Monday , June 26 2017
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Tag Archives: Socorro ISD

Socorro ISD’s Benito Martinez Elementary Buries Time Capsule

The Benito Martinez Elementary community wanted to give the residents of the year 2042 a glimpse of what education was like in the years 2016 and 2017.

At the end of the school year, the campus filled an ice chest with letters, mementos, an American flag and a STAAR T-shirt among other things, glued it shut and buried the time capsule in the front patio of the school.

“We have been collecting items all year long to bury in our time capsule,” said Principal Greg Hatch. “In the first year that Benito Martinez was opened, they did the same thing and then buried a time capsule at the end of that year. We dug up the time capsule at the end of last year.”

The reason for the event was teaching students the importance of setting goals for the future. Many of the writing samples were students’ ideas about what they want to be, where they want to be, and what their dreams are, Hatch said.

“We wanted the kids to consider the future and what did they imagine it would be like in 25 years,” Hatch said. “We also thought that kids 25 years from now would be just like my kids, who had no idea what it was like for the Benito Martinez kids that buried their time capsule 25 years ago.”

Back then, students could have no idea what fidget spinners are. There were no personal computers in every classroom. Digital learning and tablets at our fingertips were something of the future. The writings and items placed in the time capsule captured what life is like for students today.

“This was a way to leave a little bit of ourselves behind for the future,” Hatch added.

Hatch wrote a letter to the future principal. He described everything that was in the box, including a yellow T-shirt in honor of two students who were battling cancer. A faculty picture and a letter from Assistant Principal, Bruce Mooy, to his newborn son, also were added.

“My main contributions were my hopes and my dreams that I wrote to the future principal, hoping that this great group of scholars I have here today can chase those dreams that they wrote about, be able to meet them, fulfill them and be wonderful, contributing members of society,” Hatch said.

Stephanie Alvarado Acosta, a fifth grader at Benito Martinez, wrote a letter for the time capsule that said she wanted to be either an author or a veterinarian.

“I am glad I did it,” Alvarado Acosta said. “It was so interesting. I like that it helps others see what was in the past and what we want to be in the future.”

To view all the pictures from the ceremony, click HERE.

Socorro ISD Volunteers Honored for Tireless Support of Students, Schools

Team SISD’s volunteers and parent volunteer groups contributed thousands of service hours to the 47 schools and many departments in the school district this school year.

These unsung heroes were honored for their dedication and service at the annual Volunteer Recognition and Awards Luncheon at ESC Region 19 Head Start Multi-Purpose Center.

“Every volunteer is instrumental to our success!” said SISD Superintendent Dr. José Espinoza. “We couldn’t be the best school district in town without your help. Thank you for your relentless dedication and assistance.”

The district has 9,253 registered volunteers who put in 122,351 service hours during the 2016-2017 school year. They help in whatever way they can from coordinating fundraisers to giving enrichment lessons to elementary school students. They work alongside faculty and staff to enhance and enrich educational opportunities provided to our children.

“The thousands of hours they contribute to our schools, sports, fine arts and other programs has had a tremendous impact on our students’ academics and social well-being,” said Rachel Tarango, SISD’s volunteer program coordinator. “They are dedicated and happy to be our extra pairs of hands for the district.”

About 500 people attended the recognition luncheon, in which one person from every school was recognized as Campus Volunteer of the Year. In addition, Team SISD honored its top five parent organizations and the Youth Volunteer of the Year. Two new awards also were announced: the Military Volunteer of the Year and the Healthier Team SISD award. Finally, the Elementary Volunteer of the Year and the Secondary Volunteer of the Year were announced.

Valerie Huh, who was named Secondary Volunteer of the Year, said volunteering to her means trying to support SISD in as many things as possible.

“It’s been wonderful to be at Puentes (Middle School),” Huh said. “This is the best middle school in SISD. There is such a positive atmosphere. You just want to jump in and be a part of what is going on. This is just the best place for children.”

The Elementary Volunteer of the Year, Janelle Gonzalez, has been a volunteer at H.D. Hilley Elementary since she graduated from high school in 2012. She has always helped at the school because her mom is a teacher there.

“This is not work for me,” said Gonzalez, who plans to be a teacher. “I love kids. I love helping them. I love the classroom. It’s just a part of me. It’s something that is familiar. I can’t imagine doing anything else.”

Team SISD’s volunteer program is among the top in the state. For the past two years, two SISD volunteers were recognized with the Heroes for Children Award, a statewide recognition that honors individuals making the difference for students and schools. Joe Ramirez from Eastlake High School and Yamile Gonzales at Ernesto Serna School were honored in 2015 and 2016, respectively.

2017 SISD Volunteer Award winners

Parent Organization winners
•Americas High School Orchestra Boosters
•Eagle Eyes from Col. John O. Ensor Middle School
•John Drugan Super School Volunteer Program
•Montwood Ram Band and A-Team Boosters, Inc.
•Heroes Volunteer with Heart from Purple Heart Elementary School

Youth Volunteer of the Year
•Abigail Hernandez from Montwood High School

Military Volunteer of the Year
•Soni Fairley from SSG. Manuel R. Puentes Middle School

Healthier Team SISD
•Helen Ball Elementary for its Wellness Wednesday Program

Elementary Volunteer of the Year
Janelle Gonzalez

Secondary Volunteer of the Year
Valerie Huh

Campus Volunteers of the Year:
•Americas High School — Verenice Valerio
•Benito Martinez Elementary — Dawn Sisneros-Herrera
•Bill Sybert School — Debbie Portillo
•Campestre Elementary — Yolanda Villalobos
•Capt. Walter E. Clarke Middle School — Patricia Martin Del Campo
•Chester E. Jordan Elementary — Rosie Alarcon
•Col. John O. Ensor Middle School — Linda Miner
•Desert Wind School — Ivette Navarro
•Dr. Sue Shook Elementary — Winifred Dee
•Eastlake High School — Sergio Ulloa
•El Dorado High School — Ana Martinez
•Elfida P. Chavez Elementary — Diana Bertesina-Rojas
•Ernesto Serna School — Brenda Hernandez
•Escontrias Elementary — Daisy Garcia
•H.D. Hilley — Janelle Gonzalez
•Helen Ball Elementary — Ariadne Herrera
•Horizon Heights Elementary — Haydee Hernandez
•Hueco Elementary — Ofelia Murrillo
•Hurshel Antwine Elementary — Nancy Villalobos
•James P. Butler Elementary — Isabelle Pyatt
•Jane A. Hambric School — Amparo Resendiz
•John Drugan School — Francisco Torres
•Keys Academy — Maria Garcia
•Loma Verde Elementary — Jessica Loya
•Lujan-Chavez — Rene Velez
•Mission Early College High School — Marcela Martinez
•Mission Ridge Elementary — Silvia Mendiola
•Montwood High School — Mario Albert Candia
•Myrtle Cooper Elementary — Jack Tranter
•O’Shea Keleher Elementary — Sandra Lopez
•Paso Del Norte School — Elsa Molinar
•Pebble Hills High School — Catalina Espinosa
•Purple Heart Elementary — Ruben Bautista
•Robert R. Rojas Elementary — Brenda Alcantar
•Salvador H. Sanchez Middle — Yesenia Mercado
•Sgt. Roberto Ituarte Elementary — Carlos Calderon
•Sierra Vista Elementary — Lucia Andozola
•Socorro High School — Valarie Ortega
•Socorro Middle School — Julia Mendoza
•Spc. Rafael Hernando III Middle School — Tammy Bennett
•SSG. Manuel R. Puentes Middle School — Valerie Huh
•Sun Ridge Middle School — Javier Cruz
•Vista Del Sol Elementary — Graciela Ibarra
•VASSP — Angelica Apodaca
•William D. Slider Middle School — Mabel Evans

To view gallery of awards luncheon, click HERE.

Socorro ISD Receives Award from Texas Library Association for unique Comic Con

Socorro Independent School District’s Library Services and its librarians were awarded the Texas Library Association’s 2017 Branding Iron Award for organizing the first-ever Comic Con.

It is the first time any public school library service in the El Paso region has ever won the award since its inception in 2007, according to the TLA website.

SISD Comic Con Receives Award“I am honored to receive the award that brings recognition to SISD and our libraries!” said Marcy Sparks, Library Services Coordinator for SISD. “I am truly excited about the win because the concept of a district hosted Comic Con was so unique and was more successful with our students than I could have imagined!”

Comic Con, held last December at the District Service Center, was a districtwide program that enhanced students’ literature knowledge and career awareness by showcasing creative talent from a variety of vendors and well-known artists.

The TLA Branding Iron Awards honor the creative work libraries do to promote their programs, resources, and events. SISD’s Library Services received its recognition in the Special Events category.

“I submitted an extensive amount of information about the Comic Con for the award application, including our planning materials, logo and flyer and coverage of the event,” Sparks said. “I am proud of how Team SISD pulled together to make it a great success.”

SISD Comic Con Receives Award1

Pebble Hills NJROTC Ranked Third ‘Most Outstanding’ Unit in Nation

The Pebble Hills High School NJROTC has been named the third best unit in the nation, a designation they earned for their outstanding scores in their annual military inspection, school support, and countless hours of community service.

“We have always held our standard high and worked toward this goal so it’s great to finally achieve it,” said Sarah Adams, senior cadet from El Dorado High School. “NJROTC is unlike any other organization. It develops responsible and disciplined youth and helps build your character.”

Pebble Hills earned the third place award from among 672 NJROTC units nationwide. They also were selected as the 2017 Area Nine Most Outstanding Unit. In addition, the group has been named a distinguished unit with academic honors for its high level of performance for six consecutive years.

“I’m extremely proud of every single one of our cadets that have contributed to this unit and made a difference in our district and community,” said Justo Mendoza, senior naval science instructor at Pebble Hills. “Our unit has made its mark nationwide by placing third amongst some very good NJROTC units in the nation. We will continue to work hard next school year and hope to grow and continue making a positive impact in our district and community.”

The award-winning unit is 116 members strong and is composed of students from Montwood, El Dorado and Pebble Hills high schools. Together, the cadets have earned more than 9,500 combined community service hours for contributions of work in the community.

Socorro ISD Student Art Exhibit Opens May 27

Officials with the Socorro Independent School District are inviting the public to their annual student art exhibit featuring more than 650 pieces of art work created by students from Pre-Kindergarten to 12th grade on May 27.

The event will showcase the largest collection of sculptures, paintings, drawings, photography, print making, crafts, wearable art, since the exhibit inception 30 years ago, said Macka Jones, SISD visual arts specialist.

“We are very excited about the participation this year,” Jones said. “This is a great opportunity because it shows another aspect of education. The students get to incorporate what they learn in the classroom into their art.”

The pieces were chosen from among more than 2,450 submitted to the Fine Arts Department. A group of judges narrowed the exhibit down to 650.

What:         30th annual SISD student art exhibit and open house

Who:          SISD student artists, teachers, parents and community members

Where:       District Service Center  12440 Rojas Dr.

When:        Saturday, May 27  10 a.m. to 1 p.m.

Sun Ridge Student Designs Winning App to Assist Migrant Families in El Paso

Laura Rosiles, an eighth-grade student at Sun Ridge Middle School was recently named one of 40 finalists in the nationwide contest, ProjectCSGIRLS, which promotes technology and computer science among young female students.

Rosiles is one of four Texas students and the only one in the El Paso area to earn the distinction for her project: an application which helps migrant families in the El Paso community find shelter during the work season.

“I’m very excited about my project,” Rosiles said. “Immigration is a major topic and every year thousands of immigrants come looking for a better life and have no family or support. This app will reach out and help many people.”

Her application, Aiding Immigrants, allows users to select a city to locate and learn about immigration shelters in the area. She was inspired to create the app after her school’s gateway to technology instructor Roberto G. Morales, and campus librarian Rebecca Carrillo introduced the project.

“Laura has never been a student in my class but I’ve known her since sixth-grade due to her involvement in science fair and the Lego robotics team,” Morales said. “Her accomplishment does not surprise me and she developed this app with the intention of helping others, a characteristic that all of us should strive to replicate.”

Because the project was not class assigned the student had to work on it during her own time. Rosiles said she didn’t mind because computer science is something she is very passionate about.

“Many people assume computer science is a guy’s job but technology is for everyone,” she said. “I had previous coding experience so I designed most of the application on my own, but I did look at YouTube videos or ask my mentors like my dad and teachers at school for help when I got stuck.”

Rosiles will be recognized for her innovation on June 3-4 at the ProjectCSGIRLS gala in Washington where she will give a presentation about her application to attendees nationwide and compete for the top five grand prize award.

“This will help me gain experience so that I later develop my app even more,” she said. “I’ve been brainstorming ideas on how to make it better. I would like to have different language options and create a way for the organizations to contact the individuals.”

ProjectCSGIRLS is a 501(c)(3) nonprofit organization dedicated to closing the gender gap in computing and technology. To learn more about the organization, click here.

Socorro ISD Survey Results Show ‘Continued Improvements’ in School Climate

Positive responses on the 2017 Socorro ISD Campus Climate Survey increased by 15 percent from the district’s first comprehensive survey administered with students, parents, and employees just four years ago.

“Every voice counts in Socorro ISD,” said Dr. José Espinoza, SISD Superintendent of Schools. “The tremendous participation in this comprehensive survey demonstrates our community’s engagement and partnership in ensuring every student succeeds in Team SISD. This level of engagement, along with the tremendous work of our amazing faculty and staff, is what has led to the quantum improvements that have taken place in our district the last four years.”

The surveys were administered through SurveyMonkey in late-January through mid-February and were available in English and Spanish. Four individual surveys were available for parents, campus employees, elementary students (grades 3-5), and secondary students (grades 6-12). In all, nearly 39,000 individuals completed the survey.

  • Elementary Students – 8,695
  • Secondary Students – 20,014
  • Parents – 6,701
  • Campus Employees – 3,481

Overall, the survey results demonstrate Socorro ISD stakeholders’ pride in their school district and appreciation of Team SISD’s commitment in ensuring student safety, a supportive and rigorous learning environment, and high morale.

sisd rep

“I am extremely proud to serve our amazing community which has taken an active role in helping us continuously move our district forward,” Espinoza added. “The data and input we receive through these surveys are invaluable in ensuring we are living up to our commitment to treat and educate all students as if they were our own children. While the responses were overwhelmingly positive and show that we truly have ‘Achieved Success as a Team’ over the last four years, we acknowledge that work still remains to be done to ensure we meet the needs of all our students, parents, and staff.”

The survey data will be used, together with qualitative data gathered through other community engagement efforts, to assess the current state of the district and adapt district and campus plans to meet the needs of Team SISD.

Individual campus leadership teams are reviewing their specific results to develop a Campus Action Plan listing strengths and areas for growth identified from the survey results as well as specific strategies on how to maintain or improve the school’s culture. The action items also will be incorporated in each school’s Campus Improvement Plan. Campus Action Plans will be posted online in June 2017.

School Safety Responses
Collectively, there was an increase of 52 percentage points in positive responses regarding school safety. Ninety-six percent of elementary students (86 percent in 2013), 90 percent of secondary students (70 percent in 2013), and 93 percent of campus employees (79 percent in 2013) responded that they feel safe at school. Ninety-two percent of parents (84 percent in 2013) responded that they believe their child feels safe in and around their school.

Student Responses
Ninety-six percent of elementary (87 percent in 2013) and 85 percent of secondary students (64 percent in 2013) believe that they attend a good school. Twenty-six percent more students answered that they believe their teachers care about them than in 2013; 97 percent of elementary (92 percent in 2013) and 83 percent of secondary students (62 percent in 2013). Ninety-seven percent of elementary and 94 percent of secondary students answered that their teachers/schools have high expectations of students, which increased by 20 percentage points combined from 2013.

Parent Responses
Ninety-one percent of parents agreed that teachers/schools have high expectations of students (83 percent in 2013); 91 percent of parents stated that they like their child’s school (83 percent in 2013); 90 percent said they are satisfied with their child’s academic progress (83 percent in 2013); and 92 percent stated that they believe their child likes his/her school (86 percent in 2013).

Eighty-nine percent of parents responded that they work as a team with teachers to educate their children (81 percent in 2013). Ninety-one percent of parents believe that their child feels like he/she belongs at their school (86 percent in 2013).

Campus Employee Responses
The number of employees that believe the climate or atmosphere at their school is positive and helps students learn increased by 18 percent (86 percent in 2017 compared with 68 percent in 2013).

Eighty-six percent of employees believe that staff members work as a team and 87 percent say their school promotes trust and collegiality (72 percent and 69 percent in 2013, respectively); and 91 percent believe that their campus administrators treat them with respect (80 percent in 2013).

View the complete 2017 Socorro ISD Climate Survey results online at

Socorro ISD Technology Services wins 2017 Tyler Public Sector Excellence Award

The Socorro Independent School District’s Technology Services Department has been selected as a 2017 Tyler Public Sector Excellence Award winner.

“We are honored and excited to receive the award,” said Hilda Miranda, SISD student systems coordinator. “My team, in collaboration with campus administrators and their campus registration teams have worked very hard to promote and assist our parents with this new technology.

SISD competed against several public sector agencies who used the Tyler SIS product for the award, which recognizes Tyler Technologies clients who demonstrate leadership, innovation and excellence in developing, deploying and maintaining Tyler solutions in new ways. As an Excellence Award recipient, the team was presented an award at the Connect 2017 conference in San Antonio.”

The award submissions are evaluated by members of the Tyler leadership team who judge the entry based on business value, maturity, innovation and relevance to other public sector organizations, according to Tyler Technologies.

Since the Tyler implementation in 2012, SISD has used the product in innovative ways including financial and human resources supervision, as well as online registration and record management to improve data quality and ensure district integrity.

Team SISD’s first year of online registration, 2015-2016 school year, resulted in a 90.26 percent registration completion for returning students before the first day of school. The innovative online process saved the district more than $58,000 in supplies, overtime, mailings and postage.

“The Tyler SIS online registration process was a great success for our district,” Miranda said. “The parent participation in completing online registration speaks volumes of our community embracing new technology.”

Online registration allows parents to verify student data, update contact information, complete yearly required registration forms and review critical district information and policies at their own convenience.

Socorro ISD Celebrates Teachers of the Year

The Socorro Independent School District celebrated its 46 Campus Teachers of the Year at the district’s 2017 Teacher of the Year Gala on May 13 at the Judson F. Williams Hall in the El Paso Convention Center.

Christina Luna Castaños, from Purple Heart Elementary School, was named the 2017 SISD Elementary Teacher of the Year. Castaños is a fifth-grade English language Arts and Reading teacher and has been an educator for 15 years.

“I’m on top of the world,” Castaños said. “This means I can represent the teachers from our district and represent them well.”

Candace Printz, from El Dorado High School, was named the 2017 SISD Secondary Teacher of the Year. Printz is an art teacher and has been teaching for 12 years.

“I want to do the right thing by representing the district and our teachers,” Printz said. “I feel honored.”

The district elementary and secondary winners will go on to represent SISD in the Region 19 Teacher of Year competition in August.

“For me, I love this night because it is a chance to celebrate our Team SISD teachers,” said Dr. José Espinoza, SISD Superintendent. “They are our HEROES in the classroom!”

More than 1,000 people attended the event, including teachers, principals, family members and other SISD staff. Each school’s Campus Teacher of the Year was recognized at the gala, including those who were selected as Elite 8 finalists.

Telemundo 48 news anchor Karla Mariscal was the master of ceremonies for the gala.

Canutillo, Socorro ISDs Team Up for Shoe Drive, Charity Basketball Game

Superintendents Dr. Pedro Galaviz (CISD) and Dr. Jose Espinoza (SISD) will go head to head on the hardwood Thursday evening.  The school districts from both sides of the Borderland are uniting to donate shoes and play a basketball game for a great cause.

Canutillo ISD Administration will play a friendly – yet always competitive – basketball game against the Socorro ISD Administration.  As in the past,  the event is designed to collect shoes and necessities for needy students.

It will be the third annual game; in previous matches the districts have raised hundreds of pair of shoes, school supplies and other necessities to benefit all students.

All participants in the game will donate shoes and/or necessities to benefit CISD children. The public is invited and admission is free with a donation of shoes for children.

Socorro ISD and Canutillo ISD are united in helping students in El Paso County receive resources they need to excel in school.

What:         “Shots for Shoes” Charity Basketball Game Collecting New Shoes and Necessities for Students

Who:           Canutillo ISD and Socorro ISD Leaders

When:         5:00 p.m., Thursday, May 4, 2017

Where:        Canutillo High School, 6675 South Desert Boulevard

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.

TEA approves Socorro ISD’s Trailblazers Early College

Trailblazers Early College, the Socorro Independent School District’s fourth early college program, has been designated as an Early College High School for 2017-2018 by the Texas Education Agency.

SISD’s three other early college programs also were re-designated by the TEA for the coming school year.

The new Trailblazers Erarly College will be housed at Americas High School, and will welcome 135 students during its inaugural year. Eighth-graders in the Americas feeder area may apply to the program, which offers students an opportunity to earn an associates of arts in a comprehensive high school environment.

“We are proud to have the official designation for our fourth early college high school program,” said SISD Superintendent Dr. José Espinoza. “This new program is another one of the endless opportunities we are offering our students to prepare them for college, careers and life.”

Early college high schools are innovative programs that provide dual credit courses at no cost to students; offers rigorous instruction and accelerated courses; provides academic and social support services to help students succeed; increases college readiness; and reduces barriers to college access. Inclusive of its early college high schools, SISD students earned 16,921 college credit hours saving families more than $6 million in college tuition in 2015-2016 alone.

Team SISD, in partnership with El Paso Community College, offers the most early college high school programs in the region. Mission Early College High School was the first early college high school to open in the region. Socorro Early College became the district’s first campus-based program in 2015. In 2016, the district opened Rams Early College.

Trailblazers Early College, in collaboration with EPCC, will host a grand opening and ribbon cutting ceremony June 5 at Americas High School.

Five Socorro ISD Campuses earn 2016 Texas Honor Roll Distinction

Five Socorro Independent School District campuses have earned the 2016 Texas Honor Roll distinction by the Educational Results Partnership (ERP) and the Institute for Educational Productivity (IPE) for their high levels of student achievement and college readiness efforts among ethnic minority and socioeconomically disadvantaged students.

“I’m extremely proud of our five Texas Honor Roll Schools,” said SISD Superintendent José Espinoza. “The honor is a result of the passion and devotion as a district to treat and educate all students as if they were our own children.”

Mission Early College High School, Benito Martinez, Elfida P. Chavez, Horizon Heights and Loma Verde elementary schools were five of 727 campuses in Texas to receive the award out of more than 1,240 public school districts in the state.

Team SISD had the most schools in the region selected for the honor.

The Texas Honor Roll is part of a national effort to identify higher-performing schools and replicate its best practices to improve outcomes for students.

“Many schools across the country are doing well, even those with high numbers of historically disadvantaged students,” said Jim Lanich, ERP President and CEO in a press release. “The Honor Roll proves that all schools, no matter what zip code they are in, can achieve this kind of success. School and school district leaders have a great opportunity to find out what’s working at these Honor Roll schools and replicate it.”

The SISD Texas Honor Roll schools will receive a banner to display at their campus and will be featured on the EPR website. To view the list of Texas Honor Roll schools, click HERE.

31st Annual Socorro ISD Spring Games to Showcase Student Talent, Perseverance

The Socorro Independent School District’s Spring Games in Memory of James P. Butler are set for April 12 at the Student Activities Complex (SAC).

More than 850 special needs students are expected to participate in track and field events, such as 10 and 25 meter walks, assisted walks, 25, 50, 100, 200 and 400 meter runs. Other events include relay races, wheelchair races with and without assistance, bike races, ball throws and javelin throws.

A large audience of parents, families, teachers, students, community members are expected to attend the Spring Games to cheer on the athletes. Elementary students will compete from 8:30 a.m. to 1 p.m. and secondary athletes will be competing from 2 to 5 p.m.

Both sessions will begin with a mini parade for all athletes, the Butler family, SISD administrators and more than 200 volunteers.

The games are named after the late James P. Butler, a former physical education teacher, athletic coach and an adaptive physical education teacher in the special education department. Butler dedicated his life to ensuring students succeeded in athletics and special education.

The Spring Games, endorsed by Special Olympics Texas, allows more athletes from El Paso to compete in Texas Special Olympics statewide competitions.

What:             31st Spring Games in Memory of James P. Butler.

Who:               Special education students, teachers, volunteers, Butler family and community.

Where:           Student Activities Complex (SAC) 1300 Joe Battle

When:             Wednesday, April 12, 2017

8:30 a.m. to 1 p.m. elementary students

2 to 5 p.m. secondary students

Socorro ISD Homebound Student to Rejoin Classroom using VGo Robot

A student at John Drugan School, who has been homebound for nine months, soon will be part of her class again virtually using VGo, a telepresence robot, which allows her to be part of classroom instruction and activities while she is at home recovering from a chronic illness.

“Our district is always looking to be innovative and find new technologies that we can provide for our students,” said Miguel Moreno, the district’s instructional technology coordinator. “We are opening doors to so many possibilities of how to bring people together. In this case, there is no bond like that of a classmate who has been out of school and peers wanting that student to be part of the classroom again.”

VGo robot at Drugan 2The instructional technology team and campus administration are working with the student to teach her how to operate her robot-stand-in which can stream two-way video and is equipped with audio capabilities so she can quickly go back to learning in the classroom.

“This student has been ill since the start of the school year, and due to the nature of her illness she has been at home,” said Adalberto Garcia, principal at John Drugan School.

“In the past, her connection to the school was only her homebound teacher so this will allow her to interact with students and be part of our school again. It’s an amazing opportunity for her and another example of our district offering endless opportunities to our students,” Principal Garcia added.

The initiative was made possible after the Socorro Independent School District’s Technology Services Department worked with the campus to find a way to better accommodate the needs of the student and offer her a classroom experience.

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