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BISD Students Take the Stage
The BISD Theatrefest Finals 2016 were held on Tuesday, September 27 at the Lopez ECHS auditorium. Congratulations to the students who advanced through two days of preliminary and semi-final competitions to win awards. View the results.

BECHS Receives 2016 National Blue Ribbon Honors
The Brownsville Early College High School (BECHS) has been named a 2016 Blue Ribbon School by the U.S. Department of Education. The announcement was made on Wednesday, September 28, 2016. Only 26 schools, nominated by the Texas Education Agency (TEA), received this prestigious national award. All 26 Texas schools were selected as exemplary high performing schools as measured by state assessments or nationally normed tests. Each school has an economically disadvantaged population of 25% or greater. “I congratulate the teachers, administrators and staff members at each of these nationally recognized campuses in Texas,” said Commissioner of Education Mike Morath. “A strong commitment to successful student outcomes is evident throughout the school year at every National Blue Ribbon campus, past and present, across our state.” View the entire TEA media release.

District Choirs Mix It Up
Brownsville ISD mixed choir students representing six early college high schools earned 100 chairs or 62% of the total membership in the Texas Music Educators Association (TMEA) District Mixed Choir on Saturday, September 24 at Rivera ECHS. This is the first round in the process leading to membership in the auspicious TMEA All State Choir. A total of 500 students representing 15 schools participated in the district competition. The top 20 students in each section that were selected for membership in the District Mixed Choir will advance to the next audition level in November in Harlingen. Congratulations to four BISD students for ranking first chair in their sections: Jacqueline Villanueva, Soprano 2, Rivera ECHS; David Mejia, Tenor 1, Hanna ECHS; Daniel Ledesma, Tenor 2, Hanna ECHS; and Matthew Allen, Bass 1, Rivera ECHS. Congratulations to the BISD vocalists who participated in this competition. View the results by campus.

Beyond the Practice Room
Six BISD students representing Lopez, Pace and Hanna ECHS earned chairs in the Texas Music Educators Association (TMEA) All Region Band auditions held on Saturday, September 24 in Harlingen. One student advanced to the area round of auditions. The All Region Jazz Band will perform on Saturday, February 18, 2017 at the Harlingen CISD Performing Arts Center. Congratulations to these dedicated student musicians. View the BISD results by campus.

BISD Launches Dollars for Champs and Champions Program
Dr. Zendejas has been visiting district campuses to launch the new BISD Dollars for Champs and Champions program which will provide college scholarships to outstanding early college high school graduates and fund educational grants for motivated teachers and employees. Several interested private and public organizations have also expressed a desire to match any funds raised by the BISD Dollars for Champs and Champions program. BISD employees who wish to support this worthwhile initiative may make a tax deductible donation by completing this form and sending it to the BISD Payroll Department. Get the form here.

UTSA Top Scholar Session @ BISD
The University of Texas San Antonio (USTA) will host an information session for BISD top 5% seniors and juniors about the Top Scholar Program on Wednesday, October 5 from 5:30 – 7:00 pm in the BISD Boardroom. The UTSA Top Scholar Program is a merit based scholarship combined with personalized experiences in academics, leadership, and community service. Those selected to be Top Scholars will receive a four-year scholarship that includes funding for tuition, fees, and room and board. Recipients also receive support for internships and study abroad programs, priority registration privileges and are auto-enrolled in the Honors College. An RSVP is required by Monday, October 3 to attend. To learn more, view the flyer.

Del Castillo Shows Results to Foundation Guests
One year ago in September 2015, Del Castillo Elementary School was awarded a $15,000 grant to purchase library books by the Snapdragon Book Foundation. Del Castillo was one of only ten schools selected from 500 applications submitted nationwide. Members of the Snapdragon Foundation Board, Clark and Anne Knickerbocker, visited the Del Castillo library on September 14, 2016 to see the actual library books that were purchased with the grant funds. Jessica Hedrick, the Del Castillo librarian, made the effort to secure this grant to support student literacy. Congratulations to Del Castillo!

10 BISD campuses earn all possible distinctions in 2016 accountability ratings
The Texas Education Agency today announced that more than 400 campuses that achieved a Met Standard rating in the 2016 state accountability ratings also earned all distinction designations applicable to their individual school. A total of 10 BISD campuses are included in this group: Veterans Memorial Early College High School; Manzano Middle School; Martin Elementary School; Garden Park Elementary School; Sharp Elementary School; Gonzalez Elementary School; Champion Elementary School; Paredes Elementary School; Ortiz Elementary School; and Pullam Elementary School. Distinction designations are awarded to campuses based on achievement in performance indicators relative to a group of 40 campuses of similar type, size, and student demographics. Depending on campus grade levels and type, the number of potential distinction designations can vary. Up to seven distinction designations can be earned for • Academic Achievement in English Language Arts/Reading; • Academic Achievement in Mathematics; • Academic Achievement in Science; • Academic Achievement in Social Studies; • Top 25 Percent: Student Progress; • Top 25 Percent: Closing Performance Gaps; and • Postsecondary Readiness. “Earning one or more campus distinctions is noteworthy and should be a source of pride in a community,” said Commissioner of Education Mike Morath. “Earning all possible distinctions is a significant accomplishment and should signal to parents that there is extraordinary work taking place on that campus.” View the entire media release.

BISD Joins Health Alliance
In June, Brownsville ISD became a member of the Alliance for a Healthier Generation. The Alliance was founded by the American Heart Association and the Clinton Foundation in response to the growing rate of childhood obesity. The program is based on the latest research on childhood health combined with the most effective school policies. BISD is committed to creating systemic change that makes the healthy choice the easy choice for every student and employee. Learn more about the Alliance for a Healthier Generation movement here.

117 AP Awards for ECHS Students
A total of 104 current and former BISD early college high school students earned Scholar Awards in the College Bound Advanced Placement (AP) Program. The breakdown by campuses is: Hanna, 8; Lopez, 7; Pace, 18; Porter, 2; Rivera, 10; and Veterans Memorial, 59. These students have demonstrated college level achievement through AP courses and exams by scoring a 3 or higher on 3 or more AP exams. One Hanna student and ten Veterans Memorial students were named AP Scholars with Honor by earning a 3.25 average score on all AP exams and scores of 3 or higher on 4 or more AP exams. Two students, Michael Maldonado, Pace ECHS, and Jessica Loera, Veterans Memorial ECHS, were named AP Scholars with Distinction for earning a minimum 3.5 average score on all AP exams and scores of 3, 4, or 5 on 5 or more of the exams. These AP achievements are acknowledged on any score report that is sent to colleges the following fall. View the complete list of BISD students who earned AP Awards by campus.

Hanna and Lopez Bands March to Success
Students from Hanna, Lopez, Rivera, and Veterans Memorial Early College High Schools participated in the 2016 Bands of America Regional Marching Band Competition on Saturday, September 16, 2016 in McAllen. Bands from Laredo, San Antonio, Austin, and the Rio Grande Valley competed in this two day tournament. The Hanna Golden Eagle Marching Band won 3rd in its division and the Lopez Lobo Band earned the Outstanding General Effect Trophy and 1st Place in its division during the preliminary round. Both bands advanced to the final round and gave stellar performances in spite of blazing temperatures. Hanna completed the event with 5th place overall and Lopez won 10th place overall. Congratulations to all BISD students and their directors.

Oliveira Band Wins National Honor
The Oliveira Middle School Symphonic Band, under the direction of Gaspar Garcia, was named a Class AA Winner in the National Wind Band Honors contest held by the Foundation of Music Education. The Oliveira Band was the only band from South Texas to be recognized. Last year, the Oliveira Band was a Commended National Winner in Class AA. The National Wind Band Honors Contest through the Foundation of Music Education seeks to recognize and award outstanding achievement in performance by secondary school bands. Directors across the nation submitted CD recordings of their ensembles and adjudicators listened to all entries and provided detailed tape-recorded comments and brief written comments. Congratulations to these outstanding Oliveira Dolphins.

Splashin’ and Dashin’ Fun for All
The BISD Margaret M. Clark Aquatic Center will host a Family Splash and Dash event for BISD students, parents, and employees, ages 6 and up, on Saturday, September 24 at 9 am. Registration is free through September 22 and cost $5 after the deadline. Medals will be awarded to the first 100 participants and there is a prize for the best-spirited swimmer. Water shoes/athletic shoes are required. Register here.

Flu Shots
BISD employees have access to free flu shots. Flu vaccinations start on Monday, September 12. View the schedule.

Walk for the Future on September 17
Dr. Esperanza Zendejas, BISD Board Trustees and district, campus and community volunteers will spend Saturday, September 17, 2016 participating in the district’s annual “Walk for the Future.” Teams of volunteers will walk neighborhoods and go door to door to find students who have not returned to school this year or who have dropped out. The teams will visit with students and parents about the district’s many programs and graduation opportunities. View more information.

Colleges Come to BISD
BISD Early College High School juniors and seniors will participate in University Day on Thursday, September 29 at the Brownsville Events Center. The students will have the opportunity to visit with representatives from several colleges and universities to learn about their admissions procedures and educational programs. Call Pilar Janis, Lead & Higher Education Counselor, at 548-8251 for questions.



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