April 26, 2013

Porter High School to Host Rachel’s

LITTLETON, CO – An hour out of the regular class schedule could spawn a lifetime’s worth of change for students and educators, as well as the communities they touch over the course of their lives. Such is the potential impact of the Rachel’s Challenge student assemblies that will take place on May 2nd. Rachel Scott was the first person killed at Columbine High School on April 20, 1999. Following her death, Rachel’s dedication to kindness and compassion toward others – a legacy that spread rapidly through anecdotes and her own private writings – led her family to found Rachel’s Challenge. “Schools can be incubators for creating and disseminating great ideas, however, we are confident our new partnership with Porter High School will have a positive ripple effect beyond the campus and throughout this community as well.”

Training on New Time System

BISD and TimeClock Plus have scheduled training sessions for the new TimeClock Plus System that will be implemented district-wide. The training sessions will be for the department and campus administrators/timekeepers who will oversee the TimeClock Plus system at their respective locations. If you have any questions, please call the Payroll Department at 548-8391.

Hanna Earns Spot in National Top Ten

The Hanna High School Boys Soccer Team has been included in a national top 10 list in the Elite Soccer Report by Sheldon Shealer on April 23, 2013.

Improving Service

KBSD TV, the district’s instructional television station, will be off the air on Thursday, April 25 to perform necessary maintenance which will enhance transmission. The station will resume broadcasting early Friday morning, April 26.

Summer Schedule

Brownsville ISD offices will follow the following abbreviated summer administrative work schedule beginning on Monday, June 17, 2013 and ending on Friday, August 2, 2013. 7:30 am – 5:30 pm – Monday through Thursday 8:00 am – 12:00 noon – Friday BISD offices will be closed the week of July 1, 2013 through July 5, 2013.

Historic Highs for 2013 BISD Bands

Brownsville ISD secondary bands broke records in participation and awards earned during the 2012-2013 school year. A total of 36 bands competed with 30 receiving UIL awards and 22 earning UIL Sweepstakes awards. In all, 14 bands improved their UIL ratings over last year. BISD secondary band programs consistently earn respect across the state each year with this year being the best to date.

Authors Visit Schools

Twelve BISD elementary and middle school libraries will host three well-known children’s authors on May 6, 8, 9 and 10. The authors are Tom McDermott, a sought after first generation Irish-American story teller, singer, musician, percussionist and author of “The Ghouls Come Haunting One by One;” David Bowles, author of “Mexican Bestiary;” who resides in the Rio Grande Valley with his wife and children and writes a book review column that appears each week in The McAllen Monitor; and Claudia Villareal, an elementary teacher, who has made a splash in elementary schools and libraries across central and South Texas with her book, “The Alphabet Thief Who Stole the Vowels.” The authors’ visits are sponsored by the UTB/TSC Sabal Palms Writing Project, Brownsville ISD, and BISD Library/Media Services.

BISD Students Excel in Art

The Brownsville Fire Department has announced the winners of the 2012-2013 District Fire Prevention Poster Contest and the local Brownsville Fire Department contest. Several BISD artists placed in both competitions. The BISD Department of Fine Arts will host an awards ceremony on Friday, May 17 at 4:30 in the Central Administrative Building (CAB) auditorium to recognize the winners.

Middle School Choir Students Dominate

BISD students won 222 chairs or 75% of the total number of chairs available at the Texas Music Educators Association (TMEA) middle school auditions held in Donna, Texas on Saturday, April 20. In fact, BISD swept every first chair in the competition. Congratulations to these fine young musicians and their directors.

BISD Hall of Honor

BISD recently inducted a group of middle school coaches and athletic coordinators into a new Hall of Honor designed to recognize coaches with 15 or more years of service. The first year coach inductees with over 30 years of service are Carol Muller, Stillman Middle School; Arminda Treviño, Vela Middle School; Guadalupe Abete, Cummings Middle School; Rey Garnett, Garcia Middle School; and Rolando Garcia, Perkins Middle School. The athletic coordinators include Art Cantu, Faulk Middle School; Charlie Alaniz, Perkins Middle School; Gilbert Garces, Garcia Middle School; Robert Lopez, Oliveira Middle School; Cornelio Landin, Stell Middle School; and Ruben Martinez, Vela Middle School.

A College-Going Culture

Brownsville ISD high school seniors are applying to colleges in record numbers using the APPLY TEXAS APPLICATION. They are also completing the Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA) in large numbers. Check out the BISD counts below. The Brownsville Learning Academy, Lincoln Park School, and Brownsville Academic Center are included in the numbers. Current student enrollment numbers are used in the calculation. FAFSA counts are updated every Friday by the Department of Education and Texas Higher Education Coordinating Board.

Summer Programs

The BISD schedule of summer academic programs is already available. Find out dates, times and locations for 14 different programs that will be available to students this summer.

Live television, webcast coverage set for UIL boys and girls soccer state championships

Time Warner Cable SportsChannel will provide live television coverage of UIL boys and girls state soccer championships this week from Birkelbach Field in Georgetown, while FOXSportsSouthwest.com will offer live webcasts. Tournament semifinals and finals will be televised live on Time Warner Cable’s SportsChannel and streamed on FoxSportsSouthwest.com. Time Warner Cable SportsChannel is available to Time Warner Cable digital cable customers in Austin (Channel 888), Corpus Christi (Channel 888), Dallas (Channel 185), El Paso (Channel 24), Laredo (Channel 888), the Rio Grande Valley (Channel 888), San Antonio (Channel 888), and Waco-Temple-Killeen (Channel 888).

Summer Programs

The BISD schedule of summer academic programs is already available. Find out dates, times and locations for 14 different programs that will be available to students this summer.

Hanna Makes List

Hanna High School has earned a spot on this year’s Washington Post list of the most challenging high schools in America.

BECHS Students Tapped for Scholarships

The Greater Texas Foundation (GTF) has selected 22 Brownsville Early College High School seniors to participate in its Scholars Program at the University of Texas at Brownsville in the upcoming Fall semester. Only 30 GTF scholarships were available in the entire Rio Grande Valley. The GTF Scholars Program selection committee was so impressed with the BECHS model which prepares students for the rigors of higher education that the majority of the scholarships were awarded to BECHS students. GTF scholars receive supplemental funding for expenses that are not covered by any other financial aid up to $4,000 per year for two years. Additionally, recipients receive individualized academic support and personalized professional guidance.

Garden Park Destined for Globals

The Garden Park Elementary “Ram-a-tors” Destination Imagination (DI) team placed third at the state tournament held on April 12-13 in Katy, Texas. This earned the team an opportunity to advance to the DI Global Finals which will be held at the University of Tennessee in Knoxville on May 22-25. The Ram-a-tors will compete with 2,000 talented students of all ages representing the United States and 14 countries. This is the second time that a Garden Park team has competed globally in Destination Imagination in recent history. A total of 11 BISD teams participated at the state tournament. These BISD students and their coaches are to be commended for advancing to state and global Destination Imagination competition.

Four BECHS Seniors Named Dell Scholars

Four Brownsville Early College High School seniors, Franco Estrada, Andrea Martinez, Samantha Olvera, and Roy Resendez, have earned coveted Dell Scholarships in the amount of $20,000 each. The Dell Scholars Program, an initiative of the Michael and Susan Dell Foundation, recognizes students who have overcome significant obstacles to pursue their educations. In turn, these scholars serve as positive role models and change the trajectories for their siblings, friends and communities. In addition to $20,000, the Dell Program provides its scholars with technology, a private scholar networking community, resources, and mentoring to ensure they have the resources they need to achieve their college degrees.

Hanna Bound for State

The Hanna High School Soccer Team is headed to the State Semi-Finals to challenge the Alief Elsik Rams on Friday, April 19 at Birkelbach Field in Georgetown, Texas. Tickets are $10 for adults, $5 for students at the gate. An all-tournament pass is $25. Hanna will host a pep rally on Wednesday, April 17 at 6 pm in the gym to recognize these outstanding athletes and their coach. Best of luck to the Eagles at State Competition!

Chess Success

Brownsville ISD teams competed at the SuperNationals Chess Championships held at the Gaylord Hotel in Nashville, Tennessee on April 4-7. The competition was fierce. BISD teams competed with teams from across the United States. Sharp Elementary School’s chess team ultimately earned 6th place in the K-1 Division. Teams from Hudson Elementary, Vela Middle School, Veterans Memorial High School, and Hanna High School also earned top places in their divisions.

Kudos to Porter High School

Porter High School was featured in the April 10, 2013 issue of the TTIPS newsletter which circulates statewide.

Artwork wins Brownsville fifth-grader Caribbean cruise

AUSTIN — Nia-Isabella Garza, a fifth grader from Ortiz Elementary in Brownsville, is the grand prize winner for the Texas General Land Office’s Adopt-A-Beach Treasures of the Texas Coast Children’s Art Contest. Garza’s watercolor shows a child with a recycling bag picking up litter on a Texas beach. Texas Land Commissioner Jerry Patterson selected Garza’s art from the more than 3,300 entries from across the state. “This peaceful beach scene beautifully carries the Adopt-A-Beach message that Trashing Texas Beaches isn’t cool,” Patterson said. “Twice a year, youth just like the one in this watercolor learn a real-world lesson about the impact of litter on our beaches through the Adopt-A-Beach cleanups.” Garza’s image, along with 39 runners up, will appear on the cover of the 2014 Adopt-A-Beach calendar The annual competition encourages schoolchildren to learn more about the Texas coast and express what they’ve learned through their art. Open to students in grades K-6 across Texas, the contest motivates thousands of young artists each year. Garza’s winning watercolor earns two round-trip, coach-class tickets from United Airlines to any United destination anywhere in North America, one 7-night Caribbean cruise from Royal Caribbean International departing out of Galveston, Miami, or Ft. Lauderdale and a class party at Schlitterbahn Waterpark in New Braunfels. The grand prize winner's teacher, Irma DeLeon, also receives two round-trip coach-class tickets from United Airlines and one 7-night Caribbean cruise courtesy of Royal Caribbean International.

BISD Artists Earn Gold

Brownsville ISD was represented by 20 students from Hanna, Lopez, Pace and Porter High Schools at the State Visual Arts Scholastic Event (VASE) exhibit held in Bryan, Texas on Saturday, April 6. The 2013 VASE event showcases 150 superior gold seal artworks that have advanced from regional competition across the state. Students also compete for VASE scholarships by attending hands-on workshops hosted by professional artists. Jueun Hwang, a Hanna HS student, was the recipient of a $600 VASE scholarship. Congratulations to our BISD art teachers and student artists on their outstanding success.

Saavedra Nominated for Second CUBE Term

Dr. Christina L. Saavedra, BISD Board Assistant Secretary, has been nominated to serve a second term as a member of the Steering Committee of the Council of Urban Boards of Education (CUBE). Established in 1967, CUBE is the only national membership organization governed solely by urban school board members dedicated to the needs and interests of urban school boards. CUBE represents more than 100 urban school districts in 35 States, Ontario and the U.S. Virgin Islands. Member districts educate more than 7.5 million students in 12,000 schools with a collective budget of approximately $99 billion.

CAB Entrance Under Construction

The Jefferson Street entrance to the Central Administrative Building (CAB) and Sams Stadium has been blocked for road construction for the next two months. The only way in and out of this BISD complex is through Elizabeth Street. Everyone is advised to exercise caution and patience until the road work is completed. BISD security officers will ensure that the Elizabeth Street entrance and exit lanes remain unblocked.

Ortiz Earns Park Grant

Ortiz Elementary is the recipient of a competitive National Park Trust Kids to Parks (KTP) grant. One of two recipients in Texas. The grant includes funding for one park experience for students including school bus transportation, healthy snacks, park related fees or supplies; an official award certificate and KTP stickers; a pint-sized classroom Buddy Bison Wooly mascot; and a news story in the National Park Service e-newsletter and website. A total of 35 schools from across the United States received grants this school year. Special thanks to Karen Weaver with the National Park Service at the Palo Alto Battlefield for her assistance in helping Ortiz secure this award.

Board Approves Early Notification Plan

At the regularly scheduled board meeting held on April 2, 2013, the BISD Board of Trustees voted to open an Early Notification of Resignation Plan for employee requests from April 3, 2013 to May 2, 2013 for Special Assignment, Certified, and Classified personnel. The district will again offer early notification incentive pay in the amount of: Special Assignment/District-Wide Administration $1,500 Professional Hiring Schedule $2,000 Classified Employees $1,000 Any employee opting for the early notification payment must hand deliver a signed Letter of Resignation and a signed Waiver, and Release Agreement to the Brownsville ISD Assistant Superintendent for Human Resources, office beginning April 3, 2013 at 8:00 a.m. and no later than May 2, 2013 at 5:00 p.m. Please keep in mind that any employee opting for this payment will not be eligible for full time employment with BISD for the 2013-2014 and 2014-2015 school years. Please also note that the incentive payment will be paid on July 25, 2013. For questions, contact: Maricela Zarate Puente, Administrator for Certified Personnel, at 548-8031 Carmelita Rodriguez, Administrator for Classified Personnel, at 548-8051 Click here to download the resolution in English/Spanish and the letter of resignation/retirement.

Dr. Montoya Among Five Appointed by Governor Perry

Gov. Rick Perry has appointed five members to the Texas School Safety Center Board for terms to expire Feb. 1, 2015. The board promotes safety throughout the state and advises the Texas School Safety Center in San Marcos, which provides school safety information and resources for the prevention of youth violence. Carl A. Montoya of Brownsville is superintendent of Brownsville ISD, and a licensed Texas peace officer on reserve with the Brownsville Constable's Office. He is a member of Texas Association of School Administrators, Association for Supervision and Curriculum, and Crime Stoppers of Brownsville. Montoya received a bachelor's degree and master's degree in education administration from the University of New Mexico, and a doctorate of education administration from New Mexico State University. He is being reappointed.

BISD Supports a College - Going Culture

Brownsville ISD high school seniors are applying to colleges in record numbers using the APPLY TEXAS APPLICATION. As of March 26, BISD high schools reported the following number of student applications as reflected in the Texas Higher Education Coordinating Board APPLY TEXAS SUITE. Lopez . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 431 students applied – 100% Hanna . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .519 students applied – 81% Pace . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 364 students applied – 100% Porter . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 356 students applied – 86% Rivera . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 327 students applied – 73% Veterans . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .287 students applied – 88% Brownsville Early College . . . . . . . . . . . 54 students applied – 92% Brownsville Learning Academy, Lincoln Park and Brownsville Academic Center are included in the counts. Current student enrollment numbers are used in the calculation. 2011-2012 Archived Headlines

A Message to Parents

BISD students will be STAAR/EOC testing on April 1-5, 2013. The new STAAR/EOC tests are timed. Student attendance on these days is critical. Please stress the importance of rest, proper diet, and a positive attitude so that our students do their very best. It is also important that students arrive to school on time. Please note that no cell phones or electronic devices are allowed on BISD campuses during testing. As per the Texas Education Code, “Any irregularities in test security or confidential integrity may result in the invalidation of student results.” Thank you for your support of our students, schools and district.

Attention BISD Employees

Summer School 2013 applications will be available online beginning Tuesday, March 26 at 8 am through Tuesday, April 9 at 5 pm.

Spotlight on Trio of OAP Schools

Three BISD high schools qualified to advance to district competition at the One Act Play (OAP) Zone competition held at Hanna High School on March 20-21. Congratulations to the theatre troupes from Hanna, Lopez, and Veterans Memorial High Schools. Both Pace and Porter High Schools were also named as alternates in the competition. Samantha Caso from Lopez and Bianca Gallardo from Hanna were named Best Actresses. Otoniel Rivas from Veterans Memorial earned Best Actor recognition. The OAP 32-5A Competition will be held on Wednesday, March 27. District 32-5A Competition will take place on March 27th at Hanna HS starting at 1:00pm. Campuses will compete as follows: 1:00pm - Hanna HS performing "All My Sons" 2:00pm - Lopez HS performing "Boys Next Door" 3:00pm - Veterans HS performing "Gint" 4:00pm - Harlingen South performing "Flowers for Algernon"