February 24, 2014

Online Insurance Resources

Brownsville ISD provides all full-time employees with group medical insurance with BlueCross BlueShield of Texas (BCBSTX) as the third party administrator. BCBSTX offers employees a multitude of resources including a rewards program for healthy living, online care condition management, a mobile app to locate the nearest in-network doctor, hospital or urgent care facility, and programs for tobacco cessation and weight management. BISD employees are encouraged to take advantage of these services. Login here.

District History on Display

The BISD Museum, located on the first floor of the Central Administration Building (CAB) at 708 Palm Boulevard, showcases the district’s history from its earliest days. Exhibits include the original Putegnat Elementary School bell, sports and band memorabilia and much, much more. The museum is open weekdays from 8 am to 12 noon and 1 to 5 pm. This week, the BISD Museum will award a Valentine’s Day gift basket to one lucky visitor whose name is drawn on Friday. For more information, call Hilda Williams at 698-1752.

College-Going Culture

Brownsville ISD high school seniors are applying to colleges in record numbers using the APPLY TEXAS APPLICATION. The February 7, 2014 report shows high percentages for 7 BISD high schools. Counts for the Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA) will not be reported until the end of February. The Brownsville Learning Academy, Lincoln Park School and Brownsville Academic Center are included in the counts. Current student enrollment numbers are used in the calculation. For questions, call Pilar Janis in Guidance and Counseling at 548-8251.

Alford Earns Accolades

The Texas Association for Literacy and Adult Education (TALAE) held its Annual Conference in Corpus Christi on February 6 and announced that Debbie Alford is the 2012-2013 Administrator of the Year for Adult Education Programs in Texas. There are 444 adult education providers listed in Texas, including the TWC-funded co-ops and EL Civics grantees, plus volunteer/community-based providers, church-based programs, etc. BISD’s Adult Continuing Education Program (ACE) is part of the state’s 55 Adult Education Co-ops, which includes 29 that are ISDs or ESC regions, 23 that are with community colleges, and 3 that are community based organizations. ACE provides adult basic educational services for General Educational Development (GED) and English as a Second Language (ESL).The average annual enrollment is 1,400 students. ACE was highlighted for the annual project-based learning activities, career fairs, community partnerships, and for meeting or exceeding all targets mandated by the federal government through the National Reporting System (NRS) for the last three years. This is Ms. Alford’s 4th year at ACE.

Dolphin Dash

Oliveira Middle School will host its first 1 mile/5K Run on Saturday, March 29. Everyone is invited to participate in the school’s Dolphin Dash. View the details.

Pride in Our Athletes

Congratulations to our BISD athletes who participated in the State Winter Games Bowling competition at the Texas Special Olympics held in Austin on January 30 – February 2. View the winners by campus.

Keeping Healthy

In conjunction with The Brownsville Challenge, the BISD Wellness Fitness Center will offer a Strength and Conditioning class on Saturday, February 8 from 8:30 to 9:30 am. The class is perfect for all fitness levels. Call 698-0194 for questions. View the information.

Readers’ Favorites

Four BISD educators and three campuses earned recognition in the 2014 Readers’ Choice Awards sponsored by The Brownsville Herald. Congratulations to Principal Celia de los Santos, Pullam Elementary; Teacher Carlos Garcia, Veterans Memorial High School; Teacher Jesus Morales, Hanna High School; and Coach Gilbert Garces, Garcia Middle School. Readers’ Choice campuses are Veterans Memorial High School, Stillman Middle School, and Hudson Elementary School. Winners were highlighted in the newspaper on Sunday, February 3 and will receive recognition plaques. View the list.

NASA for Girls!

The Keller Elementary Library and the National Aeronautics and Space Administration (NASA) are partners in a new program for 5th grade girls entitled, “NASA Science4Girls and Their Families.” The first meeting is scheduled for Friday, February 7 from 5-7 pm. The program is designed to offer participants an opportunity to celebrate women in science, empower girls in our community to explore the role of science in life and careers, and learn about our amazing universe. The program will feature hands on activities, the STAR Lab, and a mini-book fair. For more information, call Keller Elementary at 547-4400.

Best Play!

Over 1,500 Rio Grande Valley chess enthusiasts turned out for the 2014 Texas Chess Association Region VIII Championship which was hosted by Paredes Elementary on January 25–26 at Veterans Memorial High School. Brownsville ISD schools dominated the championship by placing 1st in each section. The Region VII Championship is featured on the United States Chess Federation (USCF) website and in a KRGV Channel 5 story.

Olympic Fever in the Lopez Cluster

All 7 elementary schools in the Lopez High School Cluster are hosting a series of school and community events which will coincide with the upcoming XXII Olympic Winter Games on February 6 – 27. Entitled “Going for the Gold,” the events are designed to increase student academic performance with activities that are cross-curricular and community supported. The elementary campuses, Aiken, Brite, El Jardin, Garza, Morningside, Palm Grove and Southmost, have created 11-member Olympic Committees that are composed of educators who have planned and developed student activities for each grade level. The H-E-B Store and Brownsville Public Library in the Southmost area are participating as well as nearby churches. Most Lopez elementary campuses will kick off their Olympic activities with an opening ceremony on Thursday, February 6. This Olympic initiative is one component of an overall effort by Lopez Cluster schools this year to provide Learning Opportunities and Various Experiences through Innovative Teaching practices known as LOVE IT! For more information about the “Going for the Gold” initiative, contact Ben Avalos at bavalos@bisd.us or call (956) 698-2120 / 459-7621.