Three Ector County ISD seniors have joined a select group of students who have achieved National Hispanic Merit Scholar honors. The website for Compass Education Group, a test preparation firm, said the National Hispanic Recognition Program recognizes “approximately 5,000 Hispanic/Latino juniors each year from among the more than 400,000 juniors who take the PSAT. As with the National Merit Scholarship Program, NHRP uses the junior year PSAT/NMSQT as the qualifying test.” view article arw

For the past three years, the Young Scholars program at Lufkin ISD strived to provide enrichment and extension for third- through fifth-grade advanced learners who were not enrolled in the Dual Language or Gifted and Talented programs.  This year, the program was expanded to include second graders.  Students meet once per week for hands-on sessions with specialists in STEM, art and digital learning. Lisa Haglund, Advanced Academics Coordinator for the Lufkin school district, led the art session for second-graders at Dunbar Primary School last Tuesday.  She said the program has many benefits for the students, including a fun way to tie their curriculum back into their lessons. view article arw

Seventh- and eighth-graders piled into an 8-by-8-foot replica of a jail cell on Friday, taking in the bleak sight: gray walls and tile floor, mannequins tucked into thin gray blankets on a bunk bed, a metal toilet and sink unit. The jail cell replica was inside a school bus, called the Choice Bus, where Taylor Junior High School students heard a presentation by the Alabama-based Mattie C. Stewart Foundation about the consequences of dropping out of school.  view article arw

EPISD beat out 29 other districts from throughout the country to win the Council of Great City Schools Build (CGCS) Your List Award for efforts aimed at encouraging students to take important steps in planning for college after high school. The District earned the award by having 32 percent of all high-school juniors in the District complete the Build Your List process in the BigFuture college-readiness website operated by the College Board, the organization that administers university entrance exams like the SAT. view article arw

The Commerce Independent School District Board of Trustees received the district’s annual audit and approved several improvement plans at its regular October meeting Monday. Trustees Dr. LaVelle Hendricks and Randy Starks were not in attendance. Cody Helm with Rutherford, Taylor and Company out of Greenville presented the findings of the audit to the board. According to the report, the firm was giving an “unmodified opinion” of the district’s financial statements, meaning that the auditor believes that the district presented its financial statements in accordance with applicable financial reporting framework, which is the best opinion that can be given. view article arw

Frisco ISD offering online tutorials

October 2508:30 AM
 

Frisco ISD teachers are now offering weekly online tutorials in the evenings, saving parents time and money that they might otherwise spend on outside tutors. Each content area provides an hour in the evening on one weekday and two hours one weekend a month. The online tutorials are facilitated by Reaching All Innovative Learners (RAIL) teachers, the District’s new student-centered online program that provides an opportunity for students to complete rigorous online courses at their own pace. view article arw

State lawmakers presented the Valley View school district with a proclamation Monday, congratulating students and teachers on winning the prestigious National Blue Ribbon School award — again. The U.S. Department of Education announced in September that Wilbur E. Lucas Elementary School and Valley View North Elementary School won National Blue Ribbon School awards. Valley View Elementary School and Valley View South Elementary School won the award last year. view article arw

Five Angleton High School students can already call themselves alumni this week after completing their high school requirements early and have become official graduates of Angleton ISD. The students completed their coursework through the district’s new Personal Accelerated Choices in Education program that launched this year. The district established the academy for Angleton High School students who would benefit from a more flexible learning environment. view article arw

Every year, the improvement plans are required of school districts to be approved by the board of trustees, Interim Superintendent Rod Townsend said. Administrators plan to present the district plan to trustees in next month. view article arw

Nineteen Katy ISD elementary schools were ranked in the Top 25 Houston area elementary schools. But other school districts made the list, such as Conroe and Tomball ISDs. See whether your child's student made the list. view article arw

Malakoff ISD looks at growth

October 2408:30 AM
 

The Malakoff Independent School District board of trustees met Monday with a discussion of possible construction projects on the agenda. The discussion was prompted by a record number of students for the district. "We've shown a lot of growth the last couple of years," Superintendent Don Layton said. view article arw

Austin ISD announced in a news release Oct. 21 that it had received a $284,000 grant for South Austin’s Joslin Elementary School, one of 12 schools named as a possible closure in the district’s ongoing school changes plan. According to the district, through the grant from the Texas Education Agency, the school will transition into a city-wide foreign language academy called Joslin Foreign Language Elementary School. The academy will expose students to Chinese culture and Mandarin Chinese, and it will feature a Chinese dual-language immersion program with subjects taught in both English and Mandarin. view article arw

School board members recognized San Angelo ISD for its financial transparency during a public meeting Monday in which officials updated the steps administrators were taking to help San Angelo campuses which the Texas Education Agency had deemed "improvement required." On Oct. 21, 2019, school officials Wes Underwood and Shelly Huddleston stood in front of a large projector screen with the names of schools that received low scores on report cards released by the TEA in August. view article arw

CHILDREN AT RISK recently completed an "Early Education Texas Tour" to engage stakeholders on the outcomes and changes identified for early childhood education during the 86th Legislative Session. Funded by the W.K. Kellogg Foundation and Whataburger, the non-profit hosted roundtable discussions in 9 cities across Texas to discuss recently passed legislation and the impact on children and the community. view article arw

Six Magnolia ISD campuses received a D as either an overall campus rating or a rating in one of three categories making up the overall 2018-19 campus ratings from the Texas Education Agency, which were released in August. These campuses must now implement Targeted Improvement Plans, or TIPs, to the TEA to leverage improvement in student achievement, said Anita Hebert, MISD assistant superintendent of curriculum and instruction, at an Oct. 14 MISD board of trustees meeting. According to TEA data, Ellisor and Magnolia elementary schools in addition to ALPHA Academy received an overall D rating, while Magnolia Parkway and Williams elementary schools and Magnolia Intermediate School received a D in one of the three categories—or domains—used to evaluate campus performance. view article arw

Joshua Cogburn, project leader at Huckabee Architects, updated school board members on the bond during Monday’s school board meeting. For Stephenville High School, grade beams at the gym addition are underway, site utility installation is ongoing and canopy demolition at the original cafeteria entrance is complete. Within the next month foundation work at the auditorium will begin, dirt work on the road to the softball restroom/concession building will start as well as foundation work and electrical underground at the new parking lot. view article arw

Packed classes plague Midland ISD

October 2308:30 AM
 

Monday is the first day of early voting. In Midland, people have a few important decisions to make – including voting for a new mayor and likely changing the face of city council. People will also decide whether or not to approve a $569-million bond for Midland ISD. That’s more than half a billion dollars to go towards rebuilding and re-purposing secondary campuses. view article arw

The Belton Independent School District has nine seniors recognized this year through the National Merit Program and the National Hispanic Recognition Program. Students had top performances on the Preliminary SAT (PSAT) during their junior year. Belton High School senior Joshua Bledsoe and former Belton High School student Rohan Sami were named semifinalists in the National Merit Scholarship Program. view article arw

Crosby ISD missed three days of school in September because of Tropical Depression Imelda and the flooding that it caused. At its monthly meeting on Oct. 21, the Crosby ISD School Board approved the submission of a waiver to the Texas Education Agency that will allow the district to not have to make up those days. view article arw

Parents in East Austin are still fighting to keep their kids' schools open. On Tuesday, they gathered at Brooke Elementary School to rally against Austin ISD's plan to close 12 schools in the district. In September, AISD said that they plan on closing the following schools: view article arw

Sabine ISD board members discussed a variety of plans to improve campuses Monday, Oct. 14, with the aim of improving the district overall. They also congratulated campus administrators and school supporters on achievements at the start of the school year. One of the biggest achievements was announced by Misty Gee, organizer of Sabine’s annual “Rockin’ The Foundation” fundraiser. In its third year, the fundraiser, held Oct. 12, raised more than $101,400. The money will go to fund classroom projects and programs for teachers throughout the district. view article arw

The Lewisville ISD Board of Trustees on Monday approved a class size waiver for 10 elementary school campuses that have classrooms that exceed the 22-to-1 student-to-teacher ratio. Districts must submit a waiver to the state if it surpasses that ratio. In all there are 29 classrooms that surpass that limit. view article arw

Qualifications To qualify for free state funded pre-kindergarten you must: Be unable to speak and comprehend the English language Be educationally disadvantaged, which means a student eligible to participate in the national free or reduced-price lunch program Be homeless Be the child of an active duty member of the armed forces of the United States, including the state military forces or a reserve component of the armed forces, who is ordered to active duty by proper authority Be the child of a member of the armed forces of the United States, including the state military forces or a reserve component of the armed forces, who was injured or killed while serving on active duty Be in, or have been in, the conservatorship of the Department of Family and Protective Services (DFPS) Be the child of a person eligible for the Star of Texas Award as a peace officer, firefighter, or emergency medical first responder. view article arw

Wichita Falls ISD Superintendent Michael Kuhrt encouraged trustees to think outside the box of a traditional classroom during a school board meeting Monday night. Kuhrt gave a presentation on different types of classrooms, common areas and teacher work spaces for board members to mull over as they lay plans to modernize school facilities. "I think we’re building schools for the 22nd Century because we keep them that long," he said. “So I think they have to be different and have a different type of flexibility.” view article arw

Modernizing Wichita Falls ISD isn't just about bricks and mortar. The district is seeking a grant of about $300,000 for blended learning at the high school level, as well as taking part in a national group on innovative secondary school redesign from several aspects, WFISD Superintendent Michael Kuhrt said.  "We’re going to change faster now than we’ve ever changed before," Kuhrt said after a recent school board meeting.  view article arw

Clear Creek ISD School Start Time Committee will make a final recommendation to the school board next month on a potential change to school start and finish schedules. Before it is put forth, however, the committee is asking the public to weigh in during an open forum set for Tuesday, Oct. 22 from 6-7 p.m. The meeting will take place at the CCISD Learner Support Center at 2903 Falcon Pass. The School Start Time Committee, a 35-member group of parents, teachers, high school juniors and medical professionals, will present two scheduling options at the public hearing. The first proposal is to retain the district’s current start and finish times, which are 7:55 a.m. until 3:15 p.m. for elementary campuses; 8:40 a.m. until 4 p.m. for intermediate schools, and 7:10 a.m. until 2:30 p.m. at the high school level. The second represents a change to the current schedule, with elementary schools running from 8:15 a.m. until 3:35 p.m.; intermediate campuses being open from 9 a.m. until 4:20 p.m., and high schools clocking in from 7:30 a.m. until 2:50 p.m. view article arw

The best school district in San Antonio has been determined for the 2020 school year, according to a report released by Niche. The rankings were weighted based on academic grades based on state assessment proficiency, standardized testing and surveys given to students and teachers about the school's culture. Included in the survey results ranked the teachers, culture and diversity, overall experience, health and safety, resources and facilities, clubs and activities and sports. view article arw

If a high school student wants to take a substitute exam in lieu of an end-of-course (EOC) exam, they will likely have to take an EOC first. During a recent work session, Sarah Fitzhugh, Lewisville ISD's director of assessment, updated the School Board on looming changes regarding waivers for EOC's. Fitzhugh said the Texas Education Agency (TEA) submitted a waiver to the U.S. Department of Education about substitute assessments and were told the waiver was not granted. view article arw

Texans are still debating the best way to pay to educate our children. For years it meant, wealthier districts paid money to the state, which would ultimately go to poorer districts to help level the playing field.  A new law, that passed this year, reduced those payments and looked for other ways to generate cash for schools. But the plan is still being debated as not being good enough.  Just 45 miles east of Dallas, Boles ISD is the poorest school district in Texas and taking matters into their own hands on how to survive.

view article arw

The Waco Independent School District is looking for ways to attract and retain more students, after a demographic study showed the district has been steadily losing students to charter schools and surrounding school districts.  For the past eight years, Waco ISD has seen enrollment jump up and drop back down again, without ever rebounding to its 2011-12 school year enrollment of 15,329 students, said Bob Templeton with Templeton Demographics. view article arw

Dallas ISD wants to reconfigure South Dallas’ Martin Luther King Jr. Learning Center to become a new campus that would serve as an incubator for the arts from students in kindergarten through eighth grade.  But the district’s efforts to fast-track MLK to become a “Baby Booker T.” sputtered to a stop this week, just days before a key component was going to be decided at Thursday’s board meeting. The idea was to replicate the success of the district’s prestigious performing and visual arts high school, Booker T. Washington, and potentially funnel students nurtured at MLK into that magnet school. view article arw

For students who fear they can’t get into college with mediocre SAT or ACT scores, the tide is turning at a record number of schools that have decided to accept all or most of their freshmen without requiring test results. Meanwhile, two Ivy League schools have decided that many of their graduate school programs do not need a test score for admissions, fresh evidence of growing disenchantment among educational institutions with using high-stakes tests as a factor in accepting and rejecting students. view article arw

Top LYS Tweets – October 21, 2019

October 2108:30 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.  If you find that you are following a habitual liar, abandon that person as soon as possible. Before your dignity is crushed, effort is stolen, and reputation ruined. (By @LYSNation) view article arw

Dallas ISD Board Talks Class Sizes

October 2108:30 AM
 

For anyone who is a regular at Dallas ISD school board meetings, Thursday night’s meeting was probably a surprise — no hot topics, no full gallery of speakers, and no late night. The meeting clocked in somewhere around an hour. A handful of public speakers brought up a few issues like questions about the district’s accommodations for autistic students and the state of the Dallas Environmental Science Academy; superintendent Michael Hinojosa and all nine trustees gave updates; next came the 15-item consent agenda; and then it was off to the races. view article arw

More Texoma schools are preparing for House Bill 496 to go into effect. With the passing of HB 496 in the last Texas legislature, schools are required to have Stop the Bleed stations in case of any emergency but these stations are not cheap. “I’ve had some priced out at about $10,000 for just doing the high school,” Graham ISD Safety Director Tom Lewis said. view article arw