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Weekly Teacher Download for the week of Feb. 13, 2017

2017 February 10
by HISD Communications



  • Board approves changes to TADS scoring: Last night, the HISD Board of Education approved the district’s recommendation that the student performance criteria of HISD’s Teacher Appraisal and Development System (TADS) be waived for all teachers for the 2016-2017 school year, with the exception of the 23 schools that receive TIF grant funds. Currently, student performance criteria accounts for 30 percent, instructional practices for 50 percent, and professional expectations for 20 percent of TADS. With the board’s vote, the new criteria to determine a final rating for teachers for the 2016-2017 school year will be based 70 percent on instructional practices and 30 percent on professional expectations. For the 2016-2017 school year, the district will calculate the student performance component of TADS for reporting purposes only. The rationale for change is based on two major factors: 1.) student performance for the new appraisal system for the state (T-TESS) is being piloted and is scheduled to become the new state-recommended system, with all components possibly operational in 2017-2018; and 2.) this will allow the district time to review the impact of comparative growth on STAAR in relation to TADS. If you have any questions, call the Professional Support & Development team at 713-696-0633.
  • Apply now for a STEM Service Learning Grant: Do you have students with an innovative idea to improve the Houston community through STEM? If so, applications are being accepted for grants around STEM service projects. This grant, sponsored by Verizon, is available for U.S. students and/or student groups between the ages of 5 and 18 who are planning a STEM-related service project that will take place between March 27 and May 12. The deadline for applications is Monday, Feb. 27, 2017. For the application and more details about the grant, click here.
  • New KEY Factors Special Education: PALS Training: All teachers are invited to a “PALS” special education workshop from 1:30-3:30 p.m. Feb. 22 at Bell Elementary School. In order to prepare for this workshop, we want to get an estimate of who is interested in attending as we know many campuses have their own PD sessions or specific learning targets. If you are interested in attending, please complete this survey. Registration will close on Monday, Feb. 20.
  • Webinar to cover designing Scaffolded Instruction using Goalbook Toolkit (TEKS Aligned): During this webinar, participants will explore a research-based method for designing instruction and developing measurable and observable learning goals and will leverage their previous experience using Goalbook while engaging in this interactive session. Teachers will learn to use Goalbook Toolkit to develop a learning goal for students using customizable IEP goals and the Universal Design for Learning framework. In addition, teachers can reflect on their Goalbook practice and identify an area on which they would like to focus for the year. Click here to register.


  • Upcoming workshop helps new teachers with variety of topics: Registration is open for the New Teacher Workshop: Triumphant Teaching. There are three specialized tracks offered  (TADS Talk & Instructional Targets, Classroom Management & Student Engagement, and Effective Planning & Data Driven Instruction), each aligned to the instructional practice rubric for PL-2, PL-3, I-7, I-9 & I-10. Additional Information: Please bring your laptop and power cord. The workshop is scheduled for Wednesday, Feb. 22 from 4-7 p.m. at Ryan Professional Development Center.Register in OneSource using Item #319003, Session #296003 before Feb. 21, but walk-ins are acceptable. If you have additional questions, email These training sessions are optional for teachers, but are an excellent opportunity to develop skills, techniques, and strategies in a small, collaborative environment.


  • New Elementary Reading Strategies at Work Video Series: The Elementary Curriculum and Development Department is pleased to announce the launch of a new video series, Reading Strategies at Work. These short, just-in-time videos are intended to support the planning and delivery of instruction for hard-to-teach/low performing standards. These videos are developed in partnership with the PSD Design, Media, and Online Learning Department. The videos in the series focus on Readiness standards for grades 3, 4, and 5. Each video introduces a strategy outlined in the grade level HISD Planning Guide, as well as an additional strategy that teachers may not already have in their personal teacher tool box. They can be used for PLCs, planning sessions and for individual professional development. Click here for a link to the videos.


  • Earn a $1,600 stipend by taking computer science training: Teachers in grades 6-9 are encouraged to apply for the 2017-18 CS Discoveries Professional Learning Program. Teachers who are accepted to teach CS Discoveries to students in grades 6-9 in fall 2017-18 are eligible for selection into the RUSMP We_Teach_CS Collaborative, a collaboration between The Rice University School Mathematics Project (RUSMP), We_Teach_CS at UT Austin and To learn more about this professional development opportunity, including its requirements, click here. The deadline to apply is Feb. 28.




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