Teaching & Learning Newsletter

May 6, 2016


Positive Reminders for Excelling

Always positive thoughts.

Always positive images.

Always I can.

Always opportunities.

Always focused.

Always lessons.

Always step-by-step.

Terry Orlick, PhD, In Pursuit of Excellence


The countless after school hours spent by principals, teachers, and instructional coaches in after school tutorials, Friday Night Lights, Saturday School, and Spring Workshops, to provide extra preparation for STAAR is greatly appreciated. Your extra efforts and dedication clearly exemplifies “Children first, always”!

Coaching Tip

Seven Principles for IC's

Equality is believing the people we collaborate with are no less important than us or anyone else, and that consequently their ideas, thoughts, and opinions are no less important than our own.

Choice is believing that choices lie at the heart of professional practice, and that when we take away others' choices, we treat them as if they are not professionals. We have found that when we offer others choices, we actually increase the likelihood that they will embrace what we have to offer. Taking away choice is a bona fide recipe for resistance.

Voice is believing that a part of learning is helping people find the words they need to say what matters to them. Another important part of voice is making it possible for others to openly communicate what they think.

Dialogue is believing in the importance of conversations that enable people to think together.

Reflection is believing that learning can be enhanced when we have numerous opportunities to consider how what we're learning might impact what we have done in the past, what we are doing now, and what we will be doing in the future.

Praxis is believing that learning is most meaningful when we reflect and recreate knowledge so that we can use it in our personal or professional lives.

Reciprocity is believing that every learning experience we create provides as much of a chance for us to learn as it does for our learning partners.

Jim Knight, Focus on Teaching

Core Content Area News

Schedule of Score Report Release Dates

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.

Secondary Schools

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

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.

Elementary Schools

Kindergarten Report Card Review

The kindergarten report card has been in use for two years. The content coordinators are requesting feedback from kindergarten teachers to see what suggestions they have for improving the report card and grading process. A packet of information was shared with the ELA/SLA Instructional Coach on each elementary campus to gather feedback from the teachers. Principals are encouraged to attend the meeting with the coaches and kindergarten teachers. Instructional coaches will use the feedback to revise the kindergarten report card during Curriculum Writing. Packets will be returned to content coordinators on May 13 when Curriculum Writing begins.

PreK and Kindergarten Report Card Alignment

The report card scoring for PreK will be changed to mirror the kindergarten report card scores. This will help parents not have to learn two different types of scoring.

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.

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 month of July. 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 been chosen as a host site for the reading academies that will be held in July. Teachers who attend may be able to receive a $350 stipend from the state. We will share specific dates and other information as soon as we receive any more information.

Guided Reading Walks

Content Coordinators are continuing to visit campuses to do walkthroughs on guided reading in grades K - 2. Teachers may be asked to share their guided reading binder. Principals will receive feedback on the walkthrough feedback form.

Primary Reading Success Plan GPC forms and EOY parent letters

  • The PRSP GPC forms are available for campuses to use to create for students who do not meet the PRSP criteria and are either being placed or retained.
  • EOY Parent letters for PRSP plans are provided in English and Spanish for campuses to send home.
  • The completed profile sheets for each child are to be placed in the academic folder in student permanent folders. Please contact JoLyn Bricker if you have any questions.

Professional Development

Principals & APs

TE Days for Principals & APs

I know that it is sometimes a struggle to find quality PD to secure your TE Day credits during the small window of time that you are off-contract. We do have a few things available to you during the time that our 220s are off, but I have another opportunity that I want to share with you! I am going to create an online training for our administrators that will be designed to equip you with more tools to lead a campus that has students and families from poverty. If you do not already have 3 days planned for your TE Day credits, this will be something in which you can participate. I will release more info about the online class in the coming weeks. Hopefully this will help you in more ways than one.


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 on Friday, July 29 from 8:30-3:30 pm.

Elementary Principals


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

This June we will be offering Scholars Academy to 9th and 10th graders who wish to succeed on the PSAT exam in Fall 2016. We are trying to drive more participation in this program and really need your help. Please communicate to your teachers and students about this opportunity. Click here

Special Education


Behavior Specialist

Noel Bell, special education behavior specialist, began working in the district on April 25, 2016 to serve campuses with the PASS and SOAR Programs in support of administrators and staff.

Bilingual Education

Elementary School Principals

Bilingual Framework

The week of May 9 is a B week for the bilingual framework.

Upcoming Courses

Region 6 will be offering a preparation course for the Bilingual Target Language Proficiency Test this summer. This is the test required to become bilingual certified.

Course information: (BLTPT) (TExES #190). Click on the link for details.

There will also be a preparation course for the Supplemental Bilingual (TExES #164) certification exam. Both courses are free for Bryan ISD teachers. Please share the information and links with your teachers.

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.


Professional Development Opportunity

On July 11th, Region 6 will offer a comprehensive bilingual education conference. Enjoy presentations covering a wide variety of topics on programs, strategies and other sessions related to curriculum and instruction for bilingual students.

Important Session Information: Portraits of Success/Retratos de éxito- The bilingual conference will highlight successes from the world of bilingual education. From the keynote speaker to the break-out sessions, enjoy a full day of celebrating successful practices in bilingual education. Additionally, there will be a vendor area to highlight products that may add to success for our bilingual students. A light breakfast, lunch and snacks will be provided. For more details click on the link.

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.

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.