Timely Information and Resources for Region 11 Schools

November 11, 2015

ESC Today is published twice a month on the first and third Wednesdays. Due to the Thanksgiving holiday week, the next issue will be published on December 9, instead of November 25.

Teachers Learning at Amon Carter Museum of American Art

Click on the photos for a description.

Amon Carter Museum of American Art

ESC social studies consultant receives distinguished service award from state organization

Kathy Uhlich, ESC Region 11's secondary social studies consultant, received the 2015 Billy Sills Distinguished Service Award from the Texas Council for the Social Studies (TCSS) at the organization's fall conference. The award is given to the TCSS member who has demonstrated a high level of service to the organization and exemplifies the professional social studies educator.

"Kathy is a tireless advocate for the importance of social studies in schools and the impact it has both locally and globally," said Laura Carson, coordinator of Teaching and Learning at ESC Region 11. "She is very deserving of this award for her extraordinary efforts in social studies education."

Read more here.

Participant of Region 11 Teacher Prepartion Program named TACA Intern of the Year

Kimberlea Bass, art teacher at Southwest Christian School in Fort Worth, was named Intern of the Year by the Texas Alternative Certification Association (TACA).

Bass, who completed her alternative certification though the Teacher Preparation Program at ESC Region 11, is one of only three teachers throughout the state to receive the award.

On October 30, Bass, center, was recognized by Andrea Chapman, ESC Region 11's Certification coordinator, and Kayce Hale, certification consultant, who made the announcement to Southwest Christian School students, and presented Bass with flowers.

Read more here.


Workshop Explaining Chapter 37 Updates

As required by House Bill 1952, administrators must complete professional development at least every three years in the area of discipline related to Chapter 37 of the Texas Education Code.

Chapter 37 Update workshops will be offered at ESC Region 11 on December 2, 2015, and January 12, 2016 8:30 a.m.-Noon. Participants will learn about statutory changes in Chapter 37, and also brainstorm strategies with colleagues to reduce the number of discretionary placements on their campus.

Download the flier to read more, or register here.

Administrators, Teachers, Human Resources, Supervisors, Office Staff

Drug Impairment Training for Educational Professionals - Dec. 7, 9 a.m.-4 p.m.

In this workshop facilitated by a Dallas police officer, participants will learn to recognize the signs and symptoms of drug and/or alcohol impairment in students and staff. The information provided will help attendees assess and document drug and/or alcohol impairement.

Download the flier.

Register here.

Charter School Personnel

The next Charter School Roundtable is December 16, 10 a.m.-Noon at East Fort Worth Montessori. Get more information or register.

Would you like us to host a job fair?

Please take a minute to answer this two-question survey to help us determine interest in hosting a Charter School Job Fair in the spring. Take the survey here.

Digital Learning

Robotics Contest in January

Interested in getting your students involved in a robotics contest? The Texas Computer Educators Association (TCEA) is hosting a Robotics Contest at Alvarado ISD on January 16. Registration is $50 per team and is open through November 23. Find out more information here.

Get Your Turkeys Talking

Learning and fun do not have to be opposites. As we approach the holiday season have your students explain what they know through the voice of a turkey (or historical figure, book character, or any other object). Check out these apps and websites for creating talking pictures:

Watch this turkey video.

Distance Learning

The Texas Distance Learning Association (TDLA) invites you to join a group of educators and vendors interested in distance learning. Membership is free and provides an opportunity for professionals to share information, activities, and ideas. Meetings are hosted by a member or TxDLA partner.

Add your name to the contacts to receive information about upcoming meetings.

Check out the website for meeting dates and agenda.

Human Resources Staff - Fingerprinting Certification

Annual Fingerprinting Certification and Statement of Compliance

It’s time once again for your district/charter to complete the Annual Fingerprinting Certification and Statement of Compliance. A notice from TEA is on the TEA website and requires action by your superintendent.

The deadline for submission of this form to TEA is November 20, 2015.

School Safety Teams, Law Enforcement, Support Personnel, Emergency Management Teams

School Safety Summit - Cultivating a Positive Climate and Culture

The School Safety Summit sponsored by ESC Region 11 and the Texas School Safety Center will be held on November 17-18. Registration is free, and campus and district safety teams as well as local law enforcement personnel will benefit from the workshop.

Download a flier about the workshop.

Register now and bring a campus/district/charter safety team. Seats are filling up fast!

Teachers, Counselors, Classroom Assistants, Childcare Providers

Child Abuse and Neglect has been cited by the Center for Disease Control as a priority health problem.

Professionals who work with children are required by law to report suspected neglect and abuse. Knowing when and how to report suspected child abuse is the first step in making a difference in the lives of children.

Prevent Child Abuse Texas will provide training on recognizing, reporting, and preventing child abuse on Jan. 23, 2016, at the Westin Park Central Hotel, 12720 Merit Drive, Dallas. Designed for teachers and childcare professionals, the topics include recognizing types of abuse, characteristics of victims and perpetrators, how to document, protecting yourself against false accusations, and community resources.

Registration is $30, and seating is limited. A certificate of attendance will be provided for six hours of credit to each participant. More information/online registration is available at

Early Childhood Staff, Teachers and Directors

Feedback requested on the draft recommendations for Prekindergarten Guidelines

With a renewed emphasis on quality Prekindergarten education in Texas following the implementation of House Bill 4, TEA has opened a short window in which to collect feedback on the new standards.

The Prekindergarten Guidelines review committee was identified by the TEA and began work in October to ensure quality, clarity, specificity, and alignment with the current kindergarten Texas Essential Knowledge and Skills (TEKS). Each of the documents reflects the review committee's draft recommendations for revisions to the Prekindergarten Guidelines.

Please provide comments by November 25, 2015, on the TEA website,

House Bill 4 High-Quality Prekindergarten Grant Program page, in the Prekindergarten Guidelines section.

SPOTLIGHT on the Website - Dyslexia

The Dyslexia website is in the spotlight in this edition of ESC TODAY.

One of the things that makes this site unique are blue heading boxes that divide content and provide a consistent look. An important resource for educators is online video training on The Dyslexia Handbook, which teachers may watch for credit or without registering or receiving credit. A blog rounds out the variety of information provided on this website and provides a spot for current dyslexia news. Visitors may subscribe to the blog by RSS feed. Congratulations to Web editor Maria Embrey for a job well done! Check it out here.

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.

Teacher Leaders, Instructional Coaches

Advanced Instructional Coaches Academy

This four-day coaching academy has been designed to enhance and build upon the skills developed in ESC Region 11's Instructional Coaches and Teacher Leader academies. Participants will learn how to use intentional language to lead positive change and professional learning. The academy will go in-depth with coaching tools, skills, and language. Academy members will have opportunities to practice new learning with peers. Each participant will receive one complimentary coaching session with an experienced coach. Extended learning includes book study and digital resources. Come join us as we explore and practice the research behind effective instructional coaching. Register here.

TEA News - Final Accountability Ratings

The Texas Education Agency (TEA) today released the final 2015 state academic accountability ratings for more than 1,200 school districts and charters and more than 8,500 campuses.

Under the final 2015 ratings, more than 90 percent of school districts and charters across Texas achieved the rating of Met Standard. Districts, campuses, and charters receive one of three ratings under the state’s accountability system: Met Standard, Met Alternative Standard, or Improvement Required.

Read more on the TEA website.

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