Pinkston Feeder Pattern - September 28, 2015

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.

Steps to Put School Data to Good Use

A critical aspect of school reform for today’s schools is the ability to effectively manage data. Leaders and teachers are often overwhelmed with the sheer amount of data they have. Many of the schools we work with are unsure how to best use the information. First, let’s clarify what we mean by data. Data is all the information you have, or might collect, that you can use to support your efforts to make your school more rigorous and successful. When used correctly, data can be an important tool to guide the decision-making process, measure progress, and monitor accountability. We suggest a four-step process when you use data to support your efforts to improve the rigor of your school.

Four Step Approach

Step 1: Be clear about what you want to know

Step 2: Decide how to collect the data

Step 3: Analyze the data

Step 4: Set priorities and goals

Step 1: Be Clear About What You Want to Know

Being clear about what you want to know will help you clarify the data you want to collect and analyze. We suggest that rather than just saying, “We want to increase rigor,” you divide the task into smaller, more manageable chunks.

You might want to begin with a focus on one part of our definition of rigor: rigor is creating an environment in which each student is expected to learn at high levels, each student is supported so he or she can learn at high levels, and each student demonstrates learning at high levels. For example, you begin by focusing on student support, and look at how that is provided across your school to promote student learning.

Step 2: Determine the Data You Need

After you’ve determined a focus area, you will want to think about the data you already have available. Most schools routinely gather data. Think about what you already have and how it might be used to guide your work.

Examples of Frequently Available Data

♦ Student grades or test scores

♦ Student, parent, and staff surveys

♦ School climate data

♦ Curriculum audit results

♦ Audit of rigor by an external expert

♦ Report of alignment with state or national standards

You will probably find some of these data helpful. But you may also find that you need additional, more targeted data to give you the information needed to support your work. You probably have demographic data about your students, and you probably have data about student achievement and learning. You may want more information about the instructional activities in your classrooms or information about the perceptions of students and families. There are lots of different ways to collect data. We believe it is helpful to have a mix of quantitative measures and qualitative measures. For example, student grades and test scores might be complemented by open-ended surveys or focus group conversations.

Strategy: Conduct a Student Shadow Study

A different way to gather information about the instructional experience of students is to conduct a shadow study. Shadow studies involve selecting students at random and “shadowing” them throughout their day. (Here’s one example shared by a HS instructional coach.) A more formal protocol, originally developed by NASSP (Lounsbury & Johnston, 1985), charts the experience of particular students every five-to-seven minutes. This allows the observer to show the ebb and flow of activities during the day by spending the entire day with a student and documenting their experience. Shadowing provides interesting insights into the student experience. Of course, students quickly figure out that something is going on. The best approach is to talk with the student and assure them that you are not gathering information about them to report to the office but want to see what their day is really like.

Step 3: Analyze the Data

Be sure to involve your school improvement team or other shared governance group in the process of analyzing the data. We’ve always found it helps to have people with many different points of view look at data. Always keep an open mind, rather than pre-determining the results. Otherwise, you may not see the full picture. First, analyze the information provided by each data source. One thing you will want to do is look for patterns. This will prove helpful when you begin to prioritize action steps in areas that need the most work. You may find that you don’t have enough data to select an area of focus. If so, consider how you might gather additional data. Once you have looked at individual data sources, look for patterns across multiple sources of data. In many ways this is more beneficial, because it provides a clearer picture of what is happening both “vertically” and “horizontally” across your school.

Step 4: Set Priorities and Goals

The fourth step is to work with your school improvement team or other collaborative group to determine priorities based on your area of focus and the data analysis. Once you determine your priorities, goals, or area of concern, study and select strategies that will allow you to address the area of focus. This is a pivotal point. Too often, we gather and analyze data, set goals, but then do not use that information to make decisions on an ongoing basis. Using your Pattern Analysis, note the data sources you used. Next, identify the area for potential growth, such as incorporating more activities in which each student is required to demonstrate learning. Third, design a specific way to track success. How will everyone know if they are making progress toward the goal? What does success look like? Finally, detail the specific action steps that are needed to accomplish the goal.

A Final Note

In today’s age of accountability, we are often overwhelmed by data. However, we are not always able to use the data effectively, and, sometimes, we do not have the correct types of data. It’s important to consider all aspects of the data review process, and implement changes based on what you find.

Resources: Books like Victoria Bernhardt’s Data Analysis for Continuous School Improvement (3rd Ed.) and Karen Sanzo’s Formative Assessment Leadership can help. If you have found other books effective in using data for planning, please share in the comments.


Ron Williamson is a professor of leadership and counseling at Eastern Michigan University. Previously, he taught at the University of North Carolina at Greensboro and was a teacher, principal, and executive director of instruction in the Ann Arbor, Michigan, Public Schools. He also served as executive director of the National Middle School Association and as president of the National Forum to Accelerate Middle Grades Reform.

Barbara Blackburn is a best-selling author of 14 books, including Rigor is NOT a Four-Letter Word. A nationally recognized expert in the areas of rigor and motivation, she collaborates with schools and districts for professional development. Barbara can be reached through her website or her blog. She’s on Twitter @BarbBlackburn. See her other MiddleWeb posts here. Her latest book, Rigor in Your Classroom: A Toolkit for Teachers, was published in May 2014.


Curricular Resources


CIC's attended the math Trainer of Trainer session by Carnegie last week and learned about many strategies and resources. Principals and CICs should work together to schedule a time for the redelivery of this training to math teachers. CICs were given homework to bring back during the October Just in Time Training.


During the Just in Time Reading Training, CIC's had the opportunity to view various handbooks provided by the ELAR Department. These documents are in the google folder. If you have any questions about the handouts or Curriculum Central, please reach out to Christian.

Our feeder pattern Literacy Academy is scheduled Thursday, October 1st @ Lanier from 9:00AM - 12:00PM. CIC's will receive training on Text Sets. The training will be differentiated for middle school CIC's. Please make sure each school is represented.

Text Sets are a new curricular resource for 3rd–12th grade reading teachers. Each text set suggests a sequence of thematically connected texts from adopted textbooks and free online databases, correlated to suggested TEKS from the corresponding six-week curricular map. In order to address the needs of all students, including standard English learners, the text sets contain texts in different genres and with various text structures. This text variety can help build wide vocabulary, broad background knowledge, and cultural awareness.



The Science Department's link below includes a powerpoint that contains great reminders and resources. The Science Safety Training window has closed. Due to maintenance on Project Share, this window will not reopen until the 1st of November. Once it reopens, schools will be notified. Please remind all K-12th science teachers that the Science Lab Safety Training must be completed.


Social Studies

The social studies link below, provides the directions for all of publishers. Susan Reno is the social studies point of contact for the Pinkston feeder pattern and is happy to come to the schools to help teachers problem solve.


Other Instructional Resources

Academic Vocabulary Resource


Differentiated Instruction


Teaching and Learning


Evidence Based Writing in the Content Areas


Additional Information

Campus Action Plan

I appreciate the hard work you and your team have placed into finalizing the campus plan. I carved out time Friday afternoon to review the plans and provide feedback. The plans should be emailed to me by close of day Thursday, October 1st. If you complete the plan early, it would be great to receive it early. Thank you Kelly and Cameron:).

Improvement Required Plans

All IR plans are also due to me by Thursday, October 1st. I am very proud of the teams! Your commitment and work ethic is to be commended.


We need your support to ensure that Pinkston Feeder schools Shine Bright at Prep U! We can do this! Here is what is needed from each campus:

  1. Name of 5 volunteers should be submitted to Celina Pena by Monday at 4:00pm; please email her at cepena@dallasisd.org

  2. Invite and recruit a minimum of 50 families to attend the event

  3. Please submit the name of your student act to shaqjones@dallasisd.org, she wants to complete the schedule asap.

  4. Bring an activity or game for your table and bring all materials needed for the activity, crayons, pencils, pens, glue scissors, etc.

  5. Decorations for the best table

  6. Attend the planning meeting on Thursday, October 1, 2015 at Pinkston High School, thank you Pinkston for being such great hosts! We need a representative and an administrator.

  7. Arrive on Saturday with volunteers at 8:00 am to set up the tables and inflatables

  8. Bring a gift donations to the event on Saturday.

  9. Two adults must staff the table at all times, one can be a parent volunteer. You can create a schedule to rotate staff members.

  10. Please advertise the event on your marquee.

  11. Bring your smiles cheery disposition!

Reasoning Mind

The platform has changed and provides great student data for teachers and principals. A representative from Reasoning Mind will meet with elementary principals and at least 1 coach Thursday, October 1st at 3:00PM at DeZavala. Please bring your lap top so you can access the reports and the various tabs in the database.

Grades 2-4 are mandatory

  • The target time is 2 hours per week

  • The target accuracy for Level A Problems is 75%

I will review the weekly reports to measure campus progress.


Thank you for attending the feeder RTI meeting. Please administer the universal screeners and hold Data Team Meetings focused on the baseline results. This Data Team Meeting should be held on or before October 9th. During your RTI Data Team Meeting, your appointed administrator should schedule your first SST Meeting to discuss interventions plans. If you need assistance, please contact Christian Ruiz.

Student Learning Objectives & PDP

All SLO's should be submitted to you by close of day tomorrow. The SLO's should be approve, scored and submitted by Thursday, October 1st.

PARS Forms

Remind your CIC's to complete the PAR forms each month since they are funded through Title 1. You can get the forms from Matthew Ortiz.

Title I Principal Attestation Checklist:

The checklist should be completed and signed by the campus principal. It should be placed in a binder along with any documentation letters for Highly Qualified Teachers. The document should be dated for September 16, 2015. The attestation should be made available to parents upon request. The due date for the attestations is December 16, 2015. However, TEA does not require you to send them or upload them anywhere. The validation is a 24 hour turn around to be submitted to TEA .TEA will start validating after December 16, 2015. Please contact Delma if you have any questions at 972-925-3012 or demartinez@dallasisd.org.


Tomorrow, DTR eligible teachers will receive an email notifying them of the opportunity and the timeline. Way to go Pinkston Feeder, we have 41 Distinguished teachers! Congratulations on a job well done!


If your SBDM has not completed the training, a feeder pattern training is scheduled at El Centro, Thursday, October 1st @ 4:30PM for your SBDM members. Each SBDM team should be trained, so this is a great opportunity to receive the training.

Leveling Changes - Important - Important - Important

Leveling changes should be made Thursday, October 1st. Please make sure your teachers copy and save grades prior to making the changes. if the grades are not copied, you will lose the grades when the teacher of record changes.

HUB Stories

I'd like to have each school highlighted in the HUB this year. Think about a project or event you would like highlight in the HUB. Pinkston, recently had a story focused on the preparing students for college.

College Posters

The College Posters at classroom doors are looking good! Please have them posted by September 30th.

Special Education

Please find a Special Education Checklist in the google folder. The checklist will ensure you are in compliance with the SpED guidelines. You will also find a newsletter from the SpEd department regarding instructional strategies and trainings.

How are ARDS going? Please check the status with your SpEd administrator.


The Internal Audit Office has formally notify us that they will initiate Audits of Campus Activities. The objective of the audit is to determine if campus locations and/or departments are in compliance with applicable District, campus and/or departmental policies, regulatory requirements and procedures. Work for the audit is set to begin during October of 2015. The Internal Audit Office is in the process of selecting campuses for review and would appreciate any input into the selection process that you might be able to provide.


Please schedule and conduct your monthly drills in a timely manner. We would like to continue meeting this deadline as a feeder pattern.

WAIP - Important action items in WAIP, please make sure you schedule time on your calendar to read:).


A document in the Google folder has the cliff notes for WAIP.

Scheduled Campus Visits

Imagine 2020 Focus - In-School Tutoring and Reasoning Mind

Monday - DeZavala, Carver

Tuesday - Tour feeder w/ Dr. Bravo

Wednesday - School Leadership Training

Thursday - Carr, Reasoning Mind @ DeZavala, SBDM @ El Centro

Friday - Review Campus Action Plans, informal campus visits

Big picture

Shout Outs

Gabe Allen

Gabe Allen receives a donation from the Cowboys. Sheila and Francis on the 50 yard line in Jerry's house!

Pinkston High School

Mr. Cook, Pinkston Band Director, did an outstanding job preparing the Pinkston band for the HBCU Experience.

Congratulations to Cynthia Waters! Great story in the HUB about Pinkston's counseling department preparing students for college and career.

George Washington Carver

Dr. Nelson held a Saturday writing training for her teachers and allowed new teachers from other campuses to learn along side her team! Thank you for sharing.

Have an awesome learning week!