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Montwood High Earns National Recognition as Model Campus

Montwood High School was recently named a 2017 Recognized ASCA Model Program School by the American School Counselor Association.

“I’m very proud of our counseling team,” said Rosemary Mireles-Menchaca, Montwood High School principal. “This process was long and rigorous but our counseling team has been working really hard to get systems in place that support the ASCA model of counseling. They work very well together to meet the academic, social and emotional needs of students.”

The campus is the only school in Texas and one of 104 across the country to be honored for its exemplary commitment to offering a comprehensive school counseling program.

The RAMP designation recognizes school counseling programs that are dedicated to delivering a comprehensive, data-driven and an exemplary educational environment to students.

“SISD is honored to have Montwood High School recognized as an American School Counselor Association model counseling program,” said Tammi Mackeben, SISD director of guidance and counseling. “This is very exciting as Montwood is the only Texas school to be recognized. This is a huge endeavor!”

To apply for the RAMP designation, schools must collect extensive data and information, a process that takes an entire academic year.

“This year’s RAMP honorees have shown their commitment to students and the school counseling profession,” said Jill Cook, ASCA assistant director in a press release. “RAMP designation distinguishes these schools and encourages school counselors nationwide to strive for excellence.”

Montwood High School will be honored at the annual ASCA conference in July where they will receive an engraved plaque to display at their campus.

Team SISD to host Dual Credit Summer Program for Seniors

The Socorro Independent School District, in partnership with Gear Up and El Paso Community College, is preparing students to get ahead in college while in high school with a dual credit summer camp.

SISD Superintendent José Espinoza, EPCC President William Serrata, and GEAR UP Executive Director Juliette Caire will welcome the students to the camp at the opening ceremony.

The camp will allow SISD seniors to earn credit for two college courses in four weeks. The new program is a first-of-its-kind in the El Paso region, and will benefit 400 seniors from five high schools in the district. Seniors will take a morning and afternoon dual credit class in two of the following courses: Education 1300, Speech 1321, Government 2305 or Economics 2301.

“Team SISD is proud to offer our students with endless opportunities that will prepare them for the future,” Espinoza said. “The dual credit summer camp is a great opportunity for students and is financially beneficial for their familiesbecause they can earn college hours while in high school.”

In order to take college courses while in high school, students must pass the Texas Success Initiative (TSI) exam. This year, the district increased the number of students who took the TSI for free to more than 6,000 compared to the 1,250 students who tested last year.

In addition, Team SISD also increased the capacity of dual credit teachers in the district through scholarship opportunities that allow educators to obtain their dual credit teaching credentials. Currently, about 60 teachers in SISD are taking graduate courses to earn their credentials to teach dual credit courses.

What:             Opening ceremony for Dual Credit Summer Program

Who:               SISD incoming seniors, SISD superintendent, EPCC president, faculty, staff

Where:           Montwood High School, Tony Harper gymnasium | 12000 Montwood Dr.

When:             Tuesday, May 31, 2016  8 a.m.

Ft. Bliss Soldiers Help Keep Montwood Safe with Mentor Program

Soldiers from a Fort Bliss company are walking the hallways, stairways and classrooms daily at Montwood High School as part of a program called “Ram Watch,” designed to increase security at the school.

Started in January, the purpose is to give back to the community and help keep the students, staff and administration safe, said Capt. Daniel Sloan, who is with Alpha Company 47th Brigade Support Battalion 2/1 Armor Division.

“Every day two of our soldiers show up and spend the day here,” Sloan said. “We like to think of it as a mentorship program.”

Soldiers help keep Montwood safe2The idea for the program is part of Fort Bliss Commanding General Stephen Twitty’s goal of strengthening community ties. He wants the military to be a positive presence in the El Paso area, Sloan said.

The soldiers also assist special needs students, help students with homework, monitor lunch times and answer any questions the youngsters
have.

“Often they will talk to us about what it takes to join the Army,” said El Paso native Sgt. Jasmine Bueno. “So many come up to us and thank us for serving.”

The soldiers do try to keep students in line, making sure they get to class on time and are not wandering the hallways, Bueno said.

“It’s been a lot of fun,” she said. “I have really liked working with the students.”

Ilyas Lujan, 17, is interested in joining the military and has talked to the soldiers about what he needs to do.Soldiers help keep Montwood safe1

“They really have been a good influence on us,” Lujan said. “I see them as role models we can look up to. Maybe that is why I want to join the
Army.”

The battalion will take a break in the summer and return to Montwood for the 2016-2017 school year ready to help in whatever way they can.

“They are awesome,” said Ram’s Principal Rosemary Mireles-Menchaca. “They give us such a strong sense of safety. That is at the forefront of what we do, so it’s a joy to see them here.”

Montwood High School set for Third Annual Operation Prom

The Montwood High School student council group will host Operation Prom, an annual event that benefits students in need of a formal dress or gown for prom.

This is the third year the campus transforms its school cafeteria into a dress shop where any teen girl has the opportunity to receive a free prom dress and accessories. Last year, more than 100 dresses were distributed to teen girls in the El Paso area.

“We want to continue the tradition,” said Jazmine Cuevas, student council member and shopcoordinator.

“Any girl can come get a dress. The important thing is to help those girls who need it.”

The Rams student council, 50 members strong, collects gently used dresses throughout the year from students and members of the community. Since its inception, Operation Prom also has received hundreds of donations and help from various stores and churches. Other El Paso area high schools, including Chapin, Irvin, Riverside, Del Valle, Burges, El Paso, Socorro, Eastwood and Mountain View, also partnered with the Rams.

For more information about Operation Prom, please call Montwood High School at 937-2400.

What:             Montwood High School’s third annual Operation Prom

Who:               Teen girls in the area who are in need of a prom dress, MHS student council

Where:           Montwood High School – 12000 Montwood Dr.

 When:             Saturday, April 2, 2016 | 10 a.m. to 12 p.m.

Montwood High Student Council seeks Donations of Gently Used Dresses for Operation Prom

For more than three years, Montwood High School Student Council has transformed the school cafeteria into a dress shop where any teen girl can choose a free prom dress and accessories.

This year’s Operation Prom store will open April 2, which gives teen girls who cannot afford a new prom dress the opportunity to pick a dress for free.

2015 MHS state recognition prom project3“We want to continue the tradition and are looking for anyone who can help,” said Jazmine Cuevas, a member of the Ram’s student council. “The important thing is to help those girls who need it.”

Through the years, the Rams’ project has become a huge success. It has received hundreds of donations and help from various stores, other El Paso area high schools and churches.

The council is currently looking for dress contributions to start preparing for the event. Donations can be made at the school from 8 a.m. to 3 p.m. Monday through Friday.

Operation Prom was recognized in 2015 as one of the top 10 projects in the state by the Texas Association of Student Councils.

What:            Montwood High School’s Student Council is asking for contributions of formal dresses to open the annual Prom Dress Shop

Who:              Montwood staff and student council, community members

Where:          Montwood High School 12000 Montwood Dr.

When:            8 a.m. to 3 p.m. Monday through Friday

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