AUSTIN, Texas — Get ready for a wider distribution of Friday night football across Texas starting this season. The University Interscholastic League's Legislative Council approved a proposal that will allow Friday night high school football games to be streamed on the web. Dave Campbell's texasfootball.com reports the measure passed the final legislative council with a clear majority in Tuesday's vote. view article arw

SAN ANTONIO — An alert issued to Judson ISD staff Thursday stated all network, computer applications, servers, communication and e-mail systems were affected by a ransomware attack hitting the district. Officials said they didn't know when the system will be fully restored.  KENS 5 obtained the alert that was distributed, which states, in full:  view article arw

Clear Creek ISD will not offer Clear Connections or any other established virtual academy for remote learners during the 2021-22 school year due to a combination of low interest and funding-related questions. Some options for asynchronous education will be available to secondary students in 2021-22 through Clear Access courses, which are developed by the district. This course modality has been available to students since 2008, but it is being converted from a summertime, fee-based program to a no-cost program taking place during the school day. High school students can choose next school year to take a Clear Access course during the first period of the day, free of charge, and report to campus for their second period. This option supports the flexible scheduling and online course offering recommendations given to district leaders by the CCISD School Start Time Committee in fall 2019, Assistant Superintendent of Secondary Education Karen Engle said. view article arw

Spring ISD is no longer planning to move forward with its virtual academy for the 2021-22 school year, district officials announced June 16. Many school districts throughout the state have had to alter or cancel their plans to provide remote learning in the coming school year after House Bill 1468—which would have provided funding to allow public schools to continue offering virtual learning in the 2021-22 school year—failed to pass in the 2021 state legislative session. view article arw

Temple ISD announced its back-to-school plan for this fall, and said in-person instruction will be the only option available for the coming 2021-2022 school year. Other notable changes include masks becoming optional but strongly recommended for unvaccinated individuals, and visitors being allowed back on campus with a health screen and temperature check. view article arw

Spring ISD is no longer planning to move forward with its virtual academy for the 2021-22 school year, district officials announced June 16. Many school districts throughout the state have had to alter or cancel their plans to provide remote learning in the coming school year after House Bill 1468—which would have provided funding to allow public schools to continue offering virtual learning in the 2021-22 school year—failed to pass in the 2021 state legislative session. view article arw

Lewisville-based iSchool Virtual Academy will offer its public virtual school option in the fall, even as traditional districts suspend plans to offer remote instruction. Public online virtual schools, fully accredited by the Texas Education Agency, will continue to operate in Texas without the need for additional legislative funding, according to a news release from ResponsiveEd. “Since House Bill 1468 died in the Texas Legislature, there has been a lot of interest in our program,” said iSchool Virtual Academy Superintendent Gary Arnold. “Since 2011, virtual instruction has been our only focus and thousands of students have successfully graduated from our program over the past 10 years.” view article arw

The Socorro ISD Board of Trustees unanimously voted to approve the district’s back-to-school plan during Tuesday’s regular meeting. Trustee Cynthia Najera was absent from Tuesday’s meeting and did not vote. Marivel Macias, the SISD Assistant Superintendent of Administrative Services presented the back-to-school plan to the board. view article arw

Nearly 40 of Clear Creek ISD’s 2021 graduates signed offer letters June 9 to become the district’s first StarTECH Program partners, entering the health care field with guidance from professionals at HCA Houston Healthcare. The students will participate in the program at whichever HCA hospital campus is closest to the town or city where they will attend college. Of the 37 students who signed, 23 will be working in patient care at the Clear Lake campus, according to data provided by CCISD at a June 9 ceremony. Students became part of the program effective June 14, per their offer letters. The June 9 signing event was held to honor the students’ post-secondary commitment to patient care. Several HCA leaders spoke to the incoming students at the event, including HCA Houston Healthcare Clear Lake’s CEO Todd Caliva. Caliva told the audience he was first introduced to the patient care side of health care when he was in college himself and his mother was diagnosed with terminal cancer. view article arw

LANCASTER, Texas - The Lancaster school district in southern Dallas County is the victim of a cyberattack. Lancaster ISD said the ransomware attack is affecting operations but that it is working to get systems restored.  "After learning of the incident, the District immediately took affirmative steps to contain the threat. In addition, outside cybersecurity experts have been engaged to assist with the District’s response and conduct an independent investigation," Lancaster ISD said in a statement. "The District takes seriously its responsibility to protect the personal information it maintains and is continuing to enhance its existing security protocols."  The district did not reveal if it paid or will pay a ransom to the hackers. view article arw

A special summer enrichment Science, Technology, Engineering and Math (STEM) kit will make its way home with all fourth and seventh-grade students in Beaumont ISD, according to a news release from the district. "Students in these grades did not get an opportunity to come to the STEM Center this school year because of the pandemic," stated Marinette Parkerson, BISD Coordinator of STEM. "I wanted to make sure that they still had an activity over the summertime to remind them to stay active in STEM education and literacy." The kit is a result of a partnership with ExxonMobil, who collaborated with the department for the "Stay at Home STEM" Facebook series throughout the pandemic. view article arw

GALVESTON, Texas (KTRK) -- Galveston's Ball High School Robotics team isn't just good - they're the best. The school competed in the 2021 VEX Robotics World Championship and finished with four of the top sixteen teams around the globe.  But the work is not easy. The students spend hours after school and on weekends building the the robots, practicing maneuvers, and competing on the local and state level. Team member Christian Leitzel said, "You really start from nothing. You start from just a couple pieces of metal and then you build a whole robot. It takes months and hours and hours of work. And to see it all pay off, with being able to drive, feels really nice." view article arw

Officials with Lancaster Independent School District are now reviewing the district's cybersecurity integrity after a hacking group posted information on the dark web regarding district employees, banking transactions, and other sensitive internal information. The district did not confirm if it had received a ransom demand.    (11) view article arw

A hacking group known as “Grief” claims to have 9GB of district internal documents and sensitive personal and customer data.   Lancaster, Texas — Lancaster Independent School District officials confirm the integrity of the district’s cybersecurity after the hacking group posts information about the district’s employees, banking transactions, and other sensitive inside information on the dark web. I am.    (14) view article arw

Online schools like Huntsville ISD’s Texas Online Preparatory School experienced great success through the pandemic and may continue to grow, as the state’s protocols for schools continue to unfurl leading up to the 2021-2022 school year. Governor Greg Abbott’s mandate barring public schools from requiring masks on their campuses went into effect last weekend. However, whether or not virtual learning models will continue to be offered remains unknown for those who are still uncomfortable with the risks of COVID-19 view article arw

LANCASTER – Before the presidential election, before coronavirus, before vaccines, before where we can and can’t travel, before if we do or don’t have to wear a mask – before all that – there was ransomware. It has been an ongoing issue in the United States for a number of years – it still is an ongoing issue. Now that issue is hitting home in the Best Southwest city of Lancaster. Earlier today Focus Daily News received information that a security breach in Lancaster ISD is very likely the result of a ransomware attack. The situation has not yet been confirmed by Lancaster ISD officials, but this sensitive issue is delicate enough to be of concern not only to the Lancaster ISD district, but perhaps to other districts in the area as well. view article arw

HOUSTON, Texas (KTRK) -- After the Scripps Spelling Bee was sidelined last year due to COVID-19, two students in Houston could not be more excited to get onto the stage.  "This is my first time going to the national spelling bee," said 13-year-old Shawn Ray, an 8th grader at Salyards Middle School in Cypress-Fairbanks Independent School District. view article arw

WEATHERFORD — About 20 Weatherford ISD middle school students got quite the treat Wednesday when they participated in the first official Ford Automotive Career Exploration program in the state. “We got involved in this through Southwest Ford and Ford Motor Company and it’s called ACE, which is Automotive Career Exploration and it’s a program that they started and rolled it out,” WISD Automotive Technology Instructor Travis Unger said. “Students can actually get Ford-level training in high school through CTE, automotive instruction at Weatherford High School. That training follows them wherever they go, which is awesome.” The career exploration program helps the students decide what type of career they might want. view article arw

As more people get vaccinated against COVID-19 and plans are underway for the upcoming 2021-2022 school year, Highland Park ISD announced Tuesday that virtual instruction won’t be offered next school year. “We’re confident that it’s the right direction … for these teachers to be able to interact with the students in person, to be able to see their faces, to be able to speak with them,” HPISD board secretary Jae Ellis said. “It’s been the most difficult year to deliver education in our lifetime, and I believe that the district has done a fantastic job.” view article arw

Grapevine-Colleyville ISD will add a new pathway to its Career and Technical Education program in fall 2021 to address a need for health care workers with practical skills.  The district’s new certified medical assistant pathway will provide training not covered in existing GCISD health science classes. It will also open up opportunities for students who are not interested in completing or able to complete clinical training.  “We have a ton of kids that are just really interested in health care,” GCISD Coordinator of CTE Candace McGowan said. “It’s been a really successful program.” view article arw

Plano ISD will not offer a virtual learning option in the 2021-22 school year, according to an email sent to district families June 8. PISD was developing a permanent virtual school option for students to begin in the fall, provided legislative approval for funding was received. However, the regular session of the Texas Legislature ended May 31 without final approval of a bill that would have expanded online learning and provided funding for full-time virtual students. “Upon learning that [House Bill] 1468 did not pass, Plano ISD waited to hear if the Texas Education Agency would provide a waiver that would allow the district to offer a virtual option,” the district’s email states. “On June 3, 2021, the Texas Education Agency informed the district that a funding waiver for remote learning will not be an option. Regrettably, this means that Plano ISD will not be able to offer a virtual academy this fall.” view article arw

Richardson ISD is exploring possibilities for a virtual learning option in the 2021-22 school year after the Texas Legislature did not approve a bill that would have expanded online learning and provided funding for full-time virtual students. RISD was developing a permanent virtual school option for students to begin in the fall, but the regular session of the Texas Legislature ended May 31 without approving funding for the plan. “We are disappointed [funding was not approved],” Deputy Superintendent Tabitha Branum said during the June 7 RISD board of trustees meeting. “This was something that we were hoping for. We anticipated enrollment anywhere from 500-750 students based upon the initial interest inventory.” view article arw

Now that infection numbers are trending in the right direction, and testing numbers are falling, they’re getting back to their original plan in school testing.  SAN ANTONIO — For the past seven months non-profit, Community Labs, has stepped up for San Antonio in a big way.  “If kids are in school, then parents are able to get back to work,” said Community Labs Presidents Sal Webber.  Webber says since the pandemic began, they’ve been able to help test over 800,000 people in Bexar County for the coronavirus, and that was during a time when finding a reliable test was hard to come by. view article arw

hellsite.austin.gov

June 1008:25 AM
 

For the thousands staring anxiously at their computer screens for hour after hour, the message came like a slap to the face. "There are currently no appointments available. As of 11:40pm, our scheduling system has run into technical issues resulting in massive delays. After working with our vendor for multiple hours, it appears there is no immediate fix we can make." With that, thousands waiting through the evening of March 15 to make appointments for the COVID-19 vaccine on Austin Public Health's webpage were kicked out of the sign-up process. Many immediately began typing: "We sat here for six hours. This is unacceptable." view article arw

SWEETWATER, Texas, June 8, 2021 /PRNewswire/ -- Sweetwater students entering the manufacturing workforce in 2022 will benefit from a new partnership between the school system and Georgia-Pacific. Today the local gypsum manufacturer is announcing that it is investing two hundred thousand dollars into the school's career and technical education (CTE) program in hopes of giving students the foundational knowledge and skills needed to be successful in the workforce. "It has always been our mission to ensure that every student is successful in all aspects of their learning for life," said Dr. Drew Howard, Sweetwater Independent School District Superintendent. "While some students will go to college, others will seek to enter the workforce upon graduation. By expanding our career and technology program to include industrial worksite education, we are giving students the tools they need to find a job—and at the same time—be confident in their ability to perform it well." view article arw

Frisco ISD is unable to continue plans for a virtual learning option in the 2021-22 school year, according to a letter to district families released June 8 from Superintendent Mike Waldrip. FISD intended to offer a permanent virtual school option for students in third to 12th grades starting in the fall. However, the regular session of the Texas Legislature ended May 31 without final approval of a bill that would have expanded online learning and provided funding for full-time virtual students. view article arw

The tv Technology Cultivator Award was bestowed upon Ysleta ISD’s Arturo Ordaz, Mesa Vista Elementary School. Educators recognized during the awards show displayed their dedication to students and families throughout the COVID-19 pandemic by developing creative solutions to ensure children continued to learn and grow, even in virtual learning environments. “Specifically, today’s winners have excelled at encouraging students to pursue careers in the Science, Technology, Engineering, Arts & Mathematics (STEAM) fields, providing innovative approaches to curriculum, afterschool programming, and access to various means of professional development to students in the El Paso region,” district officials shared. Serving as the event’s lead sponsor, CREEED reinforces its dedication to supporting educators in the region by investing in key initiatives and establishing programs that help teachers enter, train, and advance within the profession. view article arw

WICHITA FALLS, Texas (KAUZ) - School is out but there are still opportunities to keep the wheels turning with events like the Digital Literacy Workshop. Midwestern State University and the Wichita Falls ISD have joined together with the Wichita Falls Public Library to teach middle schoolers computer based tools to tell stories with images, text, video clips and much more. “Every session they are learning something, they are learning some stage associated either with digital literacy or with the story creation process,” said Sally Henschel, associate professor at MSU Texas. “There are many steps with that process and many revisions. Because it is a digital story it involves a lot of different types of media so they are bringing all of that together.” view article arw

Conroe ISD began making plans for a possible virtual school this spring, including hiring a principal, but those plans are on hold after a piece of legislation did not pass at the state level. Texas House Bill 1468, which would have funded the program, did not pass in the 87th Texas Legislature, which ended May 31. "Prior to the end of the legislative session, CISD was actively making plans for a virtual school for the 2021-2022 school year," CISD Director of Communications Sarah Blakeloch wrote in an email. "The Legislature did not pass a law approving funding for this instructional option, and plans for a virtual school in CISD have been put on hold. Updates will be shared as information becomes available." view article arw

Online learning– a disaster for most students, but a lifeline for a few. So Dallas ISD school leaders want that few to have that option. “We have a few students that do extremely well in this context, and we need to be able to reach them,” says Supt. Michael Hinojosa. “We don’t want to lose kids to private school, home school, no school, charter schools or anything else and these families could then navigate our system back and forth.” view article arw

The Round Rock Independent School announced Thursday that it expects students will return to in-person classes in the fall. But that announcement still left the district with a debate over whether to offer virtual learning. The district won't be offering virtual learning next year, though it had hoped to make the virtual option available to students 12 years old and younger who are ineligible to receive the COVID-19 vaccine. The funding to offer that option was expected from a bill — House Bill 1468 — that died in the final days of the Texas legislative session. School board members discussed the issue at a meeting Thursday night as they looked at the cost — about $4,000 per student not taking in-person classes each semester. view article arw

Less than a month after district officials first publicly announced plans to launch Cy-Fair ISD Virtual School in 2021-22, Leslie Francis, assistant superintendent for communication and community relations, confirmed the district is “no longer exploring this option” in a June 7 email. view article arw

Following a June 3 announcement from the school district that virtual learning would not be offered for the 2021-22 school year, the Round Rock ISD board of trustees discussed alternative methods of funding the program at its meeting on the same day. The announcement came after Texas House Bill 1468, which would have funded the program, did not pass in the 87th Texas Legislature. In the announcement, acting Superintendent Daniel Presley said RRISD had been planning on including virtual learning as an option for the fall 2021 semester, as vaccines are still not available to students under 12 years of age. view article arw

Over 7,000 people were killed in teen-related accidents between Memorial Day and Labor Day during the past decade, according to AAA. AAA refers to the period as the 100 Deadliest Days and says drivers age 16 to 17 are three times more likely to be involved in a fatal crash than those 18 and over. "There are more daily deaths in crashes involving teen drivers during the summer months than the rest of the year because teens tend to have more unstructured time behind the wheel," said Jake Nelson, AAA’s director of traffic safety advocacy and research Jake Nelson said in a release announcing the association's annual summer safety campaign. "So what can be done? We can encourage teens to double down on staying focused when driving, buckling up for every ride, and driving within posted speed limits." view article arw