Wildcat Weekly

May 9, 2016


The Teacher of the Year Banquet is this Thursday evening, and we will be celebrating our nominee once again, Bryan Yee! Also, if you didn't see it in Twitter, Bryan recently won the senior high Texas Instruments STEM award! He had about eight people come observe him teach. Evidently, they saw what a talent he is.

One of the best things about the TOY Banquet is seeing all the passion and talent in PISD. We are a part of a great community, made that way in large part by extraordinarily dedicated and talented teachers.

Thank you all!

Thank You!

With the exception of Charles Brockman's running the hurdles at the state this coming weekend, our athletics has come to an end.

Thank you to the coaches for the endless hours you put into your programs and athletes. Whether intended or not, you are the role models hundreds of our students follow and learn from about teamwork, grace under pressure, and persistence. From you, they learn how to fight the good fight. Thank you!

Grand Finales

We have a few concerts left, and these end-of-the-year performances are powerful. These programs also have changed lives and taught students many, many life skills. For many of our kids, when you ask them about their favorite memory from PSHS, they'll tell you about something they did through their performing arts group.

  • May 13-14 -- Percussion Spettacolo Performance
  • May 17 -- Spring Choir Concert
  • May 20 -- Pops by the Pond, orchestra final concert, 7:00 p.m.
  • May 23 -- Evolution, Electric Orchestra, final concert, 7:30 p.m.
  • May 25-26 -- Final Band Concert -- Prism concert

Test(s) of Strength

Once again our counselors have done a tremendous job of organizing and executing massive amounts of testing within a two-week period. They have listed, balanced, shifted, organized, monitored, prepped, and covered.

Huge thanks also go to the teachers who've prepped these students for their EOC and AP tests. You have put in hours of studying just to prepare yourselves. Then you sacrificed hours beyond the school day to informally and formally assess your students, give mock exams and provide review sessions. Nothing prepares students for college-level academic work like the AP experience!

High Importance

  • PLEASE make good use of every minute of class time between now and the end of school. Plan lessons fully to keep students engaged. We are ALL eager for summer, but free time just does not go well this time of year. (if ever)
  • Please keep students in class as much as possible. They should not be going to the Cat Corner. As you have read in several emails, in some cases, they are going to other classes.
  • They should only be on their phones for class work. Some have been stirring the pot via their social media.
  • Finally, please make every effort to be in the halls before and after school and between classes.

Staff Info

I. Phone Calls:

Now is the time to make phone calls to parents of any student who is in danger of failing for the semester. Start with the parents of seniors -- a live conversation. Then, send a quick email to the counselor that the call has been made.

II. PISD Policy Updates

The following revised local policies were adopted by our school trustees on April 5, 2016 and are now available online.

Note that these revised policies/regulation will go into effect for the 2016-17 school year.

EIA(LOCAL) Academic Achievement: Grading/Progress Reports to Parents


EIAA(LOCAL) Grading/Progress Reports to Parents: Examinations


EIB(LOCAL) Academic Achievement: Homework


EIC(LOCAL) Academic Achievement: Class Ranking


Additionally, the following regulation was reviewed by our school trustees and is now available online:

EIF(REGULATION) Academic Achievement: Graduation



See notes below on the fourth and final domain of the new teacher appraisal system.

IV. Books. Keep track of books. All books need covers. These were brand new issues this year, so take careful notes on the condition as they are turned in at year's end.

V. Important information about May 27:

May 27th Second Inclement Weather/Professional Development Day

May 27th is listed as a “Teacher Work Day/Professional Development Day.” Campuses will design professional development experiences for staff on this day and/or it can be a teacher work day. Teachers should be in attendance to work on this day; however, if a teacher requests an absence, the following guidelines will be used:

Board Policy DEC Local addresses this under “Schedule Limitations”

“Discretionary use of leave shall not be allowed on the first day of school, the day before a school holiday, the day after a school holiday, days scheduled for end-of-semester or end-of-year examinations, days scheduled for state-mandated assessments or other District-approved tests, or professional development days.

The principal may approve use of personal leave on these days after considering the effect of the employee’s absence on the educational program or District operations, as well as the availability of substitutes.”


VI. Important information about June 6, 2016:

Teacher Work Day

June 6, 2016 is listed as a Teacher Work Day. Teachers have three options for June 6, 2016:

  • · Teachers can work June 6, 2016.
  • · Teachers can document 7.5 hours in lieu of working on June 6. The 7.5 hours are time spent in campus professional learning that are outside of the typical campus work day. For this year only, teacher may use their designated activity (Homecoming, Prom, or Graduation) towards their 7.5 hours. These are hours that a teacher can document from August 2015, until the end of the year.
  • · Teacher could use a personal business day in lieu of working June 6, 2016.

Teachers document these hours and submit the documentation to Sallye McDowell.

VII. Below is a document put together by the district with FAQ's regarding next year's days of flexible professional development.


VIII. District Oath of Test Security and Confidentiality

A part of the process of preparing for final exams is reviewing security and confidentiality procedures.

Before signing the District Oath, go to http://inside.pisd/curriculum/assessment/SemesterExam.shtml

All teachers, paraprofessionals, substitutes and anyone giving exams or assisting with exams must read Actions for Department Heads/Teachers”. Once you have completed this, then you can go to this link and sign the District Oath of Test Security and Confidentiality.


The login to your Google account is the same as the login to their PISD account. If you have a gmail account and try to go into the above document using your Google-gmail login and password, it will not work. Close out of the gmail account and open the PISD Google account.

If all fails then staff can go back into http://inside.pisd/curriculum/assessment/SemesterExam.shtml and print the District Oath. Then sign it, scan it, and email the document to me at Sandra.youngblood@pisd.edu .

This must be completed before exam testing begins. The deadline for signing the oath is May 27, 2016.

Mark your calendars for the fall open house. See dates below.

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Domain IV completes the introduction to the new appraisal system.

Domain 1: Planning

Domain 2: Instruction

Domain 3: Learning Environment

Domain 4: Professional Practice and Responsibilities

Domains 2 and 3 are appraised through the observation process. Below you will also find a word bank with example qualifiers that help appraisers determine the degree to which the dimension within each domain is being accomplished.

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Spanish for Educators

We are having our Spanish for Educators summer mini-course again! (Please see attached flier) It is offered only for PISD staff.

A quick view about the levels offered this time:

The Beginners group will cover the basics of Spanish grammar, vocabulary, pronunciation, writing, reading, present indicative, cultural differences.

The Intermediate group pre-supposes the participant already went through basics (Spanish grammar, vocabulary, pronunciation, writing, reading, cultural differences) and want to go deeper (past indicative, command mode, conditionals, culture, etc). Conversation and reading are part of the program but not the center of it.

The Advanced group is for those who already went through intermediate level (past indicative, command mode, conditionals, etc) and want to complete the curriculum (perfect tenses, subjunctive, culture, etc). Conversation and critical reading are part of the program but not the center of it. Specific vocabulary and phraseology will be practice.

As previous years, you will get CU hours for it.

If interested, please contact Rina Nittolo, and register in the level you will attend by 6/5/2015.


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Upcoming Dates

May 12 -- Teacher of the Year Gala

May 13 -- Senior Lunch, Gym

May 13-14 -- Percussion Spettacolo Performance

May 16 -- Senior Awards Night

May 17 -- Spring Choir Concert

May 18 -- Final regular faculty meeting, both lunches, C111

May 19 -- Final regular leadership team meeting

May 20 -- Pops by the Pond, orchestra final concert, 7:00 p.m.

May 23 -- Evolution, Electric Orchestra, final concert, 7:30 p.m.

May 26 -- Final Pep Rally of the year, Changing of the Guard

May 25-26 -- Final Band Concert -- Prism concert

May 27 -- Professional Development/Work Day (Student Holiday)

May 30 -- Memorial Day Holiday

May 31 -- Graduation Practice in the gym, 1:15. Please attend if you are working graduation.

May 31 -- Retirement Celebration -- See below.

May 31-June 3 -- Final Exams

June 9 -- Graduation

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