New Caney ISD is considering further specialization of career and technical education programming in its high schools after seeing consistent CTE enrollment increases over the last five school years. CTE courses—which can include hospitality and tourism, business management and finance—are meant to promote college and career readiness. In the last five years, CTE enrollment across the district has increased by more than 19%, from roughly 4,300 students in the 2014-15 year to roughly 5,200 in the 2017-18 and 2018-19 school years, according to district data. view article arw

Whether it be the larger class sizes or the many educational opportunities, college can be intimidating for rural students for different reasons. At Texas Tech, efforts are made to ensure these students get a worthwhile education. As a way to improve retention and engagement among rural students on campus, different departments at Tech work to provide multiple options for rural students to get involved. The correlation between student engagement and retention of rural students is one factor people may consider when wanting to help rural students get the most out of their time at Tech. view article arw

Students attending Wells ISD will be participating in a different experience this year, one that will prepare them for the real world after graduation. Instead of another elective or college prep class, they will be learning how to take care of animals in a new vet tech program. “I gave the students a student interest survey and through that survey we had a lot of kids interested in exploring a vet science program,” said Jill Gaston, Wells High School Principal. view article arw

A recent graduate of Pasadena ISD's Career and Technical High School is looking to turn his skills into a career. "Welding for me, it's an art," said 18-year-old Alvaro Torres. "It takes time, it takes skill, it takes patience to be able to do this kind of craft." view article arw

Proximity Learning Inc. is proud to announce a district-wide expansion of virtual online teachers in Ector County ISD. Driving America's oil boom is an East Texas town in the heart of the Permian Basin. Companies here are offering six-figure salaries, free housing for a year, and company cars to entice anyone with a college degree to work for them, further exacerbating the current teacher shortage. With the district facing over 300 vacancies on the first day of school, the administration was determined to develop a plan to ensure equity for their students. Ector County ISD is expanding a pilot program at Permian High School that streams highly qualified, certified Texas teachers into their classrooms to lead instruction. view article arw

Over the past few days, as time permits, I've begun reading Michael Schmoker's Focus. I decided to see what Schmoker and ASCD have been promoting the last few years. Of course, I still remember my first impression of Mike Schmoker from when he visited the San Antonio ISD. At that time, I served as a Director of Instructional Technology and Library Services (ITLS as it was known in those days), and I was shocked at what he was suggesting. view article arw

Winona ISD is bringing an innovation bus also know as 'Wildcat on Wheels,' to its students for the 2019-2020 school year. The bus offers WiFi for students and their parents.  "We wanted to be able to go to those areas in our district where we knew students might be at a higher level of economically disadvantage status," Winona ISD Superintendent Cody Mize said. "Where we can help them and just kinda be that extension of the school for them." view article arw

Winona ISD is bringing an innovation bus also know as 'Wildcat on Wheels,' to its students for the 2019-2020 school year. The bus offers WiFi for students and their parents.  "We wanted to be able to go to those areas in our district where we knew students might be at a higher level of economically disadvantage status," Winona ISD Superintendent Cody Mize said. "Where we can help them and just kinda be that extension of the school for them." view article arw

Teachers and aides from the La Vega Primary School Phil Bancale Campus learned how to use an innovative 3D program at a staff development training before classes began. The zSpace program provides applications for hands-on exploration, thanks to a 3D interactive experience that offers augmented reality and virtual reality for students. view article arw

The thoughtful use of technology has been a topic of frequent discussion at Eanes ISD following parent protests regarding the district’s iPad program. The objections to the program are in reaction to a first grader who was able to access lewd images while using the device. The district uses its iPad program to manage classrooms and further introduce learning materials, and the board of trustees continued the discussion on how to regulate the use of technology within the classroom during an Aug. 27 regular meeting. view article arw

Studies show nearly half of girls are not encouraged to study science, technology, engineering or math. "We are bound with some sort of bias and stereotype that women cannot do very well in mathematics and science," Magdalena Rakowska, who holds a Ph.D. in environmental engineering, said. She blames stereotypes, or even fear for the underrepresentation. view article arw

Classes are officially back in session, and most students in middle or high school have a cellphone, which can be a distraction. Parents in Spring Branch Independent School District are petitioning for a change in the district's cellphone policy in an effort to help limit those distractions. view article arw

River Road ISD high school teacher, Jennifer Garner was celebrated for being one of six finalist for teacher of the year. “We are so excited to have Miss Garner represent our district, she is just a phenomenal teacher. We’ve never had a representative from our district make it this far," said Board President Amanda Brown. "Miss Garner is just an outstanding representative because of the fact that she goes above and beyond every day.” While the school district is ecstatic over Garners accomplishment, they are also celebrating many other things, such as the advancements they’re making with their career and technical education programs. view article arw

To open up new opportunities for students with autism, the Ector County ISD Innovation and Special Education departments are purchasing virtual reality equipment. The virtual reality experience will include life skills, career and technology education, biology and anatomy among other subjects. Collaborators in this new initiative include Texas Tech University in Lubbock, Texas Tech Health Sciences Center in Odessa and possibly Microsoft Research in Seattle, Washington. view article arw

"There are many apps out there that parents can choose from. One that is used is the 'Bark' app, and it allows parents to monitor students’ social media use." view article arw

If you think it couldn’t happen here, it just did. That would be this week’s “ransomware” attack on 22 government entities in Texas, though apparently none in this region. The hackers demanded ransom payments to free up the computer systems or public data they had locked up. Some of the taxing entities have been able to work around the cyber strike, though some are still trying to figure out what they can do.  Apparently none have given in and paid the ransom, but in other places public officials have swallowed hard and made the payments. That’s a tough choice, but these attacks have no easy options. The city of Baltimore refused to pay $76,000 (in bitcoin, difficult to trace) in a similar attack but has racked up $18 million in losses and restoration costs. view article arw

CORPUS CHRISTI, Texas — Across Texas, hundreds of school districts researched and either implemented or upgraded school safety measures as a result of the deadly Santa Fe High School shooting in May 2018. This year marks the second time the Texas School Safety Center hosted its School Safety Conference with a combined audience of 135 law enforcement agencies and school administrators from 176 districts. Previously, the center hosted separate conferences — one for school-based law enforcement in the summer and one for school administrators in the fall. view article arw

As some students are logging into online accounts to get a jump on work for the new school year, nearly one in five students will go to school without the technology to complete the same assignments. view article arw

Harleton ISD officials said early Thursday that law enforcement officials are investigating a threatening social media post online but that the school district was never directly mentioned in the post.  ”Harleton ISD was made aware of a threatening post on social media,” the district posted on Facebook Thursday morning. “The school was never mentioned in the post or directly threatened. That being said, we take every instance seriously. We have contacted all parties involved and law enforcement is investigating. The safety of students and staff is our top priority and we will continue to be diligent in that regard.” view article arw

AUSTIN, Texas — A mother says her 6-year-old son used a school-issued iPad to look up explicit photos of women. It happened at Eanes Elementary last school year in March. Now, the program that allows kids to use an iPad in school is tightening up.   Meaghan Edwards says she got a phone call from son Charlie Edward's teacher at Eanes Elementary back in March, "just saying, 'It's an emergency. I need to talk to you right now,'" said Edwards. view article arw

About five months before 22 government entities in Texas were hit by a cyberattack that took their computer systems hostage, state Rep. Giovanni Capriglione gave his fellow lawmakers a sternly-worded warning that the state needs to be better prepared.  “We have to face the reality that we’re not currently developing the best practices necessary to protect the state’s data and confidential information,” the Southlake Republican said at a committee hearing in April. “By teaching our employees and contractors how to safeguard the delicate information they handle daily, we can take a solid step forward in minimizing the state’s cybersecurity risk.” view article arw

Many schools offer aviation programs but at Fort Worth ISD's Dunbar High School they're taking things to a new level. Day one in Mr. Magee's junior level aviation course wasn't exactly what these kids had in mind. "First day of school I thought would be easy going... I would just get through my classes read some syllabus," said student Matthew Viera. view article arw

Eanes ISD elementary school students will have significantly limited access to the internet on district-issued iPads as they head back to school Wednesday. The school district completely revamped what is available to its youngest students after a 6-year-old was able to view pornographic images just by searching for terms like “naked girl.” view article arw

As school starts, students as young as elementary school are going to class with cell phones - and internet access. That means there's a chance cyber bullies can target your child. Harlingen CISD is now working with the Department of Homeland Security to educate the community, and crack down on it. Researching school projects, staying connected with family. view article arw

23 Texas cities were targeted in a "coordinated ransomware attack"  Cybersecurity experts have been deployed by the state to assess the damage from a "coordinated ransomware attack" that struck 23 Texas cities on Friday, state officials said.  Investigators hadn't determined the origin of the attacks as of Friday evening and were still working to bring cities' systems back online, according to a news release from the Texas Department of Information Resources. The department believes, however, that the attacks came from a "single threat actor." On Friday, Texas Gov. Greg Abbott ordered a "Level 2 Escalated Response" to the attacks, one step below the Texas Division of Emergency Management's highest level of alert. The designation means the emergency is beyond the scope of local responders. view article arw

Robert Bostic, a self-described evangelist for science, technology, engineering and math, really started something when he became the superintendent of the Stafford Municipal School District in 2014. The Stafford High Robotics Program, which began two years ago, competed May 19-20 in Austin as one of 32 teams from the state invited to the 2017 University Interscholastic League Robotics FIRST (For Inspiration and Recognition of Science and Technology) Division State Championship based on the points it earned at earlier competitions. view article arw

A threat was made against Seven Lakes Junior High School via social media Thursday, officials said. view article arw

On March 11, 2016, the Texas Education Agency Commissioner of Education, Mike Morath, requested an opinion from the Texas Attorney General on the implementation of SB 507. This new law requires video surveillance of certain special education settings upon request beginning in the 2016-2017 school year. In an earlier blog post, I outlined the provisions of SB 507. view article arw

Schoolhouse bullying is nothing new. It has been going on for decades wherever someone bigger, tougher or meaner believed they could get away with abusing another child. And wherever it's happened, it has been harmful to the person being bullied in degrees ranging from intimidation and fear to causing children to commit suicide, or even murder. view article arw

School districts have been caught flat-footed in the last two years, facing an onslaught of digital textbook providers who follow no standard data file creation process. This problem is called "user provisioning," (a.k.a. account provisioning) a fancy way of saying that you have to create usernames and passwords in EVERY online system students and staff will need to use. view article arw

The Beaumont ISD Board of Managers appointed Fred Shafer as executive director of the district's special education department during a special meeting Monday, according to social media reports. view article arw

New Braunfels ISD Superintendent Randy Moczygemba is in Washington DC today, joining President Barack Obama for the "ConnectED to the Future" Event, a special conference including superintendents and other educators from across the country, who will lead their schools and districts in the transition to digital learning.  view article arw

While the staff at preferrs Google Chrome as our browser of choice, we often use Mozilla Firefox as well.  We aren't huge fans of Microsoft Internet Explorer (MSIE) but the site works on it as long as you are current in your versions, otherwise,'s just a mess. Most browsers have an update function and may even notify you that there are updates availible.  In some districts I have been to, the attitude is what I have works, why update. Well, what you have probably doesn't work that well and you just don't realize it. Take a second to check your browser version or look for updates if you haven't in a while. view article arw