Curriculum & Instruction Newsletter

Secondary School Edition

Welcome Back!!

Happy New Year, Teachers and Instructional Staff!

I was asked earlier what we have learned from virtual instruction this past semester, and I was able to reflect on the many things that have been accomplished thus far, and think about what we've yet set out to do. You have definitely faced hard challenges during this COVID-19 school year, but you have always kept the student and community needs as your number one priority. You redesigned your classrooms and immediately pivoted to develop virtual instruction to continue to provide education for ALL students. Then, as schools were allowed to reopen, you collaborated on creating instruction that met the needs of both virtual and in-person learners. In retrospect, this pandemic has kindled the creativity, innovation, and collaborative spirit of all of our educators.

And yet we continue to learn new things. We have learned that meeting varied needs of all student populations takes time. Doing this to meet both learning modalities, in person and remote learning, requires even more teacher planning to design targeted lessons for both learners. In order to help you continue to provide the best education possible for all students this coming semester, our school board approved monthly planning and preparation days for teachers to design instruction focused on meeting the individual needs of their on-campus and virtual students. I hope the following tools shared below can help you with instructional design, and know that the C&I Team is here to help you design and deliver the best instruction for your students.

Warm Wishes,

Ceci Davis

Assistant Superintendent of C&I

Pre/Post Tests Suspended for the Remaining of the School Year

Just before Christmas break, TEA notified school districts that they will be offering a T-TESS/T-PESS evaluation waiver for 2020-2021. Our School Board provided approval that includes all employee effective immediately. Since the Pre and Post Tests were part of the employee appraisals, these will be suspended immediately. We hope this news brings some relief to you and focus solely on just providing the best instruction using Benchmark data instead.

Meet our Director of Accountability and Assessment, Elba Contreras

Ms. Contreras brings over 20 years of experience in education as a teacher, instructional specialists, assistant principal and a successful principal from Laredo ISD. She has experience in working with priority campuses and helping them excel academically. She will begin working with us effective January 11 and we are excited about the leadership, experience and skills she will bring to our district!

Assessment Tool Tutorial Video

The video below is a great tool for students to become familiar with all the accommodation tools available to them through Eduphoria Online Assessments. Please view and share this 12 minute video with your students to learn how to use them when taking interim assessments, benchmarks, or unit tests. Thanks to Missy Martinez, Instructional Technology Specialist and Kim Carlton, Assessment Specialist for collaborating on producing this educational video. Learn about:

· Calculator Tools

· Speak Option Tools

· Color Theme

· Zoom In and Out

· Add Note

· Choice Eliminator

· Flagging a question

· Highlighting

· Question Guide

Judson ISD Assessment Tools Tutorial

Canvas Updates

  • New students and Canvas: A new process has been implemented that will expedite new student access to Canvas and online courses. New students who are enrolled by 9 AM and who have a schedule of classes by noon will now have Canvas access by 1:30 PM. If a student is not enrolled by 9 AM, it is recommended that their information is not submitted until the following day before 9 AM.
  • New Hire Canvas Supplemental Support training sessions will be offered monthly. These sessions are intended to be an extension of the initial trainings provided by subject area coordinators and/or campus Canvas trainers. New hires are encouraged to attend as many sessions as needed to learn new Canvas tools and skills and ask any questions that they may have about this resource. Register via Eduphoria. Dates and times are as follows:
    • January 19, 4:30-6:00 PM
    • February 16, 4:30-6:00 PM
    • March 16, 4:30-6:00 PM
    • April 13, 4:30-6:00 PM

Questions??? Call or email Randy Rogers, Director of Instructional Technology!

MOY Universal Screener Window Opens Today!

The MOY assessment window is the entire month of January. All teachers should have received an email from Veronica Padilla, math specialist, or Jeanette Dear, ELAR specialist outlining the MOY screener expectations for reading and math in grades 6-8. For Grades 6-8, we use Galileo for ELAR and Imagine Math Universal Screener. If you have any questions, please send them to Ms. Padilla or Ms. Dear. The documents below are a resource for you to use as you examine data and our specialists will provide further training on using data to inform instruction.

Professional Learning for the Month of January - Via Zoom

Below is a friendly reminder of the upcoming Virtual Professional Learning Sessions sponsored by the C & I Department. Remember that we are also part of the Professional Learning Cohort from R20 and can attend many free sessions through Region 20, too! If you have any questions, Ms. Maricela Maldonado, Professional Learning Specialist, can provide you the support you need.

January Secondary PD for Teachers

January 8th

MS 3:30 - 4:30

HS 4:30 - 5:30

Read Like a Writer, Write Like a Reader

January 12th

MS 3:34 - 4:45

Holocaust Remembrance Week

January 12th

HS 4:45 - 5:45

Holocaust Remembrance Week

January 12th

3:30 - 4:30

GIST Support/Testing Accommodations

January 13th

4:30 - 5:30

Eduphoria Online Assessments

Participants registered in Eduphoria will receive the Zoom Link.

January 19th

MS 3:30 - 4:30

HS 4:30 - 5:30

It’s Lit! Planning for the Next Units

January 20th

4:30 – 5:30

League of Extraordinary Science Teachers (6-8)

January 21st

4:30 - 5:30

Polish Instruction with Padlet

Participants registered in Eduphoria will receive the Zoom Link.

January 23rd

9:00 - 3:30

Sheltered Instruction in Action

Participants registered in Eduphoria will receive the Zoom Link.

January 28th

4:45 - 5:45

More Tools to use in Google for Math Teachers

Curriculum and Instruction Website

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