Jim Hogg County ISD seeks to provide every employee with a menu of instructional tools, software applications and trainings in order to develop and improve the quality of education provided to students.
Our district seeks to use the concept of the professional learning community (PLC) in order to set up an environment with the conditions needed to improve learning and the academic growth development of every child. Our district will focus on the following three principles of true professional learning communities:
Response to Intervention (RTI) is a multi-tier approach to the early identification and support of students with learning and behavior needs. The RTI process begins with high-quality instruction and universal screening of all children in the general education classroom. Struggling learners are provided with interventions at increasing levels of intensity to accelerate their rate of learning. These services may be provided by a variety of personnel, including general education teachers, special educators, and specialists. Progress is closely monitored to assess both the learning rate and level of performance of individual students. Educational decisions about the intensity and duration of interventions are based on individual student response to instruction.
There is a difference between numbers and numbers that matter. One of the most important steps in beginning to make decisions with data is to pick the right metrics. Good metrics are consistent and provide information that is meaningful to help guide instructional adaptions as our teachers plan for increase in learning outcomes. Data can come from various sources. DMAC is the quantitative software that our district uses to collect, report and analyze data. The data should provide a snapshot of what is happening in a classroom in order to progress monitor how we will respond with regard to the data reported and analyzed. Topological statistical analysis will be expected to be a part of the critical role of the teaching and learning process.
The TEKS Resource System provides our district with a standardized curriculum framework aligned to the TEKS (Texas Education Knowledge & Skills), which are the mandated state learning standards for what students should know and be able to master. This Curricular Framework is designed to promote fidelity and consistency. It should also be triangulated with the adopted textbook and the teacher lesson plans to ensure that learning gaps and curriculum alignment is monitored.
It is a new teacher evaluation system for the state of Texas designed to support teachers in their professional development and help them grow and improve as educators. It is being piloted by approximately 60 districts in the 2014-2015 school year, will be implemented as a refined system in the 2015-2016 school year in approximately 250 districts, and is scheduled to be rolled out statewide in the 2016-2017 year. Jim Hogg County ISD was selected to participate in this refinement year.
T-TESS was developed by a steering committee comprised of teachers, principals, and representatives from higher education and educator organizations. They began their work in the fall of 2013 by updating teacher standards and, through the spring of 2014, continued with building a rubric tied to the standards. While the Texas Comprehensive Center at SEDL and the Texas Education Agency (TEA) facilitated the process, T-TESS is a system designed by educators to support teachers in their professional growth.
TEA, in conjunction with the National Institute for Excellence in Teaching (NIET), will provide statewide “train the trainer” sessions at Education Service Centers (ESCs) during the spring of 2015 to prepare a cadre of experts to train district appraisers for the 2015-2016 refinement year. ESCs will continue to enhance their training capacity during the 2015-2016 school year in order to support statewide rollout during the 2016-2017 school year. Similar to what is currently in place with the existing teacher appraisal system, ESCs will continue to provide support systems for districts as they implement best practices in evaluation, including professional development and guidance for appraisers on pre-conferences, post-conferences, coaching teachers, and utilizing teacher and instructional leaders in the observation process.