Week of 2/4-2/8/19

Hello Panthers!
Well Super Bowl Sunday has come and gone and I am sure that nothing major has happened as a result of it, other than many people loading up on extra calories and being more tired on Monday. Guilty as charged. I heard there was a push to have a holiday the Monday after the Super Bowl. Not a bad idea, but I guess that just feeds the already out of control emphasis on football as something magical. I guess I can talk about the weather instead. Warm early in the week and then back to near freezing by the end of the week.

Family Survey
Okay Ridgeview. This is the last week! We are still about 200 behind the school in front of us for parent responses. We would love to have your input to help us improve! Our Ridgeview Annual Family Survey is mobile-friendly and short, it should take about 5 minutes to complete. Your input is valuable and used to plan for improvement and implement new opportunities for your student.

Incoming 6th grade Parent Night - Success
We had over 300 incoming parents and students join us on Tuesday night. Thank you to the teachers, PTA, and WatchDogs for making it a successful night! We can’t wait to welcome our newest Panthers back to campus in April for another visit!

All School Dance - Success

Thank you to the PTA volunteers and WatchDogs for a successful dance on Friday night! We had over 500 students attend. The awesome part was that we cleared everyone out in less than 30 min. When you think about it, that is pretty good, and everyone was safe! Thank you for your patience as parents and hopefully your student had a great time!

Teacher Lounge Renovation
I want to give a special thank you to PTA president Mrs. Bone and her family along with counselor Mrs. Schmoyer and Assistant Principal Ms. Troxler for their work over the weekend to transform our teacher lounges. Many hours were spent painting and renovating. Just want you to know that I appreciate you and there is no doubt that the changes are appreciated by our staff as well!

Musical this week! - Feb 8th, 9th, and 16th!
This weeked the Theater Department will be presenting the musical Xanadu. If you can’t catch them this weekend on the 8th and 9th at Ridgeview, try the next week on the 16th at the Cedar Ridge Performing Arts Auditorium. Tickets are available for purchase at the link below. This will guarantee you a seat and we almost always have a sellout crowd! Can’t wait to see you there and I promise it will be a great show!

Career Day - March 8th
Career Day is around a month away, but the planning starts early. Each year we have over 60 guest speakers join us. We would love to have you join us and talk to our students about your career! The event will take place Friday, March 8th, from 8:30 - 10:30 that morning. There will be four (25) minute sessions. Mark your calendar. Here is the form if you would like to participate.

Worth the Wait Info

Round Rock ISD is hosting informational forums designed to familiarize parents/guardians with the District’s sex education curriculum, Living WELL Aware Adolescent Wellness and Sexual Health® developed and presented by Scott and White. There is no fee to attend.

The Living WELL Aware, Worth the Wait curriculum will be presented to all middle school students in the Spring after the conclusion of the scheduled parent forums. Boys and girls in the sixth-grade will receive separate instruction.

Monday, Feb. 4, 2019, 6 p.m.
  • Hernandez Middle School Library, 1901 Sunrise Rd, Round Rock, TX 78664
Monday, Feb 11, 2019, 6 p.m.
  • Old Hopewell, adjacent to Round Rock ISD Administration, 1311 Round Rock Ave, Round Rock 78681
Wednesday, Feb. 13, 2019, 6 p.m.
  • Ridgeview Middle School Library, 2000 Via Sonoma Trail, Round Rock, TX 78665
Wednesday, Mar. 6, 2019, 6 p.m.
  • Canyon Vista Middle School Library, 8455 Spicewood Springs Rd, Austin, TX 78759
Review the Scott and White presentation.

I was stuck on what to write about this week. Those of you that know me or read weekly have surmised that is past midnight on Sunday and it has been a busy weekend. Of course I stayed up late to watch the Super Bowl, but was even more impressed with the show that came on afterwards, World’s Best. I couldn’t help but keep watching even though I knew it was late and I needed to get up early in the morning.

Is it talent, or is it effort? I have long held the opinion that everyone has a special talent. I also believe that in the grand scheme of things, hard work will beat talent at the end of the day. In fact, I hope to have that painted somewhere in the school by the end of the year. Hard work does not always show immediate gains, but it does show long-term gains. That is where grit, a growth mindset, and determination play a role.

It is too easy to work for a couple of hours, couple of days, couple of weeks, couple of months and say, I worked hard but I don’t see the improvement I was looking for, therefore I am not going to put in the time and effort that I put in before. I can’t help but wonder how often this happens, not only in the school setting, but in life. We try our best, our best isn’t good enough for the short-term, and we quit.

This is very applicable for middle school. We have many students per grade level. It is very hard to be the best at something at a school this large and even harder to be the best in the district. I am so proud to say that each week we have students that step up and show that hard work pays off. Just this past week we brought home two first place trophies for the district in Rubik’s cube. This is not an easy sport. We have talented students in so many different fields it is hard to list them all, so I won’t try. My question is, what sets them apart?

I think it is determination. Call it grit, call it growth mindset, call it optimism, I call it having the dog in them. My wife asked me what the heck I was talking about when mentioning it recently referring back to my days of coaching track, specifically the 400 meter dash. I said, “the 400 is not about talent so much as it is about who is going to last longer before they fall down. The one that has that fighting dog mentality is going to win more races than they should because they are determined to win.” Determination is defined as a firm or fixed intention to achieve a desired end.

I can’t help but wonder if we do enough goal setting in middle school. My guess is that we do not and I will challenge students over the course of the next month as we take STAAR Ready to take a look at their scores and set goals for the real STAAR test. My hope is that by setting a goal and action plan in place, students will achieve their goals. We don’t often do this, because I try not to put too much emphasis on a single test for fear that it increases too much anxiety in students. However, I need students to be aware of where we fall in the state of Texas when compared to other schools with similar demographics. Currently we rank in the top twenty in most categories, but rarely rank in the top ten. I think it is time for that to change. We have the talent, it is time to see if we have the work ethic, or determination to make it happen. This is not only a challenge to our students, but also to our teachers, staff, and parents as well to help our students achieve this goal.

As you go through the week, maybe you are not thinking about being the World’s Best. Maybe you are just trying to be better than the day before. That is my motto anyway. Write down a long-term goal and put it in a visible place. It should be lofty, but attainable. Put a timeline as to when you would like to complete your goal. Think about the actions that you will take and the time that it will take to work towards your goal. Make the commitment to do it and seek support from others to help you achieve your goal. Accountability partners are a great way to achieve your goal. Also write down a short-term goal. Make this something that you can achieve in a matter of a few days or two weeks at the most that will help you in attaining your long-term goal. Each time you complete the short-term goal, make a new short-term goal connected to your long-term goal.

I challenge you to do this for the next four months to see if it pays off. Just like the gratitude journal, consistency is the key. Do something everyday that lends itself to becoming a positive habit in your life. That is how change happens and we move from good to great!

Be awesome and inspire others Ridgeview! The choice is yours!

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