Saturday, April 16, 2016

Quintanilla Time Capsule Reunion #2 & Progress!

This Friday, 4-22-16, in the early morning, over lunch, and after school, the letters the 8th grade Quintanilla Class of 2006 wrote to themselves will be returned.  Members of this class can come to Quintanilla from 7:30 to 9:30, or over lunch from 11:30 to 1:30, or after school from 4:00 to 6:00 p.m. to pick up their letter.  They must bring their ID to pick up their letter from ten years ago. Hopefully the alumni from 2006 have already received a letter with these details.

Here is a link to the newspaper coverage of the above event that went very well:

Quintanilla achieved the status of the highest-performing middle school in all of Dallas last year with an SEI score (School Effectiveness Indices Score) of 59.3, the highest in the district! Quintanilla is a Dallas ISD middle school that has one of the highest 10 poverty levels of all 32 middle schools in Dallas ISD. The Quintanilla SEI was also higher than any of the 5 middle schools that are magnet schools.
School Effectiveness Indices for the past 2 years for 32 Dallas ISD Middle Schools 
Quintanilla has many of the same programs as other middle schools in Dallas ISD except for one program that has been only happening at Quintanilla for the past 12 years. That is the School Archive Project, or as it is now more frequently called, the Time Capsule Project.

This is the second year Quintanilla has had reunions of students who were in the 8th grade at Quintanilla 10 years earlier and wrote letters for the vault bolted to the floor in the school lobby. Having these students return is making the project more real for current students. They are realizing more that the future will be here and their letters really will be returned to them in 10 years. What they do now will make the difference for their future!

This year for the first time these returning students from a decade ago will be invited to volunteer to speak with current Quintanilla students on Career Day on May 2nd!  A priceless set of messages will be delivered about the decade after 8th grade.

Beginning in 2009 the first of 7 other middle schools in DISD with time-capsule projects will begin their own patterns of annual 10-year reunions for classes who have been writing letters since their schools' time-capsule projects started. These schools will all see hopefully similar achievement gains from an ever stronger student focus on their own future.

The photo on the left is of the Quintanilla Time-Capsule contents. It shows the 2015 shelf with the new letters from the 8th grade class of 2015 after the letters from 2005 were removed to return to the Class of 2005.  The letters from 2006 are still in the vault waiting to be returned to the 8th grade class of 2006 beginning on 4-22-16.

In the constant effort to continue to raise achievement, Quintanilla is now planning to request that all Quintanilla parents this May write letters to their student about their parental dreams for their student, and to begin an annual pattern of such letter writing.  A child changes a lot in one year.

In each of these letters we will also be asking each parent to tell one story from their family history that they want their child to remember when they are 40 years old.  What can be more valuable than to reinforce connections to a child's personal family history, along with parental dreams?

All Quintanilla students will then bring these priceless letters to their Language Arts Classes after STAAR testing.  They will use them to write a letter to themselves about their own plans for their future, and how they will achieve those goals.  Then all the letters for each student will be placed in one self-addressed envelope for each student and placed into the vault.  The 6th and 7th grade students will have their letters collected for the vault.  The 8th grade students will be writing the letter for 10-years into the future and will place their letter into the vault themselves after the normal annual photos are taken.

Next year the same process will be repeated at the end of the year except that 7th graders will receive back their 6th grade letters, and 8th graders will receive back their 7th grade letters.  The goal is to constantly write better, more complete plans for the future as the normal changes in life happen.  Parents will also be asked to write new letters each year as they observe their child's changes year to year.

With this process the achievement level at Quintanilla will continue to rise if all other factors in the school remain positive.

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