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April 2012
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Posted April 2012

Change in Employee Dental Insurance
BISD employees are advised that effective May 1, 2012, all district employees who currently have a dental plan with Delta Dental will be rolled over to the Humana Dental Plan. Read the letter from the Employee Benefits/Risk Management Department.

BISD Earns Award
Brownville ISD was honored for its support and commitment to the Neighbors In Need of Services (NINOS), Inc. Head Start/Early Head Start Program at the “Stars of Excellence” Banquet held in Harlingen at the Casa De Amistad on April 26.

2012-2013 Employee Transfers
The employee transfer period will begin on Monday, April 30. The deadline to submit a transfer application is Friday, May 11 before 5 pm. All employees are eligible to apply for a transfer. Any employee wishing to be considered for a transfer must use this time to do so. Certified and classified employees must submit an on-line transfer application before 5 pm on Friday, May 11. It is the employee’s responsibility to meet this deadline. For more information, please go to

Pace Student Honored with ExxonMobil Texas Science and Engineering Fair Award
Alberto Garcia, a Pace High School senior, was recognized for his innovation and scientific prowess at the ExxonMobil Texas Science and Engineering Fair, held March 29-April 1 in San Antonio. Albert earned fifth place in senior-division behavioral and social sciences for his project “Fail-You Go to Jail.” View the Media release.

Stell MS to Represent South Texas Region at 7th Annual Texas Quiz Show State Contest
Stell Middle School earned the right to represent the South Texas region by besting other teams in the 2012 Texas Quiz Show regional tournament hosted by the University of Texas at Brownsville. By placing first in their region, the team from Stell Middle School led by their campus coordinator, Martín Leal, will move on to the State Contest to be held at the Bob Bullock Texas State History Museum’s Texas Spirit Theater on Saturday, May 5, 2012. The Texas Quiz Show is an academic competition about all things Texas intended to provide middle schools with by the Texas Legislature. View the media release.

BISD Dominates 2012 Middle School Region Choir!
Thirteen Rio Grande Valley school districts competed at the Region 28 Middle School Region Choir auditions held on Saturday, April 14 at Garcia Middle School. The Fine Arts Department is pleased to announce that BISD schools took 207 or 70% of the available 297 chairs. The annual Middle School Region Choir Concert will be held on Saturday, April 28 at 5 pm at Donna High School. Congratulations to our middle school students and their directors on this spectacular achievement. View all results.

A Message to Parents
BISD students will be STAAR/TAKS testing on April 23-26. The new STAAR is a timed test. Student attendance on these days is critical. Please stress the importance of rest, proper diet, and a positive attitude so that our children do their very best. It is also important that students arrive to school on time. Please note that no cell phones or electronic devices are allowed on BISD campuses during testing. As per the Texas Education Code, “Any irregularities in test security or confidential integrity may result in the invalidation of student results.” Thank you for your support of our students and school district.

BISD Schools Welcome A&M President
Texas A&M University President R. Bowen Loftin will visit with students at two BISD high schools, Veterans Memorial and Porter, on Monday, April 23. Loftin will emphasize the importance of pursuing a college degree when talking with students. Dr. Loftin was named the 24th president of Texas A&M on February 12, 2010.

Track Athletes Seek Regional Success
A total of 47 BISD high school students have qualified to advance to the Regional Track and Field Meet to be held on April 27-28 at Alamo Stadium in San Antonio.

Hanna Boys & Girls: Jonathan Gonzalez, Esteban Ibarra, Jonathan Marks, Ricky Camargo, Jorge Trejo, Juan Cardenas, Esequiel Celleros, Anthony Rodriguez, Jose Herrera, Tony Flores, Saira Gonzalez, Perla Yanez

Lopez Boys & Girls: Meme Vera, Edward Naranjo, Beatriz Castillo

Pace Boys & Girls: Hiram Morales, Daniel Munoz, Evelyn Rodriguez, Yesenia Ruiz

Porter Boys & Girls: Joel Garza, Arturo Medina, Angel Flores, Jose Luis Barcenas, Ernest Atkinson, Mario Villa, Oscar Gonzalez, Ashley Torres, Chrystia Cruz, Genesis Romero, Erin De La Garza, Ashely De Los Santos, Patty Larazolo.

Rivera Boys & Girls: Jocquil Evans, Michael Galvan, Christina Rivera, Keila Rodriguez, Monica Salazar, Teira Sellers, April Chapa, Desarey Endsley, Natali Gonzalez, Karla Avila Crystal Perez, Aurelia Garcia, Samantha Diaz, Brandy Endsley.

Veterans Memorial Boy and Girl: Pedro Castillas, Michaela Arteaga

Best of luck to our BISD athletes!

To Infinity and Beyond
Brownsville ISD proudly announces the implementation of a 2012-2013 Science Technology Engineering and Math (STEM) Infinity Project Magnet Initiative. The program will begin with 100 eligible sixth grade students from each BISD middle school and will grow one grade level per year for the next 3 years. The STEM Infinity Project reinforces math and science through technical, mechanical, civil, environmental, and biomedical engineering. Students apply concepts through hands-on design projects such as building speakers, robots, rockets, and prosthetic legs. Upon completion of the program, students are well prepared to succeed in STEM coursework. Applications must be submitted to the respective 5th grade counselor at each elementary school by Friday, April 27. For more information about eligibility criteria and requirements, including a student application, download a brochure here.

Garcia Destined for Globals
The Garcia Middle School Destination Imagination (DI) Team, DI Gators, will represent BISD at the DI Global Finals to be held on May 23-26 in Knoxville, Tennessee. Garcia students will join over 125,000 students from across the United States and more than 30 countries at the competition. The DI Gators are advancing after a 4th place win at the "Floating with Creativity" DI State Competition held on April 13-14 in Corpus Christi, Texas. Nine BISD teams competed with over 400 teams from across Texas at the state meet. View the BISD state results.

Attention BISD Employees
Information regarding the BISD Voluntary Transfer of Days is now available. No one expects emergencies but when they come, it is a relief to know that the Voluntary Transfer of Days Program is available to any employee who is not a member of the district's Sick Leave Bank. This program is to be used in the event of catastrophic illnesses or injuries. It is another benefit available to BISD employees. Contact the BISD Employee Benefits Department at 548-8061 for more information. Download the Voluntary Transfer of Days guidelines, application, withdrawal application, and licensed practitioner statement here.

Former BISD Teacher Earns National Accolades
Scott Charlesworth-Seiler, a former BISD teacher who began his career at Martin Elementary in 1982-84, is one of 5 teachers nationally to be inducted this year into the National Teachers Hall of Fame in Emporia, Kansas. He and four other inductees will be honored next month in Washington, D.C. and then again in Emporia. Charlesworth-Seiler, who has fond memories of Martin, will include photos of the Brownsville elementary school in a permanent display at the Hall of Fame. The National Teachers Hall of Fame recognizes and honors exceptional career teachers, encourages excellence in teaching, and preserves the rich heritage of the teaching profession in the United States. Learn more at

Top UIL Marks for Middle School Bands
Brownsville ISD had 21 middle school bands participate in the 2012 UIL Middle School Concert and Sight Reading contest held on April 10-12 at Lopez High School. A total of 18 BISD bands earned UIL awards. Ten of the bands were awarded UIL Sweepstakes trophies while 8 improved their ratings from last year. The BISD Fine Arts Department also provided an evaluation performance for 10 middle school bands that were not eligible for UIL competition. This evaluation performance provided students with an opportunity to critically analyze their mastery of the TEKS of the instrumental music curriculum. In total, 31 BISD middle school bands, serving approximately 2,600 students in grades 6-8, were evaluated either internally or through UIL competition. BISD has always had a strong band program and these latest results clearly show the district’s continued commitment to excellence. View all results

High Standards for BISD Dancers
BISD held a Dance Evaluation Contest on Saturday, April 12 at Veterans High School. All 6 district high schools and 5 middle schools participated. The dance groups were evaluated by 3 college dance professors in the areas of lyrical modern, contemporary, ballet, tap, and jazz. BISD has raised its standards so in order to evaluate dance students at the same level as students in band and choir. No other Texas district uses an evaluation system like this for fine arts dance education. This is the 5th year that this evaluation has been conducted and BISD students have shown amazing progress. The rating scale is 1 - Superior, II – Excellent, and III – Good. View this year’s evaluation results.

Amazing Manzano Artists
Four Manzano Middle School students placed in the 2012 Texas Junior Duck Stamp Competition. Congratulations to Valeria Ruelas, 2nd Place; and Cesar Davila, Edwardo Martinez, and Marcos Vasquez, Honorable Mention Awards. The Aransas National Wildlife Refuge coordinated the event.

Live Soccer Tournament Action
The Region IV Class 5A Boys and Girls Soccer Tournament being held at the Brownsville Sports Park can be viewed live here today, Friday, April 13, beginning at 12 noon. The Lopez Lobos will play San Antonio Reagan on Friday at 4:30 pm. BISD supports the Lobos! Click here to watch all the soccer action.

Everyone is invited to attend the UIL Region IV Soccer Tournament on Friday, April 13 and Saturday, April 14 at the Brownsville Sports Park. Admission is $7 for adults and $4 for students with a school ID card. See you at the games. View the schedule of matches here.

BISD High School Bands Hit 100%
BISD high school bands made history once again when all six earned sweepstakes trophies at the 2012 UIL High School Band Concert and Sight-Reading Contest held at the UTB/TSC Arts Center recently. BISD’s strong band programs have posted consistent, improved results for 7 consecutive years. This is the first time that all district bands have achieved a 100% success rate. It is well-known that success in instrumental music directly correlates to the development of higher level thinking. Kudos to our BISD band students, parents and directors. View all results.

Employee Health Screenings
Brownsville ISD has almost completed the employee health screenings. Everyone is to be commended for increasing this year’s participation rate to a new high. Kudos to Gallegos Elementary and Brownsville Learning Academy for 100% participation. There will be one final make-up screening at the Central Administrative Building (CAB) on Wednesday, April 11 from 6:30 am - 12 Noon and at Food & Nutrition Services on Thursday, April 12 from 6:30 am - 12:00 Noon for any employee who missed an opportunity at their campus or department. Participation in these final screenings will be logged in at the employee’s work location. Thank you for taking advantage of the district’s health screenings. Wellness is Hot Stuff in BISD!

Porter Students Save Tax Prep Fees
Tax season for the Porter High School Volunteer Income Tax Assistance (VITA) Club has come to a successful end. A total of 26 student volunteers, certified as Basic Tax Preparers, completed 107 returns saving $10,000 in tax preparations fees for taxpayers whose adjusted gross income was $49,000 or less. Income credits hit $140,833.00 and refund amounts totaled $259,081.00. Porter High School is the only Brownsville school to offer this free financial assistance. Students rigorously trained for 12 consecutive weeks and attended a mandatory 8-hour training conducted by an Internal Revenue Service agent and UTB business and accounting professors. This is VITA’s third year of operation and best year to date. In 2010, the Porter VITA site was audited by the IRS and received excellent marks making it a model program in Texas. The VITA club and site services are sponsored by Alberto Velez, a Porter business teacher.

Veterans Theatre Making History
The Brownsville Veterans Memorial High School One Act Play cast will advance to 32 4A Area Competition on Tuesday, April 10 at Del Mar College in Corpus Christi. Six Veterans cast members received individual awards at the district competition held in Mission on April 3. View the results.

Area Soccer Playoffs
Best wishes to our Boys Soccer Teams from Lopez, Porter and Rivera High Schools as they compete in the 5A Area competition on Thursday, April 5. Brownsville ISD schools have a proud soccer tradition and have earned a distinguished reputation in the state. We are very proud of our soccer athletes.

Dr. Carl A. Montoya
Superintendent of Schools

Two BISD Schools Advance in OAP
Both Lopez and Porter High Schools will advance to Area One Act Play (OAP) competition to be held on Saturday, April 14 at Veterans Memorial High School in Brownsville. This ranks the Lopez and Porter drama departments among the top in Texas. Juan Balzaldua from Rivera and Isle Zacharias from Lopez won the Best Actor and Best Actress awards out of 70 participants. BISD made history when four high schools, Hanna, Lopez, Porter and Rivera, advanced to the District One Act Play competition on March 31. The four schools performed to packed audiences. View all OAP results.

BISD Administrators Invited to Summit
Two BISD high school principals, Teri Alarcon from Hanna High School and Dawn Hall from Brownsville Early College High School, have received personal invitations to participate in the upcoming VistaSummit: Focus on Education to be held on Tuesday, April 17 at the University of Texas-Pan American in Edinburg. The VistaSummit, the second to be held in the Rio Grande Valley, will bring together a specific group of educational leaders and community partners. The goal of the summit is to develop a regional action plan with fundable projects centered on the region’s greatest asset – its people. Alarcon and Hall were invited to participate in a candid, intimate dialogue with national experts and foundation and philanthropic leaders about the future of education in the Rio Grande Valley.

“It is an honor for Brownsville ISD to have two high school principals included in the upcoming VistaSummit. Ms. Alarcon and Ms. Hall are extremely knowledgeable and will have much to contribute to this dialogue about education in our Valley,” said Dr. Carl A. Montoya.



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