August 30, 2011

Fun and Games for Wellness

The BISD Wellness/Fitness Center, located at the CAB, will offer volleyball and flag football during the fall semester. Two organizational meeting will be held on Tuesday, September 6 at 6:00 pm for volleyball and 6:30 pm for flag football. Team captains need to attend these meetings to receive the league requirements, rules, procedures and forms. For questions, call Roy Alaniz at 698-0194.

Free Flu Shots for Employees

Mutual Assurance Administrators, Inc. (MMA) has arranged for local pharmacies to provide free flu shots on September 13-15 for district employees. BISD employees must present a district or campus/department ID in order to receive a free flu shot. View the schedule.

Food Allergy Notification

BISD strives to provide a safe and supportive environment for all students. The state legislature recently passed HB 742 which relates to student information provided at the time of enrollment in public schools. If your child has a food allergy or severe food allergy that you believe should be disclosed to Brownsville ISD, you will need to complete a form and return it to the school in order for the district to take the necessary precautions for your child’s safety. The form will be kept on file at the campus. The district will maintain the confidentiality of the information and may disclose the information to teachers, school counselors, school nurses and other appropriate school personnel only within the limitations of the Family Educational Rights and Privacy Act (FERPA) and district policy. Contact the BISD Health Services at 548-8191 for more information.

Supplies for School

Brownsville ISD provides a list of suggested school supplies for elementary students each year. Some teachers may omit or add items to the list. For that reason, parents may wish to wait until the first class day, Monday, August 22, before purchasing specific supplies. View the list of suggested elementary school supplies in English and Spanish.

Tasty Nutrition

All students are welcome to participate in the district’s school breakfast and lunch programs, free of charge, through the Special Assistance Provision 2 Program. BISD Food and Nutrition Services staff carefully analyze menus to ensure that 1/4 of the Recommended Dietary Allowances (RDAs) are met for breakfast and 1/3 for lunch. Students can expect a menu that is balanced, healthy and offers a variety of foods for differing tastes. An assortment of salads as well as fresh fruit and whole grains are a few of the options available for health conscious students. For more information, log on to the Food and Nutrition Services website at

Know the Rules

Each BISD student will receive a 2011-2012 Student Code of Conduct/Student-Parent Handbook. This booklet, available in English and Spanish, explains the standards for student conduct and discipline and provides general information about school attendance, enrollment requirements, lunch hours, textbooks, weather emergencies, field trips, career pathways, homework, requirements for graduation, etc. Students and their parents/guardians are required to sign an acknowledgment form which verifies receipt of this publication. Receipt forms are kept on file by the campuses. Everyone is encouraged to read the handbook thoroughly in order to better understand district expectations. The 2011-2012 BISD Student Code of Conduct/Student-Parent Handbook is also available online at

View Grades Online

Parents are invited to use the district’s GradeSpeed Program to access grades online. Grades for students, elementary and secondary, are available 24 hours a day, 7 days a week by logging on to www. Simply contact a BISD campus to set up a GradeSpeed account or to obtain more information.

Hanna Teacher Named

Hanna High School ninth-grade teacher Scott Sherman of Brownsville, Texas, was honored as the Secondary Educator of the Year July 21 by the state’s largest educators group. Sherman, who has 20 years of teaching experience, was presented with the honor during the 2011 ATPE Summit Awards Banquet hosted by the Association of Texas Professional Educators at the Austin Convention Center. View the entire release.

Latest News on Transportation Services

Letters from the BISD Transportation Department will be arriving in local mailboxes this week, August 15–19, prior to the beginning of classes on Monday, August 22. The letters will provide detailed information on the school bus stops and bus assignments for eligible students and their parents for the 2011–2012 school year.

As a courtesy, the Transportation Department will also host its annual telephone hotline with extended hours on Thursday, August 18 and Friday, August 19 from 7:00 AM to 6:00 PM. The public is invited to call 698-2356 or 690-2925 to speak to a department representative for answers to their questions. Parents and students may also contact their respective campus if an address has changed or if they do not receive a letter this week regarding district transportation services.

Brownsville ISD officials have worked tirelessly for months to identify creative ways to reduce spending and control expenses. Fortunately, the district was able to adopt a budget that not only retained current employees but also maintained the regular program bus routes and bus stops that were in place last school year.

For more information, call the BISD Routes Office at 698-0272, 698-0274, 698-2357, 698-2926 or 698-2927, Monday–Friday, 8:00 AM–5:00 PM.

Free Employee Flu Shots

Mutual Assurance Administrators, Inc. (MAA) will provide free flu shots to BISD employees before, during, and after the “Back to School” rallies on Wednesday, August 17 and Thursday, August 18 at the Rivera High School gymnasium from 5:30 pm to 7:30 pm. BISD employees must present a district or campus/department ID in order to receive a free flu shot. Other flu shot opportunities will be provided in the near future.

Summer Graduation 2011

Everyone is invited to attend the 2011 Summer Graduation Ceremony honoring graduates from all BISD high schools.

Wednesday, August 31, 2011
7:00 PM
Rivera High School Gym
6955 FM 802
Graduates will wear their home-school caps and gowns and participate in a traditional graduation ceremony.

A Note to Potential Summer Grads
Contact your campus head counselor immediately. Practice will be held on Wednesday, August 31 at 10:00 AM in the Rivera High School Cafeteria. Caps and gowns will be available for purchase before the ceremony from 5:00–6:45 PM. Cost is $15.00 for an 8 x 10 graduation photo. KBSD TV will videotape the ceremony.

Head Counselors
Hanna.......Mariana Figueroa.........698-0282
Lopez........Alicia Roberts................698-2336
Pace..........Sarita Garza...................698-0294
Porter........Jean Cargile..................698-1448
Rivera.......Cindy Elizondo...............698-2176

A Slight Increase

For the 2011-2012 school year, BISD has increased the adult lunch meal price from $3.00 to $3.25 in order to comply with U.S. Department of Agriculture regulations regarding adult meal pricing. For more information

Early Notification of Resignation Plan News

At the regular Board Meeting held on Tuesday August 9, BISD Board Trustees voted to extend the Early Notification of Resignation Plan and reopen the time frame available for employee requests from August 10, 2011 to August 31, 2011 for Certified, Classified, and Special Assignment personnel. For questions, contact Maricela Zarate, Administrator for Human Resources, at 548-8031. Click here to view the details in English or Spanish.

Time for Gridiron Action!

Find out when and where your favorite BISD high school football team is playing. View or download the 2011 schedule here.

New Hours

The BISD Human Resources Department has extended office hours in order to better serve applicants and employees. The hours of operation are Monday-Friday from 7:30 am to 5:30 pm. In addition, an HR specialist will be available during the lunch hour from 12:00 Noon to 1:00 pm each weekday.

August 9, 2011

BISD Awarded Almost $15 Million

Brownsville ISD has been awarded a 21st Century Community Learning Center, Cycle 7 grant totaling almost $3 million a year for 5 years from the Texas Education Agency. This highly competitive grant will support before and after school activities for qualifying students at 9 selected campuses, 4 middle schools (Garcia, Lucio, Perkins and Stillman) and 5 elementary schools (Benavides, Castañeda, Cromack, Russell and Villa Nueva). Activities are set to begin at the end of August.

“This grant award will bring much needed funding into our district to provide some excellent quality activities, materials and staff. It will directly benefit our at-risk students and their families,” said Dr. Carl A. Montoya. “My sincere thanks to those who made it possible.” View the media release.

Governor Appoints Whittemore

Geralda Morales-Whittemore, an assistant principal at Perkins Middle School, has been appointed by Governor Rick Perry to serve on the Continuing Advisory Committee for Special Education. The committee provides policy guidance with respect to special education and related services for children with disabilities in Texas. Whittemore was one of seven members appointed to this committee by Perry. She is a former teacher, guidance counselor, and past president of the Tip of Texas Counseling Association. Her term is set to expire on February 1, 2013.

No Sales Tax

The annual Texas Sales Tax Holiday/Tax Free Weekend will be held on August 19-21 this year. Click here to view the list of school supplies, clothing, footwear and backpacks that are tax exempt during this 3-day period.

43 BISD Campuses Earn Top 2011 Ratings

The Texas Education Agency officially announced the 2011 accountability ratings for school districts and campuses across the state on Friday, July 29, 2011. BISD had a total of 8 Exemplary and 35 Recognized campuses. Click here to learn more.

Open for Business

Three BISD Departments, Maintenance; Records Management; and Warehouse, have completed their moves to the new Palo Alto Support Service Center located at 4330 E. Morrison Road. Drop by for a visit and see BISD’s newest facility. There is ample parking. The three departments will retain their same telephone numbers.