In the Know

An Internal Newsletter from the SISD Communications Dept.

New Technology Generates Excitement in Classrooms

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New technology has entered Sherman ISD classrooms and our teachers have jumped right into incorporating it into instruction. With the addition of new teacher laptops and docking stations, a 75-inch interactive wall panel, and a wireless document camera inside most of the classrooms throughout the district, the excitement surrounding the addition of new technology has been electric and a great way to engage our students.

On the campus of Washington Elementary, students and staff are happy to utilize their new panels in the classroom. An excited kindergartener said, “Our panel is awesome! We get to write, draw, and learn with it!” A second-grader said, “I love being able to write and practice spelling words on the panel. We also got to practice circling short and long vowels in words.”

Teachers at Wakefield Elementary are using the panels to teach writing, reading, and math. All lessons have been conducted with the use of the panel and students have enjoyed the process.

"Seeing the students engaged and a part of the learning process is so powerful. Every student is captivated by the new resources, and the latest tools are enhancing the excellent teaching that is already happening throughout the district," Director Of Instructional Technology Dr. Mignon Plyer explained. "We are so excited to provide the opportunity for our teachers to dive deeper into the panel’s capabilities and leverage it for the student’s benefit."

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National Hispanic Heritage Month

Each year, National Hispanic Heritage Month is observed from September 15 to October 15, by celebrating the histories, cultures, and contributions of American citizens whose ancestors came from Spain, Mexico, the Caribbean, and Central and South America.

The celebration starts in the middle of the month, as opposed to the end, because the 15th marks the independence days of five Latin America countries: Costa Rica, El Salvador, Guatemala, Honduras, and Nicaragua. Mexico, Chile, and Belize follow shortly after, on the 16th, 18th and 21st.

Hispanic Heritage Month pays tribute to the generations of Hispanic Americans who have positively influenced and enriched our nation and society. As we celebrate this month, take some time to test your knowledge of famous Hispanic Americans, entertainers, and more. Feel free to share the quizzes with your classes and additional resources and links to celebrate and learn about Hispanic Heritage Month are listed below as well.

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Constitution Day Celebration

Constitution Day: September 17, 2018

On September 17, 1787, the Founding Fathers signed the most influential document in American history: the United States Constitution. This document established the framework of our government and the rights and freedoms that “We the People” enjoy today. On Tuesday, Sherman ISD recognized the day and educated our students in the process.
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Sory Elementary third-graders in Ms. Lindsey's class worked on creating their own preamble project in recognition of the day.
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Sherman High School students in Ms. Whitney Biagiotti's Government class participated in a Constitution Escape Room to celebrate Constitution Day!
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Perrin Learning Center history teacher, Teresa Dooley presented her classes with reminders of the wonders of our founding document. Students were then asked to write or draw something about the constitution for which they are thankful. “Freedom of speech” is what several students wrote. “One Nation Under God” and a drawing of the American flag were two other statements of appreciations given. Shown here are Perrin students writing the reasons they think the United States Constitution is so special.

SmalTalk with Smalskas

Assistant Superintendent of Student Engagement & Support, Dr. Tamy Smalskas would like to share helpful information on classroom procedures, management, discipline and student behavior. If you have any questions or helpful tips you may use inside of your classroom, please feel free to reach out and share with Dr. Smalskas at

Trauma-Informed Teaching

Can you believe we have been in school for an entire month? Things are rocking and rolling, students are coming, parents are sending them and we are working hard each and every day. Do we stop and think about what our students may experience each day? Some of you reading this may not realize that we have students who experience poverty, violence, hunger, abuse and an unstable world. We see them during the week, send them home each night and then the weekend only to discover that each Monday, you may have to ‘reset’ them.

I am so intrigued by the study of the brain and how one traumatic incident can impact a student’s ability to function, control or manage their emotions and behavior. According to the National Survey of Children’s Health, nearly half of the children in the United States, or almost 35 million kids have experienced at least one or more serious types of trauma during their childhood. We play such a critical role in treating these kids since they are in the classroom at least 7 hours a day.

Concordia University - Portland, put out a great blog on “Essential Trauma-Informed Teaching Strategies for Managing Stress in the Classroom”. There is a definition of what is trauma and what are some specific examples and how it impacts a child's learning. The article goes on to provide five specific strategies a teacher can use to help support their students. The first person who can email me these five strategies, with an explanation of how to implement in your day to day practice, I will bring you lunch of your choice.

This is so important to me and to our students in Sherman ISD! Enjoy your read!

Other great articles on this topic include:

Sherman Education Foundation Arts Fest Fun Run

The SEF Arts Fest Run is an excellent way to promote fitness and raise funds for SEF to provide to the Sherman ISD and we are excited about this year’s 14th anniversary of our event! Our annual Arts Fest Run will be held on Saturday, September 21, 2019 in conjunction with the Sherman Arts Fest.

Registration for the fun run is now open. Click here to register for the event today!

5K Cash Awards
1st Place Overall Male/Female – $100
1st Place Master (40+) Male/Female – $50
1st Place Grand (50+) Male/Female – $50
1st Place Senior (60+) Male/Female – $50

Top three finishers in each age group receive awardsWashington.

2019 Major Saver Campaign

Help support a Sherman ISD campus through the Sherman Education Foundation’s 2019 Major Saver Campaign. The Campaign will kick off Wednesday, September 25. Campaign collections will be September 30 - October 8, 2019. You may purchase a major saver card for only $15 and receive discounts and coupons from 21 area businesses.

Major Saver cards can be purchased via cash, check, or online at The online sale can be credited back to your chosen school and student. All cards purchased online will be mailed directly to the customer.

This year’s Sherman card includes many of our popular offers from returning businesses and also includes new offers from Schulman’s MBG, Texoma Delivery, Firehouse Subs, Elevate Nutrition and more! Once you’ve purchased your card, be sure to download the Major Saver app and register your card so that you can access thousands of Major Saver’s additional discounts and deals!

If you have any additional questions about the campaign, please call the Major Saver campaign manager, Mary Beth Phipps at 816.554.7999 or SEF Director Kathy Bickerstaff at 903-891-6431.

Certified Employees Certificate Updates

If you are a certified employee, you will receive emails from the HR department when your certificate is about to expire. These emails are generated automatically. Once you have updated your certification, please let the HR department know you have updated your certificate. You can call extension 2020 or email and the expiration date on your certificate will be updated in TEAMS. You will continue to receive emails about your certification until you notify HR of the update.

Retirement Information & Dates

Dates for Retirement: As you are aware, SISD pays you for a portion of unused local leave at retirement. This is in accordance to Board Policy DEC(Local) and we want to make sure you are all aware of the timelines set out in this policy. It is not our intent to encourage anyone to retire, we simply do not want any employee to miss out on this opportunity.

If a professional contracted employee intends to retire at the end of 2020, he or she must submit a letter of resignation to Human Resources no later than 4:00pm on the date listed below:

187 Day Contract Employee- Thursday, February 27, 2019
207 Day Contract Employee- Tuesday, March 3, 2019
226 Day Contract Employee- Thursday, March 26, 2019

If a non-contracted employee intends to retire and desires payment for local sick leave, then he or she must submit a letter of resignation to Human Resources no later than two weeks prior to the last day of employment. If a retiring SISD employee does not meet this requirement, he or she will not be paid for any local sick leave upon retirement as determined by SISD Board Policy. If you have any questions about this, please email Human Resources Executive Director Jill O'Neal.

Financial Literacy and Retirement Planning

Russ Ross Financial Literacy and Retirement Planning: In years past, Russ Ross Financial Services presented at every campus on the topic of financial literacy and retirement planning. This year, Russ Ross will not present at each campus. Instead, Russ Ross Financial Services will present at the Service Center in room A148. I encourage you to attend one of these meetings. Retirement planning, our TERRP program, and basic financial literacy will be discussed. If you are not currently participating in a 403(b) or 457 account, I highly encourage you to attend one of these meetings. Even if you are already contributing, you are invited to attend. The presentations will be held on the following dates listed below.

September 24, 2019, 4:00pm

  • Click HERE to register.

November 5, 2019, 4:00pm

  • Click HERE to register.


The safety and security of Sherman ISD students and staff are paramount, and the District fully understands that SISD staff are first on the scene in the event of an emergency intruder situation. As a result, the Board of Trustees established local policies CKC, DH, and GKA to facilitate the implementation of a School Guardian Program. This program permits selected and approved employees to receive the necessary training and carry a concealed firearm on Sherman ISD property. An application process is currently available for interested and eligible employees. If you would like to consider applying as a School Guardian, please contact Tyson Bennett, Assistant Superintendent for Finance and Operations, at or 903-891-6415.

Professional Development

Each school year staff members are required to complete a series of online compliance trainings. These trainings are located online through Region 10 ESC at the link below:

What does each staff member need to do?

1. Each individual will need to log into the Region 10 online learning site and complete the training by the specified due dates.

2. Provide a copy of the Region 10 Certificate of Completion to the campus administrator or designee for compliance documentation to be retained on campus for the current school year.

3. Staff Professional Development Portfolio: Upon completion of each module, staff should register in Eduphoria for each course and complete the Eduphoria survey.

Click here for the Region 10 required training portal.

Sherman Arts Fest 2019

On Saturday, September 21st, the City of Sherman is holding the 38th Annual Arts Fest *RAIN or SHINE* on the Municipal grounds (405 N. Rusk), Municipal Ballroom, and surrounding streets. The day begins with the Sherman Education Foundation's 5K and Fun Run.

The fun-filled day will have events for the whole family, starting with the Annual Teddy Bear Parade, led by Altrusa and two different stages featuring musical acts, and other live performances throughout the day. Bring the kiddos to enjoy a huge kids' alley, put on by Sherman Service League. There will be lots of food and beverage vendors, tons of arts, crafts, and marketplace vendors, a woodcarving exhibit, youth and adult art shows from the Sherman Art League, a chalk art exhibit, and even a petting zoo!

Here are links for more information on some of the events that take place within the Festival:

Link to Altrusa’s Teddy Bear Parade:

Link to Friends of the Sherman Public Library’s Book Sale:

Link to Sherman Parks & Recreation’s Youth Art Show Sign-Up:

Nominate a Teacher for Katy Country’s 2019-2020 Teacher of the Year Program!

Here’s all you need to do to nominate YOUR favorite teacher:

Fill out the official online nomination form at the link below. This form may be completed by administrators, other teachers, parents and students. The more information received about the nominee, the better opportunity the nominee has to be chosen as the Katy Country Teacher of the Month by our judges.

Winners will be chosen once per month, September 2019 through May 2020.

Each month, judges will choose the winning teacher among the nominees and that teacher will receive a plaque and a check for $750.

Each month’s winning teacher is invited to the Katy Country studios for an interview where they are presented their award.


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Upcoming District Events

Sept. 19-SHS Homecoming Revue at SHS Auditorium @7pm

Sept. 20-SHS Football vs Northwest @7:30pm

Sept. 20 District PTA Meeting @ 12pm
Sept. 21 SHS Cross Country @ Denison XC Invitational at Myers Park @8am

Sept. 21-Sherman Education Foundation Art Fest Run @8:00am

Sept. 23 SHS Golf at Lovejoy at Watters Creek Golf Club @ 8:30am

Sept. 24 SHS Tennis vs Lovejoy at Austin College @3:30pm

Sept. 25-October 8 - Major Saver Card Campaign at all Campuses

Sept. 26 Dillingham Open House 5th Grade 5:30-6:30, 6th grade 7pm-8pm

Sept. 27- Careers in Texas Industries Day

Sept. 27-SHS Football at Mckinney North @7:30pm

Sept. 27-SHS Volleyball vs Princeton @ 5:30pm