Longhorn News 3/2/2020

Cedar Hill HS/NGC Combined Edition

School Days | Make The Connection | Teachers

No Excuses...No Alibis

“The separation of talent and skill is one of the greatest misunderstood concepts for people who are trying to excel, who have dreams, who want to do things. Talent you have naturally. Skill is only developed by hours and hours and hours of beating on your craft."

- Will Smith

"Too many people overvalue what they are not and undervalue what they are." Malcolm Forbes

Miller's Message

Thank you for your hard work! The work that we are dedicated to doing is not easy. Stay focused and TRUST THE PROCESS! We will do our best to keep you informed of the changes at NGC and CHHS. This process is very detailed, however, will be what is best for kids.

It's extremely important that you check your email a minimum of three times per day: Arrival, Mid-day/Lunch, and at the end of the day. Furthermore, you should check your office box daily.

Releasing of Students

It has been brought to my attention that scholars are being released from class to assist other teachers or " hang out" with others. Under no circumstance, should scholars be released from class early or be allowed to "hang out" in another class. This becomes an issue when we are searching for a scholar to go home or for disciplinary reasons. ONLY ALLOW SCHOLARS ON YOUR ROSTER IN YOUR CLASS.

March 6 -District PD Day

Take note of the requirement to be off on this day:

  • All CHISD professional employees must complete the required amount of approved professional development hours annually between May 31, 2019, and May 28, 2020, to receive exchange hours for the professional development days – March 6, 2020, and May 28, 2020.

    1. You must complete at least 12 hours prior to March 6, 2020, or you will be required to come to work on March 6, 2020.

    2. You must complete all 18 hours by May 28, 2020, or you will be required to come to work on May 28, 2020.

  • Paraprofessional employees do not earn exchange time; rather, they earn compensatory time, the procedures for which are governed by Board Policy DEAB (LOCAL).

  • All credit requests must be completed and documentation submitted to your T-TESS

evaluator. It is the professional’s responsibility to complete the professional development hours throughout the year in a timely fashion. Also, be mindful that not completing the time may be reflected in your TTESS appraisal.

  • Successfully completed courses may only be counted one time toward the required categories of professional development.

  • Non-instructional professionals will develop a plan to complete 18 hours of professional development in collaboration with supervisors.

  • Taking a personal day is NOT an option. Professional development hours must be completed.

For all other questions, refer to the PD handbook link below.

Miller Message/Note

Faculty and Staff!

Take note of the following information:

  • All professional staff are expected to report to work and clock by 7:45 AM
  • Staff assigned to duty are expected to be at your duty station by 7:45 AM.
  • All emails/phone calls SHALL be returned within 24 hours.
  • Classroom educators are expected to take attendance each period
  • Students are not allowed to leave your class during the first or last 10 minutes.
  • Anytime a student leaves your class they must have a pass.
  • All educators shall be at their door during the passing period.
  • All students must have their ID on and visible before entering your class.
  • Do not leave your class unattended.
  • Address Dress Code Issues ( DuRags, Inappropriate pants/skirts, etc)
  • Students are not allowed to be in any areas without adult supervision.
  • If you need to leave campus for an emergency, you must notify and receive permission from the campus principal.
  • If a student is failing or struggling in your class you are expected to contact the parent and document the call in Skyward.
  • All faculty/staff must be at their door during transitions.
  • Required Board Postings- Daily Learning Objective, Demonstration of Learning
  • It is unacceptable to not leave work for a sub when you are absent. Placing assignments in google classroom is not sufficient.
  • Grades will be checked every Monday by the admin staff.
  • It is imperative that you meet deadlines for grading, entering grades, etc.

Lesson Plan NGC

Reminder that lesson plans are to be uploaded to the Google Drive folder weekly by Thursday 11:59 p.m. The lesson plan template is in the Google Drive Folder.

Going forward, lesson plan submission is required for each course on the campus. So core content departments in which teachers teach the same course, may submit one lesson plan together for each course. Meaning, there must be a separate lesson plan for each course (i.e. English I and Honors English I need separate lesson plans; World Geography and AP Human Geography need separate lesson plans; Spanish I and Honors Spanish III need separate lesson plans, etc).


Everyone has editing rights. Do not change any of the folder names or add anything outside of your folder. Be careful not to edit or delete another department's lesson plans/folder.


I am a HUGE believer in the power of GREAT classroom management. Classroom management

can take on many different forms and it means so many things in a classroom. Without it, our classrooms would probably fall apart and total CHAOS would ensue.

The 3 Big ROCKS for this school year are Safety and Security, High-Quality instruction, Students Growth and Achievement. True learning and effective learning requires a safe and secure environment. Be intentional in creating an environment where scholars WANT to learn.

Our Instructional Framework is modeled by Sean Cain's and Mike Laird's Philosophy of the Formula for Quality Instruction better known as the "Fundamental Five"

Fundamental 5

Framing the Lesson

The beginning and the end. Daily learning objective and closing question.

The objective is written in a student-friendly language (We will...).

"We will find the differences between rational and irrational numbers."

This statement is simple and direct. The students have a clear focus for the class period.

  • Place in the classroom where students can see the written objective and product.
  • Discuss the objective at the beginning of the lesson.
  • Make sure it is reasonable to complete the objective in one daily lesson or class.
  • The objective needs to be "kid friendly" language.
  • The objective must be specific enough to clarify the goal.

The closing provides concrete proof to both the student and the teacher that the objective of the lesson was met. It is typically a question, product, or task written in a student-friendly language (I will).

"I will create and share a lesson frame with my table group."

  • Completed by every student.
  • Done the last 5 minutes of class or the end of the lesson.
  • A final check for understanding.
  • Looked at daily by the teacher to guide future instruction.
  • Likely to increase the opportunity for a student to retain important learning.
  • Proof for the teacher that learning has occurred.

It is NOT....

  • Test or Quiz
  • Designed to be a grade daily.
  • Usually done in a group.
  • Usually verbal except as appropriate in the lower grades.

Examples of Frames

Mathematics (Secondary)

Objective: We will identify the elements of line equations.

Closing Task: I will write down how I would explain slope to a family member.

English (Secondary)

Objective: We will identify and discuss the themes of Macbeth.

Closing Task: I will share with my partner which of the Macbeth themes apply in my life and w


AKA: The teacher work area.

The teacher's body position in the classroom distinctly correlates to the student success.

Reasons to teach in the power zone:

  • Monitor Understanding
  • Answer Questions
  • Address problem behavior immediately
  • Manage Transitions
  • Maximize student learning
  • Communicate with all students
  • Show genuine interest in students
  • Personal connection with students
  • Promote Equitable learning for all students

Commit yourself!!

1. Make a commitment to working in the power zone. Remain in close proximity to your students.

2. Purposefully arrange the classroom so you can move about with ease. You may have to give up furnishings or storage areas in a crowded classroom to allow movement.

3. Remove your distractions. Anything that tempts you to read or respond should be put away or turned off. Keep your desk clean so you're not tempted to organize or work on paperwork.

Frequent, Small-Group, Purposeful Talk about Learning


1. Teacher-Driven Discussion

2. Every 10-15 minutes at the completion of a major instructional concept.

3. Groups of 2-4

4. Pre-planned seed questions that will ensure the critical connections are made to the content.

An Example: "Now I want you to briefly discuss with your partner the differences between rational numbers and irrational numbers."

5. Teachers remain in the power zone throughout the group conversations. This allows teachers to be in the best position to make sure students stay on task, are participating, making correct connections, and clearing up misunderstanding.

Recognize and Reinforce

Academic Recognition & Social and Behavioral Recognition

Academic Recognition:

As educators, we readily give recognition to those students who earn A's. However, we often miss the opportunity to recognize those students who are making progress toward achieving higher academic goals.

  • Easton hasn't turned in homework in three weeks, but today, he did.
  • Robert has never scored higher than a 72 on a test. Today, he scored an 80.
  • Bridget made the honor roll for the first time.
  • Chloe's state assessment scores show she scored at the commended performance level.

We tend to recognize the success of Bridget and Chloe, but fail to use the opportunity to recognize the smaller, but possibly more important, successes of Easton and Robert.

If we give recognition of all academic levels, we are providing all students with the motivation to continue to pursue academic success.

Social and Behavioral Recognition:

Personalization and Specificity

Personalization means the teacher addresses specific groups of students or a individual student. Specificity means the teacher clearly states the behavior or action that deserved the recognition.

Which would be most effective?

"Good job, class. Most of you turned in your homework this week."


"Good job, group two. Your table has turned in 100 percent of your homework this week."

The second statement addresses personalization and specificity. The first statement is too vague and less effective.

When teachers recognize and reinforce the behaviors they want to see, they are able to mold a student behavior that they need to have a successful and engaging classroom. Teachers will see a positive change, academically and behaviorally, when they look for opportunities to recognize and reinforce. When teachers work in the power zone they are given those opportunities.

  • Make a big deal of the small things.
  • Start reinforcing the work it takes to be successful.
  • Look for the positive, good things going on and be specific.

Writing Critically

Purposeful & Intentional Writing

  • Plan the writing prompts or stems during the planning process.
  • Content writing based on objectives. (SE's)
  • Should occur in the content area.
  • The writing solidifies the learning for students.

Writing critically is used for the purposes of organizing, clarifying, connecting, dissecting, and expanding concepts. Unfortunately, it is the least used component of the Fundamental 5.

Types of writing:

Concept Maps

Thinking Maps

Minute Paper (share with partner)

Muddiest Point

Pro & Con Grid (best for SS and ELA)

Reflective Journals with pre-created word slots

Don't Break the Bank ($.10 per word and stay between $2.70 & $3.00)


All staff shall enter their absences in AESOP ( no later than 7:30 AM) and SKYWARD. It is unacceptable to expect someone else to do it for you.

This year I have subbed in classes more than I would like. When you are absent, please make provisions for work. We are not a 1 to 1 campus. Placing items in google classroom is not sufficient.

If you have questions or concerns please see the following:

CHHS- Mrs. Mcshan

NHC- Mrs. Lankford or Ms. Davis

Eduphoria -School Forms

I have created a list of important forms that you can utilize beginning in January:

-Announcement Request

-Discretionary Leave Request Form

-Request to Leave the building early


Personal leave may be used for two general purposes: nondiscretionary and discretionary.


Leave taken for personal or family illness, family emergency, a death in the

family, or active military service is considered nondiscretionary leave. Reasons for this type of

leave allows very little, if any advanced planning. Nondiscretionary leave may be used in the

same manner as state sick leave.


Leave taken at an employee’s discretion that can be scheduled in advance is

considered discretionary leave. An employee wishing to take discretionary personal leave must submit a request to his or her principal or supervisor at least five days in advance of the

anticipated absence. The effect of the employee’s absence on the educational program or

department operations, as well as the availability of substitutes, will be considered by the

principal or supervisor. Discretionary personal leave will be granted on a first-come, first-

served basis and will be subject to the following limitations:

● A maximum of 10 percent of campus employees in each job category will be permitted

to take discretionary personal leave at the same time.

● Discretionary leave may not last more than three consecutive workdays.

● Discretionary leave may not be taken on the following days:

o Any day during the five consecutive workdays immediately before or after the

first instructional day of the school year;

o The day immediately before or after Thanksgiving break, winter break, spring

break, a student holiday, or a scheduled three-day weekend;

o The day of an open house at a school to which the employee is assigned;

● A maximum of 10 percent of campus employees in each job category will be permitted to take discretionary personal leave at the same time.

● Discretionary leave may not last more than three consecutive workdays.

● Discretionary leave may not be taken on the following days:

o Any day during the five consecutive workdays immediately before or after the first instructional day of the school year;

o The day immediately before or after Thanksgiving break, winter break, spring break, a student holiday, or a scheduled three-day weekend;

o The day of an open house at a school to which the employee is assigned;

o Any in-service or staff development day applicable to the employee;

o The days on which local end of semester examinations or state-mandated assessments, including end-of-course assessments, are administered on a campus to which the employee is assigned, as well as any day during the five consecutive workdays immediately before the test date and the day immediately following the test date, regardless of the grade level being tested;

o Any day for which the employee’s administrative supervisor has reason to believe that more than five percent of the campus or departments’ staff is expected to be absent or assigned to an off-campus activity.


Academically Stimulating Environment

An academically stimulating environment is the minimal standard at CHHS/NGC!

What Is a Stimulated Classroom Environment?

What does having a stimulated classroom environment mean? Does it mean the way a classroom is set up, the way students interact with their work and one another, or does it mean the way teachers deliver daily lessons? A stimulated classroom environment is a combination of all of these things; it refers to the way students' minds are stimulated while in their learning environment. This can come from:

  • Visuals throughout the classroom
  • Hands-on activities with physical movement
  • Multi-modal means of learning each new concept
  • Opportunities for higher-order thinking/questioning
  • Exciting and stimulating teachers

Think about a time you had to learn something boring; would the above examples have made your learning experience more stimulating? When put it in that perspective, is it easier to understand what the stimulated classroom is all about? Let's look at this a little closer, and then go over some strategies that will help increase student stimulation in your classroom.

What Are the Benefits?

The more students' interests and senses are piqued, the more engaged they'll become with the content being taught. It's difficult for students to remain active in the learning process when content is uninteresting, appears irrelevant, or requires countless hours of filling out worksheets. In a stimulating classroom, students are able to move around, learn new ways of receiving knowledge, and are encouraged to question everything around them. Because of this, it's easier for them to become involved in the learning process.

Strategies for Classroom Stimulation

These are some strategies that can be used to create a stimulating classroom environment, which puts your students on the path to engaged learning. We'll go over the use of visuals, hands-on activities, multi-modal instruction, higher-order thinking/questioning, and stimulating teaching.

News from the Curriculum Department

Curriculum walks have been scheduled for TBA. Be mindful that we will look at pacing, alignment, and engagement.


If an ELAR teacher was on a waiver last year, they cannot be the teacher of record for an ESL students this year. All ELAR teachers MUST have their ESL certification this school year. Please submit proof of registration and/or test results immediately.

New ELAR teachers must have their ESL Certification by June 1. HR is monitoring the completion for new teachers. Teachers that were hired prior to this school year, will have until April 2020 to complete the process.

Grading Guidelines


A minimum of 12 grades per six weeks are required, to include at least 2 major grades (i.e. tests, projects, labs) every reporting period. Students are expected to complete all assignments for all classes. Assignments turned in late will not receive a full grade. There should be a minimum of two test grades during each six-week grading period. No grade over 100 may be recorded on the report card or on the academic achievement record. Grades cannot be lowered for non-academic reasons including, but not limited to, the following: no name on paper, no header on paper, date missing, etc. Regular attendance is an academically related factor that can affect the determination of a student's grade. Students shall be permitted to make up assignments and tests after absences according to board policy and the district grading policy. Students shall receive credit for satisfactory makeup work after an absence and may receive a zero for any assignment or test not made up within the allotted time. There are no grade penalties for makeup work after a suspension. Grading guidelines do not affect work turned in late because of an absence. The district expects students to turn in assignments at the appropriate time. Grades in Cedar Hill ISD are based on mastery of the Texas Essential Knowledge and Skills (TEKS). The responsibility for making up work lies with the student. Upon return to school after an absence, the student shall be responsible for obtaining and completing the makeup work.


Reteaching is defined as another presentation of content, usually to provide an additional opportunity for a student to learn. Reteaching may vary from subject to subject or from class to class, even from student to student. It may be as simple as repeating the concept. If the student still does not understand the concept, the teacher might use different materials to present the concept again. For example, if the initial instruction was primarily visual, the reteach activity might be more auditory. A student who earns below 70 on a test, with the exception of six weeks or semester exams, shall be given an opportunity to be assessed after participating in a reteaching process within 7 to 14 days of the original date of the assessment.

Teachers are reminded that they have the responsibility and authority to delete the grades

for any assignment. Grades may reveal that the assignment was inadequate. If a substantial

percentage of the students in a class failed to pass, the whole class should be retaught and

the new test or assignment grade should be recorded.

This policy does not apply to the STAAR tests or other standardized tests.

Semester and Exam Weights

MP1 and 4 - 28.33%

MP2 and 4- 28.33%

MP3 and 6- 28.34%

EX1 and 2- 15%



1. When a students earns below 70 on any test, the teacher has the responsibility to reteach

the essential knowledge and skills not mastered.

2. Reteaching and reassessment may be of a formal or informal nature and should be an

ongoing process during the direct instruction and guided practice portions of any lesson.

Students must be given the opportunity to retest in either the original or a rewritten

format. A student will be permitted to make up tests and to turn in projects due in any class missed because of absence. Long-term projects are due upon the student's return to class.

Parent Communication:

Teachers shall contact the parent/guardian of any scholar that is in danger of failing or failing

Failure to follow the guidelines will result in reprimands being issued.

CHHS Blue Print

Faculty Meetings, Academic Nights, Etc

NGC Blueprint

Faculty meetings, Academic Nights, Etc.

Sharing of Scholars

We encourage our scholars to be involved in multiple activities. When two events conflict, if both events are equal level (such as a rehearsal and practice), the coach and director must work out a rehearsal plan to accommodate both organizations. If events are not equal level (practice and concert), then scholars must attend the higher-level event. The coaches and directors are NOT allowed to penalize the scholar in any way. If you have any questions or concerns do not hesitate to reach out to me, Mr. Young, or Mrs. Benjamin

Teacher of the Year 2020

The ballots have closed and the votes are in!

NGC - Teacher of the Year: Mr. Jeffrey Ellis

CHHS- Teacher of the Year: Chef Kathy Boyd

Energy Management

As we prepare for Spring Break, please remember that simple conservation measures can save energy and allow more money for academic needs:

  • Turn off ALL computers, monitors, speakers, printers, scanners, SMART Boards, projectors, document cameras and other peripherals. (DO NOT unplug technology)
  • Turn off and unplug TVs, DVDs players, radios, laminators and all other non-essential classroom/office electronic equipment.
  • Turn off all display case lighting.
  • Defrost, turn off, empty, and unplug refrigerators.
  • Make sure all windows are closed and locked, and blinds are pulled down.
  • Report leaking of drinking fountains, faucets and toilets.
  • Reminder: Plug-in air fresheners and candle warmers should be removed and taken home. Any plug-ins left in outlets will be removed and thrown away.
  • Reminder: All personal fans, heaters and/or appliances should be removed and taken home. Any non-approved items will be removed and taken to the warehouse where they will be maintained for a period of two weeks. After that time, they will be considered abandoned and will be discarded as deemed appropriate.

Cybersecuirty Training

HB 3834 requires districts to conduct cybersecurity training for all employees who access the network. The training is completely online and will be conducted through PII Protect (pii-protect.com). Next week all employees will receive an email that will have instructions on how to set up their account and the website will walk them through the training. All employees must complete the training by March 31st . This is a required training and does not count towards professional development hours.

Copyright Compliance

A Public Performance License is required by law anytime a movie is shown outside of the privacy of the home, even in a school. In my experience, many people are unaware that a license is required when showing movies at schools. A couple of campuses have purchased a license through Swank. According to the salesman, their license is the only license that covers 24/7 unlimited showings by 21 major studios including Disney, Warner Bros., Universal, Pixar, and more.

Just in case you all were not aware, the following events require a license whether there is a charge or not; • Family Movie Nights / Fundraising Events • Before/ After Care / Student Rewards / Incentives • Indoor Recess / Holidays / Staffing Emergencies

Each campus will be responsible for the purchase of the license with campus funds


If you plan to retire at the end of the 2019-2020 school year, please send an email to rolanda.fieldsjackson@chisd.net to document your intentions. If you have already contacted Human Resources regarding your intent to retire you will not need to provide the information again.

In an effort to publicly recognize all retirees for their dedication and years of service to the District, the Communications Department is planning a Service Recognition Ceremony on APRIL 28, 2020 and would like to include all retirees in this celebration.

The deadline to submit your retirement request and be eligible to participate in the Service Recognition Ceremony is March 6, 2020. Not submitting your information by the deadline may prevent you from fully participating in the Service Recognition Ceremony.

If you have any questions regarding your retirement benefits, you may call TRS (Teacher Retirement System) at 1-800-223-8778.

Should you need additional information not related to retirement benefits, please contact the Human Resources Department at extension 4035

T-TESS and etc...

All T-TESS information should be placed in STRIVE. If you have not submitted your goals yet, you are not in compliance.

Standard Response Protocol Training ( Mandatory)

Wednesday, March 4th, 4pm

1 Longhorn Boulevard

Cedar Hill, TX

Location: LIbrary

Professional Development Day

Friday, March 6th, 8am

Cedar Hill Independent School District, TX, USA


You must have completed your PD requirement to be off this day

NGC/CHHS Faculty Meeting

Tuesday, March 17th, 4:15-5:15pm

1 Longhorn Boulevard

Cedar Hill, TX

Part II TTESS Goal Reflection Due

Tuesday, March 31st, 4pm

Cedar Hill Independent School District, TX, USA


March 31 is the deadline

End of the year conference and Goal Setting for 2020-2021

Wednesday, April 1st, 7:45am to Friday, April 24th, 4pm

Cedar Hill Independent School District, TX, USA


All evidence toward goal must be uploaded in STRIVE prior to the End Of Year Conference