ACE Weekly Newsletter

October 05, 2015

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In This Week's Issue:

Note from Executive Director


  • Parent Teacher Conference
  • Fair Days
  • 2nd Six Weeks

Celebrating Excellence

Articles of the Week:

  • Differentiation
  • Summary of Driven By Data
  • Summary of Teach Like A Champion
  • Summary of Leaders of Learning

Video Spotlight

  • Differentiation

Upcoming Events

  • ACE K-2 Balanced Literacy Cadre


  • ACE Site
  • School Calendars
  • HUB



Dear ACE Team,

Congratulations for completing the first six weeks! Because of your dedication, we will improve schools and ensure a strong college ready foundation for all. As you reflect this week, consider your interim assessment data. What actions are required to ensure mastery of the standards previously assessed? How can we use data to effectively differentiate instruction and ensure mastery for all students? As you consider these questions, please remember the power of team work through Professional Learning Communities, or PLCs. As a resource, below are the 6 Essential Characteristic of PLCs from Rick Dufour:

1. Shared mission, vision, values, goals

Educators in a PLC benefit from clarity regarding their shared purpose, a common understanding of the school they are trying to create, collective communities to help move the school in the desired direction, and specific, measurable, attainable, results-oriented, and time-bound (SMART) goals to mark their progress.

2. Collaborative teams focused on learning

In a PLC, educators work together interdependently in collaborative teams to achieve common goals for which they are mutually accountable. “Collaboration is a systematic process in which we work together, interdependently, to analyze and impact professional practice in order to improve our individual and collective results.”

3. Collective inquiry

Teams in a PLC relentlessly question the status quo, seek new methods of teaching and learning, test the methods, and then reflect on the results. Building shared knowledge of both current reality and best practice is an essential part of each team’s decision-making process.

4. Action orientation and experimentation

Members of a PLC constantly turn their learning and insights into action. They recognize the importance of engagement and experience in learning and in testing new ideas. They learn by doing.

5. Commitment to Continuous improvement

Not content with the status quo, members of a PLC constantly seek better ways to achieve mutual goals and accomplish their fundamental purpose of learning for all.

All teams engage in an ongoing cycle of:

• Gathering evidence of current levels of student learning

• Developing strategies and ideas to address weaknesses in learning

• Implementing the strategies and ideas

• Analyzing the impact of the changes to discover what was effective and what was not

• Applying the new knowledge in the next cycle of continuous improvement

6. Results orientation

Educators in a PLC assess their efforts on the basis of tangible results. They are hungry for evidence of student learning and use that evidence to inform and improve their practice. The success of the PLC concept depends not on the merits of the concept itself, but on the most important element in the improvement of any school—the commitment and persistence of the educators within it.

Thank you for your commitment and persistence!

Best wishes for an awesome second six weeks,

Jolee Healey

Adapted from the work of Richard DuFour, Rebecca DuFour, and Robert Eaker.

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Literacy Celebrations!

This week seventh grade students at Dade studied text using close reading strategies. After every few paragraphs, students and teachers both summarized the main ideas and answered critical thinking questions. In groups, students continued the process and discussed their answers citing text evidence for justification and used accountable talk to reach consensus. With 100% of STAAR questions requiring text evidence, our students are quickly accelerating to master the standards. Go ACE!



Nearly all teachers believe that it's better to differentiate instruction, experts agree—but the challenge lies in translating that belief into action. Check out this week's article to find out manageable ways to differentiate.

Be sure to read this week's article! Click Here


BONUS: An overview of DDI, click here to review a summary of Paul Bambrick’s book Driven by Data. For a summary of Doug Lemov's book Teach Like a Champion, click here. For a summary of Leaders of Learning by Rick Dufour Click Here



Differentiating Instruction, 6-12, Part II: Tiered Assignments and Flexible Grouping

Videos from Last Week

A Room of Writers



K-2 Balanced Literacy Cadre

Monday, Oct. 5th, 4pm to Wednesday, Oct. 7th, 6pm

ACE Elementary Schools

Thanks to our Dallas ISD K-2 Curriculum & Instruction Department for this great partnership!

Click here for the complete schedule of upcoming trainings!



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