As forensic experts worked on Wednesday to restore access to Port Neches-Groves ISD computer files following a crippling cyberattack a day earlier, Superintendent Mike Gonzales said the district may never know whose computer allowed the malware to intrude. view article arw

Port Neches-Groves ISD lost access to files on all computer systems Tuesday afternoon after being attacked by ransomware, a type of cyberattack that renders files unusable and then demands money for restoring access. Superintendent Mike Gonzales said the attackers were asking for a “sizable amount of money,” and that several local law enforcement agencies and cybersecurity specialists were working to get the computers up and running again. view article arw

Cyberattack targets PN-G ISD

November 1308:40 AM

A heads-up for parents, students and staff members in the Port Neches-Grovves ISD. Superintendent Mike Gonzales confirms the district experienced a cybersecurity attack Tuesday. view article arw

Systems are down for Port Neches-Groves ISD after district computers were attacked by ransomware. PN-G ISD Superintendent Mike Gonzales told 12News attackers worked their way into the district's computers through email. They have a cyber security forensic team working on it, and the hope is to have the issue resolved in the next couple days. view article arw

If you've driven near Downtown Fort Worth, off Interstate 35W, you've probably seen the Visual and Performing Arts Center at I.M. Terrell Academy. It's the creative new wing to a school with a deep past. The school dates back to the 1800s -- it was the only school in all of Tarrant County for children of color. view article arw

Children with severe disabilities often don’t have the ability to speak up when they are hurt at school, so determining what happened can be difficult. That’s why one Dallas ISD trustee wants to require each special education classroom in the district to have video cameras. Texas public schools are already required to place one in a special education setting if a parent requests it. view article arw

NXTsoft’s ThreatAdvice Cybersecurity Education solution was named by the state of Texas Department of Information Resources (DIR) as a certified provider of cybersecurity education and resources for Texas and local government employees and state contractors. As defined in Chapter 2054 of Texas Government Code, local government includes a county, municipality, special district, school district, or other political subdivision of the state.According to House Bill 3834 the Texas DIR in consultation with the previously established cybersecurity council was required to certify at least five cybersecurity training programs for state use.  view article arw

The annual Women in Science Endeavors (WISE) workshops for middle school girls are set for 8 a.m. Saturday at the Amarillo College Washington Street Campus. Activities will take place in the College Union Building (CUB), Warren Hall and the Science Lab Building along Southwest 24th Avenue. view article arw

Ten 7th grade students from STEAM Academy are getting ready and practicing their lessons which they’ll be teaching at EdCamp RGV this upcoming weekend. The STEAM Academy, which stands for Science, Technology, Engineering, Arts and Math, at Resaca Middle School will be the teachers during part of the EdCamp RGV Event. view article arw

With a newly introduced federal bill, Texas public schools could be required to monitor students' social media. The reasoning for it, to detect minors who are at risk of hurting themselves or others. The monitoring would be done by software and if a post contains any keywords that indicate a threat to a student or the school, the district would be notified. view article arw

Mineola HS showcasing CTE programs

November 0807:45 AM

Mineola ISD will showcase new Career and Technical Education programs and facilities on Monday, Nov. 11 at 6:30 p.m. at Mineola High School. The new programs include welding, with equipment provided by a $276,000 JET grant from the Texas Workforce Commission, and industrial maintenance, with over $600,00 funding from the Texas Education Agency Carl Perkins Reserve grant. view article arw

Weatherford ISD's board of trustees discussed reprogramming the Ninth Grade Center for technical education during a workshop on Monday evening. This was one of a few topics discussed by the board in the meeting. Assistant Superintendent of Academics Deana Lopez explained three options for reprogramming to the board. The one that garnered the most responses and questions from trustees was a New Tech Industry Cluster Innovative Academy, which would integrate core classes with working world classes. This program costs about $325,000 for five years, which pays for teacher coaching, curriculum and assessments. view article arw

Downtown’s Fab Lab, a nonprofit makerspace, is launching its ‘Mobile STEM Lab’ thanks to the support of Microsoft, United Way of El Paso County, El Paso Community Foundation, and the Hunt Family Foundation. The Mobile STEM Fab Lab project is an idea pioneered by MIT’s Center for Bits and Atoms that brings hands-on STEM learning to schools. “Despite incredible advances in innovation, many students still lack access to the technology tools they need to compete in today’s ‘knowledge economy’,” said Jonathan Childress, Regional Community Manager for Microsoft.  view article arw

Students at Port Arthur Memorial High school are learning about the harsh reality of distracted driving. School leaders believe that it's important to expose students to various learning experiences.  A report by the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration says that teens are 23 percent more likely to be in a crash while driving than those who are not. view article arw

Central ISD students gear up for state robotics competition view article arw

Booker T. Washington High School for the Performing and Visual Arts opened its new state of the art recording and production studio on Oct. 16. The studio was created with the help of a $1.7 million capital campaign that began with the Advisory Board and the 2018 Crystal Charity Ball. The studio was designed by Russ Berger Design Group. It will allow the student to look into the production side of the industry and give tools, programming, and knowledge they will be able to take with them into their college and professional careers. view article arw

Beaumont ISD is looking to install Google software in thousands of devices throughout the district. All students will soon have access to Gmail and Google Drive at their fingertips. "We provide devices and access for our students all the way through pre-k to 12th grade," said Toni McPherson, Director of Information and Services for BISD.  view article arw

Peggy Simar, the mother of a 10-year-old girl, intends to broaden her description of would-be predators to include younger ages after participating in Cyber Safety Outreach Day hosted by the Katy Independent School District Police Department. She had been warning her daughter to beware of 50-year-old men. Now her cautionary message will be extended to those in the age range of 20 to 25 as well. That was one of several pieces of information that she said she learned during the special program. view article arw

Beaumont ISD will implement a new artificial intelligence-based safety management system to monitor student emails and accounts to prevent violence and suicide. The Texas school district approved a contract with Gaggle, a software company that scans student emails and files stored on school-issued Google or Microsoft accounts. The company looks for instances of bullying and references to drug and alcohol abuse, intentions of violence, sexual content, self-harm, hate speech, pornography and more. view article arw

Weatherford ISD board of trustees continued ongoing discussion about facilities and career technology programs during a work session last week. The board has been discussing how to utilize space effectively. During a work session in September, board members also talked about how facilities, like the former Travis Elementary School building, could impact career technology programs. Academics Assistant Superintendent Deana Lopez explained student degree programs, particularly ones with CTE classes, to trustees. view article arw

A south Texas school district is notifying parents after its network was hacked. According to the Cuero ISD Facebook page, the "network security incident" impacted certain computer labs, library and other systems at Cuero High School. The district said it took measures to contain the incident and an investigation was launched. view article arw

Amazon announced Monday the Amazon Future Engineer program will fund full-year introductory and advanced placement (AP) science courses in more than 2,000 high schools across the states. The tech giant said the funds will support teachers "as they work to inspire, prepare and propel more than 100,000 students from different backgrounds to try coding — many for the first time." Access to computer science courses is through curriculum providers Edhesive and, said Amazon. view article arw


October 2308:25 AM

Returning from this past weekend, the Cuero ISD technology department noticed an attack to the district’s network security. The incident occured Monday morning, Oct. 21, at 3:52. It was isolated by 10 a.m. the same morning. The attack affected a certain computer lab, library, and other systems at the high school, according to an email sent out by Cuero ISD. The technology department and school district immediately took measures to contain the incident and launched an investigation with the assistance of a forensic firm. They also notified state and federal law enforcement. view article arw

The Plainview ISD School Board last week voted to begin the purchase of laptops for school personnel across the district. Superintendent H.T. Sanchez said many of the district’s employee laptops need replacement and there are some individuals who don’t have one and need one. The district plans to purchase Surface Laptop and Surface Prop computers in phases with the total not to exceed $150,000, according to information in the board meeting information packet. view article arw

An Anchorage high school has adopted a no-cellphone policy to reduce distractions caused by the electronic devices. The Anchorage Daily News reported Sunday that the 67 students at Lumen Christi are required to leave phones in designated shelves or plastic pockets in their homerooms. Officials say students at the private, Catholic school still have access to laptops and tablets. view article arw

Dozens of Colorado female high school students gathered at Maxar Technologies for an event to encourage them to further their interests and capabilities in science, technology, engineering and mathematics (STEM). The keynote speaker at the American Heart Association's "Bring Stem To Life" event was 18-year-old Sherya Nallapati, a student who is working on a technology that scans social media profiles for potential mass shooting threats. Nallapati said her technology, which she dubbed "#NeverAgainTech," will one day scan public social media pages to look for potential concerns for mass shootings. By using historical analysis of perpetrators of the past, the technology would use an algorithm to search for key words, use of firearms and other items. She said the technology would eventually rate an online user as a possible threat, or not, which could help law enforcement gain intelligence on those individuals. view article arw

A student prank went too far after personal information belonging to dozens of students was hacked. The data breach was first detected at the Downingtown Area School District last week. District officials say it was a student who hacked the system. They say the breach is now contained and students’ information was not manipulated in any way. view article arw

Bexar County residents can use new voting machines when early voting starts on Monday at 8 a.m.  “Our technology was 17 years old, and believe it or not, the system ran on XP computers,” Bexar County Elections Administrator Jacque Callanen said at a Friday news conference. “How many of us still have XP computers? It was time to upgrade.” 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