Curriculum Courier

The week of September 12, 2014


“If you learn from defeat, you haven’t really lost.”

– Zig Ziglar

Language and Literacy: Penny Tramel

STAAR Testing Updates for Language and Literacy

Updates were released in regards to STAAR testing for the 2014-2015 school year from TEA on August 29. TEA will still maintain the initial performance objectives this year and will be adjusting Phase 2 and Phase 3 increments to allow for smaller incremental steps toward the final performance standards. This is to give districts more time to adjust instruction. If you would like to read about the new performance standards for Phase 2 and 3, go to

Field testing will be removed from the operational grade 7, English I and II tests this year; and will be administered every three years in a separate prompt study beginning in 2017. The prompt study in 2017 will also include fourth grade. These prompt studies will benefit students by having them write two, rather than three compositions during the two-day assessment at grade 7. Benefits of the prompt studies for students taking English I and II is that it will make the test more manageable for students, since writing two essays in the five-hour time frame of the tests proved challenging for some students across the state.

Oral administration for grades 4, 6, and 7 reading will be available. More information, as well as, student tutorials is available at

In the "What's New in Assessment" section of the student assessment link, you will find the revised writing schematics for 7th grade writing, and English I and II. Other testing information includes, a STAAR progress measure will be reported for the first time this year in grade 7 writing.

Science: Linda Cook

You may now find the following science curriculum documents within Forethought in Eduphoria:

  • For grades K-4
    • SBRC Rubrics
    • Unit Splash Screens with TEKS aligned to Discovery Education and FOSS
    • (Grades 3-4) Pre-Assessments and Post-Assessments for Each Unit
  • For grade 5
    • Unit Splash Screens with TEKS aligned to Discovery Education and FOSS
    • Pre-Assessments and Post-Assessments for Each Unit
  • For grades 6-8
    • Unit Splash Screens with TEKS aligned to Discovery Education
    • Pre-Assessments and Post-Assessments for Each Unit
  • For grades 9-12
    • Unit Splash Screens

Please share the link to the K-12 Science Google Site. This contains lots of information and resources.

Behavior Services: Jeff Minn

Just a quick reminder that CPI training dates are coming up… Be sure to get your campus CPI team scheduled for either a refresher or initial training. Here are the training dates:

Wednesday, Sept. 17

  • CPI Refresher 8:00 –11:00
  • CPI Refresher 1:00-4:00

Location: Brock

Friday, Sept. 19

  • CPI Refresher 8:00-11:00
  • CPI Refresher 1:00-4:00

Location: Brock

Tuesday, Sept. 23

  • CPI Initial 8:00-4:00

Location: Brock

Friday, Sept.26

  • CPI Initial 8:00-4:00

Location: Brock

Monday, Sept. 29

  • CPI Refresher 1:00-4:00

Location: Brock

Registration is open on Eduphoria

Mathematics: Mary Kemper


Registration is now open in Eduphoria for the first session of Stop, Collaborate and Listen! - after school professional learning for K-5 elementary math educators. The session will include an analysis of the Revised (2012) TEKS included in the upcoming 9 weeks and an opportunity to take with them resources to implement in their classrooms.

Location: Cottonwood Creek Elementary

Sign up:

Open to all interested educators!

Registration is now open in Eduphoria for the first Elementary Math Educator Academy of the year. The topic for this first Academy is Fluency: Accuracy, Efficiency, Flexibility. Educators will have an opportunity to learn about Number Talks as well.

Location: Brock

Sign up (K-2):

Sign up (3-5):

Substitutes for one lower (K-2) and one upper (3-5) elementary math educator per campus will be provided. Additional educators are welcome to attend, but substitutes for these will need to be provided by the campuses.

Middle School

Math 180 training for middle school math educators implementing the resource was September 3 & 10. The professional learning outcomes for the training included:

  • Consider how MATH 180 prepares learners to meet rigorous College- and Career-Readiness Standards
  • Understand the MATH 180 Instructional Model from the educator's and learner's perspectives
  • Explain and use the role of classroom discourse to support learning of mathematics
  • Use Scholastic Central to support teaching, planning, and progress monitoring
  • Interpret MATH 180 progress, performance, and assessment data to inform instruction
  • Prepare for your first six weeks with MATH 180

High School

Revised (2012) Math TEKS curriculum resources (including MegaSpores) were edited and updated at Back to School by PLC teams. Those documents will be uploaded to Eduphoria/Forethought this week and educators will be encouraged to access these and provide feedback.

Intervention Services: Rhonda Carr

Reminder to all new campus administrators of REQUIRED training with the Department of Intervention Services

Sept. 11 from 1:00-3:00 pm @ Brock TR 2

Advanced Academics: Deana Harrell


All Administrators - FYI

The fall GT nomination window has closed. Assessment is this Saturday, September 13th. Parents will be notified by email this week by the Department of Assessment as to the location and times for the assessment. As always, educators who would like to nominate a learner for assessment can do so at any time. Nomination forms are available from the campus counselor(s) or Deana Harrell.

CGA Memberships and Scholarships

Once again this year, the Coppell Gifted Association is offering free membership to CISD educators and administrators. Benefits of membership include free admission to CGA speaker series and events, access to CGA resources and eligibility for CGA scholarships to professional learning conferences and even tuition for advanced degrees in gifted education. Please send the link below to your staff members.

The CGA Fall Scholarship Application is now available on the CGA website. Last year the CGA funded over $12,000 in educator/administrator scholarships to professional learning opportunities addressing the unique needs of gifted learners. This year TAGT is in Ft Worth and travel expenses will not be a factor. Please forward the link below to your staff to make them aware of the funds available for this (and other) professional learning experience. The deadline for submitting the scholarship application is October 1st.

Elementary Administrators

If you have cluster teachers who have not completed the 30 hour GT training, they need to sign up for the GT training and complete it by the end of the 1st semester. Please see the attached link for sign-up. Enrollment closes on Friday, September 12th at 5:00 pm.

Please make sure your campus GT Specialist knows who the Cluster Educators are.

Elementary GTi Meetings are scheduled for the following dates/locations:

September 18th – 8:30-3:30 at Cottonwood Creek Elementary

October 16th – 8:30-3:30 at Valley Ranch Elementary

November 13th – 8:30-3:30 at Lee Elementary

December 11th – 8:30-3:30 at Wilson Elementary

January 22nd – 8:30-3:30 at Denton Creek Elementary

February 12th – 8:30-3:30 at Mockingbird Elementary

March 19th – 8:30-3:30 at Lakeside Elementary

April 9th – 8:30-3:30 at Town Center Elementary

May 21st – 8:30-3:30 at Austin Elementary

June 2nd – 8:30-3:30 at Pinkerton Elementary

Secondary Administrators

Middle Schools – All core educators must complete their 30 hour GT training by the end of the semester. Please see the link for sign-up. Enrollment closes on Friday, September 12th at 5:00 pm.

Educator Evaluation

Several of you have asked about the functionality of tools in Appraise. I will demonstrate some new features on Tuesday, September 9th at Principal’s Meeting and then will prepare a short tutorial for educators and administrators across the district which will be emailed out initially and then placed in the admin and educator google folders.

If an educator on your campus was unable to attend the Educator Evaluation Training you conducted during the week of August 18th-August 22nd, there is one make-up session left. Any untrained educators MUST attend this session or wave their right to the training.

September 9th from 4:15 to 6:15


Counselor meetings have been set for the year. Please see the dates below.

Elementary Counselors Secondary Counselors

September 25th from 8:30-11:30 September 25th from 12:00-3:00

October 23rd from 8:30-11:30 October 23rd from 12:00-3:00

November 20th from 8:30-11:30 November 20th from 12:00-3:00

January 29th from 8:30-11:30 January 29th from 12:00-3:00

February 26th from 8:30-11:30 February 26th from 12:00-3:00

March 26th from 8:30-11:30 March 26th from 12:00-3:00

April 16th from 8:30-11:30 April 16th from 12:00-3:00

May 14th from 8:30-11:30 May 14th from 12:00-3:00


I will be setting a meeting with Campus Principals in the next month to discuss the specific subscore indicators on the HB5 self-evaluation and our next steps in terms of reporting and communicating with our stakeholders.

PBL Coaches

The PBL Coaches are eager to assist any educator looking to improve their learning design. Professional learning foci for the year include scaffolding strategies, design considerations for responding to learners, making projects more authentic and PBL Facilitation and Planning Tips. Please contact me to arrange professional learning on your campuses or feel free to reach out to the coaches directly.

Enrichment Programs: Regina Owens

Please do mark your calendars and share our SHAC meeting dates for the 2014-2015 school year with your campus representatives.

October 23; 4:00PM; Brock TR 1

December 11; 4:00 PM; Brock TR 1

February 19; 4:00 PM; Brock TR 1

April 9; 4:00 PM; Brock TR 1

May 14: 12:00 PM; Service Center

Assessment: Debbie Youngs


Two AWARE trainings (basic and advanced) are being offered on the 16th and 23rd of September. Please share this information with your staff; they may register in Eduphoria. Thank you!


STAAR Performance Standards Chart: The link for the new STAAR Performance Standards Chart is

Accelerated Learners: Last year, the Commissioner determined that Algebra I learners in middle school did not need to double-test with the Algebra I EOC AND their grade level STAAR 3-8 math assessment. TEA is looking at options for this year and will be sending out more information. I will keep you updated on the issue of double-testing as it unfolds.

STAAR 3-8 Math Scores for 2014-2015: Due to new math TEKS, “students who participate in the spring 2015 STAAR grades 3-8 mathematics administrations will receive a raw score prior to the end of the school year. Once new performance standards are approved, they will be retroactively applied to students’ test results from the spring 2015 administrations.” This is also why there will be no SSI in math for grades 5 and 8 this school year.

STAAR Field Testing: Field test questions will be removed from the grade 7, English I, and English II STAAR assessments. The field test questions will be in a different prompt study given every three years starting in 2017. This will shorten the amount of writing required during each of those assessments.

Standardized Oral Administration: The use of SOA is being broadened this year to include:

o Reading and math in grades 4, 6, and 7

o Science in grade 5

o Science and Social Studies in grade 8

STAAR A: For learners being served by Special Education that are eligible, STAAR A will be available this spring. The online assessment will provide “embedded supports,” (including) visual aids, graphic organizers, clarifications of construct-irrelevant terms, and text-to-speech functionality.” More info will be coming this fall.

STAAR ALTERNATE 2: This “standardized, item-based assessment” is a revised version of STAAR ALT. Given in a one-to-one setting, the learner will have questions in a test booklet; the test administrator will submit the answers in an online form.

RELEASE TEST PLAN FOR STAAR ASSESSMENTS: Due to new math TEKS and the new STAAR A and STAAR ALTERNATE 2, the release dates for assessments will differ than those for the remaining STAAR assessments. For 2014-2015:

o STAAR 3-8 Math – Partial release of subset test questions in 2014-2015 with a full release of the entire test in 2015-2016.

o STAAR A and STAAR ALTERNATE 2 – No release of either in 2014-2015 with a full release of both in 2015-2016.


o Learners will not receive a STAAR progress measure for math in grades 4-8.

o Grade 7 writing will receive a STAAR progress measure for the first time.

o Eligible STAAR A learners who took STAAR or STAAR L in 2013-2104 will receive a STAAR progress measure.

o STAAR ALTERNATE 2 will not receive a STAAR progress measure.

TAKS: will only be administered online three times a year – October, March, and July

TESTING IRREGULARITY AUDIT: If your campus had a testing irregularity last year, the state will be sampling districts to verify that the Plan of Action is being implemented. Please ensure you have documentation available in the event our district is selected for the audit.

Excerpts taken from the original letter. To view the entire letter from TEA, please visit the following link:


BOY MAP: 9/10-10/8

BOY Literacy Assessments: 8/26-9/19

Deadline for Parent Nomination for G/T Assessment (Learners new to CISD in grades 1, 2, 4, 6-12 AND Learners not tested with the CogAT in the last calendar/school year): 9/3

CBE Grade Level Acceleration for Newly Enrolled Learners: 9/4-9/5

CBE Math Acceleration for Newly Enrolled Learners: 9/5

G/T Assessment: 9/13

Deadline to Upload All BOY Data: 9/24

Social Studies/CTE: Jon-Eric Ziaer


Social Studies

Celebrate Freedom Weekis Next Week!

It will be the week of Sept 15th. Grades 3-12 are required by the state of Texas to participate in this program. Your S.S. educators have developed plans for each day of the week. In addition, we have asked all educators to use the #cisdcelebratefreedom, so we can share the many great activities and experiences. Please check this hash-tag out on Twitter throughout the week to see what is going on in CISD.

Career and Technical Education (CTE)

Did you know?.....Coppell ISD has been selected by the State of Texas, and is currently serving, as a Regional Testing Center at Coppell High School for the Certified Nursing Assisting (CNA) program. Debra Johnson - CHS educator and registered nurse serves as the Coppell ISD Health Services Program Director and coordinates this testing program.

SMILE…Give One to Get One!