"Super" Spruce Scoop

September 28, 2015

Volume 2 Edition 5

Instructional Calendars / Common Assessments

It's hard to believe we are already nearing the conclusion of the first six weeks! Just like an annual checkup, common assessments are our regular 6 week interval to check the learning progress of our students. Common assessments are prepared and waiting for our students. All of our schools will administer them so we have a clear picture of our students' strengths and needs.

Once common assessments are administered and data disaggregated using ALL In Learning, principals and leadership team members will lead data meetings by grade level or content areas. Teachers should have "Action Plan" templates completed as they arrive at the data meetings.

The data disaggregation will inform our next steps was well as allow us to focus on strategies which are best fit for given TEKS. A significant portion of the conversation and work should be committed to best practices supporting the collective low S.E.'s as based on the data.

If any of you would like me to lead a data meeting for you, please let me know. I am glad to do this for any of you.

Simultaneous to the administration of common assessments and data meetings,

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A Message From Our Academic Facilitator


The ISIP BOY is complete. CICs should lead data conversation on ISIP scores, correlation to F & P levels, and forming guiding reading groups. The use of Mondo leveled texts for guided reading is the next step in implementing Balanced Literacy.

  1. Summary report

  2. Reading level correlarion

  3. Grop students

  4. Select leveled readers from Mondo

  5. Implement guided reading

  6. (I think this should be the lens for the at least 3 rounds during the year)

Below is a graphic illustrating the connections.


Here are some videos demonstrating how to administer and score the TMSFA.


EOC short answer PD at BA was a success. CIC and 6-7 teachers attended. Next step is implementation. AFs will attend PLCs to assist thinking through implementation.

Upcoming PD – November 10, 2015. Writing Workshop session number 1000001252. Presenters are in the teachers who have and still are experiencing success. Registration will show as full but no one will be turned away.

Doretha Allen

Academic Facilitator

National Board Certified Teacher

Literacy – Reading and Language Arts: Early to Middle Childhood

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Leaders Learning

The "Super" Spruce feeder pattern leaders participating learning supporting effective written and verbal feedback, "Habits of the Classroom", Habits of Discussion", as well as discussed data meeting tools. All of the learning can be taken back to the campus and serve various groups within the campus such as teachers, coaches and administrators. Please take advantage of the learning and bring it back to your campus. Pictured above and below are our leaders engaging in learning. Thank you to all of them for participating and growing their practice.


  • Mr. Turner led an administrative meeting focusing on feedback. He had video clips, objectives for the learning and resources to support the six-step feedback process. Also, the quality of instruction and student culture continues to get better.
  • Dr. Johnson using effective probing questions during an observed feedback session.
  • Ms. Williams for effectively leading an A-Team meeting focusing on PD and PLC's. She also did a good job of
  • Ms. Garcia and her Anderson team for allowing us to videotape strong instructional practices so that our principals can use it for continual sharpening of our instructional lens.
  • Ms. Masters continues to raise the bar at Douglass Elementary School. As she puts it, "Anything less is uncivilized." Her teachers were impressive. Way to go, Frederick Douglass Elementary! Keep racing to excellence...
  • Ms. Bernal and the Moseley Elementary School teaching staff for providing good instruction everywhere we went during our coaching visit. So far this school year, Moseley teachers have demonstrated the most effective instruction observed collectively. It was engaging, purposeful, aligned and student centered. Awesome work!

Required - Attendance for Credit Training

Tuesday, Sep. 29th, 9:30-11pm

7044 Hodde Street

Dallas, TX

This training is required for Attendance for Credit chairpersons.

Important Dates

  • September 28 - SLO's and PDP's submitted in Schoolnet
  • October 1 - SLO's and PDP's approved with pre-conference completed
  • October 5 - All teachers classroom assignments / moves must be complete for TEI
  • October 6 - TEI expert meeting and Seagoville North Elementary - 4:30 p.m.
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Quote of the Week

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Marshall Memo - Keys to Increasing Classroom Rigor

Keys to Increasing Classroom Rigor

In this American School Board Journal article, editor Del Stover suggests some ways to ensure academic rigor at the classroom level:

Increase the number of challenging courses. “Research shows that most students rise to the challenge of higher expectations,” says Stover, “so offering more academically rigorous courses is likely to produce results.” The Houston Independent School District has made a point of boosting the number of AP courses in all schools, with a requirement that students take the exams. (HISD has also increased the number of International Baccalaureate programs.) Over the last six years, there’s been a 64 percent increase in Houston students passing AP exams.

Introduce academic rigor at an early age. “Waiting until high school to get tough is only going to backfire with students who are behind grade level in English and math,” says Stover. This means backwards-mapping from high-school exit standards at a college-and-career level all the way back to preschool.

Make sure everyone understands what on-grade-level instruction looks like. “Academic rigor is determined not just by what is taught, but how it is taught and how it is assessed,” says a report from the Hechinger Institute on Education and the Media. Hamilton County, Tennessee, clarified academic rigor by describing grade-level expectations and what students should be doing to be on track for success.

Provide supports. It’s commonly believed that increasing rigor will lead to many students being frustrated, disengaging, and failing. But that will happen only if there’s a sink-or-swim philosophy of learning, says Stover. Effective schools assess frequently and, when difficulties are revealed, intervene quickly with targeted and efficient interventions.

Ensure equity. In de facto segregated, high-poverty schools, differentiation can be a proxy for lowering expectations, says Stover. If economic integration isn’t possible, educators need to be sure that all students are aiming at standards-based grade-level expectations.

“Up to the Challenge: Are You Doing All You Can to Provide Academic Rigor for Your Students?” by Del Stover in American School Board Journal, October 2015 (Vol. 202, #5, p. 42-43), http://bit.ly/1KujiCn; Stover can be reached at dstover@nsba.org.