Curriculum Courier

For the week of March 6, 2015


“It’s supposed to be hard; if it wasn't hard, everyone would do it. The hard is what makes it great.”

– Tom Hanks

Language and Literacy: Heather Cato

New Reading Program Fosters Student Engagement

TASA and AASA are pleased to partner for Texas Reads One Book! a statewide community reading experience sponsored by Read to Them, a national family literacy group that has partnered with more than 800 school communities in 47 states. For more information on how to participate:

Science: Linda Cook

Elementary Science Content Specialists and Secondary Science Department Chairs will be sharing with their vertical teams information about Effective Feedback and Questioning Strategies for Student-Driven Inquiry.

Our next meeting is March 26th from 4:00 - 5:00 pm at CMSN in Dean Boykin's room (B204). We will focus on strategies for reading in science. This will be for both Elementary Science Content Specialists and Secondary Science Department Chairs.

Secondary Science Department Chairs have begun a book study of Ken O'Connor's A Repair Kit for Grading: Fifteen Fixes for Broken Grades.

Mathematics: Mary Kemper

Elementary & Middle School Math

The Spring 2015 Grades 3 – 8 Math STAAR will include some changes from previous years’ assessments (including blueprints, reference materials, griddable items, and the revised calculator policy). Please contact Mary Ann Libby if you feel it would be beneficial for your 3rd-8th grade math educators to meet with me to clarify this information and answer any questions that may arise.

Human Resources: Tracey Wallace

Coppell ISD Substitute Pay Rate Increases

Please see document attached to this email for details.

Social Studies and CTE: Jon-Eric Ziaer

Social Studies

Over the weekend, our 1st ever Coppell Middle Schools’ Youth and Government team traveled to Austin to participate in the State competition. CISD learners had the unique opportunity to participate in this event at the Texas State Capital and many received awards and recognition for their performance. A special Thank you to David Norman(CMS-West) Anthony Smith(CMS-East) Jim Burrows(CMS-East) and Davis Scott(CMS-North) for all of their hard work and effort in getting this incredible program started in Coppell ISD.

The Social Studies Instructional Materials Adoption Committee are now reviewing feedback from the pilot process and will soon begin preparing our recommendation for the board. Please join me in saying Thank You to all of the educators grades K-12 that participated in this very important process. We are very excited about the possibilities for our new Social Studies materials at the elementary, middle school and high school levels.

During the month of February we were very excited to promote the many learning experiences throughout Coppell ISD that made connections to celebrate Black History Month, in honor of the many achievements and contributions of African-Americans in U.S. history.

Career and Technical Education (CTE)

The CHS and NTH@C DECA chapters competed at the State competition over the weekend and were very successful. Many learners took home individual awards and 7 individuals from CHS and NTH@C qualified for Nationals!

“It’s ONLY what is ahead of us, that NOW matters.”

Assessment: Debbie Youngs


The district Annual Performance Report was presented to the public during the February 23rd Board Meeting. The Report is posted on the district website. A parent may request a hard copy at the campus.


Please see the attached email from Pearson indicating the errors in the STAAR testing manuals. This email will be forwarded to the CTCs, as well.


Please let your staff know that there are paid positions posted for an elementary, middle school, and high school Summer Testing Coordinator. All interested applicants should send Debbie Youngs a letter of interest. Thank you!


Due to the weather, the CogAT testing scheduled for 2/28 is being rescheduled to 3/21. Emails will be sent to parents this week with the new testing location and date.


3/2: TAKS Exit Level ELA

3/3: TAKS Exit Level Mathematics

3/4: TAKS Exit Level Science

3/5: TAKS Exit Level Social Studies

3/16-4/8: K-12 TELPAS Window

3/17: ACT + Writing

3/21: Rescheduled CogAT Testing

3/30: STAAR EOC English I

3/30: STAAR Grades 4 and 7 Writing Day 1

3/31: STAAR Grades 5 and 8 Reading

3/31: STAAR Grades 4 and 7 Writing Day 2

4/1: STAAR EOC English II

4/3: STAAR EOC Make-up Deadline

4/13-14: PreK Testing

4/20: STAAR Grades 5 and 8 Mathematics

4/21: STAAR Grades 3, 4, 6, and 7 Mathematics

4/21: STAAR Grade 8 Social Studies

4/22: STAAR Grades 3, 4, 6, and 7 Reading

4/22: STAAR Grades 5 and 8 Science

4/24: STAAR Grades 3-8 Make-up Deadline

4/27-5/22: MAP K-8 Reading and Math/3-8 Science

Advanced Academics: Deana Harrell

HB 5

As part of the Community-Based Accountability portion of HB5, CISD needs to convene a community-based committee to give input and feedback into our evaluation tool.

Principals – please submit the name of a parent representative from your campus that you would like to have serve on this committee to Deana Harrell by Friday, March 20th.

PBL Campuses

  • Austin Elementary, Mockingbird Elementary, Lakeside Elementary, Valley Ranch Elementary, Wilson Elementary, Coppell Middle School – East and New Tech High @ Coppell

Our training with Kevin Gant on Friday, February 27th and Saturday, February 28th went very well (despite the weather). Next steps from the training include:

  • CISD created PBL Essentials (we will convene K-12 educators to create this document)
  • Summer revisions to the Learning Framework to better articulate the district’s vision and expectations for PBL
  • A cross-walk document for PBL and UbD
  • A series of professional learnings aimed at providing differentiated professional development for our PBL educators.

As calibration of PBL across the district is one of our intended outcomes, please let Deana Harrell know the names of educators you would like to be involved in creating these documents. We will have both late spring and early summer dates for this work.


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

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


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

Elementary Counselors Secondary Counselors

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

Traveling to the United Arab Emirates

Deana Harrell received a grant from the World Affairs Council to travel to the United Arab Emirates over spring break on a study tour for educators. She and 12 others will be touring educational, cultural, and governmental institutions over their 9-day trip. The majority of the time will be spent in Dubai and Abu Dhabi. For those of you who are curious and want to know about her experiences as they are happening, you can follow along on her blog

Weekly Smile

Baldo by Hector Cantu and Carlos Castellanos