March 31, 2011

Emerson Earns H-E-B Recognition

Dolores C. Emerson, the principal at Morningside Elementary, was selected as a finalist for an H-E-B Excellence in Education Award. She was surprised at a student assembly held in the school’s cafeteria on March 31 by an entourage of H-E-B employees bearing balloons, flowers, a cake, and a giant check for $1,000 for her and a second $2,500 check for her school. Emerson will represent the Rio Grande Valley region at the statewide H-E-B awards ceremony to be held in May in Austin. Brownsville ISD is also one of five finalists for the 2011 H-E-B large district award which includes a $100,000 prize. Ortiz Elementary School has already been named one of ten state winners of an H-E-B Excellence in Education Fit Campus Award which includes $10,000.

Doors Are Open to BISD Family Centers

BISD has three Family Centers staffed with professional counselors to help families learn the skills necessary to live healthy, positive lives. Click here to view the schedule in English and Spanish.

Superintendent’s Message on the Current Budget Challenge

Brownsville ISD, like all Texas school districts, is grappling with the budget shortfall announced by the Comptroller at the start of the legislative session. Superintendent Brett Springston has released the following message to BISD employees and community stakeholders regarding the district’s efforts to reduce spending and control expenses. Click here to read Mr. Springston's letter in English and Spanish.

Retiree Portraits

Brownsville ISD 2010-2011 retirees are eligible for a free 8x10 photo. No appointment is necessary. Click here to view the details.

Summer Hours (Revised)

All BISD offices and departments will observe the following schedule during the months of June and July. Effective June 13–July 29, 2011, the hours of operation are:

Monday–Thursday...... 7:30 AM–6:00 PM, (30 minute lunch)
Friday.......................................... Closed

NOTE: Monday, July 4, 2011 is a holiday. Work hours for the week of July 5-8, Tuesday-Friday, will be 8:00-5:00 PM. BISD offices will not be closed for vacation this summer.

Choirs Hit All the Right Notes

A total of 38 high school choirs from Region 28 participated in the UIL Concert and Sightreading competition held at the UTB Arts Center on March 24 & 25, 2011. BISD choirs earned 10 of the 16 sweepstakes trophies that were awarded. That is 4 more than last year. A sweepstakes trophy is awarded to a choir that receives a superior rating of 1 on stage in concert and a 1 in sightreading. It is the highest award that a choir can achieve. Click here to view BISD’s phenomenal choir results.

March 28, 2011

BISD Casts Take Center Stage

BISD dominated the recent 5A Zone A One Act Play competition held at Pace High School. Three of the four schools tapped to advance to district competition are BISD schools, Lopez, Porter and Rivera. BISD students also earned 5 of the 6 best actor/actress awards and 13 of a possible 24 all-star cast positions. At the 4A Zone A One Act Play competition, Veterans Memorial rose to the top. District competition will be held on Wednesday, March 30 at two locations. The District 5A contest is scheduled once again at Pace High School. The BISD Veterans Memorial 4A cast will compete at Veterans Memorial High School in Mission, Texas.

March 22, 2011

Scholarship Help

BISD has a program to help seniors and graduating juniors with their college scholarship applications. Counselors are available at various district locations to assist students in filling out applications revising essays and making good decisions about the future. Click here to view the schedule in English and Spanish.

March 11, 2011

Diabetes management for BISD Employees

Brownsville ISD and Personalized Prevention, the district’s Wellness provider, have partnered to offer new benefit for employees and dependents covered by the medical plan who are struggling with diabetes. The new program will provide you with FREE testing supplies, and give you new tools to better manage you diabetes. The program provides you with a personal monitoring system that will help you track your blood sugars, and more importantly, help you feel better and lead a healthier life. Click here to learn more.

Summer School Employment

The BISD Human Resources Department has released dates and deadlines for summer school employment. Click here to view the flyer.

A Note to Kinder and First Grade Parents

Pre-registration for all students new to BISD who will be entering kindergarten or first grade in August 2011 will be held from 8:30 AM-3:30 PM, March 21-31, 2011, at all BISD elementary schools. Note: the BISD 2011-12 pre-kindergarten registration will be available at a later date. Notices will be posted in local newspapers and on the district’s website and KBSD TV. Click here to learn more about the kindergarten and first grade pre-registration. -English -Spanish.

March 10, 2011

Employee Newsletter

The BISD Human Resources Department has created another informative e-newsletter full of relevant information for district employees. Click here to learn more about important district deadlines and other pertinent information.

March 8, 2011

School Finance: Plain and Simple Video

In an effort to keep local stakeholders informed about the ongoing 2011-12 budget process, BISD will post frequent updates and helpful information on the district’s homepage. This four-minute video explains basic Texas school finance and why public schools are in a funding crisis. It was produced by Arlington ISD but has made its way to websites across the state. Special thanks to KBSD TV for adapting it for Brownsville ISD. Click here to view the video.

March 7, 2011

BISD Choirs Hit High Note

BISD choirs dominated the Region 28 Middle School UIL Concert and Sightreading Contest held at Veterans Memorial High School on March 3 and 4. Congratulations to all the BISD directors and students on their spectacular achievement. Click here to view the results.

March 4, 2011

Readers’ Choice Awards

Three BISD schools and three employees earned the most votes in the 2010 Readers’ Choice survey conducted by The Brownsville Herald. Congratulations to Russell Elementary School, Stell Middle School, and Hanna High School for scoring in the Favorite Businesses category. In the Favorite Professionals category, Teddy Cumberworth, a Rivera High School English teacher; Sandra Gracia, the nurse at Russell Elementary School; and Jimmy Haynes, the Southmost Elementary principal, were local readers’ favorites.

Ortiz Elementary Named an H-E-B Fit Campus

Ortiz Elementary School has been selected to receive a 2011 H-E-B Excellence in Education Fit Campus Award. Ortiz is one of ten state winners and will receive $10,000 to implement a new health and fitness program or enhance their current program. Ortiz campus representatives will have the opportunity to attend several celebratory events in Austin on May 13-15. Activities include a fitness session with Jillian Michaels from TV’s “The Biggest Loser” and an awards dinner featuring Colin Powell as the keynote speaker. The H-E-B Excellence in Education Fit Campus Award was designed to honor schools that are increasing the health and nutrition of children by developing, implementing and improving physical activity, fitness and health through educational and/or hands-on nutritional and fitness programs.

March 3, 2011

Tracking the Education Dollar

Do you have questions about what composes public education in Texas? Take a moment to read this publication which breaks down the educational dollar from the Texas public school student's perspective. View the article.

Summer Hours

BISD Administrative Offices will observe the following schedule during the months of June and July. Effective June 13–July 29, 2011, the hours of operation are:

Monday–Thursday...... 7:30 AM–6:00 PM, (30 minute lunch)
Friday.......................................... Closed

NOTE: Monday, July 4, 2011 is a holiday. Work hours for the week of July 5-8, Tuesday-Friday, will be 8:00-5:00 PM. BISD offices will not be closed for vacation this summer.

March 2, 2011

Budget Meeting on Thursday

The BISD Board Budget Committee will meet on Thursday, March 3, 2011 at 5:30 PM
in the Boardroom to discuss a fourth budget proposal that takes several new funding
recommendations into account. Board trustees made the recommendations at the Budget Committee Meeting held on February 17 after reviewing three draft budgets prepared by administration. The drafts were based on funding reduction estimates made by the Texas School Alliance.

The BISD Board of Trustees and administration remain firmly committed to retaining all
district employees while continuing to offer the same high quality educational programs
that the district is known for.

The state of Texas is facing its most serious budget challenge in decades. Since spending on public education makes up about 44% of the state budget, much of the responsibility for balancing the budget falls squarely on local school districts. Brownsville ISD officials have been warned that the district’s share of funding reductions could fall between $15-$50 million. However, the final amount will not be officially known until the Texas legislature formalizes and approves the State budget which is several months from now.

District employees are working diligently to identify creative ways to reduce spending and control expenses. BISD will continue to communicate our budget progress to stakeholders during this trying and uncertain time.

Inclement Weather Make-Up Days

At the Regular Board Meeting held on March 1, 2011, BISD trustees approved holding classes on Friday, May 27 and Monday, May 30 to make up for the two instructional days cancelled on February 3 and 4 due to severe inclement weather. Click here to view and download the revised 2010-2011 BISD academic calendar.

Campuses Host Spring Open Houses

Brownsville ISD will join districts across the state in celebrating Texas Public Schools Week in March. BISD’s celebration will be held the week of March 7-11, 2011. Students and educators are opening the doors to classrooms so that parents and community members can get an inside look at educational programs offered by Brownsville public schools. To see how our community’s students are being inspired to become future leaders, make plans to attend a campus open house event scheduled from 5:30-7:30 PM on three evenings. Elementary open houses will be held on Monday, March 7. Middle schools will be open on Tuesday, March 8, and high schools will open their doors on Thursday, March 10.

Lucky Number Seven for DI Teams

A total of 7 BISD Destination Imagination (DI) Teams, the largest number in district history, won first place in their respective divisions at the DI Regional Tournament hosted by BISD at Veterans Memorial High School on February 19. Teams from across the Rio Grande Valley, 155 in all, participated in the event. Brownsville ISD had 50 teams in competition. The 7 BISD first place winners will advance to state competition in Lubbock, Texas on April 1 and 2. Additionally, one team from Russell Elementary School will also advance to state due to the large number of teams that competed in that division.