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Weekly Teacher Download for May 10, 2021

2021 May 6
by HISD Communications


HISD community shares what makes our teachers special
As we look back on Teacher Appreciation Week last week, we would like to spotlight some of the best teachers in HISD! There were many submissions, with a wide range of teachers from campuses across the district. See this story to read what is great about our teachers as submitted by students, their parents, and fellow educators. For more teacher spotlights, follow us on Twitter and Facebook.

Social and Emotional Learning
Educators and students have worked relentlessly amid a chaotic pandemic to meet academic expectations. With testing season here, students might be facing testing anxiety. Pre-test journaling is one intervention that can prove beneficial in regulating emotions and increasing student performance on assessments. The National Academy of Sciences has published research suggesting that students who write down any worries about the exam prior to the test perform better than those who do not. Try this prep activity: Before testing begins, the proctoring teacher prompts students to journal their worries/thoughts about the exam in writing. 

According to guidance provided by the Texas Education Agency (TEA), districts may apply for a waiver for spring 2021 that allows a district to change a traditional school day to an asynchronous instruction day to provide additional planned teacher professional development or preparation days. The district was approved by the HISD Board of Education during the April regular board meeting to apply for this waiver from the state to offer asynchronous instruction for students and teacher professional development on Friday, May 28. As a result, all students will participate in at-home virtual learning on May 28. In-person instruction will only be available to students without internet accessibility or access to appropriate digital learning device. This instruction will be offered at the student’s regular campus. For complete details, see this story.

Teacher Incentive Allotment Program
Next spring, HISD will be participating in the TEA’s Teacher Incentive Allotment, a program that aims to help districts boost student success while recruiting and retaining high-quality educators. This program will help increase salaries for the district’s highest performing teachers while ensuring students have equitable access to the most effective teachers. Please take a few minutes to complete the Teacher Incentive Allotment Stakeholder Engagement Survey. Responses will be submitted anonymously, and all information is confidential. Visit to learn more.

Save the date! The third annual multilingual symposium, “The Blueprint: Engineering Foundations that Build Academic Language,” via Teams is set for June 25-26, 2021. The deadline to register is June 24, 2021. See this story for more information.


Career and Technical Education
Please see the May 2021 CTE Bulletin Vol. II regarding how to submit your CTE Teacher of the Month entry, CTE student highlights, professional learning opportunities, workshops, conferences, job opportunities for youth, and other CTE resources. See the bulletin for information on a 2021-2022 certification planning open lab on May 28, a panel and introduction to Junior Achievement for grade 9-12 CTE teachers, and training May 28 on advanced Microsoft Excel tips for secondary CTE teachers. CTE content is aligned with challenging academic standards and relevant technical knowledge and skills needed to prepare for further education and careers in current or emerging professions.

Please view the May 2021 Professional Development Calendar, including OneSource courses, where CTE teachers can receive one hour of credit. Please register through OneSource Learning to receive proper credit for courses you plan to attend. Visit the HUB for weekly Career Readiness updates, resources, and announcements. Join CTE on May 20 for Career and Military Singing Day. See this story for more details. See also the 2021 Region 4 Distance Learning Event Schedule effective throughout the summer.

Career Tip Tuesday is a series of short informative career videos for students to help them learn helpful tips to support their employability skills and prepare for post-secondary goals. Teachers and students can subscribe to the CCR YouTube channel at to receive updates as new videos are released the second and fourth Tuesday of the month during the school year. The videos for May are “New Employee Orientation” and “Paycheck 101.”


EMERGE is recruiting current 10th graders, and we need help identifying competitive applicants. The EMERGE-HISD Class of 2023 application has a deadline of May 31. Students can apply at EMERGE recruitment sessions will be held twice a week virtually through Sat., May 29. Students can sign up at See this flyer and this brochure for more information. For questions or more information on EMERGE, please visit or contact EMERGE Student Recruiter


Early Childhood

Summer Reading with Raz-Plus: Course #1450031 on May 11 from 4:00-5:00 p.m. Participants will learn how to support children who lose literacy skills over the summer. Skill loss can be avoided if students are encouraged to keep reading. Raz-Plus provides great solutions to help students reinforce and build reading skills during summer months.

Circle EOY Assessment

The CIRCLE EOY Assessment window will be open May 3–June 4, so start preparing all the items necessary to make this administration a successful one for you and your students. Feel free to visit the CIRCLE Assessment Folder inside our Early Childhood Guide HUB Course to find virtual administration guidance. Below are a few reminders as you plan for the assessment:

  • If you are requesting that a student be added or removed, the change must first be made in PowerSchool Connect before the PK specialists can make changes in the CLI rosters.
  • Use the this link to submit requests to update/make changes in your CLI rosters. 
  • If you are a 50/50 Dual Language teacher or if there are two or more teachers at your campus who will be assessing a group of students, reach out to the specialists listed below to request access to share students’ rosters.
  • If your campus administrators need access to campus CIRCLE data/CLI Engage, have them email Maria or Claudia.
  • Email or with any CIRCLE questions.   

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