ACE Weekly Newsletter

November 16, 2015

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In This Week's Issue:

Note from Executive Director


Celebrating Excellence

  • Distinguished Teachers in the News
  • Teacher Spotlight: Ms. Pipkin, Dade

Articles of the Week:

  • Using Data to Personalize Instruction

Video Spotlight

  • Self Assessment and Peer Support


  • ACE Site
  • Math SE live binder
  • School Calendars
  • HUB



Dear ACE Team,

During this Thanksgiving season, please know that so many people appreciate and value your work. This idea was highlighted at our ACE Mixer as both district leaders and Todd Williams, Dallas community leader and educational advisor to the Mayor, shared encouragement and gratitude for our work. The common message emphasized the importance of our ACE initiative as a model for transforming struggling schools to ensure students graduate college ready. It was inspiring to feel such widespread support and advocacy. (Shout out to Principal Washington, Mr. Valdez from Mills Elem., the Wilmer Hutchins Culinary Arts program, Skyline HS floral department, the Dallas ISD Communications team, Leadership ISD, Whole Foods, Kroger and DJ Mitchell from Pease Elem.)

At the Mixer, we shared these recent celebrations. We are making progress!

  • All facilities have been upgraded with landscaping, paint and shiny floors to welcome families for learning.
  • Attendance has increased at all seven ACE schools when compared to this time last year.
  • Discipline concerns have decreased at all ACE schools.
  • Partnerships have been formed with Early Childhood and Teaching & Learning for professional development and assessment creation.
  • All In Learning is being used in all seven schools to track data and we are making progress in several areas.
  • Promising Youth Alliance, PYA, is providing afterschool services with mentoring and social-emotional support for our 4 elementary schools (2 now and 2 start in Jan.).
  • Resources are arriving at schools, many document cameras and projectors, 3rd - 8th grade science kits, PK resources, 100 ipads, and Achieve 3000.

Many shared their commitment to ensuring our students develop a foundation for college readiness to ensure a life of choice, access and equity. Your strength and passionate devotion is inspiring. (Check out the HUB video below.) We will plan a spring mixer and would love for all ACE faculty members to attend. The more we get together, the stronger we grow!

Best wishes for a productive week of learning.

Jolee Healey




The organization, Commit!, has created a special opportunity to fund classroom projects down to $98 through an “Almost Home” offer. For example, if you were to post a $500 project for literacy-related classroom materials, the Commit! Partnership with the Boone Family Foundation will bring your project down to $98 as long as other donors chip in the rest before funding runs out.

Here’s how you can take advantage this offer:

1. Submit a project on by November 17th.

• Your request should focus on early language and literacy. Be sure to select Literacy as your subject area.

• When you select an expiration date, choose to keep the project on the site as long as possible.

2. Your total project cost should not exceed $500, including taxes and DonorsChoose fees, which means you can request around $350 in materials.

We hope that you will take advantage of this special opportunity!

We want to help find creative ways to provide needed resources.

Click here to complete a survey to communicate your needs to the ACE leadership team.



Thanks to Ms. Burley and Ms. Harrison-Kelly for sharing about our challenges and aspirations. Great job!!

Teacher Spotlight: Ms. Pipkin, Dade

Meet Ms. Pipkin, She is the math department chair at Dade Middle School! Ms. Pipkin comes to us from Seagoville MS, where she has spent all of her 10 years with the district.

Ms. Pipkin says that many people were curious about her move to Dade Middle School after being with Seagoville for so long. "I knew I could do more! I was not being challenged and I know I needed to grow myself."

Ms. Pipkins reflects on our #1 Driver: Effective Leaders and Teachers....

The leadership here is phenomenal. Tracie Washington is a leader of leaders. She pushes you and gives you opportunities to lead while coaching you along. Ms. Washington and my AP, Mr. Gilmore, have both given me the opportunity to lead the department, from conducting PD to coaching and modeling for teachers.

Our Leadership supports us with whatever we need. We have gotten support with instruction, materials and supplies, and discipline. Basically, we are given all the support needed to get the job done, and we feel appreciated. Our leadership team always goes the extra mile just to say thank you.

Performance here is rewarded and I can definitely see students growing as a result. We are taking students from the single digits, to the double digits!

Literacy Celebrations

Last week K-2 teachers learned how to increase students' fluency through fun and engaging activities. Highlights included using reading phones, pointers, Reader's Theater and students recording themselves in programs like A to Z. Reading CICs and 3rd through 5th grade teachers in the Literacy Cadre studied text dependent activities and questions to engage students and prepare them for STAAR. Additionally, Cadre members were given materials to turnkey the presentation at their campus.



Read this week's article to learn more about Using Data to Personalize Learning!

Tucker describes how she shifted the way she assesses students’ work in Jupiter Grades (her online grading program) from functional categories – homework, classwork, projects, and participation – to standards-based categories: argumentative writing, informative writing, reading and analyzing complex texts, vocabulary development, and speaking and listening. “This approach demystifies grades, helps students better understand what the numbers say about their learning, and thus motivates them to improve,” she says.

Click Here to read more!




Videos from Last Week



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