Did you miss the GRIT presentation by Caroline Miller?  Watch it here:     




Key Communicators 


October 11, 2016


Legislative Update:  Review of initiative PISD is supporting in the upcoming State Legislative session

1)    Property Tax Relief: Desire to push bills that create greater transparency of how the state is shifting Robin Hood tax money to other programs

2)    Assessment and Accountability:  Support a system that places less emphasis on standardized tests and more on student growth

3)    Support Early Childhood Ed

4)    Provide flexibility with regard to interest payments

5)    Support adequate funding

6)    Termination of Chapter w12 Employees upon a felony conviction

7)    Excuse Attendance for Students who are exempt from finals


Review of Social Emotional Learning initiatives:

          Elementary: Presentation from Mendenhall staff.  Emphasis on understanding brain functions and how to increase move from dysregulated states to regulated states

          Secondary:  Presentation from Jasper HS staff.  Review of new program to make 1st few days of school exceptional and build relationships between students, teachers and peers in order to enhance the educational experiences for the rest of the year.

          Closing speech from Dr. Binggeli regarding his background and vision for education.


February 3, 2016

From Dr Binggeli: The school board agreed at their Feb 2nd mtg to bring $481M bond package forward on the 5/7 ballot.  Early voting will start 4/25. They will send communication packages out for distribution in order to provide bond details and encourage voter turnout.  Dr. Binggeli is willing to speak to any organizations (PTA, School mtgs, etc) regarding bond package information.  Representatives of the PISD (including key communicators when functioning in their official capacity) are not allowed to advocate for or against the Bond initiative but may only inform.

Meeting format included Topic Tables with Break-Out Sessions. More info on all available agenda topics can be found here.

Topic #1: Guidance Services 9-12th grades. (Jane Clanahan)

-13 extra Guidance counselors were on campus at PESH to help students and staff with the recent student deaths. (normal staff is 10, so 23 total)

-Suicide prevention programming is already part of their program. In 11/12th grades, it is titled "Taking Care of Each Other".

-When asked what types of programs exist, or are planned, to help prevent such tragedies, they mentioned the Grit Program at MMS as a real effort towards root cause & prevention.

-Next Tuesday (2/9) there will be a special topic presentation, by Haliburton, which will be communicated through the district.'

-Statistic: over 1,000,000 suicide attempts in HS annually; approx. 5,000 completions 


Topic #2: PACE Program, K-12 (Robin Garcia)

-General Q&A on PACE program, selection process, and progression from K-12.

-New curriculum for 3rd grade will focus on coding

-New middle school curriculum for SIGS

Topic #3: Multilingual Instruction (Tita Alarcon)

-Overview of bilingual/ESL services.

-PISD currently does not offer any dual-language study programs.  But, this year, they are assessing different models for teaching dual language curriculum.  No commitment yet, just research.


Topic #4: PISD Academy High School (Haley Bolton)

-STEAM school (Science, Tech, Engineering, Arts & Math)

-Overview of the school model: non-traditional, project based, with facilitators.  Not focused on boosting GPA (no IB, AP, GT courses). No electives-- uses 'clubs' instead. -Approx. 125 students per grade; open application process, but selection is done by lottery. -Gaining interest & popularity among colleges (over 50 colleges have visited the campus, including Harvard, Columbia, etc).


October 8, 2015

On October 8, 2015 the Key Communicators met with PISD representatives including the new PISD Superintendant, Dr. Brian Binggeli.  There was a short presentation on the Plano ISD Education Foundation (LINK TO SLIDES) as well a presentation of Dr. Binggeli’s vision for the PISD followed by a roundtable discussion of Key Communicator groups and a Q&A session.


Dr. Binggeli’s  strategic plan is summarized on the following worksheets: (LINK TO WORKSHEET)


The vision of this strategic plan falls into two main categories, 1) Student Learning and 2) Efficient Use of Resources.


Student Learning is further broken down into 4 main sub-points:

  1. Maintain high expectations
  2. Foster acquisition of 21st Century skills (LINK)
  3. Provide quality, diverse programming that maximizes choices
  4. Focus on citizenship, ethics and character integrity


Efficient Use of Resources is also broke into 4 sub-points:

  1. Demonstrate fiscal responsibility
  2. Attract and retain highly qualified staff
  3. Provide high-quality, safe, and productive learning environments
  4. Maximize community connections


The key communicators will meet again with PISD representatives later in the school year.  If there is any information or opinions you wish to have communicated to them, please email those to rrice1968@hotmail.com