Claycomb Associates, Architects

Frisco ISD will not be offering a permanent full-time virtual school platform next year, the district announced Tuesday, walking back plans it had shared in April for such a program.  Superintendent Mike Waldrip sent a letter to district families on Tuesday announcing that the district was “unable to move forward” with the option for the upcoming school year.  “While the vast majority of our students already planned to attend classes on campus, we know this news will be a disappointment to families of the nearly 1,000 students who planned to take advantage of the Virtual School,” Waldrip stated. “Expanded opportunities for students through online and blended learning was a priority for Frisco ISD prior to the pandemic and will continue to be a priority for the district in the future. As we have seen over the past year, online learning offers students additional choice and flexibility and is preferred by some for a variety of reasons.” view article arw

Local school districts are set to receive their pieces of more than $11 billion in federal funding designed to fix setbacks incurred during the coronavirus pandemic, and district leaders are asking for community input on how it should be used. The Elementary and Secondary School Emergency Relief III funds were given to school districts and open-enrollment charter schools beginning April 28, according to the Texas Education Agency, through the American Rescue Plan Act. A total of $11.2 billion in funding was allocated to Texas for public education through ARP. view article arw

The end of the school year is delivering something good to some students at a Fort Worth ISD elementary school. A few students at Richard J. Wilson elementary got bikes. And here's how it happened. Rotary Club of Fort Worth South partners with Wilson and hosts special programs to support and encourage the kids. view article arw

EL PASO, Texas (KTSM) – Clint Independent School District (CISD) is getting ready to celebrate their graduates. CISD is putting together a ceremony to celebrate the accomplishments of their students at The Plaza Theatre. Horizon High School’s ceremony will be Tuesday, June 8th at 7 p.m. Mountain View High School’s ceremony will be Wednesday, June 9th at 7 p.m. and Clint High School’s ceremony will be Thursday, June 10th at 7 p.m. view article arw

Victoria school district hosted a Professional Learning Communities at Work Live Institute, June 2-4. The institute streamed in real-time from the Victoria College Emerging Technology Center. It featured leading education experts with firsthand experience using the Professional Learning Communities at Work process to transform teaching and learning, according to a news release from the school district. Recognized as a powerful strategy for sustained, substantive school improvement, the Professional Learning Communities at Work process is driven by three big ideas: focus on learning, build a collaborative culture, and focus on results. In the program, teachers work in collaborative teams, and all students learn at high levels. view article arw

Conroe ISD began making plans for a possible virtual school this spring, including hiring a principal, but those plans are on hold after a piece of legislation did not pass at the state level. Texas House Bill 1468, which would have funded the program, did not pass in the 87th Texas Legislature, which ended May 31. "Prior to the end of the legislative session, CISD was actively making plans for a virtual school for the 2021-2022 school year," CISD Director of Communications Sarah Blakeloch wrote in an email. "The Legislature did not pass a law approving funding for this instructional option, and plans for a virtual school in CISD have been put on hold. Updates will be shared as information becomes available." view article arw

AMARILLO, Texas (KFDA) - Education Credit Union will open a student-run branch at Amarillo ISD’s AmTech Career Academy.  According to a news release, the branch will be student-led by senior apprentices from AmTech’s School of Business, Marketing and Finance.  “When students are equipped with the skills and knowledge necessary to be successful in the workforce, it not only changes their futures for the better, it helps build strong, thriving communities. We firmly believe that when you learn more, you live more and that is why we are so excited to enter this partnership with the AmTech Career Academy,” said Eric Jenkins, CEO of Education Credit Union. view article arw

The Floresville Independent School District will return to a full face-to-face instructional model for the 2021-22 school year. “After careful consideration, the district has decided not to offer remote learning for the 2021-22 school year,” according to Kim Cathey, district communications specialist/public information officer, June 8. view article arw

Sweetwater students entering the manufacturing workforce in 2022 will benefit from a new partnership between the school system and Georgia-Pacific. Today the local gypsum manufacturer is announcing that it is investing two hundred thousand dollars into the school's career and technical education (CTE) program in hopes of giving students the foundational knowledge and skills needed to be successful in the workforce. view article arw

Video games aren't always fun and games. Sometimes, they're serious business. Two Dallas ISD Conrad High School seniors developed a video game that requires players to navigate from a wheelchair. "People in wheelchairs, their life is totally different," Sergio Reyna said. view article arw

A Lindale football quarterback alumnus is making moves in the cinematic industry by accomplishing big goals. Houston Hill, a 1998 Lindale High School graduate, produced the film hitting theaters this weekend, “12 Mighty Orphans,” which tells the story of an orphanage football team’s inspirational rise to success. The film stars well-known actors like Luke Wilson, Robert Duvall and Martin Sheen, Vinessa Shaw and Wayne Knight. “12 Mighty Orphans” tells the true events of the Mighty Mites, the football team at a Fort Worth orphanage who during the Great Depression went from playing without shoes — or even a football — to playing for the Texas State Championships. view article arw

Responding to state legislation seeking to limit how racism should be discussed in Texas classrooms, Waco ISD trustees voted Thursday to reaffirm their commitment to dismantling structural racism. view article arw

The Round Rock Independent School announced Thursday that it expects students will return to in-person classes in the fall. But that announcement still left the district with a debate over whether to offer virtual learning. The district won't be offering virtual learning next year, though it had hoped to make the virtual option available to students 12 years old and younger who are ineligible to receive the COVID-19 vaccine. The funding to offer that option was expected from a bill — House Bill 1468 — that died in the final days of the Texas legislative session. School board members discussed the issue at a meeting Thursday night as they looked at the cost — about $4,000 per student not taking in-person classes each semester. view article arw

Austin City Council on June 3 unanimously voted to send up to $16,000 to Pflugerville ISD to cover startup costs for a new pre-K classroom. The PfISD agreement comes as part of a yearslong initiative by Austin officials aimed at affordable early child care for Austin and Travis County residents, and follows a similar investment council made in 2019 providing for four new Del Valle ISD pre-K startups. Funding comes from Austin Public Health’s fiscal year 2020-21 budget. view article arw

HARLINGEN — Their talent and expertise has caught the attention of many. Now Myliss Parker and Roxanna Moore will bring their skills to the global stage as members of the College Board Pre-AP National Faculty. “Oh, it’s such an honor,” said Parker, director of advanced academic services for the Harlingen Consolidated Independent School District. Parker has been instrumental in bringing both the pre-AP and International Baccalaureate programs to the district. Roxanna Moore has taught chemistry for seventeen years at Harlingen High School South. view article arw

Remote learning looks unlikely

June 0808:25 AM
 

School districts across North Texas are looking for options as a clear path to virtual learning appears to be blocked. Monday marked the final day of the Texas Legislative session, effectively dissolving any hopes of passing House Bill 1468, which would have expanded online learning in Texas and allowed for full funding to school districts, during the session. The state had previously not funded school districts for remote learning, although it granted a waiver for the 2020-21 school year because of the COVID-19 pandemic. view article arw

EL PASO, Texas [KFOX14/CBS4] — As of Monday morning, public school districts in Texas can no longer mandate face masks be worn by students, staff or visitors per Governor Abbott’s executive order issued on May 18. CBS4 Local contacted the three largest school districts in El Paso to learn how they plan on moving forward as they wrap up the 2020-2021 school year and prepare for the upcoming semesters. view article arw

The Dallas school district plans to end all low-level suspensions for junior high and high school students next year, after doing away with them for early grades since 2017. The program may grow graduation rates. Vince Reyes, Dallas’ assistant superintendent over school leadership, says ending suspensions for offenses like missing too many classes makes sense statistically — more students do better. He says it’s also more fair. “One of the glaring social injustices that just screams at you is the over-representation of our African American students being suspended for these discretionary level offenses,” Reyes said. view article arw

With her three teenagers vaccinated against COVID-19, Aja Purnell-Mitchell left it up to them to decide whether to go back to school during summer break.  The decision was unanimous: summer school.  "Getting them back into it, helping them socialize back with their friends, maybe meet some new people, and, of course, pick up the things that they lacked on Zoom," the Durham County, North Carolina, mother said, ticking off her hopes for the session ahead, which will be the first time her children have been in the classroom since the outbreak took hold in the spring of 2020.  Across the U.S., more children than ever before could be in classrooms for summer school this year to make up for lost learning during the outbreak, which caused monumental disruptions in education. School districts nationwide are expanding their summer programs and offering bonuses to get teachers to take part.    (08) view article arw

A rainbow flag for Pride Month is now flying at the Austin Independent School District headquarters. On Friday, the district raised the flag at its central office. In April, the district held Pride Week to celebrate students, staff and families part of the LGBTQIA community. Austin ISD said it was the most visible Pride Week in the district’s history. view article arw

School is out for the summer! Our teachers were busy this past week engaged in professional development in preparation for the 2021-22 school year, while also packing up their rooms for a much-deserved summer break. It is such a joy, as the superintendent of Cleburne ISD, to have a front row seat at commencement exercises for graduates of TEAM School and Cleburne High School. I enjoyed presenting diplomas to the 53 members of the TEAM School Class of 2021 and to hear the plans of each of the graduates as they continue on to college or go straight into the workforce. A number of these students achieved industry-level certifications through our Career and Technical Education program and will be entering the job market above entry level. view article arw

D CEO recently hosted a virtual panel to discuss Dallas ISD’s work with local business leaders: The school district has formed several programs that use partnerships with the business community to address gaps in educational attainment and workforce needs. The partnerships are aimed at building a strong local workforce while simultaneously addressing historic opportunity gaps. Moderated by D CEO publisher Gillea Allison, the panel featured Drexell Owusu, Senior Vice President for Education and Workforce at the Dallas Regional Chamber, Gabrielle Madison, Director of Community Relations for Thomson Reuters, and Dustin Marshall, CEO of freight company Hazel’s Hot Shots and trustee for the Dallas ISD School Board, representing District 2. view article arw

Texas Land Commissioner George P. Bush officially launched his campaign for attorney general late Wednesday in Austin, challenging the incumbent Ken Paxton in the Republican primary in 2022. In a dig at Paxton, Bush said before the crowd, “you’ve brought way too much scandal and too little integrity to this office. As a career politician of 20 years, it’s time for you to go.”  Paxton's spokesman Ian Prior later responded, "Ken Paxton has been and will continue to be the tip of the spear in protecting President Trump's American First principles."  view article arw

More children than ever were able to make up for lost learning in summer school this year after a US school district struggled to develop an online learning program during a pandemic. School districts across the country are expanding their summer programs and offering bonuses for teachers to participate. Under the latest federal pandemic bailout package, the Biden administration is demanding that the state spend billions of dollars on summer programs. The US Department of Education said it was too early to know how many students would apply. However, that number almost certainly exceeds the estimated 3.3 million people who attended mandatory or any summer school in 2019 before the pandemic. view article arw

Over the past several weeks, James L. Collins Catholic School has partnered with the Texas A&M AgriLife Extension Service through the Egg to Chick program. Students patiently waited for their eggs to hatch while learning about the life cycle of a chicken.  It typically takes 21 to 25 days for the eggs to hatch and the students loved checking the incubators everyday to see if there had been any progress. Each class had a different outcome on the number of eggs that hatched, but once they did there was no shortage of snuggles for the baby chicks with students. view article arw

A North Carolina high school graduate was reportedly denied his diploma for wearing a Mexican flag in violation of the school’s dress code.  Ever Lopez, who is Mexican American, draped a Mexican flag over his gown at Asheboro High School’s graduation ceremony in May, prompting the principal to ask him to take the flag off, video of the ceremony shows.  The student tried but was unable to take the flag off — and then was denied his diploma after the ceremonial walk down the stage, according to ABC.  "When I got up there I went for the handshake and I wasn’t thinking nothing of it and I heard her say, ‘You can’t wear that,'" Lopez, who is the first person in his immediate family to graduate from high school, told the outlet. "And I was in shock and confused. I was like, ‘What?’ She was like, ‘The flag. You can’t wear that.'" view article arw

Although this week marked the last of the 2021 high school softball season, a select group of student-athletes won’t be closing the book on their campaigns just yet. Last week, DFW Fastpitch announced the selections for its 2021 all-Metroplex team — the outlet’s annual assemblage of the season’s top performers from the area. All players named to the all-Metroplex team are eligible to participate in the All-Metroplex All-Star Game, scheduled for 5 p.m. June 15 at the Warren Sports Complex. There figures to be plenty of local representation on hand. view article arw

It's a moment every parent dreams of, watching their child walk across the stage and receive their high school diploma. But for James Thomas, his wife and daughter, it's a moment they knew would never be possible. view article arw

Following a June 3 announcement from the school district that virtual learning would not be offered for the 2021-22 school year, the Round Rock ISD board of trustees discussed alternative methods of funding the program at its meeting on the same day. The announcement came after Texas House Bill 1468, which would have funded the program, did not pass in the 87th Texas Legislature. In the announcement, acting Superintendent Daniel Presley said RRISD had been planning on including virtual learning as an option for the fall 2021 semester, as vaccines are still not available to students under 12 years of age. “We understand that the pandemic has presented diverse challenges for our families this school year, and we appreciate your patience and understanding as we have all navigated these unusual times together,” Presley said. “Our students and educators have demonstrated remarkable strength, perseverance and resilience, and this experience has made me more proud than ever to be part of the Round Rock ISD family.” view article arw

Katy ISD held the last of its eight graduation ceremonies on Thursday. Spring Branch ISD held the last of its five graduation ceremonies also on Thursday. Humble ISD’s five graduation ceremonies began Monday and continue through Friday. Meanwhile, Houston ISD will not hold the first of its many graduation ceremonies until June 11, with its final ceremonies coming on June 13. A new ordinance: Bellaire considers restricting short term rentals on sites like Air Bnb, Vrbo view article arw

HOUSTON, Texas (KTRK) -- If you have a kid graduating high school this year, they can get a degree for free at San Jacinto College. The school says its new "21Forward" scholarship is a gift to the class of 2021. Students' entire tuitions are being paid by a generous private donation. view article arw

ROCKLAND — The Rockland area school superintendent praised the effort of staff as the 2020-2021 year nears its end. The Regional School Unit 13 Board also recognized board members who were serving their final meeting of their terms during the Thursday evening, June 3 meeting. "Safe to say this has been a challenging year," Superintendent John McDonald said about the school year and dealing with the COVID-19 pandemic. "But in reflection what could have been our darkest hour has been our finest hour." He said the staff, students, board, and parents have worked together and kept the schools open throughout the year. "This is one for the history books," he said. view article arw

“We are official!!! Signed on page 22. Any other page?” It was 2:23 p.m. MST Friday, April 24, 2020. In a few hours, the El Paso Independent School District would notify parents that a cafeteria worker at a meal distribution site had tested positive for COVID-19. A week earlier, the governor ordered districts to continue with virtual learning for the remainder of the school year to curb the spread of the coronavirus. But at that moment, Cabrera’s attention wasn’t on the 55,000-student district he was paid more than $500,000 to oversee: it was 600 miles away in Benavides, Texas. Days earlier, he had entered into a three-year agreement with the Benavides Independent School District for Public School Partners, the nonprofit he founded — and of which he serves as board chair — to run its secondary school. view article arw

Fort Worth ISD is offering a first-of-its-kind opportunity for students this summer – and will pay teachers and others a $1,000 stipend on top of their usual daily or hourly rate of compensation. view article arw

A bill that would have allowed public schools in Texas to offer virtual learning options to families who chose them failed to make it to the governor's desk, meaning school districts statewide, including Austin ISD, are preparing to offer only in-person instruction this fall. House Bill 1468, introduced by state Rep. Keith Bell, R-Forney, passed out of the Texas House in late April and was scheduled for a vote in the Texas Senate on May 30 before the end of the session. However, according to the Texas American Federation of Teachers, the bill became "collateral damage" when House Democrats elected to break quorum to block Senate Bill 7 in a move that successfully stopped the controversial voting bill from passing. view article arw