BISD October Tradition

The BISD Breast Cancer Awareness Initiative has become a district October tradition. Since its beginning 7 years ago, this outreach has sought to raise awareness of breast cancer prevention, detection, treatment, and survival within BISD. Funds are raised annually through $10 contributions which entitle BISD employees to wear jeans on Thursdays and Fridays in October. Other events include special themes every Friday in October. A luncheon will be held for breast cancer patients, survivors and their supporters on Friday, October 28 at 12 noon in the Boardroom. The 4th Annual BISD Mile of Hope will be held on Sunday, October 30, 2016 at 6 pm at Sams Stadium. All funds raised are donated to the BISD Mile of Hope Foundation and related breast cancer awareness activities. A total of 10 BISD full-time employees and/or students who are breast cancer patients recently received funds to assist with medical expenses. If you meet the qualifications and are interested in applying for medical assistance, complete this application form.

Veterans Memorial ECHS Senior Tops in State

Jordan Rudd, a Veterans Memorial ECHS basketball, soccer, and track athlete, is one of only two State Winners in the 2016 Wendy’s High School Heisman Award which recognizes student-athletes who have displayed excellence and integrity both on and off the field. State Winners will each receive a $1,000 scholarship and a silver medal. From that group, 10 National Finalists will be selected. Since 1994, Wendy’s and the Heisman Trophy Trust have been honoring the nation’s most esteemed student-athletes. Pedro Pinales, a Veterans Memorial football player, was also recognized as a Wendy’s Heisman School Winner.

Trio of BISD Artists Earn State Awards

Three BISD students earned first place awards at the state School Bus Safety Poster Contest Ceremony held on Tuesday, October 18 at the Texas State Capitol Extension Auditorium. Congratulations to Zeus Serrano, a 2nd grade student at Skinner Elementary, for earning a first place in Division I, Grades K-2; Erandy Ramirez, a 4th grade student at Skinner Elementary, for earning a first place in Division II, Grades 3-5; and Luis Rivera, a 7th grade student at Perkins Middle School, for earning a first place in Division IV, Special Needs. These BISD student artists are to be commended on their achievements. The poster contest and recognition ceremony is sponsored annually by the Texas Association for Pupil Transportation.

Porter Senior Named Wendy’s Heisman School Winner

Johnathan Gonzalez, a Porter Early College High School senior, has been named a School Winner for the prestigious Wendy’s High School Heisman Award which highlights exceptional high school seniors and their achievements in the classroom, on the field, and in the community. Gonzalez will move on for consideration in the next stage of the program where he could be named a State Finalist. For 22 years, Wendy’s, in partnership with the Heisman Memorial Trophy, has recognized outstanding students and rewarded their commitment and achievements. Congratulations, Johnathan!

Tamez Named CATCH Champ

Fred J. Tamez, the BISD PE/Health Specialist, has been selected as a CATCH Champion by the CATCH Team (University of Texas and CATCH Global Foundation). CATCH stands for the Coordinated Approach to Child Health. Tamez, one of six CATCH Champions from across the state, was selected for his untiring dedication to creating healthy environments for Texas children. He will be recognized on Thursday, December 1, 2016 at 5:30 pm at the Moody Gardens Hotel in Galveston, Texas.

BISD Choir Members Earn Regional Spots

BISD placed 46 choir members and 7 alternates in the Texas Music Educators Association (TMEA) Region 28 District Treble Choir. Auditions were held on Saturday, October 15 in Donna. There were 80 chairs available. Special recognition goes to the BISD students who earned first chairs in their sections: Arleen Arambula, Soprano 1, Pace ECHS; Azaria Vasquez, Alto 1, Hanna ECHS; and Karina Alvarado, Alto 2, Hanna ECHS. The TMEA Region 28 District and Region Choirs will perform on Saturday, November 12 at the Harlingen Performing Arts Center. Congratulations to these talented BISD singers.

Famed Musician Comes Home to BISD

World-renowned Latin percussionist, Fausto Cuevas, conducted a percussion clinic for students on Monday, October 17 from 10 am – 12 noon at Hanna Early College High School. Cuevas was in town to perform at the Brownsville Latin Jazz Festival. Cuevas began playing drums when he was 11 years old at Cummings Middle School. He graduated from Hanna High School in 1991. He went on to attend the Berklee College of Music in Boston where he discovered Latin percussion. Cuevas has performed on stage with Julio Iglesias, Britney Spears, Celia Cruz, Queen Latifah, High School Musical, Stevie Wonder, Santana, and Jennifer Lopez. Brownsville ISD was pleased to welcome Fausto Cuevas back to the school district where it all began.

It’s Pigskin Time!

The 74th Pigskin Jubilee Marching Band Competition will be held on Saturday, October 22 at two locations. The Region 28 UIL 5A bands will compete at Bennie LaPrade Stadium in Donna at 4:45 pm and the 6A bands will compete at Boggus Stadium in Harlingen at 6:45 pm. Tickets are $8 and may be purchased from any BISD ECHS band director or at the gate on October 22. Tickets sold by band directors are grouped by campus. BISD students have been preparing since June for this competition and they will present an outstanding evening of music, dance and precision. View the schedule for BISD marching bands.

Google @ BISD

The Google CS First Roadshow visited Brownsville ISD on Tuesday, October 11 at 10:45 am at the Central Administrative Building (CAB) located at 708 Palm Boulevard. Mayor Tony Martinez and Superintendent Dr. Esperanza Zendejas participated in an hour-long presentation which taught kids about the importance of STEM education through an interactive coding activity. Over 200 BISD 4th and 5th grade students from Castañeda, Del Castillo, Ortiz, Palm Grove, Pullam, and Yturria Elementary Schools attended the presentation that is designed to develop an interest in computer science education and grow their problem solving and technical coding skills. View the media release.

Ortiz and Peña are Models for Fitness

Ortiz and Peña Elementary Schools will formally take their honored role as Rio Grande Valley model schools for Project Fit America (PFA), a national public charity dedicated to getting kids fit since 1990. Ortiz, 2500 W. Alton Gloor, will host the event on Wednesday, October 12 at 9 am and Peña, 4975 Salida de Luna, on Friday, October 14 at 9 am. Students will be demonstrating exercises on their new outdoor fitness equipment along with American Ninja Warrior Abel Gonzales. School district officials, civic leaders and representatives from the Valley Baptist Legacy Foundation will also be participating in these events! View the media release.

BISD Early Notification Incentive

On October 4, 2016, the BISD Board of Trustees approved an early notification incentive which applies to non-retired/rehired employees who have served BISD for at least 20 consecutive years at the end of the 2016-2017 school year. View or download the letter, agreement, and letter of resignation here.

Exempt Day Fundraisers

Texas Public Schools that participate in the National School Lunch Program or School Breakfast Program may sell food and/or beverages as part of a fundraiser that does not meet the Competitive Food Nutritional Standards during the school day for up to six days per school year on each campus if no food and/or beverages for an exempted fundraiser are sold in competition with school meals served or consumed in the food service area. The BISD campus principals had the opportunity to select the six days for 2016-2017. They are: Halloween, October 31, 2016; Christmas, December 20, 2016; Valentine’s Day, February 14, 2017; Charro Days, February 23, 2017; Easter, April 13, 2017; and the last day of school, June 6, 2017. For more information, call the BISD Food and Nutrition Services Department at 548-8450.

Enroll in the Employee Sick Leave Bank

The BISD Human Resources Department has announced the enrollment period for the Employee Sick Leave Bank, October 1-31, 2016. If a BISD employee or family member has a catastrophic illness, the employee may withdraw days from the bank. New members must complete an application form and have one local day to contribute. Enrollment is automatic for current members. A form must be completed to discontinue membership in the Employee Sick Leave Bank. For more information, call (956) 548-8051 or 548-8031. Download the flyer and application here.

BISD Students Take the Stage

The BISD Theatrefest Finals 2016 were held on Tuesday, September 27 at the Lopez ECHS auditorium. Congratulations to the students who advanced through two days of preliminary and semi-final competitions to win awards. View the results.

BECHS Receives 2016 National Blue Ribbon Honors

The Brownsville Early College High School (BECHS) has been named a 2016 Blue Ribbon School by the U.S. Department of Education. The announcement was made on Wednesday, September 28, 2016. Only 26 schools, nominated by the Texas Education Agency (TEA), received this prestigious national award. All 26 Texas schools were selected as exemplary high performing schools as measured by state assessments or nationally normed tests. Each school has an economically disadvantaged population of 25% or greater.

“I congratulate the teachers, administrators and staff members at each of these nationally recognized campuses in Texas,” said Commissioner of Education Mike Morath. “A strong commitment to successful student outcomes is evident throughout the school year at every National Blue Ribbon campus, past and present, across our state.” View the entire TEA media release.

28 BISD Elementary Schools Are Open Until 5:30 Each Day

Approximately 3,800 students currently participate in Brownsville ISD's Extended Day Enrichment Program each weekday. The school district offers the free program at 28 elementary schools, Aiken, Benavides, Breeden, Brite, Burns, Canales, Castañeda, Cromack, Del Castillo, Egly, El Jardin, Garden Park, Garza, Gonzalez, Hudson, Longoria, Martin, Morningside, Palm Grove, Paredes, Perez, Resaca, Russell, Skinner, Vermillion, Victoria Hts., Villa Nueva, and Yturria. The 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, contact the individual campus administrators.

District Choirs Mix It Up

Brownsville ISD mixed choir students representing six early college high schools earned 100 chairs or 62% of the total membership in the Texas Music Educators Association (TMEA) District Mixed Choir on Saturday, September 24 at Rivera ECHS. This is the first round in the process leading to membership in the auspicious TMEA All State Choir. A total of 500 students representing 15 schools participated in the district competition. The top 20 students in each section that were selected for membership in the District Mixed Choir will advance to the next audition level in November in Harlingen. Congratulations to four BISD students for ranking first chair in their sections: Jacqueline Villanueva, Soprano 2, Rivera ECHS; David Mejia, Tenor 1, Hanna ECHS; Daniel Ledesma, Tenor 2, Hanna ECHS; and Matthew Allen, Bass 1, Rivera ECHS. Congratulations to the BISD vocalists who participated in this competition. View the results by campus.

Beyond the Practice Room

Six BISD students representing Lopez, Pace and Hanna ECHS earned chairs in the Texas Music Educators Association (TMEA) All Region Band auditions held on Saturday, September 24 in Harlingen. One student advanced to the area round of auditions. The All Region Jazz Band will perform on Saturday, February 18, 2017 at the Harlingen CISD Performing Arts Center. Congratulations to these dedicated student musicians. View the BISD results by campus.

BISD Launches Dollars for Champs and Champions Program

Dr. Zendejas has been visiting district campuses to launch the new BISD Dollars for Champs and Champions program which will provide college scholarships to outstanding early college high school graduates and fund educational grants for motivated teachers and employees. Several interested private and public organizations have also expressed a desire to match any funds raised by the BISD Dollars for Champs and Champions program. BISD employees who wish to support this worthwhile initiative may make a tax deductible donation by completing this form and sending it to the BISD Payroll Department. Get the form here.