Judson Journal Winter 2014 - page 2

JISD Middle
Schools Awarded
Music Grants
Dr. Willis Mackey, JISD
I am so pleased with the start of this school year. Dur-
ing the course of my visits to our campuses I have been empha-
sizing with staff the importance of “making a difference” with
students each day. A teacher who’s committed to making a
positive difference with a child one day at a time, even on those
difficult days, is someone who is having a profound impact. I
can tell you I am seeing it on a large scale. It’s not just happen-
ing in the classrooms, but also on playgrounds, lunch rooms,
locker rooms and even with parents and families.
One of the tools making a big impact with student
learning is the use of a Three System process. It’s a relatively
new approach to helping kids learn that constantly checks to
see if they are understanding what they’re taught.
The three
steps are Curriculum Alignment, Collaborative Planning
and Reflective Practice Models.
JISD is a diverse community of learners and teachers
using this process of aligning curriculum throughout the grades
so there are no learning gaps. They are planning together with
other teachers to address each student’s needs. Finally they’re
reflecting and deciding what changes need to be made to more
effectively teach concepts.
It’s very clear to me that teachers spent time over the
summer learning these concepts and it’s making a difference.
We piloted five schools last year with this strategy and did very
well on assessments and accountability tests, so we are putting
it in place district-wide this year. This is how we are making
progress on narrowing the achievement gap among all students
no matter how they learn.
Challenges abound in public education…that’s what
makes it exciting, rewarding and fulfilling. You can sit down
with a lesson plan, prepared to teach, but even the best laid
plans don’t always go as you visualize them. That’s why it’s
always important to keep looking at the curriculum, collaborat-
ing with fellow teachers and always being open to making
changes that will help students learn more effectively.
I am proud of JISD teachers. You are professionals
making a difference. Our great start is breeding confidence to
work with our students so that each one has the tools to reach
goals and pursue the passions and purpose revealed to them
over time. That’s at the heart of the mission and vision of Jud-
son ISD that will be carried out in an intentional way in every
child’s life one day at a time.
The music programs in all five
Judson ISD middle schools have been
notified that they have been awarded
grant money from TMEA (Texas Music
Educators Association). Metzger, Kitty
Hawk, Kirby, Woodlake Hills and Jud-
son Middle Schools were awarded grants
ranging all the way up to $1000.
Many middle schools through-
out the state applied for the grants, but
only a few were selected. The TMEA
grant money was awarded through what
is called the Middle School Music In-
structional Support Program (MSMISP)
and will be spent on mainly new sheet
music for students to learn how to read
and play as they develop their musical
Congratulations to each
school...especially the music teachers
who took the time to apply and send in
the forms.
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