Sara Leon & Associates, LLC

Run a meeting on Zoom, fix everyone’s lunch, and figure out a social studies lesson, too.  Big Thought and Dallas ISD are trying to make that last part easier for families stuck at home.  They’re putting all of the resources parents need to support their children’s home schooling in one place. view article arw

BANDERA, Texas - Students are missing out on their senior year, but Bandera ISD is still hoping to celebrate their accomplishments with an unconventional graduation.  The district said it plans to host a drive-in 'movie style' graduation in May. All 141 students and their family members will be able to drive up and park in an assigned space on school property. view article arw

HALLSVILLE — Hallsville ISD officials recently released several plans and back up plans for hosting the class of 2020’s graduation ceremony amid the COVID-19 pandemic.  Hallsville ISD officials posted an update to their Facebook page on Friday detailing plans and back up plans for hosting an in person graduation ceremony, and if needed a virtual one, depending on the course of the COVID-19 pandemic and the state and Texas Education Agency’s direction to schools going forward. view article arw

EL PASO, Texas (KFOX14/CBS4) — Canutillo Independent School District announced an alternative graduation date for its Class of 2020.  Canutillo ISD revealed its proposed plan to have its graduation on July 23 at the Don Haskins Center.  Graduation ceremonies were postponed due to the COVID-19 pandemic. view article arw

Irving ISD officials have decided to postpone graduation ceremonies to July in light of the coronavirus pandemic.  The district’s decision follows a pivot to distance learning and Gov. Greg Abbott’s move to close schools to in-person teaching for the remainder of the 2019-20 academic year. view article arw

HOUSTON, Texas (KTRK) -- On an average year, graduating high school seniors and their parents are likely to have many questions about pursuing a college education. But in the midst of the COVID-19 pandemic, the class of 2020 is facing some interesting new challenges as it prepares for postsecondary education.  HISD hosted a virtual town hall Tuesday afternoon to help students and parents navigate the decisions they need to make before classes begin in the fall. view article arw

"Read Fort Worth" has launched the DRIVE Learning Anywhere Campaign, a community appeal to ensure every Fort Worth ISD student and family has the support needed to succeed in an online learning environment. DRIVE (Devices & Resources to Impact Virtual Education) is an $850,000 campaign that combines the technology needs of students with best practices in virtual instruction to maximize the academic impact of these digital learning tools. view article arw

The Clint Independent School District announced that Clint ISD Early College Academy has been named to the U.S. News & World Report’s list of Best High Schools for the fourth consecutive year. According to a release, Clint ISD Ealy College Academy is the number one ranked traditional high school om the El Paso area. view article arw

Five Buckholts ISD employees, including the principal and athletic director, were suddenly let go. The school board voted to approve the non-renewal of their contracts last week. Community members came out to protest the decision on Monday. view article arw

Three local school districts joined together to meet the Secretary of the Navy requirements for the Rural Schools Innovation Program and will be offering an ROTC program this coming Fall.  The Falfurrias Collegiate High School, Freer High School and Premont High School will have a new opportunity for students this coming year. The three schools did not meet the Navy ROTC Unit requirements for the program separately however, the collaboration of all schools does in regards to participated attendance like the larger 4A and 5A schools districts, does. view article arw

The Dripping Springs ISD board of trustees voted to altar two key policies related to grading at an April 27 meeting—to omit the current semester’s numerical scores from grade point average configuration and to shift high school grading terms from six weeks to nine weeks.  Until now, Dripping Springs High School used a six week grading period, unlike all other DSISD schools, which have used nine week grading periods. Feedback from DSHS teachers informed the board’s decision to make the switch. According to documents prepared by district staff, the change will allow for more remediation and grading opportunities, lessen stress in the grading cycle by providing more time for makeup work and unify grading practices across campuses. view article arw

AMARILLO, Texas (KAMR/KCIT) — Amarillo ISD is sharing new information with students and parents about graduation plans and grading procedures.  AISD Superintendent Doug Loomis said the district hopes to conduct traditional face-to-face graduations in June or July, but only if social distancing orders have been lifted or modified by then. view article arw

Gov. Greg Abbott last Friday issued three new executive orders to begin the process of reopening the state of Texas while revising hospital capacity and certain social distancing guidelines.  Under the order, schools will remain closed for the 2019-20 school year. Teachers may go into the classroom for video instruction, to perform administrative duties and to clean out their classrooms. view article arw

SAN ANGELO — In a time of social distancing amid the coronavirus, schools had to decide how to give the Class of 2020 a graduation ceremony. San Angelo ISD declared its seniors will have two ceremonies.  San Angelo ISD will have a virtual ceremony in May and an in-person ceremony in June, and students are encouraged to take part in both, according to a news release from the district. view article arw

Carthage ISD trustees have officially moved a $12 million bond election to Nov. 3 because of the COVID-19 pandemic.  District officials said earlier this month that they would push back the election and unanimously approved the decision at this view article arw

Killeen ISD Career Center junior Tristan Haynes interviewed a Central Texas author for a national contest that could lead to a segment on National Public Radio.  Haynes, a radio broadcasting student at KISD’s career-focused high school and a frequent voice of the district’s MY 95.1 station, conducted the interview with Michael Lee Lanning about his latest book that chronicles a fascinating piece of the life of baseball legend Jackie Robinson. view article arw

Top administrators with the Brownsville Independent School District spent Friday morning presenting congratulatory yard signs to each prospective valedictorian at every BISD high school, a task that took them to every corner of the city.  Administrators and members of the BISD Board of Trustees traveled to each valedictorian’s home to recognize his or her accomplishments. Additionally, principals at each high school in coming days will present yard signs to the entire top 10 percent of the Class of 2020, a group that numbers some 330 students across the district. view article arw

Three Dallas ISD schools rank among the 2020 Best High Schools top 20 list, according to U.S. News & World Report.  The School for the Talented and Gifted (TAG) at Yvonne A. Ewell Townview Center took the No. 6 spot, nationwide, while Irma Lerma Rangel Young Women's Leadership School ranked No. 10, making Texas the only state to have two schools secure a spot in the top 10. The School of Science and Engineering (SEM) also housed at Yvonne A. Ewell Townview Center ranked No. 17.  In Texas, TAG ranks No. 1, while SEM and Rangel hold the No. 2 and 3 spots, respectively. view article arw

HOUSTON, Texas (KTRK) -- Between reading, math, science and social studies, there's a lot to keep up with if you are homeschooling your kids. It can be easy to forget about another class that is part of your student's regular school routine: physical education.  Coach Austin Obeng of Houston ISD is keeping his students and athletes moving with virtual P.E.  Coach Obeng teaches physical education and coaches at Black Middle School and Waltrip High School. During the shut down, instead of using a whistle and a clipboard, he's now using a keyboard. view article arw

High school students seeking college credit through Advanced Placement courses are navigating a new process for taking the exams.   Multiple-choice questions will not be part of the AP exams this year as the organization conducting them moves the testing online to adjust for coronavirus-related closures. Instead, the College Board will ask students to answer free-response questions on all exams.  Students will be allowed to use their textbooks and notes during each test. view article arw

Graduation ceremony plans for the Blanco High School Class of 2020 are still up in the air.  Clay Rosenbaum, Blanco ISD superintendent, told board members at Monday’s meeting that the district is weighing several options. The meeting was held through Zoom, and members of the public could view it live through the district’s YouTube channel.   view article arw

ARCHER CITY, Texas (TNN) - Archer City High School was named a 2020 Best High School, and the number one school in the Wichita Falls Metro Area.  The rankings are based off data received each year from the International Baccalaureate and the College Board.  Over 60-percent of the Wildcats took an AP test last year, and 100-percent of students graduate from the high school.  Archer City ISD’s superintendent said he is very proud of all the work students have done to earn this honor, and said it wouldn’t have been possible without his team of teachers. view article arw

Dallas ISD is in a precarious position when it comes to grading. About 86 percent of its student body is classified as economically disadvantaged, more than 25 percent higher than the state’s average. Its population of limited English speakers is almost half, more than double the state’s. There are significant challenges when it comes to making sure all of its students are receiving adequate learning despite the disruption from the pandemic. More than 12,000 hot spots were purchased for students who lacked access to internet. All of these things affect grading, especially when these kids don’t have a school to go to. view article arw

Forensic auditors are expected this weekend to give DeSoto school trustees a first look at their investigation that includes evidence of “significant” payments to a fictitious company.  The investigators told trustees at a workshop earlier this month that they’ll recommend the board refer some of their findings to law enforcement, either the Dallas County district attorney’s office or the Federal Bureau of Investigation. view article arw

Introduction: To ensure school districts and State approved, privately managed charters are accountable for the quality of their financial management practices, the Texas Education Agency (“TEA”) administers the School Financial Integrity Rating System of Texas (“FIRST”). According to TEA, “the system is designed to encourage schools to provide the maximum allocation of resources for direct instructional purposes”. The State annually assigns a FIRST rating to each school district and charter based upon various financial metrics, benchmarks and operating procedures. TEA also publishes the FIRST ratings for public review and each taxpayer funded school is required to present its FIRST rating at a public hearing. The FIRST rating categories are as follows: view article arw

PHARR, Texas — The Pharr-San Juan- Alamo Independent School District (PSJA ISD) announced four of their seniors were awarded the Gates Scholarship.  The scholarship will cover their university career and post -graduate education, said the release. view article arw

Following postponed action during the April 15 meeting, Lake Travis ISD trustees revisited the district’s grading modifications for remote learning, ultimately passing a resolution delegating authority to Superintendent Brad Lancaster to adjust the current grading system in light of the COVID-19 pandemic. The delay was due to a disagreement on the decision to score students differently at the middle school level than at the high school level. view article arw

The Highland Park ISD board of trustees Tuesday approved by a 6-1 vote an alternative credit/no credit grading model to the original plan introduced that will allow high school students to receive numeric grades toward their GPA for this spring semester.  Students will receive credit or no credit for the remote learning period based on proficiency on all essential learning objectives. view article arw

New Frontiers Public Schools plans to file a lawsuit against the Texas Education Agency in response to the agency ordering the nerwork to close its elementary and middle school campus on the South Side by phasing out grades starting this fall. view article arw

Burleson and Centennial high schools help Burleson ISD rank among the nation’s best in the U.S. News and World Report’s 2020 Best High Schools ranking.  It puts BISD in the top 30% in the nation.  Centennial ranks nationally in the top 25% out of nearly 18,000 schools. The Spartans rank in the top 22% out of approximately 1,500 schools in Texas. view article arw

Anyone who’s been paying attention knew months ago Longview ISD was laying the foundation to convert all its campuses into charter schools run by private organizations. This is true despite officials publicly declaring no decision had been made, that the information-gathering was merely to consider options, not because a course had already been reached.  Furthermore, we were told public opinion would matter, as would what educational professionals (i.e. teachers) had to say.  To all of which we can now say: Beans.  The inevitable has come to pass after a vote earlier this month by the Longview ISD board to contract with two new charter nonprofits — Longview Educates and Prospers, and the Texas Council for International Studies — to take the reins at various schools. view article arw

TEXARKANA, Texas — The Texarkana Independent School District Board of Trustees approved/considered the following items at Tuesday's board meeting.  - Superintendent's Information to the Board included a list of local policies (EI Local, EIA local, EIC Local and EIE Local) that have been revised during COVID-19 related to grading, promotion and class rank. Grading information for the 2019-20 school year has been sent to parents/guardians via email. Details along with policy updates can be found at txkisd.net. view article arw

Mesquite ISD recently informed parents that current restrictions that prevent mass gatherings may prevent traditional graduation ceremonies from taking place on June 6 and 7.  The district informed parents that if a traditional graduation ceremony is not possible in June, MISD will provide a virtual graduation ceremony on video for each high school on those dates.  view article arw

Lubbock ISD making sure no one gets left behind while learning online,  Due to the pandemic, students nationwide have had to adjust to online learning.   "So we're using Google Classroom for 2nd through 12th grade. The teachers post videos, they have Google Hangouts with their kids, they give assignments and those assignments have due dates," Lubbock ISD Assistant Superintendent Misty Rieber said. She says the biggest challenge is getting internet access for their students.  "I think our district has done a great job. We put up park-and-learns at our high schools so our students can drive up and have access there. We've also been delivering hotspots," Rieber said.  view article arw