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March 2011
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Posted March 31, 2011
Three-Year-Old Program Registration
Pre-registration for students who will be entering the BISD three-year-old program in August 2011 will be held in conjunction with the pre-kindergarten registration from 8:30 AM-3:30 PM, April 11-21, 2011, at 10 BISD elementary campuses. The elementary campuses with three-year-old programs are Aiken, Burns, Castaneda, Cromack, El Jardin, Longoria, Morningside, Putegnat, Russell and Villa Nueva. Call Federal Programs at 548-8231 for more information.

BISD Homepage Adds Project Share
The Texas Education Agency (TEA) has announced a new initiative called Project Share that will explore the development and delivery of high quality professional development in an interactive and engaging learning environment. Project Share utilizes a collection of Web 2.0 tools and applications to provide professional development resources for Texas teachers and build professional learning communities where educators can collaborate and participate in online learning communities. BISD now has a Project Share link on the district’s homepage to assist users. To learn more, click here to download a Project Share newsletter with the latest information.

Emerson Earns H-E-B Recognition
Dolores C. Emerson, the principal at Morningside Elementary, was selected as a finalist for an H-E-B Excellence in Education Award. She was surprised at a student assembly held in the school’s cafeteria on March 31 by an entourage of H-E-B employees bearing balloons, flowers, a cake, and a giant check for $1,000 for her and a second $2,500 check for her school. Emerson will represent the Rio Grande Valley region at the statewide H-E-B awards ceremony to be held in May in Austin. Brownsville ISD is also one of five finalists for the 2011 H-E-B large district award which includes a $100,000 prize. Ortiz Elementary School has already been named one of ten state winners of an H-E-B Excellence in Education Fit Campus Award which includes $10,000.

Doors Are Open to BISD Family Centers
BISD has three Family Centers staffed with professional counselors to help families learn the skills necessary to live healthy, positive lives. Click here to view the schedule in English and Spanish.

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Posted March 29, 2011
Superintendent’s Message on the Current Budget Challenge
Brownsville ISD, like all Texas school districts, is grappling with the budget shortfall announced by the Comptroller at the start of the legislative session. Superintendent Brett Springston has released the following message to BISD employees and community stakeholders regarding the district’s efforts to reduce spending and control expenses. Click here to read Mr. Springston's letter in English and Spanish.

Retiree Portraits
Brownsville ISD 2010-2011 retirees are eligible for a free 8x10 photo. No appointment is necessary. Click here to view the details.

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Posted March 28, 2011
Choirs Hit All the Right Notes
A total of 38 high school choirs from Region 28 participated in the UIL Concert and Sightreading competition held at the UTB Arts Center on March 24 & 25, 2011. BISD choirs earned 10 of the 16 sweepstakes trophies that were awarded. That is 4 more than last year. A sweepstakes trophy is awarded to a choir that receives a superior rating of 1 on stage in concert and a 1 in sightreading. It is the highest award that a choir can achieve. Click here to view BISD’s phenomenal choir results.

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Posted March 25, 2011
26 Schools Set a New District Record!
The Texas Education Agency’s Division of No Child Left Behind Program Coordination has named a total of 26 BISD schools to the prestigious 2010-2011 list of Title I, Part A Distinguished Performance and Distinguished Progress Schools. This is the largest number of schools in district history to earn this designation. Congratulations to Aiken, Benavides, Brite, Champion, Del Castillo, Egly, Gallegos, Garden Park, Gonzalez, Hudson, Longoria, Morningside, Ortiz, Palm Grove, Paredes, Perez, Putegnat, Resaca, Southmost, Villa Nueva, and Yturria Elementary Schools, and Lucio, Stell and Vela Middle Schools for earning Distinguished Performance titles. Perkins Middle School and Victoria Heights earned Distinguished Progress labels. By achieving and maintaining high standards, these schools serve as models for schools across Texas. Click here to view the selection criteria.

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Posted March 24, 2011
Springston Addresses Parents
Superintendent Brett Springston addressed parents from the Porter and Lopez cluster schools at a coffee held on March 24, 2011 in the Lopez High School auditorium. He will address stakeholders from the Hanna and Rivera clusters in April. Click here to view his powerpoint presentation in English and Spanish.

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Posted March 22, 2011
Scholarship Help
BISD has a program to help seniors and graduating juniors with their college scholarship applications. Counselors are available at various district locations to assist students in filling out applications revising essays and making good decisions about the future. Click here to view the schedule in English and Spanish.

One Act Play Competition
The District 32 5A Zone One Act Play Contest will be held on Wednesday, March 23 and Thursday March 24 at Pace High School located at 314 W. Los Ebanos Boulevard. Click here to view the schedule of performances.

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Posted March 11, 2011
Diabetes management for BISD Employees
Brownsville ISD and Personalized Prevention, the district’s Wellness provider, have partnered to offer new benefit for employees and dependents covered by the medical plan who are struggling with diabetes. The new program will provide you with FREE testing supplies, and give you new tools to better manage you diabetes. The program provides you with a personal monitoring system that will help you track your blood sugars, and more importantly, help you feel better and lead a healthier life. Click here to learn more.

Summer School Employment
The BISD Human Resources Department has released dates and deadlines for summer school employment. Click here to view the flyer.

A Note to Kinder and First Grade Parents
Pre-registration for all students new to BISD who will be entering kindergarten or first grade in August 2011 will be held from 8:30 AM-3:30 PM, March 21-31, 2011, at all BISD elementary schools. Note: the BISD 2011-12 pre-kindergarten registration will be available at a later date. Notices will be posted in local newspapers and on the district’s website and KBSD TV. Click here to learn more about the kindergarten and first grade pre-registration. -English -Spanish.

Posted March 10, 2011
Employee Newsletter
The BISD Human Resources Department has created another informative e-newsletter full of relevant information for district employees. Click here to learn more about important district deadlines and other pertinent information.

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Posted March 8, 2011
School Finance: Plain and Simple Video
In an effort to keep local stakeholders informed about the ongoing 2011-12 budget process, BISD will post frequent updates and helpful information on the district’s homepage. This four-minute video explains basic Texas school finance and why public schools are in a funding crisis. It was produced by Arlington ISD but has made its way to websites across the state. Special thanks to KBSD TV for adapting it for Brownsville ISD. Click here to view the video.

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Posted March 7, 2011
High School Scientists Are State Bound
A total of 29 BISD high school students earned 1st-3rd places at the 51st Annual RGV Regional Science and Engineering Fair held at the UTB/TSC campus on March 4 and 5. Every district high school has students who will be advancing to the ExxonMobil State Fair in San Antonio on April1-3, 2011. One BISD student, Alex Gonzalez from Veterans Memorial High School, captured the top Grand Champion title. He will advance to both the state competition and the INTEL International Science and Engineering Fair to be held in Los Angeles, California on May 8-13.

BISD Choirs Hit High Note
BISD choirs dominated the Region 28 Middle School UIL Concert and Sightreading Contest held at Veterans Memorial High School on March 3 and 4. Congratulations to all the BISD directors and students on their spectacular achievement. Click here to view the results.

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Posted March 4, 2011
Readers’ Choice Awards
Three BISD schools and three employees earned the most votes in the 2010 Readers’ Choice survey conducted by The Brownsville Herald. Congratulations to Russell Elementary School, Stell Middle School, and Hanna High School for scoring in the Favorite Businesses category. In the Favorite Professionals category, Teddy Cumberworth, a Rivera High School English teacher; Sandra Gracia, the nurse at Russell Elementary School; and Jimmy Haynes, the Southmost Elementary principal, were local readers’ favorites.

Ortiz Elementary Named an H-E-B Fit Campus
Ortiz Elementary School has been selected to receive a 2011 H-E-B Excellence in Education Fit Campus Award. Ortiz is one of ten state winners and will receive $10,000 to implement a new health and fitness program or enhance their current program. Ortiz campus representatives will have the opportunity to attend several celebratory events in Austin on May 13-15. Activities include a fitness session with Jillian Michaels from TV’s “The Biggest Loser” and an awards dinner featuring Colin Powell as the keynote speaker. The H-E-B Excellence in Education Fit Campus Award was designed to honor schools that are increasing the health and nutrition of children by developing, implementing and improving physical activity, fitness and health through educational and/or hands-on nutritional and fitness programs. Posted March 3, 2011

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Posted March 3, 2011
Tracking the Education Dollar
Do you have questions about what composes public education in Texas? Take a moment to read this publication which breaks down the educational dollar from the Texas public school student's perspective. View the article.

Summer Hours
All BISD offices and departments will observe the following schedule during the months of June and July. Effective June 13–July 29, 2011, the hours of operation are:

Monday–Thursday...... 7:30 AM–6:00 PM, (30 minute lunch)
Friday.......................................... Closed

NOTE: Monday, July 4, 2011 is a holiday. Work hours for the week of July 5-8, Tuesday-Friday, will be 8:00-5:00 PM. BISD offices will not be closed for vacation this summer. Posted March 2, 2011

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Posted March 2, 2011
Budget Meeting on Thursday
The BISD Board Budget Committee will meet on Thursday, March 3, 2011 at 5:30 PM in the Boardroom to discuss a fourth budget proposal that takes several new funding recommendations into account. Board trustees made the recommendations at the Budget Committee Meeting held on February 17 after reviewing three draft budgets prepared by administration. The drafts were based on funding reduction estimates made by the Texas School Alliance.

The BISD Board of Trustees and administration remain firmly committed to retaining all district employees while continuing to offer the same high quality educational programs that the district is known for.

The state of Texas is facing its most serious budget challenge in decades. Since spending on public education makes up about 44% of the state budget, much of the responsibility for balancing the budget falls squarely on local school districts. Brownsville ISD officials have been warned that the district’s share of funding reductions could fall between $15-$50 million. However, the final amount will not be officially known until the Texas legislature formalizes and approves the state budget which is several months from now.

District employees are working diligently to identify creative ways to reduce spending and control expenses. BISD will continue to communicate our budget progress to stakeholders during this trying and uncertain time.

Inclement Weather Make-Up Days
At the Regular Board Meeting held on March 1, 2011, BISD trustees approved holding classes on Friday, May 27 and Monday, May 30 to make up for the two instructional days cancelled on February 3 and 4 due to severe inclement weather. Click here to view and download the revised 2010-2011 BISD academic calendar.

Campuses Host Spring Open Houses
Brownsville ISD will join districts across the state in celebrating Texas Public Schools Week in March. BISD’s celebration will be held the week of March 7-11, 2011. Students and educators are opening the doors to classrooms so that parents and community members can get an inside look at educational programs offered by Brownsville public schools. To see how our community’s students are being inspired to become future leaders, make plans to attend a campus open house event scheduled from 5:30-7:30 PM on three evenings. Elementary open houses will be held on Monday, March 7. Middle schools will be open on Tuesday, March 8, and high schools will open their doors on Thursday, March 10.

Lucky Number Seven for DI Teams
A total of 7 BISD Destination Imagination (DI) Teams, the largest number in district history, won first place in their respective divisions at the DI Regional Tournament hosted by BISD at Veterans Memorial High School on February 19. Teams from across the Rio Grande Valley, 155 in all, participated in the event. Brownsville ISD had 50 teams in competition. The 7 BISD first place winners, Aiken, Sharp, Garden Park (2 teams), Southmost, Garcia and Manzano, will advance to state competition in Lubbock, Texas on April 1 and 2. Additionally, one team from Russell Elementary School will also advance to state due to the large number of teams that competed in that division.

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