Curriculum Courier

For the week of December 12, 2014


“A leader succeeds only when they find a way to make people excited and confident in what comes next.”

– Marcus Buckingham

Science: Linda Cook

Data Dive Feedback – I have received feedback from most campus science teams about their strengths, concerns, and needs based upon the spring 2014 STAAR data. Let me know if you would like to schedule a meeting with me and/or David to plan how we may best support your campus moving forward.

Vocabulary Training – 5th grade, 8th grade, 7th grade and biology teachers will each be attending a ½ day session with David this week on Best Practices for Academic Vocabulary Acquisition. David will also provide on-site support for the additional grade levels (K-4 and 6) within the next few weeks. Having a strong vocabulary program is one of John Hattie’s high impact strategies for improved academic achievement. It is also a great way to specifically improve success among students from low socioeconomic backgrounds as well as those who are struggling English language learners.

iPads in the Middle School Science Classroom training – Jodie Deinhammer will be providing this ½ day training for our 7th and 8th grade science teachers this week.

Upcoming Content Specialists Meetings – We will share what was learned at CAST and/or TAGT sessions

  • Elementary – Dec. 11th from 4:00 – 5:00 at Brock, TR2
  • Secondary – Dec. 18th from 4:00 – 5:00 at North, upstairs outside of Dean Boykin’s classroom

Assessment: Debbie Youngs


Please mail the CSRs for TAKS to students/parents next Friday, December 19, 2014.

The next TAKS assessment will be in March.

Out-of-school examinees for the March TAKS test need to register online at between the dates of 12/8/14 and 2/6/15. Registration closes at 5:00 PM CST.


Please assess those learners who are currently in the RtI process or those about whom the educators have concerns.


Principals, please register in Eduphoria to attend one of the following STAAR trainings with your campus testing coordinator:

STAAR Training for Elementary

  • January 21 8:30-11:30
  • January 28 1:00-4:00

STAAR Training for Secondary

  • January 21 1:00-4:00
  • January 28 8:30-11:30


12/1: STAAR EOC English I

12/3: STAAR EOC English II

12/1-12/5: STAAR EOC for Biology, Algebra I, and U. S. History

12/5: Last day for STAAR EOC testing/makeups

1/9: Registration Deadline for EOC testing

1/9-2/13: MAP MOY Testing (TBD)

Mathematics: Mary Kemper

Elementary Math Content Specialists will meet Thursday, 12/11 at 4:00 pm at Cottonwood Creek Elementary. In January, the Content Specialists are encouraged to attend Stop, Collaborate, and Listen, so we will not meet during that month.

The Secondary Math Department Chair meeting for December has been canceled, due to the Secondary Mathematics Instructional Materials Publisher Presentations on 12/9.

Weekly Smile

Foxtrot by Bill Amend

Literacy and Language Arts: Heather Cato


  • - Just for reference, the expectations for the use of Membean at the secondary level can be found on the Language and Literacy Google Site under Beliefs and Expectations- Membean


  • - Starting in January, I would like to schedule a 45 minute meeting with each of the principals to specifically discuss Write From the Beginning and Beyond as well as Balanced Literacy. The purpose of this meeting will be:
  • o Clarify timelines and expectations
  • o Identify needed supports and resources
  • o Share the plan going forward
  • For efficiency sake, I have created a calendar where you can schedule your time. The appointments start every hour, but if you need to start at a different time you can include that in the notes of the appointment or send me an email. To register go to: (Click on button below)
  • - Spelling
  • o The literacy coaches are putting together weekly lessons/resources that educators, at each grade level, can use to teach the spelling rules that are outlined in the TEKS. Starting in January, if an educator would like to use these resources they can. At the end of the year, we will make any necessary revisions to these lessons so that everyone can use them in the fall. – I will share more about these lessons when I meet with you on your campus.