May 29
-BISD Alumni Hall of Fame
@ 5pm Holiday Inn

May 30
Rivera STEM Elementary Exposition
@ 9-11AM BISD Administration Building Parking Lot

May 31

2015 Baccalaureate Ceremonies
-BECHS, Hanna, Porter, Rivera
@ 3pm Rivera ECHS Gym

-Lopez, Pace, Veterans Memorial
@ 6pm Rivera ECHS Gym

June 2
BISD Board Meeting

June 4

Lincoln Park School Graduation
@ 6pm CAB Auditorium

June 5
-Last Class Day
-End of 6th Six Weeks
-End of 2nd Semester

June 9
Hanna ECHS Graduation
@ 7:30pm Sams Stadium

June 10
Veterans Memorial ECHS Graduation
@ 7:30pm Sams Stadium

June 11
Pace ECHS Graduation
@ 7:30pm Sams Stadium

June 12
Lopez ECHS Graduation
@ 7:30pm Sams Stadium

June 13
-Brownsville ECHS Graduation
@ 10am The TSC Arts Center
-Porter ECHS Graduation
@ 7:30pm Sams Stadium

June 14
Rivera ECHS Graduation
@ 7:30pm Sams Stadium

Extended Day
Enrichment Program
9 BISD Students Earn Duke Notice
Congratulations to the 9 BISD seventh grade students who earned State Recognition in the Duke University Talent Identification Program. To qualify as a Duke Scholar, students must score in the 95th percentile 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 25% of the Talent Search Pool. Congratulations to our 9 BISD Duke Scholars. View the list.
State Board Honors Veterans Memorial Brothers
Brothers Juan Daniel and Noe Isai Rangel, students at Veterans Memorial ECHS, were named 2015 Student Heroes by the State Board of Education (SBOE). The announcement was made on Thursday, May 28 by the Texas Education Agency. The brothers saved the life of their friend and classmate when he suffered a medical emergency by quickly transporting him to the school nurse’s station. The students will be recognized by SBOE Representative Ruben Cortez, Jr. at the Veterans Memorial graduation on Wednesday, June 10 at Sams Stadium. View the media release.
BISD Creates Alumni Hall of Fame
Beginning this school year, Brownsville ISD is establishing a new tradition of annually honoring district alumni who have distinguished themselves in various areas including academics, the arts, community or public service, their chosen profession, or sports. The 2015 BISD Alumni Hall of Fame inductees will be recognized at a special reception held in their honor on Friday, May 29 at 5 pm at the Holiday Inn. A NASA flight officer, physicians, CEOs, judges, and educators will be among those recognized by the district.
BISD Commencement Season Begins
Wearing traditional caps and gowns, Brownsville ISD graduates from all seven Early College High Schools will attend the 2015 Baccalaureate Ceremonies on Sunday, May 31 in the Rivera ECHS gymnasium. BECHS, Hanna, Porter, and Rivera graduates will attend the 3 pm ceremony and Lopez, Pace and Veterans Memorial graduates will attend the 6 pm ceremony. Dr. Guy Bailey, President of the University of Texas Rio Grande Valley, will serve as the keynote speaker. Brownsville ISD traditionally holds Baccalaureate ceremonies as a farewell to the graduating class. The district's commencement ceremonies will be held on June 9-14.
Rivera Cluster Hosts STEM Exhibition
Elementary schools in the Rivera ECHS Cluster will present a Science, Technology, Engineering and Math (STEM) Exhibition on Saturday, May 30 from 9-11 am in the Brownsville ISD Administration Building parking lot at 1900 Price Road. Students in grades kindergarten through fifth grade will exhibit their work. The Rivera Cluster elementary STEM initiative is designed to align elementary schools to their feeder middle schools that already have a STEM program in place. The Rivera elementary students are implementing their existing science curriculum, but project based learning with a STEM emphasis has been added. Students from the Rivera Cluster secondary schools will be on hand to provide grades 6-12 information on STEM programs and Early College High School. The community is invited to attend. View the media release.
Ortiz Earns Silver Award
Ortiz Elementary School won the Silver 2015 National Excellence in Urban Education Award. The announcement was made at the National Center for Urban School Transformation (NCUST) awards ceremony held in Dallas, Texas on Thursday, May 21. Dr. Esperanza Zendejas and Melissa Werbiski, Ortiz's principal, accepted the award which included $2,500. Benavides and Breeden Elementary were named Bronze award recipients and Paredes Elementary was named to the Honor Roll. The BISD schools were among 24 schools selected from across the United States as finalists for these distinguished national awards. 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. Congratulations to the Ortiz, Breeden, Benavides, and Paredes students, parents, and employees for earning these prestigious national honors.
Wellness is Hot Stuff!
Employees are welcome at the BISD Wellness Fitness Center during the summer. View the hours of operation and activities.
Weighing Less and Feeling Better
The BISD Weight Loss Challenge is over and participants lost over 2,700 pounds this school year according to preliminary calculations released by Personalized Prevention, the district’s wellness provider. Congratulations to the employees from the Hanna Cluster and Egly Elementary, Perkins Middle School, and Cummings Middle School for losing the most weight.
$63,000 Awarded to 9 BISD Campus Libraries
Nine BISD schools, Cromack, Castañeda, Del Castillo, Hudson, Palm Grove, Skinner and Victoria Heights Elementaries and Lucio and Stell Middle Schools, received grants of $7,000 each from the Laura Bush Foundation for America’s Libraries to add to and update their book and media collections. BISD schools received 9 of the 12 grants awarded within the Rio Grande Valley. Studies have shown that the quality of a school library has a major impact on the test scores and the academic success of children. Mrs. Bush, a former teacher and librarian, has long championed the importance of reading as the foundation of all learning. Congratulations to our Library Media Specialists and the BISD Grants Department for preparing the grant applications. Over half of all BISD campuses submitted applications.
2015 BISD Superintendent's Scholarships Announced
Interim Superintendent Dr. Esperanza Zendejas has announced the winners of the 2015 Superintendent’s Scholarships. A total of 88 graduating BISD seniors will each receive $1,000 to attend the college of their choice. The scholarship funds were raised at the 12th Annual Scholarship Golf Tournament hosted by Dr. Zendejas at the Rancho Viejo Resort on Saturday, May 9, 2015. Scholarship recipients were selected by a committee of local community members and district personnel. Over 250 student applications were reviewed. “The support of our sponsors has made this tournament one of the largest in the entire Rio Grande Valley. I sincerely thank the many businesses and organizations that generously donated to this event in order to provide scholarship funds for our 2015 high school graduates. It was a great golf tournament benefiting a worthy cause, our students,” said Zendejas. View the release.
Another Great Year for VITA students
A total of 195 students from Hanna, Pace, Lopez, Rivera, Porter, Veterans Memorial, and Los Fresnos High Schools participated in this year’s Volunteer Income Tax Assistance (VITA) Program sponsored by the United Way of Southern Cameron County. The VITA students spent countless hours preparing and e-filing income tax returns for working families that qualified for the Earned Income Tax Credit. These student volunteers and their sponsors filed 3,810 returns at no cost to the families. The families received $4,636,070.00 in Earned Income and other tax credits. The total refunds received were $7,073,120.00. Every penny went to the families because there were no tax preparation or refund anticipation fees. This is the sixth year that Porter ECHS, under the direction of Albert Velez, has offered free income tax services. Special thanks to BISD’s VITA students for assisting the Brownsville community through this United Way program.
Veterans Student Wins Scholarship to Study in Italy
A team from Veterans Memorial Early College High School competed in the Intel International Science and Engineering Fair (ISEF) held on May 10-15 in Pittsburg, Pennsylvania. One team member, Aleida Olvera, a Veterans junior, won one of only two scholarships from the Fondazione Bruno Kessler Foundation to study in Trentino, Italy. This scholarship will allow Aleida to participate in a three-week summer research project to learn about and participate in programming a database to receive medical information from patients with wearable sensors. Aleida will be hosted by the University of Trentino. Her parents are Saul and Abigail Olvera.
Student Summer Activities
The BISD Athletic Department has released the 2015 summer recreation schedule. For more information, call Mark Guess, BISD Athletic Program Administrator, at 548-8261.
Summer Programs
The BISD schedule of summer academic programs is now posted on the BISD homepage. Find out the dates, times, and locations of programs available to students this summer. View the summer schedule here.
BISD's College-Going Culture
BISD high school students are actively applying to colleges and universities using the APPLY TEXAS APPLICATION. See the latest numbers below by high schools. Please note that the Brownsville Learning Academy, Lincoln Park School, and the Brownsville Academic Center students are also included in these counts. For questions, call Pilar Janis at the Guidance and Counseling Department, 548-8251.

Name of High School
Apply Texas%

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