Timely Information and Resources for Region 11 Schools

September 28, 2016

ESC TODAY is published twice a month on the first and third Wednesdays throughout the school year.

Take a moment and watch the video below about the great things happening in Region 11 schools.

Great Things Sept 2016 17

Arlington Superintendent is Texas Superintendent of the Year

Dr. Marcelo Cavazos, Arlington ISD superintendent and nominee from Region 11, was named Texas Superintendent of the Year (SOTY) on September 23 at the TASA/TASB Convention in Houston. Sponsored by the Texas Association of School Boards (TASB), the SOTY program has recognized exemplary superintendents for excellence and achievement in educational leadership since 1984.

Read more about Dr. Cavazos on the AISD website.

Accountability Overview for Teachers

Come join us at ESC Region 11 on October 21 for a step-by-step walk through of the accountability system. During the workshop, we'll explore how assessments affect the overall state and federal accountability systems for schools and districts, and debate the question “performance or progress?".

Teachers will leave with a solid understanding of all four indices and ideas for how to use this information to plan for effective instruction, increase student progress and performance, and improve overall teacher quality.

Registration information is on the ESC Region 11 website.

Birdville ISD Hearing-Impaired Students Enjoy New Dance Class

"Inner Rhythms" is a new after-school dance program for deaf and hearing-impaired students of Birdville ISD, and the program has been popular with both students and their parents. Funded by a grant, the program is taught by Mindy Anstey and Megan Moffatt, teachers trained in deaf-education dance. Classes are being held at Porter Elementary in BISD for eight weeks.

Mary Sue Blackwell, supervisor of Birdville's deaf-education program, said that in addition to the physical activity it provides, the program has a number of other benefits.

"Students are learning vocabulary to go along with dance steps, working on auditory training, and then, as an added bonus, the parents are talking to each other outside while they're waiting for their kids," said Blackwell.

The photos below show the students and their instructors of the "Inner Rhythms" dance class at Birdville ISD.

Digital Learning - VoiceThread for Sharing

If you are looking for a better way to upload, share, and discuss documents, presentations, images, audio files, and videos, then VoiceThread may be for you. VoiceThread is available at no additional cost to districts/charters that have purchased the ESC Region 11 Educational Technology/Digital Learning contract.

Here's how your district/charter can get started using VoiceThread:

  1. If you are not familiar with Voicethread, watch a video for more information. Then consider browsing the VoiceThread library of examples and ideas.
  2. Designate a primary contact person and email Linda McDonald Walker,
  3. Linda will help you determine your preferred method of use (via Canvas, Google Apps, manual upload, etc.) and establish your private district Ed.VoiceThread domain.

Distance Learning - Teaching the Constitution: It’s the Law!

Constitution Day and Citizenship Day is observed each year on September 17 to commemorate the signing of the Constitution on September 17, 1787, and “recognize all who, by coming of age or by naturalization, have become citizens.”

In 2004, Congress passed Byrd's Law, named after the late West Virginia Senator Robert Byrd, designating September 17 as "Constitution Day and Citizenship Day." The law requires all educational institutions that receive Federal funds to hold a program about the U.S. Constitution for its students on or adjacent to September 17.

Thanks to Connect2Texas provider National Archives at Fort Worth, this important historical subject is available every year via distance learning. If you missed the live programs, a recording is available. Once you are registered, you will receive a link to access the recording and its accompanying activities and documents to make sure students have the best experience while learning about the Constitution.

We the People: A Constitution Day Program (grades 3-5)

The U.S. Constitution at Work (grades 5-6)

To learn more about Connect2Texas providers and their distance learning programs, go to

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Math Teachers, Math Coaches - Digital Math Academy

Join us for STAARting with the TEKS: Math for the Digital Age Academies as part of ESC Region 11’s Mathematics Initiative. Through problem-based activities and a blended learning environment, teachers will experience the rigor of the revised Math TEKS as well as the 21st-century skills students need. During two face-to-face sessions, participants will spotlight and deconstruct a Student Expectation, analyze potential learning gaps between grade levels, understand the learning progression of the spotlighted SE, and design tasks related to the spotlighted SE using two parallel technologies. This same process will be followed as participants complete two online modules through Canvas in between the two face-to-face sessions.

Download the flier

For more information, contact Alison Lentz, (817) 740-3636.

Teachers, Specialists, Administrators

New Cohort begins October 19 - REVISED DATES

Five-part educational series on the Syfr method

Teachers are seeking ways to collaborate with others and refine classroom practices so that more students are successful, fewer students need interventions, students can make connections, and creativity again finds a place in learning. Educators implementing the Syfr method have consistently seen up to an 80 percent improvement in classroom assessment scores.

To support educators in this challenge, Richard Erdmann and Christine Drew, authors of The Art of Learning, are beginning a cohort in September to study and apply research on the brain and learning. Educators are encouraged to participate as a team.

Download the flier for more information on this extended learning experience titled What Do We Do with a Brain that is Wired to Forget? and Answers to Four Other Big Questions about Learning.

Register today on the ESC 11 website.

TETPC: Purchase Online Digital Resources at the Best Prices

The Texas Educational Technology Purchasing Consortium (TETPC) is a non-membership "group" purchasing consortium created for statewide buying power for Texas schools.

Download the flier about TETPC.

Visit the TETPC website.

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Stay connected to ESC Region 11 through our Facebook, Twitter, and Pinterest accounts; blogs; and email contact lists/listservs. Join the ESC Region 11 pages, and/or find the specific group that meets your needs. Browse through the list and click on the one you are interested in joining.

Click on this QR code to go to our Facebook page, then "Like" our page.

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