Beginning this school year, all Rice High School students will have a Chromebook to assist them with learning in the classroom and at home. In addition, teachers have received trainings to implement Google classroom in the educational setting. “Rice High School is committed to preparing students to be college and career ready. This is why we are launching a one-to-one Chromebook initiative for each student to have their own device starting with the 2018-19 school year,” said Amy Harvell, Assistant Superintendent of Curriculum and Instruction.” view article arw

Central Texas school districts are cracking down on students harming others -- especially on social media. This school year, Round Rock ISD is urging more students and parents to download their reporting app, Anonymous Alerts. The district started using Anonymous Alerts two years ago. Now that they're actively using the app too, the district will spend the whole first week of school encouraging students to add it to their phones. Anonymous Alerts is an anonymous way kids can speak up. view article arw

When Meeha Amirthalingam puts her mind to an issue she won’t stop. That’s why the now 14-year-old Sugar Land student was named one of the top 10 students in the nation for using her brain to tackle a global issue in the “Discovery Education 3M Young Scientist Challenge.” She is the only student from Texas to make it this far in the annual competition and she will learn the outcome in October. The annual competition invites students in grades 5-8 to submit a video describing a unique solution to an everyday problem for the chance to win $25,000 and an exclusive 3M mentorship. view article arw

The DeSoto Independent School District is opening a new facility aimed at connecting the district's youngest students with the latest technology. The Katherine Johnson Technology Magnet Academy will open this school year to about 900 students from kindergarten through fifth grade. It's named for one of the first black mathematicians to work for National Advisory Committee for Aeronautics, which later became NASA. view article arw

Raising cyber citizens

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There are new dangers on the internet every single day, some of which your children may be bringing on themselves. But, it's something that officials said can be avoided if they learn from an early age to be a good 'Cyber Citizen.' "We grew up being told that when you go out into the world as a citizen that you need to look both ways before you cross the street. All of those tips that you get as you grow up but I'm think are we missing that now on training our kids to be digital citizens?," said John Thomas, managing director for technology support in the Texas Tech IT division view article arw

The San Benito Consolidated Independent School District is taking another step in high tech. Beginning this school year, hourly paid employees in the district will start clocking into work with a fingerprint.  view article arw

Every year, Clear Creek ISD has been turning down more than 200 science-mad students. The science magnet lab at Seabrook Intermediate School, built in the 1990s, only had room for 115 sixth-graders out of all the kids in the district wanting to participate. view article arw

The Katy Independent School District has developed a new anti-bullying tip line as part of the Katy OnTheGo app for students and staffers to use. “In the past few years, it has become a topic of great concern in every school across the nation,” district officials said in a letter sent out to students, parents and the community. view article arw

Thursday afternoon, Socorro Independent School District officials announced that the district had been awarded the 2018-2019 Technology Lending Grant by the Texas Education Agency to provide more students access to high-quality digital resources and courses. view article arw

Beginning this fall, the Bryan school district will be using ClassLink, a service that allows students and parents to log in once and access all of its online resources and applications. Instead of having to keep up with different usernames and passwords for each website or application, ClassLink will save users' log-in information for each resource and store it so users will only need to log in to ClassLink. ClassLink is available on all devices online at or via phone or tablet applications. view article arw

At the San Diego Independent School District, students in all three campus will be required to put their cells phones into a Yondr pouch, starting the first day of school. Students will enter their homeroom class and be presented with a gray and green pouch to slip in their smartphones and lock them up. Once the phone is turned off and put into the pouch, it snaps shut and locked like the security tags found on clothing at department stores. The pouch stays with the student and can only be unlocked with a special device. view article arw

The New Caney ISD board of trustees called for a November election for three trustee positions at its July 16 board meeting. They are: Position 3, which is currently occupied by Alan Moreau Jr., who was first elected in 2009; Position 4, which is currently occupied by Chris Wootton, who was first elected in 2015; and Position 5, which is currently occupied by Chad Turner, who was first elected in 2012. view article arw

Saddled with a massive school bus driver shortage, the Houston Independent School District has turned to Transfinder Corp., the nation’s leading school bus routing company, to implement the significant transportation changes that the district wants to roll out during the 2018-19 school year. view article arw

When students go back to school in Frisco this fall, they’ll learn about changes to the safety and security plan which includes a new way for students to report threats and concerns. view article arw

Cleburne: Keeping up with tech

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Even a couple of years ago, students working with robots is something you rarely saw. Now it’s more commonplace, and Cleburne ISD officials want to ensure their students have the latest robotic technology.  The CISD board of trustees approved the purchase of robotics kits for both elementary and middle school students during Tuesday night’s meeting. They purchased LEGO WeDo 2.0 robotics kits for fifth-graders at all the district’s elementary schools for $25,643.25. view article arw

When Temple High School students return to classes this fall, some 80 percent will spend part of their time in a new, state-of-the-art Career and Technical Education Center. The majority of THS students take CTE classes, and the new facility will offer a variety of courses, including construction, machine shop, culinary, cosmetology and veterinary programs. Kent Boyd, assistant superintendent of finance and operations for Temple Independent School District, said the high school addition was designed with input from teachers, students and community members, as well as industry professionals in the various fields the CTE Center will teach. view article arw

The Demise of Channel One News

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It happened not with a bang but a whimper: Houghton Mifflin Harcourt announced that its in-classroom TV service, Channel One News, had aired the final broadcast of its 29-year history.  The announcement attracted scant attention, especially for a project described breathlessly by a 1995 New York Times article as “the highest-profile—one might even say glamorous—controversy in American education.”

Humble ISD is transitioning to a completely digital process when it comes to applying for free and reduced-priced meals for the 2018-2019 school year. This service offers free or reduce-priced meals to students who qualify as per the National School Lunch Program. view article arw

The new school year will bring a new way to combat bullying within Katy ISD, and all students need are their smart phones. The district’s app will have a new feature that allows students to report bullying. “I think it’s a great idea as long as they follow up,” said grandmother Esther Lewis. Lewis said one of her grandchildren was the target of bullies last school year. view article arw

Cleburne High School will host a Community “Come and See” from 5:30-7:30 p.m. Aug. 8, providing residents with their first glimpse of the new science wing and a section of career and technical education classrooms and labs which will be serving students on the first day of school. The open house will provide the community with a walk through the first completed phase of academic construction in the building of a new CHS, following the opening of the softball/baseball complex last spring. The construction of a new high school, on the existing site, and the remodeling of the current campus into a career/technical education and fine arts facility was approved by voters in 2016. view article arw

Fort Bend ISD says they are starting to look at ways to improve their security as school shootings continue to occur across the nation. And now some of the options their committee is exploring could even include the use of facial recognition technology. It’s a quick scan of the face, a smile to the camera. Facial recognition software just might be the newest hall monitor for Fort Bend ISD. view article arw

Advancements in technology have proven to be powerful tools in learning, giving teachers, students and parents new opportunities to learn, collaborate, communicate and save both time and money. As technology has become more accessible and intuitive, its availability in the classroom has increased throughout many Houston-area school districts. "Over time, our school district has slowly shifted from a shared classroom laptop-cart model to a model where each student has access to his or her own technology and resources that can be used both in and outside the classroom and at any time," said Adrian Acosta, director of Instructional Technology at Houston Independent School District. view article arw

More than 3,500 Socorro Independent school district educators participated in the district's Digitally Nurturing Academics (DNA) conference Wednesday. The conference is part of the school district's "Operation Future Ready" campaign meant "to invest in the latest technology tools to advance digital teaching and learning for all students and teachers," according to SISD Superintendent Jose Espinoza. view article arw

More than 12,300 MacBook Air laptops are making their way into the hands of EPISD students this week, as part of the District’s continued efforts to provide opportunities for more modern and active learning. view article arw

A new STEAM program is making its way into the Killeen Independent School District. STEAM stands for Science, Technology, Engineering, Art and Math.  Thanks to a new after-school club called Tech Wizards, the program will be at one elementary school in Killeen for the upcoming school year. view article arw

More than 12,000 laptops will be distributed at El Paso Independent School District middle schools and high schools next week as part of the District’s continued efforts to create modern and active-learning opportunities for all students. The laptops are distributed to students in grades 6-11 as part of the voter approved Bond 2016 initiative. view article arw

Community leaders in The Woodlands are asking for help to create a safer, more suicide-aware space by studying the effects of a new mobile app and also taking suicide intervention training beginning this fall. The push for awareness comes amid angst felt throughout the nation, as communities continue to see a rise in the number of people who have died by suicide and as the need to do more to prevent these deaths becomes increasingly apparent. view article arw

The E-rate program, which is generated from the federal universal fund, makes telecommunications and information services more affordable for schools and libraries. The funds will support the district’s commitment to digital learning by improving technology infrastructure, upgrading the Internet 10G network connectivity, WAN 10G fiber services, and provide the network electronics for SISD’s newest school Sgt. Jose F. Carrasco Elementary. view article arw

Within this year, local districts could spend thousands of dollars to monitor potential threats to students made on social media accounts. The program is called "Social Sentinel" and its a software designed to send alerts to designated administrators when a possible threat is seen. The program could be apart of more than 30 school districts in Southeast Texas. view article arw

Lisa Villarreal, of Victoria, went into panic mode when she learned her children were not registered for Victoria schools. “I’m more old-school,” said Villarreal, 29, who is a hairstylist. “It’s easier to go to the school, get in line, go through all the booths and know when you’re done.” The assistant cosmetology instructor at the Career and Technology Institute registered her 7-year-old son in second grade and her 5-year-old daughter in kindergarten for the upcoming school year during the last week of school. view article arw

High school students from all over the world will leave Texas Motor Speedway on Tuesday, headed to California in the Solar Car Challenge. The cars are expected to arrive in California on Monday July 23.  view article arw

Area school districts should consider subscribing to a company that monitors social media for threats that could lead to violence. It seems like a reasonable tool that can help make schools safer. But districts should realize that the cost will be greater than the relatively small sum mentioned up front, and no single factor can be relied on to prevent a mass shooting. Last week superintendents in the local Region 5 discussed participating in the Social Sentinel program at a cost of $18,500 for districts, though that figure could be reduced for smaller districts if more join. As the name of the Vermont-based company implies, it monitors social media for certain words like “kill” or “gun” and then notifies a particular school district if it detects a possible threat. A tool like that can help, especially since most school shooters gave clues ahead of time that they were thinking of violence or spiraling out of control. But it gets more complicated. view article arw

The Highland Park ISD STEAM program has already inspired upwards of 50 students in only its first year within the district. Imagine then, executive director Geoffrey Orsak said, what participation will look like in future years with more funding. Funding for the program came from the Moody Innovation Institute, with which Orsak is heavily involved. view article arw

After months of planning, public meetings and debate, Fort Bend ISD trustees appear poised to approve a November school bond election that could total as much as $1.7 billion. District officials recently brought forward a list of recommended projects such as new schools, campus improvements and security upgrades for trustees to consider including in the bond. One key component of the bond proposal also being considered is a six-year plan for new computers, classroom technology, network equipment and hardware system upgrades totaling approximately $178.7 million. view article arw

Amid a heightened awareness of school safety issues in the wake of shootings this spring, local districts could spend thousands of dollars next year to identify and receive instant alerts of potential threats made on social media. They're considering joining together to pay for a Vermont-based company, Social Sentinel, to screen public posts on Facebook, Twitter and other social networking sites for language that indicates possible threats. Region 5 superintendents met Wednesday at the Education Service Center to discuss the program, which sends a notification to designated administrators when a possible threat is identified. view article arw