Claycomb Associates, Architects

Students in Melissa Wilson's six English classes a Dumas High School will receive a pizza party and a Google Chromecast from Stackup after placing in the Top 10 in Stackup's Spring Break Reading Challenge. Mrs. Wilson's third period class won 1st place overall and was named National Champions. Stackup is a smart monitoring tool used throughout the Dumas Independent School District that measures and rewards students' online reading on anything they read on the internet. By allowing students to explore their interests online, while still providing useful information to their teachers on what students are reading, it encourages students to read more. view article arw

Katy ISD is preparing for a major increase of students with disabilities. As of October, the number of students in special education at KISD was 8,647, according to a March 18 district report. By October 2019, the district estimates there will be 10,984 special education students, or a 27% year-over-year increase. Over the past 5 years, the year-over-year increase has ranged between 6% and 11%. The district plans to hire an additional 200 or so teachers and other staff for the 2019-20 school year to address this influx of students. There are several reasons for this faster-than-usual growth of special education students, such as the Texas Education Agency’s new guidance on identifying children with special needs, the Katy area’s population growth and KISD’s reputation as one of the best school districts, KISD officials, parents and advocacy groups said. view article arw

The Holdsworth Center, a leadership institute founded by H-E-B CEO and Chairman Charles Butt, has selected six school districts for the second cohort of a 5-year partnership focused upon helping public school districts grow their pipeline of inspiring leaders so that teachers thrive and students excel on every campus.    view article arw

Carthage ISD plans to hire an additional five staff members for its special education programs at a cost of $287,000. School board members unanimously approved the plan at their Monday meeting. The additional personnel will include a licensed school specialist psychologist, a diagnostician, an assistant diagnostician, a speech therapist and an ARD facilitator. view article arw

Residents will vote for two of four at-large candidates in the Dripping Springs ISD board of trustees election this May. Candidates include incumbent trustee Marisa Grijalva and challengers Joanna Day, Kara Mayfield, and Rob Satterfield. view article arw

During the April 9 Garland ISD District Affairs Committee meeting, Cris Valdez, associate superintendent of curriculum instruction, and Melissa Hill, director of teaching and learning development, gave a brief update on Literacy for Life and Balance Literacy. Valdez said Literacy for Life is a community model for literacy and more than just reading and writing. “We are to build a community of readers and writers, because in their early childhood children learn to read, and in the upper grades they need to read to learn, and this determines the trajectory of their life,” she said. view article arw

A.C. Jones High School in Beeville, Texas, received a visit Tuesday by a special agency to learn about all they have to offer. The Texas Education Agency toured A.C. Jones High School to learn more about their innovative career and technology programming. The TEA is trying to go across the state and learn about different programs that are available. view article arw

Mesquite ISD is among six school districts within Texas to earn selection into The Holdworth Center’s five-year partnership to build strong leadership. This partnership will be focused upon helping public school districts grow their pipeline of inspiring leaders so that teachers thrive and students excel on every campus. The other districts include Aldine ISD and Spring ISD (Houston area), Harlingen CISD (Rio Grande Valley), Judson ISD (San Antonio) and Lockhart ISD (Central Texas). view article arw

AVID students from across Ector County Independent School District will gather for their annual celebration at 6:30 p.m. April 23 at Ratliff Stadium. This year’s theme is “Limitless” and the guest presenter is motivational speaker and author E.J. Carrion. Amy Anderson, District AVID director, said about 2,000 students, plus teachers and parents are expected. Prizes will be awarded. AVID stands for Advancement Via Individual Determination. Its mission is to close the achievement gap by preparing all students for college readiness and success in a global society, the district’s AVID website said. view article arw

The crowded student event drew comparisons to the signing day ceremonies where athletes make their college choices official. But the 100 or so Beaumont ISD students and parents at this celebration on Tuesday were there to commit to Beaumont Early College High School. The district teams with Lamar Institute of Technology to provide college course credit for those who tackle the more challenging curriculum. view article arw

Navasota ISD has increased their bilingual stipend for the next school year. The recommendation was made at the NISD regular board meeting Monday night, and was approved. The stipend will increase from the current $3,000 to $5,000 beginning with the start of the 2019-2020 school year.  view article arw

High school juniors from Amarillo Independent School District who took the SAT test this year outscored their peers across the state and nation, while the district showed growth in the total and subject-specific scores from last year. The number of Amarillo ISD students who met benchmark scores in both math, reading and writing in 2019 increased by four percent from 2018, with the average total score increasing by 1.2 percent. view article arw

A READER ASKS… LESSON CLOSURE

April 1707:57 AM
 

A teacher asks the following question.  My fellow teachers and I have a question. Our district is focusing on Lesson Closure. Administration states Lesson Closure must occur at the end of class… Period. view article arw

30 years ago, small towns across Texas were doing a whole lot better than they are today. And 30 years ago, small town teacher salaries were on par with (and in a number of cases) better than suburban and urban teacher salaries.   Today’s question… Are these two facts related? view article arw

Terry Smith doesn’t mince words when he talks about what he believes are policies that don’t match practice in Liberty Hill ISD, and that is the focus for his run for Place 7 on the School Board. “I see a lot of lapses in rules and regulations that need to be enforced and they’re not being enforced,” he said. “There are rules that have been written and schools are not following them and they need to be held accountable to that. Rules are just guidelines and I don’t like that.” With a history of conflict with the district and his child’s school – Bill Burden Elementary – which led to a lengthy grievance process and him being kept off campus on a criminal trespass order, Smith said his campaign is about more than his issues over that incident. view article arw

A Houston ISD school designed to give older students another shot at graduation will get its own second chance. HISD trustees voted 7-0 to reject a recommendation Thursday to close High School Ahead Academy, a northside campus serving about 150 older middle school students, many of whom were held back multiple grades. District administrators wanted to close the school because of low academic performance, dwindling enrollment and excessive disciplinary issues, among other concerns. view article arw

It’s a matter of being a “Bold School” — a mash-up of traditional and blended teaching that’s incorporated with technology. San Benito CISD was named a 2019 Innovative District by the International Center for Leadership in Education (ICLE) for “making rapid and significant improvements in student outcomes.” view article arw

On a Thursday in January, a shot rang out in an Atascocita High School parking lot.  The suspected gunman, a student, sat in a red Chevy Impala. A bullet struck the foot of another student, who, according to court documents, ran from the car with a bag of weed.  Forty-three percent of students the next day stayed home from school.  Such a drop wasn’t unheard of. Sixteen other districts in the state have received waivers for low attendance days from the Texas Education Agency so far this school year because of safety issues, meaning their attendance was at least 10 percentage points below the previous year’s average. view article arw

When the State unveiled its new A-F system to grade school districts and their campuses last year, there was plenty of griping. Many superintendents spoke to families to explain the letter grades and some school officials complained that the State accountability system was oversimplified and too reliant on standardized testing.  Within a few months, the State will again release letter grades for districts and campuses, but this time some local school districts will have their own accountability systems to accompany the state-issued grades, in an effort to provide more context. view article arw

There will be 19 NBA players from Texas in the NBA playoffs and nine of those played at Houston high schools. Former Tomball High School star Jimmy Butler is likely to have the biggest impact in the postseason as one of the key players on the third-seeded Philadelphia 76ers. Former Smiley High School star Jonathon Simmons also plays for the 76ers although he's lately been squeezed out of the rotation in favor of another Texas guy – former Lakeview Centennial and Texas Tech standout Zhaire Smith. view article arw

As Texas falls behind other states in college completion rates, a panel of three Texas higher education leaders, hosted Friday by The Texas Tribune, discussed how the state can catch up. Texas’ six-year and four-year degree completion rates are below average, according to The National Center for Higher Education Management Systems. The panelists said solutions to this issue lie not just in improving the numbers, but also with changing how the state measures student success. Panelist Vistasp Karbhari, president of UT-Arlington, said measuring student success with four- and six-year degree completion rates ignores nontraditional students, adult learners and community college transfers, who make up approximately 50% of UTA’s student population, according to the Chronicle of Higher Education. view article arw

TOP LYS TWEETS – APRIL 15, 2019

April 1508:30 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. view article arw

Prior to enrolling at Texas State University, Permian High School graduate Cody Hughes believed the rest of his life would be spent in the oilfields of West Texas. Hughes received a life-changing experience after he graduated from high school in 2014 and moved to the Texas Hill Country. About a year and a half ago, Hughes and his girlfriend-business partner Lexi Nutter formed Buzz in the Hills — a company based out of San Marcos that performs apiary consultations and management, creates pollinator habitats and uses beeswax, honey, organic and wild herbs for products. view article arw

NBC 5's Wayne Carter visited his first elementary school in the Brag About Your School series: Central Elementary in Duncanville. view article arw

The Edgewood school district wants to convert many of its neighborhood campuses to specialty schools over the next five years. Superintendent Eduardo Hernández introduced the plan Thursday during the district’s first State of the District presentation. “We’re looking at breaking our school system down into five innovation zones,” Hernández said. “If a school was a person, we want to give that school a purpose.” The zones will be focused on five different program models: early childhood, STEAM (science, technology, engineering, arts and mathematics), culinary arts and health sciences, single-gender leadership schools and fine arts. view article arw

In Texas, our anti-public school politicians, who have been in power for over a decade have done a couple of things that have devastated public school finance. They put a cap on property tax rates. Which is the primary way Texas public schools are funded.  The state “recaptures” a percentage of the property taxes that “rich” districts collect. “Rich” used to mean “rich,” with just a handful of districts affected. Now “rich” means “not poor,” with an ever increasing number of districts affected. view article arw

It’s election time again and on the ballot in my community is a $800 million school bond. This sounds like a lot of money, and it is, but some background.  My local school district serves 62,000 students at 66 campuses with over 7,000 employees. The area I live in is suburban and affluent. The area is growing rapidly and a big reason for that is the perceived quality of the school district. This attracts both businesses and families. view article arw

SAN ANTONIO - State lawmakers are getting involved in the turmoil surrounding the reopening of three South San Independent School District campuses.  State senators Pete Flores and Jose Menendez sent a letter to the Texas Education Agency asking that a conservator step in to address concerns with South San ISD’s board. view article arw

In a letter to Texas Education Commissioner Mike Morath, two state senators have asked the Texas Education Agency to appoint a conservator over South San Antonio Independent School District, citing recent board decisions that they said threaten the once-troubled district’s years of steady progress. view article arw

With a nationwide push for schools to focus more on career and technical education programs, local school districts such as Conroe ISD are investing more funds in workforce programs. For example, CISD’s $807 million bond package proposal—which will be on the May 4 election ballot—includes a $10.5 million investment to expand the existing career and technical education program at Oak Ridge High School as well as to build a new $3.6 million agricultural and CTE facility in north Montgomery County. view article arw

By the year 2028, the area within LTISD is projected to add another 12,158 housing units. That includes single- and multifamily housing, senior living, condos and townhomes. With all of the growth evident throughout western Travis County, that projection is just one of many that show the dynamic shifts the area will undergo in the next 10 years. Every two years, LTISD receives a demographic study from College Station-based demographer Population and Survey Analysts. Information from LTISD states the study examines student residential locations, potential growth and decline, economic factors and housing trends within the district. view article arw

For over a year, the Houston Independent School District has faced the threat of a state takeover. First, a state law triggered the threat, because several schools had posted low academic performance on state standardized tests for several years. More recently, the Texas Education Agency expanded its investigation into the Houston school board. In the face of the threat, a new coalition of parents, teachers and advocates has formed that still wants to keep local control over their public schools. They say that they prefer to “police” the school district through local elections and not through a state takeover. view article arw

When Houston ISD’s High School Ahead Academy opened in early 2010, district leaders heralded the new campus as an innovative place for middle school students who had been held back multiple grades, fast-tracking them toward graduation. Nearly a decade later, that vision for the northside campus has crumbled. Only one third of students have jumped multiple grades over the past five years, with another third dropping out or leaving the district. view article arw

High school students in Bryan will soon have the option of taking a Dave Ramsey financial literacy class. view article arw

In school most people learn reading, writing and math but this year for the first time Trent ISD's seniors are learning something more real. "We have guest speakers coming in everyday this six weeks to teach the seniors what they need to know to be a successful adult," said Crystal Lane, Trent ISD teacher. Most high schoolers aren't taught things like taxes, rent and even how to get married, but the students are excited about it. view article arw