We now end in December before the winter break. So, time to buckle down and get three good weeks of school in!

NASA Participation
This Wednesday, December 5, the Gateway classes will be participating in a video conference with scientists, engineers and astronauts from NASA who are working on the Lunar Orbital Platform - Gateway (LOP-G). We were one of 35 schools across the nation selected to participate in this, so it's a pretty exciting and rare opportunity. We'll get to see what is coming next in space exploration from the people working on it - this is the platform that prepares us for future moon and Mars missions! This is an amazing opportunity for some of our students and an honor that we were selected. Special thanks to teacher Mat Bartley for submitting our application!

Get in the Holiday Spirit
Our fine arts department will be hosting several concerts over the next two weeks. These are perfect to get you in the holiday spirit. Be sure to check the calendar and make time to enjoy our talented Ridgeview performers!

Holiday Hack-A-Thon
Code Ninjas Round Rock invites your student to the December 8th Holiday Hack-A-Thon. Kids will compete to build the coolest Scratch game and compete for local and national prizes, including premium laptops, 3d printers, etc. The event is free, and the requested donation goes to the Round Rock ISD’s Kits 4 Kids program to get a Safety Kit in each classroom in Round Rock ISD. Code Ninjas has partnered with RRISD Partners In Education (PIE) Foundation for this project.

Interested in ECHS?
Early college High School applications will be due January 31st. I have attached the flier. If you need more information, feel free to visit their website or call 512-704-1650. This only applies to current 8th grade students.

Celebrate a Ridgeview Staff Member
If you didn’t get the mid-week link that I sent. Here is the link for the form to celebrate someone on the Ridgeview campus. This will make a great present for the end of the semester, letting us know you care! Information will be printed into letters for our staff this week! The form will close Weds morning.

Every year around the end of the semester I take some time to reflect on things that are going well and things that are in need of improvement. This year I decided to meet with all staff members before the end of the break to check in and make sure that I know of the highlights and lowlights and goals for the next semester and how I can do a better job of supporting them. I am only a few days into it and about 10-15% finished, but I have to say that I am very grateful for the staff that we have at Ridgeview. I have been in education for 17 years. As a whole, I am not sure that I have had a stronger staff in terms of instructional quality and heart for others. We really have good things happening!

I stumble on making gratitude a daily invitation. I am not sure why, it seems like something that is fairly simple to do, be thankful for the people in your life. The more I reflect, the more I am embarrassed that I fail to let others know how important they are to me. This includes family, friends, and co-workers. Last year I blogged about the impact of a gratitude journal. Taking the time each day to reflect on what you are thankful for. I am not sure how many of you know about habits, but I have been told that if you do something consistent for three weeks it can change your behavior pattern. If you can keep it up for two months, it becomes automated. Honestly, i don’t know if I can think of a good example that I have turned an activity into a habit lately. It is never too late to teach an old dog new tricks though.

My commitment for the next three weeks is to write in a gratitude journal for a minimum of 3 minutes each workday. I am going to do it when I first get to work and before I turn on my computer or read any email. I invite you to take this challenge with me. The next step after starting a gratitude journal is to take the time to actually let someone know that you were thinking about them and they make a difference in your life. I am going to do this at least once a week through phone, email, or text. There are websites, templates, and even apps to help you get started.

As we get closer to the holidays, stress seems to mount. I am thinking this is a great trial to see if stress can be mitigated through positive thoughts. Wish me luck and I will do the same for you!

Make it a great week Ridgeview! The choice is yours!

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