ASCD Express

February 2014

All Aboard

"Where there is a void, negativity will fill it. Communicate!"

Regardless of our situation, as leaders, we must consistently fill the void with positive communication.

Top 10 ways to ensure your best people will quit--

Successful Journeys

Aldo Prado of Pasadena HS has been selected to receive the 2014 Southwestern Region Excellence in Service Award for the Academic Assembly. This award recognizes an individual who demonstrates advocacy for universal access to high standards of learning. The nomination was reviewed and final awards decisions made by a select committee of current Regional Council members.

Mel Capelo of Williams is one of three members appointed by Gov. Rick Perry to serve on the School District Mentoring Program Advisory Committee for terms to expire at the pleasure of the governor. Pursuant to House Bill 2012 of the 83rd Regular Legislative Session, the committee will develop recommended guidelines that align teacher induction and mentoring activities with expectations for new teachers based on teaching practice standards.

Sam Rayburn photography and film students who participate in the ACE grant completed a short film for competition. They were given only two days to create the film and edit their program. They did an excellent job. If you have five minutes, please check out the video! The YouTube link is below the synopsis. (Synopsis written by Isaiah) Assigned Genre: Sci Fi / Assigned Prop: Fortune Cookie

The Year is 2064. The world is filled with toxic air which has made it impossible for humans live outside, so they think. The government uses the obsession of technology to control the human population. People now communicate only through the use of technology; there is no physical or direct contact.

Character "628" is found and taken to an underground society of rebels. "628" realizes that the rebels have created a technology that makes them immune to the toxic air, and the rebels want to put a stop to the stronghold of the government. "628" refuses at first but is then later convinced by a good friend, "907". He then agrees to join the revolution. Enjoy!

Upcoming Excursions

No upcoming district wide meetings – Have fun taking care of business on campus.

Use this time to provide critical feedback to teachers.

View the new walkthrough form in Eduphoria PDAS “2013-2014 Domain Focus Walkthrough” – easy to use for classroom observations or in response to teacher performance during team meetings.


Board Meeting

February 25, 2014

Instructional Leadership Depot


Instruction in a math classroom in Pasadena ISD-??? Heck no!

Thanks for providing support and ensuring that does not happen.


Skype with an author on World Read Aloud Day?

Continual reflection of what students are learning is essential for success.

Learning Log Examples

Go to Click on STAAR Resources. Scroll all the way down to the chart that mentions:

Released Tests---STAAR Snapshots---TEKS Snapshots—TEKS Scaffolding—Student Recording Sheets

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Organizational Leadership Link

Staffing/Forecast Forms

Thank you so much for the valuable input at the last Administrative Council meeting regarding the new Forecast/Staffing Form(s). We have revised the form to include all of the wonderful suggestions to make it clearer and user-friendly. At this point, we are working on gaining from our software systems the data to pre-populate your enrollment forecasts and take into consideration the transfers in and out of your campus. For High School, the final piece of the puzzle are the students going to CTHS. We will finish all the pre-population of the forms by next week and then send you the forms.

· Please know that you will have less work to do, as many of the cells, will be pre-populated and the spreadsheet will calculate your teacher needs automatically.

· Your main role will be to input your teachers per type and double check our pre-populated data.

· Elementary will also take into account your retainees and forecasted LEP exits.

Take a breathe and relax knowing we will continue to make this an easier form for you with as much data as possible pre-populated.

Staff Development Opportunity

Data with Donna--Who Spilled the Beans?

Using Mock STAAR results as a barometer/resource in regards to State Accountability. Join Donna for this hands-on purposeful, learn by doing, working with your Mock STAAR data opportunity. We will use our Mock STAAR results to give us snap shot of where we are and what to tweak and change before the real deal. A calendar request has been sent out to save the date--link coming soon.

College Readiness Institute

This four-day professional development offering for AP and Pre-AP teachers integrates AVID pedagogical methods with AP/Pre-AP course content. Key course topics will be explored and vertically aligned from the AP level through the 6th grade level using differentiated high-engagement strategies that focus on deep-learning strategies in critical thinking, writing, reading, collaboration and inquiry. Subject matter includes: life science, math, ELA and U.S. History.

Number of participants per middle school and high school campus: 5 pre-AP/AP Teachers from each AVID campus
Date: June 16-19, 2014, 8 a.m.-4 p.m.
Location: Rice University
Register Online

Commissioner Performance Domain Worksheet

Because we are such a data rich district, the Commissioner-Recommended Student Performance Domain Worksheet, will not have to be filled out--woohoo. Please continue to be prepared to discuss data in your annual evaluation with your ASCD.

Electronic Signature

Please remind your faculty and staff members to electronically sign all PDAS observations and walkthroughs. There is a report that can be run to indicate unsigned documents as well as calculate the number of observations and walkthroughs completed by each appraiser. If a document is not signed by both parties, then it will not show up in your overall appraisal and walkthrough report.

Tech Tips

Microsoft 365

The district will slowly transition to Microsoft 365. This is basically Microsoft Office in the "cloud". The program runs best with Office 2013. Steve Wentz and his team will provide information about the software update as well as training for a smooth transition.

Leach's Legal Counsel Corner

Representatives from outside agencies--CPS, Parole Officers, Police Investigators

Some questions have recently come up regarding how we are required to interact with different “non-parental” visitors to our campus. We are all aware that student information is confidential and it is our top priority to make sure it stays that way. However some visitors may have access to student information. Below is our advice on how to address these requests. This information can also be found in Board Policy GRA Local

When a representative of the Department of Family and Protective Services or another lawful authority desires to question or interview a student at school as part of a child abuse investigation, the principal shall cooperate fully with the official’s requests regarding the conditions of the interview or questioning.

When law enforcement officers or other lawful authorities desire to question or interview a student at school for any purpose other than a child abuse investigation, the following guidelines shall apply:

1. The principal shall verify and record the identity of the officer or other authority and request an explanation of the need to question or interview the student at school.

2. The principal ordinarily shall make reasonable efforts to notify the student’s parents or other person having lawful control of the student. If the interviewer raises what the principal considers to be a valid objection to the notification, parents shall not be notified.

3. The principal or a designee ordinarily shall be present during the questioning or interview. If the interviewer raises what the principal considers to be a valid objection to a third party’s presence, the interview shall be conducted without that person’s presence.

Before a student at school is arrested or taken into custody by a law enforcement officer or other legally authorized person, the principal shall verify the official’s identity. To the best of his or her ability, the principal shall verify the official’s authority to take custody of the student [see GRA] and then shall deliver over the student.

The principal shall immediately notify the Superintendent and ordinarily shall notify the parents or other person having lawful control of the student. If the officer or other authorized person raises what the principal considers to be a valid objection to notifying the parents at that time, the principal shall not notify the parents.

Keep in mind that different situations may present different sets of facts. When in doubt call your ASCD or my office for instructions.

End on a Positive

Lead with Your Strengths

Vince Lombardi once hosted a four day football clinic for coaches and devoted two full days to just one play, the Power Sweep. If you know football history Vince Lombardi and the Green Bay Packers won five league championships, including the first two Super Bowls because of that one play.

In a world that says you have to provide more choices, create more products, run hundreds of plays and be everything to everyone if you want to be successful, there is something very powerful about simplicity, clarity and leading with your strengths.

There are a million things you can choose to do each day. There are many of the latest and greatest fads that you can partake in. You possess many weaknesses that you can choose to focus on. But I want you to know that you and your team will be at your best when you develop and lead with your strengths.

Everyone including Green Bay's competition knew the Power Sweep was coming and yet they still couldn’t stop it. Coach Lombardi and his team developed a strength that became an unstoppable force of positive momentum and so will you when you identify, develop and lead with your strengths.

What are your strengths? What do you do best? What are your best selling products? Where can you be the strongest? What do you want to become known for?

Once you know the answers to these questions then you'll want to spend your time, energy, focus, practice and effort simplifying, mastering the fundamentals, developing your strengths and creating a culture of execution.

The more time you spend developing and leading with your strengths the more you will become known for them. The stronger your strengths become the greater impact you will have.

The world doesn't need another average business. The world doesn't need an average you. The world needs your BEST YOU. And when you lead with your strengths you can share YOUR BEST with the world.

Jon Gordon