Claycomb Associates, Architects

School choice is a system by which students can choose to transfer from their zoned campus to another Houston ISD school, including thematic magnet schools. The Houston Independent School District is pushing back its deadlines for applications to magnet and other school choice programs until December but released few details about the new time-line or a planned overhaul to the software system used to collect applications and conduct lotteries. HISD leaders say the change is an attempt to make the system more equitable and to provide the district more time to tweak the new software for the application. view article arw

FRISCO, Texas — More schools across the state are pulling books from their libraries. Recently, state Rep. Jared Patterson, R-Frisco, formally challenged 28 books at Frisco ISD. “We’re not talking about innuendo or thought-provoking literature. We’re not talking about a sex education class where you’re promoting safe sex or anything like that,” Patterson said. “We’re talking about raunchy, explicit. We’re talking about every possible detail of sexual encounter. We’re talking about graphic, close-up illustrations of various forms of sex. And we know that pornography is harmful to the brain of young people.” Frisco ISD has removed 10 books, per its website. Only one of those is from Rep. Patterson’s list. He is not pleased with the progress Frisco ISD is making with his concerns.    (27) view article arw

(SAN ANTONIO) — Bobby Ott of Temple ISD was named Superintendent of the Year (SOTY) by the Texas Association of School Boards (TASB) in a special presentation at the annual convention hosted by TASB and the Texas Association of School Administrators (TASA). Ott, whose district is in Region 12, was selected for the prestigious award from a group of five state finalists that included Jenny McGown, Klein ISD, Region 4; Thurston Lamb, Henderson ISD, Region 7; Doug Killian, Pflugerville ISD, Region 13; and Scott Muri, Ector County ISD, Region 18.  In naming Ott as the winner of this year’s award, the eight-member selection committee commended his work in cultivating authentic connections with the children, families, and businesses in his district, which serves nearly 8,500 students across 15 campuses in the Central Texas region.  “As a committee of school board trustees from across the state, we all understand the hard work and commitment needed to be a successful public school superintendent," said Dripping Springs ISD Trustee Mary Jane Hetrick, who chaired the TASB selection committee. "What we saw in all of these state finalists was a unique ability to turn challenges into opportunities with a relentless focus on improving the lives of their students through a quality education. We were all inspired by their accomplishments and just so grateful for everything they are doing on behalf of Texas public schoolchildren.”  view article arw

Katy ISD parents must now formally agree to let their secondary school students check out books from classroom libraries and will be automatically notified when their children check out any school library books under a new policy adopted by the school board Monday night. Trustees also struck down a provision that would have allowed students over 18 with parental consent to be on committees that determine whether challenged books remain in school libraries. Most board members expressed their fears that those students, though legally adults, may be harmed by reading challenged resources. “I am absolutely opposed to students being on the committee,” board member Rebecca Fox said during Monday’s meeting. “While our students are still our students, we still call them children … I don't want to be a part of any decision that puts those students at risk under what the penal code says.” view article arw

Parents in the Allen ISD made their opinions heard to school leaders about the uncertain future of the two campuses  view article arw

ALLEN, Texas - Some Allen ISD parents say they feel blindsided by the district's proposals to address overcrowding in some schools and declined enrollment in others. The potential plans include closing a couple of less crowded schools, repurposing them and shifting kids around. Parents took an opportunity to express frustration at Monday’s district meeting. Dozens of parents went to the meeting urging the school board to reconsider its plans. The district told parents there will be a public meeting next month for them to voice their concerns. view article arw

Eanes ISD has postponed the annual "Banned Book Week" at Hill Country Middle School after the district said parents and administration were concerned about the debatable topic. "There's a lot of scrutiny of library books now," said Eanes ISD Superintendent Jeff Arnett. "It's a very debatable topic." Arnett said it is unclear how long the lesson was on the books, but it was brought to the administration's attention late last week. view article arw

A vehicle belonging to an Alvin ISD educator, who hasn't been heard from since last Thursday, was reportedly located more than 570 miles away in New Orleans, but authorities say they are still looking for her. Michelle Reynolds, 48, is a sixth grade Reading and Language Arts teacher at Fairview Junior High in Alvin and was reported missing by her husband. view article arw

Due to enrollment unbalances throughout the district, Allen ISD will soon have to make tough decisions to adjust elementary attendance boundaries. A presentation to the board of trustees last May laid out the current status of campus capacity. According to the presentation, elementary schools located on the west and northwest side of Expressway 75 are closer to new apartment developments and have seen an increase in enrollment as a consequence, while schools located on the east side of 75, where development of single-family units are planned or in progress, have experienced a decrease. view article arw

Bastrop ISD is using a bold, new strategy to get students to show up for class. District officials are hoping a shot at a brand-new car, could be a fun solution to the very real problem of chronic absenteeism. "Imagine just going to school every day, just doing that, and getting a free car at the end of the year," said Sophia Altamirano Newman, a senior at Cedar Creek High School. view article arw

At 13, Ayaan Moledina has come to expect the once-a-year mention of his religion when his social studies class focuses on the 9/11 terrorist attacks. “It’s all about how these were Islamic terrorists, killing in the name of Allah, but they did not represent the values that I am taught in my mosque every day,” said Ayaan, a Pakistani American student in the Round Rock Independent School District. Texas classrooms’ lack of any deeper discussion about Islam and the contributions of Asians has spurred the eighth grader to action. After all, Asians are the fastest-growing population in the state. view article arw

Round Rock Independent School District has very clear and consistent policies regarding the distribution of non-school literature such as campaign materials. Board Policy GKDA (Local) provides that: Written or printed materials, handbills, photographs, pictures, films, tapes, or other visual or auditory materials not sponsored by the District or by a District-affiliated school-support organization shall not be sold, circulated, distributed, or posted on any District premises by any District employee or by persons or groups not associated with the District, except in accordance with this policy. Pursuant to Board Policy, non-instructional materials such as campaign materials may not be distributed on District premises without prior review and permission from District administration. view article arw

At Houston Elementary in Mineral Wells, Principal Jacy Roach managed to do something that many school leaders dreamed about. "We started the year without any openings which in this day and age is a big deal," Roach said. In the midst of the largest teacher shortage our nation has seen, Mineral Wells ISD held on to its staff. They moved to a 4-day work week. Fridays are now part of the weekend here. "My assumption was that parents would be opposed to it for additional needs of child care and that sort of thing and it actually was that poll came back and it was 70% in favor," said Superintendent John Kuhn. Their research showed schools that did it were successful and with the first nine weeks wrapping up in Mineral Wells the news looks good here too. "Our data is showing what it did last year in a 5-day week, even a little bit better. I've been impressed with my staff and how focused they are," Roach said. view article arw

For the next two years, Aldine ISD’s five varsity football teams will play their home District 14-6A games at Spring ISD’s Leonard George Stadium as plans are underway for AISD to build a new state-of-the-art facility that will open in August 2024. Spring ISD has shared the following stadium policies AISD fans should adhere to when cheering on their favorite squads. Those policies are: view article arw

AMARILLO, Texas (KFDA) - Highland Park and the city of Amarillo have partnered to bring a Teen CERT program to the school district to help bring more safety to the campus. Certified Emergency Response Team or CERT is a volunteer program to train individuals to be able to respond to emergency and natural disaster situations. “When I took director here, it was something that we really wanted to do, we train them in certain areas so that way if something happens, we have a pre-identified group of folks that can come in and help,” said Chip Orton, director for the Office of Emergency Management. Due to Highland Parks location and the increase concern of an active shooter event, the school believes having extra layers of safety on campus is vital to ensuring students and staff can focus on school. view article arw

Allen ISD may have to make some tough decisions soon to manage enrollment throughout its district. Presentations made to the Board of Trustees in May outlined enrollment forecasts and the process for adjusting elementary attendance boundaries. The adjustments could ultimately mean a couple elementary schools will be repurposed as other learning locations. The district emailed a letter to parents on Friday afternoon about the alignment of attendance zones and the potential proposals a 70 member committee has brought forward. view article arw

Only five of the 28 books challenged at Frisco Independent School District (ISD) were removed after a content review by the school board. In August, Rep. Jared Patterson (R-Frisco) filed official challenges against 28 books present in Frisco ISD’s library that allegedly contained sexually explicit content. Among the most contentious nationwide, and included in this list, is a book called “All Boys Aren’t Blue” by George M. Johnson which contains sexually explicit content. In one section, the book includes a scene depicting graphic oral and homosexual sex. view article arw

How do you approach a superintendent and learning staff which appears to have Midland ISD on a growth trajectory? Do you actually believe the trajectory is better? Either way, how does this change with Superintendent Ramsey’s departure? view article arw

Last week, I shared that Commissioner Mike Morath was coming to Victoria ISD to visit some of our innovation campuses and I wanted to follow up this week with more detail. Unfortunately, we did not have the time to visit all VISD campuses where amazing things are happening every day. I consider us very blessed to have so much positive news to share and three hours just isn’t enough time to cover everything. I guess we’ll have to invite him back. When I think about all VISD campuses, I think we have much to celebrate. We have some true “honor roll” campuses that are high achieving and should be celebrated. We have some other campuses that are “on-a-roll” campuses and showing some amazing growth. My thinking is that we should roll on with all the success at all our campuses. view article arw

Enrollment this fall in the Wylie ISD rose 6.3% from a year ago, the district reported Thursday. Meanwhile, enrollment in the Abilene ISD slipped to 15,300 from 15,490 for the 2021-22 school year. WISD enrollment as of Sept. 2 was 5,401 students. In 2021, that figure was 5,083 students. Previous recent start-of-school enrollments were: view article arw

Selling the naming rights to Beaumont ISD's Memorial Stadium is back on the table. The district on Tuesday released an updated request for proposal for the stadium naming rights after the previous proposal was pulled in May for unspecified revisions. The new proposal shows that the district could earn up to $2.3 million depending on contract length and details of each of the four bidding packages. view article arw

Selling the naming rights to Beaumont ISD's Memorial Stadium is back on the table. The district on Tuesday released an updated request for proposal for the stadium naming rights after the previous proposal was pulled in May for unspecified revisions. The new proposal shows that the district could earn up to $2.3 million depending on contract length and details of each of the four bidding packages. view article arw

Austin ISD is considering turning two of its properties into housing that teachers and other staff could afford as rising housing costs make it harder to retain and recruit employees. District officials have been holding public meetings on proposals for the Anita Ferrales Coy Facility in East Austin, the former Rosedale School in Central Austin, and Pease Elementary in downtown Austin, which closed in 2020. view article arw

Corsicana’s LatinX community has been growing for decades. Corsicana ISD wants to not only celebrate the past, but also honor the journey of a brighter future. “Celebrando Hispanic Heritage Month con Corsicana ISD" will include great music, food, and a variety of events students, parents, and every member of the community can participate in and enjoy. Hispanic Heritage Month pays respect to a community with roots in Spain, Central and South America, the Caribbean and Mexico. “As a first-generation graduate and proud Mexican American who champions social mobility, I believe I have a responsibility to play an important part in helping the District create a brighter future for ALL students,” said Veronica Johannsen, CISD Executive Director of Communications and Special Projects and Marketing. “Creating an event that honors the rich culture of Hispanic and Latin X Heritage will not only give Hispanic students confidence, it will also help create a community-centered environment. It’s another piece of the puzzle toward taking bold steps in helping ALL students and community members thrive.” view article arw

It's the third consecutive year that Bryan ISD has been recognized by the TAEA, and is an award only given to a select few standout school districts in Texas. view article arw

SPRING, TX– Sept. 20, 2022 – As part of a commitment to bring students back to the classroom, Spring ISD administrators, teachers, and community volunteers took to the streets on the morning of Saturday, Sept. 17 for the district’s annual Success Walk, reaching out directly to students who haven’t yet returned to class this fall, or who are struggling with attendance.  “It’s a powerful event that we do each year,” said Superintendent Dr. Lupita Hinojosa, “and we’ve seen the impact it can have in the lives of our students and their families.”  Spring ISD has already been busy reaching out to missing students, some of whom have been away since the start of the pandemic, when districts statewide saw enrollments drop. With an increased focus on call-outs and connecting with lost students, Hinojosa said the district had brought back close to 1,000 students since the start of the new school year, but she emphasized that the work continues. view article arw

“It is my honor to welcome you to the very first H-E-B in North Texas.” And with that comment from H-E-B Public Affairs Director Mabrie Jackson, a crowd of Frisco leaders and community members erupted into applause. It just so happened that the very first H-E-B in north Texas was located at 4800 Main St. in Frisco, Texas. This week marked a new era for H-E-B as it welcomed a Frisco crowd into its brand new store for a Tuesday ribbon cutting and then opened its doors officially at 6 a.m. the next morning. For Frisco Mayor Jeff Cheney, the day was an answer to a myriad of questions that he’s been fielding from the community. “This is an exciting day here in Frisco, because as mayor, believe it or not, probably the No. 1 question I got on a day-to-day basis is ‘When is H-E-B going to finally open in Frisco?’” Cheney said Tuesday. “Because people did their homework and they knew that H-E-B owned the land in Frisco and was just waiting for the day that they opened.” view article arw

PRINCIPALS GIVE CAMPUS UPDATES

September 2208:25 AM
 

Jacksboro ISD principals gave updates on what’s happening on their campuses during the board’s Sept. 12 meeting. JHS Principal Starla Sanders has 334 students on her campus with a 96.4 Average Daily Attendance (ADA) rate, the best in three years, Sanders explained. Before classes started the school hosted its inaugural Fish Camp. She had a chance to meet with parents in a small group while about half of the freshmen class took part in a scavenger hunt, looking for different things around the campus. Everyone then took part in a meal. Sanders said it was a very nice event and plans on having it every year in the future. Students are also taking part in a new campus program entitled Motivational Mondays. It’s a way teachers and students can give feedback to each other by finding out what motivates students and how to motivate themselves. view article arw

HEARNE, Texas (KBTX) - For the first time in the school district’s history three students from Hearne ISD will have their art shown at the Texas Association of School Administrators and School Board’s fall conference. The art exhibit is presented by the Texas Art Education Association and will feature work from Pre-K to 12th-grade students across Texas. view article arw

Graham ISD Superintendent Sonny Cruse said last Wednesday the district has started the 2023-2024 school calendar development process, with the topic of moving to a four-day school week to be considered as planning begins. The district calendars are created by the district Calendar Committee containing staff, parents and community members who establish several draft calendars which are narrowed down to two for school board approval. During a superintendent update Wednesday, Sept. 14, Cruse said the district will potentially discuss a four-day school week. view article arw

Nacogdoches ISD’S newly formed education foundation has launched its first campaign to help increase student success by funding different needs of the school district. An education foundation helps fund different software programs, equipment, and advances in technology and much more that help further educational goals of students. NISD’S education foundation was formed in the spring of last year, but now they are beginning the fundraising process to provide opportunities for excellence in education. view article arw

Half a dozen Dallas-area schools were honored Friday as National Blue Ribbon Schools for their academic success or progress in closing achievement gaps. Dallas ISD’s School for the Talented and Gifted and School of Science and Engineering — both part of Yvonne A. Ewell Townview Center — were recognized, as were two campuses within the Catholic Diocese of Dallas: All Saints Catholic School and Jesuit College Preparatory. They were among a group of 31 Texas schools — and 297 in the nation — to earn the coveted recognition by the U.S. Department of Education. “As our country continues to recover from the pandemic, we know that our future will only be as strong as the education we provide to all of our children,” U.S. Education Secretary Miguel Cardona said in a release. “Blue Ribbon Schools have gone above and beyond to keep students healthy and safe while meeting their academic, social, emotional, and mental health needs. These schools show what is possible to make an enduring, positive difference in students’ lives.” view article arw

SPRING, TX– Sept. 20, 2022 – As part of a commitment to bring students back to the classroom, Spring ISD administrators, teachers, and community volunteers took to the streets on the morning of Saturday, Sept. 17 for the district’s annual Success Walk, reaching out directly to students who haven’t yet returned to class this fall, or who are struggling with attendance. “It’s a powerful event that we do each year,” said Superintendent Dr. Lupita Hinojosa, “and we’ve seen the impact it can have in the lives of our students and their families.” Spring ISD has already been busy reaching out to missing students, some of whom have been away since the start of the pandemic, when districts statewide saw enrollments drop. With an increased focus on call-outs and connecting with lost students, Hinojosa said the district had brought back close to 1,000 students since the start of the new school year, but she emphasized that the work continues. “Our numbers are up,” Hinojosa said, “but there are still kids missing, and if even one is missing, we’ve got to do everything we can to bring them back, and to ensure that they’re on track to graduate.” view article arw

ABILENE, Texas (KTAB/KRBC) – Wylie ISD is now in its first year of partnership with NEXT University (NEXTU), a career-development program created and funded by the Development Corporation of Abilene (DCOA). NEXTU has worked with Abilene ISD students since 2019 and is now offering the same opportunities and resources to Wylie students view article arw

EAST TEXAS (KLTV/KTRE) - Tatum and Lufkin high schools remembered two black schools paying them a tribute from the days of segregation. The impact of those schools are still felt today in their communities. Sixty-eight years ago, the world of black-and-white changed, that is when Brown versus Topeka Board of Education ruled it was unconstitutional for segregation in America’s public schools. See for me this is a story that hits home. My father was in the Topeka, Kansas school system when the ruling was handed down by the Supreme Court. He would graduate three years after that ruling. You’re looking at partly the remains of the once proud Mayflower colored high school, which is how the school was referred to back in the 50s, and ironically the school was built a year after the supreme court ruling. In week three of the high school football season Tatum’s football team paid tribute to the school Mayflower that they had heard about from their fathers’ grandfathers and uncles, wearing the jerseys of the players who attended Mayflower. view article arw