Leaders Leading Learners

Curriculum & Instruction Newsletter September 11, 2015


When you fall short of the goals that you set, remember that unmet goals, plateaus, times of seemingly little or no progress, and even periods of backsliding are natural. Everyone faces these experiences at some point. Progress is a series of ups and downs; it is not all clear sailing. Even when you see no obvious signs of improvement, you may still be laying the groundwork for future progress. Performers persist though setbacks and overcome obstacles. Trials are part of the path to excellence.

    Terry Orlick PhD, In Pursuit of Excellence


    • Lauren Wooldridge has been invaluable to kicking off Edgenuity this year at MCHS. She has given so much time to helping Edgeunity get off the ground.Thank you Lauren!

    • Thanks to our librarian staff members who worked very diligently to organize, code and prepare the list of books for the five most high needs campuses last spring. They continue to help preparing the books so that the Women’s Federal Prison ladies will be able to easily help finalize all of the work on the classroom libraries.

    • Thank you so much to those principals that reminded your teachers about how important their attendance is at the NTI meetings. The dialogue has been so rich and have we have been able to really X-Plore the needs of our first year teachers. Their needs create our to-do list for the days following our meeting, so their participation is critical. Your support of them and of the NTI program is greatly appreciated!

    Coaching Tip

    Teacher vs Student Talk
    One thing that surprises teachers when they watch their video lessons is how much time they are doing the talking and how little of the time their students are talking about what they are learning. It is important that coaches communicate with teachers about the percentage of teacher talk vs student talk. Students should be talking more as teachers talk less.

    Jim Knight --Focus on Teaching

    Core Content Area News


    Response to Intervention

    Tier 2 and 3 interventions for academics and behavior should be ongoing for students who were identified last year. The RtI process is continuous and does not begin again with the new school year. Please ensure that new students on your campus are reviewed to ensure their identified needs are being met.

    District Data Review Team will resume meeting on Monday, September 21, in the C&I Conference room at TESC. Please sign up for DDRT time slots by Thursday at 4pm for the following Monday's meeting. The DDRT on September 21 will focus on students with academic concerns, and the DDRT on September 28 will focus on students with behavior concerns.

    The RtI Handbook with updated forms will be available soon. In the meantime, please contact Kristen Beesaw if you have any questions.


    Click here for Eduphoria log-in and PDAS information.

    Click here for information on setting up Eduphoria PDAS Templates.

    Calendar Invitations

    C&I will send calendar invitations for the principal and content coordinators to meet each six weeks (IR campuses will have a monthly meeting). Please accept these invites or let us know as soon as possible that you need to reschedule.

    PLC/Team Meeting Information

    Click here to review a template option regarding PLC/Team Meetings.

    New BISD Walkthrough Form

    The BISD teacher walkthrough form is complete and available in Eduphoria! under PDAS. Thank you for your valuable feedback, as the update was truly a collaborative effort. Principals may delete templates that you are no longer using.

    Instructional Coach Handbook

    Click here to review the Instructional Coaches Handbook.

    BISD Instructional Coaching Model A Partnership Approach

    Click here to review the BISD coaching model.


    iStation Decision
    The decision has been made to not purchase iStation for elementary for the 2015-2016 school year. With the chance that the state will provide an intervention by the second semester and the financial burden this will place on campuses, C&I feels that this is the best decision. The ELA/SLA Instructional Coaches will work to develop a list of on-line resources for students to use.

    Classroom Libraries
    We are very excited to have the help of the ladies at the Women's Federal Prison processing the classroom libraries. The librarian staff have worked many long hours to prepare the books for the ladies to work with. The books will be picked up from the campuses, taken to the prison camp, and returned when completed. The library and C&I staff that will be helping to transport the books will need the help of your custodial staff when they come to your campus. We will communicate with you if at all possible of the timing of our visits. Our schedule depends on the timing of the ladies at the prison camp. Thank you for your help with this. Please contact JoLyn Bricker if you have any questions about the classroom libraries.

    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.


    Meeting Reminders

    All Pre-AP, AP, and IB teachers are encouraged to attend the Fall Pre-AP Vertical Team Meeting on Monday, September 14, from 4:30 to 6:30 at Davila Middle School.

    Professional Development News

    Upcoming Events:

    Elem NCUST Principals & MS Principals
    Reminder that our first NCUST meeting of the 2015-16 school year will be Tuesday, Sept. 15 at Davila. Both MS & Elem. will meet together for this first meeting. Individual consultation meetings with our NCUST team will occur at each campus either Tuesday afternoon or Wednesday. Please make sure you register for the session by accessing this link:

    Edgenuity Teachers

    Please inform Edgenuity teachers that we are providing an additional training. Teachers or administrators that are interested in receiving training and/or additional information regarding Edgenuity courses may attend the training September 15th, 3:40PM at Rudder HS, room 1813.

    Process Champions PLC
    Next week will be the first PLC for our Process Champions. Elementary will meet on Monday, Sept. 14 and secondary on Tuesday, Sept. 15. Even before we have met, the feedback from your PCs has been so positive. They are very excited about getting to have this level of support, and I am excited to be working with them! Please use this link to view the full calendar for the year. There is much excitement about getting to have this level of support, and Mrs. Norgaard is excited to be working with the process champions!

    Campus Professional Development Requests

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

    Bilingual/ESL News

    All Principals

    Bilingual Framework:
    The week of September 14 will be week "B" for our Bilingual Framework.

    The updated PLD folders and guidelines will be arriving on campuses very soon. If you would like someone from our department to walk teachers or ICs through the guidelines and explain the process, please contact us. We will be happy to help.

    Beginning September 1st through October 31st, bilingual teachers may write proposals for supplemental funds. These supplemental funds may only be used for research-based ESL and Spanish instructional materials that meet the needs of at-risk ELLs.

    Please follow the link to reach the allotment proposal information, which includes guidelines for proposals, a sample requisition form, and a user friendly requisition form.

    Elementary Principals

    We are inviting all Bilingual teachers in grades 1 - 5 to come out and review the SLAR District Assessments for the 2nd six weeks. The purpose of this event is to get teacher feedback on the actual items as well as to let them see the depth and complexity of the questions. This event will take place on September 24 from 3:30 - 5:00 at BHS SIlver room 1200. This is not a mandatory event but feedback from Bilingual teachers will be greatly appreciated. This is a come and go event since we have different campus release times.

    Our first set of Elementary Bilingual/ESL Pláticas meetings will be here soon. We will be offering two separate sessions: the first will be for K - 2 grade teachers and the second will be for 3-5 grade teachers. Both of these sessions will be held at BHS Silver room 1200 from 4:15 - 5:30. Please use the links below to have your teachers register for their respective training session in Eduphoria:
    Bilingual/ESL K - 2
    Bilingual/ESL 3 - 5

    Elementary Campus Principals will get an email from the Bilingual Department regarding the teachers that need to attend a makeup session for the Dual Language Institute. Due to the fact that we had several campuses with multiple teachers who did not attend, we are hosting three session dates for this training. You will have the option to request that your teachers each attend one of the following sessions:

    September 17, 2015 from 8:30 - 3:30
    September 24, 2015 from 8:30 - 3:30
    October 1, 2015 from 8:30 - 3:30

    Special Education News

    All Principals

    Special Education Update

    For the 2015-16 school year Kurzweil will be used for students who receive special education services and are eligible for STAAR-A and Section 504 students with dyslexia or a related disorder for district assessments. However, teachers are encouraged to use the program as a resource for daily instruction for all students (general and special education).

    Kurzweil is a literacy software program that presents material through a multisensory approach to connect with different learning styles. Kurzweil allows students to access the same class curriculum material as their peers and supports for all RtI tiers of instruction. There are many accessible features to assist students in reading, writing and math, such as: highlighter, dictionary, spell check, word prediction, sticky notes, outlining tool, auditory word processor, brainstorming, pop-ups (teacher must input this feature based on material). Kurzweil has fiction and non-fiction books available to be used during Readers Workshop, small group instruction, and during guided and independent practice.

    Professional development will be provided for teachers the first six weeks of this school year.

    Please use the following links to register for the training.
    https://eduphoria.bryanisd.org/wshop/default.aspx?cid=12555 - 9/15 training
    https://eduphoria.bryanisd.org/wshop/default.aspx?cid=12554 - 9/24 training

    All students and teachers in our district have a Kurzweil account that will be shared with you by your campus instructional coaches. Questions about testing may be directed to the campus instructional coaches or contact Vickie Baur or Dala Henry.

    Thank you for your willingness to work with the special education department while the translator for ARDC meetings is on medical leave.

    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.