A Brownsville father said his child’s school district was going to purchase iPads for fifth graders, including his daughter, but the district has yet to deliver the devices. Jacob Castro is disabled; he suffered a stroke in 2014. He’s the father of four girls. view article arw

The Spring ISD Project SAFE after-school and family engagement program will be extending its school-year offerings by hosting summer camps – for qualified students – at Bammel, Eickenroht, Hoyland, Major, Ponderosa and Salyers elementary schools; Bailey, Bammel and Wells middle schools; and Dekaney and Westfield high schools during the summer of 2017. view article arw

Robert Bostic, a self-described evangelist for science, technology, engineering and math, really started something when he became the superintendent of the Stafford Municipal School District in 2014. The Stafford High Robotics Program, which began two years ago, competed May 19-20 in Austin as one of 32 teams from the state invited to the 2017 University Interscholastic League Robotics FIRST (For Inspiration and Recognition of Science and Technology) Division State Championship based on the points it earned at earlier competitions. view article arw

When FIRST Robotics Team 1477 Texas Torque pitched the idea of building a premier robotics facility to Conroe ISD Superintendent Dr. Don Stockton three years ago, he was intrigued. Robotics is the fastest-growing program in the district, Stockton said, so it needed a proper facility to spread its wings. The rough drawing Texas Torque members provided of their dream facility is "very similar" to what stands now at The Woodlands College Park High School, Stockton said. The 12,746-square-foot facility broke ground in August 2016, and roughly $4.1 million in funds were allocated for it through the district's November 2015 bond referendum. view article arw

Parents of Amarillo Independent School District elementary students will be registering their children online for 2017-2018 school year as the district expands its Skyward Family Access program. view article arw

As Texas and the Rio Grande Valley continue to grow and experience an influx of new employers, so does the demand for a more skilled workforce. Businesses interested in moving to Texas need to know that the demand for skilled workers can be met to fulfill their hiring needs. Alex Meade with Mission Economic Development Corporation saw this opportunity for the Rio Grande Valley and started an innovative program, which is located in my district, called “Code the Town.” This program teaches computer programming to business startups as a means of attracting technology-based business to this region. This program would ensure that, as one of the fastest growing regions in the state, we are able to compete against other parts of the state and bring Fortune 500 companies to the Rio Grande Valley. view article arw

When Garland ISD gave iPads to each of its 16,330 high school students last fall, district officials hoped the teens would use them nearly round-the-clock. The devices, centerpiece of a $25 million technology expenditure, were viewed as an educational fit for a generation raised on technology. The students, they believed, would be engaged. view article arw

Hallsville ISD on Wednesday recognized outstanding students and teachers during its annual Career and Technology Education Advisory Council Luncheon. The luncheon recognized Hallsville High School's 16 CTE programs including: Agricultural Science, Audio Video Production, Business Interactive Media, Digital Interactive Media, Automotive Technology, Business Accounting, Computer Applications, Career Prep, Computer-Aided Drafting, Criminal Justice, Cosmetology, Culinary Arts, Fashion Design, Future Business Leaders of America, Health Science, Family and Community Services, Instructional Practices in Education and Process Technology. view article arw

Students at PSJA North Early College High School experienced what it is like to vote using actual voting machines borrowed by the Hidalgo County Elections Department for their local class elections May 15. The school's Student Council conducted their class elections on 15 electronic machines to expose and educate students about the importance of voting, and to get hands-on experience using the device. According to PSJA North Student Council Sponsor Marco Villegas, they hope having students vote with real electronic machines helps them become familiar with the process and encourages them to vote when they are of age. view article arw

A new LED video wall estimated cost $302,000 was proposed to upgrade the older technology at Westlake High School’s Performing Arts Center during the May 9 Eanes school board meeting. The addition would provide opportunities for enhanced collaboration between students in diverse classes. Now, the district is deciding how to fund the estimated cost of $302,000. view article arw

Another round of electronic devices were approved Tuesday for purchase as part of Henderson Independent School District’s 1:1 Initiative that puts a laptop computer or tablet in the hands of its students. Trustees unanimously OK’d spending $158,922.40 with SHI International Corp. to buy 740 Asus Chromebooks for Henderson High School students in grades 9-11. view article arw

Willis ISD students are traveling to the Grand Canyon, space, and the ocean without ever leaving the classroom. Five years ago, Willis ISD had a vision for not only incorporating technology into the classroom, but implementing the concept of providing the support of Technology Innovation "iCoaches" for the District. "As we keep going through education, technology is not going away-- it is what our kids know," Willis ISD Digital Integration Coordinator Courtney Brown said. "They are fully immersed into technology. We realized we have got to meet their needs and part of meeting their needs is providing teachers with the support they need to be able to reach our kids with the technology tools." view article arw

Katy ISD Family STEM Event

May 0508:15 AM

The STEAM Center and Katy ISD Curriculum and Instruction welcome Dr. Jendai Robinson for a family STEM event. Dr. Robinson is a chemist, mathematician and a NASA Fellow. She is a self-described maker who is currently working on fabrication and characterization of plasmonic and electrochemical sensors.  view article arw

Here at KXAN we get a lot of emails with a lot of attachments. But when we started seeing multiple emails in our inbox Wednesday afternoon from various senders about a shared Google doc we could download, we knew something was amiss. The phishing emails are seemingly coming from legitimate Gmail accounts so it’s easy to accidentally click on the link attached. Numerous school districts in Central Texas have fallen victim to the phishing scam, but the emails aren’t coming from the districts’ actual email addresses. All of the emails are also sent to: hhhhhhhhhhhhhhhh@mailinator.com view article arw

The Glen Rose Independent School Board got technical last Thursday night. During the regular meeting of the Board of Trustees, they unanimously voted to approve spending $1,783,309.04 to upgrade and replace electronic items such as Dell computers and Apple iPads for students and teachers. The vote was 6-0. Board trustee Wade Busch not in attendance. Superintendent Wayne Rotan said that the funding had already been earmarked for that, in the GRISD’s fund balance. view article arw

Canton ISD School Board trustees approved a $147,892 contract for a video monitoring system that will be used on all four campuses of the district. During the April 17 meeting, district trustees reviewed four proposals for a video monitoring system for all four campuses. The four companies were Simplex Grinnell, KLC Video Security, American Integrated Security Group, Inc., and Resilient, with KLC submitting the lowest bid.  view article arw

 Like many other school districts in Southern Brazoria County and throughout the Lone Star State, Sweeny ISD is making efforts to have one-to-one technology throughout its campuses. The school district recently acquired enough iPads and Google Chromebooks to have a complete set in each of Sweeny Elementary School’s fourth- and fifth-grade classrooms, said Garland Johnson Jr., fifth-grade science teacher. Sweeny ISD decided to increase the amount of devices in the district about three years ago, said Johnson, who is part of the district’s technology team. “The initial idea was iPads across the entire district,” he said. “For our older students — junior high and high school — it was take-home devices, but we decided for the elementary that is probably not the best idea.” The district later decided to do a combination of both iPads and the Chromebooks after consulting with teachers, Johnson said. view article arw

An East Texas athlete is out of the hospital and recovering after being injured during a high school baseball game. Previous: Bullard ISD: Gilmer student airlifted to hospital after baseball game injury view article arw

School news in Fort Bend ISD

April 1907:30 AM

Prekindergarten registration set for 2017-18 school year The prekindergarten experience can have a great influence on a child's educational career and helps set the stage for lifelong learning. To facilitate the enrollment process, prekindergarten online registration will begin April 24. Parents will then contact their zoned prekindergarten campus to schedule a face-to-face appointment to complete the registration process. Appointments will begin on May 1. view article arw

Autistic and nonverbal, Olivia Espinoza’s son was unable to tell anybody about the abuse. While the disabled child was enrolled at an elementary school in Las Vegas in 2014, his special education teacher pushed and grabbed him, slapped his hands, and threw him to the ground. “I have a typical daughter, and when she comes from school, I ask her, ‘What’s going on at school? What did you do?’ and she answers,” Espinoza said. “But when my son comes from school, I don’t know nothing about it.” After at least three teachers aides spoke out, teacher James Doran pleaded guilty to battery — and Espinoza, who has sued the Clark County School District, is now calling on Nevada lawmakers to approve a bill requiring cameras in self-contained special education classrooms where more than half the students are nonverbal. view article arw

A Memorial High School sophomore is facing charges after allegedly sneaking into the school's computer system to change grades, according to the district. Spring Branch ISD police arrested the student on March 31 and afterward the wayward pupil was hit with breach of computer security, a state jail felony charge.   view article arw

Magnolia Junior High students Zack Fisher and Jacob Pendergraff have developed a new web-based program for tracking the Mustang Money campus reward system. Coach Lundin Matthews, who teaches web design and coding, challenged his students early this year to develop an online system for administrators and teachers to add and remove dollars and for students to track reward balances. Mustang Money is a campus reward system in which the students can earn dollars or points for positive behavior and going above and beyond, attendance and grades. view article arw

The second-to-last Kilgore ISD Community Connection team meeting of the school year turned its focus to high school students.  Specifically, the two-hour meeting explored the innovative and Career and Technology Education (CTE) classes offered at Kilgore High School, including the dual credit welding program, the health science classes and the new rocketry program.  The welding program allows the students in the class to receive college-level welding credit with some finishing the curriculum to achieve a welding certificate before graduating high school. Both Kilgore College and Kilgore ISD teachers serve as instructors to allow the dual credit designation. view article arw

Regina Hart, a reading specialist at Ortiz Elementary, says her students get excited when visitors come to their classroom – even more so when those visitors are in military garb. Watching the students faces light up when Air Force personnel walk through their classroom door is something special, Hart said. But the build-up to the visit also is something to behold. "Once the kids know that they're coming, that's all they talk about for the rest of the week," Hart said. "They're so excited and happy to see them. It reinforces their reading, community connection –  even if they do call them Army, they'll get it eventually. It's just outstanding and we look forward to it every time." view article arw

Teachers at one Waco school will soon have drones to use in their lessons. ATLAS Academy at Tennyson Middle School recently received a grant from Region 12 for nearly $4,900 that will go towards purchasing drones. The academy will add a 6-week drone mini-course that will teach students how to build a drone and allow them to explore what they can do with one. Administrators said they want to incorporate the drone technology to promote STEM education. view article arw

Dysfunction surrounding the development of Dallas ISD’s “data dashboard” left top DISD officials scrambling in early 2016 to justify payment of more than $400,000 for work completed without proper authorization, according to documents obtained by The Dallas Morning News and interviews with district officials. The incident was one of the catalysts for an external investigation of Dallas Independent School District’s procurement and IT departments that uncovered $1 million of waste, possible violations of state law and led to disciplinary action, suspension or termination for seven DISD employees. view article arw

 If you've ever thought of taking your child out of the traditional brick and mortar school but didn't want to homeschool your children, there's a free, state-funded online schooling program offered. Students attending the Oklahoma Connections Academy take four core classes like Math, Science, English, and Social Studies and two other electives. The program, which is open to students in grades K-12, requires them to spend an hour a day in each subject. Connections teacher Melissa Patrick said the students begin their day by logging in and checking their planning calendar. view article arw

Following the state’s upward trend, Ector County Independent School District’s dual credit enrollment has seen huge growth for the past six years. Statewide, since 2000, Texas has seen 650 percent growth in the number of high school students enrolling in dual credit education. Dual credit lets students to take college-level courses to earn credit toward a high school diploma and college degree. The Dual Credit Education in Texas Interim Report is the first phase of a two-year research study conducted by RAND Education, a unit of the RAND Corporation, in collaboration with the Texas Higher Education Coordinating Board and Gibson Consulting, a news release said. view article arw

Garland Independent School District is gearing up for its third annual STEAMposium, a free interactive all day event that showcases student creations in the areas of science, technology, engineering, art and math. This year's STEAMposium is scheduled for April 22 at the Curtis Cullwell Center in Garland. The high school student events will feature a trebuchet and renovations. view article arw

Huntsville ISD is continuing to be at the forefront of providing innovative technology to its students, faculty and staff, and after Tuesday’s Board of Trustees meeting, the district looks to expand those efforts in the coming years. Director of transportation Tim Hooks discussed the district’s ConnectED Wi-Fi campaign, which included the installation of wireless internet access in 15 buses and state-of-the-art safety features for parents to utilize, such as GPS tracking. HISD was one of the first districts in the state to utilize the technology, which was approved last spring by board trustees. view article arw

Surviving Crazy “Leaders”

March 3008:30 AM

Good information! “Miguel,” a dear friend and colleague asked me, “Have you read the new superintendent’s book?” At my blank stare and smile, she pointed to the Simon Sinek book in her hand entitled, Leaders Eat Last. I felt my hackles rise as my instinctive dislike of mis-applied lessons from other fields made my gorge rise. view article arw

By a 4-3 margin, Brownsville Independent School District trustees on Wednesday  approved spending $1.175 million to buy tablet computers for every fifth-grade student in the district. The vote came after a contentious discussion, but in the end the board decided the purchase had been properly vetted and the district was getting the best value for its investment. Board president Cesar Lopez and trustees Joe Rodriguez, Ralph Cowen and Carlos Elizondo voted in favor, with Minerva Peña, Sylvia Atkinson and Laura Perez-Reyes against. view article arw

Schools are building up their cyber defenses as more students turn to high-tech methods of sabotaging online testing, grade reporting, and communications. Distributed denial of service (DDoS) attacks are on the rise, forcing those in charge of districts’ cyber security to adapt and defend their networks. (EdTech) view article arw

Someone has tried to file at least three tax returns using the Social Security numbers of Ben Bolt-Palito Blanco Independent School District employees. It all stems from an IRS phishing scam that the District's business manager fell victim to back on Jan. 27. Since that time, the FBI and IRS have been working to find those responsible and stop the fraud. "Our business office received an email that was seeking the release of W2 information," said Superintendent Tim Little of Ben Bolt=Palito Blanco ISD. "Unfortunately they were successful in that, and they posed as me to get that to happen."   view article arw

This week a Maryland student's mass shooting plot at her high school was stopped after her father tipped off police. It is part of a disturbing trend. An ABC news investigation found in the last 17 years there have been at least 79 thwarted school massacre plots. Just a few years ago Socorro ISD didn't even have security cameras at schools. That has since changed. view article arw