Timely Information and Resources for Region 11 Schools

December 9, 2015

ESC Today is published twice a month on the first and third Wednesdays.

Due to the upcoming break for Christmas and New Year holidays, this is the only December issue. The regular schedule will resume with the January 6 edition.

We will be closed for the holidays December 21 through January 1. The ESC will reopen on January 4.
Great Things at ESC Region 11 DEC 2015

Grandview Elementary named Blue Ribbon School

Grandview Elementary School in Grandview ISD has been named a national Blue Ribbon School. The elementary school is one of only 25 schools in Texas, and the only Region 11 school, to be honored for 2015 with the prestigious designation. Grandview Elementary was recognized at a conference in Washington, D.C. Read more here.

NISD’s Matrice Raven named by TASSP as finalist for assistant principal of the year

Chisholm Trail Middle School (Northwest ISD) Assistant Principal Matrice Raven has been named one of three state finalists for Assistant Principal of the Year by the Texas Association of Secondary School Principals (TASSP). TASSP recognizes outstanding principals and assistant principals from the 20 regional education service centers each year.

Canvas Learning Management System (LMS) undergoes a facelift

Canvas has a new user interface that was implemented November 30. Coursework will remain the same but the dashboard and global navigation menu has changed. Canvas is the Learning Management System (LMS) that ESC Region 11 uses to provide online and blended learning opportunities, and it is provided to school districts that purchase the Instructional Services Contract.

An LMS is a web-based software application that delivers instruction in an online format. Students can work through content anywhere by simply logging on from a computer or mobile device. Instructors can administer, differentiate, and manage instructional content, assess and identify individual learning needs, track student progress, and report student growth.

Learn more about Canvas and how YOU can use it to deliver online instruction in your classroom.

Charter School Administrators, Staff

Please forward a copy of your charter's Performance Framework Report to Keela McGraw. Education service centers did not receive copies of these reports from TEA, and our charter staff uses this information for strategic planning purposes. We ensure that it remains confidential.

Charter Roundtable – The second charter roundtable will be at East Fort Worth Montessori on December 16, 9-11 a.m. The agenda includes T-TESS updates, Charter School Performance Framework discussion, accountability updates, networking, and highlighted programs from Chapel Hill Academy (Second Step) and East Fort Worth Montessori Academy (Dream Academy). Please register here.

Save the Date! – Regions 10 and 11 will host a Collaborative Charter School Symposium for North Texas Charter Schools. The cost of this event is $25 and will cover:

  • Innovative School Practices
  • Legal Information for Special and General Education Students

Register here.

Digital Learning - Join the Hour of Code Movement

Computers are everywhere, but fewer schools teach computer science than 10 years ago. The good news is that we’re working to change this.

If you've ever heard about the Hour of Code, you may know that it made history. More than 100 million students have tried an Hour of Code. With the Hour of Code, computer science has been on homepages of Google, MSN, Yahoo!, and Disney.

Over 100 partners joined together to support this movement. Last year every Apple Store in the world hosted an Hour of Code, and even President Obama wrote his first line of code as part of the campaign.

Click here to join the movement during Computer Science Education Week, December 7-13. Please contact Linda McDonald if our Digital Learning team can support this project for you in any way.

Distance Learning

Glen Rose High School health, science, and technology classes were transported to the operating room via an ESC Region 11 distance learning session on December 2. Facilitated by the RETN network at ESC Region 11, the connection was between the Museum of Science & Industry in Chicago and their partner hospital Advocate Christ Medical Center. Glen Rose students observed a mitral valve replacement from beginning to end while conversing with surgical team members. Read more about the students' experience and see some photos here.

Early Childhood Educators

Do you want to learn more about how the latest legislative changes will impact the Early Childhood Classroom? Please join us for the next Foundations Group: Early Childhood Leaders Advisory Meeting on December 16, 9 a.m.-Noon.

Register at no cost here.

ESC Region 11 Early Childhood website.

Instructional Leaders Meeting - Thursday, Dec. 10

Instructional leaders are invited to ESC Region 11 to hear Dr. Mark Shinn, Ph.D., a national consultant on implementation of multi-tiered services and support models (RtI). Following the keynote, breakout sessions will be available. The Les Evans Chapter of Texas ASCD and ESC Region 11 are hosting the meeting.

More information about the Instructional Leaders meetings here.

K-8 Grade Math Teachers, Instructional Leaders

With the change in the Math TEKS, the way we teach math also has changed. ESC Region 11 has created a blended course of learning, a combination of face-to-face and online learning through Canvas, to help you close the gap in your students' learning and testing. STAARting with the TEKS: Math Academies for the Digital Ages will provide you with a rigorous mathematics learning experience infused with a variety of technologies, problem-based activities, and assessments.

Download the flier for more information about this learning opportunity.

Math and Science Teachers, Administrators

Have you heard about the Texas Regional Collaborative for Math and Science? Applications are underway for the 2016-2017 grant opportunity. An informational meeting will be held on January 11, 9-11 a.m., ESC Region 11.

Administrators and teachers from districts, charters, and private schools are invited to this informational meeting, where project directors will outline requirements for grant participation. Focus areas are 4th through 8th grade Math (emphasis on 6th grade and middle school Earth Science).

Visit the website for registration information, or to learn about viewing the meeting remotely.

Safety Team, Teachers, Administrators, All School Staff

Cyber Aggression - A Form of Retaliation to Cyberbullying

Understanding cyberbullying can be a challenge, particularly with the wide number of definitions available. Cyber aggression is a unique type of cyberbullying that happens when an individual’s intentionally harmful behavior is directed toward an individual or group of individuals who find the behavior offensive and unwarranted.

Learn more on the Texas School Safety Center website.

Small School Districts - Opportunity for HVAC Funding

The State Energy Conservation Office has made funds available to help small public K-12 independent school districts replace dated and inefficient HVAC equipment. The amount allocated is $17.5 million with a maximum loan size per application of $500,000. The repayment term is eight years, and interest is 0.25%.

The application deadline for this program is January 15, 2016, 2 p.m., and a scoring system will be used to determine awards. Data and equipment information is required as part of the application process, and TASB Energy Services is working to help districts meet the deadline.

Contact Robb Sidebottom at / 214-636-8288.

More information on the loan program can be found on the SECO website.

Superintendents, Principals, Leadership, Human Resources

T-TESS and T-PESS statewide implementation training starts next week for ESC Region 11 districts. To review information on T-TESS (Texas Teacher Evaluation Support System), T-PESS (Texas Principal Evaluation Support System), and SLOs (Student Learning Objectives), please visit the new pages on the Leadership Development website.

We would also like to invite you to consider participating in the 2016-2017 SLO Refinement Year. For more information, please contact Laura Carson at (817) 740-7573.

Teachers with ELL Students in the Classroom

The most recent ESL Insights blog post by Angela Destro, ESL consultant for secondary schools, continues a series of brief entries inspired by Working with Second Language Learners: Answers to Teachers’ Top Ten Questions, (Stephen Cary, 2002).

The book is a relatively short, easy read, and it was the subtitle that drew the blog author’s attention. Do teachers really have a top 10 list of questions? The answer is yes! There are questions in the book that are answered here at the ESC every day. In this blog series, all 10 questions will be answered with information appropriate to the state of Texas requirements. The latest post answers question #3: How do I make my spoken language more understandable?

As you read the answer to each question, you will also find a link to more in-depth, ESC-provided training on the topic. Read more in the ESL Insights blog here.

SPOTLIGHT on the Website - Building Support Services

The Building Support Services website is in the spotlight in this edition of ESC TODAY.

This website includes information about the wide variety of meeting space available in our building to rent to outside groups. It also includes a contact page with photos of our invaluable Building Support Services staff, whom we consider our "unsung heroes!" For visual appeal, graphics are used in conjunction with the information. Check out this website here to learn more.

We will be scanning the ESC website for programs or services pages with extraordinary content, visual appeal, and ease of use for viewers. Selected Web pages will be spotlighted here.

If you find a a department or program page particularly helpful and user-friendly, please let us know so we can spotlight it. Email the Communications Department here.

Join Our Social Community

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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