October 25 - ESC-20

ESC-20 Curriculum Communiqué: October 25, 2006
Volume #5
We are continuing the Curriculum Communiqué series as requested. Please continue to share the
information with your staff. If there is additional information that you think would be helpful, please
do not hesitate to let me know.
ESC Contact: Ed Vara, [email protected] or (210) 370-5465
1. TEA Correspondence
New TEA Correspondence has been posted at
Date: 10/10/2006
Subject: School Day; Pledges of Allegiance; Minute of Silence
From: Commissioner's Office
Date: 08/14/2006
Subject: Achieve Texas Initiative
From: Commissioner's Office
Date: 10/11/2006
Subject: Integrity of TAKS Test Administration
From: Student Assessment
Date: 10/20/2006
Subject: 2006-2007 Performance Based Monitoring Notification Letter
From: Special Programs
Date: 10/18/2006
Subject: Highly Qualified Teacher Update
From: Special Programs
2. NCLB NEWS FROM TEA © 2006 by the Texas Education Agency
NEW USDE Notifies States of Error in Title I, Part A Allocations
USDE notified state agencies last week of an error in the Census data used to determine state and LEA
allocations for Title I, Part A. This error will reduce Texas’ state allocation. While this is a large error,
it is a very small percentage of the state’s Title I funding. The required adjustments to LEA allocations
will occur with maximum entitlements. Further information on the percentage reduction that LEAs
might expect will be disseminated through this listserv in the next few weeks after TEA staff is able to
analyze the impact of the error.
NEW ISAM Access Needed by LEAs
PBMAS 2006 data reports were released through TEASE on September 20, 2006. The Division of
Program Monitoring and Interventions (PMI) will release LEAs’ stages of intervention in mid-October
through a new TEASE application, the Intervention Stage and Activity Manager (ISAM), which is
included in the TEA’s Interventions portal. District and ESC personnel needing access to PBM
intervention staging information must request access to ISAM through TEASE. Requests should be
made as soon as possible to ensure that access can be granted by the intervention determination release
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date. PBM intervention determinations only will be released through ISAM, so it is important that
every LEA request access to ISAM.
A To the Administrator Addressed notification letter regarding ISAM was posted to the TEA website
on September 18, 2006. A link to this letter as well as the ISAM access request form is provided
TEASE request form for ISAM:
TEASE Applications Reference Page
September 18, 2006, To the Administrator Addressed letter
REMINDER Highly Qualified Teacher Plans Required
Any district that receives Title I funds and does not have 100% of all core academic subject area
teachers meeting the highly qualified requirements as of the end of the 2005-06 school year, must have
a highly qualified teacher plan on file for each campus that is not at 100% (regardless of whether that
campus is served with Title I funds or not). Each LEA and campus must have a plan1 that describes
strategies and activities to ensure the LEA is making progress toward meeting the measurable
achievement objectives for teacher quality under NCLB, to—
1. Increase the percentage of highly qualified core academic subject area teachers on each campus
to meet 100% by end of 2006-07, or later if applicable exception2
2. Increase the percentage of core academic subject area classes taught by highly qualified
teachers on each campus to meet 100% by end of 2006-07, or later if applicable exception2
3. Increase the percentage of core academic subject area classes taught by highly qualified
teachers on high poverty campuses to meet 100% by end of 2006-07, or later if applicable
4. Increase the percentage of teachers receiving high-quality professional development on each
campus to meet 100% by end of 2006-07
5. Ensure low-income students and minority students are not taught at higher rates than other
student groups by inexperienced, out-of-field, or non-HQ teachers
6. Attract and retain highly qualified teachers
7. Assist teachers not currently highly qualified to meet the highly qualified requirements in a
timely manner
Title I districts that have all (100%) core academic subject area teachers highly qualified on all
campuses (whether Title I served or not) must continue to have Highly Qualified Recruitment and
Retention plans that specify the strategies the district will implement to ensure the district remains
100% highly qualified.
The Highly Qualified Teacher Plan (which may have previously been called a Recruitment and
Retention plan) may be a separate plan or may be included in existing district and campus
improvement plans. If incorporated into existing plans, the LEA must ensure that the strategies and
activities are easily identifiable. The district may choose to incorporate all the campus plans into the
district’s plan (still identifying specific activities and/or strategies by campus) or may choose
individual campus and district-level plans. This plan is not a new requirement; LEAs have been
required for three years to have recruitment and retention plans that address the same requirements.
Eligible new multi-subject special education teachers who can demonstrate highly qualified in
mathematics, science, or language arts have two years from their date-of-hire to meet highly qualified
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in additional core subject areas taught. In addition, teachers in eligible districts defined as “rural” by
USDE who teach two or more subjects and are highly qualified in at least one core academic subject.
NEW Additional USDE Guidance Received Regarding Parent Notification for Supplemental
Education Services
The Texas Education Agency recently received additional guidance from the U.S. Department of
Education regarding the parent notification letter for Supplemental Educational Services (SES). The
SES parent notification packet of information may be sent to parents via email, as long as the
district/campus has accurate email addresses for parents. The district must keep documentation that
the email was received by the parents. All required information must be provided as an
attachment, not as a web site link.
When submitting the School Improvement application, paper copies of all the required information
must be faxed or mailed. The School Improvement Resource (SIRC) web site
(http://www.esc13.net/statewide/ses) has been updated to better assist you in providing the SES
information packets to parents. Any questions pertaining to information on SIRC’s Web site may be
directed to Angie Ewing at 512-919-5211 or [email protected]
NEW 2006 Texas Migrant Education Conference
The 2006 Texas Migrant Education Conference hosted by the Region I Education Service Center will
be held on November 15-17, 2006, in South Padre Island, Texas. The theme for the conference is
“From Harvest to Harvard.” The deadline to register for this conference is October 20, 2006.
Registration information and conference details can be found
at http://www.esc1.net/migrantconference/.
NEW Registration Available for 2006 Statewide NCLB Parental Involvement Conference
The 2006 Statewide NCLB Parental Involvement Conference will be held on November 2-4, 2006, at
the American Bank Convention Center in Corpus Christi. Conference sessions will include:
NCLB Parental Involvement Requirements (English and Spanish) – NCLB Staff
Involving Migrant Parents in Migrant Education (English and Spanish) – NCLB Staff
Title I Parents’ Right To Know (Spanish) – NCLB Staff
Special Education Complaints Resolution – TEA Staff
Helping My Bilingual Child Be Successful (English and Spanish) -TEA Staff
Meeting the Needs of Homeless Students – TEA Staff
Insuring Equal Access for Educational Excellence – USDE Staff
Other topics include: campus planning, AYP information, preparing for the college years, and effective
parental involvement programs.
Two pre-conference sessions also will be held on November 2, 2006 at the Corpus Christi Omni
Bayfront Hotel from 8:00 a.m. – 3:00 p.m. "Cowboy Up! Ride the Trail to Language and Literacy" will
emphasize how to effectively work with migrant students. This session addresses TEA's expectation to
better serve migrant, bilingual, and English language learner (ELL) students as they develop
knowledge of the English language and acquire literacy skills. Both educators and parents will be
provided numerous easy-to-implement strategies that will strongly impact English language acquisition
for migrant, bilingual, and ELL students. Spanish translation will be provided during this preconference. Attendance is limited to the first 200 registrants.
“Partnering with Parents” will focus on planning innovative parent involvement activities and
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increasing parent participation through simple techniques. Participants will learn how to reach students
by empowering parents. This session will provide helpful strategies for educators, parents, PTA
volunteers, and parent liaisons. Attendance is limited to the first 200 registrants.
For more information and registration, visit www.esc16.net, and click on 2006 Statewide NCLB
Parental Involvement Conference, in the lower left corner of the page.
REMINDER Registration Available for Association of Compensatory Educators of Texas Fall
The Association of Compensatory Educators of Texas (ACET) 2006 Fall Conference will be held on
October 18-20, 2006, at the Adam's Mark Hotel in Dallas. Conference sessions will include an
opportunity to hear important information concerning the No Child Left Behind Act from Division of
NCLB Program Coordination staff.
TEA NCLB staff will present 3 general sessions on Program Updates, Highly Qualified Teacher Plan
Update, and Program Monitoring and five breakout sessions including:
Migrant Education in Texas: Challenges Ahead and Opportunities to Lead (Parts 1 and 2)
This two-part session will discuss the recent USDE monitoring of the state’s Migrant program and
proposed corrective actions.
Title III AMAOs and LEA Plans
This session will review the Title III Annual Measurable Achievement Objectives and the required
district interventions and improvement plans.
Title I School Improvement (Parts 1 and 2)
This two-part session will discuss the requirements and expectations of campuses entering School
Improvement. USDE monitoring will also be discussed.
Title I School Improvement Supplemental Educational Services
This session will discuss the requirements, expectations, and monitoring of Supplemental Educational
Services in Stages 2 School Improvement and beyond.
Navigation through Documentation: Lessons Learned From Monitoring
This session will outline appropriate documentation procedures that will help districts validate
compliance with NCLB requirements.
For more information and registration forms, visit http://www.acetx.org.
Conference to Address Education of Homeless Children and Youth
The 18th Annual National Association for the Education of Homeless Children and Youth Conference
will be held November 11-14, 2006, in Little Rock, Arkansas. The theme of this year’s conference,
which is co-sponsored by the Arkansas Department of Education, is “Building Futures through
The conference will provide an opportunity for local liaisons to communicate with staff from the U.S.
Department of Education and community service providers to fulfill the provisions of the McKinneyVento Homeless Education Act, including ways to improve the academic achievement of students
experiencing homelessness. Homeless education liaisons from local school districts are encouraged to
attend the conference, as are Title I officials, early childhood educators, counselors, and other service
providers who are concerned with the education of homeless children and youth.
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More information on the conference, including registration materials, can be found on the National
Association for the Education of Homeless Children and Youth Web site at http://www.naehcy.org.
Please note that this is national information and does not necessarily reflect the views of the Texas
Education Agency.
President Says Renewing NCLB Will Be Priority
On October 5, President Bush said that renewing the No Child Left Behind Act will be a priority for
his administration next year, but acknowledged the law isn't working as well for parents as it should.
Bush noted that although more than 2.2 million children are eligible for tutoring, only 19 percent of
them received that tutoring in 2004-05. Even fewer students took advantage of the option to transfer to
another school -- about 1 or 2 percent of those eligible.
At a press conference held prior to visiting a Washington, D.C. charter school, Bush outlined his
recommendations for strengthening NCLB. For information on the president’s proposals, visit the
White House Web site at http://www.whitehouse.gov/infocus/education/. A transcript of his remarks
at the press conference is available at http://www.whitehouse.gov/news/releases/2006/10/200610054.html. The president reiterated his commitment to strengthen NCLB during a speech made at the
charter school. A transcript of that speech also is available at
http://www.whitehouse.gov/news/releases/2006/10/20061005-6.html. Videotapes of both remarks also
are available at these Web sites.
White House To Hold Conference on School Safety
The Bush administration hosted a conference on school safety Tuesday, October 10. Prompted by a
string of recent shootings at the nation’s schools, the conference will included law enforcement experts
to discuss how to deal with school violence, and how federal action can help communities prevent
violence and deal with its aftermath. President Bush also spoke at the conference.
The president also discussed the recent school shootings during his weekly radio address on October 8.
A transcript and audiotape of his address can be found on the White House Web site at
Spellings to Answer Questions on “Ask the White House” Event This Tuesday
Secretary of Education Margaret Spellings was the featured expert on “Ask the White House,” on
Tuesday, October 11. “Ask The White House” is an online interactive forum where individuals can
submit questions to Bush administration officials and friends of the White House. For more
information, visit http://www.whitehouse.gov/ask/question.html.
What Works Clearinghouse Issues 10 New Reports
The What Works Clearinghouse (WWC), an initiative of the U.S. Department of Education's Institute
of Education Sciences (IES) has announced 10 new intervention reports highlighting available research
on beginning reading, early childhood education, character education, English language learning, and
elementary school mathematics. New WWC reports include:
Beginning Reading:
DaisyQuest (Beginning Reading)
More information is available at http://whatworks.ed.gov/Topic.asp?tid=01&ReturnPage=default.asp.
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Early Childhood Education:
DaisyQuest (Early Childhood Education)
Shared Book Reading
More information is available at
Character Education:
Lion's Quest -Skills for Action
Lion's Quest - Skills for Adolescence
Positive Action
More information is available at
English Language Learning:
Enhanced Proactive Reading
Fast ForWord Language
Reading Mastery
More information is available at
Elementary School Mathematics:
Scott Foresman-Addison Wesley Mathematics
More information is available at
The WWC is releasing an ongoing series of reports over the next few months covering these topics, as
well as releasing reports for dropout prevention and middle school mathematics. Approximately 30
additional reports will be released by the end of the year. Weekly updates will be sent to WWC Update
subscribers notifying them of the latest available findings. To subscribe to the WWC Update, visit
Texas Districts Receive Character Education, Physical Education Grants
Three Texas school districts will receive a share of $15.5 million in Partnership in Character Education
Program grants designed to help them implement programs that teach the principles of character
development and the responsibilities of citizenship to their students, Secretary of Education Margaret
Spellings announced last week. They are among the 35 districts nationwide receiving these grants.
The program awards grants for up to four years to eligible state and local education agencies to design
and implement character education programs, which teach students core ethical concepts, such as:
civics; citizenship; justice; responsibility; and respect for themselves and others. Grant recipients must
show how they have integrated character education into classroom instruction and teacher training.
They also must involve parents, students and the community in the process. The projects are evaluated
to determine their success in helping students develop positive character, reduce discipline problems
and improve academic achievement. Projects also must increase parent and community involvement
with the school. This year’s recipients were chosen from among 227 applicants.
The three Texas school districts receiving the grants are the Houston Independent School District,
Floresville Independent School District, and the Cedar Hill Independent School District. Since 1994, a
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total of 136 state and local education agencies have received character education grants. No Child Left
Behind expanded funding for the Partnerships in Character Education Program from $8 million to $24
million. More information on the grants is available at:
In addition, the Beaumont Independent School District was one of 60 school districts receiving a Carol
M. White Physical Education grant. The purpose of the grant is to provide funds to local educational
agencies and community-based organizations (including faith-based organizations) to initiate, expand,
and improve physical education programs (including after school programs) for students in one or
more grades from kindergarten through 12, in order to make progress toward meeting state standards
for physical education by providing funds for equipment, support, and the training and education of
teachers and staff.
USDE Awards Grants To Develop Highly Qualified Special Education Teachers, Early
Intervention Personnel
Secretary of Education Margaret Spellings announced last Thursday, October 5, the award of $11.6
million in grants to help develop highly qualified teachers for students with disabilities, especially in
areas where chronic shortages exist. The money will also be used to train specialists in early
intervention and other aspects of services for students with disabilities, recognizing that the earlier
children can be identified as being in need of services, the greater the likelihood they can reach their
education potential.
A total of 59 grants averaging $196,500 will be provided to higher education institutions in 25 states
and the District of Columbia under the Office of Special Education and Rehabilitative Services'
"Personnel Preparation to Improve Services and Results for Children with Disabilities."
For more information on the grants awarded, please visit
http://www.ed.gov/news/pressreleases/2006/10/10052006.html. For more information on the
“Personnel Preparation to Improve Services and Results for Children with Disabilities” grant program,
visit http://www.ed.gov/programs/osepprep/index.html.
New Reports from National Center for Education Statistics
The U.S. Department of Education’s National Center for Education Statistics (NCES) recently issued
the following new reports:
Projections of Education Statistics to 2015
Characteristics of the 100 Largest Public Elementary and Secondary School Districts in the U.S., 200304 (http://nces.ed.gov/pubsearch/pubsinfo.asp?pubid=2006329)
School and Parent Interaction by Household Language and Poverty Status, 2002-03
U.S. High School Sophomores: A Twenty-Two Year Comparison, 1980-2002
On October 10, NCES will release Part II of its national survey on the condition of education for
American Indian/Alaska Native students in the U.S. For more information, please visit
Grant Application Opportunities
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The following grants are available from various organizations for education-related projects:
"Grants for Teachers of Citizenship Education" -- The VFW's National Citizenship Education
Teachers' Award recognizes the nation's top elementary, junior high and high school teachers who
teach citizenship education topics regularly and promote America's history and traditions. Maximum
Award: $2,000. Eligibility: teachers K-12. Deadline: November 1, 2006.
"Funding for Field Trips and Scholastic Outings" -- Target Field Trip Grants are available to fund
scholastic outings in situations where monies are otherwise lacking. Maximum Award: $1000.
Eligibility: teachers, principals, paraprofessionals and classified staff in K-12 public, private or charter
school in the U.S. Deadline: November 1, 2006.
"Funding for Hands-On Math, Science & Technology Programs" – The Institute of Aeronautics and
Astronautics Science and Math Programs Grants assist educators in presenting mathematics, science,
and technology principles to students (K-12) in an exciting, hands-on manner to develop our future
aeronautics and aerospace engineers, scientists, pilots, and space explorers. Maximum Award: $1,000.
Eligibility: AIAA Educator Associate K-12 teachers. Deadline: December 30, 2006.
"Grants for Supporting Children’s Health, Education and Inner-city Services" -- The Teammates for
Kids Foundation accepts proposals for grants from nonprofit organizations that specialize in working
with children in the areas of health, education and inner-city services. Maximum Award: $50,000.
Eligibility: 501 (c) (3) organizations with a record of effectively delivering programs and services that
improve the lives of needy children. Deadline: February 1, 2007.
"Grants for Community Improvement Programs" -- Hamburger Helper is looking to lend a helping
hand to neighborhoods nationwide with its "My Hometown Helper" grant program. Individuals from
communities and organizations across America can submit a written essay of 250 words or less
describing how the "My Hometown Helper" grant would help improve their community project.
Maximum Award: $15,000. Eligibility: Requests for funding must be sponsored by a municipal or
civic organization or public school. Deadline: May 31, 2007. http://www.myhometownhelper.com/.
For a detailed listing of existing grant opportunities (updated each week), visit:
TEA Contact: Cory Green, Senior Director, [email protected]
3. Student Assessment Updates
Please note that the 2006-2007 ARD Training PowerPoint has been added to the website. It can be
accessed from the Student Assessment home page in the "What's New" box located here:
Please note that a new letter to the districts (10/11/06: Integrity of TAKS Test Administration) has
been posted to the Student Assessment website and is available here:
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Humanities Texas is pleased to request nominations for its 2006-07 Outstanding Teaching Awards.
The nomination form is available online: http://www.humanitiestexas.org/awards/t_awards.htm
The Outstanding Teaching of the Humanities Award recognizes exemplary contributions of humanities
teachers in Texas elementary, middle, and high schools. Awards totaling $10,500 will be presented to
the winning teachers and their schools. Five teachers will receive $1,000 awards with an additional
$500 payable to their schools for the purchase of instructional materials. Six additional teachers will
receive awards of $500.
One teacher nominated for the Outstanding Teaching of the Humanities Award will receive the James
F. Veninga Outstanding Teaching of the Humanities Award, an award established to honor James F.
Veninga, Humanities Texas Executive Director Emeritus, for his twenty-three years of extraordinary
contributions to the state council and to the public humanities in Texas and the U.S. This teacher will
receive a $1,000 award, with an additional $500 payable to his or her school for the purchase of
instructional materials.
One additional teacher will be presented with the Linden Heck Howell Outstanding Teaching of Texas
History Award. This award was established in memory of Ms. Howell, former member and chair of
our board of directors, as a lasting tribute to her service to the organization and her commitment to the
study of Texas history. The teacher recognized for this distinguished award will receive $1,000, with
an additional $500 payable to his or her school for the purchase of instructional materials.
€ Nominees must be full-time teachers in Texas public or private schools.
€ Teachers of English, foreign languages, history, and social studies are eligible for the Outstanding
Teaching of the Humanities Awards. Teachers of art, drama, and music are eligible if they emphasize
the history, criticism, and theory of the arts.
€ Only teachers of courses in Texas history are eligible for the Linden Heck Howell Outstanding
Teaching of Texas History Award.
€ Nominees should be skillful and dedicated teachers who possess an expansive and profound
knowledge of the humanities subject(s) they teach. Nominees should also have a record of active
involvement in community activities and professional organizations, particularly those that promote
the humanities.
€ Previous award winners are ineligible to apply for the award a second time.
Complete the nomination form and mail or fax it to the contact below. Please do not email nomination
forms. The nomination form is available online: http://www.humanitiestexas.org/awards/t_awards.htm
Teachers may be nominated by any member of the school (including students) or the general public.
Teachers may also nominate themselves. If you wish to nominate an outstanding humanities teacher in
your area, please contact that teacher first and receive his or her permission to do so.
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Nominations are due in the Humanities Texas office by December 15, 2006. Please send them to:
OTA Nominations
Humanities Texas
3809A South 2nd Street
Austin, TX 78704
FAX: 512.440.0115
Please submit nominations as soon as possible. Teachers who have been nominated will receive an
application packet that must be completed and mailed to Humanities Texas with a postmark date no
later than Monday, January 15, 2007.
Humanities Texas sponsors the Outstanding Teaching Awards program with continuing financial
support provided by the National Endowment for the Humanities. Additional support for the Linden
Heck Howell Outstanding Teaching of Texas History Award program comes from contributions to the
Linden Heck Howell Memorial Fund.
Contact: The Humanities Texas staff with any questions: 512.440.1991 or
[email protected]
5. TAKS-Alt Training
TEA is pleased to announce that TAKS-Alternate (TAKS-Alt) Training Module 3 - Scoring with the
Rubric - is now available at http://pearson.learn.com/taksalt. Training Modules 1 and 2 are still
available for training purposes. Please note that the modules are designed to be taken in sequential
Please make sure that the LearnCenter Password is distributed to all individuals who need to take the
training prior to registering online. The LearnCenter Password is Texas0607. Please also note that
when registering, individuals are asked to enter their 9-digit County/District/Campus (CDC) number. It
is important that the correct County-District number is entered for all users. A link to a look-up table is
provided on the site. District personnel should use their County-District number followed by "000" as
their campus number. Education Service Center (ESC) personnel should also use their region's "district
number" followed by "000". Teachers and campus personnel should enter the 9-digit CDC number for
their district and campus. Parents should enter the 9-digit CDC number for their child's district and
Please note that the TAKS-Alt User's Guide is accessible at
If you have further questions, please call Pearson Educational Measurement's Austin Operations
Center at 800-627-0225.
7. AP October Updates
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By this time, you should have received your participation materials. You need to return the
participation form, teacher listing, and participation survey by November 15 if you plan to administer
AP Exams at your school.
Access codes for ordering exams are only sent to schools that return their materials. These codes will
be sent in January to the AP Coordinator designated on the 2006-07 AP Participation Form.
Schools with outstanding balances from the 2006 exam administration are prohibited from ordering
2007 AP Exams until balances are paid in full. If you have questions about your latest invoice, or AP
billing in general, please call (877) 274-6474.
General and subject-specific AP Course Audit resources to help schools prepare for the AP Course
Audit are available on AP Central. http://click.collegeboard.com:80/41791026.50173.0.21553
We encourage you to take advantage of the following materials:
* AP Course Audit PowerPoint Presentation (available now) Download this presentation to inform
teachers and staff about the purpose and process of the AP Course Audit.
* District-Designed AP Course Audit Activities (available now) These articles describe how to create
district-wide professional development activities centered around the AP Course Audit, including
details on organizing syllabi-creation and review sessions with teachers.
* Syllabus Self-Evaluation Checklist (available October 2006) - The checklist enables teachers to
evaluate their syllabi prior to submission to ensure all required elements are included.
* Annotated Sample Syllabi (available October 2006) Multiple sample syllabi in each AP subject
illustrate the variety of ways a course can meet the curricular requirements.
* Free Online Events on the AP Course Audit Process (October 26, November 30, and December 14)
Pre-registration for these events is required.
* AP Course Audit Website Demonstration (available December 2006) - This online demonstration
helps familiarize teachers and administrators with the website through which teachers will submit their
Visit the College Board online at http://www.collegeboard.com. Please send any questions or
comments to [email protected]
International Baccalaureate Orientation Seminar: Exploring the Program
November 11, 2006 -- Rice University Houston, TX
Rice University is offering a one-day orientation seminar designed for school administrators and
leaders who are investigating the feasibility of implementing the International Baccalaureate (IB)
Program in their schools. This seminar provides an introduction to the IB organization and the
continuum of learning that occurs in the three different program levels. It also allows participants to
engage in small group discussions with those who have gained practical experience in IB. Participants
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will hear directly from representatives of International Baccalaureate North America (IBNA) about
procedures and regional differences and how IB earned its reputation for quality, high standards of
academic achievement, and pedagogical leadership.
"The number of schools applying to International Baccalaureate of North America has tripled over the
past several years."
- US National Research Council, "Learning and Understanding," 2002
IB Orientation Seminar: Offered by Rice University for elementary, middle, and high school officials
and teachers investigating the possibility of bringing the IB Program to their schools
Who should attend?
*Community members
board members
*District personnel
*School administrators
International Baccalaureate Diploma Workshops
March 9-11, 2007 -- Rice University Houston, TX
The Glasscock School of Continuing Studies offers workshops for teachers in schools implementing
the International Baccalaureate (IB) program. The workshops will be held March 9-11, 2007.
The workshops at Rice are designed for new and experienced IB teachers at the high school level (the
Diploma Program level) who are interested in learning about the IB program and strategies and
techniques for effectively teaching IB courses. Workshops will be led by experienced IB workshop
leaders who have a strong background in teaching and an interest in developing the IB teacher
community through rigorous professional development. The workshops also feature IB Academies for
High School Teachers of Advanced Courses
http://www.scs.rice.edu/scs/IB_Courses.asp?SnID=1630870620#three, which are designed for teachers
who would like to gain new content knowledge in their areas of expertise.
9. Video Conference Opportunities
Bringing Charles Dickens' Characters to Life
November 16, 2006
9:30 a.m. - 10:30 a.m.
Grades 6-8
Presented by the Indiana Repertory Theater (IRT)
Open to one school only!
The focus of this videoconference is a study of Charles Dickens' immortal "ghost" story, A
CHRISTMAS CAROL. The IRT presenters will share background information on Charles Dickens
and the writing of this story. They will discuss IRT's beloved production of this tale and take students
through oral and written imagery exercises and dramatic storytelling skills.
Program Format:
1. Discussion of story line and Charles Dickens' Life
2. Character analysis
3. Themes
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4. IRT's production/concept
The participant will:
~explore the many characters and themes in A CHRISTMAS CAROL
~examine how Dickens's used language to create mind pictures
~compare IRT's production to others
Dia de los Muertos
Host: ESC-13 Distance Learning Spanish Classes
November 3, 2006
8:05 a.m. - 3:30 p.m. (or during your Spanish class)
Grades 8-12
Presentation Proposal Deadline: October 16, 2006
Registration deadline: October 27, 2006
When creating a presentation proposal, please consider the following:
Your presentation needs to be creative and interesting. The information included in your presentation
should be pertinent and accurate. You should be prepared to provide some sort of handout to the
participants in order to facilitate more effective learning by viewers. PowerPoint presentations are
wonderful, but the overall presentation needs to include more than just that. We would like to include
some interactive presentations. For example, if you present on papel picado, you would provide a
supply list to teachers. The teachers would then provide the supplies to their students, who would make
papel picado along with the presenters.
Title: The Stingray
Presenter: Texas State Aquarium
October 25, 2006
9:00 a.m. - 9:30 a.m.
Trade Levels: All
View only participation
Following the death of the "Crocodile Hunter" (Steve Irwin), there has been a rash of attacks on
stingrays. In this videoconference, students will gain knowledge and understanding about these
mysterious sea creatures.
NASA's Digital Learning Network (DLN) wants to let you know about some very exciting educational
opportunities taking place in December 2006 and January 2007!
ANTARCTICA: Meteorite Mysteries, the Search for Space Rocks We are pleased to invite you and
your students to take part in an award-winning program with the DLN: NASA's Meteorite Mysteries,
the Search for Space Rocks in Antarctica. This extreme environment mission is scheduled to take place
December 7, 2006 - January 24, 2007. If you're looking for a way to capture your students' attention
while teaching them science and technology concepts in the context of real research, then this is the
project you've been searching for! Prior to the live event students gain insights and knowledge through
selected activities that are related to the real-life task of collecting and analyzing meteorites. During the
video conference your students will have the opportunity to talk directly to NASA researchers and gain
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a better understanding of the importance and impact of meteorites as clues to the building blocks of
planets and life in out solar system!
NASA scientists will connect live, via satellite phone, with NASA's DLN team of experts while
searching for pieces of space in the blue and white world of Antarctica! Selected schools from across
the country will have the opportunity to participate in a highly interactive video conference experience
with NASA scientists at Johnson Space Center, NASA scientist Mary Sue Bell and other researchers in
Antarctica as they search for meteorites, learn to work as a team in extreme environments, and help to
answer questions about life on other planets!
Get ready for a unique LIVE interactive distance learning event with NASA's DLN as we explore the
topic of meteorites, their impact on our solar system, and living in an extreme environment! This
program is for students in grades 5-8, and the dates available for participation are as follows:
> December 12, 2006 at 1:00pm - 2:00pm Central
> December 13, 2006 at 1:00pm - 2:00pm Central
> January 22, 2007 at 1:00pm - 2:00pm Central
Additional information is available at the Antarctica event website:
With this program, NASA continues the Agency's tradition of investing in the Nation's education
programs. It is directly tied to the Agency's major education goal of attracting and retaining students in
STEM disciplines. To compete effectively for the minds, imaginations, and career ambitions of
America's young people, NASA is focused on engaging and retaining students in STEM education
programs to encourage their pursuit of educational disciplines critical to NASA's future engineering,
scientific, and technical missions.
If you would like NASA to place your school on the "we're interested" list for this program, please
contact Susan Altgelt at (210) 370-5639 or [email protected] as soon as possible. I will submit
your information and NASA will contact you soon as a possible participant.
Please reply with the following information:
Your name:
Your email:
Your telephone number:
Your school's name:
Your school's state:
Student grade levels:
Anticipated number of participating students:
Educational Region Service Center your school is part of, if applicable:
Date of participation:
Texas Battles for Independence (Collaborative Videoconference)
November 2, 2006
9:00 a.m. - 11:30 a.m.
Grades: 4th and 7th
This collaborative videoconference project, sponsored by Education Service Center Region 2, is
designed to give students an opportunity to collaborate with historians as well as other students across
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the state to learn more about the individual battles that led to independence for Texas. Student
presenters will conduct 10 minute videoconference presentations and activities focusing on how the
battles played a role in our quest for independence from Mexico. Students will present information on
ten major battles in Texas history (in chronological order). The presentation format will be designed
and implemented by the classroom teacher and the students representing that battle.
All presentations should include the following:
Name and area in which the battle occurred.
Map of area.
Discuss cause and effect of the particular battle you are presenting.
Discuss important leaders that played an important role in this event.
Explain the impact that this battle had on the war with Mexico.
Sample Media Used:
Power Point Presentations; Maps & Documents; Videotaped Interviews; Picture Slides
Battle of Velasco
Battle of Gonzales
Battle of Bexar
Battle of the Alamo
Battle of San Jacinto Treaties of Velasco
TEKS Addressed:
Battle of Goliad
Battle of Concepcion
Battle of Agua Dulce Battle of Refugio
4.3 A-E 7.3 A-B
If you are interested making a presentation, please contact Susan Altgelt at [email protected] or
(210) 370-5639. Please provide a first and second choice of battles.
The Texas Distance Learning Association (TxDLA) invites presentation proposals for the 10th annual
conference, Discover the Treasures of Distance Learning, scheduled for March 27-29, 2007, at the
Moody Gardens Hotel, Spa, and Convention Center on Galveston Island. The Program
Committee encourages anyone involved in the field of distance education, including administrators,
business/industry professionals, corporate trainers, faculty, government agency employees, graduate
students, healthcare professionals, higher education employees, K-12 educators, military employees,
support staff, vocational/technical educators, and other interested parties to submit proposals for
Proposals may be submitted for presentation in a 45-minute breakout session, a 90-minute hands-on
session, an educator showcase, or a roundtable discussion format.
Proposals should be submitted by 5 p.m. on Tuesday, October 31, 2006. Proposals received after that
date may not be considered. Acceptance notifications will be sent via e-mail in early December, 2006.
Submission Format
Proposals should be submitted online. If you have any questions regarding the CFP, please contact the
conference Program Chair, David Wissore at [email protected]
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10. Evaluation of Accounting and Financial Management
HB1 requires that TEA study and report back to the 80th Texas Legislature on a number of topics
regarding financial accountability and management in public schools. TEA will provide all school
districts, charter schools, and ESCs with an electronic survey within the next few weeks. Timely and
accurate response to these surveys will be critical to the successful completion of the study. In October
2006 a team will conduct site visits with selected school districts, charter schools and ESCs to augment
and clarify the results of the survey. All site visits and interviews will be coordinated and scheduled in
advance. If you have any questions, please contact Rita Chase in the Division of School Financial
Audits at 512-463-7595 or visit http://www.tea.state.tx.us/taa/comm091106.html.
11. Asbestos Abatement
The United States Department of Education (USDE) recently notified State Education Agency (SEA)
charter school project directors that five Arizona charter schools were cited by the Environmental
Protection Agency (EPA) for asbestos violations. The newspaper article is available at
http://www.azcentral.com/news/articles/1006phxepa1006.html. This is a reminder that the EPA has
developed guidance to help local education agencies (LEAs) achieve compliance with the AsbestosContaining Materials in Schools regulation, 40 CFR Part 763. These regulations, in effect since 1986,
require that public and not-for-profit non public, elementary and secondary schools be inspected to
determine the presence of asbestos-containing building materials and that asbestos management plans
be developed as a result of those inspections. The Texas Education Agency Division of Charter
Schools sent the following correspondence regarding this issue on April 6, 2005:
Additional information regarding this issue can be found at the EPA Asbestos in Schools Website at
12. Science Resources
CAST, the Conference for the Advancement of Science Teaching takes place next month.
Wichita Falls, Texas
November 9- 11
Online registration is now open at http://www.statweb.org/CASTWF/index.html
Reserve your hotel room at this site also!
Review the many short courses, field trips, and workshops that will be available to enrich your
professional skills. We're even having a real live rodeo for the Friday night social. Rodeo tickets can be
purchased at the online registration site or at CAST registration area (limited number available); and
your rodeo ticket include a free BBQ dinner.
Track Spring's Journey North: Migrations, Mystery Schools, More
Charlotte, Vermont (October 2006) - Teachers and students in K-12 classrooms are invited to
participate this February through May in Journey North's 14th global study of wildlife migration and
seasonal change. One of the nation's premier Internet-based "citizen science" projects, Journey North
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enables students in 11,000 schools to track the seasons on a real-time basis. This spring, students will
follow and map the migrations of monarch butterflies, bald eagles, hummingbirds, robins, whooping
cranes, and other animals; the budding of plants in school tulip gardens; changing sunlight in global
"mystery class" locations; and other natural events. They share their own field observations with
classmates across North America and analyze data from other classroom and professional scientists.
Each Journey North study features resources that address standards across the curriculum: Journey
North for Kids reading booklets and lessons, stunning photos and video clips, weekly migration news
updates, interactive real-time maps, connections with field scientists, and compelling migration
"stories." The studies help students fit local observations and inquiries into a global context.
Thanks to a grant from Annenberg Media, Journey North Web site access and participation is free.
Visit the Journey North Web site for details: http://www.learner.org/jnorth. You'll find an overview of
all Journey North projects here: http://www.learner.org/jnorth/orientation/Overview.html. Plan now;
spring projects begin February 2nd!
USA Biology Olympiad
The Center for Excellence in Education, sponsor of the USA Biology Olympiad, invites NSTA high
school biology teachers to participate in the 2007 USA Biology Olympiad. In previous years,
outstanding teachers have nurtured many USABO semifinalists, national finalists and International
Biology Olympiad medalists. The Center for Excellence in Education is committed to nurturing young
scholars to careers of excellence and leadership in science and technology. Founded by Admiral
Rickover in 1983, with Joann DiGennaro, President, the Center serves the top academic achievers in
mathematics and science. The rigorous USABO competition registered 7000 students in 2006 and
anticipates increased registrations in 2007. Additional information can be found at:
http://www.cee.org/usabo. The Teacher Resource Center, available upon school registration, further
assists teachers as they prepare students for national and international competition. Terry L. Hufford,
Prof. Emeritus George Washington University Academic Advisor for the USA Biology Olympiad
Master Science Teacher Programs as of 10/06
Texas State University-San Marcos Master Science Teacher 4-8
University of Texas - Austin Master Science Teacher 4-8
Texas State University-San Marcos Master Science Teacher 8-12
University of Texas - Austin Master Science Teacher 8-12
University of Texas - El Paso Master Science Teacher 8-12
Regional Events:
The 5th Annual Austin Cave Festival; SATURDAY, OCTOBER 28, 2006
9 a.m. to 4 p.m. FREE!
Village of Western Oaks Karst Preserve at
La Cresada and Davis Lane just west of MoPac
* Come visit two caves and see how water gets to Austin-area aquifers.
* Experience live bats up close and learn about animals that call Austin's caves home.
* See real arrowheads and how replicas are made by flintknappers.
* Enjoy a Halloween storytime, nature performers, and a tree-climbing demonstration!
* Bring your old cleaning products and trade them in for natural alternatives.
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* Make seed balls out of native seeds and learn how to better care for your trees.
* Find out about your watershed and what steps you can to take to protect it.
* Learn how Austin turns its sludge into compost.
* Visit with a rainwater harvesting expert.
For directions, a schedule of events, list of booth presenters, and more info: http://www.bseacd.org/ or
call 512-282-8441. Enter to win several prizes including free passes to the Lady Bird Johnson
Wildflower Center, a rain barrel, and a 2-hour cave trip.
Mark your calendar for Explore UT.
What: "Explore UT: The Biggest Open House in Texas!"
When: Saturday, March 3, 2007, from 11 a.m. to 5 p.m.
Where: The University of Texas at Austin
Who's invited: Students K-12, teachers, and families, everyone is welcome
Cost: Free, no registration
Plan a field trip. Choose from more than 350 enrichment activities on campus. Try building a bridge
with engineering software, watch water flow uphill in a hydraulics lab, see world-famous paintings in
the new Blanton Art Museum, deliver the TV news in a real broadcast studio, watch University
students perform a scene from Shakespeare, and more.
For more information, see http://www.utexas.edu/events/exploreut. By the first of January, you will
find the Web site updated with this year's activities, and you will be able to go online to arrange for
lunch in a college dorm, if you choose, and register your bus to facilitate parking.
Contact: Barbara J. Langham http://utopia.utexas.edu/project/constitution/ Explore UT
communications consultant, or call 512-346-2261
TEA Contact: Irene Pickhardt, Assistant Director of Science, [email protected]
13. Assessment Results for Texas Public Schools and Districts
A public access website has been developed to provide assessment results for the Texas Assessment
Programs. Summary reports are provided for the 2005-2006 Texas Assessment of Knowledge and
Skills (TAKS), State-Developed Alternative Assessment II (SDAA II), and Texas English Language
Proficiency Assessment System (TELPAS) administrations. Following is a list of the reports that will
be available for each testing program.
Cumulative Summary Report (for the appropriate grades and administrations)
Phase-In Summary Report (Grade 8 Science)
Summary Report
Demographic Performance Summary Report
Written Performance Summary Report
Summary Report
Demographic Performance Summary Report
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Summary Report
Access is provided through the Pearson Educational Measurement Texas Assessment website located
at http://k12testing.tx.ncspearson.com/. Once at the Texas Assessments website, select "Assessment
Results" from the "Links" bar. Follow the instructions on the screen to access the results at the state,
region, district, or campus level for TAKS, SDAA II, or TELPAS. Information concerning assessment
results for each assessment program may be found in the Interpreting Assessment Reports guide found
at http://www.tea.state.tx.us/student.assessment/resources/guides/interpretive/index.html.
If you have any questions about accessing the website or the reports, please call Pearson Educational
Measurement's Austin Operations Center at 800-252-9186 or send an e-mail to
mailto:[email protected]
14. Important Dates
Late October – TEA issues 2006 Gold Performance Acknowledgments (GPA)
Early November – TEA Releases 2005-2006 AEIS reports to district superintendents (TEASE
November 1 -- The 2006 Annual Governance Reporting Form for Open Enrollment Charter
Schools is due (see http://www.tea.state.tx.us/charter/forms/forms.html)
November 17 – CIT Recommendations and campus plans due to TEA for AU Campuses
Late November – Release of 2005-2006 AEIS reports on Public website
November 2006 – Discipline Data Integrity Indicators released
December 7-8 (TENTATIVE) – Best Practices Conference by SIRC in Austin
Mid-December – TEA notifies district of campuses identified under PEG criteria effective for
the 2007-2008 school year (via mail) – not applicable to charter or registered AECs
Mid-December – TEA releases 2005-2006 School Report Card
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