October 30, 2015

BISD Artists Place in Contest

A total of 17 talented BISD student artists earned places in the annual Rio Grande Valley Birding Festival Art Contest. Special congratulations to Alexandra Poggio from Pace ECHS who won “Best of Show.” The awards ceremony will be held on Sunday, November 8 at 1:30 at the Harlingen Municipal Auditorium at Fair Park. View the list of BISD winners.

BISD Musicians Dominate Region Audition

On Tuesday, October 20, the Texas Music Educators Association (TMEA) Region 28 Orchestra auditions were held at Harlingen High School. BISD early college high school band students competed against 184 of the top players in the region to earn 15 of the 27 available chairs, including 7 of the 11 first chairs. Twelve BISD students will advance to the area audition where they will compete for a chair in the TMEA All-State organizations. The All-Region Orchestra will perform on Saturday, November 21 at the Harlingen CISD Performing Arts Center. View the results by campuses.

Weather Message

Due to inclement weather, school buses may be running a little late today. In some cases, if the routes are flooded, the school buses may return students to their schools. Parents may pick their children up at their campuses at any time if they prefer. BISD is taking every precaution to ensure student and employee safety. This notification is being sent our through SchoolMessenger to all BISD parents.

October 27, 2015

A&M Business School Reps Meet with BISD Students

Representatives of the Texas A&M University Mays Business School will visit with juniors and seniors at seven BISD early college high schools on November 3-5. Campus visits will be held at the following locations, dates, and times:  Hanna ECHS, Tuesday, November 3, 10:15 - 11:15 a.m.  Porter ECHS, Tuesday, November 3, 2:30 - 3:30 p.m.  Pace ECHS, Wednesday, November 4, 10:30 - 11:30 a.m.  Rivera ECHS, Wednesday, November 4, 2:45 - 3:45 p.m.  Lopez ECHS, Thursday, November 5, 10:30 - 11:30 a.m.  Veterans Memorial ECHS, Thursday, November 5, 1:30 - 2:30 p.m.  Brownsville ECHS, Thursday, November 5, 3:00 p.m.

October 26, 2015

BISD Open Enrollment Has Successful Start

Almost 900 students and their parents took advantage of the new BISD Open Enrollment Program which was initiated prior to the start of the 2015-2016 school year. Open enrollment allowed parents to enroll their children, grades pre-kindergarten through 5th, at any of the district’s 37 elementary schools. Parents simply completed a form which included the signature of the sending and receiving principals in order to participate in open enrollment. Parents are responsible for providing their own transportation for students who attend an elementary school other than their zoned schools. BISD Open Enrollment will continue throughout the school year.

October 22, 2015

Rescheduled Due to Weather

Due to the weather forecast for the next 2 days, the following BISD events have been rescheduled to another date, had time changes or been cancelled: ACT Testing at Hanna ECHS scheduled for Saturday, October 24 - Cancelled Utilizing Technology to Accelerate Language for English Language Learners Training @ CAB Cafeteria - Cancelled TI-Nspire Calculator Training – Rescheduled to Saturday, November 14, 2015 Pace ECHS Theatre/Dance Show – Rescheduled to Thursday, October 29 at 7 pm Business Professionals of America Leadership Conference at Pace ECHS – Rescheduled to Saturday, November 7, 2015 Middle School Solo & Ensemble Contest at Stillman Middle School – Rescheduled to Saturday, December 5, 2015 BISD 8th Grade Middle School football games scheduled on Saturday, October 24 - Cancelled 5A Area G Marching Band Contest – Rescheduled to Wednesday, October 28, 2015 The Pace vs. Donna North Football Game on Saturday, October 24 start time has been moved up to 3 pm. Longoria Elementary Breast Cancer Survivor/Memory Walk- Cancelled Migrant Students Paths to Scholarships @ UTRGV – Rescheduled to October 31, 2015 The Lopez vs. San Benito Football Game on Friday, October 23 start time has been moved up to 6:30 pm. BISD Early Childhood Symposium – Rescheduled to Saturday, March 5, 2016 BISD Brainsville Inventions Competition – Rescheduled to Saturday, January 9, 2016 Additional events may be added, so check back

BISD Families Embrace Extended Day Program

Over 2,000 BISD students are participating in Brownsville ISD's new Extended Day Enrichment Programs offered at 9 elementary schools located in strategic areas of the community. The campuses are Breeden, Canales, Egly, Garden Park, Hudson, Martin, Paredes, Skinner, and Yturria. The program begins at 7:30 am and ends at 5:30 pm weekdays. Academic intervention, tutoring, homework assistance, recreation, art, music, chess, and academic activities are just some of the sessions that are available depending on the individual campuses. A hot, nutritious supper is also provided. Parents are responsible for their children's transportation.

October 21, 2015

Veterans Memorial Student Named Student of the Week

Devika Raju, a Veterans Memorial ECHS senior who was recently named a 2015 National Merit Semifinalist, was selected as the Channel 5 Student of the Week. View the story here.

BISD Choir Students Dominate

A total of 40 BISD early college high school students earned membership in the Texas Music Educators Association (TMEA) Treble District Choir at auditions held on Saturday, October 17 in Donna, Texas. BISD students will fill two thirds of the 60 available Treble Choir positions. The Treble District Choir and District Mixed Choir will perform at the TMEA District/Region Concert on Saturday, November 14 at 6 pm at the Harlingen Performing Arts Center.

October 20, 2015

BISD Future Engineers Learn from Boeing Experts

The BISD Career & Technical Education Department and Texas Valley Communities Foundation (TVCOF) will host 5 engineers from the Boeing Company on Friday, October 23 from 9 am to 12 noon and 1 to 3:30 pm at the Texas Southmost College ITEC Campus. The engineers will speak to BISD 9th grade students who are enrolled in the SPACE and STAMP College Prep Engineering Programs at all district early college high schools. The Boeing presenters are: Tony Castilleja, Systems Engineer, Business Development-Space Exploration; Eduardo Lopez, Propulsion Systems Technical Lead Engineer, Space Launch System; Mina Martinez (former Boeing employee, current owner of Prestige Protocols), Business Etiquette and International Protocol Consultant; Mauricio Peña, Safety and Mission Assurance Manager, Commercial Crew Transportation System; and Erika Roesler-Wong, Regional Manager-On Station Support. The students will be divided into small groups where they will have an opportunity to interact closely with the Boeing engineers. The discussion topics will include: The Culture of Boeing, How to Succeed in a Corporation, Etiquette, and College Readiness. Special thanks to these professionals for taking the time to inspire our BISD students and future engineers.

College Reps to Visit Veterans Memorial

Representatives from the Admission Offices of Dartmouth College, Princeton University, Stanford University, and the University of Pennsylvania, in collaboration with the Region One Educational Service Center GEAR UP Program, will visit with BISD counselors on Thursday, October 22 from 9 am to 11:30 am and Veterans Memorial Early College High School parents from 1:30 to 3:30 pm in the school’s auditorium located at 4550 U.S. Military Highway 281. Veterans Memorial is the only BISD school currently participating in the GEAR UP Program. The meetings are designed to give parents and counselors an opportunity to engage in dialogue regarding preparation and access to the selective college admissions process. For more information, contact Celina Barrera-Scott, Veterans Memorial ECHS GEAR Up Counselor, at 574-5931.

October 19, 2015

Vela Offers Money Management for BISD Seniors

Over 600 BISD seniors from all the early college high schools will attend a free Financial Education Summit hosted by U.S. Congressman Filemon Vela on Tuesday, November 10 from 9 am to 3 pm at the Texas Southmost College Arts Center. Sessions will include Financial Soccer, FDIC Money Smart Modules, and more. Classes in Spanish will be available for parents from 9:30-11:30 am. Students will also have an opportunity to win college scholarships. View the details.

BISD Marching Bands Rock

Five BISD early college high school marching bands, Hanna, Pace, Porter, Rivera and Veterans Memorial, earned the coveted 1st division, superior rating at the 73rd UIL Pigskin Marching Competition held on Saturday, October 17. A total of 24 UIL Region 28 schools competed for ratings from 1 to 5 based on the level of mastery demonstrated in their performances. Two BISD 5A bands, Pace and Porter, earned spots in the 2015 Area 6 Marching Contest to be held on Saturday, October 24 in Calallen, Texas. They will compete to secure a place in the 2015 UIL State Marching Band Championship to be held on November 3. Congratulations to these outstanding BISD band programs. View the results by individual campuses.

October 16, 2015

BISD Exempt Fundraiser Days

The Food and Nutrition Service has announced the six days that BISD schools may sell food and/or beverages as part of a fundraiser that does not meet the Competitive Foods Nutritional Standards. Each campus principal had the opportunity to select the six days. The selections were compiled and the majority approved the following days. They are: Halloween, October 30, 2015; Thanksgiving, November 20, 2015; Christmas, December 17, 2015; Valentine’s Day, February 12, 2016; Charro Days, February 24, 2016; and the last day of school, June 2, 2016. For more information, call (956) 548-8450.

October 15, 2015

Change in Assignment

Dr. Esperanza Zendejas has announced an administrative change to the BISD organization. Effective immediately, Dr. Norma Ibarra-Cantu has been named the Interim Principal at Hanna Early College High School. Ibarra-Cantu has been serving as the Dean of Instruction at Lopez Early College High School since 2012. She previously taught English at the high school level for 10 years and has significant experience with special education programs. Bertha Presas will assume duties as an administrator on Special Assignment at Lopez ECHS for the remainder of the school year.

BISD Medical Insurance

United Healthcare is the new third party administrator for the Brownsville ISD employee health insurance plan. Employees should receive their ID cards in the mail. View the information brochure in English and Spanish and the mobile app information in English and Spanish. Call BISD Employee Benefits/Risk Management at 548-8061 for more information.

October 14, 2015

Our HR Department is Tops!

Governor Greg Abbott has proclaimed Wednesday, October 14 as Texas Education Human Resources Day. Brownsville ISD’s dedicated Human Resources employees play an important role in our educational system. They serve the needs of our students by recruiting and retaining qualified employees in a timely manner to maximize educational excellence. We appreciate their efforts. View the Governor’s proclamation.

It’s Pigskin Time

Make plans to attend the 73rd Annual UIL Pigskin Marching Competition on Saturday, October 17 at two locations this year. The 6A groups will compete at the San Benito High School Stadium at approximately 7 pm. The 5A bands will compete at the Donna High School Stadium at approximately 7:45 pm. Tickets are $8 and can be purchased from any BISD ECHS band director or at the stadium gate on October 17. Seats sold by the band directors are grouped together by campus. Come and support the Hanna, Lopez, Pace, Porter, Rivera, and Veterans Memorial ECHS bands. The students have been preparing since June for this competition and they will entertain you with an evening of outstanding music, dance, and precision. The 2015 Brownsville band UIL presentations are entitled: Hanna-The Caged Bird Sings; Lopez-Primary; Pace-Silk Road Dances; Porter-Amor Indeciso; Rivera-The Bermuda Triangle; and Veterans Memorial-Anomaly-A Show of the Curiously Odd.

Time Changes in Saturday Football

The start times for two Saturday BISD football games have been changed. The Lopez vs. Los Fresnos game will be played at 7 pm instead of 2 pm on Saturday, September 26. The Pace vs. Donna North game on Saturday, October 24 will also be played at 7 pm, not 2 pm. For more information, call BISD Athletics at 548-8261.

October 9, 2015

BISD Medical Insurance

The BISD third party administrator for the employee group medical insurance is UnitedHealthcare for the 2015-2016 school year. BISD employees will receive their ID cards in the mail very soon. For now, employees may use a temporary ID card which can be downloaded here.

Attention BISD Employees

The schedules for the Section 125 Cafeteria Plan and voluntary products including Cancer, Dental, Disability, Life, Vision and the Biometric Screening are available. For questions, call Employee Benefits and Risk Management at (956) 548-8061. View the Voluntary Product Schedule and Biometric Screening Schedule.

October 7, 2015

Saluting Our Veterans

Several BISD schools will participate in the 16th Annual Southmost Veterans Day Parade on Saturday, November 7 at 2 pm. The parade will begin at Porter ECHS and proceed down Coolidge Street to Southmost Road concluding at Cromack Elementary School on the corner of Southmost Road and 30th Street. The Southmost Veterans Day Parade was created to honor the brave men and women who have served or are serving in the United State Armed Services. In case of inclement weather, the parade will be held on Sunday, November 8.

BISD Tax Ratification Approved by Voters

Ratification Election (TRE) held on Tuesday, October 6, 2015. The single item ballot asked voters to allow the school district to move .11¼ cents from the Interest & Sinking (I&S) fund that pays for debt to Maintenance & Operations (M&O) that pays for day-to-day operations. The total tax rate will remain the same at $1.15¼ as presented and approved in the budget at the June 25, 2015 BISD Special Called Board Meeting. The voter approved restructuring will not impact the total tax rate but will bring an additional $5 to $6 million net per year in additional state funding to be used for one-time expenditures to improve, repair, and expand district facilities and enhance school security. Moving the .11¼ cents to the M&O will generate more revenue because it is weighted at a higher level than the I&S. View the media release.

Talented BISD Duke Students

Ten BISD students earned State Recognition in the Duke University Talent Identification Program which identifies and supports academically talented students. To qualify as a Duke Scholar, 7th grade students must score 95% or higher on the national norms of a grade-level standardized achievement, aptitude, or mental ability test. A student qualifying for State Recognition is in the top 38% of all participants nationwide. Congratulations to Abryana Hernandez and Miguel Hernandez, Lucio Middle School; Jay Gomez, Ramses Linan, and Lauren Oliveira, Manzano Middle School; and Nathaniel Delgado, Jillian Garza, Jair Gomez, Alessandra Guest, and Luis Hernandez, Stillman Middle School, on their amazing academic achievement.

October 5, 2015

TRE election day is Tuesday, October 6.

On Tuesday, October 6, 2015, local Brownsville voters will decide whether to approve a measure to restructure the tax rate by moving .11¼ cents from the Interest & Sinking (I&S) fund that pays for debt to Maintenance & Operations (M&O) that pays for day-to-day operations. The total tax rate will remain the same at $1.15¼ as presented and approved in the budget at the June 25, 2015 BISD Special Called Board Meeting. The restructuring would not impact the total tax rate but would bring an additional $5 to $6 million net per year in additional state funding to be used for one-time expenditures to improve, repair, and expand district facilities and enhance school security. Moving the .11¼ cents to the M&O will generate more revenue because it is weighted at a higher level than the I&S. View the release.

What’s for Supper?

The Brownsville ISD campuses that offer student afterschool programs such as Extended Day Enrichment, 21st Century Community Learning Centers, and tutorials also offer supper to students at the end of the school day. The goal of the program is to improve and maintain children’s health and nutrition, promote good eating habits, and integrate nutritious food through organized after school programs. Students only need to provide a school ID to be served. BISD offers supper as part of a continuous effort to provide students with a quality learning environment and the tools necessary to succeed. For more information, call BISD Food and Nutrition Services at 956-548-8450.

Thank You to Our Employees

BISD employees generously donated $351,855.00 to the 2015 United Way of Southern Cameron County Campaign. That is $65,042.96 more than last year. Campus by campus, department by department, BISD employees contributed so that the United Way can continue providing support services to local families. Thank you to our BISD employees for supporting our community.

Supplies for Students

BISD department employees generously donated to the 2nd Annual School Supply Drive sponsored by the Special Programs Department. The top 3 winners are: 1st, Finance/Budget Department; 2nd, Migrant Department; and 3rd, Parental Involvement Department. The supplies will be donated to the campuses with the highest percentage of economically disadvantaged students. Thank you to all BISD department employees for supporting our students.

October 1, 2015

Employee Sick Leave Bank

The BISD Human Resources Department has announced the opening of the annual Employee Sick Leave Bank enrollment period, October 1-31, 2015, for new members. If a BISD employee or family member has a catastrophic illness, the employee may be able to withdraw days. For current members, the enrollment is automatic. A form must be completed to discontinue membership in the Employee Sick Leave Bank. View the information here. Call (956) 548-8051 or (956) 548-8031 for questions.