B. CURRICULUM AND INSTRUCTION
- Curriculum Management Plan
- District RtI Handbook
- ELAR/SLAR Framework for Elementary Grades
- Student Handbooks
- Birdville ISD Library Media Services: Elementary Online Resources
- Birdville ISD Library Media Services: Middle School Online Resources
- Birdville ISD Library Media Services: High School Online Resources
- Reporting of Academic Progress
- Report Card, Grading, Semester Exam, Make-Up Work, Tutorial, and Remediation information for all grade levels found in the Student Handbook\
C. SPECIAL INSTRUCTIONAL PROGRAMS
- Dual Language and English as a Second Language Programs
- Dyslexia Program
- Career and Technology Education
- Shannon Learning Center
- Special Education
- Student Assistance Program
D. PROFESSIONAL DEVELOPMENT
BIRDVILLE – PIONEER IN EDUCATIONThe Birdville Independent School District continues a tradition of quality education that began on the Texas frontier before the Civil War. On August 12, 1989, a Texas Historical Marker was placed on the original site where classes began in 1858. The Birdville District has always been noted for exceptional teachers and excellent instructional programs and the tradition continues into the present time.
Although all students attended school on one campus well into the twentieth century, more than 22,500 students now attend school in one of thirty-two campuses in the district. The district employs more than 2,800 people. Approximately twenty-four percent hold a master’s or doctorate degrees, and all teachers meet “Highly Qualified” under No Child Left Behind.Birdville is located in northeast Tarrant County. The district covers forty-two square miles and includes the greater Fort Worth areas of Haltom City, a portion of Hurst, North Richland Hills, Richland Hills and Watauga. Much of the district’s past success is attributed to community interest and concern and that the bond among the community, parents and the school district grows even stronger…and will produce even greater success.
RESOLUTION AUTHORIZING THE TEACHING OF MORAL
AND RESPONSIBLE CITIZENSHIP
WHEREAS it is recognized that traditional values such as determining right from wrong, honesty, integrity, responsibility, accountability, self-discipline, sexual abstinence, self-restraint, sincerity, loyalty, love of country and respect for and value of human life and property are common to all established societies, and are clearly reflective of the communities served by the Birdville Independent School District; and
WHEREAS it is recognized that parents are the most important influence in instilling such traditional virtues in a child; and
WHEREAS, in addition to the role of parents, teachers and other school staff members significantly affect the development of students by serving as a role model; and
WHEREAS, all Birdville Independent School District Educators are expected to utilize quality instructional materials and resources that assist parents in promoting the virtues incorporated above and encourage all students to become exemplary citizens;
NOW THEREFORE BE IT RESOLVED that the Board of Trustees encourages the Administration to reinforce the teaching and modeling of traditional virtues and responsible citizenship enumerated above in all grades pre-kindergarten through twelve.-Adopted by the BISD Board of Trustees, August 1995
BISD has established the guidelines listed below for instruction at various levels. Even though many teachers are instructing through an integrated interdisciplinary approach, the following suggested time allotments provide guidance in ensuring equitable instructional time in all content areas.
The district must ensure that sufficient time is provided for teachers to teach and for students to learn English language arts and reading, mathematics, science, social studies, fine arts, health, physical education, technology applications, and to the extent possible, languages other than English.
Texas Administrative Code §74.2. Description of a Required Elementary Curriculum.
The elementary level time allotments for the various grade divisions are:
4th – 5th
This strategic use of time fulfills the requirements of guidelines and also allows the desired amounts of time to carry through an activity. It is certainly not the intent of the guidelines for teachers to stop one content lesson abruptly and start another for reasons of scheduling where scheduling would reduce instructional effectiveness. Fragmentation is not conducive to good learning and lessons need not be conducted in this manner. The important points to remember are that integrating and implementing essential knowledge and skills from several subject areas in one lesson plan require prior planning and that each essential knowledge and skill of each subject area must be taught.
Middle school classes for each subject area are generally forty to forty-five minutes in length, and either seven or eight periods are scheduled each day. However, grade levels which adopt an interdisciplinary team structure may vary the daily time allotments for subject areas.
The high school schedule is generally based on a fifty minute period, with seven periods included in the school day; however, individual campuses may have developed a schedule with eight periods.
BISD Board Policies:
PURPOSES AND GENERAL PHILOSOPHY
OF GRADING IN BISD
Grading Philosophy of Birdville Public Schools
o A grade should represent a student’s academic achievement as recorded by the teacher.
o A student’s grade in any academic area should be independent of a student’s conduct/behavior. Separate provisions are made for marking behavior-related performance. The academic grade should represent an evaluation of academic progress based only on learning the course objectives, which reflect the essential knowledge and skills.
o Grading should help the student:
o Motivate the student to do his/her best.
o Evaluate and see his/her progress.
o Recognize how his/her work may be improved.
o Grading should give the parent the kind of information that will help him/her:
o Understand the student’s academic progress.
o Encourage the student to maximum performance in the academic areas.
o Guide the student in making personal and social adjustments.
o Assess strengths and needs of each student.
o Plan and modify instructional delivery.o Communicate student progress to parents.Mastery of Essential Knowledge and Skills – All Grades
A student may be promoted only the basis of academic achievement or demonstrated proficiency of the subject matter of the course or grade level. In addition to local policy relating to grade advancement, students in grades 3, 5, and 8 must demonstrate proficiency by meeting the passing standard on the appropriate assessment instrument listed at GRADE ADVANCEMENT TESTING or on a state-approved alternate assessment. 19 TAC 101.2001 (b)
Mastery shall be determined as follows:
1. Course assignments and unit evaluation shall be given to determine student grades in a subject. An average of 70 or higher shall be considered a passing grade.
2. Mastery of the skills necessary for success at the next level shall be validated by assessments that may either be incorporated into unit, six-week, and final exams, or may be administered separately. Mastery of at least 70 percent of the objectives shall be required.
In grades 1- 8, promotion to the next grade level shall be based on an overall average of 70 on a scale of 100 based upon course-level, grade-level standards (essential knowledge and skills) for all subject areas and a grade of 70 or above in language arts, including reading, mathematics, science and social studies.
For those students not achieving the requirements for promotion, a summer school program which may enable the student to be promoted is available each year. Specific information about the program is provided during the spring semester of each year.
Mastery of at least 70 percent of the objectives on District-approved tests shall be required. Grade-level advancement for students in grades 9-12 shall be earned by course credits as indicated in administrative procedures. Changes in grade-level classification shall be made at be beginning of the fall semester. EIE (LOCAL)-X
Promotion standards and appropriate assessment and acceleration options, as established by the individual education plan (IEP), or grade-level classification of students eligible for special education or Section 504 services shall be determined by the ARD committee or by the Section 504 committee, respectively. EIE (LOCAL)-X
In assessing students of limited English proficiency for mastery of the essential knowledge and skills, the District shall be flexible in determining methods to allow the students to demonstrate knowledge or competency independent of their English language skills in the following ways:
1. Assessment in the primary language.
2. Assessment using ESL methodologies.
3. Assessment with multiple varied instruments. EHBE (LEGAL)
The District shall establish procedures designed to reduce retaining students at a grade level, with the ultimate goal being elimination of the practice of retaining students. EIE (LOCAL)-X, EHBC (LEGAL)
The District shall establish instructional objectives that relate to the essential knowledge and skills for grade level subjects or courses. These objectives shall address the skills needed for successful performance in the next grade or next course in a sequence of courses.
Assignments, tests, projects, classroom activities, and other instructional activities shall be designed so that the student’s performance indicates the level of mastery of the designated District objectives. The student’s mastery level shall be a major factor in determining the grade for a subject or course.
The Superintendent or designee shall ensure that each campus or instructional level develops guidelines for teachers to follow in determining grades for students. These guidelines shall ensure that grades reflect student achievement and that a sufficient number of grades are taken to support the grade average assigned. Guidelines for grading shall be clearly communicated to students and parents.EIA (LOCAL)PARENT/TEACHER CONFERENCES
The Board shall adopt a policy that:
- Provides for a conference between parents and teachers
- Requires the District, at least once every 12 weeks, to give written notice to a parent of a student’s performance in each class or subject
- The notice must provide for the signature of the student’s parent and be returned to the District; however, these requirements do not apply to married students, emancipated minors, or an adult living alone. “Parent” includes a guardian, conservator, or other person having lawful control of a student. Education Code 28.022 EIA (LEGAL)
In addition to conferences scheduled on the campus calendar, conferences may be requested by a teacher or parent as needed. EIA (LOCAL)
- Grades PK- 5:
- A minimum of one formal individual parent/teacher conference shall be scheduled each year.
- The conference shall be scheduled by the homeroom teacher to assist in the proper appraisal of each student’s progress by the end of the second six weeks.
- Teachers shall encourage parents to attend a conference at the school; however, if such arrangement is not possible, a telephone conference or letter shall meet the requirement for a formal conference.
- Primary purpose of these conferences is to gain parental support and assistance in helping students to perform successfully
- Grades K-12:
- Teachers shall schedule one or more conference(s) with the parent(s) of a student if the student is not maintaining passing grades or achieving the expected level of performance or presents some other problem to the teacher or in any other case the teacher considers necessary.
- Campuses are encouraged to have group conferences by grade level early in the school year in order to explain the instructional program and to set expectations for the school year. Such a meeting would provide a good opportunity to explain grading procedures as well.
Helpful hints for conducting successful parent-teacher conferences follow.
- Purpose of Parent-Teacher Conferences
o Valuable source of information and understanding to both the parent and teacher.
o Provides opportunities for parents and teachers to become better acquainted and to combine their efforts in the interest of the student concerned.
o Helps to increase the student’s confidence and ability to evaluate performance.
o Preparation Tips
o Collect all relevant data, selections of student work, discipline record etc.
o Designate a time and place for the conference. Ensure privacy and try to move the conference to a place away from the teacher’s desk. Make the room feel welcome.
o Establish rapport by starting on a positive note. Report something good about the student.
o Be kind, sympathetic and tactful if an unpleasant truth must be told and have evidence to illustrate the point.
o Parents will often relax and become much more cooperative when they realize that the problems they face are common problems and are often an aspect of the growth and development of the student rather than a result of their own mishandling.
o Teacher’s tone of voice and the accompanying expressions and mannerisms are often just as important as what is said. Teacher responses, questions, advise and behavior have profound and important influences on the feelings of the parent about the school and the classroom.
o Encourage the parent to talk freely.
o Hear criticisms of the school and plan later visits for parents who are critical of the school program.
o Be honest.
o Prepare questions concerning academic progress of the student:
§ Scholastically, where is the student in relation to accepted standards?
§ Is he/she capable of doing better?
§ What prevents him/her from accomplishing more?
§ What are the possible remedies?
o Do not accuse or blame either the parent or yourself. The situation should be met cooperatively.
o Say nothing or ask another question if you are not sure of what to say in response to a parent’s question or comment.
o Avoid sentimental sympathy or advice about situations on which you are not competent to give advice.
o Avoid being frightened by a parent or becoming angry.
o Avoid any comparison of the student with other children, especially a brother or sister.
o Do not interrupt the parent, especially in disagreement.
o Avoid open or implied criticism of the parent.
o Avoid seeming inquisitive about the family and personal matters.
o Never repeat any matter of a personal nature learned in confidence, and make sure the parent knows this confidence will not be violated.
o Avoid the use of technical language which might raise a barrier between you and the parent.
o Refrain from a discussion of your own personal problems. Stay on the subject.
o Refrain from definite or implied criticism of the school or of other teachers and students.
COMMUNICATING WITH PARENTS
The district encourages each campus to develop a plan for sending home completed student work and/or assignments on a regular basis in order to inform parents about student progress. The plan should address the frequency of communication with parents and the method of documentation.
Establishing a plan for consistently sending home student work from class and homework assignments can provide a strong link in building a partnership with parents in focusing on student performance. Some campuses that have developed a consistent plan for all grade levels that includes a provision for parent response have reported real success in improving student performance.
PARENTAL ACCESS TO TEACHING MATERIALS
A parent is entitled to review all teaching materials, textbooks and other teaching aids used in the classroom of the parent’s child and to review each test administered to the child after the test is administered. The District shall make teaching materials and tests readily available for parental review and may specify reasonable hours for such review. Texas Education Code 26.006 [See FNG (LEGAL)]
All instructional materials, including teacher’s manuals, films, tapes, or other supplementary material, that will be used in connection with any survey, analysis, or evaluation as part of any program funded in whole or in part by the U.S. Department of Education shall be available for inspection by the parents or guardians of the children. 20 U.S.C. 1232h(a) EF (LEGAL)
EXEMPTION OF STUDENTS FROM INSTRUCTION
A parent or person standing in parental relation may remove the parent’s child from a class or other school activity that conflicts with the parent’s religious or moral beliefs* if the parent presents or delivers to the teacher of the parent’s child a written statement authorizing the removal of the child from the class or other school activity.
A parent is not entitled to remove the parent’s child from a class or other school activity to avoid a test or to prevent the child from taking a subject for an entire semester. A parent cannot exempt a child from satisfying grade level or graduation requirements in a manner acceptable to the District and TEA.
Education Code 26.002, 26.010, EMB (LEGAL)-P
*Parents have the authority to remove their child from any instruction about diseases.
Considerations in Selection of Instructional Materials:
o The adopted policy and resolutions of the Board of Trustees regarding instruction and instructional materials (if applicable);
o The cultural diversity of our community;
o Relevance of content to students’ lives; and
o The educational philosophy adopted by the district that establishes a focus on high expectations and the development of critical thinking skills
CHALLENGE AND RECONSIDERATION OF INSTRUCTIONAL RESOURCES
The selection of library acquisitions on controversial issues shall endeavor to maintain a balanced collection representing various views. Library materials shall be chosen to clarify historical and contemporary forces by presenting and analyzing intergroup tension and conflict objectively, placing emphasis on recognizing and understanding social and economic problems.
Any parent of a District student, employee, or other resident may formally challenge an instructional resource used in the District’s educational program on the basis of appropriateness.
The school receiving a complaint about the appropriateness of an instructional resource shall try to resolve the matter informally using the following procedure:
1. The principal or other knowledgeable professional staff shall explain the school’s selection process, the criteria for selection and the qualifications of the professional staff who selected the questioned material.
2. The principal or other knowledgeable professional staff shall explain the role the questioned material plays in the educational program, its intended educational usefulness, and any additional information regarding its use. If appropriate, the party may be referred to someone who can identify and explain the use of the resource.
3. If appropriate, the principal may offer a concerned parent another resource to be used by that parent’s child in place of the challenged material.
4. If the complainant wishes to make a formal challenge, the principal shall provide the complainant a copy of this policy and a Request for Reconsideration of Instructional Materials form [EFA(EXHIBIT)-X]
All formal objections to instructional resources shall be made on the Request for Reconsideration of Instructional Materials form. The form shall be completed and signed by the complainant and
submitted to the principal or designee. Upon receipt of the request, the principal shall appoint a reconsideration committee.
The reconsideration committee shall include at least one member of the instructional staff who either has experience teaching the challenged material or is familiar with the challenged material.
Other members of the committee may include District-level staff, library staff, secondary-level students, parents, and others deemed appropriate by the principal.
All members of the committee shall review the challenged material in its entirety. As soon as reasonably possible, the committee shall meet and determine whether the challenged material conforms to the principles of selection set out in this policy. The committee shall then prepare a written report. Copies of the report shall be provided to the principal, the Superintendent or designee, and the complainant.
The complainant may appeal the decision of the reconsideration committee in accordance with appropriate complaint policies, starting at Level Two. The appeal shall contain a copy of the original
complaint, the reconsideration committee’s report, and dates of conferences with the principal or designee.
The following principles shall guide the Board and staff in responding
to challenges of instructional resources:
1. A parent of a District student, any employee, or any District resident may raise an objection to an instructional resource used in a school’s educational program, despite the fact that
the professional staff selecting the resources were qualified to make the selection, followed the proper procedure, and adhered to the objectives and criteria for instructional resources set out in this policy.
2. A parent’s ability to exercise control over reading, listening, or viewing matter extends only to his or her own children.
3. When instructional resources are challenged, the principles of the freedom to read, listen, and view must be defended as well.
The major criterion for the final decision on challenged materials is the appropriateness of the material for its intended educational use. No challenged library material shall be removed solely because of the ideas expressed therein.
Birdville Independent School District
CARE TeamPhilosophy and Purpose
The Birdville Independent School District CARE Team is committed to maintaining a healthy educational environment to enhance the academic success of all our students. In order to maintain this environment, the school district provides both prevention and early intervention approaches to meet all levels of need in order to raise expectations and outcome performance. This process includes an identification and referral process, positive and healthy activities, and support for students and their families.
Goals and Objectives
• To implement a plan which is consistent with the mission statement of the district and which correlates with the philosophy and objectives of the district and the schools, Grades Pre-kindergarten through 12.
• To establish a centralized referral and screening process in which administrators, counselors,teachers, parents and students can confidentially refer students who are indicating a concern through their behavior, loss of productivity or self-disclosure.
• To provide positive, effective alternatives to potential or current student concerns.
• To implement a network among departments and personnel in order to maximize resources and raise the level of understanding among all staff about student distress and its effects on learning, as well as on teaching.
• To assist in ensuring that the established discipline management policy and the drug/alcohol policy are congruent with the philosophy of offering assistance when appropriate
Instructional Policies for Teaching Controversial Issues
The District shall address controversial topics in an impartial and objective manner. Teachers shall not use the classroom to transmit personal beliefs regarding political or sectarian issues. Students
and educators shall ensure that, to the extent possible, discussions are conducted fairly and courteously.
A teacher selecting topics for discussion in the classroom shall be adequately informed about the issue and capable of providing instruction on the subject, free from personal bias. In addition, the teacher shall be certain that:
1. The issue in question is within the range, knowledge, maturity, and comprehension of the students.
2. The issue is current and educationally significant.
3. The consideration of the issue does not interfere with required instruction.
4. Sufficient relevant information on all aspects of the issue is provided.
If a teacher is unsure about a topic of discussion or about the methods to employ, the teacher may discuss the issue with the principal.
In guiding classroom discussion of controversial issues, teachers shall:
1. Foster students’ critical thinking skills.
3. Create an atmosphere in which students learn to respect others’ opinions and disagree courteously.
4. Ensure that multiple viewpoints about the issue are presented by introducing an unexpressed viewpoint when necessary.
5. Avoid any attempt to coerce or persuade students to adopt the teacher’s point of view.
A student or parent with concerns regarding instruction about controversial issues shall be directed to the complaint policy at FNG.
UNDERSTANDING COPYRIGHT LAW
Employees of the District shall comply with the provisions of the United States Copyright Law. Subject to certain specific exceptions, as stated below, the owner of a copyright has the exclusive rights to reproduce, distribute, perform or display the copyright work, or to authorize such reproduction, distribution, performance or display by others.
17 U.S.C. 106
An exception to the exclusive rights enjoyed by copyright owners is the doctrine of fair use. The fair use of a copyrighted work for purposes of teaching, scholarship or research is not an infringement of copyright. The following factors shall be considered in determining fair use:
1. The purpose and character of the use, including whether the use is of a
commercial nature or for nonprofit educational purposes.
2. The nature of the copyrighted work.
3. The amount and importance of the portion used in relation to the copyrighted work as a whole.
4. The effect of the use upon the potential market for or value of the copyrighted work.
17 U.S.C. 107
A further exception shall be performance or display of a work by instructors or students in the course of face-to-face teaching activities in a classroom or other similar place devoted to instruction.
17 U.S.C. 110
Employees who wish to use copyrighted print material and sheet music shall follow the guidelines set forth in the “Guidelines for Classroom Copying in Not-for-Profit
For specific information, please review the BISD Board Policies and Exhibits for copyright information:
Instructional Policies for the Study of Religion
The inclusion of religion in the study of history, culture, literature, music, drama, and art is essential to a full and fair presentation of the curriculum. The inclusion of religious elements is appropriate
as long as the material included is intrinsic to the field of study in which it is presented and as long as it is presented objectively.
The District’s approach to teaching about religion shall be academic, not devotional. Emphasis on religious themes in the arts, literature, and history shall be only as extensive as necessary for a
balanced and thorough study of these areas. Such studies shall not foster any particular religious tenet nor demean any religious beliefs, but shall attempt to develop mutual respect among students
and advance their knowledge and appreciation of the role that religious heritage plays in the social, cultural, and historic development of civilization.
Use of religious texts in instruction shall be guided by the principles set forth above. Other than texts used in an appropriate course of study, the District shall not distribute religious texts or materials to students. Such materials may be indexed, shelved, and circulated
as library materials. [See FNAA regarding student distribution of nonschool literature and GKD regarding nonstudent distribution of non-school literature.]
District music groups may perform or receive instruction regarding religious music as part of the secular program of instruction. The primary purpose of the inclusion of religious music in performances or instruction shall be academic, not devotional. Performances
and instruction shall reflect religious diversity when appropriate. Religious symbols may be displayed as a teaching aid. Their display shall be temporary and limited to specific teaching activities; such displays shall not be permitted for devotional purposes.
Students may choose to include religious elements in their schoolwork, such as papers, presentations, or artwork; however, students’ work must fulfill the purpose of the assignment and be evaluated by secular academic standards.
Pledges of Allegiance
The Board shall require students, once during each school day, to recite the pledges of allegiance to the United States and Texas flags. On written request from a student’s parent or guardian, the
District shall excuse the student from reciting a pledge of allegiance.
Moments of Silence
The Board shall provide for the observance of one minute of silence following the recitation of the pledges of allegiance. During the one-minute period, each student may reflect, pray, or meditate,
or engage in any other silent activity that is not likely to interfere with or distract another student. Each teacher or other school employee in charge of the students during that period shall ensure
Education Code 25.082
RENEWAL OF STANDARD CERTIFICATES
The Continuing Professional Education requirements for each class of certificate are as follows:
- classroom teachers must complete 150 clock hours every five years;
- counselors must complete 200 clock hours every five years;
- learning resource specialists and school librarians must complete 200 clock hours every five years;
- reading specialists must complete 200 clock hours every five years;
- educational diagnosticians must complete 200 clock hours every five years;
- master teachers must complete 200 clock hours every five years; and
- superintendents, principals, and must complete 200 clock hours every five years.
- Candidates currently assigned as a principal or assistant principal are required by law (Texas Education Code, section 21.054) to complete an assessment process designed to assist in the development of a professional growth plan (see 19 TAC Chapter 241.30 for more information). Professional development credit earned as a part of the professional growth plan can also be used to fulfill requirements for renewal of the principal certificate
To allow maximum flexibility for educators to identify appropriate CPE activities to meet their individual needs, CPE clock hours can be accrued through the following:
- workshops, conferences, and in-service or staff development delivered by an approved registered provider ;
- undergraduate and graduate coursework through an accredited institution of higher education, with one semester credit being equivalent to 15 CPE clock hours;
- interactive distance learning, video conferencing, or on-line activities;
- independent study, not to exceed 20% of the required clock hours;
- development of curriculum or CPE training materials;
- presenting CPE activities, not to exceed 10% of the required clock hours;
- serving as a mentor, not to exceed 30% of the required clock hours; and
- serving as an assessor for the principal assessment, not to exceed 10% of the required clock hours.
Only those CPE activities from SBEC-approved registered providers will be recognized for Standard Certificate renewal purposes. All CPE providers approved by SBEC are listed under the "Certificate Renewal Requirements" link on the SBEC website.
Gifted and Talented Education, Technology Training, Health and Safety (Automated External Defibrillators, CPR, Steroids, and Extracurricular Activity Training), and Community of Respect CPE mandates are determined by state law and district policy.
19 TAC 89.2
Health and Safety Code 779.002