TIA Newsletter September 2023: What is Our Plan?

  • Post published:September 12, 2023
  • Reading time:4 mins read

For the 2023-2024 academic school year, Cityscape’s Teacher Incentive Allotment (TIA) plan now covers all Reading, Math, Science, and Pre-K teachers, grades Pre-K through 8.  Both certified and uncertified teachers are eligible to qualify for a TIA designation. Cityscape’s district plan is comprised of: Student Growth – 50 percent Teacher Observation – 50 percent Attendance - prerequisite Our measurement for Student Growth is MAP (for grades K through 8) and CIRCLE (for our Pre-K teachers). Our measurement of Teacher Observation is T-TESS (for all grades):  Domains 2 & 3 To learn more about Teacher Incentive Allotment, see the Texas Education Agency Resources (https://tea.texas.gov/texas-educators/educator-initiatives-and-performance/educator-initiatives/teacher-incentive-allotment) Exciting News! The scoop of the dayCityscape home to 16 TIA Designees for the 2023-2024 School Year! For the first time in district history, Cityscape Schools is home to 16 teachers who have earned designations through the state’s Teacher Incentive Allotment program. Nine teachers are veteran Cityscape teachers and the remaining seven teachers had already earned their designations at other districts when they came to Cityscape for the current school year. The following teachers are in their second year (or higher) with Cityscape Schools: Acuña, Sol – ECC - RecognizedCupido, Carlos – EGP – RecognizedEsquivel, Margarita – BP - ExemplaryFranco, Alva – EGP – RecognizedGarcia, Maria – EGP – RecognizedHoward, Naima – BP – ExemplaryMiles, Lindsey – EGP – RecognizedOrnelas, Juan – EGP – RecognizedRodriguez, Angel – EGP – Recognized And a huge Cityscape welcome to the following teachers who are new this year, but earned designations through their previous districts: Arellano, Rosa – EGP – ExemplaryCabra, Diana – EGP – RecognizedCamarillo, Gabriel – EGP – MasterChilds, Samantha – EGP – MasterDe Fex, Raul – EGP –…

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The Importance of Showing Up

  • Post published:September 11, 2023
  • Reading time:8 mins read

Attendance Awareness  Cityscape Schools acknowledges the importance of showing up every day! September is known as Attendance Awareness Month and we are dedicated to helping our families understand how being in class every day impacts their children’s learning. Recent surveys have shown that some of the reasons that  students are absent include: 48%, short-term illness, 10% chronic illness, 2% bad weather and 1% unreliable transportation.  A research made by Attendance Works stated that 10% of missed school days missed due to absence for any reason, even if it’s excused or unexcused, can translate into students having difficulty learning to read by the third grade, achieving in middle school, and graduating from high school.  Students at Cityscape Schools are required to not miss more than 28 school days, that includes both excused and unexcused absences. In addition, our campus leadership team is responsible for applying those consequences to those students who don't meet the required days of attendance, those consequences may result in expulsion, suspension or required summer school.  Over the past few years, the misconception on chronic absenteeism has created a division between families and schools. While for some administrators absenteeism can be easily confused with lack of interest in education by families, research has shown to them that the difficulty to connect with schools is among the top reasons why students are absent.  We Are Here To Help! Our team at Cityscape Schools prides itself on staying connected with families and keeping that communication intact as it’s the first sentence of our Mission Statement, “Cityscape Schools exists to work in an educational partnership with families.” Chief officer of Culture and Climate, Dr. Billy Ferrell says Cityscape knows the importance of keeping…

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Giving Cityscape PreK Students a Head Start

  • Post published:August 9, 2023
  • Reading time:2 mins read

Cityscape Schools and Head Start of Greater Dallas are partnering to provide high-quality child-development services to families of 3 and 4-year old students, enrolled at Cityscape’s Early Childhood Center.  Cityscape is one of the few charter schools currently partnering with Head Start.  As part of the collaboration, Head Start provides income eligible families with resources that empowers them to better engage in the education of their children. This enables parents to partner with educators so that together they can develop a foundation that will lead students through success not only in school, but in life.  “We are honored and thankful to unite forces with Head Start, to together change one child at a time,” said Elda Rojas, Cityscape Schools Deputy Superintendent and Chief Academic Officer. Our vision at Cityscape is to work in partnerships with families to prepare children and young people to fulfill productive leadership roles in society. Collaborating with an organization like Head Start, who’s mission aligns with our commitment to families, will give our students a stronger foundation and will open a world of opportunities.”  Some of the services provided through the partnership by Head Start’s qualified staff include preventative health and nutrition, social and educational services, among many other resources, all for free.  In addition to development resources provided to families, students have the opportunity to participate in interactive activities such as field trips. Interested in becoming part of Cityscape’s family? Enroll your child today, contact us at www.cityscapeschools.org/apply or call us at (469) 905-0336. To receive services through Head Start, you must also submit an application to their program, by clicking here. APPLY TO HEAD START Early Childhood Program

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First group in Cityscape Schools to Participate in The Congressional Award!

  • Post published:July 18, 2023
  • Reading time:4 mins read

Our middle school students created memorable experiences and developed new skills through The Congressional Award summit as part of Cityscapes Foresight Summer Camp!  Cityscape is proud to bring this first-of-its kind leadership program to our middle school students. This program traditionally engages students starting high school but thanks to a close collaboration with The Congressional Award, our middle students had the opportunity to participate in the prestigious national program.  “We are honored to partner with The U.S. Congressional Award Program to bring life-learning changing leadership experiences program to our first group of eighth graders at Cityscape Schools,” said Elda Rojas, Deputy Superintendent and Chief Academic Officer. “The program will help our students grow academically and social-emotionally and will open an array of opportunities for them.”  The Congressional Award is the United States Congress’ only charity and the highest honor bestowed upon a youth civilian through the U.S. Senate and House of Representatives. Mateo Magdaleno, from the Magdaleno Leadership Institute and member of the Congressional Award Program, introduced himself to our students by giving them an inspiring story and assuring them that they can do anything they want and introduced Mission I’m Possible, “Together, we can change the world.” This week-long program allowed our students to get a glimpse into what it’s like to be a college student. By focusing on issues, our students were challenged to come up with plans for the issues in question through an action plan. They started everyday with the whole group in which they all learned about the President’s Service Award and the Congressional award and its history. Then the whole group divided into small groups to work on their Issues to Action.  Our students…

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Congratulations to our East Grand Middle School Class of 2023!

  • Post published:June 6, 2023
  • Reading time:6 mins read

We celebrated the end of a journey at Cityscape for our East Grand Preparatory 8th grade students last Thursday night as they graduated from middle school. The ceremony, which was the beginning of a new path for these students, brought tears to our students, staff and those who were present. With much excitement we celebrated the graduation of Cityscape's sixth 8th grade class. The first class of Cityscape 8th graders graduated in  2016. This year, we are proud to send off to high school our 64 students who graduated from East Grand Middle School.  The vast majority of students who graduated this year were part of the East Grand family since their elementary years, with some of them having graduated from kindergarten  at EGP. Four of our grads attended elementary school at Buckner Preparatory. Dr. Israel Garcia, Assistant Principal at East Grand Preparatory, says the eighth grade graduating class has a lot more challenges to face in high school.  “This is far from over, the journey for high school graduation is still ahead of them,” said Dr. Garcia. However, as challenging as it may be at times, our 8th grade students are equipped now with the right tools and the character to persevere and triumph. “The East Grand Prep grads who will be part of the high school graduating classes of 2027 will do amazing things, just wait and see!” With the strong academic foundation built at Cityscape Schools, the journey for our grads will continue to flourish at neighborhood high schools such as: Yvonne A. Ewell Townview School of Health Profession, Skyline’s both, Magnet and Early College, New Tech Early College, Kathlyn Joy Gilliam Collegiate Academy, North Dallas PTECH. Three…

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Ms. Sol Acuña, TIA Designee!

  • Post published:May 9, 2023
  • Reading time:2 mins read

One of our seven pending TIA designees, Ms. Sol Acuña, has taught Pre-kindergarten classes for the district since for the past four years. Since last school year (2021-2022) was the first year of TIA eligibility for Cityscape Pre-kindergarten teachers, Ms. Acuña earned T-TESS scores and student growth percentages high enough to earn a pending TIA designation! When asked about her high marks on the T-TESS and the CIRCLE assessment (student growth), she simply replied that she likes a happy classroom. Beyond the curriculum, she teaches life’s lessons and teaches her students that mistakes are good when we learn from them! She allows freedom of expression for the little ones and truly understands their needs. Ms. Acuña was born in Caracas, Venezuela and came to the USA when she was 20 years old. She moved to Spain and taught young children there before eventually coming back to the USA and now has more than 30 years of experience in teaching. Ms. Acuna has one daughter whoworks as an art director and lives in Los Angeles. When asked what advice she would give to a beginning teacher, she replied, “Teaching can be difficult, but you will never regret laughing and having fun with your students. Let them know you love them, and that they are part of an important bigger community.” When asked to share what he admires about Ms. Acuña, her principal, Mr. Jose Lopez, stated, “her commitment to her students and her advocacy for the rest of the teachers.” When someone wished her good luck as we await final word on last year’s designations, she replied, “a (pending) designation with TIA is a nice honor, yes, but whether I receive…

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Ms. Margarita Esquivel, TIA Designee for the 2021-2022 School Year!

  • Post published:May 3, 2023
  • Reading time:3 mins read

TIA Newsletter One of our seven pending TIA designees, Ms. Margarita Esquivel, hails from Zacatecas, Mexico and came to the USA when she was 11 years old. She has been with Cityscape Schools since 2015, working first as a TA, then an IA, and after completing her bachelor’s degree and passing her required state certification exams, has been teaching for Buckner Prep for the past three years. She has been teaching Pre-kindergarten classes for the past two years. Since last school year (2021-2022) was the first year of TIA eligibility for Cityscape Pre-kindergarten teachers, Ms. Esquivel did not realize that the district had made application to include PreK in our TIA plan and was very surprised to hear of her pending designation status. When asked about her high marks on the T-TESS and the CIRCLE assessment (student growth), she responded “respect for profession.” She added, “I accept responsibility for my job without expecting anything in return, except for student growth!”    When asked what advice she would give to a beginning teacher, she replied, “Take care of yourself: mentally, physically, and emotionally. You must serve as an example to your students, so they always see you at your best. Your priority is not only your students, but also yourself.” When asked to share what she admires about Ms. Esquivel, her principal, Ms. Clarencia Wade, stated, “she is an advocate for her students. She has a strong sense of knowing how to assist her students at the level of their needs. She LOVES teaching and working with those younger students.” When asked for a final word on teaching, she replied, “I never expect a reward for what I do. My values…

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More Exciting News!

  • Post published:April 27, 2023
  • Reading time:3 mins read

Mr. Carlos Cupido Pending TIA Designee for the 2021-2022 School Year! One of our seven pending TIA designees, Mr. Carlos Cupido has been teaching at East Grand Preparatory since 2015.  He currently teaches 8th grade mathematics. Before coming to Cityscape, Mr. Cupido taught for Dallas ISD for seven years and before that, taught university courses in math, statistics, and marketing in Mexico.  Mr. Cupido has a bachelor’s degree in industrial engineering and a master’s degree in business administration.  Upon learning of his pending TIA designation, he was both proud and happy. When asked about his high marks on the T-TESS and the MAP assessment (student growth), he responded “I like to teach!” He added, “It is super important to enjoy what you do.  I like to convey knowledge and ensure my students understand the lesson content.” He also admitted that to perform well as a classroom instructor, one must master their content. “As a former engineer, I know my subject,” he added.  “How can one convey information to others if they do not know it, themselves?”     When asked what advice he would give to a beginning teacher, he replied, “Be professional! You’re being paid to perform a job.  You must expect the best from yourself; be responsible; get results; and focus on your work with your students.” When asked to share what he admires about Mr. Cupido, EGP Assistant Principal, Dr. Israel Garcia, said, “Mr. Cupido is so protective of his instructional time because he wants to ensure that every single one of his students shows growth. It is an honor to serve such a dedicated and passionate educator.” Finally, on a personal note, I taught a Spanish course…

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East Grand Preparatory Leads with Student Council 

  • Post published:April 27, 2023
  • Reading time:5 mins read

National Leadership Day was created  over 50 years ago and started as National Student Government Day. It wasn’t until 1979 that it was renamed “Student Leadership Day.”  In 1983 that the celebration was extended to a week, creating National Student Leadership Week to ensure all clubs and activities were included, such as student government clubs, honor societies, campus clubs and beyond.   We are proud to acknowledge our school leaders at Cityscape Schools,  as we celebrate NSLW across the country. East Grand Preparatory has grown in clubs and organizations. One of the student-led organizations where engagement has grown the most is EGP’s Student Council.  East Grand Prep’s first Student Council was formed 5 years ago, with the first president of this chapter being Brittney Martinez.  2022-2023 Student Council Officers Chief Officer of Culture and Climate, Dr. Billy Ferrell has been an instrumental leader in bringing this student leadership organization to Cityscape Schools.  “East Grand Prep's first Student Council was formed in the fall of 2018,” said Dr. Ferrell. “The Council was established to provide leadership and service opportunities to EGP students to more completely fulfill the district's mission and vision.” The impact that this leadership organization has had in Cityscape students is leading towards an expansion of the program.  “Next year, with the implementation of 7th grade at Buckner Prep,” said Dr. Ferrell. “We will also be looking at branching out and serving our local community beyond the campus and district level to serve the less fortunate in the East Dallas community.”  Student Council provides students at East Grand Preparatory many opportunities to demonstrate their leadership, scholarship, and citizenship qualities.  Mr. Commodore Bussey is the sponsor for EGP’s Student Council and…

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