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View the BISD District Plan of Innovation Posted March 30, 2016
The BISD District of Innovation Committee has developed a District Plan of Innovation which will remain posted on the homepage for the next 30 days. The committee will hold a hearing to present the district plan to the public prior to a committee vote. The district plan will then be placed before the Board of Trustees for a vote. At the regular Board Meeting held on Tuesday, March 1, BISD Trustees approved a resolution that started the process to allow Brownsville ISD to become a District of Innovation. This concept, passed in the 84th Legislative Session in House Bill 1842 (2015), gives traditional independent school districts most of the flexibilities available to Texas open enrollment charter schools. BISD is pursuing the District of Innovation designation for purposes of flexibility in the instructional calendar and teacher evaluations. To access these flexibilities, the school district must adopt an innovation plan, as set forth in Texas Education Code 12A. View the BISD District Plan of Innovation here.

State Chess Meet Comes to Brownsville
Paredes Elementary hosted the 2016 Texas State Scholastic Chess Championship at Rivera ECHS on March 5-6. Almost 1,800 players from across Texas participated in the two-day event. Channel 5’s Rick Diaz featured the state competition on a segment of Con Mi Gente which aired on Tuesday, March 29, 2016. View the story.

Spotlight on the BISD Pharmacy Program
The BISD Career and Technical Education (CTE) Pharmacy Technician Program was featured in The Brownsville Herald Education Extra on Wednesday, March 30, 2016. Read the story here

Apply for Summer School
The application for the 2016 BISD Summer School is now open online. The deadline to apply is Tuesday, April 5 at 5 pm. Late applications will not be accepted. Current, full-time BISD employees may apply here.

BISD Students Are Making Powerlifting History.
Congratulations to Julieann Delgado who won the Texas High School Women’s Powerlifting Association (THSWPA) State Championship to earn Brownsville ISD’s first ever State Powerlifting championship title. Hanna ECHS Students Alexa Alaniz earned 2nd place, Alexandra Chavez earned 3rd place, and Maya Perez placed 5th at the state competition enabling Hanna to finish 6th place overall. A total of 22 BISD male powerlifters are heading to the Texas High School Powerlifting Association (THSPA) State Powerlifting Championship. Congratulations to Eric Tong, Arturo Mancias, Ramon Delgado, Nathan Silva, Leo Gonzalez, Rafa Pena, Ricky Arreola, Andre Gonzalez from Hanna ECHS; Alex Berrones, Leo Alaniz, Jose Alvarado, Danny Diaz, Hugo Salas, Rogelio Pulido, Danny Ramos, Alexis Olalde, Jose Trevino from Lopez ECHS; Misael Marquez, Yayo Segura, Pablo Garza from Pace ECHS; and Joel Sanchez, Brandon Martinez from Veterans Memorial ECHS. The state competition will be held at the Taylor County Expo Center in Abilene, Texas on Saturday, April 2. Congratulations also goes out to the Lopez ECHS Boys Powerlifting Team for their THSPA Region V, Division I win. Best of luck to these fine athletes and their coaches as they head to state competition.

BISD Schools Earn NCUST Awards
Four BISD schools have been ranked among the best performing urban schools in America by the National Center for Urban School Transformation (NCUST). Benavides Elementary and Pace ECHS earned the coveted Excellence in Education Silver Award with the possibility that those awards could become Gold Awards when the final announcements are made on May 23-25 at the 2016 National Excellence in Urban Education Symposium in San Diego, California. Breeden Elementary and Veterans Memorial ECHS were both named Bronze Award winners. A total of 16 BISD elementary schools, Canales, Castañeda, Champion, Gallegos, Gonzalez, Keller, Martin, Morningside, Palm Grove, Paredes, Peña, Sharp, Skinner, Southmost, Vermillion and Yturria, were named to this year’s NCUST Honor Roll. The NCUST finalists all serve low-income communities with an array of challenges but still boast achievement results that exceed state averages for all students. In 2015, Ortiz Elementary earned the NCUST Silver award and Benavides and Breeden Elementary Schools were Bronze award recipients. Paredes and Pullam Elementary Schools were both named to the Honor Roll. View the 2016 National Excellence in Urban Education Award Winners.

Power Back at El Jardin
Electricity has been restored at El Jardin Elementary School.

Loss of Power at El Jardin
El Jardin Elementary is experiencing loss in electrical power in some parts of the campus and phone lines are down due to transformer problems. The students are safe but some classes have been relocated to other areas of the campus that have power. Meals will be served and teaching and learning will continue today while the transformer is being repaired. While every effort is being made to ensure a normal school day, parents may pick up their children at any time.

Possible Bus Delays
Brownsville ISD parents are advised that possible inclement weather on Wednesday, March 9 may delay school buses taking students to school in the morning. For more information, contact the BISD Transportation Department at 548-8085 beginning at 5:15 am. Thank you.

BISD Schools Tops in State Chess
Four BISD schools claimed the titles of Texas Chess Champions in their respective sections, Yturria Elementary, K-1; Paredes Elementary, K-3; Stillman Middle School, Middle School; and Veterans Memorial ECHS, High School; at the 2016 Texas Scholastic Chess Tournament. Paredes Elementary School hosted the state tournament at Rivera ECHS on Saturday, March 5 and Sunday, March 6. Garden Park and Hudson Elementary Schools and Manzano Middle School brought home 2nd place awards. Vela Middle School placed 3rd and Brite Elementary placed 4th and 5th in two sections. Benavides Elementary also earned a 5th place. Congratulations to these outstanding BISD chess teams, sponsors and parents. Special thanks to Paredes Elementary and Rivera ECHS on a very successful state tournament. View the BISD results here.

Summer School Employment
Online applications for the 2016 BISD Summer School will be available on Tuesday, March 22.

ACE Teacher Earns National Award
Diana Hite, a BISD Adult Continuing Education (ACE) teacher, was recently named the national Runner-Up for the Outstanding Teacher of the Year Award sponsored by the Commission on Adult Basic Education (COABE). Hite was also selected as the 2013-2014 Texas Teacher of the Year for the Texas Association for Literacy and Adult Education (TALAE). She currently works as the ACE Welcome Back Teacher for students who have degrees from other countries by assisting them in finding employment better suited to their degrees. COABE is 13,000 members strong and growing, and provides a variety of services including competitive national-level awards, incentive grants, and scholarship opportunities annually through special funding provided by Dollar General Literacy Foundation. View the COABE media release.

Garden Park Wins Match Cup
Garden Park Elementary School was named the Texas Lonestar Math Cup Champion for Region One. The contest is sponsored by Think Through Math! Congratulations to the third through fifth grade students and their teachers for earning this well-deserved recognition of their hard work. As the Region One winner, Garden Park will receive a $100 Wal-Mart gift card and a Lonestar Math Cup Top Region banner to hang at the school.

BISD Welcomes Texas Chess Teams
The 2016 Texas Scholastic Chess Championship, hosted by Paredes Elementary School, will be held at Rivera ECHS on Saturday, March 5 and Sunday, March 6. Over 1,800 players from across Texas are expected to participate. View the story posted on Thursday, March 3 in The Brownsville Herald.

BISD to Develop District of Innovation Plan
At the regular Board Meeting held on Tuesday, March 1, BISD Trustees approved a resolution that will start the process for Brownsville to become a District of Innovation. This concept, passed in the 84th Legislative Session in House Bill 1842 (2015), gives traditional independent school districts most of the flexibilities available to Texas open enrollment charter schools. BISD is pursuing the District of Innovation designation for purposes of flexibility in the school year start date and for flexibility in the tools used for professional staff evaluation. To access these flexibilities, a school district must adopt an innovation plan, as set forth in Texas Education Code 12A.

7 BISD Schools Named to Texas Honor Roll
The Educational Results Partnership and the Institute for Productivity in Education has named seven BISD schools to the Inaugural 2015 Texas Honor Roll. Congratulations to Castañeda, Benavides, Breeden, Longoria, Ortiz, and Resaca Elementary Schools and the Brownsville Early College High Schools. The 2015 Honor Roll includes public elementary, K-8 and high schools that are recognized for demonstrating consistently high levels of student academic achievement, improvement in achievement over time, and reduction in achievement gaps. For high schools, Honor Roll recognition includes measures of college readiness in students. In its inaugural year, the Texas Honor Roll recognized 713 higher performing, higher poverty schools that are distinguished for their academic achievement and closing achievement gaps.

Strong Students
A total of 16 BISD female student powerlifters have qualified to compete at regional competition. Congratulations to Alexa Alaniz, Tamara Guerrero, Sofia Cruz, Gabby Haylock, Alexandra Chavez, Maya Perez, Valeria Reyes, Amanda Garcia and Joy Perez from Hanna ECHS. Their coach is Michael Chavez. Marisol Pulido, Melanie Quintero, Julianna Delgado and Alexis Rivas qualified from Lopez ECHS. Their coach is Hugo Ramirez. Perla Hernandez and Demi Ibarra, coached by Jose Espinoza, qualified from Pace ECHS. Suzy Martinez, coached by Gilbert Myers, qualified from Veterans Memorial ECHS. Best of luck to these athletes as they advance in competition.

Benavides and Breeden Honored
Two BISD elementary schools, Benavides and Breeden, have been named "Top Reading Schools” by the University of Texas-RGV and the Texas Coalition for Literacy. The principals and librarians of these two campuses will be honored with plaques at the Festival of South Texas International Books & Art “Festiba” Community Day on Friday, March 4 at the Edinburg City Hall Courtyard in Edinburg, Texas. Benavides and Breeden are also the highest performing schools in the BISD Accelerated Reading Proficiencies Contest for the 4th six weeks. View the Festiba poster.

Showcasing BISD Student Artists
Brownsville ISD middle and early college high school art students will celebrate the 40th Annual Secondary Art Contest Exhibit on Saturday, March 5, 2016 at the Brownsville Museum of Fine Art located at 660 E. Ringgold Street. Admission is free and the exhibit will be open from 12 noon to 2 pm. The awards presentation is scheduled at 12:30 pm. The best 400 artworks for students in 6th-12th grade will be on display until Saturday, March 19, 2016. Take some time to view the exceptional art produced by BISD's many talented students.

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