WACO, TX — Over 30 Waco ISD families who have recently completed the district’s Parents as Teachers program will be celebrated with a staff-led parade at their homes.  The event will take place this Tuesday and Wednesday, May 26 and 27, starting at 10 am. However, parade setup begins at 9 am on both days. view article arw

More than 80 Katy Independent School District 2020 graduates have signed on to serve in the United States military, beginning in June. They will miss their graduations but are no less recognized for it.  The district created a special online video to celebrate them and certify that they had finished high school.  The young men and women are set to serve in the Air Force, Air Force Academy, Air Guard, Army, Army National Guard, Coast Guard, Marine Corps, National Guard, Naval Academy, Navy, Texas Army National Guard and the United States Army Reserve.  “These talented and brave young men and women have chosen to defend our country’s freedoms, safety and long-term security,” said Courtney Doyle, Katy ISD Board of Trustees president, in the video.  Two enlistees from Mayde Creek High School and their commander met at the school on Thursday, May 21, to talk about their time at Mayde Creek, their future service in the Navy and their plans. view article arw

NEEDVILLE, Texas (KTRK) -- Needville ISD said it plans on moving forward with its in-person graduation this Friday. In a statement released by the district, the graduation ceremony will continue on as planned "for the most part" on Friday, May 29 at 7 p.m. at Blue Jay Stadium.   Superintendent Curtis Rhodes said social distancing guidelines will be enforced and each graduate will only be allowed to invite three guests. view article arw

On Wednesday, Marlin ISD announced Dr. Darryl Henson will be the district's new superintendent. Dr. Henson is a big city guy from Houston with big restructuring plans. Two qualities that may be just what Marlin ISD needs to turn things around. In February the district lost its accreditation due to poor test scores. Meanwhile parents were left wondering if their students would have to find a new school, but there's hope on the horizon. view article arw

The College Board's annual Advanced Placement exams were moved online due to coronavirus concerns, but glitches on the testing website are requiring some students to either email their test results or take a makeup exam. Online AP testing began May 11 for students nationwide, including those at Plano ISD. Three different tests are being held daily through May 22. Between May 11-15, some students were unable to upload their completed tests to the AP website, according to Trevor Packer, the senior vice president of AP and instruction at the College Board. view article arw

Seventy-two outstanding graduating seniors have earned a total of $180,000 Dallas ISD Superintendent's Scholarships  Each recipient receives $2,500 to go toward costs at the college or university of their choice. Selection for the Superintendent's Scholarship Program is based on need, character, grades, recommendations and the promise of future success. The scholarships are funded with proceeds from the annual Superintendent's Golf Tournament. view article arw

A major effort is underway to bridge the digital divide for disconnected students in San Antonio.   One project funded by USAA could be a foundational first step — leading to other projects at school districts and multi-million dollar investments by the city of San Antonio.    For more than a month officials with the Federal Reserve Bank of Dallas, Alamo Community Colleges, the City of San Antonio, City Education Partners and others have been in high-level conversations to close the so-called “homework gap” — where many low-income students don’t have internet in the home. The issue took on new importance as classrooms closed and remote learning became the norm in the pandemic.   view article arw

As we’ve dug into our expanded coverage of COVID-19 for our new vertical, PANDEMIC — Learning in a Time of Crisis, our reporting has yielded some surprising stories, and this morning we’re bringing you two of them. Contributor Jo Napolitano speaks to advocates who say that for half of the special education students they serve, remote learning has yielded tremendous benefits — providing relief from classroom distractions, easing behavioral issues and revealing to parents strengths and talents they didn’t know their children possessed. And from The 74’s Patrick O’Donnell, how Cleveland’s district CEO is proposing to do away with grade levels under a mastery initiative that would let students learn at their own pace when school reopens. view article arw

Clear Creek ISD has partnered with area nonprofits to address inequities in distance learning brought to light by the coronavirus pandemic.   The current remote instruction setup has brought to the forefront challenges faced by students without internet access at home, district officials said in a May 14 news release. Prior to the pandemic, CCISD’s economically disadvantaged population was higher than 28%. The Clear Creek Education Foundation funded internet Wi-Fi hot spots for families facing extreme economic hardship as a result of the pandemic and subsequent restrictions. view article arw

From 7 until 7:10 Thursday night, the community is invited to step outside to give a district-wide ovation to all graduating seniors  Thursday night, Dallas ISD asks the community to take a moment to congratulate the Class of 2020.  From 7 p.m. until 7:10 p.m., the community is invited to step outside their homes and places of business to give a district-wide ovation to all graduating seniors. view article arw

AUSTIN (KXAN) — A school bus sits idle with the engine running in the parking lot of a quiet subsidized housing complex in northwest Austin. It doesn’t mean much to people going by, but to Dakota Hancock, it’s everything.  The Austin Independent School District bus is providing a critical WiFi signal the soon-to-be high school sophomore at LBJ Early College High School needs to connect to the campus she is extremely involved with. view article arw

The year, unpredictable. The event, nervous excitement. The emotion, happiness.  That’s how Judson Early College Academy Principal Dr. Josephine Juarez described the past school year and Friday’s livestream of the school’s 2020 Graduation Commencement Virtual Ceremony, which she viewed from her home in Boerne.  “There’s just an overwhelming sense of accomplishment right now,” Juarez said. “I know they (students and staff) needed closure, but I think it gave them a step in the right direction.” view article arw

Waco Independent School District Superintendent Susan Kincannon reversed course Tuesday to allow graduating seniors to bring two guests to the district’s graduation ceremonies at the Waco ISD Stadium, the district announced in a letter to families. The decision comes two weeks after Waco ISD students began signing a Change.org petition asking the district to allow a limited number of guests to attend Waco ISD’s two high school graduation ceremonies. The petition garnered 1,240 signatures before Kincannon announced the change in plans. view article arw

Moody Early Childhood Center opened in the fall of 2016 as a partnership between the Galveston Independent School District and a nonprofit early childhood education organization. The partnership we envisioned was a continuum of early learning that began with infants, continued through the toddler years and into and through prekindergarten. The center’s founding board made a commitment that educational opportunities would be financially accessible to all Galveston families, including those with lower household incomes. view article arw

The Louise ISD school board tackled end-of-the-year topics at Monday night’s meeting, from whether to pass students who haven’t completed assignments during the district closure to ending the coronavirus-era feeding program. Superintendent Garth Oliver, board members and LISD campus principals discussed how to fairly handle students with incomplete assignments or who haven’t completed at-home assignments since the district’s closure on March 16. Oliver estimated between one-third and one-half of students failed to meet the 50 percent completion requirement for at-home assignments. view article arw

COLLEGE STATION, Tex. (KBTX) - College Station ISD hosted a virtual awards ceremony Monday evening to honor the district's employees of the year and those who are retiring. Chris Ribardo, Secondary Teacher of the Year and Elizabeth Simpson, Elementary Teacher of the Year   Before the ceremony began, Superintendent Mike Martindale acknowledge the hard work of all the district employees throughout the year and especially during the pandemic.  Chris Ribardo was named the College Station ISD Secondary Teacher of the Year. Ribardo teaches U.S. History at College Station Middle School. view article arw

HOUSTON, Texas (KTRK) -- Classes at Houston ISD schools could be held online for at least the first semester of the new school year thanks to the ongoing coronvirus crisis, according to district leaders.  "We are prepared to continue the HISD at-home platform if required for the 2020-21 school year, or if future school interruptions occur," interim superintendent Grenita Lathan said Friday.  In addition to where classes will commence, when they'll happen is also being mulled over. view article arw

I recently helped distribute 200 desktop computers to students in my community who did not have access to a computer at home. It was a great moment, but it came after Texas schools had been closed for a month due to the COVID-19 pandemic. These students had been struggling to participate in online schooling — if they were able to participate at all — for weeks, underscoring how existing disadvantages now threaten to leave them further behind. The closure of K-12 schools has exacerbated the digital divide, which in turn has complicated efforts to shift to online learning. The federal government had the opportunity to even the playing field and get students the technology they need during the pandemic. Unfortunately, federal leaders have not seized the moment. view article arw

EL PASO, Texas (KTSM) – A robust remote instruction program will be launched on June 8 for Canutillo Independent School District students.  According to a release, the District Curriculum and Instruction Department (C&I) administrators have developed Summer S.A.L.T. (Sustaining Academic Learning Together).  The program allows continued growth and education to prevent students from loss of information and preserve all they learned this year. view article arw

Eighth-grader Heidi Choc can see Webb Middle School from her apartment. But learning has been out of reach. School has changed for many students. For Heidi, it has stopped altogether. Although the school district issued her a laptop, the family doesn’t have internet access, so she and her cousins, with whom she lives, aren’t completing coursework. view article arw

Getting accepted to college is a big deal, and when it comes with a full scholarship, it's something good.  Ruth Fernanada Huerta, a senior at Paschal High School in the Fort Worth ISD, recently learned she'd been awarded a full ride to TCU.  The Fort Worth Police Department joined TCU and the Hispanic Women's Network of Texas - Fort Worth chapter in a social-distance style announcement. view article arw

Job offers revoked. Internships canceled. The next chapter of life on hold. The class of 2020 started college eight semesters ago during the fall of 2016. Donald Trump was elected president that semester, and political tensions on campus were high. view article arw

Cy-Fair ISD students who may not have had proper access to learning materials while home or had their semester derailed by COVID-19 are receiving a fourth marking period for grades so they are able to catch up with their teachers and reach the next grade level. view article arw

HISD trustees voted Thursday to begin the months-long process of seeking a state designation that could result in students returning to classes in mid-August, starting with the 2021-22 school year.In a 7-2 vote, trustees agreed to start planning for obtaining a District of Innovation status, which allows education leaders to get exemptions from certain state laws.  HISD Interim Superintendent Grenita Lathan has recommended consideration of three exemptions that would the allow the district to start school earlier in the year, more easily hire non-certified educators for vocational teaching positions and award credit to students even if they do not spend 90 percent of their time in the classroom. view article arw

Dallas Independent School District is celebrating a milestone. This year, six students in the district got accepted into Harvard University, a record number for the district.  "I decided at some point I was going to college," Francisco Marquez said. "I didn't realize I was going to go to Harvard."  Marquez will graduate from the School of Science and Engineering at Townview Center in a few weeks. He got his acceptance notification from Harvard last month. view article arw

HARLINGEN — Challenge equals opportunity equals innovation.  In the new “normal” of COVID-19, students of life both young and old, ordinary and extraordinary, have discovered talents for innovation in both the obvious and the obscure.  One of those adventurers into the world of transformation is Gabriella “Gaby” De La Garza. The freshman at South Texas ISD’s Science Academy found in the current state of things the genesis for collaboration with the medical community. view article arw

The Houston ISD board of trustees backed a resolution May 14 allowing interim Superintendent Grenita Lathan to begin preparations to develop plans to adopt a District of Innovation designation.  According to information presented by district officials, the DOI status would allow HISD to change the school year start date, adjust teacher certification requirements for career and technical programs, and allow for flexibility in setting minimum attendance levels. view article arw

AUSTIN (KXAN) — More than 10,000 special education students in Texas are utilizing a new speech therapy technology thanks to a partnership with the Texas Education Agency.  AmplioSpeech, a digital tele-therapy service for vulnerable students, connects remote speech pathologists to kids working from home to allow a seamless continuation of learning despite ongoing COVID-19 challenges.  Speech-language pathologists tell KXAN they’ve had trouble adapting to the new at-home learning standards. On top of that, experts say that special education students are at a higher risk of falling behind their peers if their education is disrupted. view article arw

WICHITA FALLS (KFDX/KJTL) — Students have been out of the classroom since before spring break and superintendents are now looking to the future. It’s hard for superintendents to imagine exactly what the next school year will look like.  From when kids will get back in the classroom to how they’re taught.  “Our routines and what’s normal for us in the past is probably going to be out the window,” Vernon ISD Superintendent Jeff Byrd said.  Ideas have been thrown around, but nothing is set in stone for Vernon ISD and Wichita Falls ISD. view article arw

The Killeen Independent School District is discussing options for instruction in the fall semester, which is slated to begin Aug. 17, KISD Superintendent John Craft said Tuesday.  The top option for the district is resuming classes as scheduled in the fall.  A hybrid schedule is also being discussed.  “Whether that (hybrid schedule) be an extended school year with intermittent breaks throughout, we’re also looking at that option,” Craft said during a news conference outside the KISD administration building Tuesday morning. view article arw

Fewer than 1% of Denton ISD students remain unaccounted for since they left for spring break in March.  That means district officials have gotten in touch with 479 students since April 17, leaving just under 300 students they have been unable to contact.  According to a presentation given by Area Superintendent Jeff Russell during Tuesday’s school board meeting, the Ryan High School attendance zone has seen the most drastic improvement over the past month. view article arw

AUSTIN, Texas — The Texas Education Agency said it expects some students to be consistently absent from school next year and said school closures could have a "devastating impact" on students' achievements. The TEA is suggesting "intersessional calendars" that include an earlier start date for schools, a long winter break and a later end date.  view article arw

DALLAS (CBSDFW.COM) – Throughout high school, Alyssa Rodriguez has kept one moment in mind. “I just wanted to graduate. That’s all I wanted,” said the Skyline High School senior. “I wanted to walk on that stage.”  But, the traditional graduation ceremony is a milestone she may never experience, following a decision by the Dallas Independent School District not to hold in-person celebrations this year. view article arw

Scarborough High School senior Anaiya Jackson expected to cross the graduation stage this spring, carrying the memory of her beloved grandmother.  In the years before her sudden death in January, Sandra Marlin had become inseparable from her granddaughter. They lived in adjoining rooms, did math homework together, went to the nail salon together. When Jackson’s mother and father wouldn’t pony up for gas money or pocket change, Marlin would host a secret “business meeting” with her granddaughter, doling out a few bills. view article arw

HOUSTON, Texas (KTRK) -- School attendance requirements have been waived in Texas, but the state is still asking districts to keep track of students they have not heard from since COVID-19 prompted online learning.  "School district leadership, including the superintendent, should be aware of the absolute number and percentage of students that are considered uncontactable," according to guidance for schools from the Texas Education Agency. view article arw