NYOS Charter School

Principal's Corner Archive

December 2016

Dear NYOS Community,

Welcome to the Elementary Principal’s Corner. Over my past nine years as NYOS’ Elementary Principal, our team efforts have been centered in building a strong Professional Learning Community focused on continuous school improvement. A large part of this work has been the implementation of Dr. Robert Marzano’s High Reliability Schools (HRS) framework.  Based on 40 years of educational research, the HRS framework defines five levels of performance in which a school must demonstrate mastery to become certified as a high reliability school. 

The HRS Levels are:

  1. Safe and Collaborative Culture- NYOS Certified Spring 2015
  2. Effective Teaching in Every Classroom- NYOS Certified Fall 2015
  3. Guaranteed and Viable Curriculum- NYOS Certified Spring 2016
  4. Standards-Referenced Reporting-NYOS Certified Spring 2016
  5. Competency-Based Education- work in progress

Included in the critical commitments for Level 3 certification is the development of a comprehensive vocabulary program. As part of a recent celebration of our Levels 3 & 4 certification we held a vocabulary parade. With the support of their teachers, students chose words that directly align with the curriculum content they are studying and dressed up as that word. Our parade was fantastic! Here's a photo of the four seasons:

HRS Alphabet Parade

We are currently working on becoming certified at Level 5- Competency Based Education (CBE). Realization of Level 5 certification supports the idea articulated in the NYOS Charter that student demonstration of mastery of the standards and benchmarks will determine movement from one instructional level to the next without regard to traditional units of time or student age. You might find this short video explanation of Competency Based Education helpful. We've begun this work in the area of mathematics and you'll be hearing more about it soon at the mid-year student led conferences on January 20th & 23rd.

As one of seven schools (world-wide) currently certified at Level 4, we are excited to have been invited to present at the HRS Summit once again this year. Having the opportunity to showcase the great work we have happening at NYOS is a privilege and honor!


Terry Berkenhoff

Elementary Principal

NYOS Charter School



Dear Secondary Community,


Welcome to the December 2016 and first NYOS Secondary Principal’s Corner of the year! What a great first semester.


I would like to introduce our new staff members. They are all off to a great start. Efrain Garcia -7th Grade Math, Kira Lowery – 7th Grade Science, Krystal Evans – Geometry, Dr. Joana Turner – English I, and Hannah Lee – Algebra II. We are super excited about each of them.


We are so proud of some recent accomplishments of some of our clubs.  Our Texas Association of Future Teachers (TAFE) group earned 18 competitive advancements (21 students) in a recent regional competition. They will be competing in Dallas in February at the state level in hopes of advancing to the national competition in Phoenix in June. Our Youth and Government team had all of its members qualify for the state competition.


Finally, our Yearbook team earned 2nd place for layout and design in a national yearbook contest. 

This same yearbook group won a gold medal last year from Columbia Scholastic Press.  Congrats to the sponsors and students.


This is our first full year implementing Restorative Practices (RD) at the NYOS secondary campus. RD is a relational approach to building a positive school climate and culture. We will be hosting a RD night on Tuesday, January 24th at 5:30pm (Childcare and refreshments will be provided).


Hope to see you all there!


Curtis Wilson

Secondary Principal

NYOS Charter School