Toyota’s charitable foundation granted $1.7 million Monday to Southwest Independent School District to support the science, technology, engineering and math, or STEM, programs at its new high school. The grant by the Toyota USA Foundation, the culmination of a year-and-a-half of work, will go to Southwest Legacy High School, which is set to open in August, Toyota spokesman Mario Lozoya said. It is Toyota's largest contribution so far to a school system in Texas, Toyota spokeswoman Melissa Sparks said in an email. view article arw

The West Independent School District, which was struck by tragedy four years ago, now has one million reasons to celebrate. “When we got the call, we were just overjoyed that they were gonna do this for us,” said David Truitt, Superintendent of Schools for West ISD. During Wednesday night’s school board meeting, Gravely & Pearson LLP presented a $1,000,000 to the district to continue recovery efforts from the West Fertilizer Plant explosion. Truitt said they were shocked by the generosity. view article arw

The San Antonio Independent School District Foundation handed out more than $150,000 to a record number of grant winners and schools. The winning educators were surprised in the classroom. The grants fund innovative projects that teachers want to use in the classroom to get students interested, keep them engaged and improve their academic performance. view article arw

Students at West Independent School District will see a boost to their extracurricular activities available, thanks to a San Antonio law firm that donated $1 million to the district this week. The district accepted a large ceremonial check from Gravely & Pearson LLP on Wednesday night at its school board meeting. The money will go to the district’s “Restore West ISD” effort, a districtwide initiative to rebuild and bring students back to the district after the April 2013 fertilizer plant explosion that rocked the small town. “We’ve been on a great journey as you all know, and this is one more piece in our recovery efforts in West ISD,” Superintendent David Truitt said during the presentation. view article arw

The Spring Hill ISD Education Foundation has awarded about $20,000 as part of its spring grant program, the organization announced. Grants include $12,000 to fund technology at all four campuses, $1,996 to purchase two 65-inch televisions to improve communications at the junior high school and $2,220 to fund an Innovation with iPads program at the intermediate school. view article arw

The Fort Bend ISD school board snagged a $25,000 prize Sunday night as Texas' best school board at the H-E-B's Excellence in Education ceremony in Austin. H-E-B selected 58 finalists across Texas, with categories ranging from best teacher to best school board, in March. On Sunday, they handed out $430,000 to 11 finalists. In addition to winning for best school board, Fort Bend ISD's Julie Diaz won best school principal for secondary education for her work at Travis High School.  view article arw

The Holdsworth Center, a new Austin-based leadership institution, announced its first cohort of seven school districts selected to receive intensive leadership training. One district from the San Antonio area was chosen: Southwest ISD. “We basically see this as representing the San Antonio area as part of the inaugural group, and we don’t take that lightly,” Southwest ISD Superintendent Lloyd Verstuyft said. “If going through this long-term process provides us with the ability to give back to San Antonio, we’re definitely on board with that.” view article arw

From Klein Independent School District: The Holdsworth Center, a new leadership institute founded and funded by H-E-B Chairman and CEO Charles Butt, recently announced that Klein ISD will be among seven school districts to participate in the center’s inaugural cohort beginning in June. Previously, Klein ISD was chosen as one of only two districts to participate in a short pre-pilot program as the center began work around leadership development for school districts. This work led to the Profile of a Leader guiding document recently approved by the Klein ISD Board of Trustees that supports the district’s vision of every student entering with a promise and exiting with a purpose.   view article arw

Keep Your Fingers Crossed

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The wait is almost over. The 2017 H-E-B Excellence in Education Awards state winners will be announced on Sunday, May 7 evening at the Hilton Austin Hotel Ballroom in Austin, Texas. Brownsville ISD is one of five finalists in the Large District Category which includes a $100,000 prize. The four other finalists are Allen ISD, Grand Prairie ISD, Northwest ISD, and Soccorro ISD. Rose Longoria, the Pace ECHS Principal, was named a finalist in the Principal Category.  view article arw

The Kilgore ISD Education Foundation Prize Patrol recently awarded more than $31,000 to teachers on four campuses for six projects that will help students advance their learning. At Kilgore Middle School, a team of five teachers developed advanced projects around the Model United Nations program. They asked for a "mobile creation station" that will allow students to take their projects and learning to different workspaces around the school. "When students can create these products wherever they are on campus, we can be more productive with the time we have," teacher Suellen Pfeffer said. view article arw

Bear Creek Elementary Academic Support Teacher, Mrs. Karen Baker has been awarded a grant from the Texas Retired Teachers Foundation.  Approximately 90 applications were submitted to the organization from across Texas and Mrs. Baker will receive $500 to be used for classroom needs. view article arw

The Brownsville Independent School District has approved a framework to grant raises to all employees during each of the next three budget years. The BISD Board of Trustees approved the plan 7-0 at its Tuesday meeting. Certified employees such as teachers and librarians are slated for a 2 percent pay raise, or about $1,035 across the board. Classified employees such as food service workers, bus drivers and others will see a 3 percent increase, also across the board.  view article arw

 Hidalgo County Metropolitan Planning Organization has announced that the City of Donna will receive $272,593 in federal funds to improve sidewalks throughout the community. The grant is being funded through the State’s Transportation Alternatives Program. The program is aimed at ensuring safety for pedestrians in the city. Official confirmation of the funding allocation will be made at HCMPO’s April 20th board meeting. The HCMPO grant will require the City to provide a $68,148 match for a total project cost of $340,741. view article arw

The Education Service Center Region 12 Technology Foundation will award nine school districts with nearly $70,000 in grant funds to support educational technology programs. The new technology projects chosen came from a pool of nearly 50 applications. Four of the selected districts were awarded grants during surprise visits to educators at the Aquilla, Hillsboro, Whitney and Fairfield school districts. view article arw

Westlawn Elementary School has received a $5.2 million grant from the state for improvements to its literacy program. "Our grant application was centered around the theme of improving literacy," said Paul Norton, Texarkana Independent School District superintendent. "We want to create an overall transformation at Westlawn. I have no doubt that this wonderfully exciting grant will allow us to do just that." Students, staff, parents and community will celebrate from 1:45 p.m. to 2:15 p.m. today. The event will be held in the school cafeteria, 410 Westlawn Drive. view article arw

A Mart Independent School District alumnus presented a $4 million donation Thursday for a new high school. The gift from Mart native James Lee Davis, 90, was a monumental moment, Interim Superintendent Len Williams said.“Needless to say, this donor’s generosity is going to carry us a long way to helping all of our children for many, many years to come,” Williams said. “We’ll build new classrooms, elementary, middle school wing, high school. We’re going to hit all of it. Our donor is very interested in math and science so we’ll make sure the academic wings of it are in place.” view article arw

The Welding Innovative Academy from PSJA ISD will get new equipment in the upcoming months. This is a grant the district received from the Texas Education Agency. More than $300,000 will be given to the district to purchase the necessary equipment to expand its current welding program. One district official said students will not only be able to get good jobs once they go through the welding program, but possibly become entrepreneurs. view article arw

Some Waskom ISD teachers got a big boost for their classrooms on Wednesday thanks to the Waskom ISD Education Foundation. The foundation awarded more than $11,500 to teachers at each of the district's three campuses. "We were able to award grants to every teacher that applied this year," Waskom ISD Education Foundation President Terry Slone said Wednesday. "It's very important every year for our teachers to continue to apply for grants." view article arw

Diana Schneider, a teacher at Henderson Middle School in Hardin-Jefferson ISD, is among the finalists for the 2017 H-E-B Excellence in Education Awards, the largest monetary awards program for educators in Texas and among the largest in the nation.San Antonio-based H-E-B representatives visited her classroom and school with balloons, cookies, and flowers last week. Scheider was presented with a $1,000 check for herself and a $1,000 check for her school. The finalists are:  view article arw

During their board meeting Thursday night, Big Spring ISD trustees agreed to earmark $6,000 to be used to start a foundation for the district. “We are creating a foundation so anybody who wants to contribute money to the school district can do it and get a tax break. Write it off as a tax deduction,” said Superintendent Chris Wigington. “Right now they can’t do it.” According to Wigignton, the $6,000 of district funds will be used to pay for the start up costs and will be returned once the foundation is stable. “Once we get enough money, the taxpayers will get their money back,” he said. - See more at:  view article arw

 Former CBS News anchor Dan Rather is challenging teachers across Texas to come up with innovative ways to improve education. As part of the challenge, Rather introduced the Rather Prize, a $10,000 award for educators who come up with the best idea to improve education in Texas. Katie Landaverde is this year’s winner of the Rather Prize for her plan to improve education in Texas. Landaverde and Rather joined us in the KXAN studio to discuss their efforts. view article arw

The 2017 Rather Prize award to a Dallas-area teacher was announced this morning at SXSWedu in Austin. The winner is Katie Landaverde, a teacher at Lake Dallas Elementary School, awarded for her idea to implement workshops targeted at elementary students and taught by high school students where students attend morning seminars on the topics of their choice. The goal of the program is to provide younger students the opportunity to explore their passion while simultaneously allowing older students to develop expertise by teaching the subjects of their interest. “I felt strongly there was a way to pull everyone’s talents together,” Landaverde said following the announcement. view article arw

A blank expression spread across the face of Michael Richard, a theater arts and communication teacher at Stacey High School. And then he grinned as a large red check bearing his name and the figure $1,000 was placed in his hands. Across San Antonio just a few hours later, Georgette Carrasco, slack-jawed, put her hand over her mouth as tears spilled from her eyes. Her Northside ISD class erupted in applause. Another large red check with her name and $1,000 was slipped into her free hand. “Oh my God,” she said breathlessly. view article arw

The Round Rock school district awarded $1.9 million in grants to 34 campuses to help foster innovation in schools through programs, models or initiatives that enrich learning. The grants range from $7,500 to $100,000 and support the district’s strategic goal of implementing, enhancing and reinforcing innovative teachings and learning models, according to a district news release. view article arw

Texas Instruments (TI) (NASDAQ: TXN)announced today that its 2015 corporate and foundation giving to science, technology, engineering and math (STEM) education totals almost $6 million. Focused on collaborative strategies to improve student success and teaching effectiveness in STEM education, TI and the Texas Instruments Foundation designate "Power of STEM Education" grants to a variety of nonprofit partners and educators in targeted communities where the company has a major design or manufacturing presence. Special emphasis is given to programs that reach female and minority students who are underrepresented in science and engineering careers today. view article arw

A local school that has been underperforming for years, is shaking things up for the new school year with the help of a $4.8 million grant. Indian Spring Middle School is under a state mandate to turn things around and their principal is hoping this multi-million dollar grant will help them do just that. view article arw