August 31, 2016

BISD Breaks Ground on Fine Arts Building @ Pace

Brownsville ISD will host a groundbreaking ceremony for the new Band and Choir Hall at Pace ECHS on Thursday, September 1 at 10 am at the rear of the Pace campus. The Pace facility is the next Tax Ratification Election (TRE) Priority Project. The TRE was passed on October 6, 2015 with 84% local voter approval. The TRE restructuring brings an additional $5 to $6 million net per school year in state funding to be used for one-time expenditures to improve, repair, and expand district facilities without impacting the total tax rate. The TRE funded the installation of an artificial turf soccer field at Lopez ECHS. Porter ECHS will also receive a new artificial turf soccer field this school year thanks to TRE funding.

August 30, 2016

President Honors Porter Champs

U.S. Representative Filemon Vela will present the Porter ECHS Boys Soccer Team with a letter from President Barack Obama congratulating the team on winning the UIL 2016 State Soccer Championship at a special ceremony on Thursday, September 1 at 11:30 am in the school’s gym. The Porter athletes will also receive their State Championship rings and jackets at the ceremony in recognition of their outstanding achievement.

A&M Commandant Visits BISD

Brownsville ISD is pleased to host Brigadier General Joe E. Ramirez, Jr., USA (Ret.), Commandant of the Texas Corps of Cadets, who will visit two schools on Wednesday, September 28. The Commandant will stop at Ortiz Elementary at 9 am to talk with students and lead them in a round of calisthenics. At 10 am, Commandant Ramirez will address top juniors and seniors from all BISD Early College High Schools in the Veterans Memorial ECHS auditorium about A&M University, admission requirements, scholarship opportunities, the Corps of Cadets, postsecondary success, and overcoming obstacles in life.

August 25, 2016

Back to the Water

Great news! The Margaret M. Clark Aquatic Center will reopen on Monday, August 29 with the regular schedule of 6 am through 8 pm weekdays. For questions, call 698-0060.

August 24, 2016

115 AP Awards for ECHS Students

A total of 102 current and former BISD early college high school students earned Scholar Awards in the College Bound Advanced Placement (AP) Program. The breakdown by campuses is: Hanna, 8; Lopez, 7; Pace, 18; Porter, 2; Rivera, 9; and Veterans Memorial, 58. These students have demonstrated college level achievement through AP courses and exams by scoring a 3 or higher on 3 or more AP exams. One Hanna student and ten Veterans Memorial students were named AP Scholars with Honor by earning a 3.25 average score on all AP exams and scores of 3 or higher on 4 or more AP exams. Two students, Michael Maldonado, Pace ECHS, and Jessica Loera, Veterans Memorial ECHS, were named AP Scholars with Distinction for earning a minimum 3.5 average score on all AP exams and scores of 3, 4, or 5 on 5 or more of the exams. These AP achievements are acknowledged on any score report that is sent to colleges the following fall. View the complete list of BISD students who earned AP Awards by campus.

BISD School Board Election

Brownsville ISD will have four school board positions open for the Tuesday, November 8, 2016 election. The positions are 3, 5, 6, and 7. All are 4-year term, at-large positions. The last day to file for a place on the ballot is Monday, August 22, 2016 at 5 pm in the BISD Boardroom. Ballot applications are available at the BISD Administration Building, 1900 Price Road, Suite 306, Monday-Friday, 8 am – 5 pm and online. For questions, call 956.547.4113. Download the school board election forms here.

August 23, 2016

Summer Graduation 2016

Everyone is invited to attend the 2016 Summer Graduation honoring graduates from all BISD Early College High Schools on Thursday, August 25 at 7 pm in the Rivera ECHS gymnasium. Potential summer graduates need to contact a campus counselor immediately. Practice will be held on Thursday, August 25 at 10 am in the Rivera gym. Caps and gowns will be available for purchase before the ceremony. An 8x10 graduation photo will also be available for purchase for $15.00. KBSD TV will videotape the ceremony.

August 22, 2016

BISD Open for Labor Day

All BISD campuses and offices will be open on Labor Day, Monday, September 5.

August 19, 2016

Notice of Drawing for Place on Ballot

Notice is hereby given of a drawing to determine the order in which the names of candidates are to be printed on the ballot for the election to be held on Tuesday, November 8, 2016, in Brownsville Independent School District, Brownsville, Texas. The drawing will be held at 5:30 p.m. on Monday, August 22, 2016 at the Brownsville Independent School District Board Room, 1900 East Price Road, Brownsville, Texas 78520. View the notice in English and Spanish.

ECHS Breakfast to Change

Beginning on Monday, August 22, BISD Early College High School (ECHS) students will be served breakfast in the cafeteria rather than the classroom in order to provide a greater variety of menu items that are more appealing and age appropriate. Students will have more choices than were available with the previous “Breakfast in the Classroom” program. The breakfast times for each ECHS campus are listed below: Campus Breakfast Begin Time Breakfast End Time Hanna ECHS 7:15 am 8:50 am Lopez ECHS 8:00 am 8:45 am Pace ECHS 8:30 am 8:45 am Porter ECHS 8:30 am 8:45 am Rivera ECHS 8:30 am 8:45 am Veterans ECHS 8:30 am 9:00 am

August 18, 2016

Canales Conjunto Earns Honor Choir Status

The Canales Elementary School Conjunto has qualified as a Texas Elementary Honor Choir. The Canales Conjunto won 1st place out of the 40 choirs that competed statewide and will perform in February at the Texas Music Educators Association (TMEA) convention in San Antonio. The Canales Conjunto, under the direction of Santiago Castillo, is the first elementary group from Brownsville to qualify and compete as one of the best in Texas. The group, composed of third, fourth and fifth graders, was created in 2010 to accompany the school’s drill team during the annual Charro Days Children’s Parade. The group performed at the BISD Welcome Back to School Bash on Wednesday, August 17, 2016 and earned a standing ovation from the audience. Congratulations to the students and their director on this well-deserved recognition.

BISD Campuses Applying for TTIPS Cycle 5 Grants

BISD campuses that are currently designated as “Focus” or “Priority” schools by the Texas Education Agency based on prior years’ performance are eligible to apply for one of the ten Texas Title I Priority School grants. The intent of these grants is to provide supplemental funding to campuses to make significant and lasting reforms through the implementation of strong evidence-based interventions. The campuses must solicit stakeholder input into determining which of the seven reform models the campus will use to reform their school. In order to apply for these grants, these campuses are requesting parent, community and business involvement in determining the model for their campus. The following meetings have been set up at eligible campuses: Campus Date Time Location Aiken Pending Information Besteiro Thursday, August 18, 2016 4:30 - 5:00 PM Cafeteria Cromack Pending Information Cummings August 18, 2016 and August 19, 2016 1:00 - 4:00 PM Cafeteria El Jardin Friday, August 19, 2016 3:00 - 4:00 PM Auditorium Garza Pending Information Faulk Friday, August 19, 2016 4:30 - 5:30 PM Cafeteria Oliveira Pending Information Perkins Thursday, August 18, 2016 5:30 - 6:30 PM Cafeteria Stell Friday, August 19, 2016 8:00 - 11:00 AM Room 20 Porter Tuesday, August 23, 2016 5:30 - 6:30 PM Auditorium

26 BISD Schools Make Significant Increases

Congratulations to these 26 BISD campuses for making progress on all four State Accountability Indices: ECHS BECHS, Lopez, Rivera Middle Schools Faulk, Oliveira, Stell, Stillman, Vela Elementary Schools Champion, Egly, El Jardin, Gallegos, Garden Park, Garza, Gonzalez, Hudson, Keller, Martin, Ortiz, Palm Grove, Paredes, Perez, Putegnat, Russell, Southmost, and Victoria Heights 100% of all BISD campuses significantly surpassed the state expectations for Post-Secondary Ready Students (Index 4).

August 12, 2016

Budget Input Continues

BISD stakeholders and employees participated in four Budget Input and Solutions Workshops held on Tuesday, August 9, 2016 to share thoughts and make suggestions on reducing the district budget for 2016-2017 and future years. If you were unable to attend one of the meetings, you may email your recommendations to

August 10, 2016

Faulk Teacher Earns Presidential Math Award

Commissioner of Education Mike Morath announced that ten teachers from across Texas, including Robert Rivera from Faulk Middle School, have been named finalists for the 2016 Presidential Awards for Excellence in Mathematics and Science Teaching (PAEMST). The 2016 awards recognize kindergarten through sixth grade mathematics and science teachers whose innovative methods bring teaching to life in the classroom. It is the highest recommendation a mathematics or science teacher may receive for exemplary teaching in the United States. View the Texas Education Agency media release.

Business and Education Partner to Benefit BISD Students

Dr. Zendejas recently met with over a dozen Rio Grande Valley businessmen at a Business & Education Roundtable held on July 26, 2016. The group discussed specific ways to ensure BISD students are ready for post-secondary college and careers. To reinforce their commitment, the leaders made a 3-year commitment to contribute $100,000 in scholarships to be awarded to motivated BISD graduates. Read The Brownsville Herald story here.

Locate Your Zoned School

Brownsville ISD has implemented a new, user-friendly, interactive school locator map program for school attendance zones. Simply select the 2016-2017 BISD school year boundaries display option and enter an address to find the current zoned school and district boundary lines. View the school locator program here.

August 9, 2016

Community Helpers

The United Way of Southern Cameron County Board of Directors recently thanked BISD for its support of the Volunteer Income Tax Assistance (VITA) project. For a second year, six BISD early college high schools offered free income tax assistance to the public during the school year. Students at Hanna, Lopez, Pace, Porter, Rivera, and Veterans Memorial trained to become certified tax preparers and electronically filed a total of 633 federal tax returns, helping Brownsville families receive $707,888 in Earned Income Tax Credit. The VITA project helps families who struggle financially to file tax returns free of charge, access income supports such as the Earned Income Tax Credit, and prepare to meet FAFSA filing deadlines. Thank you to the BISD students and their lead teachers, Belinda Morales, Virginia Ramirez, Sylvia Reza, Alberto Velez, Gabby Marks-Cisneros, and Charles Flores, for assisting our Brownsville community.

August 5, 2016

BISD School Board Election

Brownsville ISD will have four school board positions open for the Tuesday, November 8, 2016 election. The positions are 3, 5, 6, and 7. All are 4-year term, at-large positions. The last day to file for a place on the ballot is Monday, August 22, 2016 at 5 pm in the BISD Boardroom. Ballot applications are available at the BISD Administration Building, 1900 Price Road, Suite 306, Monday-Friday, 8 am – 5 pm and online. For questions, call 956.547.4113. Download the school board election forms here.

No Taxes

The Texas Tax Free Weekend is scheduled on August 5-7. Check out the details here.

August 3, 2016

A Community Message

The BISD Board of Trustees and Dr. Esperanza Zendejas received the following message from the Business & Education Roundtable Members who recently donated $100,000 to a BISD Scholarship Endowment at an evening event held on July 26, 2016: “We strongly believe that the partnership between business and education is critical to helping raise student achievement and more closely align the work of educators with the workforce demands. Your involvement is critical, we need strong community leaders like yourselves to take a stance and make a difference. Our group has pledged a commitment to get involved within the schools, engage the students, and help them find their passion. Once they can visualize their career pathway, we can help them focus on higher education attainment… “Success by Degrees.” We must find ways to change the status quo mindset and raise the bar on our expectations. We strongly believe that in order to create a stronger and more vibrant economy in any community, we must invest in our human capital. The evening of July 26th symbolized the culmination of extraordinary community leadership in which you played a significant role. We are honored to have been part of this effort and to have the opportunity to thank you on behalf of our business colleagues. We look forward to Dr. Zendejas’s action items and initiatives.”

Board Extends Superintendent’s Contract

At the Regular Meeting held on Tuesday, August 2, 2016, BISD Board Trustees voted unanimously to extend the contract of Superintendent Dr. Esperanza Zendejas for another two years. The Board cited her positive performance and the continuity and stability she has provided to the school district. Dr. Zendejas stated, “I am humbled and pleased by this extension and I sincerely thank the Trustees for placing their trust in me. The district is doing well in spite of its challenges. We will continue to look for ways to engage our community and use our district’s resources to support the students we serve.”