Some Central Texas school districts are stepping up to help families affected by government shutdown. The Midway ISD is now offering students whose parents are furloughed or working without pay an opportunity to sign up for free lunches. Midway ISD Food Service Director Colton Lawrence is encouraging parents to reapply if they have been affected by the government shutdown. view article arw

Westphalia ISD is set to close on Thursday and Friday due to a large percentage of students that have the flu or strep throat. According to the district, the student holiday on Monday will allow five days for the illness to hopefully decrease significantly. There will be extensive cleaning of all facilities and buses that will be done during the break. view article arw

The Waxahachie ISD Board of Trustees unanimously approved an initiative to provide an extra serving to students in the lunchroom. And they’ll do it free of charge. Child Nutrition Director Kam Bridgers presented her effort to provide more food options to students in the lunchroom through “share tables.” This process allows students to donate unwanted, unopened and non-hazardous food and beverages during meal services. Any menu item that is pre-packaged, unopened or has a peel can be placed on the share table. Some examples were milk, juice, fruit cup, yogurt, muffin and whole fruits. view article arw

Teachers across the state might see a bump in their salaries starting in September. Sen. Jane Nelson, R-Flower Mound, filed a bill Tuesday that would increase every full-time classroom teacher’s salary by $5,000, according to a news release. As both chairwoman of the Senate Finance Committee and a member of the Legislative Budget Board, Nelson is partly responsible for drafting the annual appropriations bill. view article arw

Three new programs aimed at providing postsecondary opportunities for Fort Bend ISD high school students were reviewed by the ISD’s board of trustees at its called meeting Jan. 14. The district is in the planning stages of implementing an early college high school program at Marshall High School and pathways in technology programs at Hightower and Willowridge high schools to begin at the start of the 2019-20 school year. If approved, ninth-graders entering the program will have an opportunity to earn college credit toward an associate degree, a two-year postsecondary certificate or industry certification while also earning their high school diploma. view article arw

The rings are in for all West Orange-Stark fans and alumni that celebrates the school’s achievement of becoming the winningiest all-time team in the state of Texas by winning percentage. view article arw

Fresh from reviewing the News staff's upbeat interviews with the incoming Central Texas legislative delegation – Democrats all – I began the year ready to believe that the 86th Legislature was indeed going to be different. Reactionaries would retreat, open misogyny would return to the shadows, racism would be kept at arm's length, and the Capitol might actually accomplish some progress on school funding, health care, transportation ... Well, maybe. In the wake of the past week's events and with the session barely getting into gear, my credulous optimism is already looking a bit threadbare. view article arw

Thursday, Hutto ISD will vote on a plan that will impact hundreds of elementary students. According to spokesperson Tim Robison, Central Texas's growing population is forcing the district to rewrite their school zoning map. "It's the nature of what happens in fast growth school districts," says Robison. view article arw

Carroll ISD is addressing concerns about racism by talking directly with students about what they're seeing, hearing and feeling. Southlake-Carroll students were asked for ideas on how to improve the culture and reduce racism. It comes after a video made by some students was circulated on social media last October. It was a talk about diversity had Carroll High School sophomore Kacy Middleton wiping tears.

Robert E. Lee High School student Caroline Crawford soothed a small black dog suffering from extensive hair loss as a veterinarian examined the pup to try and determine the cause of its condition. Nearby, her classmates tricked other pups into thinking they were just being petted as students lifted ears to check for fleas and ticks. view article arw

Rotary Club of Mineral Wells President JJ Dugan on Monday accepted on behalf of the club Mineral Wells ISD's recognition as its "January Partner in Education." The presentation was made at Monday's MWISD school board meeting. Rotary Club recently provided Mineral Wells High School with a $4,000 grant to help homeless students with educational supplies and needs. Each year the local club's president selects a project to fund and assist, and helping local homeless high school students was the project Dugan selected for his term. view article arw

Copperas Cove High School students with a passion for criminal justice are putting their detective skills to the test. Budding investigators surveyed a mock car crash to piece together what happened during a collision. By asking questions, looking at the scene and taking measurements, students can make informed judgments in the fictitious accident reconstruction. view article arw

Midway Independent School District administrator April Harris has been selected as the Texas Assistant Principal of the Year. Harris, the Assistant Principal of Midway Middle School, has served as an assistant principal within Midway ISD for four years. view article arw

With constant debate about who and what should be taught in the curriculum for Texas public schools, private schools, however, have the freedom to decide.  According to the National Center of Education, 68 percent of private school teachers said they are able to establish a full curriculum, compared to only 38 percent of public school teachers.  Lubbock Christian President Tye Rogers said this comes down to quantity versus quality.  view article arw

River Road High School's vocational programs include cosmetology, welding, and certified nurse assistant training with hands-on opportunities available as early as sophomore year. “We do in all three career and technical fields, we partner with other businesses in the community so that we tell them 'Hey, these kids are certified, here’s where you go apply, here’s everything that you need.” And most of them are employable right after high school," said professional school counselor at River Road High School Amy Francis. view article arw

Cuero Highschool held their first annual open house for their new automotive program. Newscenter 25's David Gibson went to check under the hood and tells us about the program. Cuero ISD is opening the door for many students who have a passion for cars. view article arw

Good read!- js  AUSTIN, TX — Harvey Kronberg, publisher of the Quorum Report, has been covering the Texas Legislature for decades. His website, quorumreport.com, is the online version of the newsletter he sold via subscription since 1983. Kronberg has more history at the State Capitol than the politicians running it. view article arw

The Houston Independent School District has been in the news recently, and most of the coverage has been negative. Sadly, our school board is better known for infighting than for tackling the serious problems facing our district. Things have gotten so bad that earlier this month, Gov. Greg Abbott took to Twitter to suggest the Texas Education Agency take over HISD. While it’s no secret that the HISD board could use improvement, I believe that in order to truly fix HISD, we must fix the state first. Putting the blame on HISD will do nothing to solve the bigger issue, which stems from a refusal to prioritize education at the state level. view article arw

Spring Independent School District (ISD) is continuing its commitment to community involvement and shared decision making by asking for stakeholder feedback in its annual School Quality Survey. “Our partnership with our stakeholders is the true strength of our district,” said Dr. Rodney Watson, superintendent of Spring ISD. “Their feedback helps us better understand the needs of our diverse community.” The survey is designed to provide insight into where stakeholder perceptions align and differ. It asks for feedback on safety and behavior, student support, academic preparation, school leadership, and family involvement. view article arw

The McAllen ISD Board of Trustees has been chosen as an outstanding School Board in the 2019 H-E-B Excellence in Education Awards Program, it was announced Friday, January 11. McAllen ISD is one of just five finalists in the entire state. This is the second straight year McAllen ISD has been up for a major award through H-E-B. In 2018, McAllen ISD was a state finalist for Best Large District in Texas. view article arw

Monday, about 34,000 teachers will walk off the job in Los Angeles – a move described as "historic." It echoes what happened almost a year ago when a West Virginia teacher walkout triggered similar strikes elsewhere in the US. Teachers all over the country are lobbying for higher pay. Here in Texas, 10 percent of all first-year teachers leave their jobs before their second year. Better pay may be key to keeping more of them in the classroom, and last week, top state lawmakers pledged that 2019 will be the "Year of the Teacher" in the Texas Legislature, promising to boost salaries. But there's still many details yet to be decided. view article arw

Lubbock Independent School District (LISD) has developed more career and technical educations (CTE) programs for students to engage in real-world scenarios.  Jill Berset, executive director of CTE programs, said sophomore students at LISD schools have the option to enroll in industry-specific courses in healthcare, culinary arts, welding, machining, law enforcement, graphic design, communications, and many others. She said they have also added classes in plumbing and electric which allow students to begin earning income while still in school.  view article arw

Plano Independent School District invites families and friends to the 32nd Annual Plano ISD Martin Luther King, Jr., Diversity Celebration on Thursday, January 24, 2019. view article arw

The Pearland ISD board of trustees approved the instructional calendar for the 2019-20 school year during the January board meeting. view article arw

Two Longview high school athletic trainers were honored in Austin on Monday for their role in helping save a cross-county coach’s life. As Ken Jernigan wrapped up a practice Oct. 22, he headed up a hill near the school where his runners were. As he walked, he noticed it was getting dark, and before he knew it, he had passed out. Students raced into the training room and got trainers Deirdre Scotter and Kristin Croley, who used an defibrillator and CPR to resuscitate Jernigan until paramedics arrived. view article arw

Frisco Independent School District enrolled its 60,000th student this year, and the district isn't finished growing. "We like to think it's because we have a good product," deputy superintendent Todd Fouche said. view article arw

Administrators with the Flour Bluff Independent School District said they are going to assist students and families who are affected by the partial government shutdown. In a statement put up on the school district’s website, the district is encouraging any of their families who need assistance to reach out and take advantage of available resources. view article arw

Plano ISD students will begin classes for the 2019-20 school year Aug. 12 and break for summer May 22, the week before Memorial Day. The board of trustees approved the 2019-20 instructional calendar at its regular meeting Jan. 15. Trustees were presented with two draft calendars with differing start and end dates. view article arw

The Katy Independent School District is hosting two open houses this semester for current students, parents and those in the community interested in the programs at its Miller Career and Technology Center. Located at 1734 Katyland Drive in Katy, Texas, the Miller Career and Technology Center is a specialty campus that offers courses not offered at home campuses, said Russell Faldyn, the principal at the school. view article arw

A $30.6 million expansion and renovation of Dallas ISD’s E.D. Walker Middle School can proceed after the Dallas City Council this week approved zoning changes for the property. Despite pushback from some nearby homeowners, council member Jennifer Staubach Gates — whose North Dallas district includes Walker — called for approval of the changes. view article arw

What’s in a name? Katy Independent School District trustees are scheduled to meet in a work study meeting on Monday, Jan. 14, to hear from the Naming Advisory Committee for Junior High No. 16 to discuss just that. The closed meeting is scheduled to begin at 5:30 p.m. and the open meeting at approximately 6:30 p.m. at 6301 S. Stadium Lane. view article arw

The following is a news release from Communities In Schools of the South Plains: Communities In Schools of the South Plains is pleased to announce it has achieved all Communities In Schools Total Quality System (TQS) requirements for national reaccreditation and has been reaffirmed as a Nationally Accredited Affiliate Organization by the National Communities In Schools (CIS) office. Per the National CIS Office’s TQS Review Committee, “This accomplishment is indicative of strong leadership, sound business practices, a commitment to rigorous evaluation, and effective integration of resources and services to surround students with a community of support, empowering them to stay in school and achieve in life.” view article arw

The nonprofit running what once was the largest U.S. detention camp housing migrant teenagers said the last children left the facility Friday. The tent city in Tornillo, Texas, is shutting down, and all tents and equipment will be removed from the site by the end of January, said Krista Piferrer, spokeswoman of BCFS Health and Human Services. view article arw

Three high school teams are going on to the national World of 7 Billion contest with their environmental education short films. Belton High School’s ninth grade center held its own World of 7 Billion film festival in December to decide who would represent the school in the national event. The winning entries, chosen by a combination of students and Belton Independent School District staff, are titled “Deforestation,” “Pollination” and “Fossil Fuels.” “Deforestation” was made by Lauren Smith, Grace Taggart, Ezekiel Trahan and Sterling Weadock, and “Pollination” was made by Jackson Belobrajdic, Rijul Gupta, Mykaela Johnston and Kennedy Pratt. The “Fossil Fuels” video was made by Matthew Snyder, Steven Crosby and Riley Avery. view article arw