Colt Chronicle

April 11th-April 22nd


Dearest Ones,

The Colt Chronicle will have more and more information as we roll into the end of the year. Please ensure that you are taking the time to read and explore the links that we have provided in the body of the newsletter. Analytics are showing that some links are never touched and I would hate to have to return to boring, old staff meetings to ensure that "we are all on the same page".

In that "on the same page" spirit, it is time to get into high gear and improve our practice with our agreed upon norms as a campus. Things like walking in line on the right, no voices in the main hallway, 10-10-10 at lunch, and the list goes on. As the children get more anxious about the end of the year, we must stay on our best game and enforce our expectations all the way to the last minute of school. We are all tired and weary, but if we are not on our best game, the children will not be either. I am closing with the link to my all time favorite blog post from my blog. This post shows another reason why it is so important to keep kids engaged to the end. I hope it will reignite you as well.

Important Items from the Site Calendar:

11: Scott off campus in the AM

13: Stacy off campus from 7-9 AM

Scott off campus all day

3 PM: Grade Level/Department Meetings

14: Scott off campus from 8:30-1pm

15: Sabrina Kimbriel turns 16! Stacy MAY take a personal day here

21: Stacy off campus from 2:30-5

An Important video for all PROFESSIONAL staff members to view from Dr. B

Please take time to watch this 3 minute clip of some information about the new TTESS appraisal system we will transition to next year. A supporting document for Domain 2 is below in picture form.
TEA Rubrics
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Want to improve your technology practice?

There is a summer training that I want to highlight as it is application only and the apps are due SOON. ETSI is a four day intensive look at different tech tools, with opportunities to learn how to embed them in your teaching practice. James, Blanca, and Kelly Parrish have formerly been to the ETSI training and it changed their teaching! The link is below so that you can go to their google site and look at what is involved. I would really love for someone from McCall to attend this summer!

Meet Swivl!

Swivl is a device that allows educators to record themselves during instruction in an effort to be reflective and examine their craft in an authentic way. Rather than trying to explain what it does and how it works, please watch the short video below to see a demonstration of Swivl.
Using Swivl for Classroom Observations

We were lucky enough to be chosen as a school to demo a Swivl for about 30 days. I have conference call scheduled for Thursday, April 14 at 3:00 with a representative from Swivl to answer any questions that we might have. I know that we are about to enter another round of testing and that there are many things going on right now, but if you would be interested in trying out the Swivl please let me know. I will help you out with whatever setting up you need as well as getting you the video of your teaching. I will not share this video with anyone else. Thanks for all that you do and your commitment to continuous improvement!

- Scott

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Tweets you may have missed!

PD you can use now! Videos on Learning Walks and the I Do, We Do, You Do strategy for ELLS!

Summer PDH Opportunities Below!

Technology Conference

Tuesday, July 19th, 9pm to Wednesday, July 20th, 5pm

Denton, Texas

This may be a GREAT, CHEAP conference you may want to attend and rack up some PDH! George Curos is keynoting!!

Professional Development Hours for 2016 Guidelines

The district has created some FAQs document as we roll into the new guidelines that professional staff will be responsible for 7.5 hours of PDH individually. I have copy and pasted that document here for your perusal.

Flexible Professional Development Hours FAQ

What is the purpose of having flexible professional learning days?

Plano ISD values continuous professional growth and recognizes that an important component of professional learning is making time in a teacher’s busy schedule. In addition to the district designated Professional Development days in August, January, and February, there will also be 15 hours of flexible time that teachers may use in lieu of working on April 17th and June 5, 2017.

How is the professional learning time designated?

7.5 hours will be campus-based face-to-face professional learning focused on goals related to the School Improvement Plan. These “Flexible Campus Hours” may be spread throughout the year in the form of an extended day beyond the typical work day. Hours will be determined by the principal at the beginning of the semester so that staff may plan accordingly to work beyond the typical hours on these designated days.

The other 7.5 hours of professional learning time will be considered “Flexible Teacher Hours.” Teachers should determine choice areas of that support goals and interests related to professional growth.

May I choose to not attend the 7.5 hours designated by my principal for campus-based professional learning?

No, all staff members will be expected to attend the flexible campus hours in lieu of working on Monday, April 17th. It will not be an option to work on April 17th.

May I choose to not pursue the 7.5 hours of individual choice professional learning?

All teachers are strongly encouraged to pursue professional learning on an on-going basis. However, if an employee chooses not to accrue these 7.5 flexible teacher hours, the employee will work the scheduled full work day on June 5.

What is the calendar for professional learning?

The professional development calendar for the 2016-2017 begins June 7, 2016. Teachers should plan with their principal prior to taking summer professional development.

Do I need to seek approval from my principal for my flexible teacher hours?

Teachers should work collaboratively with their principal to gain approval of the plan for flexible professional development time.

What types of choices are available for my individual choice professional learning?

Examples of possible options include after-school or weekend professional development offered by PISD district departments, weekend or summer professional learning (e.g. EdCamps, professional conferences, regional service center offerings), and on-line professional learning.

May I do a book study for my flexible teacher hours?

A group of teachers may choose to engage in a book study. Flexible professional learning time may be banked for this purpose for the meeting and discussion time, but not for the actual reading time.

Must I be at school in order for the hours to be banked?

No, the goal of this is to allow for flexibility throughout the year.

What record should be kept of these hours?

Campus professional development will be entered into MLP for record keeping purposes. Each teacher will be responsible for keeping a log of their flexible teacher hours.

I know that I cannot bank hours for an event that pays me a stipend, but can I forgo the stipend if I want to bank the hours instead?

Yes, provided that your principal has approved this plan for your hours.

Why does this have to be outside the school day?

These flexible hours are being banked for use to enable a teacher to not report to work on two contract days, and so the accrued hours would need to be beyond the typical work day.

My team and I meet after school every year to plan instruction. We feel that this is beyond our regular school day. Can we count that?

This would not be a situation where hours may be counted as banked hours, because meeting to plan is considered standard practice or expectation currently in place. As a guiding principal, these banked hours should be beyond those typical expectations.

How Do I Add Outside Hours to MLP?

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AVID Corner - Scholarly Language

Collaboration is one of the main components of the AVID College Readiness System. The resource below was shared at the AVID PLC meeting earlier this week. We demonstrated using the Scholarly Language stems by having teachers read an article the sparked opinions for and against a certain topic. Teachers then shared their opinions on the topic. Teachers used the Scholarly Language stems below to both agree and disagree with others.

I have found that using these sentence stems helps with speaking in complete sentences and guiding students to (respectfully) disagree with someone else who has a different viewpoint than they do.

You can use the sentence stems for any activity that you would like. They are versatile and easy to apply throughout your day. I will add a printer friendly version of the Scholarly Language cards to the AVID folder I shared with you on Google Drive.

Scholarly Language

Use these sentence starters to sound like the scholar you are.

When expressing an opinion:

“I think…” “I believe…” “In my opinion…”

“It seems to me that…”

“Not everyone will agree with me, but…”

When responding:

“I agree with what _______ said.”

“You are right about that.” “I am not sure.”

“I have not heard of that before.”

“That is an interesting idea.”

“I thought about that also.”

When Disagreeing:

“I do not agree with you because…”

“I see it another way.”

“My idea is slightly different from yours.”

“I have a different answer than you.”

When soliciting a response:

“Do you agree?” “What do you think?”

“We haven’t heard from ______ yet.”

“What answer did you get for number ____?”

When asking for clarification:

“Could you repeat that?”

“Could you say more about that?”

“In other words, you think that…(paraphrasing)”

“Could you give me an example of that?”

“I have a question about that.”

When interrupting:

“May I interrupt a moment?”

“May I add something here?”

“I’m sorry to interrupt, but…”

When offering a suggestion:

“Why don’t you/we…” “Maybe you/we could…”

“Here is what I think you/we should do…”

A treat for those who read to the end...

As we start making plans for the next school year, the district gives us some guidance on staffing based on enrollment. Next year, our fourth grade is due to go down by one teacher and will add that teacher to third grade. Please congratulate Marlene Ramirez as a new third grade teacher!

PS: She already knew long before this email. We just had to make it official. More news will be coming soon!

Also, we are adding a half-time ESL Specialist next year. Natalie Garza will be rejoining the McCall crew! We will know her schedule more in August when it is finalized between Sigler and McCall.

McCall Elementary Administrators

Stacy Kimbriel, Principal/ @skimbriel

Scott Schweikhard, Assistant Principal /@SSchweikhard