The San Benito Consolidated Independent School District will educate undocumented immigrant children held in a federally-funded shelter. The school board has entered into an agreement with Southwest Key Programs to provide educational services to children housed in the shelter at the former site of the Dolly Vinsant Memorial Hospital. view article arw

Making the best decision to choose the correct program for children with special needs could be tough, especially when it’s time to find the resources available for their education. The Dallas Independent School District has created a variety of programs with the goal of helping kids in the classroom. “We collaborate with schools to help kids with special needs to have success in the classrooms,” said Sylvia Bogacha, Dallas ISD supervisor of special education. view article arw

Evaluating public school districts, individual schools, teachers and principals is valuable and important. It also is difficult to do so in any sort of objective, apples-to-apples manner which attempts to compare one district, school, teacher, or principal to another. Done well, the accountability process instead would focus on providing identification of concerns as well as mentoring and professional support in a constructive, non-punitive manner. Done poorly, the process becomes a destructive, misleading label which destroys morale and provides unwarranted justification for weakening an institution that has played an undeniably vital role in creating the greatest nation on earth. view article arw

HEARNE, Tex. (KBTX) - Hearne ISD has a new lifeline thanks to a new partnership program from the state. The program could save the elementary and junior high school.  For the last few years, the 830-student has been working to get its junior high and elementary schools off a state list of campuses that need improvement. view article arw

After being at risk of closure for failing to meet academic standards for four consecutive years, Mendez Middle School will get a new shot at a turn around. The Texas Education Agency has approved the Austin school district’s choice in a partner to help save the 700-student middle school in Southeast Austin, which could have faced state sanctions if it failed again this year. view article arw

The Texas Education Agency (TEA) recently awarded Mineola ISD the Math Innovation Zone (MIZ) grant. TEA solicited applications and subsequently awarded grant to 5 districts across the state, including an East Texas district. The three- year grant funding in the amount of $500,000 with an additional opportunity for another $100,000 at the end of year one will be utilized to further the work in personalized, blended learning with PK-8 grade students in mathematics. MIZ grant funding will provide for additional staff, professional development, software, and hardware during this three year period. Mineola ISD will also have the opportunity to supply recommendations to TEA during this process in order to assist the agency in potentially expanding the program. view article arw

The Texas Education Agency approved a partnership last week between Mendez Middle School and the Texas Science, Technology, Engineering, and Math Coalition to help improve the struggling school's accountability rating. TEA has rated Mendez "Improve­ment Required" for four years in a row, and a fifth could result in the Austin Independent School Dis­trict closing the school down (2017-18 ratings are expected in August). To avoid that fate, AISD invoked a new law passed by the Texas Legislature in 2017 that pauses the rating system at a specific campus for two years and provides additional funding to the school (in Mendez's case, about $1,900 per student), if the district partners with a state-approved group to develop a "turnaround plan" for the campus. view article arw

Corpus Christi ISD fell back upon one surefire way to avoid a deficit: Raise taxes. If only making your own financial problems go away were that easy. That was by no means an original thought. School trustees and administrators should expect to hear it from taxpayers. view article arw

In a bait-and-switch scheme, a group of fraudsters used educational programs for veterans to enrich themselves while cheating service members out of an education they were entitled to under the law, according to FBI.gov. The GI Bill provides the country’s service members and veterans a free or reduced-cost college education to those who qualify, offering them a head start on their return to civilian life. view article arw

Repost!  Throughout the month of June, TEA held public hearings to gather input on the commissioner of education’s proposed amendments and rules for the A-F accountability rating system. Districts will receive a rating of A, B, C, D, or F for overall performance, beginning in August of this year, while campuses will receive A–F ratings beginning in August 2019. view article arw

Last month, 12 students from Irving ISD’s adult education and literacy (AEL) program were recognized after completing entrepreneurial programs in Fuel ED Hospitality and Tourism, STAHLS Clothing and Textiles, and Home Depot Home Improvement. The 12 joined fellow AEL students from the area at the Dallas Country AEL Consortium’s first graduation ceremony held June 30. view article arw

HARLINGEN, RGV – The Rio Grande Valley is a place of promise, says Educate Texas in the inaugural edition of its annual report. The report, titled “Where Giving Empowers,” has been prepared as a snapshot of the non-profit’s work. The Valley is featured for the way it increased the percentage of students applying for free federal student aid.  view article arw

Early results are in from the state’s annual testing of students, which supposedly tells us how well our public schools are doing their job. Those numbers change a bit from year to year. Longview ISD, like every school district, annually gets better in some areas and worse in others. The results lead school officials to say they are happy with the positive areas and will work harder on the negative ones. All in all, though, it amounts to a big bag of nothing. view article arw

The Killeen Independent School District issued 571 suspensions involving 276 prekindergarten through second-grade students during the 2017-2018 school year, according to district officials. This number seems at odds with anti-suspension legislation that went into effect in 2017 aimed at banning out-of-school suspensions for this age group except in extreme circumstances, such as a child bringing a gun to school, committing a violent offense, or being involved with drugs or alcohol. KISD district officials said suggesting that the district is violating the law is not appropriate based on one overall number. view article arw

TEXARKANA — New buildings are shooting up around the sun-baked grounds of the Texas A&M; University System’s northernmost outpost here. There’s a $32 million glass-fronted complex near completion that will house the nursing program and administrative offices and a new $11 million recreation center that will also have a lab to study kinesiology, or human movement.  view article arw

After facing closure for poor academic performance, Mendez Middle School is getting another chance from the state.The Texas Education Agency has approved the Austin school district’s choice for a partner to help turn around the 700-student middle school in Southeast Austin. The campus, which failed to meet state standards for four consecutive years, could have faced state sanctions, including closure, if it failed again this year. view article arw

In her first few weeks as principal of Worthing High School, a cornerstone of Houston’s Sunnyside community, Khalilah Campbell-Rhone began to fully comprehend the challenge she faced turning around one of Houston ISD’s longest-failing schools. view article arw

Union Grove ISD trustees will hear updates on STAAR results and the 2018-19 budget Monday night. view article arw

The Texas Education Agency has designated Southside Independent School District one of the new Math Innovation Zones. Southside is one of only 14 districts in the whole state, and the only district in Bexar County, to earn the distinction. District leaders say it will help prepare kids for jobs that don’t even exist yet. “It’s like tiny robots moving on drawings,” student Nicholas Farias explains in a recent robotics class. view article arw

If there’s one thing Cade Elias likes more than video games, it is math. “Actually, yes and sushi is the best though,” he quipped. Cade, a seventh grader in Frisco ISD, has autism. In the summer, among other things, he plays an app called Prodigy Math with his brother, Jace, 9. “This is a math game for a lot of different grade levels,” said Cade, 13. view article arw

Texas Student Assessments released State of Texas Assessments of Academic Readiness testing results for Georgetown ISD’s spring 2018 semester Thursday. Students grades 3-8 were tested in reading and mathematics, as well as writing, social studies and science in certain grades. High school students were tested in algebra, biology, English and history. Scores are particularly important for students in the fifth- and eighth-grades as they prepare to go to middle school and high school, respectively, but are not a determining factor in that student’s grade movement, said Malinda Golden, GISD assistant superintendent for teaching and learning. view article arw

The Texas Workforce Commission (TWC) announced a High Demand Job Training matching grant of $35,000 to Workforce Solutions of Central Texas to offer cyber security fundamentals with CompTIA A+ and Network+ certifications. The $35,000 grant will be matched by Belton Economic Development Corporation, bringing the total funds available for local training to $70,000. view article arw

The vast majority of Westwood High School students will continue being unranked in the 2018-19 school year, a move that district staff said has created a less stressful and more equitable learning environment for students. The school began a pilot program of not ranking students below the top 10 percent in 2017. After a presentation by Area Superintendent Becky Donald at the Round Rock school district board’s June 21 regular meeting, trustees unanimously approved a measure making the program permanent. view article arw

For much of the year, Houston ISD's 10 longest-struggling schools have been in the spotlight, with their success or failure determining whether the Texas Education Agency closes campuses or replaces HISD's school board. So will they make the grade this year? And will HISD avoid penalties? view article arw

For the first time, no state was below a 71 percent graduation rate in the 2015-16 school year, but Texas had one of the top graduation rates in the nation, coming in behind Iowa, New Jersey, West Virginia and Nebraska. At 89.1 percent, Texas was fifth in the nation in terms of its graduation rate as of the 2015-16 school year, the most recent year for which data is available, according to GradNation. Within the reach of the Region 17 Education Service Center, 90.9 percent of students who started ninth grade in the 2012-13 school year graduated four years later in the 2015-16 school year. view article arw

TOP LYS TWEETS – JULY 2, 2018

July 0208:35 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

A controversial school accountability system that gives districts a one letter grade will debut in August, but Millsap Independent School District Superintendent Deann Lee wants parents, students and other community stakeholders to realize learning is more than a letter grade, she said. Established by the 85th Texas Legislature under Gov. Greg Abbott, school districts will receive a rating of A, B, C, D or F for overall performance. Districts will receive ratings in August and campuses will start receiving the ratings in August 2019, according to the Texas Education Agency website. view article arw

East Texas school districts’ preliminary 2018 state standardized test results varied greatly from district to district this year, with half of the six districts easily surpassing state averages and the other three coming in well below, excluding Marshall ISD. Marshall ISD’s full preliminary STAAR (State of Texas Assessments of Academic Readiness) results for grades third through eighth will be reported next week. Hallsville ISD, Harleton ISD and Elysian Fields ISD students came in well above their state peers’ test scores in most subject areas, according to the Texas Education Agency.  view article arw

Two months after Weinert Elementary’s principal was placed on administrative leave following an investigation into possible test irregularities, the campus is again under scrutiny — this time for its dyslexia and special education program. According to an investigative summary released by Seguin ISD, the district began looking into Weinert’s Special Services Department in April after a parental complaint questioned their child’s improvement and expressed concerns about not receiving the services required. The investigation looked at dyslexia program rosters, dyslexia tracking spreadsheets, class records, schedules, Individual Accommodation Plans and Individual Education Plans.  view article arw

The Texas Education Agency has released preliminary STAAR results online, and Longview ISD passing rates fared between 56 percent and 86 percent. Snapshot scores reported by the district reflected passing rates upward to more than 90 percent, but assessment director Latitia Wilson said they were very likely to change as the district receives more state data. On the primary and middle school levels, the State of Texas Assessments of Academic Readiness are administered in grades 3-8 for math and reading, grades 4 and 7 for writing, grades 5 and 8 for science and grade 8 for social studies. view article arw

Anyone who has ever been around an urban school district knows that, even on the best days, two steps forward on one front can be quickly eclipsed by three steps back elsewhere. That’s simply the reality of the work the Dallas Independent School District faces as it continues to try to turn around the district and close achievement gaps. But the challenges that still face DISD shouldn’t obscure recent examples of solid progress. Superintendent Michael Hinojosa recently announced that the district expects to see another dramatic decrease in the number of “improvement required” schools — from 13 this past year to three. Just five years ago, 43 DISD schools were on the state’s failing list. view article arw

Results from the grades 3-8 on the State of Texas Assessments of Academic Readiness were released June 14. Here are the Alvin ISD STAAR results. view article arw

Results from the grades 3-8 on the State of Texas Assessments of Academic Readiness were released June 14. Here are the Friendswood ISD STAAR results. view article arw

These are the 2018 valedictorians and salutatorians for public, private and charter schools in Dallas County. (V) indicates valedictorian; (S) indicates salutatorian. Some schools had co-valedictorians and/or co-salutatorians, and all names are included. Some schools do not rank their students, and some declined to be included on the list. view article arw

Longview ISD trustees have officially selected a nonprofit organization to run four district campuses, with the goal of providing a “kindergarten to workforce” option for students. With board approval, the district entered a partnership with East Texas Advanced Academies to operate and manage Johnston-McQueen Elementary, Bramlette Elementary, Forest Park Middle and Early Graduation High schools. East Texas Advanced Academies is a nonprofit entity that’s able to hold a local charter as required by the Texas Education Code, LISD spokeswoman Elizabeth Ross said. view article arw