Greer Gazette

February 2015


  • Team Leads- please make sure to send in the CLASS sign in sheets to your coordinator
  • Review the advancement procedures so you can have "what is done after the meeting" completed
  • Teachers giving STAAR ALT- your calendars should be completed
  • sign up for the February 16th PD day and bring your goal that was completed in the CLASS meeting!
  • Record request go through Shannon Evans and she will need 10 school days to complete the request. Please work with Shannon when records are requested from, parents, attorneys, advocates... Thanks

Esped updates

Secondary folks: Please make sure you are completing the Transition Screens out correctly. Please refer to the Transition Services Flow Chart in eStar docs if you are unsure as to how to answer the questions on the second screen. I am currently auditing those for accuracy since we will have to provide that data to the state in May.

Please make sure you are sending all transportation forms to Kevin Crump after every ARD (even if there are no changes). You can email them to him with Mckinney1 as the password. His email We had quite a few students at the start of the year that they had no paperwork on, this make scheduling routes very difficult.

Inventory Ipads

Please look at your iPads if there are some that will not function next year please email your coordinator

Also if there are iPads you are not using please email your coordinator so they can be picked up

Portal Updates

  • Brief and IEP amendment procedures have been updated
  • The FAC phases are back on the portal
  • The advancement procedures are on the portal


Hello PreK-5 content area teachers, secondary ELAR teachers, and Special Education teachers,

We have had some questions in the past couple of weeks regarding ESL certification. I thought it was a good time to send a reminder to all PreK-5 content area/classroom teachers, secondary ELAR teachers, and Special Education teachers. If you have any questions, please contact the Bilingual/ESL Dept. at x7710.

MISD ESL Certification Requirement

PreK-5th – All elementary content area teachers and special education teachers need to be ESL certified by the end of 2015-16. The cost of the ESL test will be reimbursed. Newly hired elementary content area teachers starting 2014-15 should be ESL certified upon hiring or by the end of January. The cost of the ESL test will not be reimbursed for new hires, since this is part of the requirements in the job description and contract.

Secondary – All ELAR (reading & writing) and special education teachers need to be ESL certified by the end of 2015-16. The cost of the ESL test will be reimbursed. Newly hired content area teachers starting 2014-15 should be ESL certified upon hiring or by the end of January. The cost of the ESL test will not be reimbursed for new hires, since this is part of the requirements in the job description and contract.

TExES #154 ESL Supplemental Certification Information

ESL Test Reimbursement Checklist

TEA: Educator Certification

Testing Information & Registration

ESL Supplemental – TExES #154 Preparation Manual

TExES #154 Information (Test Code is 154)

How to Create Your Testing Account

How to Register for a TExES CAT Test

How to Add Certification on TEAL

ESL Test Prep. Class

Below are upcoming dates for the ESL certification test prep class both at McKinney and Region 10. We do not cover the cost of subs.

At McKinney

ESL TExES #154 Preparation Course (2 Full Days) *Registration in Euphoria

• January 12th & 13th

• April 8th & 9th

At Region 10

Several training opportunities are offered through Region 10 during the school day and after school.

Region 10 Trainings

There is also a supplemental online learning option.

Online - TExES English as a Second Language (ESL) #154 Supplemental Competency Follow-up

STAAR A Questions?!?!?

In order to ensure that accurate information is shared about STAAR-A, please direct all questions directly to Susan Dykgraaf. She is the point of contact for STAAR-A information. This would include any personal questions that you may have as well as if you receive any questions from the campus. (This has also been communicated to the campus.)

STAAR A Oral Administration

Several SPED teachers have been asking about oral accommodations for STAAR A. I know this has been unclear in the beginning so I wanted to clarify how it will work. The TA manuals are wonderful way for them to see how the directions are worded. Here is the link:


* Oral is not available as an additional accommodation for STAAR A, it is embedded in the test

* The pop ups and rollovers are not read aloud by the computer, but the Test Administrator manual explains to the student and TA what can be read at student request -Pop-ups in revising test questions and the writing prompt can be read aloud if the student needs this assistance.Pop-ups in editing test questions cannot be read aloud to the student. This is indicated by a DO NOT READ icon.

* The student has the option to read any text by themselves or use the text-to-speech option. The directions to go over this with the students.

* Accommodations only need to be noted if they are not already embedded and you will want to double check on the accommodation triangle that the accommodation is available for STAAR A.

I hope this will help with how STAAR A will work. The students should be practicing now using the online system, so they are comfortable with how the tools work. The student tutorials are located If you are unable to access the tutorials you will need to submit a tech request to load the specific requirements for your computer.

Resource Classrooms

How can you improve a piece of narrative writing? Here are some great ideas!

1. Find a story critical CHARACTER, SETTING, and/or OBJECT and add a 4-5 sentence description.

2. Find a BROKEN RECORD and fix it! Use sentence starters or flip the subject.

3. Find the SINGLE MAIN EVENT and stretch it out with action, exclamation, thoughts and feelings, and description.

4. Find 2 places where the main character feels a strong EMOTION. SHOW what those feelings look like.

5. TAG all DIALOGUE. If there’s too much talk, change it to ACTION or DESCRIPTION. If there’s no talk at all, add an EXCLAMATION.

6. Just for fun, add a SOUND EFFECT!

7. Find at least 5 VIVID VERBS. If you can’t, find some boring verbs and replace them with more specific VIVID VERBS. (Ex. I went in the cave…to…I tiptoed into the cave. I said, “Who’s there?”…to…I whispered in a trembling voice, “Who’s there?”)

WOW! What a difference!

FAC/STC Classrooms

The Importance of PLAY and LEISURE Skills for children with disabilities

“Play remains a child’s most powerful way of learning” (Brazelton, 1992)

Skills developed through play include:

Eye-hand coordination, scanning and tracking

Figure-ground perception and sensory discriminations

Stimulus and response generalizations

Staying on task and focusing on details

Echoic, imitation, matching, requesting, and listener skills

Taking turns, proximity to others, sharing, social rules

Creativity, novelty, and spontaneity

Tolerating change and disruption

Problem solving and persistence

Development of leisure time activities

and Independence…..and isn’t that one of the ultimate goals or outcomes for our learners!

Lesson plans for teaching in the Natural Environment should be individualized to meet the needs of the learner. Look at ways to incorporate the learning of these skills during play and leisure time.

Information taken from: A Behavioral Analysis of Play by Mark and Cindy Sundberg

DSSC Classrooms

Role playing social skills is essential for students to learn and acquire the specific skills needed when demonstrating specific social skills. We call this task analysis and while Boystown has our basic 16 skills task analyzed for us to teach, our Skillstreaming text has more than 60 skills broken down. Don’t see a particular skill listed, it’s as easy as breaking it down into individual steps. Here’s a simple example of how the skill “boarding the bus” can be task analyzed and taught: 1) walk out the door 2) walk to the bus stop 3) wait for the bus to pull up and come to a complete stop 4) wait for the door to open 5) step up into the bus. In this manner every skill can be broken down into individual steps that a student can focus on until they reach the main goal/outcome.

LS Classrooms

Alternative modes of communication: Sign Language

When a child is working on developing their vocal speech and/or is unable to use vocal speech to communicate effectively, there are alternative modes they can be taught. One particular mode is Sign Language. A child can have a voice they might not otherwise have through the use of sign language. They can learn to use signs to make requests, express needs, ask questions, participate in social interactions, and more. The signs can be modified if the learner is unable to imitate the sign exactly. It’s important that everyone in the child’s immediate environment also learn the signs so that when the child uses them they can serve as functional communication. There are websites that offer lists, descriptions, and even videos of the signs. A few of these websites include Sign 4 me, Signing Savvy, and ASL Pro. Some of these sites even offer apps for iPhones and/or iPads.

Peer Assessment Binder Audits

Each teacher will audit 1 other teacher's assessment binder this semester. The audit forms are on the portal. Once you have audited the assessment binder, send the audit sheet to your campus coordinator. This is to be completed by APRIL 10.

Special Olympics

Basketball Individual Skills Competition. Thursday, March 5, 2015 at FieldhouseUSA in Frisco.

(Due to STARR ALT testing, the basketball individual skills competition will now be held Thursday, March 5, 2015)

Track date is April 10!

If you own a business or work for a business that would like to help sponsor the 10th annual McKinney ISD Special Olympics Track and Field Meet, please contact Janice Morriss, or 469-302-6342. Your companies logo will be printed on over 2,000 T-shirts.


Investigate Bookshare for your students with Visual Impairment, Physical Disability, and Learning Disability.

Bookshare® opens up the world of reading for people with print disabilities.

If you cannot read traditional print books because of a visual impairment, physical disability or severe learning disability, Bookshare can help!

Our books are “accessible,” which means you can read our books many different ways.

Bookshare offers the world’s largest collection of accessible titles. As a result, students, seniors, veterans, schools and many organizations around the globe use Bookshare to access the books they need for school, work, and the simple love of reading.

How can you read Bookshare books?

  • Listen to books with high quality text-to-speech voices
  • Hear and see highlighted words on screen
  • Read with digital braille or enlarged fonts
  • Create physical braille or large print
  • Read directly from your Internet browser
  • And more!

Advancement Update

Thanks to all of our middle school campuses for hosting our January Advancement meetings! We appreciate all the work that went into preparing individual information for each of your students advancing. So what happens next? Below is an excerpt from our current “Advancement Procedures” document:

What needs to happen after the meeting:

Receiving Campus

1. Receiving lead teacher will review the entire Advancement Staffing Document for each student.

2. Designated teacher will use the document to be prepared for new student:

a. Support and services (i.e., individual para support for certain classes, unique inclusion supports, unconventional programming that will require campus to maximize use of staff and resources)

b. Core Curriculum needs that are not currently available on your campus. Any curriculum needs identified should be addressed with your campus coordinator by May 15th of the current school year.

c. Continuation of Phases that are currently in place at the end of the previous school year. There should be no interruption in the level or type of support provided by the previous campus. If changes in supports and services that need to be addressed through the IEP appear to be needed, these changes should be made prior to the end of the current school year. These changes can be made in an Advancement ARD meeting.

d. Behavior Plans or Positive Behavior Supports should be reviewed to ensure continuity of implementation. There should be no interruption in the level or type of support provided by the previous campus. If changes appear to be needed in the BIP or PBS, these changes should be made prior to the end of the current school year. These changes can be made in an Advancement ARD meeting.

e. Discipline concerns that are unique to the student and may require preplanning to appropriately address at the new campus.

f. ARD Paper Work (ARD Paperwork Verification Section). Teacher will initial each section in box provided and check yes or no as to whether or not additional action is needed at an Advancement ARD.

i. Review current PLAAFPs

ii. Review IEP goals and objectives

iii. Schedule of Services

iv. Accommodations

g. Lead teacher will collect all Advancement Staffing Documentation by February 27 and scan/email to their current coordinator and the sending campus lead teacher.

Sending Campus

1. Upon getting email with the scanned Advancement Staffing Document from the receiving campus lead, review Advancement Staffing Documentation forms and determine which students will need Advancement ARDs based on recommendations from the receiving campus identified in the Advancement Staffing Document.

2. Schedule Advancement ARD meeting (e.g., brief ARD, Annual ARD, IEP amendment).

Special Thanks and Special Thoughts

  • Please keep Sally Riche in your thoughts as she continues to heal with the loss of her father
  • Please Keep Carla Atkins in your prayers as she continues to heal with the loss of her mother
  • Walker held a fundraiser for Special Olympics. They sold t-shirts in order to raise money for this great cause. Wilmeth, McNeil, Dowell, Mcgowen, Malvern, and Eddins contributed by selling the shirts at their campuses too. The Walker team raised $785.00 for Special Olympics! Great job Linsey and Jessica. Go TEAM WALKER!