Leaders Leading Learners

Curriculum & Instruction Newsletter May 1, 2015


“No matter what your ability is, effort is what ignites that ability and turns it into accomplishment.”

Carol S. Dweck, Mindset: The New Psychology Of Success

Action Items

Please click here to view Action Items.

Core Content Area News


New Information:

IC Days:
ICs first day back on contract for the 15-16 school year is August 4. Please see the dates below to review when ICs will be working at the campus versus district level in August 2015.

  • August 4 - 6 (Campus Days)
  • August 7 (District Day - Jim Knight Training)
  • August 10 - 11 (District Days)
  • August 12 - 14 (Campus Days)
  • August 17 (Campus Day)

RTI Campus Coordinators:

DDRT Meetings: If your campus is unable to attend a DDRT meeting, please make your cancellations by the Thursday, before the Monday, of the DDRT Meeting. This way, waiting campuses now gain an opportunity to request a vacant slot.

Dyslexia Request:

Per TEA, data gathering is critical when a 504 committee is determining eligibility for Dyslexia. Failure to complete effective data gathering will result in a delay of the student's request for further evaluation. If you have any questions please contact, Kenya Mitchell, the RTI/Dyslexia Coordinator at (979) 209-1071.


Teacher Resource Guide for Bank on Brazos Valley Guest Speakers/Presenters:

The Bank on Brazos Valley has offered to provide guest speakers on financial literacy topics. Please click here to see the Teacher Resource Guide for Bank on Brazos Valley Guest Speakers/Presenters.

B.I.S.D. Dyslexia Handbook:

The Dyslexia Department has updated the Bryan I.S.D. Dyslexia Handbook to align with the 2014 revisions released from TEA in April. A new copy will be distributed to each campus to have for reference purposes. If you have any questions, please contact the RTI/Dyslexia Coordinator Kenya Mitchell at (979) 209-1071.

Summer School Information:

Click here for information and details about our 2015 summer school and summer program offerings.

Curriculum Writing:
May 18th - June 12th are days that have been set aside for instructional coaches to work on curriculum vital for student success in Bryan ISD. As your IC is part of a team writing curriculum, it is important that ICs are able to collaborate with all team members when writing curriculum. However, we want to help accommodate your needs and understand the importance of ICs being involved in teacher interviews. If you have to schedule an interview during the week of curriculum writing, please make every effort to schedule interviews at the end of the day.

5th Annual TSR Early Childhood Summer Institute:

The Children's Learning Institute and the Texas Association for the Education of Young Children are excited to announce the return of the Texas School Read! Early Childhood Summer Institute scheduled for July 7-9 at the Westin Galleria Hotel in Houston, TX. For more information visit the following website: www.texasaeyc.org/institute15

Elementary Principals
Summer School Information:
It is time for the summer school lists to be updated and for students to be invited. Please use the links attached to find the information on how to update the summer school list and to access parent letters (English, Spanish). Registration forms are available in English and Spanish. Please contact JoLyn Bricker if you have any questions about this process.

Required Minutes of Instruction:
Please see the required elementary minutes of instruction for 2015-2016. Click here

Classroom Libraries:

Please remember to send all of the Scholastic boxes containing the classroom libraries that are being delivered to your campus library. A team from Instructional Materials will come to prepare the sets for checkout. This will help ensure the classroom libraries stay in tact. Once classroom libraries are barcoded and labeled, they may be distributed to the teachers in grades 3 - 5.

EOY Reading Testing:

DRA/EDL testing window: April 27 - May 8
TPRI/Tejas LEE testing window: May 4 - May 15

K-5 EOY Math Universal Screeners:

Please use link to view EOY screener schedule. The dates have been determined based on curriculum needs and the use of technology for 3-5.


Summer School Information:

It is time to send out letters and registration forms to parents of middle school students being invited to summer school. A sample parent letter can be found here (English) (Spanish). This link will take you to the the registration form (English) (Spanish).

Reader's Workshop for Middle School:

Due to a conflict in the presenter's schedule, the Reader's Workshop for Middle School - New to the Model 3-day workshop initially scheduled for August 5-7 has been changed to August 10-12, 2015. Registrants have been notified of the change and asked to un-enroll in Eduphoria if they are unable to attend these new dates.

Grade 7 Math OnTRACK™ Lessons and Gateway Resources:
Grade 7 Math OnTRACK™Lessons are now available for import and management at the district level. The lessons are aligned to the revised math TEKS and designed to supplement classroom instruction and provide additional practice for students. Teachers may enroll in a preview copy of the lessons at http://www.epsilen.com/crs/15366447. Districts that wish to import a local copy may send requests to projectshare@tea.texas.gov. Grade 7 Math OnTRACK™ Gateway Resources are now available on the Project Share Gateway. To view the TEKS-aligned, interactive resources on the Gateway, select the subject (Mathematics), the grade/course (Grade 7), and “FIND TEKS.”

Read 180 Inventories:
Teachers have each received an inventory spreadsheet to complete in order to document Read 180 and System 44 materials. This will assist us in planning orders for next year. All inventories should be complete by May 1. Please contact Kristen Beesaw if you have any questions.

Testing Windows
Reading Grades 6-8: ISIP, May 11-22
Read 180/System 44: SRI and SPI, May 18-29

EOY MSTAR Universal Math Screeners:
The EOY MSTAR Universal Screener window is open until May 8th. Since May 8th is fast approaching it is crucial that campuses complete testing. Coaches are coordinating efforts with classroom teachers to determine which days would be best for students.

Testing Calculators:

Any calculators (at most 25) that were borrowed from BHS for MS STAAR testing need to be returned by May 1st. Contact Lauren Wooldridge for pick up. The high schools will also need to borrow an additional 50 calculators from each middle school campus to accommodate the fact that Algebra 1 EOC and AP Physics testing will occur on the same day, May 6. These calculators will be picked up Monday, May 4th and returned Friday, May 8.


Read 180 Inventories:

Teachers have each received an inventory spreadsheet to complete in order to document Read 180 and System 44 materials. This will assist us in planning orders for next year. All inventories should be complete by May 1. Please contact Kristen Beesaw if you have any questions.

English I OnTRACK™ Gateway Resources:

English I OnTRACK™ Gateway Resources are now available on the Project Share Gateway. The TEKS-aligned interactive resources are designed to supplement classroom instruction and provide additional practice for students. From the Gateway, select the subject (English Language Arts and Reading), the grade/course (English I), and “FIND TEKS.”

Closed Captioned Kid2Kid Videos:

Closed captioned Kid2Kid videos for Chemistry are now available at Texas Education on iTunes U. The Kid2Kid videos, a feature of OnTRACK™ Lessons for Chemistry, explain topics such as “Extensive and Intensive Properties,” “Define the Concept of a Mole,” “Types of Bonding,” “Valence Electrons and Naming Ionic Compounds,” and “Writing Chemical Formulas for Simple Ionic Compounds and Polyatomic Ions.” Watch for additional Chemistry and Algebra I videos with closed captioning in Texas Education on iTunes U, or subscribe to the OnTRACK™ Kid2Kid Chemistry collection to receive videos in your iTunes Library as they are published. The Chemistry collection is available at: https://itunes.apple.com/us/itunes-u/chemistry-kid2kid-videos-ontrack/id763754328?mt=10

Testing Calculators

If you have not already done so, please be sure you will have enough calculators for STAAR and AP Physics testing on May 6th. Only yellow TI-84 calculators are to be used by students on the Algebra 1 EOC exam (that is the ONLY calculator they use on a consistent basis in their math classes at Bryan High and Rudder) Also be sure that each calculator has the correct operating system. Please contact Lauren Wooldridge for assistance.

Testing Windows:
Read 180/System 44: SRI and SPI, May 18-29

Professional Development News

Summer Professional Development:
As we continue to improve our instruction and move students to mastery, Bryan ISD is offering targeted professional development based on our data and needs. All non-226 para professionals and professionals need to meet with their principals to develop a Summer 2015 professional development plan. Together with the principal, employees must complete the TE approval form and return a signed copy to your principal by May 22, 2015.

Deadline for Time Equivalency Days:
To be eligible for TE days employees must complete Professional Development by August 19, 2015. Eduphoria courses are now open. Please meet with your teachers and develop summer professional development plans together.

Required Principal Trainings:

  • Crucial Conversations - June 11 & 12 or June 25 & 26
  • Influencer Training - June 18 & 19
  • Cultural Diversity Training -July 28, (one counselor and one Assistant Principal from each campus is required to attend Cultural Diversity Training)

Upcoming Events:

  • May 5 -- New Teacher End of Year Celebration --TESC Boardroom
  • May 19 --Principal PLC -- TESC Boardroom
  • May 26 - Administrator Meeting
  • May 28 --AP PLC -- TESC Boardroom
  • July 30 --Admin/DLT Retreat -- The Veranda
  • August 5 & 6 -- Administrators Institute -- Rudder HS
  • August 7 Jim Knight Instructional Coaching Training

Bilingual/ESL News

All Principals

Documentation for the 5th six weeks LPAC for Monitored students is due to Charity on Friday, May 15.

LPAC Q&A Session:

A Q&A session will take place to answer any questions that teachers may have about the end-of-the-year LPAC procedures.

Red Folder Audits:

New guidelines for Red Folder audits will be sent to campuses beginning next week. In addition, initial and EOY individual audit sheets will be sent, form-filled with available information for each student. If you have questions, please call Charity in the Bilingual Department.
All LPAC Administrators will be sent a Google Doc asking them to sign up for a 15-minute session to discuss Red Folder audits. Please remind your LPAC Administrator to complete.

Also, please remind your LPAC Administrator to put EOY LPAC dates on the LPAC Dates Google Doc so that a member from the Bilingual Department may attend.

Two-way Dual language:

Two-way Dual Language Parent letters have been sent to all campuses (from Print Shop). Please distribute to all students, not just to the ELLs. You may direct questions to Henderson Elementary and Johnson Elementary, or to the Bilingual Department.

Elementary Principals

The week of May 4-8 is an "A" week.

Special Education News

All Principals

Special Education Referral:

When making a referral for special education testing, whether through the RtI process or a 504 recommendation, it is imperative that you have current vision and hearing screening results. If the students does not pass the screening for either vision or hearing, the assessment process cannot begin. Without additional information, it will not be possible to rule out a vision or hearing problem as the primary cause of the learning difficulty. If you have students who do not pass the screening, please contact LeAnne Towns. She will be glad to guide you through the necessary next steps.

Special Education and GPC:

Students who receive special education services and take either the STAAR or Accommodated are subject to the GPC/SSI process. For the special education student, the ARD committee takes the place of the GPC. This may be documented through either a brief ARD or an ARD amendment.

For students receiving special education services, the ARD committee serves as the GPC. The ARD committee is responsible for determining grade placement and accelerated instruction. All accelerated instruction must be documented in the student’s IEP.

If an ELL is also receiving special education services, the LPAC should make recommendations to the ARD committee, which serves as the GPC.

It is very important that the ARD committee consider very carefully the options related to accelerated instruction, retesting, and placement, after the first administration of the STAAR. The ARD committee may decide that the student will not participate in the second administration and then consider placement for the following school year. Accepting the student's scores on the first round, does not excuse the district from the responsibility of providing an accelerated instruction plan.

Each individual student situation should be reviewed and the decisions made should be in the best interest of the student. If you have any questions or concerns regarding the needs of a specific student, please contact Dr. Cathy Burgin.

Curriculum & Instruction Department

If you have any questions, about the content in the Leaders Leading Learners newsletter, please don't hesitate to contact any member of the C&I department.