The only predictable thing about weather in Houston is its unpredictability. It has been a remarkably up and down winter with temperatures ranging from freezing to 80-degree days leaving all of us to bring a sweater or jacket just about everywhere just in case.  This weekend was no exception. Saturday reached a high of 82 degrees with warm, muggy conditions across the region. Sunday began in similar fashion before a front swept through dropping temperatures into the 60s by early evening. This week's weather is a little more consistent. view article arw

Rice University is considered one of, if not the top, most selective school in the state of Texas, and it looks like people are starting to take notice of its prestige. The private research university received a record 20,900 applications for the Fall 2017 semester, which represents nearly a 20 percent increase in applications. The largest year-over-year growth in the history of the school, according to the Rice website. view article arw

An educator whose former students remember him fondly, Robert George Chambers was stern but approachable.  Catching a group of students at an off-campus cafe during lunch one day, Chambers reminded them to get back to class after their meal. Then he paid for their lunch. While many students avoided those in authority, with Chambers “you wanted to stay there and keep talking to him and listening to him,” said David Sims, who attended Jefferson when Chambers was the dean of boys at the school. “He was always in the hall greeting the kids during passing periods.” view article arw

Jack Cockrill, 79, of Kerrville, TX, passed away peacefully in his home on March 11, 2018 in Kerrville, TX. He was born in Stringtown, OK to Clive Baker and Thelma Lou Cockrill on September 7, 1938. He married Nancy Lee Mooney on September 26, 1957. He began his career in education as a history/government teacher and coach and served in Plano ISD for 16 years as teacher/coach, principal, personnel director, and assistant superintendent. He coached on two state championship football teams. He served 5 years in the superintendency at Gilmer ISD, followed by 5 years in Kerrville ISD, followed by 14 years in Mckinney ISD. He continued to serve other school districts in leadership roles as interim superintendent for the next 15 years. - Full Obituary   read more arw

I think it's fair to say that many parents focus a lot of energy — and worry! — on protecting their small kids from risky situations. But it turns out that integrating limited risk into our kids' playtime may be taking a step toward healthier child development. This past weekend, reporter Ellen Barry published a piece in The New York Timesabout a growing movement in Britain to bring risk into the playground experience. Measures include: erecting handmade play equipment like 20-ft. climbing towers; leaving intact gorse bushes that are quite spiky; supervising children in the use of knives, saws, and other tools; and building fires right in the play area. view article arw

I decided to be a teacher so I could inspire more kids to enjoy mathematics — not just know how to do math, but to see how it could be a fun and challenging puzzle.  Unfortunately, frequent high-stakes testing under Dallas ISD's Teacher Excellence Initiative makes me feel as though I rarely have time to teach kids the fun of math because I'm so busy teaching them how to find the right answers to multiple-choice questions. view article arw

Eight fifth grade finalists donned chef’s hats and aprons in the Main Street Intermediate (MSI) kitchen last week to cook up their own favorite recipes. Working with a healthy Asian theme, almost 50 students applied for a spot in the Future Chefs competition sponsored by Sodexo Food Services and Taylor ISD. Each finalist was paired with a Sodexo employee to ensure safety. Contestants had approximately two hours to prepare their recipes from start to finish before serving judges and offering guests samples of the entries. view article arw

As students across the country walked out of school Wednesday to protest gun violence, Houston-area campuses were mostly quiet. The reason: spring break. Only one large protest was held in Houston on Wednesday at the private Emergy/Weiner School in southwest Houston. Nearly 500 students walked into the private school's football stadium at about 10 a.m., school officials said. view article arw

Five Moody ISD students participated in the National School Walkout Wednesday. Most area school systems are on spring break this week, but Moody Independent School District had its spring break last week, making it the only local district at which students could participate in Wednesday’s national gun violence protest. “We had five at the high school, and none at the junior high, and none at our other campuses,” Superintendent Gary Martel said. view article arw

Mental health discussions continue to circulate around school districts across the country and Waxahachie ISD is aware of the whispers. The district held a parent forum on March 6 to address the topic. Consultants with Region 10 explored emotional well-being of children and ways to detect early signs of depression, anxiety and mental health issues. Waxahachie High School principal Al Benskin prompted the idea of Region 10 consultants to visit with district parents before the recent high school shootings that have erupted similar discussions. view article arw

In honor of Texas Independence Day and Texas Public Schools Week, the San Saba Masonic Lodge No. 612 presented flags that had flown over The Texas State Capitol to The Cherokee School.  view article arw

San Angelo ISD remains a district committed to excellence and equity. We reflect with pride and gratitude on the achievements and successes of the past year. Locally, our school board members are the champions of a quality public education experience, always ensuring our student success stories are known and we remain steadfast in providing our community an outstanding educational experience.   view article arw

There is no stopping the growth in Manor, one of the more affordable suburbs of Austin. But the school district is now putting its final touches on a new secondary school building that officials say will make room for more students without losing a close-knit feel. The Austin American-Statesman reports the district's plan is for the new campus, Manor Senior High School, to be the home base for juniors and seniors, leaving the old Manor High School primarily for freshmen and sophomores. view article arw

WACO, TX (KXXV) - Midway High School students are planning to walk out of their classrooms for 17 minutes to remember the 17 victims of the Florida shooting on Feb. 14. Midway Senior Avi Patel who helped form the committee who organized the event said at least 75 students are expected to attend. "I wanted to be part of this national movement to help send a message to Congress and policymakers that students won't have this anymore. That we are fearing to go to school, to get an education. And we don't want that fear." Patel said. view article arw

Students across the USA are planning to walk out of class on Wednesday to commemorate the victims of the Feb. 14 Parkland, Fla., school shooting. At 10 a.m., students say they’ll walk out of their classrooms for 17 minutes, one minute for each of the victims. The planned protests are already testing school administrators’ abilities to negotiate students’ free-speech rights. view article arw

When Hurricane Harvey hit in August, it forced 60 El Campo ISD students to find temporary housing in its wake before the school year began.  The district now has 88 students who are considered “homeless,” according to four Public Education Information Management System (PEIMS) indicators used to identify and track its student population, said Carolyn Gordon, director of federal programs and accountability for ECISD. view article arw

An East Texas school district gives the public an inside look at their educational opportunities. Hundreds of students gathered at Redwater, Texas ISD for an academic showcase called, "Minds on Fire." Every grade level participated by showing off their main projects for the year. view article arw

After the May elections in Wichita County, Wichita Falls I.S.D. schools won't be polling locations anymore. WFISD officials said the decision boils down to the safety of their students and staff. "Anything that keeps my kids safe I'm definitely for," WFISD parent, Aja Mills-Havins said. When she heard people won't be allowed to vote at any of the district's schools after the May election, she was happy. view article arw

Sealy ISD Chief Financial Officer Jim Obermeier presented the management and operations budget for the 2017-2018 school year during a workshop last week. Superintendent Sheryl Moore said the budget is similar to those the district has been using for the past few years. The school system is receiving $12.8 million in local revenue, $10.5 million from the state and $300,000 from the federal government for a total of $23.7 million. Most of the spending is going to instruction costs at $13.7 million which is nearly 58 percent of the total costs. view article arw

The Navarro County Sheriff's Office along with the Navarro County Office of Emergency Management hosted a half-day Emergency Operations meeting with area school districts’ safety teams at Corsicana Middle School Thursday, March 8. The topics covered included the role of NCOEM before, during and after an all-hazard emergency event. This presentation included resources available from the local, regional, and state levels as well as historical data on local disasters requiring Federal Emergency Management Agency assistance. view article arw

Committed to providing the tools, framework and solid foundation that is vital toward the future of our children, San Benito CISD recently celebrated this year’s Celebrate Texas Public Schools (CTPS) campaign – “Texas Public Schools: The Clear Choice for Education.” The Celebrate Texas Public Schools (formerly known as “Texas Public Schools Week”) concept is not a new one. It was originally created in 1950 by the Masonic Lodges of Texas to recognize contributions made by the state’s free system of education. Today, the celebration is a meaningful way to showcase the many educational opportunities given to the over 5 million students attending Texas’ 1,000-plus school districts. view article arw

A lot went into getting baseball in Christoval; now a lot more is needed to keep it there.  Ten years ago, Pugh Park in Christoval was full of dying trees, and a dying Little League baseball program.  Through a grand cooperative effort between civic, community and school leaders, which in total could eventually span more than 10 years, Pugh Park could become home to Christoval High School baseball. view article arw

Students at Hereford High School are decorating lockers with a goal of inspiring reading for all of their classmates. "I've always loved reading. I feel like you can escape into the words you read, and I really do like finding the perfect words," said Hereford High Junior Angela Martinez. Michala Berend, an English teacher at Hereford High, said she hopes these visual representations will entice more students to find an interest in reading. view article arw

Open enrollment for the Falls City Independent School District Gifted and Talented program is available now through Saturday, March 31. Nominations are being accepted for students in grades 1 through 12. view article arw

Seniors at Westfield High School may not have expected to be in a men’s necktie-tying competition when they filed into the school’s performing arts center Thursday, but it was all part of a plan to get them to think about the fast-approaching future. Young men from all grade levels at Westfield High School participated in the male summit meeting, “Taking the World by Storm.” Venitra Brisby, a counselor at Westfield, said the staff was concerned about a few students who were approaching graduation without a solid plan for their future in place, so they decided to ask the Spring community for help. The request brought business leaders, college representatives, entrepreneurs, police officers and motivational speakers onstage to offer advice and information to the young men at Westfield. view article arw

Jocelyn Mays is at the top of her class, but one of her hardest lessons came with a school suspension. Last year, an ongoing disagreement with a classmate at Dunbar High School landed Mays in the office. A school administrator told Mays that her handling of the conflict was "out of character."  view article arw

You might not be aware of all the advanced academic programs offered at Bryan ISD Schools but in about a month, the district will be highlighting those programs at a two day event. Dr. Christi Whitbeck joined the BVTM crew to talk about the Evening Academic of Excellence and Showcase Event. view article arw

The Spring Branch ISD PTA Council is hosting a candidates forum for the upcoming school trustee elections. The forum will be held 7-8:30 p.m. Thursday, March 29, at the H-E-B Community Room, 9710 Katy Freeway. The entrance is between the store entrances. view article arw

A North Texas school has found a way to work with a campus some 8,000 miles away.  Central Junior High in Euless last week signed a memorandum of understanding with Delhi Public School in India. The arrangement will help Central students who are studying Hindi learn more about life in India.   Dr. Jyoti Gupta, principal of Delhi Public School in Ghaziabad, came to Central on Wednesday to sign the agreement.  Her school is known as an innovative campus providing a quality education for students in India. Like the Hurst-Euless-Bedford school district, Delhi Public School offers an International Baccalaureate program. view article arw

Academies. They aren’t just for teenagers and adults. Grade schoolers will soon get into advanced learning at Lee Means Elementary when the Fine Arts Academy opens in the fall. “It’s in its infancy, so we don’t have a lot of the details yet,” said Lori Romero, assistant superintendent for elementary education. view article arw

March 5-6 were exciting days for fourth-graders at Comanche Elementary School. A day of wonder as they got safely up close and personal with the flora and fauna of Tarleton’s sprawling Timberlake Biological Field Station. A day of enchantment as they studied trees and aquatic, quail and whitetail deer populations. The field station, in Mills County near Goldthwaite (70 miles south of Stephenville), welcomed the students for an adventure of hands-on science in a natural setting, plus a picnic at the pavilion with parent volunteers. view article arw

Students graduating from high school in 2018 have opportunities to head to college or the workforce with more than just high school diplomas. Higher education programs, including those in colleges and school districts serving Spring and Klein, now offer ways for students to train for jobs in growing fields and complete certification or degrees at younger ages, school officials said. According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics at the U.S. Department of Labor, the largest areas of job growth in the Greater Houston area from October 2016 to October 2017 included professional and business services, education and health services and manufacturing. Each of these sectors added 10,000 jobs over a one-year period. view article arw

Just and interesting article - js - Six of 12 sitting Texas district attorneys who faced 2018 primary challengers lost their races. Whether that's normal turnover or part of a larger focus on criminal justice reform, several experts say it's no longer safe to be an incumbent prosecutor.  McLennan County’s top prosecutor, Abel Reyna, was also ousted after eight years in office largely over his lock-them-all-up approach to the 2015 fatal Twin Peaks biker shooting in Waco. view article arw

As Austin school trustees move expeditiously to rebrand five schools stripped of names of Confederate leaders and soldiers, they also are revising school-naming policies to reflect the district’s core values, changing demographics and historical wrongs. We welcome their actions, which are overdue. The names of schools should serve as an inspiration to students to achieve and a beacon to the broader community regarding the values associated with public education. Confederate names have been an enduring insult to many Austin ISD parents, teachers, students and taxpayers, who are aware the Confederacy was founded on an immoral cause: to maintain the enslavement of black men, women and children in Texas and throughout the South. Time has marched on. Those names should have been shed decades ago. view article arw