Klein ISD is continuing to invest in students who are at risk of dropping out of school. The board approved an application for the Optional Flexible School Day Program for the 2019-2020 school year with a 5-0 vote at its Sept. 9 board meeting. The application for the Optional Flexible School Day Program for the Klein Success Academy must now be approved by the Texas Education Agency, according to KISD. The application is valid for one year, according to the TEA. view article arw

Eighteen K-4 schools in the Leander Independent School District exceed the Texas cap class-size ratio of 22 students for every teacher in elementary schools.  At a meeting last week, LISD board members approved waivers to be submitted to the Texas Education Agency. LISD Chief Human Resources Officer Karie Lynn McSpadden said there are currently 72 sections that exceed the 22:1 ratio at this time.  view article arw

The staff at Spring Hill ISD’s Primary School is set to grow after Trustees on Monday approved adding a pre-K aide position. Superintendent Wayne Guidry said there are three pre-K classes of about 20 students, which is perfect capacity. view article arw

The Cy-Fair ISD board of trustees approved Sept. 9 a resolution to initiate the process of becoming a District of Innovation, which administration said would grant local control over certain stipulations laid out in the Texas Education Code. Chief Academic Officer Linda Macias said with this designation—which could be official by the end of 2019—CFISD would have more flexibility when it comes to the school calendar, class sizes, student discipline and certain teacher benefits. view article arw

Austin ISD has released a list of times for seven meetings held around the district this fall to discuss possible school closings. view article arw

Two West Texas school are being threatened with state take-over after poor school performance. According to CBS 7, the Texas Education Commissioners has sent a notice to four schools in Texas that stated their school districts may get taken over by the Texas Education Agency due to an overwhelming number of failing grades.  view article arw

Isela Guerra spent Thursday night at her first back-to-school event at Dawson Elementary. Her son had just started pre-K there, and she was excited to be an involved parent at the school she herself attended as a child.  Then she found out Dawson was on the list of schools the Austin Independent School District has proposed closing. view article arw

Midland:  TEA letter sent to MISD

September 1008:30 AM
 

The purpose of this correspondence is to notify Midland Independent School District (“ISD” or “district”) of the action that I may be required to take based upon the final 2019 academic performance rating assigned to the Travis Elementary campus (“campus”). As you are aware, on September 10, 2018, I notified the district that based upon the assignment of the 2018 preliminary academic performance rating of Improvement Required to Travis Elementary, if the campus received final 2018 and 2019 unacceptable performance ratings, pursuant to Texas Education Code (TEC) §398.111, I would be required to order either the appointment of a board of managers to govern the district as provided by TEC §39A.202 or closure of the campus. view article arw

TEXAS MASS SHOOTINGS (UPDATED)

September 1008:30 AM
 

Since July 2016, 78 Texas have been murdered and over 90 Texans have been wounded in mass shooting events.  Texas Senator John Cornyn, Texas Senator Ted Cruz, Texas Governor Greg Abbott, and Texas Lieutenant Governor Dan Patrick, how many of our fellow Texans have to be slaughtered before any of you do… anything? view article arw

An alternate graduation program that has helped more than 90 students earn their high school diplomas is set to continue in the Bryan school district. Both Bryan and College Station school districts approved the alternative graduation option in 2018 with a deadline to request to participate of Sept. 1. Bryan school board members voted last month to extend the program through 2023; College Station school board members are not expected to continue the program in that district. view article arw

We don’t see much cursive writing being taught in elementary schools anymore but numerous states across the country are moving to reintroduce it into their curriculums. A school in Texas is one of that many that will start off the 2019-2020 school year this month. According to the updated Texas Education Code, public school students in the second grade will be expected to “write complete words, thoughts, and answers legibly in cursive writing leaving appropriate spaces between words.” view article arw

Although most Texas schools fell on the national list, Texas universities improved on the regional list. view article arw

Midland ISD could face a state takeover because of low school ratings, according to a report from Houston area media. HoustonPublicMedia.org reported last week that Midland ISD is one of four school districts around the state that received letters from the Texas Education Agency regarding school ratings and “a potential state takeover.” view article arw

TOP LYS TWEETS – SEPTEMBER 9, 2019

September 0908:30 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.  Either we address the fact that it is too easy to get weapons that facilitate mass killings… Or, we accept the fact that we believe that mass killings are acceptable.(By @LYSNation) view article arw

Student success is crucial at Lake Travis ISD, and proof of that lies in the district’s annual dropout rate, which stands at less than 1% according to Elizabeth Deterra, head of LTISD’s learning and teaching department. Despite a dropout rate of 0.5% for the 2018-19 school year, according to the Texas Education Agency, LTISD is continuing to provide resources for students at risk of dropping out. During an Aug. 21 meeting, the district board of trustees unanimously approved a $250,830 budget to further reduce dropout rates. view article arw

A public hearing regarding targeted improvement plans for three primary campuses will be conducted during Monday evening’s regular meeting of Sulphur Springs Independent Shcool District Board of Trustees. The public hearing is required due to Bowie, Lamar and Travis Primary campuses’ state ratings, and will be conducted by Assistant Superintendent Kristin Monk. Community members are encouraged to attend the meeting to voice any questions, comments or concerns they may have regarding this targeted improvement plans for three of the four primary campuses; Barbara Bush was not rated based on STAAR scores because the campus did not have house students in the grade levels in which the state tests are administered. view article arw

With attendance tied to state funding and student success, Ector County ISD is making an extra effort this year to get in front of truancy and help families in the process. “Attendance problems a lot of times are an indication something else is going on. It’s just the tip of the iceberg. If we can find out what the issue is and try to help it, the student will do better in school and the family will do better,” Lead Social Worker Scott Randolph said. Chronic absenteeism is considered when children miss 10 percent or more of the school year. view article arw

Parents in Central Texas' biggest school district are on edge over the proposed consolidation and closure plan. Austin ISD is now set to hold a work session Monday to further discuss the 12 schools they're considering closing over the next several years. Austin ISD said plans to close those 12 schools and move those students to other campuses, as laid out in the district’s draft scenario options, will do more than just save the district $240 million dollars in maintenance costs. It is also intended to help students achieve academically by allocating more financial resources to remaining schools. view article arw

Students at Gladewater High School now can gain skills for the workforce, thanks to a partnership with Gladewater ISD and the Gladewater Economic Development Corp. GEDCO is providing funding and space for students to take a class in metal fabrication and machining, Executive Director Robert Johnson said. In the future, it hopes to add such programs as welding and nursing. view article arw

Austin ISD has released a draft of 39 individual scenarios for its ongoing school changes program, including 12 scenarios that would close current district schools. Schools with proposals to close include Brooke, Dawson, Joslin, Maplewood, Metz, Palm, Pease, Pecan Springs, Ridgetop and Sims elementary schools, Webb Primary and Middle, and Sadler Means Middle School, according to the scenarios released Sept. 5. view article arw

The Texas Education Agency on Aug. 15 unveiled its A-F scores for every independent school district in the state, including Clear Creek ISD. The district scored an overall 89% for a B grade, a small drop from the 2017-18 score of 92% for an A grade. You can see all the details in our Public Education Focus guide (see Page 20). view article arw

Seeking to stave off dramatic state intervention, Houston ISD trustees voted Thursday to direct Interim Superintendent Grenita Lathan to file an appeal of Wheatley High School's failing grade, even though district administrators said they have found no basis for a successful appeal.  The 7-1 vote followed the announcement in mid-August that preliminary results show Wheatley received its seventh consecutive failing grade under the state's academic accountability system, triggering a state law that requires Wheatley's closure or the replacement of HISD's school board. view article arw

South Texas Independent School District (STISD) ranked 3rd in Texas (out of 1,002 school districts ranked) and 38th in the nation (out of 10,782 districts ranked) in the 2020 Best School Districts rankings released this month. All six STISD campuses were ranked among the best in the state and nation in the 2020 Niche K-12 Schools lists, including the district’s newest middle school, Rising Scholars Academy of South Texas (Rising Scholars), which opened in San Benito in 2015. The Niche rankings grade and rank schools and districts based upon criteria ranging from academics to culture and teachers. view article arw

Austin ISD has unveiled drafts for 39 scenarios that district leaders will use as a starting point for bringing about the most sweeping changes the district has seen in decades. The public release of the drafts marks the first major milestone in AISD’s “School Changes” process, which began in January of this year, and will culminate in November with votes on the scenarios by the Board of Trustees. view article arw

Wichita Falls ISD enrollment could be up this year for the first time in seven years. When comparing tenth day enrollment numbers, there are 47 more students enrolled in the district this year compared to the same time last year. However, district leaders have stressed that the official enrollment calculation doesn’t happen until next month when the Texas Education Agency measures districts across the state. view article arw

In a school district that leaders said has a positive reputation and is seeing annual student enrollment growth, Clear Creek ISD officials are still aware of the competition private and charter schools bring and are responding in turn. CCISD officials are working alongside local real estate agents to create an online tool to help parents and new residents learn more about CCISD schools and a training program to certify real estate agents as official CCISD ambassadors. There will be no cost to the district for the tool or program. view article arw

Frisco ISD grading periods have been extended by three weeks, which district officials say will give students more opportunities to demonstrate knowledge of their subject material. FISD students in sixth grade and above had previously been graded in six-week marking periods. The move to nine-week marking periods is meant to encourage students to focus on learning rather than grades, said Phil Evans, managing director of FISD secondary schools. view article arw

Ever since the “A Nation at Risk: The Imperative for Educational Reform” report was released in 1983, corporate education reformers and privately funded, “public policy” organizations have promoted the “privatization of public schools”. In 1995, the Texas Legislature gave in to the political rhetoric and authorized privately-operated charters (“charters”) to open and independently operate public schools with taxpayer funding. As a result, taxpayers are funding a “dual education system” that consists of locally governed, community-based school districts and State approved charters. view article arw

The Texas Education Commissioner has put the state’s largest school district on official notice that it could lose its locally-elected school board because of failing grades at one Houston high school.  The commissioner, Mike Morath, notified Houston’s interim superintendent, Grenita Lathan, and school board president, Diana Davila, that he may have to take action to appoint outside managers to oversee the district — or order the struggling school closed. The campus, the historically black Wheatley High School in Fifth Ward, recently had its seventh failing grade in a row. view article arw

Echo Nattinger is just like any other incoming freshman. The Plan II government major wants to join a theater troupe, Student Government and has her eye on law school. “I realized I wanted to pursue politics and political science in a manner that was more intense than just a hobby,” Nattinger said. “I wanted to find an outlet for my politics that wasn’t just complaining on Facebook or Twitter. I wanted to do something to change it.” view article arw

There are those that don’t understand the power of reflective observation.  They mistakenly believe that there is nothing to learn after a few cursory visits to a classroom.  Nothing could be further from the truth.  In fact, the most important key to building insight and deeper understanding about teaching and learning is to engage in a steady volume of daily classroom observation. view article arw

Not all children living in the city of McKinney attend McKinney ISD schools.  view article arw

In an effort to decrease dropout rates and help at-risk students, Longview ISD has entered a partnership with Jobs for America’s Graduates. JAG is a nonprofit organization that works with schools to prevent at-risk students from dropping out. It uses programs provided to in-school specialists to help students gain skills to make them employable. view article arw

Royse City Independent School District received a “B” from the Texas Education Agency through its A-F Accountability program, accounting for eight of the district’s schools. The state education agency released the 2018-2019 ratings in mid-August and showed that Royse City ISD had received 86 out of 100 possible points. This is a five-point increase from last year’s district score of 81 out of 100. view article arw

Six Fort Bend ISD schools will pilot a community-based accountability system in the 2019-20 school year with the goal of developing a new way to assess student performance and growth. In 2018, FBISD joined 43 Texas school districts to partner with the Texas Public Accountability Consortium. Together, they are creating an accountability action plan that FBISD officials said will measure performance better than the Texas Education Agency’s A-F accountability system, which is partially based on State of Texas Assessments of Academic Readiness test results. view article arw