BCISD Curriculum Connection

August 2021 Back-to-School Edition

Welcome Back!

It was wonderful to see everyone at Convocation. Isn't our BCISD community a blessing?! Thank you for your participation and focus in all the professional development and campus planning this week. Even if you took away only one new thing to try out that benefits students right away, it will pay off. Thank you for "sharpening the saw" in advance of our students' arrival.

Grants and Funding Available for your Classroom Projects

Do you want to try something new to support or engage your students this year? Multiple grants and supplemental funding options are available. The first deadline for the Patsy's Legacy Project grant is August 31st, so don't delay. Click the button below for information, which is also in the "Staff Document Vault" on the district website. We look forward to seeing your great ideas!
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What's Going on With HB 4545??

Under the new House Bill 4545 legislation, students who did not perform satisfactorily on any STAAR or EOC exam must be provided with 30 hours of accelerated instruction (tutoring) for each subject in which they scored below the satisfactory standard. Districts have flexibility to design required tutoring schedules, but the specified ratio is 1 instructor per every 3 students. As you can imagine, accomplishing that ratio will involve after school and occasional weekend tutoring events.

We have heard questions about whether we would ever add those times to teachers' duties. We want to assure you that staff will be able to voluntarily apply for those tutor times for extra duty pay. In the meantime, we will be communicating with parents to see how many may wish to waive the 1:3 ratio to allow for more school-day intervention to count towards the 30 hours. Once we have more solid information about anticipated after-school numbers, you will see information about tutoring beginning, likely at the end of September.

If you have questions, please reach out to your campus Interventionist or our Coordinator for Academic Recovery and Assessment, Carol Morris.

What's a RIPICS?

Sounds like frog vocabulary, but it's really a new acronym (because we needed another one). Regardless of the level of in-person instruction achieved last year, to receive the post-pandemic federal ESSER dollars, districts must post a new Return to In-Person Instruction and Continuity of Services (RIPICS) plan. The plan will be updated with public input at least every six months. We posted the BCISD RIPICS plan Monday evening, and the current version will continue to be linked from the ESSER district webpage.

Changes to STAAR for 2021-2022

New testing vendors will begin developing and administering the STAAR tests this year. TEA contracted with Pearson to write and develop, and with Cambium to manage, administer, score, and report. We are still learning more about what the online platform will look like, but we have found it so far to be similar to the past ETS platform.

The State is continuing the push forward to fully-online assessments in one year, and we will likely be mandated to administer some of the fully-online "STAAR 2.0" field tests this spring. Start thinking about ways that students can gain confidence and practice with online testing. Talk with your Instructional Coach about whether online testing through Eduphoria could be a first step for you.

We will proceed with planning towards BCISD testing fully online this year. Because the 2022-2023 school year will contain never-before-seen question types, we want students to at least gain comfort in the online environment this year when they have familiar question formats.

Need GT Update Hours?

If you attended a workshop or completed an online training over the summer that you believe could count towards the State-required annual update hours for Gifted and Talented, complete this form to request consideration. If you still need to complete your hours, contact Curriculum Coordinator BJ Gates for information about available options.

New Character Ed Requirement

Texas Education Code §29.906 requiring explicit character education at all grade levels becomes effective in 2021-2022. To reduce teacher prep, we have purchased Character Strong curriculum materials that your campus will utilize campus-wide on a periodic schedule (such as specified days of homeroom / advisory time). Our goals are to comply with the statute but also build social-emotional skill in students with a common understanding of positive character traits. For more information, visit the TEA Positive Character Traits Education site.

Benefits enrollments are due!

All employees must go online to declare decisions by August 13th. Visit mybenefitshub.com/burnetcisd

Tell Us What You Think, and What You Need

Please let us know what you think of Curriculum Connection, or what additional questions you have. We want to hear from you!