Leaders Leading Learners

Curriculum & Instruction Newsletter September 25, 2015


The single most important goal in any performance is to keep your focus centered on what connects you to your performance and free you to perform your best. In the world of high-level performance, focus rules--for better or worse.

    Terry Orlick PhD, In Pursuit of Excellence


    A big shout out to Instructional Coaches who have collectively completed 941 walkthroughs and have held countless feedback sessions with teachers.

    It is great to see our coaches model good teaching practices.They are fabulous teachers who will have a great impact on our classroom instruction.

    Coaching Tip

    Coaching done well may be the most effective intervention designed for human performance.

    Atul Gawande

    Jim Knight --Focus on Teaching

    Core Content Area News


    October 12th - District Literacy Training

    As a reminder, the district will provide an all day literacy training for all professional teaching staff. The schedule will be provided soon. As principals indicated in May, all campuses will have their second day of literacy training on October 12th with the exception of Crockett, the four middle schools, and BCHS.

    Accessing Curriculum and Model Lessons

    There have been many questions about the curriculum, the location of the curriculum, and where to find model lessons. Please click for a video explanation of the location, requirements and models of our curriculum. Make certain that you share this link with your teachers.

    District Based Assessments Cut Points

    The district assessments and benchmarks will have "Met" and "Advanced" cut points set to the values used by TEA on the 2015 Spring Assessments. Please click here to view cut points.

    District Data Review Team

    DDRT meetings are underway and take place each Monday in the C&I Conference Room at TESC. Monday, September 28, will focus on Behavior and Monday, October 5, will focus on Behavior. Be sure to sign up in a separate slot for each student who will be presented. Sign up by the preceding Thursday at 4:00pm and email completed Form 98. Request for DDRT Input to Kristen Beesaw.

    RtI Handbook
    The updated Bryan ISD RtI Handbook is now available in Team Connect. Please utilize this resource when planning RtI for struggling students. The appropriate forms are also ready in Eduphoria Aware within the Forms tab for each student. Please contact Kristen Beesaw at 209-1037 if you have any questions.

    Instructional Coaches

    Due to feedback and input that we have received, the C&I team has made some tweaks to the IC model in order to continue focusing on Teaching and Learning which will ultimately lead to the success of our students.

    Beginning today we will only have the Instructional Coaches every other Friday for district level meetings. A new IC meeting schedule can be found here. We will NOT be meeting this Friday, September 25, 2015.

    Next, we are discontinuing the process of ICs checking lesson plans at the district level. We have been using this process for over a year now, and it is time for the lesson plans to be monitored and reviewed by the campus administration (principals & assistant principals). Campus principals will set their internal lesson plan due dates.

    Lastly, on the Fridays that the ICs are not meeting at the district level, they will be on their campuses. ICs will coach four days per week. Every other week they will meet with the district and on alternating weeks, they will work with students for one day. The campus principal will work with the ICs to determine the students that will receive interventions from the IC. So they will coach teachers four days per week every week. They will meet with the district every other week and they will work with students in interventions every other week for one day.

    The C&I Coordinators will continue to evaluate the ICs and will monitor that they are coaching four days and working with students one day (every other week).

    Let us know if you have any questions.


    Field Trip

    The Education Department at the George Bush Presidential Library and Museum will be hosting a special program for Pre-K students. The 1-hour program will include a 30-minute presentation by author and storyteller Barbara Hailey reading from her book, "Aesop and You!" and a 30-minute activity in the Museum Classroom led by Education Docents.
    Every student who attends will receive an autographed copy of "Aesop and You!".
    Morning and afternoon times are available. 9:30-10:30am, 10:30-11:30am, 12-1pm, 1-2pm

    Scripp's Spelling Bee Sign Up
    Please sign up for your students to participate in the Scripp's Spelling Bee. Last year we had 100% participation in our elementary and middle schools. You can find the details to sign up at spellingbee.com. The price does go up the later you register, so please go ahead and register your school. Please contact JoLyn Bricker if you have any questions.

    TAMU Basketball Game
    Please mark your campus calendars for Monday, December 7 as the 3rd Annual Elementary School Day at Reed Arena. We are so excited that we get to provide this incredible event again for all BISD 4th & 5th graders.

    OPAS 5th grade Field Trip Opportunity

    Please see the two attachments to get details about the 5th grade OPAS presentation, The Lightning Thief. While this performance is in February, it is crucial to submit the reservation now. Please contact JoLyn Bricker if you have any questions.


    Professional Development News

    Upcoming Events:

    Please remind your Zero Years Experience teachers that we have NTI on Tuesday, Sept. 29. We will meet in the BLUE Cafeteria at BHS from 4:00-5:00. These meetings are so critical to their success this first year.

    Administrator Meeting

    Please access this link to register for Tuesday's Admin Meeting. Meet and greet with breakfast snacks will be from 8-8:10 and the agenda will start promptly at 8:10. We will start our day in Bryan High's Blue Auditorium. The agenda will be shared with you on Monday afternoon.

    BB&T offer for your staffs

    BB&T bank honors our BISD Teachers of the Month and presents them with a very generous financial gift. They are also the BISD bank and they can offer our employees some exceptional things! BB&T would like to come to each campus this year during the "Communicate" part of one of your faculty meetings to share their @Work program, which includes free checking, loan discounts, and much more. Please access the following link to choose a Wednesday meeting date (and meeting start time) that works for you. Once everyone signs up, we will coordinate short presentations with our BB&T contact. Thank you in advance for helping to get the word out to your staff.

    Campus Professional Development Requests

    If you have specific campus professional development needs, please request training in Eduphoria under Helpdesk.

    Bilingual/ESL News

    All Principals

    ESL Certification Prep Classes

    Please inform teachers that Region VI offers five preparation sessions throughout the year for the ESL Supplemental certification exam #154.This is a two day training designed to assist certified teachers seeking to take the English as a Second Language supplemental TEXES exam. During this intensive workshop, participants will receive an overview of the competencies to be tested, the test item formats, and pertinent study resources. This session will address the domains of Language Concepts/Language Acquisition: ESL Instruction and Assessment, Foundations of ESL Education, Cultural Awareness, and Family and Community Involvement.

    Teachers can register to take the exam at the ETS testing site www.texes.ets.org selecting English as a Second Language Supplemental (ESL) test # 154. Below you will find the dates and locations along with the session id# for registration.

    • September 29-30, 2015 at the ESC session 190094
    • November 4-5, 2015 at the Brazos Center in Bryan session 190115
    • February 24-25, 2016 at the ESC session 190099
    • June 14-15, 2016 at the Brazos Center in Bryan session 190116
    • July 13-14, 2016 at the ESC session 190107
    For additional information please contact: Cristina Woods - Title III/Bil/ESL Specialist - Region 6 Education Service Center, 3332 Montgomery Rd. - Huntsville, TX 77340, PH: 936.435.8237, cwoods@esc6.net

    Bilingual Education Certification
    Please inform your teachers - Texas A & M will be offering Online Certification Preparation courses (Bilingual #164, BTLPT #190, and BTLPT Writing) this semester for teachers interested in obtaining a bilingual supplemental certification. Teachers can enroll in these prep courses at no charge because funding is provided through TEA. The courses are completely online, and teachers will receive professional development hours upon completion of each course. Click on this link for the informational flyer that contains the Fall 2015 and Spring 2016 course schedule. Teachers also can register for these online prep courses at http://ldn.tamu.edu/node/109.

    For additional information, please contact: Bilingual Education Programs - Texas A&M University -979-845-2599, bilingualed@tamu.edu. For staff development credit, please remind teachers to enter as “out of district” when they include this class in their Eduphoria SD record and inform the principal for his/her approval for staff development credit.

    Master's Degree
    Texas A & M is offering an online M.Ed.: Teaching English to Speakers of Other Languages (TESOL). Deadline for application is October 1st - Teachers interested can contact ​Mónica Vásquez Neshyba, Ph.D. - Clinical Assistant Professor, Texas A&M University - College of Education and Human Development, Dept. of Teaching, Learning and Culture - 350 Harrington Tower - Telephone (979) 845-8384 - . e-mail:neshyba@tamu.edu.

    Elementary Principals

    Bilingual Framework:
    The week of September 28 will be week "B" for our Bilingual Framework. Please ensure that language objectives are posted in rooms where there are ELLs and English instruction.

    Special Education News

    All Principals

    Special Education Update

    The special education department is currently working to revise the Special Education Handbook to help assist Principals and staff with procedures. The expectation for completion is the end of October.

    A recommendation has been made for the vacant Special Education Coordinator's position. The newly hired Coordinator will be working with the Autism and Life Skills Specialists, as well as the two special education instructional coaches in support of resource teachers.

    Curriculum & Instruction Department

    If you have any questions, about the content in the Leaders Leading Learners newsletter, please don't hesitate to contact any member of the C&I department.