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November 3, 2011 PowerPoint Presentation
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November 3, 2011

November 3, 2011

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November 3, 2011

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  1. November 3, 2011


  3. Agenda • Welcome • Legal Update • Curriculum Update • Instructional Planning Tool • STAAR Navigation Guide • Updates: • Texas Literacy Initiative • Accommodations • To Do List & To the Administrator Addressed

  4. Candy Canes and Pencils Presented by: JIM WALSH

  5. What Happened? • 5th Circuit ruled en banc in a case about “viewpoint discrimination” based on religion in elementary schools. • The decision is part of ongoing litigation involving Plano ISD. • Latest decision: Morgan v. Swanson, September 27, 2011

  6. Remember This • The case is at an early stage of litigation. At this stage, the court must accept as true whatever the plaintiffs allege. • Factual record yet to be developed, and will be much in dispute. • So we don’t know that it happened as it is alleged to have happened. Keep that in mind.

  7. Qualified Immunity • This decision concerns the efforts of two elementary principals to be dismissed from the case on the basis of qualified immunity. • Plaintiffs argued that the principals should be held personally liable for violating the constitutional rights of the students.

  8. Jonathan and the Candy Cane • Alleged: Jonathan was not allowed to distribute goody bags that included a religious explanation for the candy cane at a class party. The goody bag included a candy cane and a written description of its Christian origin and symbolism.

  9. Stephanie and the Passion Play • Alleged: Stephanie was not allowed to distribute to her classmates tickets to a passion play to be performed at her church.

  10. Stephanie and the Jesus Pencil • Alleged: For her “half-birthday” party, Stephanie came to school with brownies and two pencils for each classmate. One pencil read “Moon.” The other said “Jesus loves me this I know for the Bible tells me so.” • Alleged: She was not allowed to distribute the Jesus pencils in school, but told she could do so after school, outside. But……

  11. Stephanie, the Principal, the Pencils All Step Outside • Alleged: The principal would not allow Stephanie to distribute the Jesus pencils outside of the school on school property, saying that it needed to be done off school property. • Undisputed: Things escalated.

  12. Constitutional? • Majority of the court held that the principals actions, as alleged, were unconstitutional in all four incidents.

  13. Key Quote “In short, what one child says to another child is within the protection of the First Amendment unless one of the narrow exceptions discussed above applies, and none does in this case. Accordingly, we hold that the First Amendment protects all students from viewpoint discrimination against private, non-disruptive, student-to-student speech.”

  14. But They Were Proselytizing! “To the extent that the principals characterize the speech as ‘proselytizing’ does not affect our holding that religious viewpoint discrimination is not permissible against private student speech, absent material and substantial disruption. There is no such thing as ‘good religious speech’ and ‘bad religious speech.’”

  15. But These Were Little Kids! “The principals contend that elementary school students are more impressionable and therefore this case involves heightened Establishment Clause concerns. But this is without merit.”

  16. Liability? • Even though the principals may have violated the 1st Amendment, they will not be held personally liable. • Majority of the court held that they were entitled to “qualified immunity.”

  17. Qualified Immunity • “We hold today that the principals are entitled to qualified immunity because clearly established law did not put the constitutionality of their actions beyond debate.” • “…no federal court of appeals has ever denied qualified immunity to an educator in this area. We decline the plaintiffs’ request to become the first.”

  18. What Does It Mean? • Religious speech from student-to-student is protected by the 1st Amendment to the same degree as any other type of speech. • This is true from pre-K to senior year of high school. • Talk to the parents about this.

  19. Why Talk to Parents? • Consider: at your “winter break” party a student distributes goody bags with overtly Christian messages. • The rabbi calls you on behalf of some upset parents. • Or: the Methodist preacher calls you to ask about the goody bag gifts promoting the Church of Body Modification.

  20. Options • Of course, you don’t have to have a party. • You don’t have to allow kids to give anything to other kids. You can prevent any giving…. • But how realistic is that?

  21. Remember This • When it is student speech, and not endorsed by the school, it is a matter of free speech, and viewpoint discrimination is not permitted. • This decision applies to students’ speech, not faculty members or “school sponsored” speech.

  22. Morgan v. Swanson, ___ F3d ___ (5th Cir. 2011) September 27, 2011 The Case

  23. Contact JIM WALSH Walsh, Anderson, Brown, Gallegos and Green, P.C. P.O. Box 2156 Austin, TX 78768-2156 Phone: 512/454.6864 Fax: 512/467.9318 Email: Web:

  24. The information in this handout was created by Walsh, Anderson, Brown, Gallegos and Green, P.C. It is intended to be used for general information only and is not to be considered specific legal advice. If specific legal advice is sought, consult an attorney.

  25. Curriculum Update • MSTAR Intervention Lessons • OnTrack • Dyslexia Accommodations

  26. MSTAR Intervention Lessons: The Hidden Treasure Susan Hemphill Middle School Math Specialist Region XIII ESC

  27. MSTAR Intervention Lessons • Tier II Interventions for Mathematics • Grades 7-8 were targeted • Based on IES recommendations

  28. A Quick Look on Project Share

  29. Lesson Features • Overview • Timed Fact Practice • Engage Prior/Informal Knowledge • Preview • Demonstrate • Practice • Independent Practice • Closure

  30. The following MSTAR Multiplication and Division Fact Intervention lessons target struggling Tier 2 students. The intervention lessons provide a concrete structure to help students learn the foundational skills necessary for success in increasingly complex mathematics curricula. TIER 2

  31. Project Share Courses MSTAR INTV: Facts & Patterns: Mult. & Div. MSTAR INTV: Equivalent Fractions MSTAR INTV: Proportionality MSTAR INTV: Ratios and Rates

  32. Texas public school educators may reproduce and use MSTAR Intervention materials, without fee, for the benefit of the students of Texas. TIER 2

  33. Contact Susan Hemphill 512-919-5360

  34. Curriculum Council – November 2011

  35. Epsilen Accounts • Visit • Click “I did not receive my username and password” • Type in your school e-mail address • Check your mail. (You can change your password at any time)

  36. What is OnTRACK

  37. Points to Ponder • Student preparedness for STAAR™ End-of-Course assessments, STAAR™ middle school assessments, and college and career readiness are the focus of the OnTRACK project, which is funded by the Texas Education Agency (TEA).

  38. Points to Ponder • Close to 600 lessons have been developed • Materials are available in Project Share, and additional resources will be made available as they are developed.

  39. Points to Ponder • OnTRACK materials for high school are organized into ten courses, one for each subject area (Algebra I, Algebra II, Geometry, Biology, Chemistry, Physics, U.S. History, World History, World Geography, and English I, II, and III).

  40. Points to Ponder • OnTRACK materials for middle school will be organized by grade level, beginning with Grade 8 Mathematics, Science, ELAR, and Social Studies, followed by Grade 7 Mathematics, Science, ELAR, and Social Studies. Within each course are dozens of lessons that align with the STAAR™ requirements.

  41. Points to Ponder • Each lesson includes content written by Texas classroom teachers, opportunities for interactive learning, assessments with meaningful feedback for students, and additional resources.

  42. OnTRACK Sample Lessons • To enroll, you will need to • Log in to Epsilen/Project Share • Select Courses from the menu on the left • Choose Search Courses • Search “ontrack sample” (not case sensitive) • Click the ENROLL icon for OnTRACK Sample Lessons. You might also choose to join English III Example

  43. Interactive Applet Pop-up answers

  44. Author Created Instructional Videos

  45. Assessment items aligned to STAAR reporting categories

  46. Importing The first thing that has to happen for you to be able to use OnTRACK is you need to be given the ability to COPY each course into your district corner. It is highly preferred that this is done by a Project Share site administrator.

  47. Districts are allowed to use OnTRACK as supplemental instructional resources. Ideas for use: • Direct Teach Examples (Projected) • Additional Practice Assignments • Acceleration and Intervention • Grade Recovery Work • Blended with Classroom Instruction • Flipped Classroom