Common Sense

Thomas Jefferson Feeder Pattern News - August 31, 2015

About the Title

Common Sense was a pamphlet authored by Thomas Paine in 1775-76. It was written to inspire American colonists to declare independence from British Rule at the beginning of The Revolution. This weekly, modern, online relative of that pamphlet documents the news, events, updates, and celebrations of the TJ Revolution - the educational sensation sweeping through northwest Dallas.

TJ Feeder Pattern News in Brief

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Executive Director's Message

It was a fantastic first week of school in the Thomas Jefferson Feeder Pattern! While the 2015-2016 school year is barely getting underway, it seemed as though school never even let out for the summer! Teachers and students were hard at work from Day One! If the first week is any indication, it is going to be a great year in the TJ Feeder!

As Week 2 begins, remain focused on instruction. A successful school represents a unique partnership between parents, teachers, and students. But make no mistake about it, the victory is in the classroom. An effective teacher makes the most difference in student academic performance - and in life opportunities for the kids we serve.

Have a great week with students!

Timothy J. Hise

Executive Director, Thomas Jefferson Feeder Pattern

One Principal's Unique Way of Wishing His Staff Good Luck on the First Day of School

cary 2015

Improving the Quality of Feedback after Classroom Visits

from Marshall Memo #600

“If we expect teachers to grow, we must pay more attention to the quality of support they receive,” says Miriam Greenberg (Harvard Center for Education Policy Research) in this article in Education Week. “[In] order for classroom observations to be meaningful to teachers, they must be accompanied by high-quality feedback.” The problem, says Greenberg, is that districts and states are pushing principals and other supervisors to score and evaluate teachers’ performance rather than giving specific, detailed, face-to-face feedback. “Identifying the difference between ‘proficient’ and ‘effective’ differentiation, for example, isn’t worth much if you can’t support a teacher in understanding how this plays out in the classroom and what would make a positive difference to his or her students,” she says. Here are Greenberg’s suggestions for improving the quality of feedback:

  • Listen in. Record some supervisor/teacher conversations with teachers’ permission (perhaps using a smartphone) and use them at administrator meetings for self-reflection, calibration, and professional development among supervisors.
  • Poll teachers. Anonymous questionnaires can provide candid feedback to administrators and perhaps identify those who are best at this art form so their techniques can be emulated by others.
  • Work with classroom videos. When a supervisor and teacher watch classroom footage together, the conversation is often less adversarial and more helpful than when supervisors rely on notes and memory.

“Listening In: Do We Need Quality Assurance for Teacher Feedback?” by Miriam Greenberg in Education Week, August 19, 2015 (Vol. 35, #1, p. 48),; Greenberg can be reached at

TJ Feeder Pattern Super Saturday - September 19

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Educational Leadership: Quotable Quotes About 'Questioning'

Leadership Quote of the Week

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Week At-a-Glance

Monday, August 31
  • Last Day to Enroll in Dallas ISD Benefits
  • Campus Visits (TJH)

Tuesday, September 1

  • Call-In Enrollment Count Due by 11am
  • Campus Visits (TJH)

Wednesday, September 2

  • TJ Feeder Meeting @ Cigarroa ES (8am-12pm)
  • Principal Focus Group @ Haskell (4-6pm)

Thursday, September 3

  • Call-In Enrollment Count Due by 11am
  • SchoolNet Training for Principals Option 1 @ Haskell (7am, 10am, 4pm)
  • Campus Visits (TJH)

Friday, September 4

  • Campus Visits (TJH)

On The Horizon

Aug 31 - Sept 3 - Mandatory LPAC BOY Training @ Buckner (see memo linked below)

Sept 2 - TJ Feeder Pattern Meeting (8am-12pm @ Cigarroa ES)

Sept 2 - Principals' Focus Group Meeting (4-6pm @ Haskell)

Sept 3 - Principals' SchoolNet Training Option #1 (7am, 10am, 4pm @ Haskell)

Sept 7 - Labor Day Student/Staff Holiday

Sept 8 - Science Fair Coordinators' Meeting @ Buckner

Sept 9 - Principals' SchoolNet Training Option #2 (7am, 10am, 4pm @ Haskell)

Sept 11 - Principals' SchoolNet Training Option #3 (7am, 10am, 4pm @ Webinar)

Sept 14 - Assistant Principals' Focus Group (4-6pm @ Haskell)

Sept 16 - Districtwide Principals' Meeting (1-5pm @ Hulcy)

Sept 19 - TJ Feeder Pattern Super Saturday (9am-12pm @ TJHS)

Sept 20 - Ms. Hernandez's Birthday

Sept 23 - New Safety Coordinator Training (8am @ Maria Luna)

Sept 24 - Existing Safety Coordinator Training (8am @ Maria Luna)

Action Items