CIA Newsletter Medina Valley ISD

Curriculum. Instruction. Assessment - December 2018 Issue 5


The Curriculum, Instruction, and Assessment department (CIA) is dedicated to students, teachers, administrators, and the community to collectively impact student success.

Our goal is to provide guidance, instructional leadership, professional learning opportunities, coaching, and on-going support for teachers and administrators.

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This newsletter includes updates on big-picture items that we are working on, as well as small celebrations and accomplishments within departments and campuses. Student enrollment as of December 18 is 5,457.

One of the challenges we face as a rapidly growing district is standardizing our curriculum and implementing district-wide procedures for continued success. CIA is focused on providing support for teachers in pedagogy, instructional strategies, and curriculum.

We are also excited about our new teacher support system for 2018-2019. By partnering with ESC-20, we are able to offer various levels of support including campus-based mentorship, focused training, and opportunities for collaboration and fellowship.

The Grow Your Own initiative started by Dr. Rohrbach last school year was a great success, and we are happy to be expanding the leadership series in 2018-2019. Training topics include: growth mindset, building a positive culture, school finance, and collective efficacy.

Arcelia Leon, Executive Director of Curriculum, Instruction, and Assessment

Literacy PD with Alana Morris @ LaCoste ES

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Literacy teachers 3rd - 8th grade received job-embedded coaching from Alana Morris, last week. Dr. Morris is a diamond-level Abydos trainer, as well as a trainer for Gretchen Bernabei. Teachers and students worked together to analyze text from various cognitive entry points.


Mrs. Amy Millis is the District Coordinator for Literacy.

Philosophy: The Medina Valley Independent School District takes a constructivist approach to instruction. We believe in student engagement, learning through discovery, and elevating individual relevance by connecting to real-world content.

Mission Statement: The Medina Valley Independent School District will help students master the indispensable skills of responsible communication and critical thinking by providing authentic learning opportunities, rich content instruction in balanced literacy, and by leveraging the natural connection that exists between reading and writing.

7th Grade Highlights: In 2018-2019 MVISD reintegrated reading and writing courses for the 7th grade. At both Loma Alta MS and Medina Valley MS our teachers and students are enjoying a double-block of time to implement a true balanced literacy approach to grow their reading and writing skills. Teachers are utilizing best practice and collaborating to capitalize on this renewed instructional design.

K-8 NEW TEKS are coming! In the 2019-2020 school year teachers across the state will be implementing the new English Language Arts and Reading, and Spanish Language Arts and Reading standards. They are indicated with “Adopted 2017” in the title. With this implementation we will also be getting new instructional materials. Check out the lead4ward side-by-side resource available to learn about the new standards. The new 9th-12th grade standards and instructional materials will be implemented in the 2020-2021 school year.

Upcoming Conferences:

Champions of Literacy: Kelly Gallagher

February 28, 2019 at ESC Region 20

Cost $175 including a copy of his book In the Best Interest of Students

Register through Connect20

The Texas Council of Teachers of English Language Arts (TCTELA)

January 25-27, 2019. San Antonio, TX.


Ms. Christine Collins is the District Coordinator for Mathematics.

Mission: To provide quality lessons, resources, staff development, and support to students and teachers to help them achieve success.

Highlights: As we move into the 2018-2019 school year, the Medina Valley High School students are adjusting to the new order of mathematics classes.

The sequence changed from:

  • Algebra 1 - Geometry - Algebra 2


  • Algebra 1 - Algebra 2 - Geometry

The goal in doing this switch is to provide a more fluid transition between Algebra 1 and 2.

Calling all scientists!

The DoSeum is hosting their Inaugural Science Fair February 7 – 10, 2019. They are looking for the best and brightest young scientists in San Antonio from grades 1 – 6. For more information, click on the link.

Featured article: STEM Lessons

Stem lessons are the way of the future. Here are some tips and questions to ask yourself about your lesson and its effect.

Social Studies

Mrs. Amy Millis is the District Coordinator for Social Studies.

Mission Statement: Medina Valley ISD will foster a foundation of good, responsible citizenship by helping students master the knowledge and understanding of the rich and deep history of our global society including a study of geography, government, economics and culture.

DBQ Project Highlights: Over the summer some of our social studies teachers attended training with the DBQ Project through Region 20 Education Service Center. As a result, our secondary social studies students are honing their critical thinking, reading and writing skills by diving deep into a content specific question such as How did the Constitution guard against tyranny?

Social Studies TEKS Streamlining Update

At the November State Board of Education meeting final approval was given to the new streamlined social studies standards. The new TEKS are required to be implemented in grades 6th through high school beginning with the 2019-2020 school year, and in grades K-5 beginning with the 2020-2021 school year. The final standards will be posted on TEA soon. The draft versions can be accessed by scrolling to the bottom of this page.

Upcoming Conferences:

State Bar of Texas/Law-Related Education (LRE)

January 25-26, 2019. Austin, TX. Access the draft agenda here.

Featured Article: Do you utilize the vast resources available for educators through the National Archives? Check out this summary of how to use primary source documents with students.

Football, Cheerleaders, and Athletic Trainers Celebrating Literacy with Elementary Students

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Ms. Christine Collins is the District Coordinator for Science.

Upcoming Events:

District Professional Development Day on January 21, 2019: Hands- On Activities for Teaching Science K-5. Report to the High School Cafeteria at 8:00.

Training from ESC 20:

Struggling Learners in Secondary Science (Jan 23, 2019)

ESC-20 provides training and technical support related to inclusive services for students with disabilities to gain access to the general curriculum.

Steppin' Up to the 5th grade Science STAAR (Feb 26, 2019)

ESC-20 provides professional development and technical assistance to support educators with implementation of the Science TEKS.

Steppin' Up to the 8th grade Science STAAR (Feb 28, 2019)

ESC-20 provides professional development and technical assistance to support educators with implementation of the Science TEKS.

Featured Article: The Secret Life of Cloud Droplets

Bilingual/ English Language Acquisition

Mrs. Yvette Gonzales is the District Specialist for Bilingual & ELL.

Mission: To provide quality lessons, resources, staff development, and support to students and teachers to help them achieve success.

Vision: To honor our students’ linguistic and cultural backgrounds as strengths toward academic and social success.

Highlights: Medina Valley ISD was proud to send two students to the Close Up Academy in Austin on August 15 - 17, 2018. Sergio Emilio Leal Garcia, 8th grader at Loma Alta Middle School and Luvia Mejia Rodriguez, 8th grader at Medina Valley Middle School, brought the democratic process alive by participating in hands-on activities to examine the history and government of Texas.

Region 20 Course Offerings:

TELPAS Writing in the Social Studies Classroom? Yes!

(#51570) January 16, 2019

TELPAS Writing - Rating Not Grading

(#57041) January 23, 2019

Pathways to Greatness for EL Newcomers

(#51811) February 7, 2019

Featured Website: CommonLit - a free collection of reading passages in all literary and nonfiction genres for grades 3-12 (in English and Spanish). Text can be “leveled” for students to read independently.

Gifted & Talented Program

Mrs. Rebecca Melton and Mrs. Ellen Gay are the District GT Specialists.

Gifted and Talented Department Mission Statement:

The mission of Medina Valley ISD’s Gifted and Talented Program is to provide an innovative, challenging learning environment that offers students the opportunity to think critically and creatively about complex issues to make valuable contributions to society.

Elementary G/T Highlights:

We have been engaging students in projects and activities to improve their critical thinking, creativity, collaboration, and communication skills. Growth mindset activities are also being integrated and groups have been exploring technology with our new Ozobots, LEGO WeDo, and LEGO Mindstorms robots. This type of instruction improves student awareness and proficiency of technology skills.


  • Referral window Dec. 3 - Dec. 20

  • Testing window Jan. 8 - Jan. 31

  • Results will be sent home by Feb. 22

  • Pull-out services for identified students will begin Friday, March 1

1st - 5th grade G/T Identification

  • Referral window Jan. 8 - Jan. 31

  • Assessment window Feb. 4 - Feb. 28

  • Results will be sent home by March 29

  • Pull-out services for identified students will begin the following school year

For more information contact Ellen Gay at (Castroville & Potranco) or Rebecca Melton at (Luckey Ranch & LaCoste).

Featured Article: Mindset By Carol Dweck Mindset reveals how great parents, teachers, managers, and athletes can use this philosophy to foster outstanding accomplishments.

Special Programs

Mrs. Stefanie Keller-Perkins is the Director of Special Programs.

Mission: At Medina Valley, Special Programs expand the capacity of schools to respond to the educational needs of ALL students. The major purpose of the Department is to facilitate academic and social emotional learning of MVISD students by providing support and resources to our schools and families in order to create environmental conditions in our schools that are most conducive to the growth and learning of children with special needs.

Highlights: Ms. Aguilar, LaCoste ALE teacher does an awesome job of thinking of everything to adapt for her students' needs. Jessica Angeles, SLP-Assistant enjoys teaching her students about sequencing, following directions, and expressive language.

Save The Date: February 11, 2019 from 4:30 - 6:30 at Woolls Intermediate.

Hondo Resource Fair is coming up! This Resource Fair is geared towards all students with disabilities in the surrounding school districts. The Resource Fair last year had around 100 vendors to talk to, everything such as realtors with adapted homes/rentals, service dogs, and future planning information like area day centers and financial planning.

Helpful Link: Differentiation Daily is a blog by Paula Kluth, one of my very favorite presenters and educators! In Differentiation Daily, you will find a wealth (over 800!) of specific lessons and ways to add interest, relevance, fun, and novelty to classroom instruction in all different subject areas - including PE and Foreign Languages!

Featured Article: Prevention and Intervention of Writing Difficulties for Students with Learning Disabilities

LaCoste SLP Assistant, Jessica Angeles

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Federal Programs

Mr. Gabriel Cary is the Director of Federal Programs.

Mission: To provide supplemental funding and fiscal compliance guidance to all campuses and departments, specifically targeting those students who may be at risk of not achieving or dropping out of school. Our goal is to support students, parents, and educators so students are able to reach their goals.

Highlights: Parent & Family Engagement-- Potranco Elementary School hosted their “Fall In Love With Literacy Night” on November 14, 2018. The night was filled with fun and exciting reading activities. Teachers incorporated parent and family trainings with take away literacy and comprehension tips so families can work together to better help their children at home.

McKinney-Vento & Foster Care --In appreciation for their ongoing partnership, donations, and sponsorship, the Federal Programs Department held their annual “Thanks-for Giving” luncheon in early November, for several local community members and stakeholders.

Santa’s Rolling Reindeer, in coordination with MVISD Federal Programs, wrapped and distributed 900+ gifts to students within the district. Santa’s Rolling Reindeer, Inc. is a 501 (c) (3) non-profit organization established to bring joy and the magic of Christmas to those less fortunate.

Resource: 10 Tips for Enjoying the Holidays

Library and Media Services

Mrs. Jan Williams is the District Librarian for Secondary Education, and Mrs. Rebecca Whittington is the District Librarian for Elementary Education.

Mission: The Medina Valley school library is a learning environment that combines the school’s educational objectives and goals through an open, friendly organization that fosters a love of reading, lifelong learning and responsible users of information.

Highlights: In October, the Varsity Football, Cheerleaders, and Athletic Trainers spent the day with our elementary students. They had a wonderful time reading and discussing the importance of literacy!

The librarians were able to purchase 38 boxes of books from the Scholastic Warehouse Sale. The dollars were stretched with a buy one get one sale! Students love new books!

Featured Article: Never Too Old: Embracing Picture Books To Teach Older Students

Reading out loud to students of all ages is an important part of learning. While most see the benefit of reading to younger students there are many benefits to reading to older students as well.

Instructional Technology

Mr. Englehart is the Director of Instructional Technology

Mission: To provide a technology enriched environment for our learners and teachers.

Continue supporting the technology needs of the district and guide the district into the 21st century of education.

Highlights: We continue to deliver high quality technology support to the district.

1. Presented obsolescence cycle and long rang technology plan to the board of directors and both were approved

2. Polled all district staff for additional training requirements

3. Purchased two new computer labs for MVMS

Upcoming Events: District wide staff professional development day on January 21, 2019.

Technology will be facilitating multiple sessions: Skyward 101 for teachers and administrators, smart board basics, virtual and augmented reality, and new teacher tech 101.

Athletes Inspiring Young Readers

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Instructional Materials & Assessment

Mrs. Bridget Ayala is the District Coordinator for Testing and Instructional Material & Assessment.

Coordinating Instructional Materials includes managing online platforms, textbook orders, inventory, training, and design for processes & procedures.

Coordinating Assessments includes training, providing support, and overseeing security for all state assessments. The assessment department partners with Technology, Special Education, and Bilingual services to ensure accuracy. This year, Assessment will be partnering with TestHound to organize, manage, and track state testing.

Assessment: Students and Parents have access to their state testing records with performance details at Parents will need their child’s first name, Social Security Number, and birth date in order to access their child’s Unique Access Code, which will give access to the STAAR Report Card.

For a list of 2019 Spring Assessment dates click here.

The Medina Valley CIA team would like to invite you to our Community Preview of new instructional materials for our upcoming text book adoption (Proclamation 2019). The preview will take place at the Higher Learning Center on January 21, 2019 from 4:30 to 6:00 PM. You can find more information on Proclamation 2019 here - Flyer

Featured Article: Six Ways to Help Kids Tackle Test Anxiety by Katie Hurley, LCSW. Although we can not avoid tests, we can do more to help our scholars deal with test anxiety. Understanding test anxiety and how to approach this subject is a start to supporting our scholars.

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Meet the CIA Team!

Arcelia Leon: Executive Director of Curriculum, Instruction & Assessment

Gabriel Cary: Director of Federal Programs

Kenneth Englehart: Director of Instructional Technology

Stefanie Keller-Perkins: Director of Special Programs

Yvette Paredes-Gonzales: District Specialist for Bilingual & EL Programs

Christine Collins: Math & Science District Coordinator K-12

Amy Millis: Literacy & Social Studies District Coordinator K-12

Rebecca Melton: District GT Specialist

Ellen Gay: District GT Specialist

Jan Williams: Secondary District Librarian

Rebecca Whittington: Elementary District Librarian

Bridget Ayala: Coordinator of Instructional Materials & Assessment

Maria Guevara: Administrative Assistant