Where Students Come First
Frequently Asked Questions
Why is TISD creating the Global Leadership Academy (GLA)?
The Global Leadership Academy (GLA) is the first step in providing Terrell ISD families with a series of unique schools and programs that are different than our traditional educational options. As Terrell ISD has continued to experience steady growth in enrollment, we recognize that expanding our current elementary campuses will be a necessity in the coming years. In an effort to provide our families with unique and innovative learning options, we created the GLA to serve as the first of hopefully many smaller, unique campuses and programs that will increase the choices available to our students and their families. By focusing on smaller initiatives, we can prevent future overcrowding at our traditional campuses in an efficient, financially sustainable manner.
How will the creation of the GLA impact the traditional TISD elementary campuses?
We have an unwavering commitment to every student at every campus in our district. The overwhelming majority of TISD resources and attention will remain invested in our traditional elementary campuses. Every TISD student will continue to receive the best education we can provide. The creation of the GLA is simply the first step in TISD providing our families with an array of unique educational options. We believe that the GLA will provide an amazing opportunity for the families that choose to apply and qualify for the GLA. The reduced enrollment at our existing campuses resulting from the creation of the GLA will benefit our traditional campuses with fewer overall students, greater flexibility in campus scheduling, and an increased ability to provide targeted instructional support.
Is the GLA an in-district charter school?
No. However, we recognize that in the current free-market educational environment in Texas, families across the state have shown an interest in the unique learning environments provided by choice schools. We believe that this statewide movement has shown that districts must begin to move away from the one-size-fits-all model of education. TISD has decided to make the shift to a variety of smaller, customized learning environments beginning in 2019-2020 with the GLA.
What grades will the GLA serve?
The GLA will serve students beginning in kindergarten through fifth grade.
Does the GLA replace the current TISD Gifted and Talented (GT) Academy?
Yes. Beginning in 2019-2020, TISD will no longer operate the GT Academy. Repurposing the resources currently associated with the GT Academy will allow us to serve more students at a higher level, including non-GT students, with the same resources
Where will the GLA be located?
The GLA will be housed in what is currently the Terrell Alternative Education Center (TAEC). The TAEC is slated for remodel in the spring and summer of 2019.
What specials and extra-curricular options will be available at GLA?
The GLA will offer music, visual arts, and physical education. Students will also have time in their daily schedule for clubs and student leadership opportunities.
Will the GLA have the same hours as the traditional TISD elementary campuses?
The GLA will have a slightly longer daily schedule due to having a four-day school week. The arrival time will be approximately 15 minutes earlier than the traditional elementary campuses, and the dismissal time will be approximately 15 minutes later. Early release days will release at the same time as the traditional campuses. The majority of the GLA’s four-day school weeks will be Monday through Thursday; however, in the event that the entire district has a four-day week (due to holidays, staff work days, etc.), then the GLA will follow the district calendar for those weeks, even if the week runs Tuesday from Friday. As soon as the 2019-2020 district calendar is finalized, we will make those dates available to parents so that they can plan accordingly.
Will GLA students have the ability to ride the bus?
Yes. Bus scheduling details will be released this summer.
How many students will be enrolled in the GLA?
We will have a target enrollment of 175 students during the GLA’s first year. We anticipate the enrollment to increase on a year-to-year basis depending on available physical space and expansion opportunities.
Why does the GLA have a uniform instead of following the TISD standardized dress code?
The goal of creating the GLA is to provide our students and their families with a unique and innovative learning experience. We feel that having a school uniform at the GLA supports this goal. Research has shown that uniforms increase academic performance by removing distractions and allowing students to build their self-confidence and focus on success.
Why does the GLA have a technology lending fee?
As a part of the instructional model selected for the GLA, technology will play a major role in providing a personalized learning experience to the GLA students. The small yearly technology fee will offset the costs to the district in providing this experience for our students. Scholarships may be available based on need.
How much is the technology lending fee?
While we are still researching our device options, we anticipate the yearly lending fee to be between $50-$75.
Why are students required to have Internet access at home to attend the GLA?
Extended, at-home learning will be integral to the experience of attending the GLA. It is essential that students have access to the Internet. From working on projects to engaging in blended learning activities, at-home Internet access will allow students to fully engage in the learning goals of the GLA.
What are the weekly reading expectations for students that attend the GLA?
We believe that frequent and purposeful reading for both fun and academic purposes is essential to the growth of the whole child. While the specific expectations will vary depending on the child’s grade level, it is expected that all GLA students and their families make reading a consistent part of their daily routine, both at school and at home.
What are the qualifications for getting accepted to the GLA?
Students must have a history of positive attendance and behavior. Additionally, students must either be identified as GT or be on grade level.
Does my child have to be identified as GT to attend the GLA?
No. However, students must be identified as on grade level as determined by the data reviewed by the GLA placement committee.
If my child has already been identified as GT, are they automatically accepted into the GLA?
No. While being identified as GT does satisfy one part of the enrollment qualifications, all students must have a history of positive attendance and behavior. All students must complete the application process.
If my child has been identified as GT, do they have to attend the GLA?
No. Students who have been identified as GT that choose not to apply to the GLA will receive GT services at their traditional campus by a teacher who has satisfied the state-mandated GT training requirements.
Once enrolled in the GLA, is a student guaranteed enrollment at the GLA in subsequent years?
No. All students are expected to continue to satisfy the expectations required of all GLA students throughout their enrollment at the campus. These expectations include continued positive attendance and behavior, meeting extended learning expectations, and making adequate progress on rigorous assignments.
What are the attendance expectations at the GLA?
The goal at the GLA is to have an average attendance rate of 98% or higher. To meet this high standard, students cannot average more than four absences in a single school year. Excessive absences, other than those related to major medical issues, could lead to a student being placed on probation and possibly being dismissed from the academy.
Why does every student have to be on grade level to attend the GLA?
We want all students to be a part of a learning environment where they can feel successful, not frustrated. Rigorous expectations will be required of all GLA students. It is important that the students demonstrate success with their grade-level content in order to experience success at GLA.
How will qualified students be selected for the GLA?
If the number of applications received is less than the total enrollment capacity, all qualified candidates will be granted acceptance into the GLA. If the number of applications exceeds the total enrollment capacity, a lottery process will be used to randomly assign qualified candidates to the campus. Once the enrollment capacity has been met, a waitlist will be developed utilizing the same lottery process.
How will TISD determine if a student is on grade level?
For in-district students, TISD will review relevant data to determine grade level readiness. Data will include, but may not be limited to: STAAR scores, DRA levels, iStation data, NWEA Map data, and/or report card grades. For transfer students, TISD will request available records from the student’s current school and/or district. Once received, the GLA Placement Committee will review the provided records and make a determination on the student’s grade-level readiness.
Why does the GLA have a four-day school week?
In the same way that we want to provide unique and innovative learning environments to our families, we also want to extend that same mindset to our school calendar. A four-day school week will provide many benefits to our GLA students, including increased time to spend with family, work on projects, and embark on field trips and other independent learning opportunities. The four-day schedule will also provide the GLA teachers the time they will need to collaborate on the planning of project-based learning units.
Since the GLA has a four-day school week, what are the expectations of students on the fifth day when they’re not in school?
We believe that learning is not an isolated event that only happens within the confines of a school building. Although we are utilizing a modified schedule at the GLA, the expectation is that learning continues to occur when students are not at school. Whether it’s spending time reading independently or collaborating on a class project, whether it’s taking a trip to a museum or spending time with family, we expect GLA students to maximize the learning opportunities provided to them as a result of the four-day school week.
Will TISD have options for families that cannot afford or do not have an available option for childcare on the fifth day of the week?
We are considering a variety of options for GLA families that may have concerns about childcare on days the GLA is not in school. When parents complete the GLA application, they will be asked to complete a short survey on the services they might utilize on non-GLA school days. We will review the results of the survey and share additional details concerning what services we will make available to GLA students.
Is there a plan for growing this program beyond 5th grade?
Our goal in 2020 and beyond is to continue to expand on the variety of innovative programs TISD currently offers at our secondary schools. The core beliefs at GLA---leadership development, technology integration, college preparation, parents as partners, adaptive learning, and experiential learning---will begin to shape the look and feel of our advanced academics and extracurricular programs at Furlough Middle School and Terrell High School in the coming years.