If ever a school district needed a positive headline, DeSoto ISD is it. DeSoto High School’s girls basketball team rose to No. 1 in the nation in USA Today rankings this week. The team is not just nationally ranked, it’s the best team in the entire country.  It’s a real accomplishment for these students, worthy of celebration by the community and by the whole state. And so far, they’re undefeated this season.  This district needed a big win after a year of bad news. It’s still digging its way out of a $23 million budget deficit caused by poor budget management from the previous administration. Bottom line, the district was not making required payments on its debts. We still don’t know the results of an investigation into questionable spending from past leaders.  DeSoto trustees were forced to cut about 100 employees — view article arw

Laredo Independent School District is one of eighteen school districts in Texas being honored by the College Board. This recognition is highlighting the increasing number of students taking and passing the Advanced Placement tests. view article arw

Thanks to the acceptance of a couple of variances—first from the West Lake Hills Board of Adjustments and then from City Council—the Westlake High School Aquatics Center has advanced further down the road to completion. Both approvals occurred during the Dec. 11 West Lake Hills City Council meeting. Eanes ISD purchased the Shriner tract of land located east of Loop 360 and west of Camp Craft Road several years ago, which is where the $9.96 million aquatic center will be placed, according to city information. view article arw

By virtue of an 11th hour appeal, Lehman High will be going down the 5A ranks. On Tuesday, Hays CISD Superintendent Eric Wright informed district leaders Lehman High athletics will drop a level of classification based on a successful appeal filed last week. As a result, Lehman sports will compete in 5A in all sports, 5A, Division I in football. Earlier this month, UIL Conference cutoff figures showed Lobo athletics would compete in 6A for the third straight realignment phase. Those cutoff figures are used by the UIL, the governing body of athletics in Texas, for its biennial realignment in February. view article arw

During a Jacksonville city council meeting held Tuesday night, 7th grader Olivia Boggs, was recognized as a hero for taking action after her school bus had crashed. In October, Boggs was riding on her normal bus, headed to school, when suddenly the bus driver started veering off the road. “When he turned into the left lane, then I realized, okay something is wrong. This is not normal,” described Boggs. view article arw

The Tomball ISD board of trustees unanimously approved the creation of the Tomball ISD Academy of Energy and International Business on Dec. 10, the first on-site education program of its kind in the state and the second program of its kind in the nation, said Allison Suarez, TISD's director of communications and marketing. The academy is different from other energy and business educational programs in the state because of its on-site component at Tomball-based BJ Services, she said. "Our Academy of Energy and International Business will be the first of its kind in the state and only the second in the nation, so Tomball ISD continues to be a destination excellence district," Superintendent Martha Salazar-Zamora said during the meeting.   view article arw

High school years are supposed to be one of the greatest times of one’s youth. It should be a time that includes hanging out with friends, cheering at football games, and dancing the night away at prom. But for Lexingten Phillips, high school has been one of the most challenging times she may experience in her life. Phillips, a 20-year-old student in the Forney ISD GOALS program, received her diploma on Monday, Dec. 9, 2019 after having to take more than a year off from school. She took time off to care for her infant sibling while her mother, Guinevere, battled breast cancer. view article arw

Big changes are coming to the Vernon Independent School District when it comes to how they communicate digitally and it’s because of a new Texas law. Texas Senate Bill 944 went into effect September 1st and with it came new rules for what is considered public information. Now school districts across the state have to come up with a new plan for keeping track of messaging. “If you’re text messaging and it’s regarding school business then you have to screen shot it and then archive it,” Vernon ISD Superintendent Jeff Byrd said. view article arw

Two winners have been selected for the 4th Annual Brownwood ISD (BISD) Holiday Card Contest. This year, one design from elementary and one from secondary was selected as winners of the contest. Coggin Intermediate School fourth-grade student, Braylon Chairez and Brownwood High School (BHS) Junior, Jenica Villalpando submitted the winning entries that will be used for the official BISD card. view article arw

By virtue of an existing UIL rule, Lehman High will be allowed move down to the 5A ranks. On Tuesday, Eric Wright, Hays CISD Superintendent, said the UIL “graciously” gave the district permission to resubmit its enrollment figure for Lehman High, which was roughly 50 students fewer than the reported snapshot of 2,225 students in November. As a result,Lehman High will join Johnson High in 5A all sports and 5A, Division I in football. view article arw

CARTER IN THE CLASSROOM

December 1208:25 AM
 

Focusing on unique things school districts are doing to help children succeed. view article arw

Tuesdays WFISD board meeting was all about accountability on all levels. Principles from schools with failing and low Texas Education Agency (TEA) Accountability grades gave progress reports of where they are now and improvement that they have made. Some include students tracking their own growth, teacher development, and walkthroughs. Many of the schools have also added clubs, mentors and volunteers into their schools. The school board also looked at factors that are hindering growth. One of the central themes amongst schools that presented was a need for more certified teachers that will stick around year after year. view article arw

Two East Texas educational businesses are joining forces Mentoring Minds is a company that provides critical thinking-based curriculum for K-12 education. SchoolSpire is an education technology company that provides lesson planning, analytics, and program tracking for districts. Together these two companies can offer schools with instruction while also giving them results as to how their students are performing. view article arw

Rogers ISD will not have school today

December 1208:05 AM
 

Rogers ISD is cancelling classes to day due to a citywide water main break. All out of town extra curricular activites will still go as planned according to the superintendent, Joe Craig. view article arw

Hundreds of Central Texas students debut projects Tuesday that illustrate their advocacy on local issues they care about, like homelessness, school safety and climate change. Civics Day — a sort of science fair, but for government — is the product of the national nonprofit Generation Citizen, a group that gives middle and high school students hands-on experience working with local governments. view article arw

The Georgetown High School orchestra caught Chick-fil-A's attention and now they're featured in one of its commercials. The commercial is airing nationwide and the students said they're excited to showcase what they work so hard for. view article arw

The Lufkin ISD Board of Trustees discussed the upcoming sale of bond money for the construction of the new middle school during its Tuesday morning work session. Lewis Wilks, the district’s financial adviser from U.S. Capital Investments, and Marcus Dietz, the district’s lawyer for bond counsel, spoke about the bond timeline. view article arw

The Lewisville ISD community made their voice heard on what calendar option they wanted to see for the 2020-21 school year. And Monday night the LISD Board of Trustees agreed. The board approved Option 2, which includes a school start date of Aug. 12, 2020. view article arw

An elementary school teacher in Missouri was placed on administrative leave after asking students to set a price on slaves. The question was part of an assignment given to fifth graders Blades Elementary School in St. Louis last week. view article arw

To better prepare students for college and the workforce and to better serve area industry, Spring Hill ISD has hired an assistant superintendent of college and career readiness. Adrian Knight’s hiring for the new position was approved by trustees at their regular meeting Monday. view article arw

The Scripps National Spelling Bee will have fewer participants next year. Whether it will have fewer champions remains to be seen. Six months after the bee ended in an unprecedented eight-way tie because organizers ran out of words that were difficult enough to trip up the best spellers, Scripps on Tuesday announced the first in a series of reforms to the competition. While bee organizers aren't saying how they'll come up with a more challenging word list, the bee is reducing the number of wild-card entrants, which ought to streamline an event that was becoming unwieldy. view article arw

In the spring, San Augustine was ripped apart by a devastating tornado but that didn’t stop the town from gathering together and celebrating what they had left. The San Augustine Wolves are undefeated and will soon play in the semifinals. view article arw

A video surfaced on social media recently that reportedly appeared to show a student at Killeen High School attack an educator while serving in-school suspension on Dec. 2. Killeen Independent School District spokeswoman Taina Maya said the district is aware of the video and view article arw

Dozens of marketing professionals hunkered down at an Austin design studio this weekend to help launch a nonprofit’s campaign to bring more mentors to Texas students. view article arw

The Houston-area children have been waiting and longing for weeks since they requested books for their home libraries in late October. Each child will get six of their own choosing. The week of Monday, Dec. 9, many of the children will be so fixed in on their new reads that they may not even notice the cameras documenting the distribution events at their schools, said Julie Finck, Ph.D., president of the Barbara Bush Houston Literacy Foundation. By the end of 2019, she said the Barbara Bush Houston Literacy Foundation, its sponsors and community members will have provided roughly 27,000 books for children across the greater Houston area through the My Home Library program. view article arw

Council for the Accreditation of Educator Preparation (CAEP) announced today that iTeachU.S. is one of 59 providers from 24 states, the District of Columbia, and Puerto Rico to receive accreditation for their educator preparation programs. The fall 2019 review by the CAEP Accreditation Council resulted in 59 newly-accredited EPPs, bringing the total to 281 providers approved under the CAEP Teacher Preparation Standards – rigorous, nationally recognized standards that were developed to ensure excellence in educator preparation programs. view article arw

El Paso Community College is promoting a “college-going” culture by adopting an elementary school in Fort Hancock, Texas. Friday, EPCC adopted Benito Martinez Elementary School as part of their school adoption program. view article arw

Students at a school in Lancaster couldn't be more proud of the accomplishments they've made and the teachers who have helped them along the way. view article arw

The Austin Independent School District’s board of trustees discussed transition plans for the four schools it voted to close at last month’s meeting at a work session Monday night. Board members asked the district to improve its communication to families and staff. Many said they want school communities to have clear and timely information about their school closing and moving to a new school.

High school students in the Coastal Bend took some time from their busy end-of-semester schedules to help some youngsters. Calallen High School students teamed up with the Shop with a Cop program Tuesday to help children pick out clothes, shoes, and other special items during the holiday season that they might otherwise not have access to. view article arw

The Eanes Independent School Board voted unanimously on Tuesday night to continue a highly popular, though controversial, Spanish Immersion Program for its students. Kindergarten through fifth grade students enrolled in the program — approved by EISD in 2017 — will learn 50% of their curriculum in Spanish and the other 50% in English. view article arw

The Beaumont Independent School District is urging parents to participate in the collection of annual household income data, which they are gathering for the first time since becoming eligible for a program that provides free breakfast and lunch to everyone in the district. Parents are being asked to fill out a survey that was sent home with students, and either submit it to the school or complete it online before Dec. 17. The survey, which has been sent home with students several times throughout the year, will help tailor BISD’s resources and to help determine the district’s eligibility for grants and other additional resources, district officials say. view article arw

With another round of the high school football playoffs in the books, the Star Local Media sports staff breaks down all the local happenings on the gridiron. Matt Welch, Bryan Murphy and Devin Hasson discuss what we learned from Frisco Lone Star's big win over Lancaster (1:40) and what to make of the season-ending defeats for Argyle (10:21), Prosper (15:36) and John Paul II (20:18). view article arw

ESC Region 12 chief receives honor

December 1008:30 AM
 

Dr. Jerry Maze, executive director of Education Service Center Region 12 in Waco has been selected as the 2019 recipient of the Thomas Poe Award by the John R. Hoyle Memorial Administrative Leadership Institute recognizing effective educational leaders. Maze was honored at the ALI event in College Station. The Thomas Poe Regional Service Center Leadership Award is awarded each year in recognition of outstanding leadership to school administrators by a regional education service center. view article arw