Navasota State of NISD

January 2108:30 AM

Navasota Independent School District is continuing its mission of offering large school opportunities with a hometown atmosphere and examples of that mission were shared at the annual State of the City address Wednesday, Jan. 12, at the Navasota Center. Navasota ISD Assistant Superintendent of Operations Dr. Ronnie Gonzalez presented the NISD portion of the program for Superintendent Dr. Stu Musick who was out with a death in the family. Gonzalez said NISD is a town with only one high school, but the district is able to offer students an array of extracurricular activities ranging from KickStart Kids, a karate program endorsed by Chuck Norris, to choir, FFA and everything in-between. view article arw

STEPHENVILLE, Texas — Beginning with the Class of 2022, Mesquite Independent School District seniors in the top 25 percent of their graduating class will earn automatic admission to Tarleton State University. As part of its Distinguished High School Partners program, Tarleton also will waive ACT (American College Test) or SAT (Scholastic Aptitude Test) requirements for students in the top quarter of their class and application fees for students who qualify. The Mesquite ISD and Tarleton leaders cemented the agreement last week. view article arw

Austin ISD began the process of finding a new partner for Mendez Middle School at a Jan. 19 meeting, as the campus faces repercussions from years of poor state ratings, including possible closure. On Dec. 16, the district officials severed ties with the Texas Science, Technology, Engineering and Mathematics Coalition, or T-STEM Coalition, which had managed Mendez Middle School since 2018. AISD contracted with the nonprofit after years of poor student performance on standardized tests. The district is looking for solutions to keep Mendez open in the wake of that decision and finding a new partner to run the campus is one way forward, according to district staff. If the campus received a “D” or an “F” from the Texas Education Agency for the current school year, the district would be set on a path toward possible state action, including the state taking over the school board. Superintendent Stephanie Elizalde previously stated she would close the school before seeing the board’s anonymity revoked. view article arw

The Lufkin school board on Tuesday discussed the district’s Texas Academic Performance Report for the 2020-21 school year. Shelly Slaton, assistant superintendent of education services and accountability, presented the board with a slide show containing the district’s population comparison, demographics, number of graduates, dropout rate, advanced graduation rate and attendance numbers. The district is comprised of 83.7% economically disadvantaged students, as compared to 60.2% in the state, and 19.2% bilingual students, as compared to 20.6% in the state. The district is comprised of 28.6% African American students, 42.5% Hispanic students, 24.8% white students and 1.2% Asian students. The board discussed an order of election for May 7. Today is the first day interested candidates may turn in the paperwork to run. Because the district is still in the middle of facing COVID-19 — and is now up to 342 cumulative cases, according to superintendent Lynn Torres — they discussed offering an employee retention incentive. An early resignation notice incentive pay plan also was discussed. view article arw

Last fall, just as younger Texans received the green light to get vaccinated, omicron came rushing in, sending more of them to the hospital.  There’s a little list of things that Richmond, Texas, mom Vanessa Lui promised her daughter Zoe they could do after the third grader got her COVID-19 vaccine.  A visit to Barnes & Noble. An afternoon at the local museum.  Going back to school in person is also on the list, but schoolwork isn’t really what Zoe misses after attending school entirely online for the past year and a half.    (19) view article arw

he Allen ISD Board of Trustees has been named a finalist in the H-E-B Excellence in Education Awards program. The Allen ISD Board of Trustees is one of only five finalists in Texas for this prestigious award. This honor is designed to recognize school boards that have demonstrated leadership in the community that it serves based on three basic criteria: view article arw

The state’s process for reviewing social studies learning standards is underway. Roughly 800 people, mostly educators, have applied to join work groups that could shape the new requirements. Social studies Texas Essential Knowledge and Skills, or TEKS—state standards for what students should know—are set to change starting in the 2025-26 school year, said Jessica Snyder, Texas Education Agency special projects manager, during a Jan. 13 meeting about the process. TEA staff are sifting through hundreds of applications for members of the work groups, which will ultimately present suggestions to the state education board this summer, said Curriculum Division Director Shelly Ramos. view article arw

Austin ISD is providing new lesson plans for teachers in the face of dropping test scores, Superintendent Stephanie Elizalde said at the Board of Trustees’ Jan. 13 information session. Test scores have been decreasing since the start of the pandemic, Elizalde said. Some Austin ISD trustees questioned if the new lesson plans address the most immediate needs in the district, which they identified as attendance and teacher shortages. Reading outcomes for students in low-income families have decreased in particular, based on standardized test scores among third grade students considered economically disadvantaged, Elizalde said. Between the 2018-2019 school year and the 2020-2021 school year, the state saw an 8 point drop in the percentage of economically disadvantaged third graders’ reading test scores, while Austin ISD saw a 13 point drop in that group, according to the district. view article arw

IOLA, Texas (KBTX) -For the first time in school history, the Iola Bulldog Cheerleaders are competing in the UIL Spirit State Championships. The competition is being held over three days at the Fort Worth Convention Center in Fort Worth, TX. At the UIL Spirit State Championships, schools will compete in three categories: crowd leading, fight song, and band dance. Iola students and staff gave the group a big send-off Wednesday afternoon as they make their way to Ft. Worth. The squad will make its debut at the competition Thursday afternoon. view article arw

BEAUMONT — Once again, we're focusing our attention on the state of education in Southeast Texas with our special series of reports titled -- Crisis in the Classroom. This week, we're examining the recently released federal report card published by the Texas Education Agency. It details how elementary and middle school students did on the state of Texas Assessments of Academic Readiness (STAAR test). Beaumont ISD's performance showed poor results in 2021. view article arw

EL PASO, Texas (KTSM) – The Canutillo Independent School District is a finalist for H-E-B’s annual Excellence in Education Awards program and could compete for more cash prizes. H-E-B announced Tuesday that eight school districts and five early childhood facilities have been selected. H-E-B is also recognizing five public school boards to highlight the importance of strong leadership at the board level. Since the program’s inception, officials at H-E-B say they’ve awarded more than $12 million in funding to benefit outstanding Texas public schools. This year, H-E-B will award a total of $82,500 to the finalists and school boards, who will go on to compete for even greater cash prizes at the statewide level. view article arw

Lewisville ISD has scheduled a public hearing next month regarding the 2020-21 Texas Academy Performance Report. The LISD Board of Trustees will hold a public discussion of the TAPR during the regular board meeting at the LISD Administrative Center, 1565 West Main St., at 7 p.m. on Feb. 14. The Texas Education Agency typically offers an accountability rating for each district and campus based on STAAR performance (against which the district often pushes back), but no accountability rating was made this year because of the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic and the cancellation of the STAAR in spring 2020. view article arw

BRYAN, Texas (KBTX) - Bryan ISD kicked off a week of advanced academic information nights at Rudder High School Monday evening. Applications are now open for the district’s advanced academic programs. These meetings give parents and students opportunities to learn more about them the application process. “Colleges are only getting more competitive, and so anywhere kids can offer something that sets them apart from other students, they have to embrace that,” Rudder High School Capstone Social Studies Teacher Scott Skrla said. “When I was first in school, AP classes were the exception not the norm, and now it’s pretty much if you want to go to one of these super-high competitive schools, you are expected to have gone through these AP programs.” view article arw

High school students now through March 1 can enroll in Tyler ISD’s Early College High School, a campus that provides students with dual credit courses and dual completion. The campus allows students to earn a college degree and graduate with a high school diploma at the same time through partnership with Tyler Junior College. College credits are not the only opportunity provided, but also the ability to earn 60 college hours to complete one of the 10 degree plans; Business, Computer Science, Criminal Science, Criminal Justice, Education, English, General Studies, Health Studies, History, Psychology or Sociology. view article arw

More than 140 students in early college high school programs in the Socorro ISD celebrated their milestone achievement of earning an associate degree while still in high school at special ceremonies during the month of December. Mission Early College High School, Rams Early College at Montwood High School, Socorro Early College at Socorro High School, and Trailblazers Early College at Americas High School honored their fall 2021 college graduates by awarding them their stoles signifying the achievement at in-person and virtual events. view article arw

Houston Independent School District is calling on students and alumni for help to address the loss of learning its elementary students suffered due to challenges from the pandemic. The district announced Wednesday that it is hiring 500 HISD students and alumni for spring semester tutoring positions at elementary schools throughout the district. The district is seeking students ages 15 and up and alumni currently in college for the position which pays $12 an hour, according to a release. view article arw

Tuesday, Jan. 11, is the deadline for public comments on hiring non-certified teachers, changing expulsion and suspension rules, and altering class-size waivers in the Marble Falls Independent School District. A public hearing for the amendments is scheduled during the Jan. 18 school board meeting. The school board is not expected to vote on the amendments until March. If approved, the amendments would be effective immediately. Residents in MFISD are asked to submit feedback on six proposed amendments to the District of Innovation plan. Information outlining each amendment, as well as an online feedback form, is available on the MFISD website. view article arw

The fur and feathers and dragon scales keep flying at Round Rock ISD, where dozens of parents, and now the Texas Education Agency, want the district's newish Superintendent Hafedh Azaiez to be placed on administrative leave (or to just leave), egged on by some of the state's loudest right-wing voices. After a lively public comment period and lengthy executive session at a board of trustees meeting on Monday, Jan. 3, the board will reconvene on Thursday to further deliberate its next steps. A Dec. 15 letter from David Faltys – a monitor appointed by TEA for the district after high-profile battles among RRISD trustees – calls for an external investigation of the conduct underlying a protective order issued against Azaiez by a Travis County district court on July 28, less than a month after he took the RRISD reins. No criminal charges have been filed. The order was issued on behalf of a woman who resides in Donna, in the Rio Grande Valley, where Azaiez led the schools before getting the $350,000 RRISD job.    (06) view article arw

In accordance with the district’s strategic plan, Montgomery ISD will begin offering additional career and technical education courses for the 2022-23 academic year to better equip students for the workforce after graduation. At their meeting last month, MISD board members voted to adopt next year’s course selection guide, which also included additional Advanced Placement and AP Capstone courses. In total, the district added more than 30 CTE courses, including the two new pathways of legal studies and human services, which includes careers in social work. Each year, district officials examine state and regional labor market data to help inform their decision on what new classes to offer. view article arw

Though Monday’s school board meeting at the Round Rock Independent School District (RRISD) ended without a vote, the board hinted that it may choose a new superintendent to replace the district’s current scandal-haunted leader. The school board met at 2 p.m. on December 3 to discuss a recommendation by a Texas Education Agency (TEA) overseer that the board place Superintendent Hafedh Azaiez on leave pending a local law enforcement investigation. Police are investigating Azaiez for assault after a woman claiming to be his mistress successfully obtained a protective order against him. Her declaration in the order describes a scuffle with Azaiez at her home after she refused his request to abort their unborn child.    (05) view article arw

During a board meeting Thursday, Round Rock Independent School District is expected to announce the appointment of a Texas Education Agency-assigned monitor who will oversee the RRISD board after a complaint was filed for a 2019 incident. According to a letter from the TEA, which was posted on the RRISD board website, Dr. David Faltys has been assigned to attend meetings and make recommendations to the board, report back to the TEA on the district’s status, among other duties. view article arw

The Tomball ISD board of trustees approved a new District of Innovation plan during its meeting Dec. 14. TISD was first approved as a District of Innovation in 2016, Community Impact Newspaper previously reported. Districts of innovation are exempt from certain sections of the Texas Education Code in order to pursue goals outlined in the district's innovation plan, according to the Texas Education Agency website. Districts must renew their plans every five years, said Mark White, TISD assistant superintendent of accountability, during the board’s workshop meeting Dec. 13. view article arw

Students who opt in to the "Horizons" program will have two opportunities available to them: they can choose to focus on a college plan or a career plan.  Midway Independent School District is looking to expand the horizons for its students by adding a non-traditional high school experience.  The new alternative high school program is called "Horizons" and it will have two opportunities available to students enrolling for the 2022-2023 school year.  "Horizons is a small non-traditional high school campus that we decided to implement to respond to learners who don't fit the typical 6-A environment and need more support," said Horizons Principal Dr. Valerie Willis. view article arw

The Northwest ISD board of trustees approved various high school course additions, enhancements and deletions for the 2022-23 school year at its Dec. 13 meeting. The board originally discussed the courses at its Nov. 15 meeting with Logan Faris, executive director of secondary education. One of the major changes is that the district will begin to phase out its French and German language courses. Board President Anne Davis-Simpson had concerns with this change at the Nov. 15 meeting, saying she was “disappointed” that the move would limit language options to only Spanish, American Sign Language and computer science. view article arw

As the threat of the state taking over Austin ISD’s board still looms, the district has laid out next steps in its plan to improve Mendez Middle School’s rating from the state. The school has received poor ratings from the Texas Education Agency for several years. If Mendez Middle School receives a poor rating from the TEA for the 2022-23 school year, the state’s Commissioner of Education Mike Morath will have the option to either close Mendez or replace Austin ISD’s elected board with a state-appointed board of managers. At a community event Dec. 15, Superintendent Stephanie Elizalde said the district aims to decide whether to run the school itself or partner with a new outside organization before spring break. view article arw

HOUSTON, Texas — The news was music to their ears. Some members of Worthing High School's "Marching Pride of Sunnyside" have a lot to celebrate after learning they're getting scholarships from Langston University in Oklahoma. “I’m the first person in my family to go to college,” said trombone player Nicholas Lockett. Lockett is one of nine senior band members to earn the $50,000 scholarships. “I think the world of it," Lockett said. "It’s just awesome.” view article arw

A Texas Education Agency letter released in December states former Carroll ISD Superintendent David Faltys has been assigned to monitor Round Rock ISD. The TEA determined RRISD would be assigned a monitor following a complaint against a former board member. Board President Amy Weir stated at an Oct. 21 meeting of the board that a monitor had not yet been assigned to the district. Faltys will formally monitor the district for one year, according to the TEA. When reached for comment, Jenny LaCoste-Caputo, RRISD public relations and communication manager, pointed to the notice from Jeff Cottrill, TEA deputy commissioner of governance and accountability. view article arw

In the first of a multistep process, the Fort Bend ISD board of trustees has unanimously granted Superintendent Christie Whitbeck permission to notify the Texas Education Agency commissioner of the district’s intent to renew its Local Innovation Plan.  Commissioner of Education Mike Morath will receive the notification Dec. 17, one parameter required for the district to renew its Local Innovation Plan, according to the Texas Education Code. view article arw

Dripping Springs ISD staff said they are pleased with young students’ reading and writing scores, noting students had slightly more difficulty with math, according to a report presented to the Dripping Springs board of trustees at the Dec. 13 meeting.  Still, the district is seeing consistent increases in the number of students who are reaching the “masters” expectations score on standardized math Measures of Academic Progress—or MAP—test.  Early literacy lessons this fall have resulted in more than 90% of the district’s kindergarten students tested as “on track” on the Texas Kindergarten Entry Assessment while fewer than 10% of students’ scores indicated they needed monitoring or support, the report showed. view article arw

Timothy McMahon has been named one of the three state finalists for Texas mathematics in the The Presidential Awards for Excellence in Mathematics and Science Teaching (PAEMST). The PAEMST are the highest honors bestowed by the United States government specifically for kindergarten trough 12th grade science, technology, engineering, mathematics, and/or computer science teaching. The awards were established by Congress in 1983. The President may recognize up to 108 exemplary teachers each year. Awards are given to science, technology, engineering, mathematics, and/or computer science teachers from each of the 50 states, the District of Columbia, the Commonwealth of Puerto Rico, the Department of Defense Education Activity schools, or the U.S. territories as a group (American Samoa, Guam, the Commonwealth of the Northern Mariana Islands, and U.S. Virgin Islands). view article arw

An Austin ISD school that has repeatedly received low ratings from the Texas Education Agency could threaten the district's elected Board of Trustees autonomy if its rating does not improve next year, Superintendent Stephanie Elizalde said during a Dec. 2 Austin ISD board meeting. To avoid consequences from the state and to try to improve the school, the Board of Trustees will consider ending a contract with Texas Science, Technology, Engineering and Mathematics (STEM) Coalition, or T-STEM Coalition, a nonprofit that has been managing the in-district charter, Elizalde said. view article arw

Two CISD elementary campuses were ranked among “U.S. News & World Report’s” list of the top elementary schools in Texas. According to the list, “U.S. News & World Report” evaluated 4,446 campuses and ranked them based on their test performances, high school preparedness and graduation rates. Southlake Carroll placed twice on the list, with Old Union Elementary ranking third with a 471 student population and a 13:1 student-teacher ratio. Carroll Elementary followed closely behind in fourth place, with a 638 student population and 14:1 student-teacher ratio. Dallas ISD’s William B. Travis Academy and Sudie L. Williams Talented and Gifted Academy also placed in the top 10, taking the first and sixth spots respectively. view article arw

SAN ANGELO, Texas — San Angelo Independent School District hosted its annual San Angelo READS! Day, dedicated to promote literacy. The city-wide celebration encourages families to take part by reading to a friend, donating a book or creating their own. “Our goal with the San Angelo reads program is that each month we expose children to reading and the joy of reading and give them the opportunity to get them excited about reading for enjoyment,” Fort Concho Elementary Principal, Lori Barton, said. view article arw

Decatur students in the bilingual/ESL/dual-language program juggle English and Spanish in and out of the classroom. While the languages carry many similarities, one sound that transcends language is the ding of a bell at spelling bees. Next week 61 elementary students will compete to see who can avoid the ding the longest at a districtwide bilingual spelling bee Dec. 16 […] view article arw

SPRING, TX – Dec. 9, 2021 – Excited students, proud parents and teachers gathered in the performing arts center at Westfield High School on Tuesday evening to celebrate the induction of 288 Spring ISD seniors from around the district into the National Technical Honor Society (NTHS). The 2021 event marks Spring ISD’s fourth-annual districtwide NTHS induction ceremony and showcases students’ hard work and persistence, said Superintendent Dr. Rodney E. Watson. “Each of you should take great pride in the achievement, knowing that you’ve earned it,” Watson told attendees during his opening remarks. “You’re here tonight because of opportunities and choice – opportunities that were afforded to you, combined with the choice you made to make the most of those opportunities.”    (10) view article arw