Citing a desire to strike the right balance between rigorous academics and students’ stress levels, North East Independent School District trustees voted Monday night to end calculating class rank for students below the top 10 percent. The policy will take effect when the district’s current class of seventh graders enters high school.  “It is really important we have just the right tension on social-emotional learning when we think about rank,” said Colleen Bohrmann, NEISD’s executive director of Learning Support Services, at a December meeting. “We want to be sure that we are pushing the students to a rigorous coursework, but when is it too much?” view article arw

The Beaumont Independent School District held a meeting at El Cristo Rey Catholic Church Monday to address Hispanic parents’ concerns about a lack of bilingual employees throughout the district and at school meetings.  Despite the growing Hispanic population in BISD, many parents in attendance felt their concerns are being ignored. “We are always feeling ignored because of the language,” Maria Perez, who attended the meeting and has three children who attend schools in BISD, said in Spanish. “At (school) meetings, they never have anyone who speaks Spanish who can help explain to us what is going on.” view article arw

The Crosby band, known as the Big Red Machine, received the Sudler Flag of Honor from the John Philip Sousa Foundation, “An International Award Recognizing High School Concert Bands of Outstanding Musical Excellence” whose purpose is to “identify, recognize and honor high school band programs internationally that have demonstrated particularly significant high standards of excellence in concert activities over a period of several years,” as per the Sousa Foundation website. view article arw

BOWIE (KFDX/KJTL) — In an effort to prepare the students at Bowie ISD for the workforce in the real world, the school and city are partnering for an internship program.  Learning how to work in the real world is what the internship program teaches.  “I work for all three different offices,” Bowie ISD junior Jolie Page said. “I travel with the mail. Anything that needs to be taken to a different office. I scan things to different computers. I copy, print, anything they need I do.” view article arw

The Coppell ISD board of trustees adopted at a Jan. 13 meeting the district’s 2020-21 academic calendar.  Students will start classes Aug. 12 and break for summer May 26, 2021, according to the district. Winter break will begin Dec. 21 and end Jan. 4, 2021, though students will not return until Jan. 6. Spring break will be March 15-19, 2021.  The 2020-21 calendar will be duplicated for the 2021-22 school year, according to CISD. Students will be in classes for a total of 176 days each year.  CISD published in November three calendar options on its website for parents, students, employees and other stakeholders to vote on their preferred option.   view article arw

PALMER — High school students in the Palmer Independent School District who are in the top quarter of their graduating class but might have a difficult time getting into college will soon find the door to matriculation wide open — and painted purple.  The Palmer ISD board of trustees formalized a memorandum of understanding at Monday night’s monthly meeting that creates a partnership between the school district and Tarleton State University starting with the 2020-2021 school year. view article arw

During the Fall of 2019, Winters ISD had the opportunity to present at two state-level conferences, TASA/TASB 2019 txEDCON Convention in Fort Worth, Texas, and Advancing Improvement Education (AIE) in San Antonio. At both of these conferences, Kathy Horner from Winters ISD presented on how Winters ISD partnered with engage2learn (e2L) through a process to define the principles of design for all classrooms that would best support their community-inspired vision for learning. Community stakeholders came together during focus groups and summits to share their vision for learning. One student said his vision for students in Winters ISD is to have the “Ability to work independently and collaborate with others.” view article arw

Domingo Morel is a professor of political science at Rutgers University who has studied school takeovers across the nation. He is the author of Takeover: Race, Education, and American Democracy.   In this post, he describes the proposed state takeover of the Houston Independent School District as a hoax.   It is a manufactured crisis. It is a theft of political power, and it is based on race. view article arw

A state judge Wednesday evening immediately blocked Texas from taking over the Houston Independent School District until she issues a final ruling on the case, complicating the state's plan to oust the district's school board by March.  In doing so, Travis County District Judge Catherine Mauzy preliminarily sided with Houston ISD, the state's largest school district, in a legal battle that will ultimately determine whether Texas can indefinitely seize power from its elected school board. view article arw

If ever the community of Marlin needed good news, it’s now: Marlin Independent School District has failed to meet rigorous state testing standards since 2010, longer than any other district operating in Texas; families are pulling their children out of Marlin ISD and sending them elsewhere; teacher morale is flagging in some quarters; reports suggest district leadership has been erratic; and indications are the Texas Education Agency is growing weary of giving second, third and fourth chances. view article arw

Top LYS Tweets – January 13, 2020

January 1308:30 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.  Public schools are the civic and moral formation centers of America. (By @pastors4txkids)  The moral argument for public education drives the trolls nuts. God’s truth is a stubborn and unavoidable thing. (By @pastors4txkids) view article arw

Spring ISD board members are in the middle of a process for approving new print, digital and online instructional material for next school year. The new material is part of a statewide initiative called Proclamation 2020. The initiative calls for new instructional material in English, language arts and reading courses to ensure all classes have the resources they need, said Spring ISD Chief of Curriculum and Instruction Khechara Bradford. “We also follow our guiding principle, which really does ensure we have an aligned curriculum with those corresponding progress measures or assessments and we really train teachers through differentiated professional development so that they can implement our curriculum with fidelity, and we believe that brings us to increased student achievement,” Bradford said. view article arw

BEEVILLE, Texas — A Beeville early childhood center is in the top 5 finalists of H-E-B's Excellence in Education Awards.  All 5 finalists receive $5,000 for their school and the winner will receive a $25,000 grant for their school. The Hampton-Moreno-Dugat Early Childhood Center in Beeville is in the early childhood category. view article arw

HOUSTON — Houston Independent School District teachers, support staff, and parents are urging the new school board to resist a state takeover.  Roughly 30 or so people, many who are part of the Houston Federation of Teachers, held a rally outside HISD headquarters Thursday afternoon. Many of them also planned to speak during the public comment period of the final meeting of the current school board. view article arw

A state judge Wednesday evening immediately blocked Texas from taking over the Houston Independent School District until she issues a final ruling on the case, complicating the state's plan to oust the district's school board by March. In doing so, Travis County District Judge Catherine Mauzy preliminarily sided with Houston ISD, the state's largest school district, in a legal battle that will ultimately determine whether Texas can indefinitely seize power from its elected school board. view article arw

CANYON, Texas (KAMR/KCIT) — Instead of having to make the trip to Clarendon College’s Amarillo Campus, it is now easier and more convenient for Canyon High School students looking to pursue a cosmetology career.  “This building is such a blessing, it’s a state of the art facility and the girls seem to be learning a lot as they work through their different phases of cosmetology,” said Decee Surratt, Canyon ISD Cosmetology Program Instructor. view article arw

Texas Education Agency officials said they filed an appeal Thursday to overturn an injunction by a Travis County judge blocking it from replacing Houston ISD’s trustees with a state-appointed board of managers.  The appeal was sent to the Austin-based Third Court of Appeals, and if a panel of judges sides with the agency, it could resume its work to strip Houston ISD’s board of power.  If the injunction is upheld, the TEA would not be able to move forward until a lawsuit by the Houston ISD board of trustees has been decided.    view article arw

In the latest twist in the ongoing battled between the Texas Education Agency and the board of trustees of Houston ISD, chalk up one for the school district's elected representatives.  A state district judge based in Austin late Wednesday stopped the planned takeover of the board by the state — at least for now. Judge Catherine Mauzy issued an injunction saying the TEA and its commissioner Mike Morath won't be going forward with their appointed board until after she has a chance to further review the case and issue a final ruling. view article arw

CORPUS CHRISTI, Texas — The Department of Labor has declared parents are covered under the law to take leave and attend their child's Individualized Education Program meeting. An IEP meeting usually takes place during the day, which makes it difficult for some working parents to get time off to attend. view article arw

ODESSA, Texas (YourBasin) – Schools back in session after the winter holidays for Ector County ISD. School officials are gearing up not only for next school year but for the next five. “We had a great start to our school year. I’m very happy with the things that happen the first semester. So as we think about second semester there’s a lot of work happening in our organization. We are focused on a strategic plan so, thinking big picture where we are heading as a school district. We’ll roll that out to our community in the month of March and so that provides a lot of excitement. That will provide clear direction for our district for the next five years,” stated ECISD Superintendent Dr. Scott Muri. view article arw

Frisco ISD expects increases in prekindergarten enrollment as it prepares to host a full-day pre-K in the 2020-21 school year. FISD began hiring for the program in December, said Melissa Ellis, FISD’s assistant director of early childhood instruction.  FISD’s Early Childhood School, where pre-K is currently offered, is expected to exceed capacity. As a result, FISD plans to use space at Boals, Hosp, McSpedden, Pink, Purefoy, Shawnee Trail and Sonntag elementary schools for the program. Carroll Elementary School will also participate, but for bilingual pre-K only. view article arw

For a school, thriving and surviving has little to do with state test scores.  You can have a thriving school, that based on state testing results, is barely keeping its head above water. This phenomenon is due to the fact that what state tests are most accurate at measuring is wealth of the families served... view article arw

ROBINSON, Texas – The Robinson Independent School District is asking for input on collaborative vision planning.  Robinson ISD is beginning the process of working with staff, parents, and community members to reset the mission, vision, motto, and value statements of the district.  The goal is to create a clear and easily understandable picture of student expectations and how they will be achieved. view article arw

Another member of the state-appointed board of managers that oversees the troubled Marlin Independent School District has resigned, leaving the panel with only three members.  Sam Sinno, an Austin business owner, tendered his resignation from the board Dec. 20, stating in a letter to board members and the Texas Education Agency that he felt he did not have enough time to commit to the board. The resignation was effective Jan. 1.  “My personal and business schedule has required more of my time,” Sinno wrote in his resignation letter.  view article arw

Full-day pre-K for eligible students kicked off Monday, Jan. 6, at 50 of Cy-Fair ISD’s 56 elementary school campuses.  Texas lawmakers passed House Bill 3 in 2019, reforming the state’s school finance system and requiring school districts that previously offered half-day pre-K programming to offer full-day programs to students who meet certain requirements starting in 2019-20. view article arw

Texas will not be able to seize power of Houston ISD's school board until the state judge issues a final ruling on the lawsuit challenging the takeover.  A state judge Wednesday evening immediately blocked Texas from taking over the Houston Independent School District until she issues a final ruling on the case, complicating the state's plan to oust the district's school board by March. view article arw

KATY (Covering Katy News) -  KEYS, Keep Encouraging Youth toward Success, is the Katy ISD mentor program. The group will host its annual Men Who Mentor Breakfast, Friday, January 31, 7:30-9:00 a.m. at the Katy ISD Legacy Stadium community room.    The annual event provides KEYS Mentor Program information and recruits men interested in becoming a mentor to a male student in Katy ISD. Men Who Mentor also provides support for existing male mentors and an opportunity for seasoned mentors to share their mentoring experiences in Katy ISD. view article arw

Mineral Wells ISD on Monday became the fourth North Texas school district to enter into an agreement with Tarleton State University offering graduates automatic admissions, waives application fees and provides new scholarship opportunities.  MWISD joins Alvarado, Stephenville and Granbury as districts that have entered into agreements with the Stephenville college through a Distinguished High School Partnership Program. view article arw

The Marlin City Council on Tuesday will consider hiring a consultant to study the possibility of applying with the state for a city-operated charter school in case the embattled Marlin Independent School District is closed.  The meeting begins at 6 p.m. Tuesday in the Marlin City Council Chambers, 101 Fortune St.  Mayor Carolyn Lofton said any such charter school would not be run by the city, though the agenda item states that council members will “review and interview consultants for the city-run charter school” in closed session. view article arw

Texas Education Agency officials are investigating 12 school districts that reported far-above-average rates of graduates enlisting or planning to enlist in the military in 2018, a data point that dramatically boosted some of their academic accountability grades and prompted criticism of the rating system earlier this year. State investigators have opened special accreditation investigations in a dozen districts that claimed 30 percent or more of their Class of 2018 graduates were expected to join the military after high school, a figure significantly larger than the state average of about 4 percent, agency officials confirmed Thursday. Without the high enlistment rates, four districts that received B grades under the state’s academic accountability system this year likely would have receive D or F grades.  The high enlistment rates led to complaints that some districts may have bent accountability rules to boost their ratings, giving them an unfair advantage under the high-stakes system. view article arw

Highland Park Middle School math teacher Jean Streepey started a YouTube channel around 2010 to help one ill student keep up with lessons.  The channel has since grown to 192 subscribers and become one of Streepey’s favorite projects.  Such creative approaches and hands-on projects helped her get named a Presidential Awards for Excellence in Mathematics and Science Teaching awardee.Streepey is one of up to 108 teachers selected nationally for the award in 2019 and  one of only four in the state. view article arw

Computer science and video game design are topics a middle school or high school student might begin to tackle. But at Alvin ISD, a group of highly gifted elementary school students is mastering the curriculum.  The district developed WINGS Academy for kids with exceptionally high IQ scores who need more of a challenge in the classroom. view article arw

PREMONT, Texas — In 2011, the Premont ISD was close to being shut down by the Texas Education Agency.  Fast forward to 2020, not only is the school district still open, but they are passing with flying colors.  Now, Premont ISD is on the brink of completing a $13 million facility project that included a new artificial-turf football field and all-weather track, new softball stadium, and close to a million dollars in renovations to Premont Collegiate and the new STEM Discovery Center. view article arw

Lloyd Potter, researcher and director of UTSA’s Institute for Demographic and Socioeconomic Research, is supporting local Head Start and Early Head Start programs toward being more effective. Potter has worked with the City of San Antonio’s Department of Human Services Early Head Start-Child Care and Head Start Programs, and with local nonprofit San Antonio AVANCE Inc. to better assess their programs to provide information about how they are meeting the needs of the children and families they serve. view article arw

The College Station school district recently was honored by the College Board with placement on the 10th annual AP District Honor Roll. The district was one of only 18 districts in Texas to be included. view article arw