Teaching & Learning Newsletter

April 15, 2016

C2E

Mentally preparing yourself to cope effectively with distractions, potentially stressful situations, or negative thinking is an important yet largely overlooked aspect of the mental imagery process. If you can see and feel yourself respond the way that you would prefer to respond to a variety of potential distractions, you will be better prepared to respond effectively in the real world. You can mentally rehearse an effective response to almost any situation that might arise or anything that you would like to approach in a more positive manner, including a competitor staring at you.


Terry Orlick, PhD, In Pursuit of Excellence

Affirmations

Sandra Luedke, Sherie Robinson, Mary Jane Kitchens and Albert Montoya have copied and delivered benchmarks to campuses this spring. They also helped prepare STAAR review materials for math. Their attention to detail and timeliness are greatly appreciated.

Coaching Tip

Modeling is where the rubber meets the road. I mean, it's really easy for us to stand back as instructional coaches and say, You should be doing this. You should interact with kids like this. You should follow the strategy like this. But until they see you do it, it's just words.


Tricia McKale, instructional coach, Robinson Middle School

Jim Knight, Instructional Coaching: A partnership approach to improving instruction.

Core Content Area News

ALL ADMINISTRATORS


All Principals


Edgenuity Training

Edgenuity training for the 2016-2017 school year will take place August 11 at the Bryan High School Blue Campus in the computer lab, room 6142, for any teachers, administration, and representatives who need a refresher or just want to learn more. There are two sessions available to attend, 8:30 am to 11:30 am click here and from 1:30 pm to 4:30 pm click here.


My Path Training

For those teachers, administrators, and representatives that just need a refresher in MyPath, a Lunch and Learn session is available and will take place August 11 at the Bryan High School Blue Campus in the computer lab, room 6142, from 12:00 pm to 1:00 pm. MyPath is an extension of Edgenuity that assesses students and places them in a program that matches their learning level to help them either keep up with a class or get ahead. Click here.


DDRT Meetings

DDRT Meetings continue to take place each Monday. Click here to access sign up sheet. Please note that you are asked to input whether the concern is academic or behavioral as well as if the primary concern is in reading or math. This helps with scheduling support in the meeting. Finally, thank you for continuing to document RtI in Aware as this helps ensure communication of student information.


Instructional Coaches

Better Conversations Training

Please sign up for Better Conversations with Peter Dewitt on August 1. In this workshop, Peter DeWitt delivers a framework for improving professional dialogue that is so clearly signposted, you might as well call it a day planner. Participants will learn how, through self, peer, and team coaching to master Better Conversation, Beliefs, and Habits. Click here for registration.

High Schools

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Middle Schools

SSI

The SSI letters for students who passed or failed Math and/or Reading in Grade 5 and 8 are located in Team Connect or may be accessed by following THIS LINK. Letters and the Confidential Student Report should be sent to all 5th and 8th grade parents by April 26, 2016.


Intervention Documentation

A spreadsheet titled "2016 SSI Steps (Round 1)" will be shared with each principal and the middle school deans. Use this spreadsheet to document SSI Interventions following Round 1 results at 5th and 8th grade. Please have this spreadsheet completed with student and intervention information by May 17, 2016.


OPAS Schedule for 2016-2017

OPAS coordinator, Shanna Wright, has shared this information for next year to help you begin to plan for field trips. Please contact JoLyn Bricker if you have any questions.


MSTAR Universal Screeners

End of Year MSTAR Universal Screeners will be available from April 4th to May 13th. Please be sure that all students being considered for early-entry Algebra 1 take the MSTAR Screener prior to April 22nd so that the Matrix for your campus is complete by April 25th. All other students need to complete testing by May 13th. Should an extension be needed, please notify Lauren Wooldridge.


2015-2016 Algebra Pre-Entry Program

Important deadlines are on the horizon. See the link below to ensure your campus is on the right track. Click here

Elementary Schools

SSI

The SSI letters for students who passed or failed Math and/or Reading in Grade 5 and 8 are located in Team Connect or may be accessed by following THIS LINK. Letters and the Confidential Student Report should be sent to all 5th and 8th grade parents by April 26, 2016.


Intervention Documentation

A spreadsheet titled "2016 SSI Steps (Round 1)" will be shared with each principal and the middle school deans. Use this spreadsheet to document SSI Interventions following Round 1 results at 5th and 8th grade. Please have this spreadsheet completed with student and intervention information by May 17, 2016.


iStation at Home

iStation is available for home use for grades 3 -5. Please make sure that you have communicated this with your parents. There is information on the iStation site about the home access.


TEA Reading and Math Academies

The State has announced that Reading and Math Academies will be held for kindergarten and first grade in reading and second and third grade for math during the summer of 2016. Other academies are planned for 2017. Teachers at high risk campuses will receive top priority for attendance. The campuses in BISD that are on this priority list are Bonham, Branch, Crockett, Fannin, Henderson, Jones, Kemp-Carver, Milam, Mitchell, Navarro, Neal, and Ross. We have sent a request to TEA that Bryan be chosen as a site for these academies but have not been told if we were chosen yet. We will share further information as we receive it. Please use the link to access the information published by TEA.


2016-2017 Pizza Ranch

Brazos County Pizza Ranch Agricultural Awareness day is set for October 12 and 13, 2016 at the Expo Center. This event is free to 4th grade students in Brazos, Burleson, and Leon Counties.


OPAS Schedule for 2016-2017

OPAS coordinator, Shanna Wright, has shared this information for next year to help you begin to plan for field trips. Please contact JoLyn Bricker if you have any questions.


EOY DRA/EDL testing windows

All students in grades K - 2 will be given the DRA/EDL test during the April 11 - 22 testing window. Students in grades 3 -5 will be given the DRA/EDL from May 12 - 25. Students in bilingual and dual language classes in grades 3-4 will be given both the DRA and EDL. 5th grade students in 2 way dual language classes and bilingual 5th graders who will possibly be retained will be given both the DRA and EDL. All other 5th graders will just be given the DRA. Please contact JoLyn Bricker or Alma Velez if you have any questions.


DRA/EDL and TPRI/Tejas LEE Testing Windows

Our K -2 teachers are in the middle of four weeks of testing as they administer the DRA/EDL and the TPRI/Tejas LEE. While testing does need to be a priority and does require time to administer, students should still receive reading instruction. Reading mini-lessons as well as small group instruction should continue. Teachers should calendar out their testing to ensure that the testing is completed during the window while still allowing for vital reading instruction.

Campuses should review the DRA/EDL and TPRI/Tejas LEE results with the teachers. With about a month of school remaining after testing, teachers should provide interventions for the low performing students in hopes to make progress in getting students to the end of year reading levels. Please contact JoLyn Bricker or Alma Velez if you have any questions or need support in this area.


DRA/EDL 5th six weeks scores:

The 5th six weeks instructional level scores will not be added to the report card. Only the BOY, MOY and EOY scores will be added each year. Please use the scores entered into Aware to help your campus progress monitor how your students are doing and how interventions are helping students. It is important to remember that these are instructional level scores (the level that students are working on with teacher support) instead of the independent scores noted during testing.


Early Reading Indicator Codes

Students in grades K-2 must have an Early Reading Indicator Code. After the April testing window for DRA/EDL, campuses will make sure that each student has an Early Reading Indicator Code. More information will come later from Jolyn Bricker and Soila Hernandez.


PD Opportunity for Pre-K Teachers

Dr. Jean will be hosting a one day seminar in Austin on April 21, 2016 titled: Active Learning Adventure: Let's make it purposeful, plan-ful, and playful. This would be a beneficial training for your teachers. Please consider sending some of your teachers. For more information, contact Schronda McKnight, PreK Coordinator at 209-1061 or schronda.mcknight@bryanisd.org

Professional Development

Principals & APs


CKH Open House

Please remember to mark your calendars for 4/18 so that your campus leadership team and your Process Champions can attend the CKH Showcase Open House sessions at Johnson Elementary. It is not necessary that you all come together, but instead, choose a date that works best for each of you. We will meet from 4-5 pm both dates, and you will come away with a clearer vision of how your Process Champions can become a dynamic force to build CKH momentum on your campuses! Please access this LINK to RSVP for your team members.


Principals


Process Champions

Please take a look at which of your Process Champions are returning to campus next year to determine if you need to solicit other CKH rock stars to join your team. The goal is that for every 20-25 teachers, you have at least 1 PC; however, that number is not always possible for every campus. We are only going to be able to offer one PC training this summer, so I chose the date (June 28 & 29) that is after summer school ends so that our SS teachers would not be left out. Please fill in the names of any new PCs that you'd like to be trained using this LINK. I will then contact them directly about the training and the commitment. Note: If you are at a campus that already has enough PCs to meet the 20:1 ratio, please leave the slots for other campuses to use as we only have 30 spaces available.


Mentor Coordinators

Please fill in the names of the Mentor Coordinators for your campus. Each campus has 5 slots, but our smaller campuses do not need to designate that many. 2 or 3 should work for most elementary campuses. The Mentor Training will be held Friday, July 29 from 8:30-3:30.


Elementary Principals


CHAMPS TOT

Please fill in the names of the CHAMPs trainers for your campus. Each campus has 3 slots, but our smaller campuses only need to designate 2 trainers. Also, please mark your vote for either holding the training on Wed, May 18 or within the month of June.

Advanced Academics

Scholars Academy

The Bryan ISD Scholars Program will be offered at Rudder High School from June 12 – June 23, 12:30pm to 3:30pm, Monday through Thursday. In addition, Scholars will meet four Saturdays in the fall prior to the PSAT test, which will be given in October. Dates, times, and location for the Saturday meetings will be given to students in June. The cost to students will be $80 ($40 for Free and Reduced Lunch).


Advanced Academics programs in Bryan ISD have an exciting spring semester ahead of them. Check out the newsletter for a rundown of upcoming events and celebrations of success and tips for engaging gifted students. Please click here to view the Advanced Academics Newsletter.


Brazos Robotics

Friday, April 8, 2016, at Houston elementary, Dr. Michael Weinen from Brazos Robotics presented a demonstration of his home-built robot, which creates pictures through a series of belts and pulleys facilitated by a software that can fully render a scanned image on paper. The fifth grade students got an opportunity to see how software maps an image and translates that information to hardware. In addition to learning about the construction of robots and development of software, the students also got a brief lesson on x/y coordinates and how that relates to computer programming.

Special Education

ARDC


Please be advised that training was provided to the special education assessment staff and ARD facilitators on ARDC membership and properly constituted ARDC meetings on April 1, 2016. This information will be provided to special education teachers on May 17, 2016. The link to the Google Doc with the information is provided as a reference for you.

Bilingual Education

Elementary School Principals


Bilingual Framework

The week of April 18th is an A week for the bilingual framework.


BTLPT Exam Prep Courses

Region 6 will offer a one day preparation class for the Bilingual Target Language Proficiency Test (BTLPT) on July 8. This class is free for Bryan teachers. For registration and details please click on the link.


Principals


ESL Certification Prep Courses

Region 6 will offer a one day mini academy to prepare for the ESL TExES Exam. This course is free for Bryan teachers, but a $15 book fee will apply. The class will be offered on June 14 and June 15 at the Brazos Center in Bryan. For more details and to register click on the link. Seats are limited and will be issued on a first come, first served basis.



Sheltered instruction is an approach for ELLs that emphasizes the importance of making content comprehensible as students develop academic language. Comprehensible input happens whenever a second language learner understands English. To develop a second language, the words heard or read must be made comprehensible in some manner to a second language learner by using appropriate visuals, gestures, and speech in the classroom to focus on communication and understanding (Seidlitz, J., Base, M., & Lara, M. (2014) ELLs in Texas - What administrators need to know. San Clemente: CA. Canter Press)

Curriculum & Instruction

If you have any questions, about the content in the Teaching & Learning newsletter, please don't hesitate to contact any member of the department.