Tyrrell Titan Talk

Faculty & Staff Newsletter

Wrapping Up January!

Greetings! January has come and gone in a flash! We hope you all celebrated a New Year that is going to prove to be successful for the hardest working faculty and staff. We were excited to return and see many of you had worked hard over the holidays planning some of the strategies we all talked about in PLCs into your lessons.

I would like to once again welcome new and returning members to our team. Ms. Holtz who has joined our 4th grade team, Ms. Lamb who has joined our 3rd grade team and Mrs. Orta who has joined our 5th grade team. We are excited to have you all on board.

As January comes to an end, I would like to thank all of you for working out some of the kinks we had last six weeks on CBA's. It is Sunday and MOST of our tests have been scanned. If you still have some stragglers please get those taken care of as soon as possible.

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Christmas Program

Congratulations to Ms. Davis and Mr. Underhill on a job well done with their holiday performances. Much time and dedication go in to teaching our students the arts and you two are very much appreciated. The talent that our young students exhibited was extraordinary. We look forward to more in the near future!

Issac earns a special trip to Mrs. Gauthier's office and receives a very important message.

5 Highly Effective Teaching Practices

This was Edutopia's most read post of 2015. Great suggestions. Click the link above to read the article.

Say Goodbye to No Child Left Behind & Hello to Every Student Succeeds Act

Every Student Succeeds Act signed into law

The era of No Child Left Behind has ended. Thanks to all of you for the emails, tweets, and calls urging Congress to pass the Every Student Succeeds Act (ESSA). It passed the House last week and the Senate yesterday; today it was signed into law by President Obama.

"There is nothing more essential to living up to the ideals of this nation than making sure every child is able to achieve their God-given potential," the President said, thanking the people standing next to him on the stage. One of them was NEA President Lily Eskelsen García.

"We commend Congress for the bipartisan cooperation, leadership, and hard work to get the job done for students and educators," García said in a news release. "We thank President Obama for signing this important bill into law. Now our work begins in earnest as we shift our attention toward implementation."

The new law is "a victory for students and educators, because it recognizes that we don't have standardized students and it gives educators and parents a greater voice and more flexibility to prepare our children for a lifetime of success," TSTA President Noel Candelaria said in a statement issued yesterday.


  • It empowers educators to make instructional decisions.

  • It reduces the amount of standardized testing.

  • It gives students more time to learn and teachers more time to teach.

Article from TSTA newsletter

Governor Abbott Appoints Morath As Texas Education Commissioner

Governor Greg Abbott today appointed Mike Morath to be the Commissioner of the Texas Education Agency. He will oversee the Texas Education Agency (TEA) and the state’s 1,200 school districts and charter schools.

Morath has served on the Dallas Independent School District Board of Trustees since being elected to that position in 2011. Morath has been a change-agent at DISD who led reforms that helped propel Dallas public schools to achieve greater student and operational outcomes, including:

  • Helping guide DISD to a new teacher evaluation and compensation system, becoming the first major school system in Texas to pay teachers based on performance rather than seniority. Pay for top teachers was raised to $90,000 while total spending remained fixed.
  • Championing DISD’s public school choice initiative to transform underutilized and low performing schools into open enrollment schools with a specialized focus. Those schools have seen enrollment spikes from high parent demand and gains in student achievement.
  • Pushing reforms of the district’s early childhood program that have already generated a 13% gain in kindergarten readiness.
  • Improving career readiness by facilitating coordination between DISD and the Dallas Regional Chamber to massively expand the career and tech options in the district, resulting in a substantial spike in the number of industry certifications issued by DISD.
  • Helping DISD achieve two bond rating upgrades, a $250 million increase in fund balance, and major improvements in district auditing.

The results of these reforms have been substantial:

  • Graduation rates have increased from 75% for the class of 2010 to 87% for the class of 2014.
  • Proficiency on the National Assessment of Education Progress (NAEP) in 4th grade mathematics improved substantially from 2011 to 2015, even while average proficiency in the nation was flat.
  • Performance for African American and Hispanic students on Advanced Placement exams has jumped almost 50% from 2011 to 2014.
  • Student outcomes relative to poverty are as high as they have even been in Dallas according to the rankings of Education Resource Group, and TEA reported in the most recent school year that Dallas has the most high-performing and high-progress low-income schools in Texas. District student outcomes relative to poverty were ranked in the 35th percentile in 2010, but have jumped to the 81st percentile in 2015.
  • The General Operating Fund balance grew from $100 million in 2010 to $357 million in 2015 - the highest ever for DISD.

Morath is a product of Texas public schools and graduated from Garland High School. He taught computer science at his high school alma mater during a school year when the previous teacher unexpectedly resigned. He received a BBA, summa cum laude, from The George Washington University in 2½ years.

“The State of Texas is exceptional, and our education system must be too,” said Governor Abbott. “A proven education reformer, Mike Morath will not accept the status quo in our schools. He is committed to innovative solutions that will empower Texas principals, teachers, and students to strive for the highest in education excellence. Mike Morath has led climbs up Mount Rainier and climbed the 20,305 foot Island Peak near Mount Everest. Now he will help Texas education reach new heights.”

To read a statement by Morath click here.

Just for Fun: Strategies the Kids Can Relate To

Discipline & Safety Committees

With the new year comes new committees. Mrs. Gauthier has formed two new committees which will begin meeting and implementing new ideas and strategies in January.

The discipline committee will help to create and develop a bullying policy, discipline plan and promote Dr. Chamber's Principal/Student behavior contract. We will work together to positively create a climate that supports students, teachers, parents and the administrative team.

Discipline Committee Members:

Kindergarten: Turner

1st Grade: Vincent

2nd Grade/ELL: Zavala

3rd Grade: Murphy

4th Grade: Thompson/Colvin

5th Grade: Ziegler

Special Areas: Gibson

Special Education: Dardis

Safety Drills were conducted in the month of January including Shelter in Place and Inside Inturder Lockdown drills. An announced fire drill will be conducted in the future. Please start talking to your students about fire drills and your class rules and procedures for such an event.

The Counselor's Corner

Character Education

The character trait we focused on in January was Respect. You will receive Respect coins this week. Please submit the name of your recipient to Ms. Mays-Kimble by Thursday evening. Those that are turned in on time will be announced during the morning announcements on Friday. Send the students to Ms. Mays-Kimble's office (remember she is now located by the auditorium) during the Friday song to receive their certificate and prize.

Responding to Bullying

Ms. Mays-Kimble has been very pro-active in responding to and educating our parents and students about bullying. We have held a parent meeting with district social worker, Ms. Yowman, and we have had Spindletop Center come in and speak with our students on two different occasions. Additionally she has provided individual counseling sessions with some of our more aggressive cases. As most of you know we buckled down on some of our reported incidents before the holidays and have talked with and met with parents of those students.

As required by the state, Dr. Chambers and Mrs. Gauthier are working with district leaders to finalize a Tyrrell Bullying Protocol that all of us will follow and will include a bullying report form. We take this topic very serious and it is one of our priorties at this time. Please click on the link below to learn more about how to respond quickly to bullying when it occurs. You will also receive a colorful paper that describes bullying in your box this week. Please post in your classroom.


Important Dates

February 1st-

Faculty Meeting

Discipline Committee Meeting 7:45 (Library)

January 12th-

Morning Tutorials 7:45-8:20

After School Tutorials 3:30-4:00

January 13th-

Morning Tutorials 7:45-8:20

After School Tutorials 3:30-4:00

January 14th-

Morning Tutorials 7:45-8:20

After School Tutorials 3:30-4:00

January 15th-

Staff Development

PLC Reminders