Teachers New to NISD

Northwest Independent School District welcomes over 200 teachers each year. As a fast growth district, NISD is proud to hire and grow teachers with a variety of backgrounds and experiences.NISD believes that it is important to differentiate professional learning based on a teacher’s experience and/or professional needs.  

All teachers new to NISD are required to attend several additional professional learning sessions to get acquainted to the district, their campus, their roles, and the content they are teaching.  Please refer to the Professional Learning Frameworks for your specific job assignment for details. A schedule will also be provided to all new teachers.


New Teacher Academy

New teachers in the core academic areas such as ELA, Math, Science, and Social Studies will attend New Teacher Academy in the fall of their first year in the district. New teachers are those that are new to the teaching field or new to NISD. Campus administrators will work with teachers to ensure that they are attending the New Teacher Academy. New Teacher Academy consists of two days of learning with content coordinators and instructional coaches, observing other teachers, and building understanding of district initiatives/priority goals. These dates will be communicated with new teachers during New Teacher Week.


NISD requires annual professional learning institutes for educators that teach in any of the four secondary core content areas (ELA, Math, Science, and Social Studies) as well as elementary teachers that teach grades pre-kindergarten through fifth grade. World Language teachers, Special Education teachers and Dual Language teachers also have required institutes. These institutes are three (3) hours in length. These institutes are designed each year using data from local and state assessments, classroom observations, and feedback from teachers and administrators to meet the instructional needs of students and professional goals of our teachers. Teachers will be required to attend these institutes each year as the content will be different from year to year.  NISD Institutes are offered throughout the summer and teachers earn flex time upon completion of their designated content institutes. To see other summer offerings, please visit our Summer Course Catalog.

Gifted and Talented Expectations

In order to develop and provide appropriate options and differentiated curricula, all personnel involved will possess the knowledge required to plan, create, and deliver services to gifted/talented (GT) students. Teachers teaching the GT sections of courses (secondary) or GATES at the elementary setting are required to have their GT Certification.

30 Clock Hours – Foundation Training

Prior to assignment in the program, teachers who provide instruction and services for gifted students must complete a minimum of thirty (30) clock hours of staff development including: Nature and Needs of Gifted/Talented Students, Assessing Student Needs, and Curriculum and Instruction for Gifted Students. (19 TAC 89.2(2))

Program teachers without required training who provide gifted/talented instruction and services must complete the thirty (30) clock hours training within one semester. (19 TAC 89.2(2))

Classroom teachers who have clusters of gifted learners are required to have the thirty (30) clock hours in gifted/talented education and the annual 6 hour GT Update.

The 30 Clock Hours are comprised of the following five strands:

  • Nature and Needs of Gifted and Talented Learners
  • Identification and Assessment of Gifted and Talented Learners
  • Social and Emotional Needs of Gifted and Talented Learners
  • Creativity and Instructional Strategies for Gifted and Talented Learners
  • Differentiated Curriculum for Gifted and Talented Learners 

6 Hour Gifted and Talented Annual Update

Teachers who provide instruction and services for gifted students receive a minimum of six hours annually of professional development in gifted education. (19 TAC 89.2(3))

NISD will provide multiple opportunities (face-to-face and virtual) for the GT Update during the summer and fall semester of each school year. The GT Update will be based on program design and curriculum needs.  Teachers who wish to get their GT Update outside of Northwest ISD should obtain approval from the Advanced Academics Department first.

Administrators and Counselors

Administrators and Counselors who have authority for service decisions are required to complete a minimum of six hours of professional development that includes nature & needs and service options of gifted learners.

For more information, visit our Gifted and Talented Services Web.

ELL Requirements

In order to develop linguistically appropriate lesson plans and to maintain compliance with TEA expectations for providing linguistically accommodated instruction for English Language Learners (ELLs), all classroom teachers who have ELLs enrolled in their class are required to meet the following certification or training requirements. (19 TAC 89, Subchapter BB)

It is highly recommended by NISD that any teacher new to working with ELLs attend one of the following NISD trainings:

  • ELPS LIAG Training: Training on how to plan using the ELPS and TELPAS PLDs.
  • ESL Focus Strategies I: Training on general ESL strategies for the mainstream classroom.
  • ESL Focus Strategies II: Advanced training on strategies for ESL in the mainstream classroom.


Elementary - Self-Contained (ESL)

The teacher of record must be ESL Certified through SBEC.

Elementary - Departmentalized (ESL)

The English Language Arts teacher of record must be ESL Certified through SBEC.

Elementary - Bilingual

The teacher of record must be BIL Certified through SBEC.

Middle School

The English Language Arts teacher, SSI Reading Teacher, OR the teacher of the ESL Course in which the ELL is enrolled must be ESL Certified through SBEC. It is highly recommended that all ELA teachers, including Applied ELA teachers be ESL Certified.

High School - Content Area

All core content area teachers must be sheltered instruction trained. NISD requires that all teachers new to NISD or new to content area (English Language Arts, Math, Science, Social Studies) must participate in the NISD online Differentiated Sheltered Instruction Training.

High School - ESOL

The ESOL teacher must be ESL Certified and hold an appropriate ELA Certification through SBEC.

NISD recommends that at least one teacher per grade level and content is trained in Sheltered Instruction learning module. All teachers are required to complete the online Sheltered Instruction training.

Special Education Requirements

In order to develop specially designed instruction and maintain compliance with TEA expectations and the Individuals with Disabilities with Education Act for providing services for Special Education Students, all special education teachers are required to have Special Education certification.

It is highly recommended by NISD that any teacher working with Special Education students attend any courses listed in the Special Education Framework. Professional learning courses that focus on differentiation strategies benefit students with a variety of needs.