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Posted October

Middle School Choirs Soar
Brownsville ISD middle school choir students participated in a Solo & Ensemble Contest in San Benito recently. Once again BISD schools dominated the competition. View the results.

Vote for Our Student Athlete
Oscar Baez, a football player for the Veterans Memorial High School Team, has been nominated for the Gridiron Legends Player of the Week Award presented by Dave Campbell’s Texas Football. Oscar is one of ten nominees for the weekly statewide award which is decided by fan voting. Click here to vote for Oscar Baez.

HAC Service Provides Grades Online
Brownsville ISD has launched the Home Access Center (HAC), an online software that helps keep parents informed about their child’s academic performance at school. Using a simple login, parents can view grades and assignments for each course their child is enrolled in at school. To gain access, a parent/ guardian must register and sign a user agreement at their child’s campus. School personnel will verify the information on the form and establish an account. Parents should contact the campus with questions regarding the Home Access Center.

Two BISD Bands are Bound for State
Two BISD high school marching bands, Hanna Eagles and Lopez Lobos, have earned coveted spots at the 20012 UIL 5A State Marching Band Championship scheduled for Tuesday, November 6 at the Alamo Dome in San Antonio. The BISD bands advanced to the state contest after scoring top notch performances at the UIL area 6 Marching Band Competition held in Laredo on Saturday, October 27. The Rivera and Veterans Memorial bands also participated in the area competition. Best of Luck to our bands at the State contest.

Explorer/Wildlife Expert will Visit BISD
Mireya Mayor, a renowned Anthropologist/Primatologist, will visit Breeden and Sharp Elementary Schools and Vela Middle School on Tuesday, October 30.  Dr. Mayor, often referred to as the female Indiana Jones, has worked as a wildlife correspondent for the last ten years on television shows including National Geographic’s television series “Ultimate Explorer.” Her visit to Brownsville is sponsored by National Geographic Learning and Cengage Learning, BISD’s state adopted provider for ESL instructional materials.   She will visit Breeden from 8:30 am to 9:30 am and Vela from 10:00 to 11:00 am.  Mayor will also speak at a luncheon to be held from 12-2 pm at the UTB/TSC ITECC Center.  Her last visit is Sharp from 2:30 to 3:15 pm.

Breeden Elementary To Be Dedicated
On Saturday, October 27, 2012 at 10 AM, the Brownsville Independent School District will officially dedicate its newest elementary school to Daniel Breeden, a respected former school administrator.

Daniel Breeden was appointed principal at the newly named Hanna High School in 1974 and continued in this post until he retired in 1986. His retirement marked the completion of a 29-year career with BISD. He remains the longest serving principal of BISD’s oldest and still existing high school.

Stipend News
Good news! The first half of the Board approved $1,200 stipend will be paid to all eligible BISD full-time employees in the November paycheck. BISD employees who were employed as of June 30, 2012 and who remain employed at the time the stipend is paid on November 15, 2012 will receive the first payment of $600 minus applicable taxes. Please note that the stipend is not eligible for Texas Retirement System (TRS) benefits. The final half of the stipend will be paid to eligible full-time BISD employees in their May paycheck.

Porter Student Commended
Brownsville ISD is pleased to announce that Hugo A. Valdiva, a Porter High School student, earned “Commended” status in the 2012 National Merit Scholarship Program. High school students enter the National Merit Program by taking the Preliminary SAT/National Merit Scholarship Qualifying Test (PSAT/NMSQT).

Competition is Healthy
Brownsville ISD campuses are joining the City of Brownsville in participating in the Healthy at H-E-B Community Challenge which runs from September 1-October 31, 2012. Communities across Texas are competing by logging in their healthy initiatives to see which community can mobilize the most healthy action and win the title. Points are earned with activities such as zumba, running clubs, etc. Brownsville has already topped the Statewide Scoreboard in the mid-size city category with over 6,000 points. For more information, click here or contact Anisa Gonzalez, the BISD Wellness Coordinator, at
698-0194 or agonzalez@bisd.us, Wellness is hot stuff in BISD!

Four BISD Bands March On
Brownsville ISD high school bands competed at the annual UIL Region 28 Pigskin Jubilee held in San Benito on Saturday, October 20. A total of twenty-three 5A bands participated in the marching contest and earned ratings from 1 to 5 with 1 as the highest rating. All BISD high school band programs gave exceptional performances. Four BISD schools, Hanna, Lopez, Rivera, and Veterans Memorial, earned perfect superior ratings and have advanced to the UIL Area Competition to be held on Saturday, October 27 at the Laredo United ISD Bill Johnson Student Activity Complex Stadium. Bands from Laredo, Corpus Christi, San Antonio, and the Rio Grande Valley will all compete at the area contest for a chance to advance to the UIL 5A State Marching Band competition to be held at the Alamo Dome in San Antonio on Tuesday, November 6. Best of luck to our four BISD bands!

BISD receives $10,000 grant to support STEM program
– Many public schools across the country are placing greater emphasis on science, technology, engineering and mathematics (STEM) curriculum. Thanks to the support of local farmers and America’s Farmers Grow Rural Education℠, Brownsville Independent School District (ISD) received a $10,000 grant to support STEM Infinity Magnet programs among its middle schools. Classes began this year with 100 6th grade students at each campus and will grow one grade level per year for the next three years.

America’s Farmers Grow Rural Education, sponsored by the Monsanto Fund, gives farmers the opportunity to nominate a public school district in their community to compete for a grant of either $10,000 or $25,000 to enhance education in the areas of math and/or science. More than 1,000 nominated school districts submitted applications. The Monsanto Fund will invest $2.3 million into rural education through this program.

“By directing these funds into our STEM Infinity Magnet Program, we hope to help further a vision of sustainability and innovation in order to protect and preserve our planet,” said Dr. Carl A. Montoya, Brownsville ISD superintendent. “Brownsville ISD is honored to receive this grant. These funds will directly impact many of our students who are enrolled in the new STEM Infinity Magnet Program at 11 district middle schools.” -View media release

Stipend News
Good news! The first half of the Board approved $1,200 stipend will be paid to all eligible BISD full-time employees in the November paycheck. BISD employees who were employed as of June 30, 2012 and who remain employed at the time the stipend is paid on November 15, 2012 will receive the first payment of $600 minus applicable taxes. Please note that the stipend is not eligible for Texas Retirement System (TRS) benefits. The final half of the stipend will be paid to eligible full-time BISD employees in their May paycheck.

BISD Wins Grant
Brownsville Independent School District (BISD) has been selected as a $10,000 grant winner in America’s Farmers Grow Rural Education, which gives farmers the opportunity to nominate their public school district to apply for a merit-based grant to enhance math and science education. The grants are available through the Monsanto Fund. After a three tier grant review process, Brownsville ISD was selected as one of nine winners in Texas. Brownsville ISD faculty, local farmers and Monsanto representatives will participate in a check presentation ceremony on Monday, October 22 at 5 pm in the Vela Middle School Gymnasium, 4905 Paredes Line Road. BISD will use these grant funds for the district’s new STEM Infinity Magnet Program which was established at all middle schools this school year. Infinity classes began with 6th grade students and the program will grow one grade level per year for the next three years. More than $2.3 million will be invested in rural education across 39 states through this program. This year, more than 61,000 farmers nominated 3,342 school districts to apply for grants. America’s Farmers Grow Rural Education is part of a four-part initiative, sponsored by the Monsanto Fund, which highlights the important contributions farmers make every day to our society.

Tour the New BAC
Brownsville Independent School District (BISD) will host a grand opening ceremony for the new Brownsville Academic Center (BAC) building on Friday, October 19 at 9 AM. Everyone is invited to tour this new alternative education campus which opened to students on August 27, the first day of class. The new BAC is located at 3308 Robindale Road on a 9 acre tract of land. With a motto of “Enter to Learn…Leave to Lead,” BAC is designed to provide meaningful academic experiences for students in grades 6-12. Students who are assigned to BAC participate in the Performance Training Program for either a 30 or 45-day time period. The school features a military setting that provides consistency, structure, intense academics, and support services to enable students to grow intellectually, socially, emotionally, and psychologically. View the release On Camera

On Camera
The Brownsville ISD Transportation Department is currently installing mobile video surveillance systems complete with audio on the district’s school buses. The addition of these systems will increase student and employee safety. Over 50 systems have already been installed. Plans are to install this state-of-the-art equipment in the majority of the district’s buses by the end of the school year.

Six Top BISD Students
Six BISD high school students were named scholars in the National Hispanic Recognition Program (NHRP). The district’s 2012-2013 recipients are: Marissa Gonzalez – Homer Hanna High School Andrea Martinez – Brownsville Early College High School Olivia Vasquez – Lopez High School Sergio Cavazos – Veterans Memorial High School Carlos Sandoval – Porter High School Hugo Valdivia – Porter High School Congratulations to these outstanding students.

Porter Student Commended
Brownsville ISD is pleased to announce that Hugo A. Valdiva, a Porter High School student, earned “Commended” status in the 2012 National Merit Scholarship Program. High school students enter the National Merit Program by taking the Preliminary SAT/National Merit Scholarship Qualifying Test (PSAT/NMSQT).

Go Team!
The final total is in and the news is fantastic. Brownsville ISD employees generously donated $362,498.69 to the district’s 2012 United Way campaign. Campus by campus, department by department, BISD employees contributed so that the United Way of Southern Cameron County can continue its work in providing support services to our local community. This total is $58,868.65 more than last year and the second largest amount ever donated by BISD employees. Thank you for your strong support of this organization.

Tour the New BECHS Building
Brownsville ISD (BISD) will host a grand opening ceremony for the new Brownsville Early College High School (BECHS) building on Saturday, October 13 at 10 AM. Everyone is invited to tour this new educational facility which opened to students on August 27. The specially designed school occupies almost 4 acres on the University of Texas/Texas Southmost College (UTB/TSC) campus reinforcing its focus on college academic readiness. The BECHS mission was to hand-pick middle school candidates and give them an opportunity to be the first in their families to earn a college degree. That was the promise when BISD and UTB/TSC, with assistance from several partner organizations, established BECHS at the historic Clearwater campus in August, 2008. It was a chance to earn college credit, at no cost to the student, and accumulate hours towards a college degree. -View the entire release.

Enjoy Sams Stadium (Updated)
BISD’s historic Sams Stadium is open to members of the public who would like to exercise on Mondays through Fridays from 6 am – 7:00 pm. The stadium is closed on weekends and during school district functions. For more information, call the BISD Athletic Department at 548-8261.

Chess Cancellation
The BISD chess tournament scheduled to be held on Saturday, October 20 at Porter High School has been cancelled. The next tournament is the Dr. Americo Paredes Fall Chess Scholastics Tournament on Saturday, November 3. For more information, call advanced Academic Services at 548-8291.

West Nile Virus Prevention
•Use an approved insect repellent every time you go outside and follow the instructions on the label. Approved repellents are those that contain DEET, picaridin or oil of lemon eucalyptus.

•Regularly drain standing water, including water that collects in empty cans, tires, buckets, clogged rain gutters and saucers under potted plants. Mosquitoes breed in stagnant water.

•Wear long sleeves and pants at dawn and dusk when mosquitoes are most active.

•Use air conditioning or make sure there are screens on all doors and windows to keep mosquitoes from entering the home.

For more information on West Nile virus, visit the City of Brownsville Health Department website at http://health.cob.us, call 956-542-3437, or visit the State of Texas DSHS website at www.dshs.state.tx.us/idcu/disease/arboviral/westNile/.

Flu Shots for BISD Employees
The final free flu shot clinic for BISD employees will be held on Wednesday, October 10 from 3-5 pm in the Administration Building lobby. The clinic is provided by BlueCross Blue Shield of Texas, BISD’s current third party administrator for group medical insurance. The clinic will be hosted by Walgreens Pharmacy.

Enjoy Sams Stadium
BISD’s historic Sams Stadium is open to members of the public who would like to exercise on Mondays through Fridays from 6 am – 7:30 pm. The stadium is closed on weekends and during school district functions. For

Lopez Graduate Awarded Scholarship
Jose Rodrigo Leal, son of Jose and Theresa Leal of Brownsville, Texas, has been awarded the 2012 American Meteorological Society/Earth Resources Technology, Inc. Scholarship. Jose is a graduate of Lopez High School and is pursuing a bachelor’s degree in atmospheric sciences at Harvard College. The AMS/Industry Minority Scholarship is intended to encourage minority students who have been traditionally underrepresented in the sciences, especially Hispanic/Latino, American Indian/Alaska Native, and Black/African American students, to pursue careers in the atmospheric and related oceanic and hydrologic sciences. Five scholarships have been made possible through the generous contributions of AMS members to the AMS 21st Century Campaign, Baron Services, Inc., and Earth Resources Technology, Inc. The award is $3000 for a nine-month period in the freshman year and an additional $3000 for a nine-month period in the sophomore year, based on performance in the first year. Read the news release.

Student Attendance: Everyone’s Responsibility
Brownsville ISD will conduct monthly attendance sweeps in an effort to improve student attendance, get students college ready and college connected, and produce productive and responsible citizens. Students who skip school or who are not enrolled in school will be targeted. BISD personnel from several departments and campuses as well as security and police officers will participate in the sweeps at homes and other community locations on a monthly basis. View the announcement in English/Spanish.

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