October 20, 2011

BISD Earns Highest Fiscal Rating

Brownsville ISD officials have announced that the school district has received a rating of “Superior Achievement” under the Texas Schools FIRST financial accountability rating system. The Superior Achievement rating is the state’s highest, demonstrating the quality of Brownsville ISD’s financial management and reporting system. View media release.

Project Share Tutorials

The BISD Instructional Technology Department offers Project Share classes on Mondays from 3:45 to 5:15 pm every week. Project Share utilizes a collection of Web 2.0 tools and applications to provide professional development resources for teachers across the state and build professional learning communities where educators can collaborate and participate in online learning opportunities. Click here for an online Project Share tutorial or register online in the ERO system for Monday training sessions. For more information, call David Mitchell, Technology Lead Teacher, at 548-8241 or email david@bisd.us.

Celebrating Afterschool Programs

Hundreds of Brownsville’s students, parents and business and community leaders are invited to attend the first “Lights On Afterschool” Rally to be held in the Garcia Middle School gym and cafeteria on Thursday, October 20 from 4:30-6:30 PM. The event is designed to celebrate the achievements of afterschool students and draw attention to the need for more afterschool programs such as the Texas 21st Century Program. Similar events will be held nationwide on the same day to emphasize the importance of keeping the lights on and the doors open for afterschool programs. BISD’s “Lights On Afterschool” Rally will showcase activities from participating schools across the district. For more information, contact the BISD Grants/Texas 21st Century Program Department, Dwayne Salinas, 698-0248.

BISD Bands Deliver Pigskin Results

Brownsville ISD high school bands gave outstanding performances at the annual UIL Pigskin Jubilee Marching Contest held on Saturday, October 15 in San Benito. Five BISD bands, Hanna, Lopez, Pace, Rivera, and Veterans Memorial, earned perfect straight superior ratings on their performances. In an historic first, the Veterans Memorial Charger Marching Band will advance to UIL Area 4A competition on Saturday, October 29 in Calallen, Texas. The top 4A bands at Area will advance to the UIL State 4A Marching Contest to be held on Tuesday, November 8 at the Alamodome in San Antonio. Congratulations to the band students, directors, parents, school and district administrators, and Board Trustees for their support of the district’s fine arts programs.

Public Meeting on Financial Rating

Brownsville ISD will hold a public meeting at 5:30 pm on Tuesday, October 18 in the Boardroom to discuss the district’s rating on the state financial accountability system.

District Statement

The district has issued a statement to clarify recent Board action on a lawsuit settlement. View the statement.

College Essay Assistance

BISD juniors and seniors are invited to attend one of two workshops on “Writing the Perfect College Essay,” on Saturday October 22 at Pace High School or Saturday, October 29 at Porter High School from 9-11 am. Seating is limited so register early by emailing Pilar Janis, Higher Ed Counselor, at pilarjanis@bisd.us. Send your name, your school, your phone number, and desired date. For questions call 548-8251. View the flyer.

Celebrating a Victory

In commemoration of Breast Cancer Awareness Month, BISD will recognize breast cancer survivors during the halftime program at the Rivera vs. Pace football game scheduled for Saturday, October 15 at 7:00 PM at Sams Stadium. Halftime will occur at approximately 8:00 PM. Breast cancer survivors are invited to attend the football game free of charge as guests of honor. Anyone who accompanies them must pay the regular $7.00 ticket price. Survivors may also submit a photo to be displayed on the Sams Stadium digital scoreboard during the game. Survivors who plan to participate should email Pat Perez at pperez@bisd.us immediately so that arrangements can be made. Join us in celebrating breast cancer survival and the importance of prevention, detection and treatment.

3 Students Earn State Poster Awards

The Brownsville Fire Department Fire Prevention Division has announced that three BISD students earned trophies in the 2010-2011 (last school year) Firemen’s & Fire Marshal’s Association of Texas State Poster Contest.

Congratulations to:
1st Place – Ricky Garcia, Paredes Elementary
2nd Place – Kareen Luevano, Lucio Middle School
3rd Place – Luis Gracia, Lucio Middle School

College Talk

Aggie and Longhorn representatives will be available to talk to interested BISD high school students and their parents on Monday, October 24 at 6:30 pm at the Historic Brownsville Museum located at 641 E. Madison Street. The representatives will talk about admissions, scholarships, housing and financial aid. For more information, call Pilar Janis, Higher Ed Counselor, at 548-8251.

Latest News

Latest News on Employee Health Insurance

In an effort to meet our employees' needs, Blue Cross Blue Shield has designated a telephone number just for BISD employees and their providers. The number to call is 1-877-219-4303. If an employee has a doctor’s appointment prior to the insurance of a new ID card, call the BISD Employee Benefits Department at 548-8061 to obtain a user ID number. Click here to learn more.

BISD High School Choirs Hit All the Right Notes

BISD high school choirs dominated the Texas Music Educators Association (TMEA) District Choir Auditions. A total of 83 BISD students will advance to the next round of competition with 9 alternates. BISD students will make up 52% of the entire TMEA Regional Choir which includes all high schools from Brownsville to Donna. The next audition will be held on Saturday, November 5 at Harlingen South High School.

Choir results by campuses:
Hanna High School ……………………….35 students + 3 alternates
Lopez High School ………………………..7 students
Pace High School …………………………5 students
Porter High School ………………………..8 students
Rivera High School………………………..16 students + 3
Veterans Memorial High School…………12 students + 3

Sick Leave Bank Enrollment

BISD maintains a voluntary sick leave bank to assist employees in the event of a catastrophic illness or disability that affects an employee or immediate family member. BISD employees who are currently enrolled in the sick leave bank will be automatically enrolled for next year, if eligible. Employees who wish to enroll or discontinue membership must submit a form to the Human Resources Department, 1900 Price Road, Suite #106. The enrollment period is October 1 – October 31, 2011. No late applications will be accepted. Download forms here.

Criteria for Inter-District Transfers Expanded

The Brownsville ISD Board of Trustees has expanded Policy FDA (Local) to begin accepting inter-district transfer applications without tuition costs for the children of parents who own businesses within district boundaries and that pay school taxes. Please note that an employee federal identification number will be required on the district application. Also included are the children of employees of businesses within district boundaries that pay school taxes.*

Please note that in approving inter-district transfers, the Superintendent or designee shall consider availability of space, instructional staff, the student’s disciplinary history, and attendance records. Violation of the district’s rules and regulations may result in revocation of the transfer agreement. An approved transfer may be revoked at the end of the six weeks if the campus or grade level have become overcrowded or if the parents or students fail to abide by the school standards for academic progress, attendance, discipline, and/or cooperation with school staff. An application for transfer must be completed and submitted to Pat Perez, BISD Board Secretary, 1900 Price Road, Suite #307E. Download a transfer application here for BISD employees or non-employees. *Additional requirements may apply.

Ortiz Receives Grant to Get Kids Moving

Ortiz Elementary School is one of 50 recipients from across the United States to receive a grant from the ING Run for Something Better School Award. Solomon P. Ortiz Elementary School will receive up to $2,500 in funding to support a minimum of an eight-week running program that will conclude with a culminating running event in celebration of the students’ achievements.

Solomon P. Ortiz Elementary School will receive $1,000 immediately, with additional funds granted based on the participation in the program. View the media release.

3 Students Earn State Poster Awards

The Brownsville Fire Department Fire Prevention Division has announced that three BISD students earned trophies in the 2010-2011 (last school year) Firemen’s & Fire Marshal’s Association of Texas State Poster Contest.

Congratulations to:
1st Place – Ricky Garcia, Paredes Elementary
2rd Place – Kareen Luevano, Lucio Middle School
3rd Place – Luis Gracia, Lucio Middle School

Stellar Band Performances

BISD band students excelled at the Texas Music Educators Association (TMEA) Region 28 Jazz auditions held on September 17. Six students earned chairs in the 2011-2012 All-Region Jazz Ensemble. Two students, Mario Alvarado (Lopez HS) and Jose Carlos Izquierdo (Pace HS), earned 1st chairs in their sections. The Region 28 Jazz Bands will perform on Saturday, January 28, 2012 at the Donna High School auditorium. Congratulations to the following district band students on their outstanding accomplishments.

Lopez High School
Mario Alvarado – 1st Chair Drums, will advance to area competition
Armando Garza – 2nd Chair Bass Guitar
Victor Mendez – 3rd Chair Bass Trombone

Pace High School
Jose Carlos Izquierdo – 1st Chair Trumpet, will advance to area competition Diana Vasquez – 6th Chair Trumpet

Porter High School
Benjamin Rovelo – 2nd Chair Tenor Saxophone, will advance to area competition

Two BISD Schools Host JROTC Meet

Porter High School, in conjunction with Lopez High School, will host a Rio Grande Valley JROTC Competition on Saturday, October 1 at both campuses beginning at 8:00 AM. Almost 20 RGV high schools and 300 students and staff are expected to participate. Porter High School will host six categories of evaluation including colorguards and unarmed and armed drill teams from 8:00 AM-5:00 PM. Lopez High School will host the physical endurance training and shooting competition from 8:00-10:30 PM. Scores will be tabulated and awards will be presented to 1st-3rd place winners in every category of competition. For more information, contact Colonel Aaron Heard, Porter High School Senior Army Instructor, at (956) 698-0980.

Two BISD Schools Make Honor Roll

Two BISD elementary schools, Paredes and Ortiz, have been named to the 2011 Texas Business & Education Coalition (TBEC) Honor Roll. This is the most prestigious and demanding academic award that a Texas public school can receive. This year, 253 schools made the list representing less than 4% of all public schools in Texas. The Honor Roll recognizes schools that have demonstrated three years of consistent, high performance in all subjects serving similar student populations. TBEC Honor Roll schools have the highest percentage of students performing at the state’s most rigorous standard-commended-in every subject. This year’s standards are the most demanding in the organization’s history. TBEC will recognize all Honor Roll schools on Friday, December 2 at an awards reception and dinner in Dallas. A series of seminars will also enable educators to learn about some exciting new programs.

Textbook Assistance

To better assist students and parents, the district has placed one complete set of secondary core subject textbooks, grades 6-12, at the Brownsville Public Library located at 2600 Central Boulevard and the Southmost Branch Library located at 4320 Southmost Road. The core subject textbooks reside in the reference section of both libraries and may be used during regular library hours.