August 12, 2013

54 BISD Schools Earn Top Rating

The Texas Education Agency (TEA) officially released the 2013 state accountability ratings today bringing good news for 54 BISD schools. This is the first year that the state is using its new, performance index-based approach to academic accountability. The 2013 ratings generally apply one of two labels to district and campus performance, “Met Standard” or “Improvement Required.” All BISD campuses, with one exception, earned the higher “Met Standard” rating by meeting three applicable index targets at the elementary and middle school levels and four targets at the high school level. Brownsville ISD earned a district designation of “Met Standard” by meeting index targets in all four areas. The four index targets are: Index 1-Student Achievement, Index 2-Student Progress, Index 3-Closing Performance Gaps, and Index 4-Postsecondary Readiness. Porter High School missed the Index 2-Student Performance target earning the campus a “Improvement Required” performance rating. “We have worked hard to make the transition to this new system. These ratings indicate that we are on the right track. We will use this performance data to continue to make improvements in our system,” stated Superintendent Dr. Carl A. Montoya. “We are dedicated to one goal, improving student academic performance and preparing students to be college and career-ready.”

Trustee Resignation

With regret, the Brownsville ISD Board of Trustees accepted the resignation of Dr. Christina L. Saavedra, Board Assistant Secretary, at the August 6 regularly scheduled meeting. Saavedra has assumed a full-time principal position at St. Margaret Mary Catholic School in San Antonio for the 2013-2014 academic year. “Dr. Saavedra has been an invaluable school board trustee. We have all benefitted from her extensive knowledge and expertise in education, especially in the area of curriculum and instruction. Her positive attitude and wise counsel will certainly be missed by everyone in our district. We know that she will be extremely successful in her new position,” said Superintendent Dr. Carl A. Montoya. In other action, the Board approved Cesar Lopez to serve the remainder of Saavedra’s term which expires in November of 2014. Lopez is currently employed as the Mercedes ISD purchasing agent. He is a former BISD employee having served as a bid control accountant in the Purchasing Department for 3 years.

Back to Back Presidents

A Veterans Memorial High School student, Crystal Sandoval, has made history by recently being elected as the national SkillsUSA President. Sandoval replaces Sergio Cavazos, another Veterans Memorial student, who was elected SkillsUSA President last year. Never before has this organization had “back to back” presidents from the same state, school district and high school. SkillsUSA is the largest student organization in the country with over 330,000 members. SkillsUSA’s mission is to help its members become world-class workers, leaders and citizens. The Veterans Memorial program advisor is Joe Valdez.

Texas Tax Free Weekend

Tax Free Weekend in Texas is scheduled one week earlier this year on August 9-11. Check out the details and fine print here.

Early College Expansion

Brownsville ISD will significantly expand early college opportunities to 9 secondary campuses this year thanks to a multi-million dollar Investing in Innovation (i3) Grant. The grant will fund an Early College Expansion Partnership (ECEP) with Educate Texas and Jobs for the Future. This partnership will prepare thousands of students at Hanna, Pace and Rivera High Schools and Garcia, Manzano, Oliveira, Perkins, Stell and Vela Middle Schools for college and career success over the next 5 years. To learn more about this bold and effective new program which begins Monday, August 26, contact Dina Chavez, ECEP (i3) Curriculum Specialist, at (956) 698-2123 or email

Great News!

All Career and Technical Education students who registered for the Pharmacy Technician National Certification Test passed and are now certified technicians. Congratulations to: Hanna High School Students: Nancy Aldape, Angelica Alston, Harold Averill, Jorge Blanco, Ricardo Camargo, Catherine Diaz, Joe Espinoza, Heather Glover, Miguel Hernandez, Amanda Ibarra, Jonathan Inskeep, Martin Ramirez, Mario Rivera, Luis Stinson, Jose Suarez, Sabrina Vasquez, Alexis Longoria, Bryan Martinez, Ozkar Michi, David Ramirez, Kristian Zamora, Jasmin Santibanez Porter High School Students: Fabi Flores, Daniel Hernandez, Maria Moreno, Priscilla Rodriguez, Martha Villalpando Pace High School Students: Jacqueline Montiel Lopez High School Students: Cynthia Cardenas, Diana Cardona, Selena Garza, Queana Ibarra, Karina Rodriguez Rivera High School Students: Ariaza Alonso, Gonzalo Barrera, Adriana Contreras, Alan Cooper, Andrea Mireles, Elizabeth Sosa Veterans Memorial High School Students: Dora Loera, Ashley Ruiz, Karen Vasquez Brownsville ISD is very proud of these students and their teachers on this outstanding achievement.

A Big Thank You

The Board of Directors of United Way of Southern Cameron and the Economic Opportunities Coalition recently thanked Brownsville ISD for supporting the Volunteer Income Tax Assistance (VITA) Project. A total of 79 student volunteers from Porter, Pace and Lopez High Schools served as certified tax preparers. The students filed 248 tax returns which provided in $ 258,050 in Earned Income Tax Credits to several BISD families, a significant economic impact for our community. This service also helped students be ready with tax information to complete their federal applications for financial aid, FAFSA, on time.

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