August 26, 2019

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“Achieving in the Middle” is our initiative aimed to improve academic achievement in 24 Dallas ISD Middle Schools by creating, refining, and supporting best-in-class systems for leading and learning.

In this week's edition:

Please read this week's newsletter for the latest AIM news and calendar updates on professional development. Have a wonderful week and please reach out if you have any questions.
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AIM Campuses First Week Recap

Congratulations on successfully completing the first week of the 2019 - 2020 school year as an AIM campus. School Leadership visited many campuses and recognized the application of practices and protocols learned during AIM and Summer Intensive PD centered around the 3 Dallas ISD Leadership Levers: Instructional Excellence, Distributed Leadership, and Values-Aligned Systems and Structures. AIM campus principals and staff have been welcoming, intentional in practices, and receptive to feedback for getting better faster. Lets continue our dedicated work to close the achievement gaps and create models of excellence at the middle school level.

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AIM Campus and Classroom Culture

In AIM, we firmly believe that leaders create the culture that drives the behavior that produces the results. Please view the School Leadership Checklist below as a guide for classroom and campus culture look-fors.

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Backward Design Lesson Planning

As your teams calendar and execute the Four Power Meetings, be sure to follow the backward design lesson planning process to ensure that teachers plan the highest quality, aligned lessons for students. Core content lesson plans that have been vetted and approved by the A-team should be submitted by ILTs to the AIM Instructional Resource Share Hub on a weekly basis per campus.

AIM Upcoming PD Updates


  • August 27: ILT Training Part I Designing Weekly Lesson Plans with District Curriculum @ Buckner 1:00 - 5:00 pm
  • August 28: ILT Training Part II Designing Weekly Lesson Plans with District Curriculum @ Buckner 1:00 - 5:00 pm
  • September 5: Teaching Trust Teams-1 Participants Driven by Data 2.0: Weekly Data Meetings @ DoubleTree by Hilton 8250 NCX 8:00 am - 5:00 pm
  • September 16: ILT PD Observation and Feedback @ Edison 1:00 - 4:00 pm
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Weekly reading: Understanding by Design Framework

The Understanding by Design® framework (UbD™ framework) offers a planning process and structure to guide curriculum, assessment, and instruction. Its two key ideas are contained in the title: 1) focus on teaching and assessing for understanding and learning transfer, and 2) design curriculum "backward" from those ends.


“First, a school with a strong, shared sense of vision and mission is more likely to initiate improvement efforts. Second, norms of collegiality are related to collaborative planning and effective decision making. Third, cultures with a strong dedication to improvement are more likely to implement complex new instructional strategies. Finally, schools improve best when small successes are recognized and celebrated through shared ceremonies commemorating both individual and group contributions."

-Terrance E. Deal

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AIM Website

Visit the AIM website for AIM professional development presentations and resource materials.