BCISD Curriculum Connection

End-of-Year 2020 Edition

Save My Seat!

We launched our "Save My Seat!" campaign this week to better inform our decision-making for 2020-2021. We experienced growth in student enrollment prior to school closures, and demographic projections show that the growth will continue. Help us have the best information possible by encouraging those in your sphere of influence to let us know whether they will or won't return to a BCISD campus.

Celebrate Graduates!

Even though ceremonies will look different this year, we are very pleased that recent guidance from TEA supports in-person Graduation ceremonies for QHS on June 4th and BHS on June 5th at Bulldog Stadium. These events are not open to the public; only a limited number of invited guests per student can attend. However, you can still support our graduates by cheering them on in the BCISD Graduation Parade on May 22nd from 6:00-7:00. The length of the route (linked HERE) will allow for safe distancing while you set up and cheer them on. In addition, virtual graduations will be streamed online ahead of the in-person ceremonies. QHS virtual ceremony is May 21st beginning at 6:00 p.m. and BHS virtual ceremony is May 22nd beginning at 7:30 p.m. Please note that the BHS virtual ceremony is live-streamed, not recorded, so plan to watch the event live.

Click Below for End-of-Year T-TESS Clarification

You Can Get a Jump on Training for 2020-2021

Online training courses in Eduhero for 2020-2021 will open June 1st. These courses will satisfy many of the state compliance requirements for educator professional development. Speak to your Principal or supervisor to determine whether it is an option for you to get the trainings completed prior to the busy start of the school year.

Don't forget your GT training hours

Academic teachers of GT students need to maintain training requirements listed in the Texas State Plan for the Education of Gifted/Talented Students. This means an initial 30 hours of training, and then 6 hours of updates each year. Good news! Eduhero has added 14 one-hour courses that can be combined for the annual update requirement. Link to your Eduhero account in the Commonly Used Links on the "For Staff" webpage of the BCISD site. If you will teach AP, PreAP, or GT students for the first time in 2020-2021, please ask your Principal about ways to obtain the initial 30 hour requirement.

Solution Tree PLC Institute Postponed

You have likely heard, but the summer initiative for at least 80 staff members to attend the Professional Learning Communities Institute will be postponed due to COVID-19 closures and the uncertainty of the months ahead. Rather than wait until the last minute and possibly lose our financial investment in the training to protect the health and safety of our staff, we chose to lock-in our purchase of training by postponing instead, most likely until the summer of 2021. Thank you to those of you who had compelling applications for the available seats! We will save them until we reschedule the event.
Tech Resources and How-to Guides Will Remain Available

Use the Distance Dawgs page as a handy reference even after school is out.

Families Can Choose to Take Optional End-of-Year Assessments at Home

In a press release on May 12th, the Texas Education Agency announced that parents could register their child and watch instructional webinars on how to administer optional end-of-year assessments online from home. The assessments are designed using released STAAR questions from past years, and are intended to give families information about areas of strength or weakness following the COVID-19 school closures. More information is available on the TEA Parent Registration webpage.

Child Abuse Reporting Is Still Open

During school closure, abused children rely even more on trusted adults to report abuse and neglect. You have likely learned more about your students' home life than ever before through distance learning. When you suspect that a situation has crossed the line from a struggle to abuse, you should report to CPS just as you would have during times of face-to-face instruction. The hotline number is 1-800-252-5400 and the online reporting portal is at txabusehotline.org

We Welcome Help as Meals Continue Into Summer

The Grab & Go Meal service to our community during school closure has been a success. Meals will continue into the summer, although some locations may change. Because the program is expanded well beyond the traditional summer feeding program, we would welcome volunteers to help keep sites running efficiently. Email Clay Goehring if you are interested in helping.

School Offices Will Have Modified Re-Openings May 26th

With the official end of the student school year, we will re-open campus and district offices beginning May 26th for at least the first two weeks of summer and possibly longer. However, most staff will still be on modified schedules working from home for half of each week so that we can keep appropriate distances for health and safety. For this reason, we will not have front doors open to walk-up traffic. Please call to make an appointment if you need to come to campus or speak with or work with administrators and office staff members.

ICE funds are still available... but not for long!

If you haven't spent your $50 Instructional Classroom Enhancement (ICE) funds for 2019-2020, they are still available to you until June 6th. After June 6th, the funds will no longer be available. Your campus secretary can assist you with your request beginning May 26th.

End-of-Year Thoughts: Apocalypse or Awakening?

The Merriam-Webster Dictionary has multiple meanings for the word apocalypse, and one of those common meanings is “a great disaster.” Some would say that the COVID-19 pandemic is an apocalyptic event in terms of health and safety as well as economic stability. You may have felt, justifiably, that this was a great disaster of a school year’s end. I’d like to challenge you to reflect a bit deeper.

The word apocalypse is derived from the Greek word apokálypsis which translates to “uncovering, disclosure, revelation.” Have you uncovered some truths about the business of school during distance learning? I definitely think some important facts have come to light. For that reason, I would rather think of this time as an awakening.

The social media memes and videos of parents begging the teachers to take the kids back are funny. But beneath the surface, I think our society has caught a glimpse of the importance of schools. Teachers don’t just switch on an auto-pilot curriculum for kids and then babysit all day. They provide essential connections, and they provide the “loving push” of expert guidance. Teachers, during closure you worked harder to provide expert feedback to students than ever before, and I am thankful for you and proud of you. You didn’t have the context of a classroom and quick in-person opportunities to speak with kids. You provided both opportunities for connection and expert feedback on student work. Remote communication was inefficient, but more personalized. I think students and families noticed.

The upcoming fall will present us with new challenges. We will need to be deliberate and focused to spend time on what matters most given the lost instruction this year combined with the need for another year of academic growth. Rather than feel overwhelmed (because I can easily slide into that myself), I challenge you to reflect deeply this summer on the areas of awakening that happened this spring rather than the disasters. What did you learn about the students in our community that you can now leverage in a new way? What professional skills did you grow in that are forever in your tool box? What assumptions about teaching and learning were upended? These are awakenings, not disasters. I challenge you to give fresh thought to your August and September start-of-school plans, because this educational awakening has changed us all, including our students.

The Merriam-Webster Dictionary has multiple meanings for the word awakening, and one of those common meanings is “a coming into awareness.” An apocalypse is time-bound, but a new awareness is kept forever. I am aware that BCISD is full of staff members with heart and skill. I am aware that our teachers stretched their boundaries to do their best for students. I am aware that some students realized that their learning involves more than getting a number grade on a paper.

I hope you take some naps this summer while you’re off-contract. When we come back together, let’s leverage all we can from this awakening!

I'm proud to be wide-awake with you!


Tell Us What You Think, and What You Need

Please let us know what you think of the topics in this edition, or what additional questions you have. We want to hear from you!