Huckabee | Architecture | Engineering | Management

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

Garwood Elementary north of El Campo may be a little school, but it recently earned national honors, recognized by the U.S. Secretary of Education as a Blue Ribbon School. The program salutes overall academic excellence from elementary to high school campuses, or efforts at those campuses to “close gaps” where students struggle. view article arw

Ten Amarillo schools are making changes after receiving poor letter grades last school year. Many elementary and middle schools within AISD are participating in improvement plans to help improve their rating. The schools part of this initiative are on your screen and have received a failing grade of a D or F either overall or in a specified category. view article arw

Closing a school is a difficult and contentions decision. One thing that makes the decision tough is that everyone wants what is best for their own children. However, the more pressing question is: Does everyone want what’s best for other people’s children? Despite having good intentions for student groups who have been underserved by schools, is closing schools best for children? view article arw

More than a third of a Round Rock ISD high school’s cheerleading team got kicked off the team, following what the district describes as “code of conduct” violations. Seven of Westwood High School’s 20 team members were removed, and two others quit. view article arw

A wealthy, largely white suburb of East Baton Rouge has taken a step closer to seceding from the city’s school district after residents voted to incorporate as a new municipality, St. George. If leaders of the new city succeed in pressing the Louisiana Legislature to create a new school system — the impetus for the years-long breakaway campaign — it will leave East Baton Rouge Parish Public Schools with a hyperconcentration of impoverished, mostly black students. view article arw

While the Texas economy remains one of the most robust in the nation, the demand for skilled professionals in industries as diverse as solar technology, healthcare, welding and construction is far outpacing the supply of qualified candidates. At the same time, many Texans and Americans have the misperception that the only path to a great career and quality income requires a bachelor's degree. This disconnect was the purpose behind the recent launch of the Make It Movement, a multi-tiered public awareness campaign designed to inform, inspire and engage Texans around the growing opportunities within the trades; highlight the value of education and training gained through community colleges, technical schools and apprenticeships; and bring back the dignity these vital careers deserve. view article arw

Dyslexia conference slated for Saturday. The Austin school district will host its annual Central Texas Dyslexia Conference from 9 a.m. to 3 p.m. Saturday at its Performing Arts Center, 1500 Barbara Jordan Blvd. The theme of the conference is “Your Story is Your Strength.” Participants can attend breakout sessions on topics such as multisensory grammar, assistive technology with Microsoft and Google and social-emotional learning considerations and a dyslexia simulation. view article arw

Seniors in Jacksonville have the chance to take care of the FAFSA with the help of the school on Tuesday through a free workshop. The workshop will take place at 6:00 p.m. in the computer lab at the high school. Administrators say the only thing you need to bring is your 2018 tax documents. view article arw

Big changes are coming to campuses across New Waverly ISD. The New Waverly ISD Board of Trustees approved its campus improvement plan for the 2019-2020 school year during their monthly meeting Monday night, which will include new software, changes in preparation for testing and discipline. view article arw


October 1508:30 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. Stop being afraid of what could go wrong and start being excited about what could go right! (By @tdkinser) view article arw

High school freshmen from high schools throughout Brownsville were invited to meet with Texas Southmost College faculty and staff to familiarize themselves with all the career opportunities available to them close to home during TSC’s Scorpion Pathways to Success event. “It’s a great opportunity to have TSC reach out to our high schools and make sure ninth graders know about the different (career pathways) offered,” said Jessica Cantu, a college readiness counselor at Pace Early College High School. “Our community has TSC to support them in their high school classes which can later feed into classes at TSC.” view article arw

The Flour Bluff Independent School District is looking for feedback from the community regarding their plan to become a District of Innovation. Being a "District of Innovation" means a school district is allowed to be exempt from certain state regulations; that way they can better tailor the experience for students on their specific campuses. view article arw

Georgetown ISD adopted a lower tax rate for fiscal year 2019-2020 due to state legislative changes June 27. view article arw

Texas school districts using a new state law to pursue innovative partnerships with charters have turned to familiar faces to run them.  Traditional school districts are teaming up with nonprofits or local universities to open charter schools, but they’re largely placing the operation of the campuses in the hands of administrators who once worked for their districts.  Last week, leaders participating in the new partnerships gathered at Texas Wesleyan University to discuss why they turned to the controversial law: It gives them more state money and flexibility in things like staffing and curriculum.  Starlee Coleman, CEO of the Texas Charter Schools Association, said such arrangements aren’t in the spirit of what lawmakers intended. And that’s made some existing charter operators hesitant to seek such partnerships, she said. view article arw

Leadership That Works

October 1408:40 AM

Over the years, I've had the opportunity to work with many different supervisors. The best found a way to inspire those around them. I was fortunate to have three principals. Of them, the one who brought people together to improve the school, who delegated his authority and used his influence made the biggest difference. John Hattie mentions that transformational leadership may be over-rated. view article arw

Texas is encouraging its school districts to drastically change how they manage their campuses — an effort to quickly cut down the number that are low-performing. It is spending more than $20 million a year in state and federal dollars on districts and outside consultants working to give individual schools more freedom from state and local regulations, with mixed results: Some schools are performing better in state ratings; others are continuing to struggle.  The controversial national approach is especially unpopular with teacher groups, and has led to strikes in cities like Denver and Los Angeles. view article arw