The Voice of Kimball Nation

October 17 - 21, 2016

Executive Director's Message

As we begin Cycle 2 of spot observations each of you should have instructional data on all of your teachers. Through your observations you should be in a position to help teachers improve in areas of weakness and build areas of strength. It is important to evaluate the quality of teaching in order to select and retain good teachers. Instructional leaders build teachers skills as they relate to the curriculum, developing the intellectual capital necessary to make good curriculum choices, establishing expectations for student work, and providing teachers with opportunities to learn the specifics of teaching well within their academic areas.

As such, leadership skills and knowledge of instruction must be tied together. You must monitor how the curriculum is taught and participate in how it is developed. The knowledge that principals gain through this process ensures that teachers understand the curriculum and have access to all the necessary tools and resources. You are then able to hold teachers, students, and yourself responsible for the results. The first step is making certain you systemically observe your teachers. Your leadership in connecting the knowledge of the curriculum and how it is implemented is a key leverage point for providing students with high quality instruction.

Make it a great week!!

Dr. Cheryl Wright

The Power of Data Walls

Power of Data Walls

Getting Students Reading and Responding at Four Levels of Rigor

“Good teachers resist the idea of ‘teaching to the test,’” says Nancy Boyles (Southern Connecticut State University) in this article in Educational Leadership. “But aligning literacy instruction with assessment isn’t teaching to the test if that assessment is a valid measure of our students’ performance. If the test is rigorous – if it demands deep levels of knowledge – then alignment means asking ourselves, ‘How can we plan for this rigor in our instruction?’”

Teachers’ challenge is preparing students for the kind of rigor in Common Core-era assessments. Looking at the six levels of Bloom’s Taxonomy – remember, understand, apply, analyze, evaluate, and create – is unhelpful, says Boyles. That approach has even resulted in creative but decidedly non-rigorous projects like “Draw a map of your ideal bedroom.” A better approach, says Boyles, is using Webb’s depth-of-knowledge levels, all four of which are important to rigorous comprehension:

Level 1: Recall and reproduction – Recalling facts and locating information in the text to answer questions about who, what, when, where, why, and how. Answers at this level are either right or wrong. Some sample PARCC and Smarter Balanced test items:

- What is the meaning of trudged as it is used in paragraph 10 of this folk tale?

- Which sentence from the folk tale helps the reader understanding the meaning of trudged?

What most commonly goes wrong at this level is students not going back to the text and finding the exact information. Rigor at this level, says Boyles, is “in maintaining high expectations for all learners and in providing honest, specific, and immediate feedback.”

Level 2: Skills and concepts – Students need to make some decisions about how to approach the problem or activity, for example:

- What is the meaning of the quote, “One small step for man, one giant leap for mankind”?

- Which words best describe the character _________?

The rigor here is teachers explaining, modeling, and practicing. For students, the rigor is achieving independence, which involves the teacher gradually releasing responsibility.

Level 3: Strategic thinking and reasoning – This involves using logic and evidence to think more abstractly about a text. Sample questions:

- What is the theme (or main idea) of the passage? Use details from the text to support your answer.

- What effect does the author create by using the phrase ________?

- What is the most likely reason the author included a map of _______?

- Which details from the text are irrelevant to the author’s claim?

Many students need practice at inferring – zeroing in on the main idea as they start reading, thinking about the author’s intent, understanding the external and internal structure of texts, and thinking critically about what they’re reading.

Level 4: Extended thinking – Integrating information from multiple sources. Some sample items:

- A central idea of these articles is _____. Provide two pieces of evidence from different sources that support this idea and explain how each example supports it.

- Which source most likely has the most useful information about _____? Explain why this source is likely to be more helpful.

- Compare and contrast the way the author develops the central idea of ____ in the two texts we read. Use details from both sources to support your explanation.

To prepare students for questions like these, teachers need to plan lessons that ask students to make connections between two or more sources – including video, audio recordings, illustrations, and more. “But just including text-to-text lessons is not enough,” says Boyles. “A good text connection lesson will ask students to tap into a key similarity or difference between the sources, raising a question that brings students to a deeper knowledge of both texts through that connection point.”

“Pursuing the Depths of Knowledge” by Nancy Boyles in Educational Leadership, October 2016 (Vol. 74, #2, p. 46-50), available for purchase at; Boyles can be reached

Ms. Denita Lacking-Quinn (Class of 1998) came back to Kimball HS and served as Principal For A Day

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Justin F. Kimball Celebration of the Week - Re-Ignite the Knights!

Alumni engagement is very important to the success of our student body. We are happy to announce that Ms. Denita Lacking-Quinn (Class of 1998) came back and served as Principal for the Day on Tuesday, October 11, 2016. Ms. Quinn is engaged with the movement to upgrade Kimball High. She connected with faculty and staff and walked the halls with students to experience Kimball from a perspective of leadership and how she can impact in a greater way.

Not only is Ms. Quinn ignited about making a difference, but faculty and staff alumni are stirring a movement. A committee was formed, Re-Ignite the Knights. The purpose of the committee is to ignite and engage Alumni to come back and get involved. Re-Ignite the Knights hosted their first event on Thursday evening, October 13, 2016, in the auditorium. The mission of the event was to present information on how the Alumni can make a difference by giving their time, talent, and monetary support. We thank Alumna Giezelle Raynor who has served as a mentor for seven years at Kimball. She presented information to her fellow Alumni and shared her experience as a mentor.

We are excited about the movement of Alumni presence. We encourage Alumni to contact the school and get involved. Re-Ignite the Knights!

Weekly Administrative Information Packet -WAIP

Click the link above for more information


Monday, October 17th

· ED Campus Support Visits – 8:00 – 10:00 @ Brashear ES

· ED Campus Support Visits – 10:10 – 11:45 @ Kimball HS

· Campus PLC Meeting (ELAR) @ – 12:15:00 – 1:30 @ Kimball HS

· ED Campus Support Visits – 1:30 – 2:30 @ Tolbert ES

· Designation Application Work Session 3:00 -5:00 @ 2nd Floor Haskell Bldg.

· ED Meeting 3:45 – 5:15 @ 3rd Floor Haskell Bldg.

· ED / AF Binders Available at all campuses

Tuesday, October 18th

· Calibration Walk – 9:30 – 11:00 @ Zan Holmes HS (by invitation)

· ED Campus Support Visits – 11:30 – 1:00 @ Hall ES

· ED Campus Support Visits – 1:30 – 3:00 @ Kimball HS

· Campus PLC Meeting @ Carpenter ES - 3:20 – 4:00

Wednesday, October 19th

· ED Campus Support Visits – 8:00 – 10:30 @ Stemmons ES

· Campus PLC Meeting @ Zan Holmes MS - 10:45 – 11:45

· ED Campus Support Visits – 12:15 – 1:00 @ Zan Holmes MS

· ED Campus Support Visits – 2:15 – 3:00 @ Henderson ES

· Campus PLC Meeting @ Henderson ES - 3:10 – 4:00

· Collegiate Academy Steering Committee Meetings 3:00 – 5:00 (TBD)

Thursday, October 20th

· ED Campus Support Visits – 8:00 – 10:15 @ Tolbert ES

· Campus PLC Meeting (Sci) – 10:40 – 12:00 @ Kimball HS

· ED Campus Support Visits – 1:00 – 3:00 @ Hall ES

· Campus PLC Meeting @ Hall ES - 3:20 – 4:00

· WAIP posted / Review Information and Action Items

· Submit items to include in next week’s “The Voice of Kimball Nation”

Friday, October 21th

· School Leadership Meeting – ED’s with Deputy Chiefs

· ED Meeting with Academic Facilitators

· Office Time

Secondary Fair Day

Google Sheets - Tutorial 01 - Creating and Basic Formatting
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Kimball Feeder Pattern Leaders

Lew Smith, Justin F. Kimball HS Acting Principal

Barbara Moham, Zan W. Holmes MS Principal

Sonja Barnes, Jimmie Tyler Brashear ES Principal

Dr. Charmaine Curtis, John Carpenter ES Principal

Kathryn Carter, L. O. Donald ES Principal

Adriana Gonzalez, L. K Hall ES Principal

Ida Escobedo, Margaret B. Henderson ES Principal

Arnold Zuniga, Leslie A. Stemmons ES Principal

Lakeisha Smith, Thomas Tolbert ES Principal

Justin F. Kimball Feeder Pattern

Embrace Opportunities. . . Unlock Potential. . . Inspire Excellence! "KIMBALL NATION"