Scot SuperHeroes

HP-Dept of Special Programs eNews January 2015

Do we really make a difference?

We can all attest to the fact that we became educators because we wanted to make a difference in the lives of students. While some of our days are filled with unexplainable highs, during the stressful moments of our daily routines with our most difficult students, we can often be left to wonder if what we are doing really matters.

I was recently walking into a grocery store in my hometown when all of a sudden I hear a scream that only a former behavior teacher recognizes. As my teacher instincts kicked in, I turned around swiftly prepared to intervene when I see a familiar, yet vastly older, face running towards me at full speed yelling MRS. ESTRADA, MRS. ESTRADA!! He grabs me and hugs me as tight as he can and says, Mrs. Estrada, I'm so glad you are here. After our conversation, I learned that he was employed at this store and while he still struggles with some of the same things he struggled with in middle school, he was independent, he was employed, and he was visibly happy. I went along with my shopping trip and as I was checking out, he came back one more time to tell me goodbye and make sure his manager knew I was his old teacher. After he walked away, his boss told me that anytime he is faced with a challenge, he uses his strategies that I taught him in 7th grade. Not only did I not think my strategies were effective when I spent hours talking him out of meltdowns day in and day out, I would have never guessed he would use those strategies as a young adult.

I tell you this story so you stop and realize that even though you may not see your hard work pay off today, or tomorrow, or even next month, you will live on forever in your students, and that is why we do what we do.

I am every student I ever taught, a piece of everyone of them has made me who I am today and I know that everyone of you have these same stories and experiences.

Please take a moment and celebrate your small successes, most importantly, remind yourself and each eachother of all of those moments that matter.

We are one team, one family, one department, one district, with one goal-advocating for and empowering every student, every day.

Take care of your family and remember - Leave people better than you found them.

You are making a difference!

HP Proud,


SuperHero Spotlight-Armstrong Elementary-Above & Beyond Award

Armstrong celebrated Inclusive Schools Week during the first week of December. The campus engaged in several activities to promote an inclusive learning environment for all students. Attached is a link with additional information about how to promote inclusion.

Thank you Dr. Moran & Andrea Layne for leading your campus and going Above and Beyond the call of duty to save the day!

Scots Cafe Provides Real-World Experiences for HPHS Transition Students

HPHS teacher Yvette Cardenas and her team developed a baked potato bar to serve the faculty and staff of HPHS. This event occurs monthly and has had a tremendous impact on the students. Please take an opportunity to view the video link below to learn more about this exciting program.

All things STAAR...

The STAAR ALT 2 Testing window will be Feb.9-27th. Please ensure you have had confidentiality training if you will be in classrooms that will be completing this assessment during this testing window.

Please review the tutorials for STAAR Accommodated to determine if your students would be eligible and would benefit from this type of assessment.

Please visit the TEA website for additional STAAR information.

Techno Tips and Tools

Introducing a program called "Read&Write for Google". It will translate and read aloud to the kids from a PDF file or a document in Google Drive. It also has a highlighter and an embedded dictionary, it even has a translator. AND IT'S FREE!

This may be something that could mimic the STAAR A features or assist with oral admin.

Check out "Read&Write for Google™":

Save the Date and Celebrations!

Please join me in welcoming Lea Popham to the team!! Lea is the new administrative assistant for the Special Programs Dept. Her first day was Jan.4 and she hit the ground running and helped provide a very smooth transition for everyone. Congratulations to Mary "Baker" Witcher who is now the HPISD Purchasing Coordinator!

1/29- District Dyslexia Meeting

1/30- District 504 Meeting

2/5- SHAC Meeting

2/6- SPED Coordinators Meeting

2/10- HPISD School Board Meeting

2/17-2/19- Texas Assessment Conference

2/20- SPED Coordinators Meeting

2/20- Special Programs Team Meeting

2/25-2/28- TCASE Conference

Happy Birthday to YOU!! We are so glad you were born!!

1/7- Kate Altemore

1/7- Beth Basile

1/7- Jennifer Garrison

2/3- Lydia Boudreaux

2/4- Andrea Layne

2/9- Dana Lou Bunten

2/11- Amanda Salerno

2/13- Paula Williams

2/14- Ashley Noble

2/16- Rachel Seiberling

2/19- Catherine Donahue

2/26- Pam Sepulvado