Curriculum Courier

For the week ending October 17, 2014


“Education is the most powerful weapon we can use to change the world.”

– Nelson Mandela

Science: Linda Cook

Oct. 29th - Sally Ride Science training for new science educators in grades K-5 will be provided. We will pay for subs. Please email Donna Johnson (and cc Linda Cook) with the names of educators that you plan to send.

Oct. 30th - Project Wild and Project Wild Aquatic training will be held at the Biodiversity Education Center within the Coppell Nature Park. This all day training is appropriate for educators in grades K-9 and aligns well with the organisms and environments strand of the TEKS.  Each teacher who attends will receive 2 books of K-12 activities: Project Wild and Project Wild Aquatic. Email Linda Cook to let me know whether or not you will be sending teachers and how many. Remember that you are providing your own subs.

Mathematics: Mary Kemper

Presidential Awards for Excellence in Mathematics and Science Teaching - Nominations Now Open!

Nominate outstanding secondary (grades 7–12) mathematics and science (including computer science) teachers now for the 2015 awards. The deadline for nominations is April 1, 2015. The nomination form should be completed early enough to ensure that the nominated teacher is given enough time to thoroughly prepare an application that reflects exemplary teaching prior to the deadline. Applications are due by May 1, 2015.

Among the eight Texas teachers named finalists for the 2013 PAEMST, two are from Coppell ISD: Kim Wootton, science facilitator at New Tech High @ Coppell, and Jessica Caviness, mathematics educator at Coppell High School. This marks the first time two educators from the same district were selected.

Please do not hesitate to reach out to Mary Kemper for support in the nomination process.

Think Through Math

The state has requested that there be a limited number of people who have the ability to add students to Think Through Math. Because of this, our technology department has requested that each campus have an person designated as Campus Administrator who would be able to add students to classes for teachers. Content Specialists / Department Chairs were named as the Campus Administrator for Think Through Math. Each of them should have received an email from technology with information relating to Campus Administrator rights.

If the Think Through Math Campus Administrator on your campus has further questions, please encourage them to reach out to Ashley Minton or Diana Saylak (elementary), or Mary Kemper (secondary).

Stop, Collaborate and Listen

The first round of Stop, Collaborate and Listen on October 2nd and 9th was a success! Educators may access the resources at: (click on the link on the left labeled Stop, Collaborate and Listen). The next Stop Collaborate and Listen will be in January, before the 3rd nine weeks. Please encourage your educators to come.

Social Studies & CTE: Jon-Eric Ziaer


Social Studies

The Social Studies Instructional Materials Committee will be attending the Region 10 Textbook Fair on Wednesday, November 19th, to begin the process of identifying materials for adoption. We have representation from all campuses and grade levels/content areas and are very excited about beginning this process!

Career and Technical Education (CTE)

Coppell High School and Mr. Mike Yakubovsky’s learners have been awarded a $10,000 grant from the Lemelson-MIT InvenTeam Project. As part of this program, Mr. Yakubovsky’s group will be designing an interactive training device for special needs children.

“As you think, so shall you be.” - William James

Advanced Academics: Deana Harrell

Sexual Abuse Face-To-Face Training Option for Secondary

Secondary Educators have the option to participate in a face-to-face sexual abuse training facilitated by CISD’s Crisis Counselor, Sharron Thurlkill. There is only one date for this training (November 12th from 4:15-6:15 in the CHS Lecture Hall). Please use the link below to register before October 24th. *Please note the videos from the Lightness to Dark On-Line session will be shown in the face-to-face training opportunity, however, Ms. Thurlkill will take the needs of individuals into account during the viewing. (This session is open to all secondary campus educators, Service Center, Brock, and Admin employees.)

Second Option to comply with the Sexual Abuse Training Requirement

Here is another option for educators, who couldn’t get through Darkness to Light. This programs was developed by the Dallas Children’s Advocacy Center, it is TEA compliant, and not as intense as Darkness to Light.

Educators will need to go to:

Region 10 (

Click on On Line Learning Center

Click on Courses

Click on Compliance Training Courses

Click on Let’s Talk About It: Child Abuse, Sexual Abuse and Other Maltreatment of Children


Elementary Principals

As part of our Gifted and Talented Services changes, we will not be administering the Cogat this year to all Kindergartners. As you know, Texas state law requires Gifted and Talented identification of Kindergarten learners before March 1st. This year our GTi Specialists and Kindergarten educators will co-facilitate planned experiences (similar to Think Tanks) to identify indicators of giftedness in authentic settings. Cogat assessment for Kindergartners will occur ONLY if additional data is needed. (Sneak preview – Cogat will be administered at 1st grade from 2015-2016 forward.)

Please share the following dates and times with your Kindergarten Educators. The sessions will be facilitated by the GTi Specialists in that feeder pattern, but Kindergarten educators can choose to attend whichever date works best in their schedules.

October 23rd from 3:30-5:30 at Lakeside Elementary (North Feeder Schools)

October 28th from 3:30-5:30 at Pinkerton Elementary (West Feeder Schools)

October 30th from 3:30-5:30 at Mockingbird Elementary (East Feeder Schools)

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

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

Educator Evaluation

A couple of clarifying statements regarding appraisals in the new educator evaluation instrument:

  • 1) Once educator’s goals have been set, utilize the evaluation document that aligns with his/her chosen domain. You will provide feedback to the educator in all dimensions in that domain (should you see them), but should focus primarily on the dimension the educator chose (if applicable).
  • 2) You are not required to conduct post-conferences after each observation (but may choose to do so at your request or the educator’s request). Please remember you also have the “chat” feature inside Appraise that you may utilize.
  • 3) HR and Central Office will train any new educators to your campus this year in our appraisal process. Please contact HR with the names of any educators who need to be trained or who are returning to campus from FMLA.

I will be sending each campus a report from Appraise of the goals selected by their educators in the next day or so. Feel free to sort that information in a way that is usable to you and your administrative team.

Please let me know if you run into any operational issues with Appraise. There are still some features we are trying to work out.


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

Elementary Counselors Secondary Counselors

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

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.

Weekly Smile

Rose is Rose by Don Wimmer and Pat Brady

Assessment: Debbie Youngs


Training is being offered for staff members who facilitate the Section 504 or ARD Committee meetings and those who help in make testing and accommodation decisions for our learners served by Section 504 or Special Education.Information covered will include the changes in accommodations, the new STAAR A test, and the new STAAR ALT 2 test.


10/16 or 10/28 (same info in both meetings)

4:00-6:00 PM

North Cafeteria


CogAT testing for 3rd and 5th takes place 10/21-10/23. Letters to the parents of those testing go home this Friday. A “green” method may be used to communicate the information contained in the letter.


Please ensure there are no visitors on campus during TAKS testing. Thank you!


10/17: CBE Registration Deadline for Grade Level and Course Acceleration

10/20: TAKS ELA

10/21-10/23: Universal CogAT Screening for Grades 3 and 5

10/21: TAKS Math

10/22: TAKS Science

10/23: TAKS Social Studies

10/27-11/14: ACT Aspire (8th and 10th Grade)

11/4: CBE Grade Level and Course Acceleration (after school)

11/18: CBE and Grade Level and Course Acceleration (after school)