Teaching & Learning Newsletter

March 24, 2016

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C2E

Virtually everything that you do or do not do in your life is ruled by the choices that you make. You can choose to excel or choose not to excel. You can choose to bring focus and quality to what you do or choose not to. You can choose to get stressed out about things beyond your control or choose not to. You can choose to let other people upset you or choose not to. You can choose to approach obstacles and react to challenging situations in positive ways or in negative ways. You can choose to dwell on the negatives or focus on the positives. You can choose to embrace your dreams and go after them or let them drift away without really trying. These are your choices and your choices direct the quality of your performance and the joyfulness of your life. You decide.


Terry Orlick, PhD, In Pursuit of Excellence

Affirmations

A big thank you to Jana Wenzel, Paul Ritter, and their team for having everything prepared for the iStation roll out now that the state contracts were approved. Teachers were able to use the program as soon as it was released by the state.


Thanks to those of you who have taken on the extra assignment of leading LLI groups . The extra attention you are providing these struggling readers is certainly an example of “Children First Always”.

Coaching Tip

Instructional Coaches coach teachers to measure how often they praise and how often they criticize students. If teachers spend a lot of time correcting students, the attention they give students while correcting them actually encourages students to act up. Many students will do what it takes to get their teachers' attention, and if the only way they can get that attention is by acting up, many will act up.


At the most fundamental level, teachers could rethink how they encourage and connect with students or how they use power in the classroom. Finally, teachers could consider whether they have clearly taught and consistently reinforced the expectations and whether they have created a classroom community that truly is learner friendly.


Richard Dufour & Robert Marzano, Leaders of Learning

Core Content Area News

ALL ADMINISTRATORS


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 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, for any teachers, administrators, and representatives 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.


Summer School

Plans for summer school are already underway! Applications for professionals and paraprofessionals will be accepted from April 4-15. More information about the application process will be provided soon in BISD News. Click here for more information regarding programs and locations.


New Assistant Director of Curriculum & Instruction


We are pleased to announce that Debbie Richards will be assuming the role of Assistant Director of Curriculum & Instruction. While maintaining her duties as a science coordinator, Mrs. Richards will oversee the content coordinators.


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.

High School

Algebra 1 Horiztonal Meeting

On Monday, March 28 all Algebra 1 teachers are invited to attend the Algebra 1 Horizontal meeting at Bryan High School room 3110 from 4:30-6:30. Teachers will be trained on the use of Algebra EOC preparation materials.


Dates for Pulling Benchmark Data for Accountability Predictions

Data from secondary spring benchmarks will be pulled on April 12. Teachers planning to use scores for grades should retrieve those scores by April 11 since questions over SEs that have not been taught are zero weighted at this time. Adjustments to the weighting of test questions will be made the morning of April 12. All questions will be weighted in order to obtain the most accurate prediction possible. Principals should expect to receive index score predictions by April 15.

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Middle Schools

Grade 6 and 7 Math Horizontal Meeting

On Monday, April 4 all 6th and 7th grade math teachers are invited to attend a Horizontal Meeting at Davila Middle School from 4:30-6:30. Teachers will study benchmark data and be provided training on the use of STAAR Preparation materials.


MSTAR Universal Screeners

End of Year MSTAR Universal Screeners will be available from April 4th to May 13th. Please be sure that all other 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 stduents need to complete testing by May 13th. Should an extension be needed, please notify Lauren Wooldridge.


Dates for Pulling Benchmark Data for Accountability Predictions

Data from secondary spring benchmarks will be pulled on April 12. Teachers planning to use scores for grades should retrieve those scores by April 11 since questions over SEs that have not been taught are zero weighted at this time. Adjustments to the weighting of test questions will be made the morning of April 12. All questions will be weighted in order to obtain the most accurate prediction possible. Principals should expect to receive index score predictions by April 15.


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

5th Grade ReSTAARt

5th Grade Science teachers will meet on April 4 from 4:00-5:30 PM to go over final preparations for STAAR. ReSTAARt lessons and resources will be shared at this meeting.


4th Grade Writing STAAR Information

Please use the link to see the latest information about how the STAAR writing test will be scored.


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.


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 either 4/14 or 4/18 so that your campus leadership team and your Process Champions can attend one of 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 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! Click here.

Advanced Academics

Act Prep Session

Rudder High School is hosting Bryan ISD's free ACT prep session this Saturday from 8am-12pm in the Cafe. Topics covered will be the structure of the exam, strategies for success in each subtest and a review of a practice exam. The session is open to any student planning on taking the ACT. Students can sign up at the front desk at any BISD High School campus before noon, Thursday.


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.

Special Education

Principals/APs


ARD Committe Meetings

Please remind staff to be prompt for ARD Committe meetings.

Bilingual Education

Elementary School Principals


The week of March 28 is a B week for the bilingual framework.


Principals


Save the Date

We are excited to announce a unique professional development opportunity for principals, assistant principals, and deans of instruction on July 27. John Seidlitz, from Seidlitz Education will be our special guest and will be speaking about ELLs in Texas and about the 7 Steps to a Language Rich Interactive Classroom. Save the date.


Building academic vocabulary requires not just having students memorize word lists, but also giving them opportunities to practice structured classroom dialogue and to think about and clarify word meanings (August, Carlo, Dressler, & Snow, 2005)

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.