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Growing up in segregated Austin, Johnny Brown envisioned equality would one day mean equality for all.  “I wonder, and I continue to wonder, about the reason people treat others a certain way based on [social] class,” Brown said. “I thought about what role I could play to influence society to help people enjoy a better quality of life and stuff like that.”  Brown did play a key role in the history of what is now Texas State University in nearby San Marcos, becoming the first black student-athlete at the school and playing basketball there for three seasons. He then began a long career in education, including a run as the first head varsity basketball coach at the present L.C. Anderson High School in Austin and eventually Port Arthur Independent School District superintendent from 2006-13..    (29) view article arw

Bryan ISD Teacher Appreciation Week

September 2901:43 PM

BRYAN, Texas (KBTX) - “We don’t want to wait until May to tell our teachers how much we appreciate them,” says Bryan ISD Superintendent Christie Whitbeck, “the timing is right now.”  That’s why the administrative staff at Bryan ISD is inviting the community to help them thank their teachers who have gone above and beyondthe call of duty to continue educating our children during a pandemic.  So Monday, Sep. 28, through Friday, Oct. 2, the administrative staff of Bryan ISD is coordinating a community effort to thank teachers for their unwavering efforts. view article arw

Our analysis shows low-income families are more likely to choose virtual learning for their children rather than to send them to campus this year.  Low-income families are more likely to choose virtual learning for their children rather than to send them on campus this fall, according to a KHOU 11 analysis of records from 10 Houston-area school districts.  Under the Texas Public Information Act, we received data from Clear Creek ISD, Conroe ISD, Cy-Fair ISD, Humble ISD, Katy ISD, Klein ISD, Lamar CISD, Pasadena ISD, Spring ISD and Spring Branch ISD that includes the preferred learning method for nearly 550,000 students. view article arw

The weekend will start a little earlier at Spring Hill ISD starting Oct. 9.  On Monday, trustees approved shortening the instructional week to end with a half day on Fridays to give teachers more time to prepare for the next week of instruction.  Superintendent Wayne Guidry said the action will provide more quality lessons and enhanced student engagement.  “50% of teachers are spending 11 or more hours outside the work week to do lesson planning and other work, and we aren’t paying them a dime of overtime,” he told the school board during their scheduled meeting. “The look on teachers’ faces right now is the look we see in May, and it’s disheartening.” view article arw

Remote learning no longer will be an option for families in Louise ISD, a 530-student school district in Wharton County located about an hour and a half southwest of Houston along U.S. 59.  In a Sept. 22 letter to families, Superintendent Garth Oliver said online classes will not be offered starting Tuesday. He said while virtual learning had been billed as an option to engage students whose families feared COVID-19 spread in schools, “this approach has not been successful for more than a handful of students.”  “The effort required of our teachers and administrators will no longer be divided by the requirements of offering remote learning beginning Tuesday, September 29, 2020,” Oliver wrote. “If we begin to see health concerns develop, we will revisit this topic.” view article arw

SAN ANTONIO – Northside Independent School District parents and guardians must notify the district through a survey by midnight on Wednesday whether their child will do in-person or virtual learning.  The second quarter of school begins on Oct. 19, and the district says it’s prepared for more students.  “We have extra masks for students, some washable, reusable, some throw-away. We have gloves. We have face shields and everything for teachers. Whatever is needed, we have it. And we can provide it to them,” said Sandra Bonnett, executive director of elementary administration at Northside ISD. view article arw

AUSTIN (KXAN) — The Austin Independent School District is designating Election Day as a student holiday by moving an already scheduled holiday in October.  The AISD Board of Trustees approved the update to the 2020-21 calendar Monday. The update changes the Oct. 12 student holiday to Election Day on Nov. 3, a district press release said. view article arw

CORPUS CHRISTI, Texas — CCISD officials now see that 40% of its students throughout the district have agreed to return to in person teaching. That means there will be a larger number of students returning to the classroom on October 5 when CCISD moves into its next phase of its re-opening plan which calls for 100% of those students to be in class. view article arw

GARLAND, Texas (CBSDFW.COM) – Garland ISD launched new way to help parents and kids during the pandemic.  The district held its first weekly “Ask A Doctor” session last Wednesday.  “Now that we’re back in school, what we’re seeing is a lot of our students are having emotional issues of what is occurred over the past couple of months,” said Renee Kotsopoulos, the Director of Health Services for GISD.  She said with so many parents having the same concerns, they wanted to offer one spot for answers. view article arw

HOUSTON, Texas (KTRK) -- Virtual learning is well underway for many school children across Southeast Texas, and some school districts have returned to in-person instruction, like Fort Bend ISD.  Fort Bend ISD Superintendent Dr. Charles Dupre said some students need an in-person learning environment to thrive.  "We have many students [that] need more direct interaction, those kinds of things," he said.   view article arw

After months preparing, pre-K and kindergarten students were the first to return to campuses Monday morning.  FORT BEND COUNTY, Texas — Fort Bend ISD’s littlest learners returned to school campuses Monday for the first time since March.  Photos shared by multiple schools showed social distancing measures in place along with mandatory masking and other COVID-19 protocols.  “I know staff have spent months and months preparing for today,” said FBISD superintendent, Dr. Charles Dupre. view article arw

“Real talk” is a cornerstone in our school district culture.  That means we are committed to honest, straight-forward communication, even when the news is not good news.  We are in our third week of school, and already, COVID-19 levels have shut one entire campus (Bowie Elementary) and have resulted in dozens of students and staff members being quarantined on other campuses. We have discontinued bus service until Oct. 8 due to a number of positive COVID-19 employees in our Transportation Department.  It’s getting real. We all know real people – students, staff members and their families – whose lives are being upended.   view article arw

During a Sept. 22 meeting, the Eanes ISD board of trustees amended the 2020-21 academic calendar to designate Nov. 3—Election Day—as a district holiday. The calendar change will allow the district to safely offer its larger campuses to Travis County for the use of polling locations. Superintendent Tom Leonard stated county officials are anticipating high participation on Nov. 3 and will require the use of large spaces to implement social distancing measures. view article arw

A new partnership between Covenant and Lubbock ISD is striving to improve social and emotional health in students through the Keep Empowering Youth Program. Through this program, Covenant will provide funding for three years to implement social and emotional learning specialists on 11 Lubbock ISD campuses. view article arw

CCISD trustees approved added measures to try to keep kids safe as more students return to the classroom for in-person learning next week. The board members responding to reports that maintaining a social distance of at least six feet may not be possible in some cases. On Monday, they were back in the board room after months of meetings were conducted online due to COVID-19 safety measures. view article arw

When the calendar turned to Sept. 8, Austin ISD families headed back to the virtual classroom for the start of the school year as local school districts continued to take precautions to ensure the safety of students and staff due to the coronavirus pandemic. New AISD Superintendent Stephanie Elizalde told Community Impact Newspaper that the district has been nimble this summer in creating back-to-school plans and has pivoted as needed. This included delaying the start of the school year by three weeks to help with preparation. view article arw

Months of back and forth are over and students are finally back in the building at schools across Dallas ISD. The district welcomed students who are new to a school Monday, meaning 9th graders in high school, 6th graders in middle, and kindergarten and Pre-K in elementary. NBC 5 education reporter Wayne Carter said it helps both parents and the… view article arw

Officials with the El Paso Independent School District said they are delaying the in-person instruction start date due to an increase of COVID-19 cases in El Paso. The rate has steadily risen each day to almost 8 percent on Thursday. The World Health Organization’s guidelines state that it is safest to reopen when a com view article arw

In the early hours Wednesday, Fort Worth school officials voted to fully begin optional in-person learning on Oct. 19. But, between now and then, officials want to gradually put students in classrooms. The Fort Worth Independent School District wants its teachers on campus on Sept. 28 and they will prep their classrooms for in-person learning, according to the district’s plan. Starting Oct. 5, pre-K, kindergarten, first-grade, sixth-grade, ninth-grade students and self-contained special education classes will return to classrooms if they choose to. Seventh-graders at Rosemont, Wedgwood, McLean, and Forest Oak Middle Schools who choose in-person instruction will also begin this day, according to a district news release. view article arw

With Pflugerville ISD's second grading period just around the corner, changes are underway for district capacity restrictions and learning models. From Sept. 28-30, district families can revisit their child's learning format and make adjustments as needed. view article arw

Even by Midland ISD officials’ admission, the start of the school year was not the best for the district.  Online learning created problems for many students, families and teachers, and not long after termination proceedings were initiated against Superintendent Orlando Riddick, MISD officials reversed course and began the process of bringing students back to campus.  Interim Superintendent Ann Dixon announced last week that the district was taking the next step to bringing students on campus full time. view article arw

Less than three weeks before early voting begins in Texas, a U.S. district judge has blocked the state from eliminating straight-ticket voting as an option for people who go to the polls this November.  In a ruling issued late Friday, U.S. District Judge Marina Garcia Marmolejo cited the coronavirus pandemic, saying the elimination of the voting practice would “cause irreparable injury” to voters “by creating mass lines at the polls and increasing the amount of time voters are exposed to COVID-19.” view article arw

McALLEN — McAllen ISD has approved the reinstatement of on-campus fall sports practices at all three of the district’s high schools — McAllen High, Memorial and Rowe — on Tuesday during a board meeting Monday evening at McAllen High.  McAllen ISD Superintendent J.A. Gonzalez made the ultimate decision as it relates to a potential return of athletic activities, approving a thoroughly approved return-to-play proposal composed by district personnel.  The decision comes a day after a Hidalgo County health order forbidding on-campus activities at K-12 schools throughout the county expired Sunday, with new recommendations extending through late October in place of the previous mandate. view article arw

The McAllen Kids Marathon Kickoff event was held in unfamiliar territory Saturday morning, via the McAllen ISD Facebook page where video messages of support and motivation served as the spirit of the seventh annual event and encouraged the Rio Grande Valley community’s youth to live healthy.  Motivational messages came from McAllen ISD Superintendent J.A. Gonzalez, Mayor Jim Darling and Police Chief Victor Rodriguez, and included 2018 Winter Olympian German Medrazo, former New York Giant Keith Davis, and 2015 Miss Texas and Miss USA Runner-Up Ylianna Dadashi. view article arw

EL PASO, Texas (CBS4) — Officials with the El Paso Independent School District said they are delaying the in-person instruction start date due to an increase of COVID-19 cases in El Paso.  The rate has steadily risen each day to almost 8 percent on Thursday.The World Health Organization’s guidelines state that it is safest to reopen when a community reaches 5 percent positivity rate for 14 consecutive days.  El Paso ISD used the 5 percent benchmark when it applied for, and received, a reopening extension waiver from the Texas Education Agency. view article arw

Trinidad Independent School District made many changes in preparation for this school year and have seen great results. These changes were not entirely a reaction to the pandemic, but this new societal standard of learning has offered many opportunities for educators to find new ways to bridge the gaps in learning.  “Every step we take leads to a destination. We are being more calculated than ever with our steps, and our destination is the continued success of our students pre and post-graduation,” Superintendent Corey Jenkins stated. view article arw

DALLAS - After starting the school year strictly online, it's time for more North Texas students that selected in-person learning to go back to school.  In the Dallas Independent School District, the youngest learners and students who are starting at a new campus return to the classroom Monday. view article arw

Fitch Ratings - Austin - 25 Sep 2020: Fitch Ratings has assigned a 'AAA' rating based on the Texas Permanent School Fund (PSF) and a 'AA' underlying rating to the following unlimited tax (ULT) bonds for Pearland Independent School District, Texas bonds: --$79 million unlimited tax (ULT) refunding bonds, series 2020.  Additionally, Fitch has affirmed the 'AA' underlying rating on the district's approximately $430 million in outstanding ULTs and the district's Long-Term Issuer Default Rating (IDR). view article arw

A Kennedale High School senior sent an email to Superintendent Chad Gee demanding he apologizes for ordering her to put her phone away while she was livestreaming a public board meeting.  Madison Fail wrote she was “embarrassed” when the meeting was stopped.“I was embarrassed when you stopped the meeting to call me out about livestreaming last (Thursday) night. I would like you to apologize to me and send out a statement to students notifying them of the date and time of the next board meeting and that they are allowed to record if they would like to. If not, I will file a complaint with the district.”    (28) view article arw

Continuing at full speed with development of its electric vehicle assembly plant in southeastern Travis County, Tesla recently purchased 381 acres adjacent to its existing 2,100-acre site at Harold Green Road and Texas 130, deed records show.  Tesla also is believed to be pursuing additional land purchases in Southeast Austin along the Texas 130 corridor, according to local real estate developers knowledgeable about the area.  Tesla’s $1.1 billion assembly plant is expected to intensify ongoing development in the area, as Tesla becomes a magnet for vendors, suppliers and other automotive-related companies to locate nearby.  Work on Tesla’s site off Harold Green Road has been underway since summer, and crews could start pouring a concrete slab as soon as the next couple of weeks. California-based Tesla purchased the initial 2,100 acres, formerly planned for a large mixed-use project called Austin Green, from Martin Marietta for $97 million. view article arw

A reality check!!! The Talty Police Department and the Kaufman County Sherrif's Department are investigating the death of a 71-year-old woman who was found dead in her Talty home Friday afternoon with her two elementary-school-aged children alone at home, according to  Teachers at Forney ISD first noticed it when two students, ages 6 and 7, were absent from school for a whole week, according to view article arw

Monday, certain Dallas ISD students will return to the classroom for in-person instruction for the first time in months.  Based on leveling out of Dallas County COVID-19 cases and a downward trend, the district will open school doors specifically to students moving to a new campus starting Monday. Other students who have opted to take in-person classes will return a week later on Oct. 5. view article arw

The following was provided by Supt. Quintin Shepherd of the Victoria I.S.D.  We are all starting to settle into a bit of a rhythm and routine after three weeks of hybrid teaching and hybrid learning. Every week has shown marked improvement from student participation and engagement as well as student work and tests. I will not mislead you by saying everything is perfect, but I will tell you we are moving in the right direction. view article arw

District will start with hybrid model for two weeks, then allow K-8 to return to in-person five days a week on Oct 13.   It’s already a school year with more than one “first day.”  In Arlington Independent School District, after six weeks of virtual-only classes, students back to campus Monday.   Superintendent Marcelo Cavazos said that for the next two weeks, students won’t be on campus every day. Instead, Arlington ISD will use a hybrid model. view article arw

WHARTON COUNTY, Texas (KTRK) -- Louise ISD will no longer offer remote learning for students beginning Tuesday, Sept. 29.   A handful of students struggled with learning from home, so the district said teachers and administrative staff would not offer virtual learning as an option anymore, Superintendent Dr. Garth Oliver wrote in a letter to parents.  In the letter, Oliver outlined four options that parents must choose from: view article arw