Residents of Houston ISD peppered state officials with questions Wednesday night about the potential replacement of the district’s elected school board, voicing frustration about the lack of immediate plans for students and staff during the Texas Education Agency’s first community meeting about the looming intervention.  Uncertainty about the state’s intentions with Texas’ largest school district simmered throughout the two-hour meeting at Pershing Middle School, where nearly 100 people gathered one week after Education Commissioner Mike Morath announced his intention to appoint a replacement school board. Morath’s decision is the result of Wheatley High School receiving a seventh consecutive failing grade and state investigators substantiating several allegations of misconduct by HISD trustees. view article arw

A French-immersion class at Wimbish World Language Academy in Arlington ISD could be canceled if there isn't enough enrollment. view article arw

The Dripping Springs, Wimberley and Hays school districts received top grades in their FIRST rating from the Texas Education Agency, a system which has been used for the past 17 years to measure the quality of school districts’ financial management and reporting. The report ensures that Texas public schools are held accountable for the quality of their financial management practices and that they improve those practices.  view article arw

Chiefs for Change announced this morning that Pedro Martinez, superintendent of the San Antonio Independent School District, has been selected as the new chair of the nonprofit’s board of directors. Martinez succeeds Louisiana state Superintendent John White, who will remain on the organization’s board. For Martinez, who was born in Aguascalientes, Mexico, and grew up in Chicago, the timing could not be more auspicious. view article arw

A new LYS teacher asks the following:  SC,  I recently attended a district training you made for all the teaching staff.  Thanks, by the way, for energizing us and ending the week on a great note.  A few of us stayed behind so you could sign our books and answer a couple of questions.  My question derived from making the most impact when teaching 3 grade levels in a single classroom setting. view article arw

Kountze ISD plans to make up instructional time lost due to Tropical Storm Imelda with a slightly earlier start time and end time. The district announced on Twitter Wednesday that its schools lost 85 minutes of instructional time for the school year.  Starting on Monday, Nov. 18, school will start two minutes earlier and end three minutes later until Thursday, Dec. 19.  view article arw

Humble ISD had 30 student athletes sign letters of intent Wednesday morning on National Signing Day at the Charles Bender Performing Arts Center in Humble. Since 2012 — the first year Humble ISD graduated five high school classes — more than 750 student athletes have signed a letter of intent to participate in college athletics. view article arw

District officials in Richardson ISD are exploring the possibility of moving sixth-graders from elementary to junior high school campuses. Conversations about this process, known as grade configuration, are in the earliest stages. Committees overseeing facilities and instruction are beginning to meet to discuss the implications this significant move could have on the district, according to Superintendent Jeannie Stone. view article arw

Liberty Hill High School's agriculture department is preparing students for a career in veterinary medicine. They begin the program as freshmen in the principles of ag class where they build a solid foundation. That learning continues with small animal management in their sophomore year and vet med applications in their junior year. The senior year class is advanced animal science. view article arw

Ector County ISD trustees heard a proposal for all-day prekindergarten at a workshop Tuesday and it was well received by the panel. The district serves 1,313 prekindergarten students and 343 whose parents pay tuition. Associate Superintendent of Curriculum and Instruction Lilia Nanez said it is required by House Bill 3 passed during the last legislative session, but it was something that officials had discussed before that. view article arw

Chisum ISD has received its Financial Integrity Rating System of Texas score, finishing with an A rating, Superintendent Tommy Chalaire announced at the school board meeting Monday. “To me, it’s a direct reflection on those ladies back there and how they take care of this district financially,” Chalaire said, referencing the central office staff. The FIRST score evaluates the district’s business and operating procedures and requires a passing score of 60. Chisum passed with a 92, documents show. view article arw

After piloting an elementary debate initiative last year with 85 students from 13 elementary schools, the Dallas ISD Student Activities Department has implemented a districtwide debate program that saw more than 300 fifth-graders recently attend a workshop at Conrad High School. With 44 schools in attendance, the workshop introduced the elementary students to debate terms, purpose and format. Debate Coach Michelle Read and two of the district's top high school debaters were among the presenters. view article arw

Irving ISD has partnered with North Lake College to allow high school students the chance to earn an associate degree upon graduation. The district opened the application period for its Singley Collegiate Academy on Nov. 11. The application will close Jan. 17 ahead of its opening in August. The collegiate academy will begin by enrolling only 125 freshman-level students for the 2020-21 year, according to the district. By 2024, the academy will have students in grades 9-12.   view article arw

More than 30 parents and students told the Lewisville ISD Board of Trustees on Monday why they don't agree with the district's plan to consolidate three middle school band programs. One student showed them. For more than an hour board members heard concerns about the district's plan that would consolidate the programs at Lamar, Durham and Creek Valley middle schools. view article arw

Longview ISD will submit a nonbinding letter of intent to the Texas Education Agency for its districtwide charter proposal. School board president Ginia Northcutt said trustees heard a presentation from Chief Innovation Officer Craig Coleman on the districtwide charter application Monday night at their regular meeting.  Northcutt said a mandatory letter of intent is due by Friday to the TEA for districts that wish to make campuses into charter schools under Senate Bill 1882.  Senate Bill 1882 lays a path for a nonprofit charter school group to operate public school campuses. Longview ISD officials have hailed it as a way to fund innovative educational programs and receive a significant infusion of state money.  Northcutt said the letter is nonbinding and does not mean the district will submit an application. It still can decide not to make all campuses charters. view article arw

HOUSTON, Texas (KTRK) -- Five days after the state announced it was taking over HISD, plenty of questions remain. At union headquarters Monday afternoon, the Houston Federation of Teachers offered its take on the Texas Education Agency's decision to appoint a board of managers and superintendent to oversee the state's largest school district. view article arw

The state's Legislative Budget Board has released a performance audit of Houston ISD, just days after the Texas Education Agency announced it would be installing a board of managers to oversee the district. The 325-page review calls for a wide range of reforms that could save the district $237 million over five years. "Following almost nine months of diligent work by its School Performance Review team, the Legislative Budget Board released its Houston ISD performance review today. It is the largest school review undertaken by the LBB to date," LBB spokesperson R.J. DeSilva said in a release. "The recommendations serve as a road map a school district can use to make improvements." view article arw

SNYDER, Texas (KTAB/KRBC) – Snyder ISD is moving forward with the process of closing their junior high campus then reopening after a grade realignment to avoid state interference.  District leaders met with a Texas Education Agency Commissioner Thursday to discuss presenting petitions from 313 parents, enough signatures to close the campus, which received failing ratings from the TEA for the 5th-consecutive year. The petitions will be given to the Commissioner no later than December 1. view article arw

United ISD won their case against a recent rating by the Texas Education Agency of one of its high schools. TEA recently released school district accountability ratings for the 2018-2019 school year with schools being graded using the common alpha system: A, B, C, D, or F. view article arw

After earning overall D accountability ratings in annual grades provided by the Texas Education Agency in 2019, Bane Elementary School and Francone Elementary School are working on improvement plans. Both Bane and Francone earned D ratings in the Student Achievement and Closing the Gaps domains. Both campuses have high economic disadvantage rates and are supported with additional Title I funds.   view article arw

Thursday, November 21st, at 7 a.m., the Lubbock ISD Board of Trustees will meet in a special meeting to discuss, and take action, concerning the future of the Smylie Wilson Middle School campus. Wilson Middle School has earned an 'F' rating in the Texas Education Agency (TEA) accountability ratings over the past two school years. In 2019, the school's Overall Rating was a 50, and in 2018 the school's Overall Ratings was a 49. A 2015 state law requires the TEA Commissioner to penalize a school district that has a school that has been failing for more than four consecutive school years. The penalty is either shutting down the individual school, or taking over the entire district. view article arw

An hour into last week’s school board meeting, the Houston Independent School District’s governance coach clicked open a presentation and announced that she would be teaching board members to understand monitoring reports, the documents used to track school improvement efforts. “Student outcomes improve when adult behaviors change,” she began, before segueing on to what teachers would call the lesson’s exit ticket. view article arw

Houston’s top business group says they’re helping recruit candidates for a new state-appointed board of managers that would temporarily replace Houston Independent School District’s current elected board. Texas Education Agency Commissioner Mike Morath said he’ll choose those nine managers, as well as a new superintendent, due to chronic failing scores at Wheatley High School and the board repeatedly breaking Texas Open Meeting Act laws. view article arw

I have a quick question on PowerWalks coaching sessions. Exactly how often should these occur?  SC Response  Regular, semi-formal PowerWalks coaching sessions should occur every 6 to 9 weeks.  There are a couple of things that drive this. view article arw

The Texas Education Agency notified Houston ISD on Nov. 6 that it will be appointing a board of managers to take on the oversight role of the district, the largest in the state to receive this kind intervention. Here is a breakdown of what this means and what could happen next. view article arw

The Snyder Independent School District will close its junior high campus and re-open after an all-district grade realignment. This comes after a meeting with the Texas Education Agency commissioner. Three administrators with the district — Eddie Bland, its superintendent; Ralph Ramon, president of the board of trustees; and Brad Hinton, vice president of the board of trustees — met with the TEA’s commissioners Thursday, Nov. 7, to discuss sanctions against the district. view article arw

The Texas Education Agency has scheduled four public meetings in November to discuss the process for replacing Houston ISD’s elected school board with a state-appointed governance team. The 90-minute meetings will be held: view article arw

LAREDO, Texas – While Webb County is a bustling international trading center, children are experiencing the brunt of historical and current policies that make economic mobility difficult, according to a new report from the Center for Public Policy Priorities.  Vea el informe en español.  According to State of Texas Children 2019: Child Well-Being in Webb County, barriers in housing, employment, health insurance and education contribute to far too many children living in poverty and experiencing other troubling disparities. view article arw

Spring ISD has a higher rate of student mobility—or students entering and leaving campuses—than the Greater Houston area and the state of Texas, according to a report by the Houston Education Research Consortium that was presented to the board of trustees Nov. 7. The HERC is a research-practice partnership that is part of the Kinder Institute at Rice University. The organization conducts research in partnership with 11 local school districts in the Greater Houston area, including SISD, to assist in solving education-related issues. view article arw

The state's announcement that it will seize control of its largest school system has been met with notable silence from Houston ISD administrators and local elected officials.  Two days after Texas education officials announced plans to seize control of the state’s largest public school system, the Houston Independent School District finds itself enveloped in a fog of muted uncertainty.  Officially, the district has issued nothing beyond a terse, two-sentence statement acknowledging the news. The district’s interim superintendent isn’t commenting publicly. The nine members of its elected school board — whose combative, dysfunctional behavior helped prompt the state takeover — have largely fallen silent. Houston Mayor Sylvester Turner has commented only in passing on the unprecedented decision. view article arw

Top LYS Tweets – November 11, 2019

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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.  As an educational leader, have you ever asked yourself ‘What would I do if I weren’t afraid?’ (By @tgrierhisd)  “Fatigue makes cowards of us all.” -Vince Lombardi (By @Leadershipfreak) view article arw

The Bryan ISD Career and Technical Education Complex welcomed another local business on its campus this week.  Tucker Concrete taught students the basics of how to pour concrete. The hands-on learning gave the school a new sidewalk in between buildings. Colton Cook with Tucker Concrete says he wishes this opportunity existed when he was in school. view article arw

It was a plea that seemed like it would go unanswered. In March, South San Antonio Independent School District students expressed their concerns to KSAT over the district spending money on reopening three schools instead of mental health services for students. view article arw

Five years is a long time to go without a sense of success. It started in 2015 for Snyder Junior High School. That summer, a district once academically strong turned up in a report citing the school had failed to meet a state standard. It happened again the next year. "Improvement required," the state said. Each year since, through August, Snyder Junior High has been classified as a struggling school. view article arw

The Texas Education Agency is making moves to take over the largest public school district in the state, the Houston Independent School District. The state agency informed the HISD Board of Trustees Wednesday of its intent to install a board of state managers and strip the board of trustees of its powers. In a 23-page letter to HISD Superintendent Dr. Grenita Lathan and Board President Diana Davila, TEA Commissioner Mike Morath said the reason for the takeover included the findings of a special accreditation investigation, the lowered accreditation status, the unacceptable performance of a district campus and the length of the conservator appointment. Read the full letter here.  view article arw