ESC TODAY

Timely Information and Resources for Region 11 Schools

Sept. 30, 2015

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


Take a minute to watch this video about BrightBytes Clarity, a service included with the Administrative Services Contract.

Administrators - BrightBytes Clarity Fall Refresh due

BrightBytes Clarity is a product that is included with the Administrative Services Contract with ESC Region 11. Districts can now start scheduling their Fall Refresh (fall data collection) with BrightBytes Clarity. For more details, contact Dr. Chris Everett, director of Administrative Services, or Michele Moore, with BrightBytes.

Digital Learning - VoiceThread

VoiceThread is available to every district and charter school in ESC Region 11 through the Educational Technology Digital Learning Contract. VoiceThread can be a highly powerful tool to facilitate communication and collaboration at all instructional levels and across content areas. Click here for a great introduction to VoiceThread.


If your district is ready to get started with VoiceThread, please contact Linda McDonald for assistance.

Distance Learning - REATA Robots

Attending school isn't possible for some students because of injuries, extended illnesses, or physical challenges. WIth Region Eleven Assistive Technology Access, or REATA Robots, homebound students virtually attend classes, actively participate in lessons, and stay connected to their teachers and peers. This service helps students stay current on classwork, but it also provides social benefits that can improve student morale.


Find out more about REATA Robots, including how districts benefit from using it with homebound students.

K-8 Math Teachers, Instructional Leaders

With the recent 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 opportunities – to help you close the gap in your students' learning and testing. 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 here.

Science Teachers with Science Clubs...Want to Try a Virtual Science Club?

WANTED: Educators with science clubs to help test a virtual science club.

Connect2 Texas (RETN) and the Fort Worth Museum of Science and History want to help inspire a love of science in students throughout the Region. Through videoconferencing, you and your students will have the opportunity to participate in this virtual collaboration of students throughout Region 11. The focus will be on science topics that support the work you are doing in the classroom. Club meetings are set for every other week, with Tuesdays designated for grades 3-6, and Thursdays designated for grades 5-8. Although the program targets these grade levels, other grades are welcome to participate.


For complete information on the Virtual Science Club, please view the flier here.

Superintendents

As a result of your discussion at last month’s Superintendents’ Advisory Council meeting, ESC Region 11 is creating a video series showcasing some of the terrific things our districts are doing. This new video series is a great opportunity for our Region 11 districts to join together in an effort to spotlight exciting, positive stories going on right here in north Texas. For more details, or to find out how YOUR district can be featured in this series, please visit our website for the email sent out by Communications Coordinator Lori Burton.

SPOTLIGHT on the Website - Business Center

The Business Center website is in the spotlight as we continue this new feature of ESC TODAY. This website provides so much information for our districts and charters as well as forms and guidelines for our ESC Region 11 staff. Resources are grouped by viewer category and listed across the top of the page. Congratulations to Business Center Web editor Spencer Davis 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.

TEA News

House Bill 2610 (Required Instruction Time)
The 84th Legislature amended Texas Education Code, §25.081, by striking language requiring 180 days of instruction and replacing this language with a requirement that districts provide at least 75,600 minutes of instruction, including intermissions and recess. The bill also allows school districts to add minutes as necessary to compensate for minutes of instruction lost due to school closures caused by disaster, flood, extreme weather conditions, fuel curtailment, or another calamity.


For more information, check the House Bill 2610 Frequently Asked Questions from TEA's website.



Texas secures conditional ESEA waiver for 2015-2016

The U.S. Department of Education has approved the state’s request for renewal of flexibility from specific provisions of the Elementary and Secondary Education Act (ESEA), also known as the No Child Left Behind (NCLB) Act, through the end of the 2015-2016 school year.


However, federal officials also indicated that the state must meet specific conditions to continue ESEA flexibility beyond 2015-2016, placing Texas on "high-risk status." ESEA flexibility beyond this school year would be dependent on the state meeting specific conditions that would require statewide use of specific teacher and principal evaluation and support systems as well as utilizing them to inform personnel decisions at the local level.


Read more here.

We Back the Blue!

As an ongoing show of support for those who protect and serve our community, several ESC employees took cakes, cookies, and other goodies to the White Settlement Police Department. From our recent Back the Blue for Blue Jeans days, more than $550 was donated by our staff and given to the Wives Behind the Badge for use by the Police Officers Association. ‪#‎BacktheBlue

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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