Six Magnolia ISD campuses received a D as either an overall campus rating or a rating in one of three categories making up the overall 2018-19 campus ratings from the Texas Education Agency, which were released in August. These campuses must now implement Targeted Improvement Plans, or TIPs, to the TEA to leverage improvement in student achievement, said Anita Hebert, MISD assistant superintendent of curriculum and instruction, at an Oct. 14 MISD board of trustees meeting. According to TEA data, Ellisor and Magnolia elementary schools in addition to ALPHA Academy received an overall D rating, while Magnolia Parkway and Williams elementary schools and Magnolia Intermediate School received a D in one of the three categories—or domains—used to evaluate campus performance. view article arw

Qualifications To qualify for free state funded pre-kindergarten you must: Be unable to speak and comprehend the English language Be educationally disadvantaged, which means a student eligible to participate in the national free or reduced-price lunch program Be homeless Be the child of an active duty member of the armed forces of the United States, including the state military forces or a reserve component of the armed forces, who is ordered to active duty by proper authority Be the child of a member of the armed forces of the United States, including the state military forces or a reserve component of the armed forces, who was injured or killed while serving on active duty Be in, or have been in, the conservatorship of the Department of Family and Protective Services (DFPS) Be the child of a person eligible for the Star of Texas Award as a peace officer, firefighter, or emergency medical first responder. view article arw

Joshua Cogburn, project leader at Huckabee Architects, updated school board members on the bond during Monday’s school board meeting. For Stephenville High School, grade beams at the gym addition are underway, site utility installation is ongoing and canopy demolition at the original cafeteria entrance is complete. Within the next month foundation work at the auditorium will begin, dirt work on the road to the softball restroom/concession building will start as well as foundation work and electrical underground at the new parking lot. view article arw

Packed classes plague Midland ISD

October 2208:30 AM
 

Monday is the first day of early voting. In Midland, people have a few important decisions to make – including voting for a new mayor and likely changing the face of city council. People will also decide whether or not to approve a $569-million bond for Midland ISD. That’s more than half a billion dollars to go towards rebuilding and re-purposing secondary campuses. view article arw

Wichita Falls ISD Superintendent Michael Kuhrt encouraged trustees to think outside the box of a traditional classroom during a school board meeting Monday night. Kuhrt gave a presentation on different types of classrooms, common areas and teacher work spaces for board members to mull over as they lay plans to modernize school facilities. "I think we’re building schools for the 22nd Century because we keep them that long," he said. “So I think they have to be different and have a different type of flexibility.” view article arw

Modernizing Wichita Falls ISD isn't just about bricks and mortar. The district is seeking a grant of about $300,000 for blended learning at the high school level, as well as taking part in a national group on innovative secondary school redesign from several aspects, WFISD Superintendent Michael Kuhrt said.  "We’re going to change faster now than we’ve ever changed before," Kuhrt said after a recent school board meeting.  view article arw

Clear Creek ISD School Start Time Committee will make a final recommendation to the school board next month on a potential change to school start and finish schedules. Before it is put forth, however, the committee is asking the public to weigh in during an open forum set for Tuesday, Oct. 22 from 6-7 p.m. The meeting will take place at the CCISD Learner Support Center at 2903 Falcon Pass. The School Start Time Committee, a 35-member group of parents, teachers, high school juniors and medical professionals, will present two scheduling options at the public hearing. The first proposal is to retain the district’s current start and finish times, which are 7:55 a.m. until 3:15 p.m. for elementary campuses; 8:40 a.m. until 4 p.m. for intermediate schools, and 7:10 a.m. until 2:30 p.m. at the high school level. The second represents a change to the current schedule, with elementary schools running from 8:15 a.m. until 3:35 p.m.; intermediate campuses being open from 9 a.m. until 4:20 p.m., and high schools clocking in from 7:30 a.m. until 2:50 p.m. view article arw

The best school district in San Antonio has been determined for the 2020 school year, according to a report released by Niche. The rankings were weighted based on academic grades based on state assessment proficiency, standardized testing and surveys given to students and teachers about the school's culture. Included in the survey results ranked the teachers, culture and diversity, overall experience, health and safety, resources and facilities, clubs and activities and sports. view article arw

If a high school student wants to take a substitute exam in lieu of an end-of-course (EOC) exam, they will likely have to take an EOC first. During a recent work session, Sarah Fitzhugh, Lewisville ISD's director of assessment, updated the School Board on looming changes regarding waivers for EOC's. Fitzhugh said the Texas Education Agency (TEA) submitted a waiver to the U.S. Department of Education about substitute assessments and were told the waiver was not granted. view article arw

Texans are still debating the best way to pay to educate our children. For years it meant, wealthier districts paid money to the state, which would ultimately go to poorer districts to help level the playing field.  A new law, that passed this year, reduced those payments and looked for other ways to generate cash for schools. But the plan is still being debated as not being good enough.  Just 45 miles east of Dallas, Boles ISD is the poorest school district in Texas and taking matters into their own hands on how to survive.

view article arw

The Waco Independent School District is looking for ways to attract and retain more students, after a demographic study showed the district has been steadily losing students to charter schools and surrounding school districts.  For the past eight years, Waco ISD has seen enrollment jump up and drop back down again, without ever rebounding to its 2011-12 school year enrollment of 15,329 students, said Bob Templeton with Templeton Demographics. view article arw

Dallas ISD wants to reconfigure South Dallas’ Martin Luther King Jr. Learning Center to become a new campus that would serve as an incubator for the arts from students in kindergarten through eighth grade.  But the district’s efforts to fast-track MLK to become a “Baby Booker T.” sputtered to a stop this week, just days before a key component was going to be decided at Thursday’s board meeting. The idea was to replicate the success of the district’s prestigious performing and visual arts high school, Booker T. Washington, and potentially funnel students nurtured at MLK into that magnet school. view article arw

For students who fear they can’t get into college with mediocre SAT or ACT scores, the tide is turning at a record number of schools that have decided to accept all or most of their freshmen without requiring test results. Meanwhile, two Ivy League schools have decided that many of their graduate school programs do not need a test score for admissions, fresh evidence of growing disenchantment among educational institutions with using high-stakes tests as a factor in accepting and rejecting students. view article arw

Top LYS Tweets – October 21, 2019

October 2108:30 AM
 

If you are not following @LYSNation on Twitter, then you missed the Top 10 LYS tweets from the past week when they were first posted.  And if you are on Twitter, you might want to check out the Tweeters who made this week’s list.  If you find that you are following a habitual liar, abandon that person as soon as possible. Before your dignity is crushed, effort is stolen, and reputation ruined. (By @LYSNation) view article arw

Dallas ISD Board Talks Class Sizes

October 2108:30 AM
 

For anyone who is a regular at Dallas ISD school board meetings, Thursday night’s meeting was probably a surprise — no hot topics, no full gallery of speakers, and no late night. The meeting clocked in somewhere around an hour. A handful of public speakers brought up a few issues like questions about the district’s accommodations for autistic students and the state of the Dallas Environmental Science Academy; superintendent Michael Hinojosa and all nine trustees gave updates; next came the 15-item consent agenda; and then it was off to the races. view article arw

More Texoma schools are preparing for House Bill 496 to go into effect. With the passing of HB 496 in the last Texas legislature, schools are required to have Stop the Bleed stations in case of any emergency but these stations are not cheap. “I’ve had some priced out at about $10,000 for just doing the high school,” Graham ISD Safety Director Tom Lewis said. view article arw

Most of our community is aware of recent athletic facility upgrades at West Orange-Stark High School. In prior columns, I have also shared technology upgrades that directly benefit our students and teachers. However, you may not be aware that many new college and career pathways have also been added for our students. The Early College High School (ECHS) program at WOS High School allows students to earn a high school diploma and an associate degree from Lamar State College-Orange. view article arw

Dyslexia can bring many challenges and affect many people in the workplace or even in the classroom, but there is help for parents if they feel their child might be dyslexic. The Flour Bluff Independent School District hosted a "Dyslexia Awareness Night" so parents can learn more. view article arw

The word “equity” has been thrown around a lot over the last month, since the Austin Independent School District announced its plan to close and consolidate 12 schools. On the first page of the district’s proposal released on Sept. 5, it says these changes are being made “with equity in mind.” But the meaning of the word “equity” means different things, depending on who you talk to. As the district moved forward with gathering community feedback and answering questions about the proposal, equity, and what it means, was at the center of the conversation. view article arw

It started, it seems, on social media — Facebook, to be exact. After a much-discussed foray into a new state law that allows districts to partner with non-profit entities (including charter schools) was approved for Dallas Independent Schools’ pre-kindergarten program only earlier this year, opponents of the concept were waiting on tenterhooks for any sign that the district might choose to also turn its eye toward other programs. And last week, those opponents got their sign, courtesy a lengthy post from Dallas ISD school board trustee Joyce Foreman, who took to Facebook to sound a warning. view article arw

A LYS Campus Leader asks the following:Can you share with me The Fundamental 5 practices that align with the modules on the  PowerWalks Classroom Observation Protocol? I want to make sure when I talk with teachers, I’m giving them accurate information. view article arw

For those Mineral Wells High School students who will enter the workforce after graduation, Career and Technology Education instructor Bobby Mori asks them if they want to push buttons or push brooms?  Essentially he is asking whether they can push themselves into new challenges and direction.  Mori teaches MWHS’ new Transportation, Distribution and Logistics program that is part of the school’s broad CTE offerings in the fields of agriculture, business, family and consumer sciences, health science technology, and trade and industrial. view article arw

It's a brand-new school and both parents and students are in love with the lesson where first graders are fully immersed in French. "We do the calendar. We count to 20," said student Malcolm Gordon. He is so hooked, his mom told us he checks out French books at the library and watches the show "House Hunters International" if it's set in Paris. view article arw

Ector County ISD Superintendent Scott Muri presented a report on the Look, Listen and Learn tour he’s been on since he started in July that included some alarming statistics and feedback from the community, including parents, teachers and students. Sixty-six percent of third graders read below grade level in 2019. Some 16.3 percent of students didn’t graduate with their class in 2018. The percentage went to 20.8 for English learners and 29.5 percent for special education students, Muri said. view article arw

The Texas Association for Bilingual Education is working to teach parents how to advocate for their children, and the best dual language programs. Cristina Noriega’s upbringing was similar to that of many children of American-born Hispanic people. Because they faced persecution for speaking Spanish in school or in public, they lost the language over time. Then their children grew up without Spanish. view article arw

A reader asks…Just curious, what did you teach and where did you teach?  SC Response...Thanks for asking. In all honesty, at this point in my career the only relevance of my time in the classroom is that I spent time in the classroom.  Today’s curriculum resources, understanding of high-yield instructional practices, and performance accountability have advanced so far beyond what was the standard when I was teaching that there is next to nothing that the current teacher does that I did (which is a good thing). view article arw

Mineral Wells High School CTE teacher Bobby Mori demonstrates one of the machines that is part of the school’s new transportation, distribution and logistics program that gives students certain technical skills and knowledge and certifies those who want to go straight into a career after graduation, giving them a hiring advantage in the job market. view article arw

Rockwall ISD has announced 17 National Merit Commended and 10 National Hispanic Scholars. Seventeen Rockwall ISD students are among the top 5% throughout the nation recognized for their exceptional academic promise. Additionally, 10 students are among the top 5% who were selected as Hispanic Scholars. The National Hispanic Recognition Program, established in 1983, is a College Board program that provides national recognition of the exceptional academic achievement of Hispanic high school seniors and identifies them for postsecondary institutions. view article arw

Welcoming fifth-graders into her Link Elementary School classroom, Lefondria Scroggins takes a moment with each student, making eye contact and exchanging a quick fist bump or high-five. The practice, known as “threshold,” is one of the SpringWay systems and routines that teachers have been implementing across the district. “Threshold, for me, is a way for me to check in with my kids before they enter the classroom,” Scroggins said. “It’s a way for me to greet them, and to let them know that someone cares about them.” view article arw

Although parents and community members have called for the release of a scoresheet used to determine which Austin schools would close over the next five years, school district officials say they didn’t use one. Instead, the district relied on subjective data, like community and staff input, as well as 28 sets of quantitative data, including student demographics, facility conditions, accountability scores, and teacher experience at campuses to come up with its plan, according to district officials and data they released to the Statesman this week. view article arw

Conroe ISD is examining how to improve the academic success at several campuses after receiving its 2018-19 Texas Education Agency scores. On Oct. 15, the Conroe ISD board of trustees reviewed the 2018-19 Texas Accountability and Texas English Language Proficiency Assessment System, or TELPAS, results. These scores rate a district’s performance based on student performance and progress, according to the TEA website. view article arw

The demand was so high, Austin Independent School District held another school closure meeting Tuesday night for Palm Elementary. Huge changes could happen. Four-hundred and forty-five students at the school could end up at Perez Elementary. That school is already at 125% capacity with 601 students. view article arw

The Corpus Christi Independent School District board of trustees on Monday tightened the district’s nonattendance policy to withdraw students if they miss 10 consecutive school days. The previous nonattendance policy said the district may initiate withdrawal of a student under the age of 19 if the student has been absent for 20 consecutive school days and if the attendance officer and/or principal have made repeated unsuccessful attempts to locate the student. The only change to those criteria was reducing 20 days to 10. view article arw

A judge Tuesday held an arraignment hearing in the case of San Benito school board President Michael Vargas, who faces a charge of driving while intoxicated. During the hearing in County Court at Law No. 5, Judge Estella Chavez Vasquez ordered Vargas to install a breath alcohol ignition interlock device in his vehicle. The device will not allow the vehicle’s engine to start if the motorist’s breath contains a blood-alcohol level greater than the legal limit of 0.08 percent. view article arw

The College Station school district received a superior rating in the annual Financial Integrity Rating System of Texas (FIRST).The number score to accompany the A rating came out to a 98 out of a possible 100 points, with the data based on the 2017-2018 fiscal year. view article arw