December 21, 2016

Insurance Contribution for New BISD Employees

At the Regular Board Meeting held on September 6, 2016, the Board of Trustees approved a salary-based health insurance contribution for all NEW BISD employees to offset rising healthcare costs. The insurance contribution will begin for all NEW BISD employees with a start of employment date on or after January 1, 2017. This contribution does not apply to current BISD employees. The salary-based health insurance contribution schedule for NEW BISD employees is below: Salary Range Contribution Less than $47,000 $50 $47, 001 to $93,000 $100 $93,001 to $140,000 $150 More than $140,000 $200

Paying It Forward

Students enrolled in the BISD Early College High School (ECHS) Youth in Philanthropy classes inspired Superintendent Dr. Esperanza Zendejas to pay it forward in a little philanthropy project of her own. For their final class project, the students awarded $2,500 grants to six local non-profit organizations after researching and visiting numerous organizations in the Brownsville community. The $2,500 grants were provided by the Brownsville Community Foundation and Brownsville Foundation for Health and Education. Dr. Zendejas, impressed by the Youth in Philanthropy students’ zeal and enthusiasm for their community, asked the students to write her letters detailing why they themselves deserved a $200 award. Dr. Zendejas reviewed the letters and donated $200 to twelve of the students just before the holiday break at an event held on Tuesday, December 20 at 11 am in the BISD Boardroom. At the same event, the local Brownsville Target Store also awarded $100 gift cards to these same twelve Youth in Philanthropy students as well as to another 88 ECHS students in a flurry of holiday giving. Thanks to Dr. Zendejas and Target, a total of 100 Brownsville ISD students will have a much brighter holiday season.

ECHS Recognized Twice for Best Design

The Brownsville Early College High School (BECHS) has earned two recent recognitions for its design. included BECHS on its list of “5 Beautiful Texas High Schools to See” which came out on December 16, 2016. BECHS was also 23rd on a list of “The 25 Most Beautiful High Schools in Texas” which was issued by Aceable, a national drivers education company, on December 13, 2016. View the links to these two articles. Aceable | Hill Country

More Snack Packs for BISD Students This Year

Thank you to those who donated to the United Way Snack Pack Project to provide food to BISD students in need during the long holiday break. A total of 460 snack packs were delivered to students at 38 schools, a significant increase over last year’s total of 424. The selected students were identified by the school nurses as being especially dependent on the food served by BISD for their daily meals. The Snack Pack Project is an annual collaboration which includes the United Way of Southern Cameron County, Brownsville ISD, Saint Joseph Academy, and many other local organizations. This is the 6th year of this important initiative which is designed to provide meal assistance to local children in Brownsville.

Superintendent’s Holiday Message

During this festive holiday season, I would like to take this opportunity to thank our students, families, employees, and community members for making 2016 such a successful year. I hope that your holidays are filled with happiness and I look forward to seeing you when we return to welcome a new school year in 2017. Best wishes to all! Dr. Esperanza Zendejas

December 16, 2016

Sharp Adds Extended Day Program Bringing Total to 29 Schools

With the start of the new semester, Sharp Elementary will join the ranks of BISD elementary campuses that offer the free Extended Day Enrichment Program beginning on Monday, January 9, 2016. This program assists parents with quality enrichment programs for students in grades pre-kinder through 5th from 7:30 am to 5:30 pm weekdays. The Extended Day Enrichment Program provides academic intervention, tutoring, homework assistance, and academic enrichment through sports, art and music activities depending on the individual campuses. A hot, nutritious supper is also provided. Student transportation will not be provided. For more information about each school’s Extended Day Enrichment Program, contact the individual campus administrators.

Movie Fun for Students

The 20th Annual Kids at the Movies was held on Tuesday, December 13 at the Cinemark Theater located at Sunrise Mall. Special needs students had the opportunity to watch the new Disney animated film, MOANA, and enjoy popcorn and a drink as part of a community-based learning experience that coincided with the holidays. This year’s event was the largest to date with 1,700 students attending from BISD, Los Fresnos CISD, Point Isabel ISD and Rio Hondo ISD. The generous support of the Order of the Alhambra, Improved Order of the Red Men, and Brownsville Jaycees made the 20th Annual Kids at the Movies event possible. Thank you to these sponsors.

ACE Program Earns $150,000

The BISD Adult Continuing Education (ACE) program received Adult Education and Literacy (AEL) Performance Quality Improvement Awards totaling $150,000 at the 20th Annual Texas Workforce Conference held in Houston on December 7-9. The AEL awards recognize programs that demonstrate exemplary performance and outstanding AEL service delivery. The BISD program received $50,000 for Educational Functioning Level (EFL) achievement in Adult Basic Education (ABE) and Adult Secondary Education (ASE), $50,000 for EFL achievement in English as a Second Language (ESL), and $50,000 for Overall EFL program achievement. Congratulations to the Brownsville ISD ACE program on this achievement.

5 BISD Schools Named NCUST Finalists

Five BISD Schools have been named 2017 Finalists in the Excellence in Education Awards sponsored by the National Center for Urban School Transformation (NCUST). Congratulations to Breeden, Paredes, and Pullam Elementary Schools, Stillman Middle School, and Veterans Memorial ECHS. The national finalists all serve low-income communities with an array of challenges but still boast achievement results that exceed state averages for all students. Each BISD finalist will be visited by a group of leading educational experts in January or February 2017. In 2016, Pace ECHS won the prestigious NCUST Gold Award, Benavides Elementary earned Silver and Breeden and Veterans Memorial ECHS were Bronze Award recipients.

BISD Receives Superior State Finance Rating

Brownsville ISD received a top rating of “Superior Achievement” from the Texas School Finance Accountability Rating System for fiscal year end 2014-2015. The Financial Integrity Rating System of Texas (School FIRST) is the financial accountability system for Texas school districts developed by the Texas Education Agency in response to Senate Bill 875 of the 76th Texas Legislature in 1999 and Senate Bill 218 of the 77th Legislature in 2001. The primary goal of School FIRST is to achieve quality performance in the management of a school district’s financial resources. The rating of a school district is based upon its performance on 15 indicators. Congratulations to the BISD Finance Department on this outstanding achievement.

December 12, 2016

BISD Bands Dominate Region

BISD Early College High School band programs have once again posted excellent results. A total of 129 students earned chairs and 175 earned Texas Music Educators Association (TMEA) District patches at the All-Region auditions held at Rivera ECHS on Tuesday, November 29. Over one half of all available chairs in the 2016-2017 TMEA Region 28 All-District Bands were earned by BISD students. In addition, a record 76 BISD students qualified to compete for chairs in the TMEA Texas All-State ensembles. BISD students captured 30 of the 45 available 5A area chairs and 46 of the 78 available 6A area chairs. The TMEA Area G audition will be held on Saturday, January 7 in Corpus Christi. The TMEA High School All-Region Concert will be held on Friday, December 9 at 7 pm at the Harlingen Performing Arts Center. View the results by campus.

Smaller PEG List

The Texas Education Agency has released the PEG (Public Education Grant) Schools for 2017-2018. The good news is BISD has successfully decreased the list of 6 schools identified as PEG to 3 schools. Congratulations to Faulk Middle School, Lopez ECHS and Stell Middle School for being removed from the PEG list for 2017-2018. These 3 campuses maintained scores greater than 50% and were rated as Met Standard for 2 of the 3 academic years. Three schools, Cummings Middle School, Perkins Middle School and Porter ECHS, are still listed as PEG schools. A school is placed on the PEG list if it meets one of the following criteria: 1. The aggregated passing rate on any subject-area STAAR assessment (including end-of-course assessments) is less than or equal to 50% for any two of the three years, 2014-2016. 2. The school was rated Improvement Required in 2014, 2015 or 2016. Congratulations to the students, parents and employees at Faulk, Lopez and Stell on their academic progress.

December 7, 2016

2016 One Act Play Results

Five BISD middle schools took top honors at the Middle School One Act Play (OAP) Competition held on November 16 and 17 at the Brownsville Veterans Memorial ECHS Performing Arts Center. On November 16, Besteiro, Faulk and Vela Middle Schools placed. Karen Romos, a Besteiro student won Best Actress, and Jose Luis Peña, a Faulk student, won Best Actor. On November 17, Garcia, Lucio and Stillman Middle Schools placed. Breanne Ruiz, a Garcia student, won Best Actress and Aiden Anzaldua, a Stillman student, was named Best Actor. Congratulations to these talented BISD thespians and their directors.

Zika Virus Facts

The National Center for Disease Control (CDC) has provided some basic information about the Zika virus. View the flyer in English and Spanish.

BISD Middle School Science Results

The annual BISD Middle School Science Fair was held on Saturday, December 3 at Besteiro Middle School. A total of 251 middle school science fair projects and 277 students were entered into this year’s competition. The top 5 winners from each category advanced to the UTRGV regional competition on February 10-11, 2016. Special thanks to Besteiro Middle School for hosting the event and the many judges and volunteers who assisted with the district competition. View the results.

Elementary UIL Meet

The 2016 BISD Elementary UIL competition will be held on Saturday, December 10 at six hosting campuses: Division I, Southmost Elementary; Division II, Garza Elementary; Division III, Canales Elementary; Division IV, Brite Elementary; Division V, Champion Elementary; and Division VI, Gonzalez Elementary. Approximately 1,800 students will test their skills in Art, Music Memory, Number Sense, Oral Reading, Ready Writing, and Spelling. Best of luck to all BISD student participants and thank you to the UIL sponsors and judges who make these contests possible.

Report Rescheduled

The BISD public hearing for the 2015-2016 Texas Annual Performance Report (TAPR) scheduled for Tuesday, December 13 will be rescheduled to a later Board Meeting. View the flyer in English and Spanish.

December 2, 2016

Sold Out For Friday

The Santa & Friends show for today, Friday, December 2, at 7 pm is sold out. There are no more tickets.