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September 2105:26 AM

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Midway ISD names 10 to Media Honor Roll

September 2408:25 AM

Midway ISD selected 10 media representatives to the 2018 Media Honor Roll, a program sponsored by the Texas Association of School Boards. The Media Honor Roll recognizes media representatives statewide for fair and balanced reporting of news about public schools. Honorees were acknowledged at Tuesday’s school board meeting (comments that follow are from Midway): view article arw

Both middle and high school students are preparing for the 35th Annual Band Extravaganza at PlainsCapital Park-Lowrey Field at 7 p.m. Tuesday, when musicians in bands from throughout Lubbock Independent School District will gather to perform and to watch other bands. Eighth-grader Jazmine Hardison and seventh-grader Kathryn Zickefoose, both students at Smylie Wilson Middle School, are looking forward to their performance with other middle school students within their Coronado High School feeder pattern. view article arw

After participating in Pine Tree ISD’s Community U program, parent Tessa Stinnett said she realized running a school district is complicated. Stinnett said she worked in schools for 18 years and thought she “had a good handle on how things work.” Because she was new to Longview, Stinnett said she was more interested in learning the district’s culture. view article arw

The Leander ISD Board of Trustees indicated Sept. 20 that it would like district administration to make sure all new purchased buses are equipped with air conditioning and that 60 current buses be retrofitted with air conditioning. “We would be fiscally prudent and not have buses retrofitted that are going to be going out of usage in a very short period of time,” Superintendent Dan Troxell said. Troxell said 50 bond-funded replacement buses equipped with air conditioning should be ordered and delivered by Summer 2019, and that 60 older model buses should be retrofitted with air conditioning by May 2019. view article arw

The Austin Independent School District is reminding parents that not all schools have a student holiday Monday, September 24. The district sent a tweet to explain why. Some campuses are not holding class because of its District of Innovation Plans, which allows educators additional days of professional learning. view article arw

School is a place where children are supposed to be learning, preparing for their futures, and making friendships that last a lifetime. But in this time of school shootings and violence, extra protection is needed for our most precious and most vulnerable. "You have a presence at the campus. And it's all about presence," said Shane Strubhart, Public Relations Director for Harlingen CISD. This week, Harlingen CISD parents received notices in the mail detailing a new partnership between the school district and the Texas Department of Public Safety. DPS officers will now be able to visit and be stationed at all 30 of the district's schools. view article arw

Sunray Elementary School second grade teacher Ramonda Raymond has been nominated for the 2018-2019 National LifeChanger of the Year award. Raymond was recognized as a LifeChanger for her community leadership and dedication to students. She builds strong relationships with her students, and has also been a mentor to many new teachers throughout her 20 years of teaching. Her energy makes her school a positive, great place to learn. Raymond was nominated with 310 other teachers across the country. Raymond is the only teacher in our area nominated. view article arw

Jamal Speaks put on his pads, grabbed his helmet and got dressed in his new gray Ballou High jersey on Saturday, readying himself for his first game in nearly two years. The 18-year-old student at Ballou STAY Opportunity Academy — an alternative school on Ballou’s campus that allows students to get their high school diplomas — was anticipating showing coaches from Temple University what he could do. But just as Speaks was about to step onto the field for the Knights, Principal Willie Jackson said he was not allowed to play. The reason? Questions over Speaks’s residency. The complication? Speaks doesn’t have a residence. view article arw

Austin City Hall was full of smiling, tearful mothers and energetic kids Thursday afternoon while Mayor Steve Adler announced October as Dyslexia Awareness Month. “This is personal,” Adler said. “Our (second) daughter is dyslexic and incredibly successful.” Heather Hardeman, co-founder of the Dyslexia Parent Network, said the event at City Hall was meant to generate a better understanding among the public and its educators with regards to dyslexia and the common misconceptions that come with it. Hardeman said one misconception is that dyslexia affects IQ. view article arw

This school year, Bryan ISD is focusing on a new initiative called Essential 8, which is meant to improve character development within its schools. On Thursday, Bryan ISD teacher Katelyn Stephens and 6th grader Mylee Williams, appeared on Brazos Valley This Morning to talk about this week's focus; kindness. view article arw

The first class of Texas students to complete the Foundation High School Program graduated this spring, and Cy-Fair ISD educators have said the program is helping better prepare students for life after high school. Established by House Bill 5, which passed in the 83rd Texas Legislature in 2013, the statewide program requires students to complete 22 credits in eight subjects and pass five end-of-course exams instead of the 15 that were previously required, according to the Texas Education Agency. view article arw

Georgetown's school district may team up with the YMCA to build a big new swimming facility. The board of trustees with Georgetown Independent School District looked at a proposal Monday. If the partnership comes to fruition and Proposition B passes in the November election, the district would fund the $15.5 million swim facility solely and the YMCA would add other amenities. view article arw

An El Campo High School science teacher received a $10,000 biotechnology grant after local farmers nominated El Campo ISD for it two years running. The district’s Biotechnology program was selected again for the “Biotechnology: Science, for Now, Science for the Future” grant through America’s Farmers Grow Rural Education sponsored by the Monsanto Fund. view article arw

It’s a challenge for some educators to include special populations, like the deaf and hard of hearing, into the general school population. The state’s Outstanding Teacher of the Deaf, Nacogdoches ISD teacher Ami Cecil, makes it easier. Cecil can be found in the classroom, but she is just as likely to be on the basketball court teaching a coach sign language. view article arw

Wolfe City ISD reschedule meeting

September 2108:15 AM

Due to weather conditions leading to changes to its football game schedule, the Wolfe City Independent Board of Trustees will be postponing its board meeting until Monday, Sept. 24. School board meetings for the district begin at 7 p.m. and are held at the Sydney Wasson Multi-Purpose Center, located 553 Dallas St. in Wolfe City. view article arw

Troup educator recognized for efforts

September 2108:15 AM

Karyn Ard, biology teacher at Troup High School, was honored as one of the three finalists for Texas Secondary Teacher of the Year and as Region 7 Secondary Teacher of the Year Friday, Sept. 14, at the Bullock Texas State History Museum in Austin. “Troup ISD is fortunate to have great teachers throughout our district,” stated TISD Superintendent Tammy Jones. “We were thrilled to learn Mrs. Ard was recognized for her amazing efforts and passion for teaching students.” As one on 40 regional winners, Ard automatically became a semi-finalist in the Texas Teacher of the Year awards program. view article arw

On Herman Johnson's graduation day from Skyline, the last place he envisioned his life taking him was right back to his alma mater. That day in 1987, which also happened to be the same day he was drafted by the Atlanta Braves, Johnson's sights were set on a career in professional baseball and all the places it could take him. Fast-forward three decades, and Johnson is back strolling through the same hallways that he did as a student at Skyline. But this time, it's as Skyline's athletic coordinator and head football coach. view article arw

Sabine Pass High School has elected to cancel the remainder of its football season, head coach and athletic director Jason Thibodeaux announced in a news release Wednesday. Thibodeaux wrote that the decision was made during a Monday meeting he had with school district Superintendent Kristi Heid and Principal Andrew Bates. “When discussing the team, student safety was the utmost priority,” Thibodeaux said. “With low numbers and numerous injuries already sustained this season, it was decided that playing at the varsity level would expose student athletes to a higher risk of injury and that participation posed a serious safety threat.” view article arw

San Antonio Independent School District is replicating its successful single-gender model at Young Women’s Leadership Academy with a second all-girls school, to be located just east of downtown, district officials announced Wednesday. The new school, Young Women’s Leadership Academy Primary, will open in 2019-20 on the site of Page Middle School as an elementary school, starting with kindergarten and first grades. view article arw

The Houston Texans fired back Wednesday at an East Texas school superintendent who wrote: "You can't count on a black quarterback," in the comment section of an online news article where he was criticizing quarterback Deshaun Watson. Lynn Redden is superintendent of the Onalaska Independent School District in the Piney Woods, about 75 miles north of Houston. In his post in the comment section of a story written by the Houston Chronicle and posted on Facebook, Redden referred to the last play of Sunday's game, in which Watson let the clock run down before completing a pass to DeAndre Hopkins in a 20-17 loss to the Tennessee Titans. view article arw

Houston Texans coach Bill O’Brien ripped a local school superintendent who made racist remarks about quarterback Deshaun Watson after a 20-17 loss to the Tennessee Titans on Sunday. “I really don’t want to waste a lot of time responding to outdated, inaccurate, ignorant, idiotic statements,” O’Brien said in a press conference Wednesday. “I’ll just let Deshaun’s proven success on the field, his character off the field speak for itself. He’s one of the greatest guys I’ve ever coached. He represents everything that’s right about football, about life. His teammates respect him. His coaching staff respects him. view article arw

There's a shortage of school bus drivers across many area school districts, and the Mesquite ISD Board of Trustees approved an incentive package during its Sept. 10 meeting to help the district stay competitive. This compensation package for bus drivers includes a sign-on incentive and two bonuses later in the school year. “We have a big push to retain our valuable bus drivers and attract new ones,” said Assistant Superintendent of Personnel Services Mary Randall.  She said the district has about 25 openings and normally employs about 125 drivers and substitutes. view article arw

San Angelo ISD trustees approved all items on their Monday board agenda, including contracting with the law firm Linebarger, Goggan, Blair & Sampson, LLP, to represent the district’s appeal of the State Comptroller’s 2018 Property Value Study. The law firm will be paid 10 percent of the additional state aid the district qualifies for in the 2019-20 school year if the appeal is won. School districts lose state funding if the comptroller’s property value study is higher than the value assigned by the County Appraisal District, according to SAISD, and an appeal and adjustment of the state-assigned values can result in millions of additional dollars for the district. view article arw

State vote hacks facts

September 2007:45 AM

Last Friday, the Texas State Board of Education held a preliminary vote to remove notable historical figures including Hillary Clinton and Helen Keller from history and social studies lessons in the state. Many are fuming as a result. Headlines from major news organizations claim the SBOE voted to “erase” or “scrub” Clinton from the curriculum and the board’s Facebook page is littered with comments accusing them of an attempt to rewrite history. view article arw

Ortiz Elementary is one of two campuses in Abilene ISD where subjects are taught through a dual-language program, connecting native English and native Spanish speakers to their non-native languages. Fourth grade teacher Erica Santos covers her classroom's walls with posters depicting terms and concepts in Spanish and English. She said the posters enable translation for students.  "They hear those words, those cognates and they're like 'Oh! That sounds like this word in English.'" Santos said. "So, they make that connection and that makes them a true bilingual kid." view article arw

The Fort Worth business community raised more than $100,000 for the Classroom Library Campaign during a breakfast this week at the Fort Wort Club hosted by Darien George of Mackenzie Eason. The Rainwater Charitable Foundation matched the day’s gifts, bringing the total contributions to more than $200,000. The Classroom Library Campaign is a community strategy to advance early childhood literacy by placing 100 high-interest, high-quality and culturally relevant books in kindergarten through second-grade classrooms across the Fort Worth Independent School District, starting with elementary schools most in need. So far, the campaign has delivered more than 4,000 books to four elementary schools. view article arw

A school superintendent in Texas said he thought he was sending a private message when he wrote a public Facebook post blasting Houston Texans quarterback Deshaun Watson, stating, “you can’t count on a black quarterback.”  Lynn Redden, superintendent of the Onalaska Independent School District, made the comment in reference to the final play of the Texans’ 20-17 loss on Sunday to the Tennessee Titans during which Watson held onto the ball before completing a pass to receiver DeAndre Hopkins as time expired, leaving no time to try a last-second, game-tying field goal. view article arw

Summer programs are offered at all levels with 100 percent of the district participating this year, which means every campus had some sort of summer program going on despite construction on some campuses. Jennifer Reed, administrative services coordinator for Mesquite ISD, gave the Board of Trustees a report at the Sept. 10 meeting on how this summer’s academic programs and accelerated instruction did. At the elementary level fifth grade STAAR acceleration and Camp Excel is offered. view article arw

This year Comal ISD has partnered with the Greater New Braunfels Home Builders Association to develop skilled construction workers. The Architecture/Construction Graduation Pathway Program allows junior and senior students at Canyon High School to work with local contractors in the plumbing, electrical, HVAC, roofing, concrete and general construction trades. “I would like to create sustainable programs for all of our kids at Comal ISD,” CISD Superintendent Andrew Kim said in a news release.  view article arw

Nearly ten months after Austin ISD approved the purchase of a new administrative headquarters in South Austin, the first district staff are set to move in next week. The district bought the Southfield Building near the intersection of I-35 and SH 71 in 2017 for $28.4 million after selling its downtown headquarters on 6th Street for $36.5 million. view article arw

The Georgetown ISD board of trustees was presented Monday with possible plans to partner with the YMCA in building a swim facility. On Aug. 15, the GISD board unanimously called for a 2018 bond election that would include the building of a $15.5 million swimming facility. If passed, GISD will likely partner with the YMCA to help with building costs of “dry areas” as well as operating the facility. view article arw

Katy ISD hosts academy for parents

September 1907:45 AM

When Jana Miller posts a photograph of her son on Facebook, the third grader will come back minutes later to ask for a status on the number of “likes” it received. “I think that’s so sad. Is he going to associate his self-worth with how many ‘likes’ he got?” Miller said. “It doesn’t matter in the long run.” The impact of social media on the emotional well being of impressionable school age children is a major concern for parents as well as educators. The Katy Independent School District is hosting a series of training sessions for parents to help them cope with that issue and others. view article arw

The public got its first look at plans for the courtyard and outdoor classrooms at the new Sherman High School Monday night. Assistant Superintendent Tyson Bennett presented renderings and a short video of the design during Monday’s meeting of the Sherman Independent School District’s board of trustees. He showed slides demonstrating the various features of the courtyard with an emphasis on the seating as well as special mention of the outdoor classrooms that will be central to the plans. view article arw

DALLAS – Curtis Culwell, a former Texas school superintendent and senior associate with the Austin research firm Moak, Casey & Associates, has joined the Raymond James public finance practice as senior vice president, the firm said.Culwell “brings a wealth of Texas public school district knowledge that will continue to bolster our leadership role in underwriting Texas school district financings,” said Tom Oppenheim, senior managing director and head of Southwest Public Finance for Raymond James. view article arw