- Pflugerville Independent School District
- Employee Newsletter
Dec. 19, 2019
Posted by Tamra Spence on 12/19/2019
"Most of us have heard the saying 'Creativity is thinking outside the box.' There's a lot of truth in that, but to me true creativity is this: Succeeding within the box. Focusing on what we don't have is a waste of time and energy and kills motivation. To really make a difference, let's instead focus our energy on succeeding within the box."
- QBQ: The Question Behind the Question
We look forward to seeing you back on Jan. 6 for a Planning and Prep day and we will welcome back students on Jan. 7.
Last year we had six campuses (PHS, PCMS, DRES, WLES, TES, and CHS) participate in an Instructional Rounds pilot. In May, we briefly introduced the Instructional Round process to all campus administrators and heard from PCMS, DRES, and PHS regarding their experience with Rounds. Enthusiastically, we had three additional campuses (HHS, WHS, and SHES) join the Rounds process this year.
As a quick reminder or introduction, Rounds are a disciplined way for educators to work together to improve instruction (City, Elmore, Fiarman, & Teitel, 2009). The practice combines three common elements of improvement: classroom observation, an improvement strategy, and a network of educators. Rounds are used by schools to enhance pedagogical skills and strengthen instructional practices throughout the district by looking for patterns, implementation of district initiatives and foundation practices. Rounds work is a part of our instructional model and is used to inform our collective teaching and learning. Within the next 3 years, all campuses will be trained and participate in Rounds work as a part of the continuous improvement process. Here are a few of the resources we shared in May as well:
- The Art & Science of Teaching / Making the Most of Instructional Rounds
- Trailer Instructional Rounds at SMUS
- Learning from Instructional Rounds
Our pilot work allowed us to develop district goals for our Rounds work. The goals of Instructional Rounds in PfISD are:
- To learn with and through one another in a safe, supportive setting.
- To deepen our understanding of the instructional core and its impact on improving student achievement at scale.
- To have clarity around the district’s language of instruction.
We have launched a district website that provides more information about our Rounds work and invites you to check it out from time to time. The website is https://sites.google.com/pfisd.net/pfisd-instructional-rounds/home. If you haven’t already joined us in this work, we hope you will soon!
Help needed to build Embedded Assessments
The Curriculum and Innovation department is recruiting classroom, special education, and intervention teachers to help build embedded assessments to support our students. We are seeking individuals who would like to be considered to train on creating embedded support assessments.
- Develop embedded supports in a content area and level (Elementary and Secondary) for the 19–20 year.
- Attend one half-day training on January 22, 2020.
- Please choose either the morning or afternoon session
- Register in True North as soon as possible.
- Embedded Support Initial Training – January 22, 2020: Course #: 12192
- Morning session: 8:30 am - 11:30 am – Section # 17513
- Afternoon session: 1:00 pm - 4:00 pm – Section # 17514
- Agree to adjust your reviewed work based on feedback.
$31 per hour for up to 24 hours of work on embedding supports in assessments (non-contract hours).
- Complete the Google Form linked here or use the following URL to access the form: https://tinyurl.com/vzkdy5u.
- Set up payment for substitute:
Ask your campus bookkeeper to label the sub for payment as: Embedded Support Training, Stephanie Harrison.
This ensures finance will direct payment for your sub to C & I, rather than your campus.
- Work with your content coordinator on scheduling and workflow for assigned assessment(s).
Funny things heard in PfISD
- Iris Bunton, Timmerman - When asked "What's a counselor's job?" I was told " A counselor CANCELS things."
- Kyndall Jirasek, Admin (Community Relations) - While filming teacher of the year videos at Pflugerville Elementary School, a first-grade student came up to me, tickled my stomach, and said "squishy, squishy, squishy." 😂
AESOP, Applitrack change passwords
On Monday, January 6, 2020, Frontline will be upgrading Absence Management (AESOP), AppliTrack, and eSped to a single sign-on platform. The link will be updated on the District home page as well as distributed on launch day. The new ID will be your District email address and the password will be the same as your computer/PfISD google login password. On launch day, it will be important to attempt your initial login as soon as you are able.
Please note you will continue to use your existing phone login ID and Pin when using the phone system for Absence Management (AESOP). If you have any issues with getting set up, please contact the HR absence management team at 512-594-0033.
Gala Silent Auction Gift Basket Contest
PEF awards Mini-Grants!
Congratulations to Pflugerville Elementary, Brookhollow Elementary, Rowe Lane Elementary and Hendrickson High School on winning mini-grants given out by the Pflugerville Education Foundation. The “SurPrize Patrol” made up of PEF Board Members visited each campus to surprise the winners in December. You could be a winner too! The deadline for mini-grants is the last day of each month (weekends included). Grants range between $100 and $500. Apply here.
Employee Giving Campaign Raises $59k
A big thank you to all staff for a successful employee giving campaign! The participation and support of our District are heartwarming and appreciated. Our goal is to continue to grow and enhance and enrich the stellar education provide by our District.
Preliminary results show that we had an outstanding campaign. So far we exceeded our budgeted campaign goal of $58,200, raising $59,000 to date. PEF Board and staff want to thank all of our inaugural Luminary Leadership Giving Circle Donors. To be a Luminary Leadership Giving Circle Member, donors make an annual contribution of $1,000 or more either monthly or by one annual gift. Our goal was 10. We have 13 donors.
Our goal this year was to increase our campaign participation by at least 10%. We exceeded that! This year we had 148 brand new donors. We have just over 330 employees renewing their gifts for another year bringing the total to 478 staff participating. We promised a surprise to the school or department with the most participate by percentage of campus/dept. employees. We will be announcing that right after the break!
District T-shirts for Sale
Pflugerville ISD is selling "We are Family" shirts to the community. If you would like to purchase a district t-shirt, please stop by the PfISD Administration Building (1401 W. Pecan St.) reception area during office hours, 8 a.m. - 5 p.m., Monday through Friday. Shirts are $5 each, cash only.
Currently, we only have medium, large (limited supply) and extra-large sizes available. Shirts will be sold until the supply runs out. There are no plans to order more shirts. Thank you for supporting PfISD.
Discount Childcare for District Staff
Pflugerville ISD, in partnership with YMCA of Greater Williamson County, on Oct. 28 will open its Northwest Elementary Child Development Center, offering discounted childcare for full-time district staff members. There is limited availability in the pilot program, with admission provided on a first-come, first-serve basis.
Childcare, from ages 8 weeks to 3 1/2 years, will be provided from 6:45 a.m. to 6 p.m. Monday through Friday at Northwest Elementary School, 14014 Thermal Drive, Austin. Discounted rates are listed below. Rates include breakfast, lunch and snack.
Payments will be deducted from the employee’s paycheck on the 27th of each month beginning Nov. 27, 2019 through June 27, 2020. Proration will occur based on the student's start date.
To apply, download and complete the YMCA Childcare application and return it to your campus front office.
8 weeks to 18 months
18 months to 3 years
For more information, please contact Phil Hooper at 512-615-7870.
The Board of Trustees took action on a variety of items at the December regular meeting. Among other items, they approved the contract to provide expanded parking area at VMES and the construction of additional sidewalk access to the bus lanes at CMS, and received an update on the progress made towards goals regarding the strategic plan.
To view the entire Board Meeting video, visit the district's YouTube page.
- Student Early Release: Dec. 20
- Winter Break: Dec. 23-Jan. 3, 2020
- Teacher Planning Day/Student Holiday: Jan. 6
- PfISD SHAC Meeting: Jan. 14
- Board of Trustees Meeting: Jan. 16
- Staff/Student Holiday: Jan. 20
To view more perks, visit The Pfair.