Pinkston Feeder Pattern

Week At A Glance -February 8 , 2016

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.


In the News.....

Congratulations and Shout Outs:

  • Super proud of the Carver team and staff!!! Ya'll did an awesome job and I know how many barriers you had to maneuver to get everything "just right". Dr. Nelson had the audience saying Amen and uh uhmmmm. Excellent job! Carver students and community are fortunate to have such a caring and hard working team.
  • Great work Allen, Earhart, Lanier, Stevens Park, Martinez & DESA for getting your failure rates below threshold!

Feeder Pattern Meeting

Reminder date change due to mandatory multi year IR meeting at Region X on February 11th. Our February feeder Pattern meeting is scheduled Wednesday, February 10th from 2:00 5:00 at Gabe P. Allen. The agenda items are:

Core Belief Exercise - Ortiz

Calibration Video - Lear

Achieve 3000 (Bring your lap top. Let Eliza know if you don't remember your password, so she can get it for you prior to the meeting) - Dingman

Summer School Update - Rentz

Vertical Teaming - Lear/Simmons

Teaching Trust


Failure Rates

Please review Grades and determine the percentage of students failing in each teachers class. This week marks the 5th week of the six weeks, so please make sure your campus adheres to the grading policy. The goal for the next 6 weeks is to significantly reduce failures due to adults not adhering to the policy. I've emailed my plan for each school that exceeded the threshold to remind you of our agreements.

Future Principal Feeder Pattern Professional Development

Wanted to let you know I'm working on getting Tammy Heflebower to come back for our March and April meeting to focus on Level 2 - Quality of Instruction and Level 3 Guaranteed and Viable Curriculum. I'll keep you posted. We might also have an opportunity to work with Lisa Almieda (with Solution Tree) to strengthen our work PLC's. She is a great presenter and very engaging as well. We should have confirmation within the next week.

Secondary Master Scheduling

Our secondary principals are scheduled to meet February 26th from 3:00 - 5:00 at Haskell. Please bring your current master schedule, a master schedule presentation highlighting the slides in Feb 1st Google folder. This tool Kit can also be found on Curriculum Central. You will need to bring and email (I have Pinkston's) the number of students in each section listed directly on your master schedule. Please do your homework - meet with your stakeholders/planning prior to the meeting. This is a time to share your plans around next year's master schedule and make connections with vertical teams.

First Round STAAR Count Down

At this time, all writing teachers should expect students to write a composition each week to ensure they have plenty of practice to incorporate the components that lead to proficient and exemplary. Teachers should schedule a time to conference with students about their writing and provide authentic feedback. Several conferencing logs are included in this week's Google folder. There is also a data chart for graphing student progress on written compositions.

Student Profiles

Each school should be using a student profile system so that each teacher and administrator knows the students by name and by need. A student profile document is in this week's Google folder if you need a template. During my visits, I would like to see the data room and discuss how you are tracking individual student progress.

Imagine 2020

Nora Douglas, our internal evaluator, is scheduled to conduct demo coach focus group and a department chair focus group. All demo coaches (elementary) will meet at DeZavala, February 16th from 3:30 - 4:30 in the library. I've scheduled secondary schools at the time and date we discussed last week (February 10th - QMS - 8:30-9:30; DESA 11:25AM - 12:35PM & Pinkston 1:15 PM - 2:15PM). I've included the questions in this week's Google folder. Please meet with your demo coach and department chairs to inform them of the purpose for the meeting and review the questions. These discussions will help inform the impact this work has to the Imagine 2020 goals.

NNPS Trainings for I2020 Schools

The Office of Family & Community Engagement will host 3 sessions of NNPS Training for the I2020 Schools. They will contact you and your community liaisons directly to ask for help in identifying parents that can attend the session on 02/24 and the AM session on 02/25. Please mark your calendars as specified in the schedule in this week's Google folder. I need your help with sending the intended audience (staff) and parents to these trainings on February 24 and the morning of February 25. More information is forthcoming

Federal Report Cards

Schools must make the federal report card information readily accessible to the public, and parents must be notified of the availability of the federal report card information no later than Monday, March 7, 2016.

IR Data Powerpoint

In this week's Google folder, please find a comparison chart of all district IR schools. The charts show the gains and declines in the identified IR schools.

Multi-Year IR

On Monday, February 8, a notification on the district as well as each of the 24 schools websites will be posted identifying IR 2, 3, 4, and 5 campuses and asking for public input into the development of their Turnaround Plan. A hard copy of the form is in the Google folder for your use in case parents want to stop by the school and fill out one. Please have these forms available at your school and allow your PSP to collect and become the “keepers of the documented input.”

The attached form is also available by clicking the posting on the school website (the district will place the notification on each school’s website). Parents and community can also virtually submit their input. Chuck Chernofsky will receive this input and pass on to the principal. I know we will continue to work hard to both stay off and get off the IR list.

Tutoring Funds for ELLs

The Bilingual ESL Department would like to extend the opportunity for campuses within the Pinkston Feeder Pattern to apply for tutoring funding for ELLs. Their department is prepared to offer our campuses funding to create an ELL tutoring program that will accelerate and support English Language Learners. The funds are available to pay for bilingual or ESL certified teachers tutoring ELL students. The link below will direct you to the application: The deadline is February 8, 2016. If you have any questions, please feel free to contact Daniel Jaquez at (972) 925-8849.

Data Rooms

I'd like to see campus Data rooms during my next campus visit. Data Rooms should be current and interactive. How is student progress being monitored at the individual and aggregate level?

MLEP Training

The MLEP Department has offered our Feeder Pattern a unique opportunity for our New/Novice K-12 Bilingual/ESL Teachers. They will host a training for our feeder pattern on Thursday, February 11, 2016 from 2 p.m. - 5 p.m. at Quintanilla Middle School Library. Once our teachers attend this training, they will receive a materials valued at $1,000. My apologies for the quick turn around of this request. We needed to act while the iron was hot! We can serve up to 35 teachers from our feeder pattern.

Topic: Newcomers on the Block

Audience: K through 12 grade Bilingual and ESL teachers [Target: New or Novice]

Date: Thursday, February 11, 2016 from 2 p.m. - 5 p.m.

Location: QMS Library

Please complete the following google document by Monday, February 8, 2016

TOPIC: Newcomers on the Block: Step-by-Step with our Newcomer English Language Learners: In these sessions, teachers of newcomer English Language Learners (ELLs) to U.S. schools will gain valuable information and data about this unique population in Dallas ISD, identify how to utilize ELPS in conjunction with the TEKS, and practice specific hands-on sheltered strategies to implement in instruction.

WAIP Summary in the Google folder

Campus Visits - Focus - Writing, Data rooms & Student Profiles

Monday - Pinkston; Carver; DESA; ISN Meeting

Tuesday - Superintendent meeting; CF Carr; Earhart; Martinez

Wednesday - Lanier, Feeder Pattern Meeting - Gabe P. Allen

Thursday - Region X - Multiple IR Schools

Friday - School Leadership Meeting; Quintanilla; Carr



STAAR Resources:

Science - Inclusion in the Science Classroom presentation, agenda, and all handouts/resources we used during the session:

Reading/Writing -

CIC Training: Purposeful Questions to Support the TEKS

Expository Revisions Stations:

Math - Differentiating Instruction Professional Development from January 14, 2016. Together, we can ensure our at-risk students with special needs are excelling at the same rate as the other students.

CIC Differentitating Instruction for SPED

ELPS and ELL Program

Powerpoint and Guide on ELPS alignment - Posted in the WAG Feb 1st Google folder

Article of the Week - The Curse of Knowledge – A Failure of Empathy in the Classroom

In this Edutopia article, Christopher Reddy explores the “curse” of a teacher knowing content really well and forgetting how difficult it was to learn it in the first place. This creates an empathy gap with students who are having difficulty learning – the teacher can’t get into students’ state of mind, making it much more difficult to teach effectively. A teacher suffering from the curse of knowledge may assume that the lesson’s content is “easy, clear, and straightforward,” says Reddy. “We assume that connections are apparent and will be made effortlessly. Assumptions are the root cause of poor instruction. And acknowledgement is the first step to recovery.” Reddy suggests these steps to counteract the curse of knowledge:

Fill in background knowledge. It’s very difficult for students to understand new content without a foundation of facts and concepts, says Reddy: “Conceptual knowledge in the form of facts is the scaffolding for the synthesis of new ideas.” Teachers should not assume that students have all the prerequisite puzzle pieces to understand what’s being taught.

Tell stories. Vivid narratives are one of the most powerful ways for students to make a personal connection to curriculum content, says Reddy: “Everyone loves a great story because our ancestral past was full of them. Stories were the dominant medium to transmit information. They rely on our innate narcissistic self to be effective learning tools – we enjoy stories because we immediately inject ourselves into the story, considering our own actions and behavior when placed in the situation being described.”

Inject emotion. Psychologist Barbara Fredrickson has found that playing a short, humorous film clip or making a quick joke can change the emotional valence of a classroom, creating emotional links between teacher and students.

Use more than one learning modality. Students are attuned by a variety of learning styles and intelligences, and presenting visually, kinesthetically, orally, musically, etc. connects with more students.

Use analogies and examples. An effective analogy highlights a connection, and getting students to form connections is at the core of learning. Similarly, giving lots of examples helps students scan their knowledge inventory for possible connections.

Use novelty. “New challenges ignite the risk-reward dopamine system in our brains,” says Reddy. “Something that is novel is interesting, and something interesting is learned more easily because it is attended to.” Teachers should look for ways of presenting content with a different spin.

Have students retrieve what’s been learned. Effective teachers check for understanding at regular intervals, strategically spacing the mini-tests to maximize long-term retention and provide feedback to teacher and students on what’s being learned and what continues to be a struggle.

“The Teacher Curse No One Wants to Talk About” by Christopher Reddy in Edutopia, December 18, 2015,

Have an awesome learning week!

Calendar of Events

This week's events: *Just In Time Trainings* 2015-2016 CIC Trainings

Monday, February 8th

Tuesday, February 9th

Wednesday, February 10th

  • 3rd - 5th Literacy Cadre - 2 to 5 p.m. Focus will be TEXT DEPENDENT QUESTIONS

Thursday, February 11th

Friday, February 12th

Monday, February 15th

  • No School

Upcoming Events:

  • February 6th - February 12th - LPACs and Adm Training Sessions
  • February 15th - 19th - 1st Round STAAR MOCK Tests
  • Thursday, February 18th - Think Through Math Training for Math CICs [5th grade through Algebra] - 9 a.m. - 11 a.m. - Pinkston High School - Room 312
  • February 22nd - RLA Training - TIER 1 CICs - 8 a.m. - 4 p.m.

  • February 25th - Math Training - TIER 1 CICs
8 - 11:30 a.m. - ES Math and 12:30 - 4:00 p.m. - MS/HS Math
8 - 11:30 a.m. - MS/HS Science and 12:30 - 4:00 p.m. - ES Science