Pinkston Feeder Pattern

Week At A Glance -March 27, 2016

Core Beliefs

Core Beliefs

  • Our main purpose is to improve student academic achievement.

  • Effective instruction makes the most difference in student academic performance.

  • There is no excuse for poor quality instruction.

  • With our help, at risk students will achieve at the same rate as non-at risk students.

  • Staff members must have a commitment to children and a commitment to the pursuit of excellence.

In The News...

I hope you had a wonderful Easter holiday!

I know you and your staff have prepared your students for this week's 1st round STAAR. I read many of the Challenge Letters and watched some of the videos which underscored how ready our scholars are for this week! You, your staff and students have spent 7 months preparing and now it's game time where your students will show what they know. I'm proud of you, your team and our students!!!! Go Pinkston Feeder Pattern

Film Festival Deadline Extension

The 2nd annual Social Studies Student Film Festival Competition deadline has been extended to Wednesday, March 30th. The attachment includes the link to submit videos and “red carpet” Film Festival Awards Ceremony which will be held at Townview in the Theater (1201 E. 8th St.) on Friday, April 1st from 6pm until 8pm.

Istation Update:
Ms. Tippin from Istation has be working with the district to upload the student information. We are awaiting confirmation that everything is a go... We are hoping to be up and running this week!

Failure Reports:

Please submit your intervention for content areas that surpassed the threshold by close of day Monday, March 28th. Great job everyone on reducing the failure rate!!!! Way to go Pinkston Feeder!

STAAR Schedule

Please send your testing schedule for this week to Eliza by noon Monday. Ensure all staff members fully understand the parameters for testing and are actively engaged in monitoring during the testing implementation. The Testing Coordinator should emphasize the logistics for disseminating and collecting the testing materials (do's and dont's). ISN support will be provided if needed. Please let me know if you require additional support. Support staff have already been deployed to several campuses already (Carver, Carr, Gabe Allen, Earhart).

SSI and Summer Readiness

Teacher allocations have been determined for SSI and summer readiness programs. The program calculations are included in a document in the Google folder for this week. There are important deadlines and logistical information regarding hiring on this document, so please review and make note of the important dates.

Report Card Review for the 5th Six Weeks

Please develop a process for reviewing report cards to ensure grades have been appropriately entered. During the review, you can project the number of students who will need to attend the summer readiness program. If you find you might require an increase of teacher allocations based on the projection and the formula, please let me know as soon as possible.

Goal for Summer Learning

To keep our students engaged in learning during the summer months, let's make a feeder goal to ensure a minimum of 50% of our students enroll in a summer learning program. We have several programs that will be hosted in the feeder pattern as well as outside the feeder. The district is working on putting all the summer learning programs, within the district and the city, in one database. This will be a great resource for our families to use in finding and registering for summer programs.


I've included a document in the Google folder that shows our current Board Trustees as well as candidate running for a seat in the upcoming election. Please make sure your front office staff knows our Board Trustees as well as those running for office. Please ensure we operate within the election guidelines as we approach the May election.

Parent Engagement

Included in the Google Folder, you can find the most current campus rating for parent engagement. In some cases, your campus may show not on track because the parent engagement office didn't receive certain documentation. The document will state the missing information so you can submit to receive credit. I have asked for the rubric so we can move from "meets" to "distinguished".


The most current tracker is included in the Google Folder for your review. The data was extracted from March 22nd. The extraction does not include spots that were in draft form, only those completed and submitted. Thank you to those campuses who have met with their teams and created a plan to increase the percentages for completion. We should see percentages increasing since plans have been developed. if your numbers are not increasing, this means you will need to adjust and refine your plan.


I've included a TEI Update in the Google folder with the deadline dates for extended & summative evaluations and spots. Further guidance is provided regarding rebuttals and the requirements for staff members that were hired later in the year.

New Teacher information regarding New Teacher Orientation in August and content is also provided.

Principal Training

Mark your calendars for June 14th &15th for Principal Training. More information forthcoming.

STAAR Challenge:

Wow! Congratulations to everyone on a job well done. Our challenge letters and videos were awesome. Way to hit it out of the ballpark, team! If you have not submitted a copy of your letter or video, please submit on Monday, March 28th.

Challenge Schools:

Pinkston High School vs. Madison; Quintanilla vs. DESA

Carr vs. Carver; Martinez vs. Lanier

Earhart vs. Allen; Stevens Park vs. De Zavala vs. Arcadia Park

Check out Gabe Allen and Sidney Lanier's Challenge Videos!

Assessment Feedback:

If you have feedback for the 5th six week ISN assessments, the feedback window is March 25th - April 1st. A feedback link is included in the ISN assessment calendar which is in this week's Google folder. Please allow your coaches and/or department chairs provide the feedback.

Executive Ed Program for Teams

The application is now available on our recruitment website. The application deadline is Friday, April 1 @ 11:59 PM.

Professional Development Opportunity

The Instructional Support Services and Office of Student Discipline departments are hosting a half-day professional development session for campus teams.

In this session, Dr. Jesse W. Jackson III will empower campus teams with the information needed to improve in-school discipline practices. Dr. Jesse W. Jackson III, author of the book Don't Kick Them Out: Why Black and Latino Students Frequently Get Suspended, is a licensed professional counselor, author, and educational speaker.

The elementary session will occur on April 6 from 8:00am - 12:00pm at the Dallas County Schools Training Center.

The secondary session will occur on April 6 from 1:00pm - 5:00pm at the Dallas County Schools Training Center.

Participating campus teams should include a campus administrator (principal or assistant principal), counselor, and teachers who may need support with classroom management and/or teachers who will be instrumental in supporting school-wide discipline on your campus for the upcoming school year.

Please see the attached flyer. Principals can register for the session at

WAIP Summary in the Google folder - Important Action Items included. Please read and take action.

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Terra Nova - 1st and 2nd grade English Resources were sent from Christian. Please check your email!

Campus Visits - Spot Observations and Review Spot Tracker and Feedback

I am working to complete spot observations, so I may come to your campus on a day not scheduled. Of course, I'd like you to accompany me; however, if you have something else scheduled during that time I will visit classrooms solo and let you know what I saw during the visits.

Monday - Pinkston, Martinez

Tuesday - QMS, Stevens Park, DeZavala, Earhart

Wednesday - Gabe Allen, Arcadia Park

Thursday - Carver, DESA

Friday - Haskell Meetings

Article of the Week - Ten Highly Effective Teaching Practices from Down Under

In this paper from the Australian Society for Evidence-Based Teaching, Shaun Killian presents these well-researched keys to teaching and learning:

Clear lesson goals – “If you cannot quickly and easily state what you want your students to know and be able to do at the end of a given lesson, the goal of your lesson will be unclear,” says Killian.

Show and tell – Start a lesson by succinctly sharing target information and knowledge and modeling any skills or procedures that students will learn.

Checking for understanding – Use all-class methods (for example, dry-erase boards or clickers) to see how students are doing and use the information to decide what to do next.

Students graphically summarizing new learning – Students might create a mind map, flow-chart, or Venn diagram.

Plenty of practice – “Practice is not about mindless busywork,” says Killian. “Nor does it involve assigning independent tasks that you haven’t previously modeled and taught.” Students need to practice the right things with the teacher circulating to do another check for understanding. For maximum impact, practice sessions should be spaced over time.

Feedback – “Unlike praise, which focuses on the student rather than the task, feedback provides your students with a tangible understanding of what they did well, of where they are at, and of how they can improve,” says Killian.

Giving all students time to succeed – The basic idea of mastery learning is to keep the learning goal constant while giving students different amounts of time (with feedback) to master it. This is the approach used by successful coaches of swimming, dancing, martial arts, and other sports.

Productive group work – The danger of having students work in groups is “social loafing” – most of the work being done by the most skilled or well-informed student in the group. “You should only ask groups to do tasks that all group members can do successfully,” says Killian. Each group member should also be personally responsible for one step of the task.

Teaching strategies as well as content – Students need direct, explicit instruction in reading, writing, and math skills, followed by guided practice and feedback so they can use the skills independently.

Nurturing metacognition – This goes beyond knowing which strategies to use – it’s getting students to think about their options, look at how well strategies are working, and be aware of their own skills and knowledge with respect to worthy learning goals.

Killian concludes by mentioning some strategies that don’t have a large effect on student results – among them, whole language, teaching test preparation, and inquiry learning – and a few that are effective but didn’t quite make the top ten, including high expectations and reciprocal teaching.

“Top 10 Evidence-Based Teaching Strategies” by Shaun Killian in The Australian Society for Evidence-Based Teaching, January 2015,

Have an awesome learning week!

Week At A Glance:

Monday, March 28, 2016:
  • Failure Reports Due
  • Title I Budget due

Tuesday, March 29 , 2016:
Wednesday, March 30, 2016:
  • Weekly Highlights due every Wednesday by 12:00PM

Thursday, March 31, 2016:

Friday, April 1, 2016:

  • Feedback window for the ISN 5th Six Weeks Interim/Common Assessments
  • Executive Ed for Teams Application Deadline