The Voice of Kimball Nation

January 18 - 22, 2016

Executive Director's Message

I hope each of you enjoyed the Martin Luther King Holiday and found a way to “Keep the Dream Alive.” As we return this week your focus should be on implementing the strategies you and your teachers have developed in your ACP action steps.

We have a tremendous amount of work to continue with our students. In the next few weeks you and your teachers will be working extremely hard to make certain your students are ready at the Proficient and Advanced level of the STAAR test. Continue your focus on profiling and monitoring your students’ progress. Your leadership team must review this data frequently during your PLC meetings and focus your training on these areas.

I firmly believe that if we’re going to get this right and if we’re going to realize our students’ enormous potential that I see across the feeder pattern – our conversations must be about the decisions we have to make now, not about the ones made in our past. We have a distinct window of opportunity to make the instructional choices that will shape our work and students’ success for decades to come.

We have some of the brightest students of their generation at our schools. We can develop their skills and provide them with experiences that will shape their path in the world. Each of you have a faculty and staff absolutely determined to make an impact through their knowledge and their expertise. Thank you for all you do for our students.

Together, we are the Kimball Feeder Pattern and when we work as one with a sense of common urgency and shared vision – we are one of the most powerful forces for positive change and good work in this world.

Make it a GREAT week!

Dr. Cheryl Wright

Kimball Feeder Pattern Leverage Points

Creating An Emotionally Positive Workplace

"Most leaders focus on how employees think and behave – but feelings matter just as much,” say Sigal Barsade and Olivia O’Neill in this Harvard Business Review article. “[T]o get a comprehensive read on an organization’s emotional culture and deliberately manage it, you have to make sure that what is codified in mission statements and on corporate badges is also enacted in ‘micromoments’ of daily organizational life. These consist of small gestures rather than bold declarations of feeling.” Research on culture has shown that people “catch” feelings from others. To create a positive emotional culture, leaders need to be intentional about several things:

- Harness what people already feel – and build in gentle nudges during the workday for laughter, meditation, and kind comments about colleagues.

- Model the emotions you want to cultivate. Walking into a room smiling broadly spreads positive emotions to colleagues; frowning does the opposite. One resort company made joy and fun part of the annual performance evaluation. Among the criteria are “how well each employee integrates fun into the work environment, rating everyone on supportive behaviors such as being inclusive, welcoming, approachable, and positive.”

- Encourage people to fake it till they feel it. “If employees don’t experience the desired emotion at a particular moment,” say Barsade and O’Neill, “they can still help maintain their organization’s emotional culture. That’s because people express emotions both spontaneously and strategically at work. Social psychology research has long shown that individuals tend to conform to group norms of emotional expression, imitating others out of a desire to be liked and accepted.”

Of course the culture will be deeper and longer lasting if people genuinely believe in its values and assumptions.

“Manage Your Emotional Culture” by Sigal Barsade and Olivia O’Neill in Harvard Business Review, January-February 2016 (Vol. 94, #1-2, p. 68-73),

Keys to Effective Implementation of RTI

In this Education Week article, Amanda VanDerHeyden (Education Research & Consulting), Matthew Burns (University of Missouri), Rachel Brown (University of Southern Maine), Mark Shinn (National Louis University/Chicago), Stevan Kubic (National Center for Learning Disabilities), Kim Gibbons (University of Minnesota), George Batsche (University of South Florida), and David Tilly (Iowa Department of Education) say that starting in 2001, RTI spread among U.S. schools “like the latest diet fad.” Response to Intervention “is designed to remove the oh-so-human temptation to speculate and slowly mull over learning problems and instead spur teachers into action to improve learning, see if the actions worked, and make adjustments in a continuous loop. Guided by assessment data, children progress through a series of instructional tiers experiencing increasingly intensive instruction as needed.”

Sounds pretty straightforward. “However,” say the authors, “knowing what works and doing what works are two different endeavors. It is difficult for people to successfully follow diets, stick to budgets, and, yes, to implement RTI.” VanDerHeyden and her colleagues suggest four “implementation pearls” to avoid ineffective implementation of RTI:

With screening, less is more. Over-testing is a problem in many schools, say the authors, chewing up as much as 25 percent of instructional time and producing far more data than can be used. Teachers need to select the most accurate, strategic assessment tools and use every bit of the data they generate

Focus on Tier 1 instruction. “Every teacher should be supported to know exactly what students are expected to learn within their grade level, to map a calendar of instruction onto that timeline using resources beyond the textbook, and to assess student mastery of skills,” say VanDerHeyden et al. “When core instruction is strong, a majority of students perform in the ‘not-at-risk’ range on screening.” When a significant number of students (20 percent or more) don’t show mastery on an assessment, the best thing is for the teacher to rethink the segment and teach it again for the whole class. “Improvements to core instruction require serious teamwork, trust, and a paradigm shift in schools in which teachers may be accustomed to working in isolation,” say the authors.

Use interventions matched to students’ needs. “At the surface level,” say VanDerHeyden et al., “targeting reading fluency, comprehension, vocabulary, phonics, and phonemic awareness for the weakest students sounds great. But intervening without consideration for what a student specifically needs is like choosing an antibiotic without identifying the bacteria causing the infection.” Implementing a poorly chosen Tier 2 or 3 intervention for 20 weeks is not very strategic, yet that’s what many schools are doing.

Intervention intensity is not the same as “longer and louder.” The key is aligning effective interventions with what struggling students need and constantly fine-tuning with an eye to what’s bringing each student to proficiency.

“RTI Works (When It Is Implemented Correctly)” by Amanda VanDerHeyden, Matthew Burns, Rachel Brown, Mark Shinn, Stevan Kubic, Kim Gibbons, George Batsche, and David Tilly in Education Week, January 6, 2016 (Vol. 35, #15 p. 25),

January Principal's Monthly Map


  • Complete the extended observation for potential non-renewals

  • Plan summative conferences for non-renewals

  • Complete Distinguished Teacher reviews

  • Begin 2nd semester spot observations

  • Submit non-renewal documentation to HCM

  • Mid-year conferences with APs and teachers

Instructional Planning

  • Monitor CIP

  • Review/Appeal 16-17 projections (demographics)

  • Budget meeting preparation

  • Project staffing needs from course tallies

  • Choice sheets-completed & tallied

  • Draft master schedule

  • Senior transcript reviews

  • Finalize plans for spring professional development

  • Consideration for campus-based summer programs

  • Curricular Focus – Writing/Reading


  • ACP data review meetings with teachers (create interventions)

  • Monitor Reasoning Mind, ISIP, College Readiness, Achieve 3000

  • Review attendance data/Monitor attendance for credit plan

  • Review student discipline data

  • Grade failure reports, meetings, and intervention plans

  • Climate Survey

  • Magnet Applications due 1/31

PLC Topics

  • Classroom observations

  • Monthly update of CIC coaching and faculty training

  • Climate survey results meetings and conversations

  • TEI System and support for DTR Eligible Teachers in completing applications

  • ACP data

  • Feeder pattern trends

  • Spiraling low SEs

  • Action plans


Monday, January 18th

· Martin Luther King Holiday / Staff and Student Holiday

Tuesday, January 19th

· T. W. Browne – 8:00 -12:00

· Mid-Year Part 2 – Stemmons ES @ 1:00 -2:00

· Office Time

Wednesday, January 20th

· School Leadership Meeting - Haskell Bldg. @ 8:00 – 9:30

· Monthly District-wide Principal’s Meeting – Dallas County Schools Training Facility @ 1:00 – 5:00

Thursday, January 21st

· Mid-Year Part 2 – Hall ES @ 8:30 – 9:30

· Mid-Year Part 2 – Henderson ES @ 11:00 – 12:00

· Mid-Year Part 2 – Moreno ES @ 1:30 – 2:30

Friday, January 22nd

· School Leadership ED Meeting – Haskell Bldg. @ 8:00 – 10:15

· Leadership Team Meeting with Deputy Chief – Haskell Bldg. @ 10:30 – 11:30

· Office Time

· Meeting with Academic Facilitators – Haskell Bldg. 1:30 -3:30

January Principal's Meeting - New Location

The January Principal's Meeting will take place on Wednesday, January 20th at 1:00 p.m. It will be held at the Dallas County Schools – Texserve Technology Training Center located at 5151 Samuell Blvd. Dallas, Texas 75228. Please check your email for more information and attachments.

Condolences to the T. W. Browne Community - Too Young, Too Soon

It is with great sympathy we extend our condolences to the T.W. Browne Community. An eighth grade student at Browne MS was killed this weekend in a car accident that took the lives of three young girls.

On Sunday more than a hundred people gathered outside T.W. Browne Middle School and carried candles and said a prayer for the three young victims of the crash on President George Bush Turnpike.

Remember to keep the students, teachers, administrators and especially the families in your thoughts and prayers during this time.

Keep the Dream Alive

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Justin F. Kimball Feeder Pattern

Embrace Opportunities. . . Unlock Potential. . . Inspire Excellence! "KIMBALL NATION"