Claycomb Associates, Architects

More than a week after several East Texas school districts were notified of a computer security breach that exposed personal information, officials say they still don't know how many of their students have been affected.  The Texas Department of Agriculture notified nine area districts that students in their schools had personal information, such as names, Social Security numbers and home addresses, compromised by an October hack.  "They told us it was about 700 (students) total in all of the school districts they listed, and at that time they didn't have a list of who from each district was affected or how many students from each district," Gladewater ISD Superintendent Sedric Clark said. "I haven't received anything from them since." view article arw

Over the past three years, dual credit course enrollment in Huffman ISD has experienced significant growth. In the 2015-2016 school year, Hargrave High School had 78 dual credit students. That number jumped to 124 the following year, and now in the 2017-2018 school year, there are 210 students enrolled in dual credit courses. "This impacts our computer lab availability due to the fact that a very high percentage of our 210 students taking dual credit courses are scheduled into a class period where they report to a computer lab and perform the requirements of their online course," said Joel Nolte, Huffman ISD assistant superintendent.  view article arw

The Silsbee High School robotics team will soon compete for a state championship. Silsbee's team GOLD! won the Pasadena ISD VEX In the Zone tournament in Houston last weekend. Emerging victorious from a field of 40 teams, Silsbee now advances to the VEX Robotics state championship in February. view article arw

NEWTOWN, Conn. — Tangible reminders of the massacre still linger. On the door of the Blue Colony Diner, next to the quarter candy dispensers, a frayed sticker clings to the glass. A teddy bear with wings cradles a smaller bear, alongside a message declaring that the town’s “26 Angels” are “Always Here, Never Forgotten.”  Not all the signs of the bloodshed that erupted five years ago at Sandy Hook Elementary are as visible.  view article arw

Students from around the world joined in on “The Hour of Code,” including students from La Joya ISD. Students participated in self-guided, online tutorials that taught the language of computer coding. Code.org initiated this movement that has grown by the millions throughout the years. La Joya schools planned and conducted tons of activities that support “The hour of Code” celebration. While some teachers designed lessons geared toward coding in core and elective classes, others took an entire day to focus on the coding initiative. view article arw

Two Bean Elementary School students received assistive tools today made by Texas Tech engineering students. Aidan Galvan got a prosthetic hand and Isaac Montoya got a motorized wheelchair with a vertical lift. Aidan said he's excited to use his new hand for many different things. "Programming, writing, picking up stuff, and catching stuff," said Aiden. view article arw

The Claude Independent School District is offering a program called “Hour of Code” to help prepare more students to enter the workforce. The program helps broaden people’s interest in computer science. “By the year 2020, I believe 80 percent of jobs will require some form of coding,” said Kendra Sherrill, teacher at Claude ISD. “It’s going to be a big deal in a few years for these kids to know this stuff.” view article arw

Lights, camera … action. In a dark room filled with computer screens and soundboards, students are busy learning skills that will help their future careers. KSBG is the San Benito School District’s public access station with monthly and daily programming where the students of SBCISD have an opportunity to receive hands-on experience. Director of public relations, Celia Longoria said the station consists of a full-time staff as well as student interns who are involved in all aspects of broadcast production. view article arw

Cyberwolves host robotics competition

December 1207:45 AM
 

Once again, the Shoemaker High School cafeteria converted into a robotics arena, with elementary, middle school and high school teams from a wide swath of Texas on hand Dec. 2 to show off their engineering skills. For the sixth year, the Shoemaker Cyberwolves robotics team hosted the robotics challenge for a rolling style of robot called VEX. In addition to entering six teams of its own, the Shoemaker team, tied to the school’s STEM Academy, hosted the event with students keeping track of scores, assisting guests and calling each team to the playing field. view article arw

Archer City ISD is about to send off 19 of their best and brightest students. The high school robotics team qualified for state competition in Dallas.  The school's robotics team won the BEST (boosting...engineering...science and technology) UIL (university interscholastic league) State qualifiers in September. "We thought we had done very little compared to the others but it's actually kind of funny to see that we've done better than we expected," Emily Richardson ACHS junior said. view article arw

It’s no secret that STEM fields and education are important.  You’d have to have been living under a rock the past few years to have missed the growing emphasis on those fields. Earlier this week we at the Gazette were praising a local program that’s helping students develop science and mathematics learning, but that program is hardly alone in those efforts.  view article arw

The horde of decaying zombies steadily advanced toward the girl, but with the click of a button, Veronica Reznichenko was safe. “I’m trying to code this iron golem so he’ll kill these zombies and protect me,” the Rasco Middle School fifth-grader explained. view article arw

Two statewide groups are calling on the Texas Education Agency to temporarily suspend a $4.4 million, no-bid contract with a company hired to do data mining of confidential special education records, saying the project needs further scrutiny in light of recent complaints. view article arw

This week students from around Seguin Independent School District have been showcasing their computer and coding abilities through an “Hour of Code,” which is part of National Computer Science Education Week. “This week is National Computer Science Education Week, a national initiative for students to have the ability to do a little big of coding,” said Randy Rodgers, director of Digital Learning Services. “We already teach it in our curriculum in both the elementary and middle school and high school levels. This is also an opportunity where we can set up a specific time for people from the community to come in and experience what the kids are doing with computer science and coding.” view article arw

Laptop computers will be delivered to Ecuador, thanks to a recent donation from the Klein Independent School District. Juan Gavino Guerrero, a Klein ISD substitute teacher, helped to facilitate the district donating a surplus of 20 laptops, worth $2,000, to a small library in Ecuador. Guerrero works with the Investigation and Support for Social Development Foundation which is an organization that focuses on an education innovation initiative for children. "The experience and training acquired in education, other areas, and the execution of projects and activities implemented jointly with the communities in Ecuador, is our best contribution for community benefit," Guerrero said. view article arw

The Texas Department of Agriculture released information that sensitive data may have been compromised for more than 30 Texas school districts, four of which are right here in Deep East Texas. The four schools affected are Big Sandy-Dallardsville, Central, Pineywoods Community Academy, and Etoile. In spite of this, Superintendent Ken Vaughn is making sure students at Pineywoods Community Academy don't become victims of identity theft. view article arw

Ysleta Independent School District is hoping to combat the growing problem of bullying, by using technology. The district has rolled out their new “Anonymous Alerts” app. view article arw

Texas Dept. of Agriculture On October 26, 2017, a Texas Department of Agriculture (TDA) employee’s state-issued laptop computer was compromised through a malicious ransomware attack. As a result, students in school districts throughout Texas may have been potentially impacted by the breach. The information exposed on the employee's laptop included names, social security numbers, home addresses, birthdates, and personal phone numbers of the affected students and their families. To date, TDA's Information Security Officer (ISO) has identified more than 700 students whose sensitive personal information was, or is reasonably believed to have been, exposed to acquisition by an unauthorized person.  view article arw

Several East Texas school districts have been affected by a computer security breach, with students' personal information potentially being compromised, according to a notice from the Texas Department of Agriculture on Thursday.  More than 700 Texas students' personal information was, or is believed to have been, exposed to an unauthorized person as a result of the breach, according to a Texas Department of Agriculture statement from Commissioner Sid Miller on Thursday.  Affected East Texas school districts include Karnack, Harleton, New Diana, Ore City, Gilmer, Gladewater, Union Grove and Union Hill ISDs, as well as Harrison County Juvenile Services. view article arw

More than four dozen K-12 students from across Texas will travel to the Capitol on Monday to kick off Computer Science Education Week with an Hour of Code. This landmark event includes a coding tutorial on the floor of the House Chamber and demonstrations with cutting-edge technologies, such as robots, drones and virtual reality. Hour of Code — hosted by the University of Texas at Austin’s WeTeach_CS project, Texas Computer Education Association, TechNet and CS4TX — provides students with an opportunity to discover how computer science can unleash their creativity and problem-solving skills and allow them to apply these skills in the real world. view article arw

A Shallowater ISD employee has been placed on administrative leave while the district investigates accusations of inappropriate social media interaction with a student. view article arw

Canyon Independent School District held a coding competition aimed at teaching high school students problem-solving skills outside of the classroom.  "I think it's essential, and it's not just about computer coding. This is more about problem-solving and critical thinking skills. So Canyon has a huge focus on extending learning past the classroom. And this was a huge part of that. So as students were to go home they could still have access to the program," said Canyon ISD Chief Technology Officer Michael Keough.  view article arw

Several East Texas school districts have been affected by a computer security breach, with students’ personal information potentially being compromised, according to a notice from the Texas Department of Agriculture.  Affected school districts include New Diana, Ore City, Gilmer, Gladewater, Harleton, Harrison County Juvenile Services, Karnack, Union Grove and Union Hill. view article arw

Texas STEM News

November 2908:33 AM
 

Thanks to TexasISD.com for a roundup of STEM projects schools are jumping into. Here's the list (click district title to access the source):   view article arw

Providing internet access to low-income areas, a project about three years in the making, is now active as the City of McAllen and the school district partner with AT&T to offer the service to qualifying homes. “We estimated that about 8,000 homes didn’t have (internet access),” McAllen Mayor Jim Darling said. “We know that those kids that don’t have it are at a disadvantage because they don’t have the means to do some of their homework and school stuff.” view article arw

A group of students at Anderson Elementary School in Lufkin were recognized Tuesday by Microsoft. The tech company recently released a coding and design software, called "MakeCode" that the Young Scholars program for Lufkin Independent School District has been utilizing. Microsoft's Jacqueline Russell explained that the software, that the kids are using, is perfect for first time coders. view article arw

The new industrial technology center at North Central Texas College Bowie is taking shape at the local campus generating buzz about the future programs and drawing students to the first welding programs now underway at Bowie High School. The IT center is a project of the Bowie 4B Sales Tax Corporation, which financed and maintained the original Bowie campus building at Mill and U.S. 287 built 17 years ago. view article arw

Internships for veterans, cyber classes for high school and college students and mentoring programs — aimed especially at middle-school girls — are among the ways states are trying to beef up their cybersecurity ranks.  Cybersecurity is the most pressing issue for state information technology officials, as hackers and cybercriminals increasingly take aim at government networks, which contain information such as Social Security, bank account and credit card numbers of millions of people and businesses. view article arw

Wondering how to get started with STEM/STEAM? You may want to check out The Big Guide to STEM. This 16-page guide is available at no cost online. view article arw

Diana A. Peña, coordinator for career technical education at McAllen ISD spoke for many at a recent FIRST-RGV robotics tournament when she said the non-profit is not just about building robots. “One of the most important things the student gets from these robotics events, aside from making robots, is it focuses a lot on emotional intelligence and working collaboratively with a team of individuals they may or may not know. It focuses on the some of the key domains we teach here at McAllen ISD, beginning with self-awareness, motivation, self-regulation,” said Peña. view article arw

Mesquite High School teacher Kyle Fortenberry understands that one of the best ways to study death is through lifelike experiences. That's why he uses Farah and Goldie, two synthetic cadavers, to help students in Mesquite ISD's health sciences, emergency medical services and law enforcement curriculum. The school district is the only one in the country with multiple fake cadavers from SynDaver Labs. "When I went to school, they'd give you words and a few picture view article arw

When McAllen Mayor Jim Darling asked students at Thigpen-Zavala Elementary School in south McAllen if they had Wi-Fi at home, most raised their hands. Ann Vega, director of instructional technology and library services for McAllen ISD, said she doubts if this is the case. “Almost all raised their hands but I suspect they use their parents’ phones,” she said. “I did a survey probably about 2016 where I asked all of our students, out of the 20,000-plus we had. About 9,000 answered and it showed that we have about 36 percent of students that do not have Wi-Fi at home.” Vega said she asked students wit view article arw

The Ector County Independent School District approved a measure to use the VGo technology for students. The measure was approved unanimously by a vote of 7-0. view article arw

The Lancaster Independent School District is proud to announce that Lancaster High School student Jada Murray is the first district student to win the International Space Settlement Design Competition. Murray, along with her team of international peers from China, England, Australia, and India participated in this competition at the Kennedy Space Center in Titusville, Florida. The competition employs students to collaborate and develop a comprehensive international space community models and it is a culminating contest in a series of local, state and regional events. Several students attended the state competition, but Murray was the only Lancaster ISD student in the international contest this year. view article arw

Killeen ISD Schools board approved new STEM programs for all four high schools Tuesday evening. The STEM programs would be an expansion to the partnership KISD already has with Central Texas College. Students are already able to earn both high school and college credit through their dual enrollment program. Shoemaker High School already has a similar program in place, but KISD hopes the new agreement will able to help close to 1,000 students from all four high school. view article arw