The Odessa College Board of Trustees heard updates from the two early college high schools on campus — OCTECHS and Odessa Collegiate Academy during their meeting Tuesday night. OCTECHS Principal Karl Miller and OCA Principal James Ramage reviewed their goals and presented student data. view article arw

AUSTIN, Texas — AISD and Eanes ISD schools make the U.S. News’ Best High Schools list. Westlake principal announced Wednesday that Westlake High School is now ranked number 293 in the nation. Westlake also ranked number 152 for Science, Technology, Engineering and Math (STEM), and ranked first in the state for 6A comprehensive four-year public high schools. "Even with a challenging year, our students have shown incredible resilience and continue to excel at the highest of expectations,” said Westlake Principal Steve Ramsey. “We are proud of our students, staff and families who have helped overcome numerous obstacles this year, only to come out on top.” view article arw

ABILENE, Texas (KTAB/KRBC) – Commencement ceremonies for Abilene ISD will look more typical this year. According to the superintendent, COVID-19 restrictions will be greatly reduced compared to those in place for the Class of 2020’s graduations. In a Zoom meeting Wednesday, Superintendent Dr. David Young shared that improved virus data locally bodes well for relatively normal ceremonies. Restrictions such as designated arrival times and specific parking areas will not be present at this year’s graduation ceremonies. He says the district came to this conclusion after consulting with local health officials. view article arw

LISD Superintendent Dr. James Wilcox said the demographic data is a vital component to these rankings.  LONGVIEW, Texas — Longview High School is one of the best high schools in the East Texas region, according to a national ranking released Tuesday.  The U.S. News & World Report’s 2021 Best High Schools list ranks LHS as the top campus in the Longview and Marshall metropolitan areas, and among the top five campuses in the entire East Texas region. view article arw

Longview High School is one of the best high schools in the East Texas region, according to a national ranking released today. The U.S. News & World Report’s 2021 Best High Schools list ranks LHS as the top campus in the Longview and Marshall metropolitan areas, and among the top five campuses in the entire East Texas region.    (28) view article arw

Dallas ISD has some of the best high schools in the nation, according to the US News and World Report yearly rankings released Tuesday. According to US News and World Report, The School for the Talented and Gifted and the Irma Lerma Rangel Young Women's Leadership School are two of the top 20 schools in the country. view article arw

The Katy Independent School District board of trustees delved deeper into the possibility of starting a virtual high school in the fall during its Monday, April 26, meeting. On Katy ISD approves extra one-time payment for employees For the Katy ISD Virtual High School Interest Survey, outside research firm K12 Insight sent out nearly 37,470 survey invitations to district parents of current eighth through 11th graders, according to Katy ISD Chief Communications Officer Andrea Grooms. She said nearly 6,880 parents responded. From those, nearly 1,240 parents expressed interest in sending their child to a stand-alone virtual high school next year. view article arw

The Misssouri Times is a generally right of center newspaper, But it believes in the promise of public schools and recognizes that the latest push for charters and vouchers is rank privatization funded by wealthy elites. After thirty years of pouring billions into charters and vouchers, there is no reason to believe that privatized schools produce better outcomes. We know they don’t. view article arw

COPPERAS COVE, Texas – It’s no secret the last year has been unusual, but the Copperas Cove Independent School District still managed to have its annual State of the District Address. The event was held virtually this year. Superintendent Dr. Joe Burns recapped the academics, facility maintenance and construction projects, financial transparency, and other areas throughout the last year. Burns also commented on where the district is headed in the future, and recognized the district’s community partners. view article arw

BURKBURNETT, Texas (TNN) - The first graduating class of the Burkburnett ISD Fire Academy received their acceptance certificates on Monday. The district offers the program for students to get some hands-on experience. view article arw

Students at the Bryan school district’s Career and Technical Education Complex got an introduction to flooring installation from an industry expert last week. The weeklong lesson was part of the facility’s two-year general construction program. Rudder High School senior Miguel Martinez said he did not realize before the program how much went into flooring or that it could be a career. “It’s a really good and cool industry,” he said after the first day of instruction from visiting instructor Jonathan Varden, a certified flooring installer. “There’s a lot of things that I never knew that even existed or that went into carpeting and laying and putting it on. It’s a really good industry now that you see it.” It is that awareness that led Claudia Smith, owner of Aggieland Carpet One, to want to help with the flooring training. view article arw

Top LYS Tweets – April 26, 2021

April 2608:25 AM

Lead Your School represents a cadre of educators from across the country that are driven to maximize student opportunities and to lead the profession by example and action. @LYSNation is one way to share information, ideas, and reflections with those incredible teachers and school leaders. These are the Top 10 tweets shared in the past week.  Share this far and wide: “Our leaders blame the schools for not being in great shape – similar to how we as society tend to blame poor people for not having money.” (By @pastors4OKkids) view article arw

HOUSTON, TX - Lone Star College and Texas State University have signed an agreement establishing a program-to-program partnership for elementary teacher education. This collaboration will help address the shortage of elementary teachers in the greater Houston area. “This new initiative streamlines the process for future elementary teachers who begin their education at Lone Star College to complete their degree at Texas State University,” said Stephen C. Head, Ph.D., LSC chancellor. “The partnership ensures the coursework Lone Star College students take in their teacher preparation track will seamlessly transfer to Texas State University.” Burning Glass Technologies: Labor Insight™ reports there were more than 25,000 job postings for elementary school teachers in the Houston-Galveston metro area, ranking it 10th in the number of postings in the nation and 30% higher than the national average of demand. view article arw

Valley-wide school districts are preparing to offer summer enrichment classes to give children an opportunity to make up for possible learning loss from a year of virtual learning.  For nearly 10 months, thousands of Valley students have adjusted to learning online. But school districts are preparing to finally offer more in-person academics for larger groups of students.  "Some of our students have had some challenges in adapting to our virtual environment and working from home, going to school from home,” said Rudy Trevino, Chief of Academics at PSJA ISD. view article arw

Victoria College and the Nixon-Smiley Consolidated Independent School District have entered into a Memorandum of Understanding which will give Nixon-Smiley High School students the opportunity to earn college credit while in high school through Victoria College. Nixon-Smiley CISD students will be able to attend dual-credit classes at Victoria College’s Main Campus, Victoria College’s Gonzales Center, Nixon-Smiley High School or online. The students will also have the same access to academic, career and transfer advising as well as disabilities services, technology support services and library services and resources available to other VC students. view article arw

“We present results from a meta-analysis of 37 experimental and quasi-experimental studies of summer programs in mathematics for children in grades pre-K-12, examining what resources and characteristics relate to stronger student achievement, attainment and social-emotional and behavioral outcomes.” Conclusion: “Children who participated in summer programs that included mathematics lessons and activities enjoyed significant improvements in mathematics learning as well as social-behavioral outcomes.” view article arw

Dr. Tracey Benson discussed preliminary findings for an equity audit being conducted for San Marcos CISD during the board of trustees meeting Monday night. Benson, whose firm Tracey A. Benson Consulting will provide a report to the district in May, highlighted several recommendations from his team’s findings. “These are just a very few high-level recommendations that we have right now,” Benson said. “We’re on track to provide the full report in May. Actually, it will be done a little before May but we’re on track and we’ll be prepared to share all of our findings — our data findings — as well as very specific recommendations in each of the areas of curriculum support as well as practices and procedures.” view article arw

Some students found it difficult transitioning to virtual learning during the pandemic, but others found it a blessing in disguise. Now Bryan ISD is looking to provide an online school option for those interested. Through this online survey, Bryan ISD is looking to gain feedback from all community members living in the Bryan area. Whether you have a student enrolled or plan to in the future, they want to hear from you. view article arw

he College Station school district and the Bryan-College Station Public Library System have partnered to expand access to e-books and digital audiobooks through an app. School librarians can make these resources available in the app called Sora. Students can log in to the app using their district credentials to access books provided by the public library system rather than requiring a separate library card. A grant from the CSISD Education Foundation and Caldwell Country Chevrolet allowed the district to form a collection of e-books and audiobooks. view article arw

Navasota Independent School District Board of Trustees unanimously approved 2021 graduation guidelines at the monthly meeting Monday, April 19. NISD Superintendent Dr. Stu Musick said the Texas Education Agency stated they will not release guidelines and protocols for 2021 graduation ceremonies. Kristi Ramsey, principal at Navasota High School presented proposed graduation guidelines to the board. Ramsey said the ceremony is scheduled for Friday, May 28 at 8 p.m. at Rattler Stadium. Ramsey said there are approximately 164 graduates anticipated to walk the stage this year. Each of those students will be allotted 10 graduation tickets for family or friends. The 10-ticket limit will limit the number of guests to 1,640 which is just under 50% of the seating capacity in the homeside bleachers. view article arw

WACO, TX — McLennan Community College is one of two Texas community colleges to receive a TEA commendation on the work they do preparing current students to serve in rural Texas school districts. This is the second year the college received such recognition. MCC is working to replenish the teacher shortage in McLennan County and across Central Texas, mainly in small town schools. There was a teacher shortage before the pandemic began, but school districts say that's only made the problem worse. view article arw

AUSTIN, Texas — A Round Rock ISD student is closing out the school year with a major accomplishment. Arnav Chopra, 16, a junior at Round Rock High School received a perfect SAT score. Chopra says it was a routine morning of virtual learning that his parents interrupted. "They were pretending that I had done something wrong, so I got worried then they had me open college board." Chopra hadn't done anything wrong. Instead, something perfectly right. view article arw

LONGVIEW, Texas (KLTV) - District 7 State Representative Jay Dean has been involved in over 50 bills which he supports and hopes eventually become state law. He has also authored several himself. Dean talks about about a few of them, including one that would suspend the STAAR test during times of declared disaster. Jay Dean believes in HB 2802 which would eliminate the STAAR test during declared emergencies like the COVID-19 pandemic. “A large portion of kids were not in school. We know remote learning does not work very well,” Dean said. Dean and many educators feel students are better able to focus if they are in a classroom with a teacher. And some students who remain at home are cut off. “Lower socio-economic kids; they don’t have the internet, they don’t have any way to do this virtual learning,” Dean said. view article arw

ANGLETON — District leaders are considering how to move forward with this year’s graduation ceremony after increasing event capacity in light of the number of COVID-19 ebbing in Angleton ISD. “Right now we’ve gone from 25 percent up to 50 percent, which would mean we’d most likely give students somewhere between eight and 10 tickets,” Superintendent Phil Edwards said during the district’s board meeting Tuesday. “Our goal is to increase that even more.” view article arw

The number of students failing at least one course in Hays CISD and Dripping Springs ISD doubled between the fall 2019 semester and the fall 2020 semester – the biggest culprit has been COVID-19. Comparing the Fall 2019 and 2020 semesters, HCISD went from an 11.3% failing rate to 23.4%, and DSISD went from 6.1% to 11.8% failing rate. Educators believe that the spring semester is beginning to shape out better than the fall, but that does not mean students are out of the red. Students, educators and parents will have to work hand-in-hand over the remaining school year, summer school and even into next year to boost kids who are failing.    (21) view article arw

When it comes to understanding which students make it not just to, but through college, substantial past education research has identified steep differences along lines of race, gender and class. A recently released report, however, provides an alternate narrative. The study, which links middle and high school achievement to postsecondary outcomes in five New England school districts, finds stark racial and socioeconomic gaps in enrollment at four-year colleges. But after students matriculate, disparities in who continues on toward graduation largely disappear. view article arw

Richardson ISD staff presented the board of trustees with an academic acceleration plan April 19 that is designed to address student learning gaps due to the effects of the coronavirus pandemic. The plan is proposed for the fiscal year 2021-22 budget to use the $40 million-$70 million in federal funds the district estimates it could receive from the $1.3 billion in federal stimulus funds intended for public schools that are currently being held by the Texas Legislature. "It's been [said to be] as high as $75 million that we could be receiving," Superintendent Jeannie Stone said. "Now is the time for us to be ready to invest in our district, in our students and recovering from what has been a very difficult year and a half." view article arw

April 14, 2021, four Forney ISD campuses were surprised with the announcement that they had been selected as Capturing Kids’ Hearts National Showcase Schools for the 2020-2021 school year. North Forney High, Forney High, Smith Intermediate, and Rhea Intermediate were all chosen for the honor. The award celebrates campuses across the nation that go above and beyond in building a safe and welcoming environment where students are relationally connected and eager to learn. As of 2020, there were 130,930 recorded number of K-12 schools in the U.S., according to the National Center for Education Statistics (NCES). A total of 555 schools were nominated for t view article arw

The controversial implementation of this year’s STAAR exam amid the pandemic was interrupted recently by a glitch that caused Texas schools to delay the assessment. The state should now consider whether their significant financial investments have produced an improved assessment or an antiquated system that needs improvements. Texas alone has spent hundreds of millions of dollars on standardized testing during the past few years. Despite all of this investment of taxpayer dollars, most standardized tests such as the State of Texas Assessments of Academic Readiness (STAAR) look almost exactly as they did 50 years ago —- paper-based and multiple choice questions. Texas is shifting to computer-based assessments over the next few years, but that does not necessarily mean the test will be more responsive to context or useful for teachers.    (20) view article arw

In an academic year scrambled by the pandemic and a deadly winter storm, Texas school students face makeup work and rounds of standardized testing. Many parents and teachers say it's unnecessary.  After a tumultuous year that has seen students falling behind and teachers simultaneously conducting classes remotely and in person, Texas public schools face a pressurized final six weeks full of standardized testing and makeup assignments. Keren Jackson, a high school English teacher in the San Marcos Independent School District, has until April 30 to offer extra-credit projects or assignments to students who failed classes during the fall semester. She also has to spend several school days during the next month administering the State of Texas Assessments of Academic Readiness to her students.    (15) view article arw

Comal ISD said it is suspending virtual learning for the 2021-2022 school year. The district, which covers parts of New Braunfels, Comal County and northern Bexar County, sent a letter Thursday to parents to alert them of the change. The Comal ISD superintendent said in the letter that while some families had a good experience, other students and teachers reported it was a struggle and this year's system is not sustainable. The letter said it was difficult for teachers to do both in-person and remote learning and many of the virtual learners fell behind. view article arw

‘We at TEA are responsible for ensuring STAAR can be administered flawlessly, and we’ve failed to do that,’ Mike Morath said.  Texas’ education commissioner apologized for a widespread glitch that disrupted thousands of students taking STAAR tests last week.  But Mike Morath also had some good news for the State Board of Education on Wednesday morning, when he hinted that schools soon could have clarity on when billions in federal funds would flow to school districts to help address student learning loss. view article arw

ATHENS, Texas (KLTV) - If you’re a parent or a teacher, you’ve probably heard of the ‘summer slide.’ 2020 introduced us to what is being called the ‘COVID slide,’ but one East Texas school district has introduced a plan to get its students back on track. Many students across East Texas spent the 2020 school year learning remotely. “Well, to put it bluntly, it was rough,” says Dr. Karah Coker, a parent of three students at Athens ISD. “My kids struggled. They definitely had a setback for sure.” Educators say those setbacks due to remote learning have caused the ‘COVID slide,’ or a loss of student learning caused by the pandemic. view article arw

With around 44% of Texas students still learning from home, some may decide not to show up in person to take the statewide standardized exams. Texas schools have begun administering the statewide standardized exams know as the State of Texas Assessments of Academic Readiness, or STAAR, to elementary and secondary-school students. But with so many students still learning from home because of the pandemic, school leaders expect that many might not show up to take the tests this year, leaving some to wonder what the benefit of exams will be. Talia Richman, an education reporter for The Dallas Morning News, says that while the exam is unconventional this year, it still could have some benefits.    (15) view article arw

PREMONT, Texas — So far, there are 19 high school students who attend the Premont elementary school every other day to help teach the students there. Those 19 students are all part of the first year of the 'Grow Your Own Educator Academy.’  "These are high school kids that have an interest in going into the teaching profession, so we are one of the few districts that afford them to have college credits and real life opportunity at the same time," Supterindentent Steve VanMatre said. view article arw