Alice ISD Coyotes ISC Gazette

Instructional Support Center • End of Year Publication

Summer is Upon Us

Summer is here! The district wishes to thank all of Alice ISD staff for the hard work put in this year. Enjoy the summer days and come back refreshed for 2015-16!

Cooperative Learning

A group of folks from the district will be attending Kagan Cooperative Learning training in July. Training for 6-12th grade will be held July 20th-24th and 3rd & 4th grade teachers will attend July 27-31st. Training will be held at the following location:

  • Portland Community Center
  • 2000 Billy G. Webb Street
  • 8:30 - 4:00.
Principals have more information about this training. If you are attending make sure you take the colored [pink or blue] admission ticket with you to your first day of the training.

This training is being provided through our collaboration with the South Texas Curriculum Consortium (STCC).

The Writing Academy Training

We are excited to announce that Randi Whitney and her trainers from The Writing Academy will be providing a comprehensive writing training this summer July 20-25th.

The Writing Academy is a comprehensive, brain-compatible writing process that addresses:

  • Organization
  • Idea Development
  • Voice, Conventions
  • Sustained Focus

The program will cover the four styles of writing: Narrative, How-To, Classificatory, and Persuasive and much more through brain compatible exercises. Teachers will learn how to help their students write interesting, organized, focused papers with well-developed ideas where their voice comes through to the reader.

If you were selected to attend please make sure to mark your calendar. Please note the following regarding the training:

Grades PK - 2nd Grade: July 22 - 24th
Grades 3rd-4th Grade: July 20 - 25th
  • Instructional Support Center, #2 Coyote Trail, Alice, Tx.
  • 8:30 - 3:30

Please notify your campus administrator or Marta Salazar [664-0981 ext. 82] if you will not be able to attend so that another teacher may go in your place.

Math Looks Different

Does the picture to the right agree with you? Many are finding math looks different these days!

Many of the changes coming to us are attributed to the dreaded "CC" (Common Core). Texas does not participate in Common Core curriculum, but our teachers and students have experienced many changes due to adjustments in our own curriculum with the new standards.

Most instructors in the classroom today (and parents, too) learned traditional algorithms. There was a rule, you followed the rule, and that was that. The problem is many of these "rules" don't always work. Many of us learned shortcut techniques, but all too often there is no "math" behind the rule or shortcut. Without the understanding behind the rule or shortcut, students are not able to apply the concepts later in middle school or high school.

Today's math instruction is more about students constructing different ways to get the answer, understanding the WHY behind the rule, and building understanding of how the number system works. Students are breaking apart numbers, using number lines in new ways and solving problems from the get-go (not just after a concept is drilled over and over). Older elementary students are applying area models for understanding multiplication and working with complex, multi-step problems. Problem solving often becomes the reason for learning the math, not the other way around. Students should understand the concept before memorizing cute rhymes or strategies that don't really relate mathematically.

Workshops are being planned for parents during the month of July to show them how math is being taught. Hopefully this will allow them to help students and home and not be so frustrated themselves.

There is a term used in mathematics today..."productive struggle". Productive struggle is not just for students. This year our teachers have been involved in productive struggle, too, as they work on learning the new standards.

2015-16 will bring new developments for math teachers in grades 9-12. Opportunities will be provided to learn about your new standards. K-8 teachers, we have one year under our belts. Thanks for your patience and persistence as we all walk through this together!


Noonan Elementary Applauded for Great Work

I Believe in Alice ISD would like to recognize the faculty and staff of Noonan Elementary for all their efforts in ensuring the best possible education for their students. The faculty and staff at Noonan Elementary have worked hard all year long, striving for academic success in all content areas. Scores across grade levels have shown major improvements in all areas. PK-4 Teachers have worked hard and put in long hours to provide the best lessons and data driven decisions for their students. They hold themselves & their students to the highest standards and demand nothing less than quality work. Failure is not an option for the staff or the students. The teachers and staff here share responsibility for learning and are led by an administrator who truly knows the value of a quality education. Teachers have worked really hard to improve their ability to teach because they believe in being the best. They have collaborated with each other and other schools to explore techniques and strategies to improve their craft of teaching. They don’t give up! The teachers there celebrate student success often; they listen without judgment, are open to divergent viewpoints, communicate clearly and respectfully and are humble in their actions and demeanor towards their students. Their hard work, attitude, and dedication shows how amazing they all are. They say attitude reflects leadership. Principal Evey Guerra has led the team at Noonan Elementary for 8 years. We would like to thank Mrs. Guerra for instilling high standards and good work ethic in the hearts of her students and her staff. Mrs. Guerra will be retiring at the end of this school year. Her dedication and work ethic will be missed by all.

Congratulations Noonan Mustangs!

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I Believe in Alice ISD would like to recognize the athletic department and support staff of Alice High School. The countless hours that our coaches devote to develop, mold, encourage and inspire the student athletes of Alice High School do not go unnoticed. We recognize that a great coach takes his/her love for the game and instills it in the athletes he/she coaches. Many Alice ISD student athletes have excelled and achieved great honors because of the extraordinary influence they have had on their lives. Our athletes have earned Regional and State qualifying status, First Team All-District honors, All- District Honorable Mention Honors, and Academic All-District Honors in the various athletic programs here at Alice ISD. To the support staff of Alice High School we recognize and acknowledge the hard work and dedication they provide to each respective department. The support staff is the glue that holds the faculty and administrative staff together. Their valuable assistance helps the many programs, services and activities continue our Alice Coyote traditions. We thank you all from the bottom of our hearts.

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The school district and the community recognize the faculty and staff of Schallert Elementary for the countless hours of hard work and dedication to improving the lives of the children that walk through their doors every day. Month after month the faculty and staff have been committed to a tradition of educational excellence which has developed and refined active and creative thinkers who will be able to rise to the challenges of an ever changing world.

I Believe in Alice ISD would like to thank the campus for taking the initiative with the Model Classroom Project and beginning a teacher video academy to do in-house teacher-to-teacher training. The campus made every effort to go above and beyond and this is evidenced in their students’ success throughout the year. Schallert students have made significant improvements and we are extremely thankful for the many hours teachers invested in their work week to make success happen every day.

The care, love and attention they gave each student was seen as they conducted grade level team meetings and data meetings and as they interacted with their students during campus events. This kind of attention to each child is exemplified in the leadership modeled by principal Patricia Garcia who retires this month. She will be truly missed by her faculty and staff and by all who worked with her in the district. Thank you, Mrs. Garcia for the many years you have given to the students of Alice ISD.

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Special Education News

As we end another successful school year, our Special Education team would like to extend our sincere appreciation to our Campus Administrators and their staff for their outstanding efforts in helping all of the children at our schools achieve success. It is great to know we can count on them to go the extra mile. Again, a big thank you for all they do in assisting our department and AISD. Congratulations to Mrs. Evey Guerra, Mrs. Patricia Garcia, and our own, Mrs. Dora Luna Lopez, on their retirement. Best wishes to Ms. Trisha Terrell on her new endeavor. These exceptional ladies will be greatly missed. We look forward to another productive and exciting school year as we continue to strive for excellence.

-Gracie Garcia, Director of Special Education

Dabrowski's Overexcitabilities or Supersensitivities in Gifted Children

Article by Carol Bainbridge, Gifted Expert

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Does your child complain about the seams in his socks? Put her hands over her ears when the movie starts in the movie theater? Have trouble sitting still? Get moved almost to tears by a piece of music or work of art? These are signs of the kinds of intensities that can be seen in gifted children.

Polish psychologist Kazimierz Dabrowski identified five of these intensities, which he called "overexcitabilities" or "supersensitivities": Psychomotor, Sensual, Emotional, Intellectual, and Imaginational.

The primary sign of this intensity is a surplus of energy. Children with a dominant psychomotor overexcitability are often misdiagnosed with ADHD since characteristics are similar.

· Rapid speech

· Impulsive behavior

· Competitiveness

· Compulsive talking

· Compulsive organizing

· Nervous habits and tics

· Preference for fast action and sports

· Physical expression of emotions

· Sleeplessness

The primary sign of this intensity is a heightened awareness of all five senses: sight, smell, taste, touch, and hearing. Children with a dominant sensual overexcitability can get sick from the smell of certain foods or as toddlers will hate to walk on grass in their bare feet. The pleasure they get from the tastes and textures of some foods may cause them to overeat.

· Appreciation of beauty, whether in writing, music, art or nature. Includes love of objects like jewelry

· Sensitive to smells, tastes, or textures of foods

· Sensitivity to pollution

· Tactile sensitivity (Bothered by feel of some materials on the skin, clothing tags)

· Craving for pleasure

· Need or desire for comfort

This intensity is the one most recognized in gifted children. It is characterized by activities of the mind, thought and thinking about thinking. Children who lead with this intensity seem to be thinking all the time and want answers to deep thoughts. Sometimes their need for answers will get them in trouble in school when their questioning of the teacher can look like disrespectful challenging.

· Deep curiosity

· Love of knowledge and learning

· Love of problem solving

· Avid reading

· Asking of probing questions

· Theoretical thinking

· Analytical thinking

· Independent thinking

· Concentration, ability to maintain intellectual effort

The primary sign of this intensity is the free play of the imagination. Their vivid imaginations can cause them to visualize the worst possibility in any situation. It can keep them from taking chances or getting involved in new situations.

· Vivid dreams

· Fear of the unknown

· Good sense of humor

· Magical thinking

· Love of poetry, music and drama

· Love of fantasy

· Daydreaming

· Imaginary friends

· Detailed visualization

The primary sign of this intensity is exceptional emotional sensitivity. Children with a strong emotional overexcitability are sometimes mistakenly believed to have bipolar disorder or other emotional problems and disorders. They are often the children about whom people will say, "He's too sensitive for his own good."

· Extremes of emotion

· Anxiety

· Feelings of guilt and sense of responsibility

· Feelings of inadequacy and inferiority

· Timidity and shyness

· Loneliness

· Concern for others

· Heightened sense right and wrong, of injustice and hypocrisy

· Strong memory for feelings

· Problems adjusting to change

· Depression

· Need for security

· Physical response to emotions (stomach aches caused by anxiety, for example)

Parents can get a better understanding of their gifted children by matching their child's behavior with the characteristics of each of these intensities. Telling an emotionally intense child to ignore teasing or not let the teasing bother him is impossible advice for the child to follow. Understanding what lies behind a gifted child's behavior will help parents better respond to that behavior.

These sensitivities are part of a larger theory, the Theory of Positive Disintegration, which you can read more about on The Positive Disintegration Web site.

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“Gifted and talented student” means a child or youth who performs at or shows the potential for performing at a remarkably high level of accomplishment when compared to others of the same age, experience or environment and who:

1. exhibits high performance capability in an intellectual, creative or artistic area;

2. possesses an unusual capacity for leadership; or

3. excels in a specific academic field.

As defined in the Texas Education Code

Characteristics of Gifted Students:

1. Verbal Proficiency

· Large vocabulary

· Facility of expression

· Breadth of information

2. Power of Abstraction

· Interest in inductive learning and problem solving

· High level of conceptualization

· Pleasure in intellectual activity

3. Intellectual Curiosity

· Interest in a wide range of things

· Willingness for complexity

· Persistent pursuit of goals

4. Retentiveness/Power of Concentration

· Intense attention

· Retains and uses information

· Long attention span

5. Independence/Goal Directed

· Self-initiated student

· Pursues individual interests

· Seeks direction

6. Power of Critical Thinking

· Self-criticism

· Skepticism

· Adept in analyzing strengths and weaknesses

7. Sensitivity/Intuitiveness

· High level of awareness

· Keenly observant

· Emotional depth

8. Potential for Creativity

· Inventiveness

· Liking for new ways of doing things

· Interest in brainstorming, freewheeling

9. Versatility/Virtuosity

· Diversity of interests and abilities

· Many hobbies

· Proficiency in art forms such as music and drawing

Characteristics of Gifted Children list from Raising Champions: A Parent’s Guide for Nurturing Their Gifted Children, by Dr. Michael Sayler as found on, Giftedness 101.

Picture: Betsy Weigle-Classroom Teacher Resources

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What Is the Olweus Bullying Prevention Program?

The Olweus Bullying Prevention Program (OBPP) is the most researched and best-known bullying prevention program available today. With over thirty-five years of research and successful implementation all over the world, OBPP is a wholeschool program that has been proven to prevent or reduce bullying throughout a school setting.

OBPP is used at the school, classroom, and individual levels and includes methods to reach out to parents and the community for involvement and support. School administrators, teachers, and other staff are primarily responsible for introducing and implementing the program. These efforts are designed to improve peer relations and make the school a safer and more positive place for students to learn and develop.

What Are the Goals of OBPP ?

The goals of the program are:

  • To reduce existing bullying problems among students
  • To prevent the development of new bullying problems
  • To achieve better peer relations at school

For Whom is OBPP Designed?

OBPP is designed for students in elementary, middle, junior high schools and high school. All students participate in most aspects of the program, while students identified as bullying others, or as targets of bullying, receive additional individualized interventions.

What Are the Components of the Program? OBPP is not a classroom curriculum. It is a whole-school, systems-change program at four different levels.

Below are the program components for each of these levels:

1. Schoolwide

  • Establish a Bullying Prevention Coordinating Committee.
  • Conduct committee and staff trainings.
  • Administer the Olweus Bullying Questioner school-wide.
  • Hold staff discussion group meetings.
  • Introduce the school rules against bullying.
  • Review and refine the school’s supervisory system.
  • Hold a school kick-off event to launch the program.
  • Involve parents.

2. In the Classroom

  • Post and enforce school-wide rules against bullying.
  • Hold regular class meetings.
  • Hold meetings with students’ parents.

3. For Individuals Who Bully or Who Are Bullied

  • Supervise students’ activities.
  • Ensure that all staff intervene on the spot when bullying occurs.
  • Hold meetings with students involved in bullying.
  • Hold meetings with parents of involved students.
  • Develop individual intervention plans for involved students.

4. In the Community

  • Involve community members on the Bullying Prevention Coordinating Committee.
  • Develop partnerships with community members to support your school’s program.
  • Help to spread anti-bullying messages and principles of best practice in the community.

What Are the Effects of the Olweus Bullying Prevention Program?

OBPP has been more thoroughly evaluated than any other bullying prevention/reduction program so far. Six large-scale evaluations, involving more than 40,000 students, have documented results such as the following:

  • Average reductions by 20 to 70 percent in student reports of being bullied and bullying others. Peer and teacher ratings of bullying problems have yielded roughly similar results.
  • Marked reductions in student reports of general antisocial behavior, such as vandalism, fighting, theft, and truancy.
  • Clear improvements in classroom social climate, as reflected in students’ reports of improved order and discipline, more positive social relationships, and more positive attitudes toward schoolwork and school.

For students in grades 4–7, most of the positive results can be seen after only eight months of intervention work, given reasonably good implementation of the program. For students in grades 8–10, it may take somewhat more time, maybe two years, to achieve equally good results.

This is Alice ISD's second year of successfully implementing the Olweus Bullying Prevention Program. Our school counselors are working diligently toward an Olweus trainer certification, and are currently provisional trainers.

This material has been taken by permission from Olweus, Dan, and Susan P. Limber. Olweus Bullying Prevention Program: Teacher Guide. Center City, MN: Hazelden Publishing, 2007. The names “Olweus” and “Olweus Bullying Prevention Program” are protected as trademarks, and may not be used in any way that involves self-promotion or the sale of products without the written permission of Hazelden as the publisher.

© 2007 Hazelden Foundation All rights reserved. Duplicating this material for personal or group use is permissible.

Michigan School Shows has granted permission of use of the anti-bullying clipart used above. Permission for short-run reproduction and use is granted only to schools, churches, and non-profit community organizations.

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AISD Students Implementing the Olweus Anti-Bullying Campaign!!

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Restructure of Bilingual Education Program

For the 2015-2016 school year, all students enrolled in bilingual education will be attending either Saenz Elementary or Noonan Elementary. In May, the Alice ISD school board approved this new restructuring plan. All students enrolled in bilingual education who attend schools (Hillcrest, Schallert, Noonan) north of Highway 44 will attend Noonan Elementary and all students enrolled in bilingual education who attend schools (Garcia, Salazar, Saenz) south of Highway 44 will attend Saenz Elementary.

The bilingual education program will afford great opportunities for students to not only acquire the English language, but to succeed academically. Students will be able to attend field trips to various locations such as museums and universities. A special field trip will also be planned for parents and students.

Each campus will host evening activities such as Literacy Night, STAAR night, Technology Night and various other activities to ensure that parents have the tools they need to assist their children. For any questions, contact Dr. Alma Garcia, Director of Special Programs.

Summer Science Workshop Opportunity - Grades K-4

This workshop will explore ways to improve overall science instruction and achievement in order to meet or exceed grade-level standards and ensure postsecondary readiness. Participants will engage in hands-on, student-centered lessons that are framed in the research-based 5E instructional model and provide connections to the science Texas Essential Knowledge and Skills (TEKS), College and Career Readiness Standards (CCRS), English Language Proficiency Standards (ELPS), and Response to Intervention (RtI). This 3 day training will provide 5E activities for each grade level (K-4) with a focus on Earth and Space, and Organisms and Environment TEKS.

Day 1:

· Vertical alignment of K-4 and its relevance through College and Career Readiness Standards

· RtI Tier 1 Instruction

· Earth and Space TEKS dealing with Slow Changes (there are lesson/activities for each of the 5Es for each grade level k-4)

· Supporting Student Success.

Day 2:

· K-3 Earth and Space Lessons (there are lesson/activities for each of the 5Es for each grade level k-3)

· Exploring ELPS and the Linguistic Instructional Alignment Guide (we will look at sample students some ELL or struggling learner with various issues that might impede learning if teacher is not making adjustments, and groups will be given a specific student from that subset and discuss what they can do to help the students successfully access the lessons we have been working on)

· Investigating Language Objectives.

Day 3:

· K-4 Organisms and Environments Lessons. (there are lesson/activities for each of the 5Es for each grade level k-4)

Participants will receive a 450+ page manual that contains the activities/lessons, the vertical alignment, with the TEKS, Content Objectives, Language Objectives, a Vocabulary Focus for each unit, English Language Proficiency Standards, and information on RtI.

Embedded throughout the manual and lessons are looks at vocabulary at each grade level where the vocabulary is introduced, usage of ELPS strategies, language objectives, and reading and writing activities.

Dates- August 4-6

Location- Early Scholars Academy- London ISD

Time- 9-4

If you are interested in attending please contact me.

Erika Vasquez

Director of Instructional Services-Science

Summer Reading

Summer is a time for rest and relaxation. It is also a time when teachers creative wheels start spinning as they plan for the next year. Below are a few books to consider for your summer reading list.

Alice I.S.D. Instructional Support Center

Departments and Contributors

Dr. Grace Everett - Superintendent of Schools

Curriculum and Instruction Department

Velma Soliz-Garcia, Assistant Superintendent (Curriculum & Instruction, Career and Technical Education, Technology, District Coordinator of School Improvement, and GearUp)

Marta Salazar - Director of Instructional Services (ELA, Dyslexia, Parent Involvement)

Elida De Leon - Director of Advanced Academics (GT/AP, Social Studies, Discipline Hearing Officer)

Anna Holmgreen - Director of Instructional Services (Math and Data Analysis)

Erika Vasquez - Director of Instructional Services (Science and RtI)

Dina Hinojosa - Texas Literacy Initiative - Literacy Shepherd

Technology Department

Velma Soliz-Garcia, Assistant Superintendent

Rachel Martin, Instructional Technology Coordinator

Special Education & 504 Department

Gracie Garcia, Director of Special Education & 504

Federal & Special Programs

Dr. Alma Garcia - Federal Grants, State Grants, Bilingual/ESL Programs, Migrant and Homeless Liaison

Career and Technical Education Department

Velma Soliz-Garcia, Assistant Superintendent (Curriculum & Instruction, Career and Technical Education, Technology, District Coordinator of School Improvement, and GearUp)

Mike Carper, Alice High School Assistant Principal & CTE Campus Administrator

Celina Garcia, Alice High School CTE Department Chair

Finance Department & Human Resources Department

Dr. Melonae Day, Assistant Superintendent Finance and HR

Student Nutritional Services

Krystle Flores, Director of Nutritional Services

Student Health Services

Lisa Lozano, District RN