Alice ISD - ISC Curriculum Gazette

Back to School 2018-2019

The 2018-2019 School Year

How did we get to the middle of the first six weeks already? It seems that last year was just ending, we were starting summer school and now, we have been in class three weeks.

If you are new to Alice ISD, welcome to the team. If you are a returning to the district, welcome back!

We are working hard to make positive impacts on the lives of our students and to affect change. Our new phrase is,

"Our Students...Our Future


Take a few minutes to read this Gazette. It is published once a month by the Curriculum Department and serves to highlight instructional happenings and communicate things about to take place.

In this first issue you will see some of the highlights from new teacher training and staff development as well as information about upcoming trainings.

This is an exciting time to be in A.I.S.D.

Meet Our New Superintendent

Career Biography

Over the course of his 30 years as an educator, Dr. Carl Scarbrough has been blessed to work alongside exceptional students, wonderful parents, outstanding colleagues, and supportive communities. He began as a teacher and coach in the Harlandale Independent School District, where he subsequently served as a social studies coordinator, vice-principal, and principal. Dr. Scarbrough also provided instructional leadership for the Southside ISD community as a principal and Curriculum Director, and for the Seguin ISD as the Assistant Superintendent of Curriculum and Instruction. He most recently served as the Assistant Superintendent for School Leadership in San Antonio ISD.

Dr. Scarbrough’s experiences have centered on building teamwork, developing stakeholder trust, improving school and district climate, and facilitating student and organizational success. He has been the instructional leader of Recognized, Exemplary, Title I Distinguished Progress, and National Blue Ribbon Schools, as well as an Innovative Instructional Leader at the district level.

Regardless of the leadership role that Dr. Scarbrough has held, he always approaches each day with the

following guiding principles:

• Exhibit a positive attitude every day for our staff and students

• Do what is right for kids

• Work hard to accomplish our team goals

• Be persistent in our fight for equity and excellence

• Enjoy and value the process of learning

Dr. Scarbrough received his Bachelor of Arts and graduated summa cum laude from the University of Texas at San Antonio, Masters of Science from Texas A&I University, Doctorate of Education from the University of Texas at San Antonio, and Texas Superintendent Certificate from the University of Texas at Tyler.

He and his wife Kathy are the proud parents of 3 sons, Daniel age 37, Spenser age 29, and Steven age 6. Dr. Scarbrough believes:

“The Alice Independent School District is a wonderful educational community that values and respects their children, parents, teachers, and staf . Our students’ possess unlimited potential, and I look forward to being a part of a dynamic team of educators that will help our kids realize their pursuit of excellence.

Go Coyotes!”

New AISD Teachers 2018-2019

Big picture

AISD New Teacher Program

This year Alice ISD has a new teacher induction program. Recognizing the number of teachers new to the district and the need for more teacher support, the district is implementing the New Teacher Induction Program by Lead4ward. This program touches on various topics including:

  • Becoming an Effective Teacher
  • Getting Ready for the 1st Days
  • Managing the Classroom Environment
  • Maintaining Positive Student Behavior
  • Understanding the Standards
  • Vocabulary and Visuals
  • Making Connections: Learning and learner
  • Working with Parents and Families
  • Being a Professional Educator
  • Working with a Mentor
  • Managing Stress

The teacher co-hort will meet several times during the year in addition to meeting with their mentors. A Google Class has been created to share information.

We are looking forward to a great year.

Depth of Knowledge

For the past two years our district has been working on increasing rigor by working with Blooms Taxonomy. This year there is a change. Instead of Blooms, we are learning about Webb's Depth of Knowledge.

Depth of Knowledge, or DOK, is not a taxonomy, but instead is descriptive and focuses on the content strategies in order to successfully complete an assessment task. While Blooms focuses on the verbs, DOK focuses on the cognitive demands of the instruction or task. DOK goes beyond the what, to the how.

DOK will be a focus of our work as a district this year. We will continue our work with the Institute of Public School Initiatives, or IPSI to increase our knowledge and application of DOK.

Two Campuses Earn Five Distinctions

Two Campuses Earn All Possible Distinctions

Distinction designations are awarded for achievement in several areas and are based on performance relative to a group of campuses of similar type, size, grade span, and student demographics.

In Texas there were a total of 448 campuses that received all possible distinctions for which they were eligible.

Congratulations to Saenz Elementary and Noonan Elementary for earning all possible distinctions from STAAR.

  • Academic Achievement in Mathematics
  • Academic Achievement in English Language Arts/Reading
  • Tope 25 Percent Comparative Academic Growth
  • Postsecondary Readiness
  • Tope 25 Percent Comparative Closing the Gaps

Federal and Special Programs

Bilingual Program to ESL Program

For the last several years, Alice ISD has offered a bilingual education program to students who indicate that another language other than English is spoken in the home. These students are classified as English Language Learners. The Texas Education Agency and the Texas Education Code states that any district who has at least 20 students or more enrolled in a grade level that are English Language Learners (ELLs) a bilingual education program is a requirement. Alice ISD's ELL numbers have decreased in the last three years, therefore, the district is no longer required to offer a bilingual education program, but can provide an English as a Second Language Program. This is the shift that Alice ISD will be implementing this year. Although Noonan and Saenz will still remain as campuses specifically for students who do not speak English as their first language, other ELLs will be provided services at all other elementary campuses as well as intermediate, middle and high school. Teachers who have ELL students enrolled in their classes will be encouraged to be ESL certified and the district will continue to provide a program in which a teacher can challenge the ESL certification exam and be reimbursed for the cost of the exam and certification if they pass it. This is a great event for Alice ISD and we will be able to continue to serve our English Language Learners in a superior way.

Every Student Succeeds Act Fully Implemented

The Every Student Succeeds Act (ESS) of 2015 is being fully implemented this school year and look for some great things happening here at Alice ISD. The ESSA grant has allowed Alice ISD to provide Instructional Facilitators to most campuses. These Facilitators will assist teachers and principals in classroom planning, management, and overall academic achievement.

Federal Programs Staff

Staff for the 2018 - 2019 Federal Programs Department are as follows:

Dr. Alma L. Garcia, Executive Director of Federal Programs

Deidre Guajardo, Migrant NGS Specialist

Nicole Barrera, Bilingual/ESL Administrative Assistant

Rosa Manrique, Migrant Tutor

Moises Maldonado, Migrant Social Worker

Together we are working hard to assist all campuses with federal guidelines and compliance.

Can You Spot Math Anxiety in Your Students?

2018-2019 District Administrative Team

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Administrative Team Starts Early

Our 2018-2019 Administrative Team started their "official" year the last week in July.

Shown above are most of those who attended the three days in July. It was a time to get to know one another and review district policies regarding discipline and Special Education. Those present also learned about Depth of Knowledge and Depth of Planning in addition to discussing data and their vision of a graduate. It was a great time to lay the foundation for a successful year!

Advanced Academics

Gifted and Talented Program

Gifted and Talented Frequently Asked Questions (excerpt from

Who is required to have professional development in G/T education?

Teachers who provide instruction and services that are a part of the district’s defined G/T services are required to receive a minimum of 30 clock hours of professional development prior to their assignment to provide G/T services and instruction. This
30-hour training must include nature and needs of G/T students, identification and assessment of G/T students’ needs, and curriculum and instruction for G/T students. Teachers without required training must complete the 30-hour training within one semester of assignment to provide G/T services and instruction. Teachers must also receive a minimum of six hours annually of professional development in G/T education (TAC §89.2(1), (2) and (3); State Plan 4.1.1.C, 4.1.2.C and 4.2C).

If a teacher completed the 30-hour foundational G/T training several years ago and has not continued with the 6-hour annual G/T professional development updates, must he/she retake the 30-hour training to be considered a G/T trained teacher in Texas?

There is no such requirement in law or rule; however local district policies may include this requirement. Alice ISD procedures require that staff turn in a certificate to central office if he/she has previously completed the 30-hour training (e.g. while with another district). Otherwise, staff members are expected to repeat the 30-hour initial training.

Must all teachers complete the annual six-hour G/T professional development update?

All teachers who provide instruction and services that are a part of the district’s defined gifted/talented services program for G/T students must receive a minimum of six hours annually of professional development in G/T education that is related to state teacher education standards(TAC §89.2(3); TAC §233.1; State Plan 4.2C).

Are Pre-AP/AP or IB teachers required to complete the 30-hour foundational G/T training? If so, can their Pre-AP/AP or IB training count toward G/T training requirements?

If Pre-AP/AP or IB classes serve as the mode of delivery for services to G/T students, teachers must have the required 30-hour foundational G/T training. Substitutions from the College Board five-day summer institute or IBO training may be made for the curriculum and instruction component of the 30-hour foundational G/T training, but the teacher would still require training in the nature and needs of G/T students and identification and assessment of G/T students’ needs.

Texas Association for the Gifted and Talented (TAGT) Online

This school year, Alice ISD is partnering once again with the Texas Association for the Gifted and Talented (TAGT) to provide online resources for both educators and parents to meet the unique needs of gifted and talented students from every cultural background. TAGT is the nation’s largest advocacy group of its kind, providing more than 3,000 members a forum for exchanging ideas and information about the education of GT students. Any principal, counselor, and core-area teacher, K-12, with GT students currently on their roster and needing the 6-hour update or the 30-hour initial training, will utilize the TAGT Learning on-Demand District. If you are uncertain if you are serving students in our GT program, please contact your campus administrator or counselor.


Registration Code: u9003AISD10343



Registration Code: c9002AISD10343


Certificates should be turned into your campus secretary. Secretaries will then collect and forward to our Advanced Academic Department no later than December 14th.

Destination Imagination

Destination Imagination (DI) is a creative problem-solving organization that encourages teams to blend research with a chosen challenge. Teams may choose from challenges that range from fine arts to engineering. Each team will also have to solve an Instant Challenge that is worth one-third of the team’s total score. Teams present their challenge solutions to audiences (except for Instant Challenge) and are awarded points for completing required and team-chosen elements. It’s academic, artistic, problem-solving fun, all rolled into one!

For a sneak peek at this year’s challenges, head to:

Our Advanced Academics Department will host a DI Interest Meeting on Wednesday, September 19, 2018, from 4:30-5:30 p.m. at central office. If you are a professional and are interested in managing a team this year, please join us for this informational meeting.

STCC Kicks Off Another Great Year for Professional Development Opportunities

The South Texas Curriculum Consortium (STCC) has begun professional development trainings which will run through the months of September - November. Once again teachers and administrators have the opportunity to attend high-quality trainings which focus on the four content areas, special education, high yield instructional strategies, Response to Intervention, and instructional leadership. The goal of the STCC is to build teacher capacity and positively impact the students in our consortium.

Teachers also have access to the STCC Content Directory. This directory allows access to the FIGs (Focused Instructional Guides) for all Readiness Standards in all four core subject areas in grades K-EOC. The FIGs provide teachers with high-yield instructional strategies that actively engage students in those “hard to teach, hard to reach” TEKS. Another amazing product that was recently rolled out is the ELAR & Mathematics Vocabulary Definition Tool. This tool includes Tier 1, 2, and 3 grade level words extracted from content and rooted in the TEKS. Anna Holmgreen emailed all teachers the link for the Content Directory on September 9th. Please look for this email and follow her instructions for downloading that file to your desktop.

Your administrator may have signed you up for any one of the various trainings being offered. If you are registered we will send you a confirmation email regarding logistics of the event.

All STCC trainings take place at the Portland Community Center, 2000 Billy G. Webb Dr. from 8:30 – 4:00.

Here is a list of the upcoming trainings for the month of September and up to Mid-October:

  • 9/10/18 - Reading Workshop (Day1): K-2 Instructional Facilitators only
  • 9/11/18 - Reading Workshop (Day 1): Grades 3-8
  • 9/12/18 - Leadership Training with John Wink: Administrators & ISC Directors
  • 9/18/18 - Teaching Strategies in Social Studies Classroom: Grades 5 & 6
  • 9/20/18 - STCC Resources Overview: Administrators & ISC Directors [half-day]
  • 9/27/18 - Souped Up Super 8 Writing: Grades 6 – EOC
  • 10/01/18 - Reading Workshop (Day 2): K-2 Instructional Facilitators only
  • 10/02/18 - Collaborative Teaching & Step by Step Inclusive Schools: K-12
  • 10/03/18 - Success for Struggling Students & Promoting Access in General Ed.: K-12
  • 10/04/18 - Differentiated Instruction: K-12
  • 10/08/18 - Writing - Text Structures & Crunchtime: Grades 4 – EOC
  • 10/09/18 - Reading Workshop (Day 2): Grades 3-8
  • 10/10/18 - Problem Solving in Math Classrooms: K-EOC
  • 10/15/18 - Writing: Text Structures & Crunchtime: Grade 3

K-2 Writers’ Workshop: Lucy Calkins Units of Study – Mark Your Calendar

Alice ISD will be hosting a K-2 Writers’ Workshop training on Saturday, September 29th from 8:30 – 1:30. We encourage all teachers in grades K – 2 to attend especially if you are completely new to Writers’ Workshop and/or are unfamiliar with using Lucy Calkins Units of Study in Opinion, Information, and Narrative materials. This resource is the district approved resource for K-2 writing instruction. The focus of the training will explain the Writer’s Workshop as an instructional approach that allows for students to work through the writing process using self-selected topics at their own pace. The training will assist teachers in utilizing the Lucy Calkins materials so that they can effectively implement a successful Writers’ Workshop. The Units of Study support explicit instruction in the various modalities and help teachers use learning progressions to observe and assess students’ writing and to develop students’ use of self-monitoring strategies. One specific question we hear often: What do I do once I get kids to write? The answer to that question lies in attending this training. The Units of Study contain curriculum that is planned, coherent, sequential and strategic and it guides teachers to become more knowledgeable as they develop their young writers.

Teachers will be compensated $125 for the five-hour training – we will have a working lunch. The location will be held at the Instructional Support Center.

Special Education Beginning of Year Staff Development

Istation for Grades K-8

The District will be using Istation for Universal Screenings and Progress Monitoring in grades K-8 for both Reading and Math. We are excited to be using a program that has formative assessments, adaptive curriculum, personalized data profiles, teacher resources and a school-home connection. Training will be provided to all teachers K-8.

The Beginning Of Year Universal Screening window for Reading begins on September 4th and runs through September 14th. Math will begin September 10th and run through September 21st.

SuccessED & RtI

The District will be using the innovative educational software provider SuccessED to track and monitor RtI minutes, progress monitoring and compliance forms. All staff members who are members of a Campus RtI committee will be trained on this platform.


Free Technology for Teachers

Looking for help with Google Applications? There is a great site by Richard Byrne called Free Technology for Teachers. In his blog he lists many different help items. Here are a few useful liks:

250 Google Tools Tutorials for Teachers

12 Alternatives to Google Image Search

If you subscribe to his blog you get technology tips almost daily!