Pinkston Feeder Pattern - September 7, 2015

Core Beliefs

Core Beliefs

  • Our main purpose is to improve student academic achievement.

  • Effective instruction makes the most difference in student academic performance.

  • There is no excuse for poor quality instruction.

  • With our help, at risk students will achieve at the same rate as non-at risk students.

  • Staff members must have a commitment to children and a commitment to the pursuit of excellence.

Enhancing the Professional Learning Community Process: A Series of Tweaks

Last weeks article provided a spring board for digging deeper with your PLC's and this week's article looks at minor tweaks to consider as you evaluate the effectiveness of your PLC’s. As you read the article think about the planning of your PLC's---- are they compliance based or results oriented?

Are teams getting their desired results? This question resonates with most teachers and principals each week as they work within their collaborative teams. All too often when asked about the PLC process, the response is “We do that.” The questions should shift to become results focused. In other words:

  • What products are the teams creating?

  • What evidence do we have that more students are learning?

Collaboration is essential to enhance the learning for students, but only when teams focus on the right outcomes. Essential reflection within the team is necessary to determine if collaboration is compliance based or results oriented. An example of a compliance-based team is focusing primarily on developing agendas, identifying a SMART goals, and/or completing meeting minutes to send to the principal. Each compliance-based task contributes to a productive meeting but fails to provide the results-oriented culture we desire. As teachers become burdened with completing mandated forms, the process often fails to produce the desired outcome to enhance learning for students. If the desired outcomes are not being accomplished, the team should consider a few tweaks to the collaborative process to ensure the development of effective products that will promote student learning.

A tweak in the collaborative process allows teams to shift from compliance to a results orientation. The driving force to produce results lies within the products created from the four critical questions of teams (DuFour, DuFour, & Eaker, R. 2008):

1. What do we want students to learn?

2. How will we know students have learned?

3. What will we do when students don’t learn?

4. What will we do when students have learned?

As teachers dissect a common curricular unit formulated from the district’s curriculum standards, the results-oriented process encourages teams to create products aligned with each of these questions. The opportunity to reorganize discussions from filling in the blanks on the agenda to creating learning targets, common formative assessments, interventions, and extensions are valuable changes that allow a shift from a compliant process to a results-oriented culture. This chart allows teams to use the curricular standards as the primary resource to develop both key products and additional resources to support student learning.

Critical Question - What do we want students to learn?

Product - Learning Targets

Resource - Standards (TEKS)

Critical Question - How will we know students have learned?

Product - Learning Targets

Resource - Common Formative Assessments

Critical Question - What will we do when students don’t learn

Product - Interventions

Resource - Data From the Common Formative Assessments

Critical Question - What will we do when students have learned?

Product - Enrichment

Resource - Data From the Common Formative Assessment


Curricular Resources

Scholastic Reading Inventory (SRI) Assessment for High School

Schools who wish to administer the Scholastic Reading Inventory (SRI) to determine student reading levels for grades 9–12 may do so during the August 31–September 25 assessment window. For more information, please contact Eric Walker in the Reading Language Arts department.

Literacy Tutoring Toolkit

The Volunteer and Partnership Services (VPS) department offers an English/Spanish Literacy Tutor Toolkit for campus volunteers to use during tutoring time with their 1st–3rd graders. The program is available for all non-magnet, non-I2020 elementary campuses. Tutoring sessions are 30 minutes and focus on strengthening students’ reading comprehension and vocabulary. All resources required to implement this tutoring program are provided to your campus by the district. In order to receive the materials, campus-based tutor program liaisons must attend a literacy tutor training the week of September 8. Please contact the Volunteer and Partnership Services department if you are interested in having this program on your campus.

Text Sets Posted on Curriculum Central

A new curricular resource for 3rd–12th grade teachers, text sets, was posted on the Reading Language Arts page of Curriculum Central in August. This document joins other Reading Language Arts curricular documents, such as semester maps, six-week maps, dCPGs, and close reading text modules, that teachers can use to plan instruction. Each text set suggests a sequence of thematically connected texts from adopted textbooks and free online databases, correlated to suggested TEKS from the corresponding six-week curricular map. In order to address the needs of all students, including standard English learners, the text sets contain texts in different genres and with various text structures. This text variety can help build wide vocabulary, broad background knowledge, and cultural awareness. For more information, please contact Arlena Gaynor in the Reading Language Arts department.

Professional Development

September Professional Development for Teachers and CICs

Thank you to everyone who attended Reading Language Arts professional development sessions this summer! We hope you and your teachers found the content to be useful and applicable to your campuses.

Our Fall Reading Series is open for registration! More information can be found below. Sessions will take place at the H.B. Bell Building (2909 North Buckner Boulevard) afterschool (4:30pm–6:30pm for elementary sessions and 5:00pm–7:00pm for secondary sessions). Teachers and CICs can register on SchoolNet. All sessions focus on how the targeted best practices can be used to teach the TEKS.

September Professional Development for School Leaders

The School Leader Reading Academy will be returning this year as an opportunity for principals and assistant principals to learn about best practices in literacy instruction and how to lead these instructional initiatives on campuses. The dates for September and October are listed below. All sessions will take place at the H.B. Bell Building from 4:30pm–6:30pm (elementary sessions) or 5:00pm–7:00pm (secondary sessions).

Registration is open at http://tiny.cc/dallasSLRA. For more information, please contact Seema Tejura.

Date & Session Title

September 17 -Selecting Texts for Instruction

September 24 - Balanced Literacy

October 15 - Using Reading Language Arts Resources to Plan Instruction

October 22 - Creating Text-dependent Questions for Instruction

Partnership with University of Texas at Arlington

The Reading Language Arts Department and the University of Texas at Arlington (UTA) have partnered to host the Dallas ISD Literacy Academy. Teachers from 21 elementary and middle schools will meet weekly from September 1–April 18, 2015, to complete three graduate-level UTA literacy courses. The course content is a collaboration between Dallas ISD and UTA with a focus on instructional practices teachers can implement in their classrooms. Upon completion of the academy, teachers have the opportunity to apply the courses towards the Master of Education in Curriculum and Instruction with an emphasis in Literacy Studies at UTA! Classes began this week and the partnership is off to a successful start.

Additional Information


Mark your calendar for October 3, 2015 for the feeder pattern Prep U at Pinkston High School. This is time for the community to come together and learn more about the schools in the feeder. Elsa Pennell will join our feeder meeting to share more details, but I'd like the team to come ready to share potential ideas to make the day engaging and memorable for our community!

Principal Effectiveness Score Card

In the feeder Google doc folder, I've included the updated concept paper on Principal Evaluation and Effectiveness calculations. Please reach out if you have any questions. The glitch in Oracle should be resolved and the principal score cards should be available via Oracle Tuesday afternoon. If you are a new principal, you will not have an evaluation and effectiveness score. You will receive this next year this time.

EL 20 Day Testing Window Status

Please check the EL 20 day testing status for your school and make sure new EL students are tested by September 17th. Have your LPAC's submit the plan to ensure we stay in the green.

Teaching and Learning Critical Elements

Through out the year Teaching and Learning will provide updates on what they call 5 Critical Elements. Each edition will give background information, Look For's and Next Step for each element. This edition's 5 Critical Elements are: School Net RTI Implementation; Accelerated Instruction; STEM Math/Science Update; Reading and Writing Updates; and Professional Learning Opportunities. I've uploaded the document in the feeder Google drive.


Please remember that Pre-K students are not allowed to ride the bus per policy. Please review this policy with your parents. There were a few incidents that occurred around the district with transportation, so I thought it would be good for campuses to review the procedures with both your students and staff to ensure we keep our little ones safe.

Teacher College Template

As we continue to build a college and career going culture with our students, it would be ideal if teachers and staff would share their alma mater with students and visitors. I’d like each school to use a door sign at the entrance of each classroom that includes the teacher’s picture, subject and/or grade level they teach and the college(s) they attended. Teachers can also include the logo if they choose. A template and sample is in the Google folder your review. Let's have each school complete this request by the end of the month.

Title I

I’ve scheduled an optional campus action plan work session for principals and/or assistant principals after our feeder pattern meeting Thursday, September 10th @ 11:30AM. The training last week was not as helpful as I thought it would be, so I want to make sure everyone feels comfortable with making the transition to the new format. This would also provide time for you to share ideas with each other.


Lindsay Coshatt will join our meeting to share new updates regarding TEI and the roll-out of Teacher Score Cards. She will also answer any questions you might have regarding TEI. I've included important information regarding planning for TEI roll-out in our Google drive.

10 Day Dashboard

A 10-day Dashboard targeting critical elements the district would like to measure regarding the opening of school, such as attendance, fill rate, vacancies etc…. I’m happy to say that our schools were not identified as a concern in most areas. The only area a few schools were listed as a concern was attendance. I know you and your teams are working diligently to find the “no shows” and that is greatly appreciated! Way to go team!!!! The 10-Day Dashboard is in our WAG feeder Google folder for your review. I’ve also included a chart that shows the number of student openings per school. If you have Pre-K students on a wait list, please inform parents of the schools within the feeder that have current openings.

Attendance for Credit

If you have not done so, please submit the Attendance for Credit Administrator Form to Isaac Gonzalez by September 11th. He will schedule a training in the near future for the identified administrators to ensure we are in compliance with the guidelines and policy for Attendance for Credit.

Tutoring Funds

You should have received your allocated 199 tutoring amounts via email from budget services. Some campuses allocated tutoring funds from 211, so you may want to re-route this money to another area in your budget since the tutoring funds can only be used for tutoring. A memo in WAIP was sent out last week with information and the Tutoring Handbook. I have attached a spreadsheet with school totals, so you are aware of how much money your campuses received for tutoring funds. These tutoring funds are for tutoring students in grades 3-10 and seniors needing to pass an EOC. This money is for supplemental pay only and may not be used for transportation or supplies. For more information click the link below to the WAIP memo.


Child Abuse

Several schools help the mandatory Child Abuse training during the week PD sessions prior to school and some of you have the training scheduled within the next few weeks. If you did not hold the training and have not scheduled a Child Abuse training in the upcoming weeks, please contact Carol Duncan to schedule.

WAIP - Important action items in WAIP, please make sure you schedule time on your calendar to read:).


Scheduled Campus Visits

Monday - Holiday

Tuesday - Rookie Round Table @ Gabe Allen

Wednesday - Gabe Allen; Earhart; Pinkston

Thursday - Feeder Pattern Meeting @ Sidney Lanier; Optional Campus Action Planning works session

Friday - Stevens Park

Shout Out

Sidney Lanier

Syrai Brooks, a student from Lanier, was 1 of 4 DISD students selected to participate in the Education in Action 2015 Lone Star Leadership Academy. The students selected demonstrated academic success, leadership ability, and involvement in school/community activities. The participating students, represented communities across Texas (Dallas/Fort Worth (4th, 5th & 6th graders), Austin/San Antonio (5th, 6th & 7th graders), and Houston/Galveston (6th, 7th & 8th graders). Lanier's actions to ensure this student had the skill set to qualify aligns with Core Belief #1. Way to go Lanier for growing our future leaders!!!!

Quintanilla Middle School

Dorothy Taylor, a teacher at QMS, is responsible for getting 10 Laptops and an IPAD from Donor's Choose. She will integrate this technology into instructing students! Hooray to Dorothy for aligning your behavior with Core Belief #2 and providing students an opportunity to connect their content knowledge with technology.

Lorenzo DeZavala

Shout out goes to Sonia Garcia at DeZavala. DeZavala's has a CRC vacancy and we know how crucial the role of the CRC is, especially at this time of the year. Ms. Garcia stepped in and is not only doing her job well, but filling in to get the work of the CRC done until the position is filled. Her behavior reflects Core Belief #5. Thank you Ms. Garcia for your commitment to excellence!

Feeder Pattern Meeting

Thursday, Sep. 10th, 8:30-11:45am

1400 Walmsley Avenue

Dallas, TX

Imagine 2020 & District-wide Principal Meeting

Monday, Sep. 14th, 11:30am-5pm

DA Hulcy Steam Middle School

School Zone/Budd Center Meeting

Tuesday, Sep. 8th, 11am-1pm

Trinity River Center 2060 Singleton

This is the kick off meeting of the 2015-2016 school year. If you cannot attend, please send an assistant principal. This is an important partnership, so we want to make sure our campuses are represented.

Have an awesome learning week!