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Posted November 2011
Policy Suspension
The BISD Board of Trustees recently approved a resolution to suspend portions of Policy EIE (Local) for the 2011-2012 school year only. The suspended portions require students in grades 5 and 8 to meet the passing standards of the applicable state-mandated assessment for those grade levels in order to be promoted to the next grade. The policy resolution was necessary since state passing standards for 5th and 8th grade STAAR reading and math tests will not be established for the 2011-2012 school year. View the resolution.

Lopez Recognized for ACT Increase
Lopez High School earned a Texas 2011 College Readiness Award for significantly increasing ACT Composite scores over the past five years, increasing or maintaining participation in the ACT, and improving student college readiness. View the entire list of awardees.

Go Vikings!
As Interim Superintendent of Brownsville public schools, it is my privilege to recognize and congratulate the Pace Vikings varsity football team on their success during the 2011 season. The Vikings, with head coach Rene Medrano, are 9 and 2 this season. It is the school’s first trip to the Area playoff round as a 5A school and comes following a 42-21 win in the Bi-District at PSJA last Friday. The Vikings are preparing for a Division 2 Area playoff game Saturday against Alexander High School of Laredo. I encourage the support of this football team and invite Brownsville fans to fill the stands on Saturday afternoon at 4 pm at Veterans Memorial Stadium in McAllen. See you there and good luck to our Vikings.

Dr. Carl A. Montoya
Interim Superintendent

Payday on Friday
All BISD Monthly Salaried (MS) and Monthly Hourly (MH) personnel will be paid on Friday, November 18, 2011. Bi-Weekly (BW) personnel will be paid on Wednesday, November 23, 2011. Have a happy and safe Thanksgiving holiday.

Dr. Montoya Named Lone Finalist
During the regular Board Meeting held on Tuesday, November 15, 2011, Trustees of the Brownsville Independent School District named Dr. Carl A. Montoya as the sole finalist for the position of Superintendent of Schools. Section 552.126 of the State Government Code requires that the Board of Trustees give public notice of the name or names of finalists being considered at least 21 days prior to a final vote.

Montoya has served as the district’s Interim Superintendent since June 8, 2011. He was appointed to the position after Brett Springston resigned to take the superintendency in Bartlett ISD. Montoya had been serving as the Area Assistant Superintendent for the Rivera cluster schools at the time. View the media release.

Tour the New Hanna Facility
The new Hanna High School Performing Arts Instructional Facility is nearing completion. Click here to take a 360 panoramic virtual tour of the auditorium which is located by the resaca in front of the school. Click here to take a 360 panoramic virtual tour of this new facility.

District’s Fitch Ratings
As part of its continuous surveillance efforts, Fitch Ratings took the following rating action on Brownsville Independent School District. View the public release.

Pace Trumpeter Ranked Top in Texas
Jose Carlos Izquierdo, a Pace High School senior, has been selected as the 2011 State Champion All-State 1st chair Trumpet. Jose competed against 80 of the best high school trumpet players in the state to earn this title. He will perform as the lead trumpeter when the All-State Jazz Band performs at the Texas Music Educators Association (TMEA) convention in San Antonio in February.

3 More BISD Alliance/Merck Scholars Announced
Three new BISD students have joined the ranks of district students benefiting from the Alliance/Merck Ciencia (Science) Hispanic Scholars Program. This brings the total of BISD scholars to four. The Merck Company Foundation provides funding for this program through a $4 million grant to support Hispanic student access to higher education and degrees in science, technology, engineering and math (STEM). Over a span of five years, 50 promising Hispanic students from Brownsville, Texas; Elizabeth, New Jersey; and Los Angeles California will be awarded $42,500 in college scholarships and internship support to pursue STEM degrees. BISD seniors are urged to apply for these scholarships. Contact your head/senior counselor or Pilar Janis, Higher Education Counselor, at 548-8251. View the Alliance/Merck criteria or the entire list of current Brownsville Alliance/Merck scholars.

Attention BISD Employees
On Monday, November 7, 2011, Brownsville ISD was advised that the Social Security numbers of employees who are enrolled for disability insurance were inadvertently posted by prior department administration in April 2011 on the Employee Benefits/Risk Management (EB/RM) website; a site accessible to the public. Once notified, the information was immediately removed. The information posted contained the employee name, estimated monthly salary, selected disability plan, disability premium, and employee ID number. Although this does not violate HIPPA regulations, the district understands the importance of safeguarding personal information and sincerely apologizes for this oversight. BISD is working closely with its EB/RM staff to ensure that sensitive data is more securely maintained. District employees who are impacted will be contacted individually by the Employee Benefits/Risk Management Department. The district encourages all impacted employees to be proactive by closely monitoring their credit reports. BISD employees may also call (956) 548-8061 for more information. Any additional information and/or updates related to this issue will be posted on the BISD homepage.

Solid Gold Performance
The Texas Education Agency has released the 2011 Gold Performance Acknowledgements (GPA). BISD campuses earned a total of 169 acknowledgments in all. The GPA System acknowledges districts and campuses for high performance on indicators other than those used to determine accountability ratings. These indicators are in statute (Texas Education Code) or are determined by the Commissioner of Education. Congratulations to BISD schools for earning these significant academic indicators. View the campus results.

BISD Choir Students Shine at Region and Pre-Area
Brownsville ISD choir students earned top marks at the Texas Music Educators Association (TMEA) Region and Pre-Area auditions held on November 5. Brownsville students earned 47 of the 80 chairs, including 7 of 8 first chairs. During afternoon auditions, BISD students earned 23 of 40 available slots to advance to the Area Audition, including 6 of the 8 first chairs. The Area Auditions will be held on January 7 in Rockport-Fulton.

Region Choir:
Hanna: 21, 3 first chairs
Lopez: 4
Pace: 1
Porter: 3
Rivera: 12, 3 first chairs
Veterans: 6, 1 first chair


Pre-Area Choir Advancing to Area Auditions
Hanna: 8, 1 first chair
Lopez: 3, 1 first chair
Pace: 1, 1 first chair
Porter: 1
Rivera: 8, 2 first chairs
Veterans: 2, 1 first chair

Hanna Shares Best Practices
The Texas Center for Student Success (TCSS) will visit Hanna High School during the 2011-2012 school year to learn about successful intervention and acceleration best practices. The results will be posted on Project Share as a learning tool for other educators and administrators. Specifically, TCSS will look at Hanna’s distributed leadership, community involvement and instructional strategies used in the ELAR/Social Studies Departments. The TCSS is part of the Institute for Public School Initiatives at the University of Texas at Austin. It is funded by the Texas Education Agency. The TCSS team annually identifies exemplar campuses across Texas and disseminates their intervention and acceleration best practices with other schools and districts along with relevant research and resources.


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