Tuesday , April 25 2017
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Tag Archives: yisd

3 Ysleta ISD Schools Earn spot on Prestigious Texas Honor Roll

Three campuses in the Ysleta Independent School District (YISD) were among 727 in the state to be named to the 2016 Texas Honor Roll after demonstrating high levels of academic achievement and reductions in achievement gaps during state testing last spring.

The honor-roll campuses are Ramona and Eastwood Heights elementary schools, and Valle Verde Early College High School (VVECHS). Earlier this year, VVECHS was nominated for the 2017 national Blue Ribbon award, and is the top-ranked public school in El Paso, according to two national publications.

The Texas Honor Roll, compiled by the Educational Results Partnership (ERP) and the Institute for Productivity in Education (IPE), analyzes data from the Texas Academic Performance Report to identify public elementary, middle, and high schools that demonstrate consistently high levels of student academic achievement, improvement in achievement over time, and reduction in achievement gaps. For high schools, the Honor Roll recognition includes measures of college readiness.

The Honor Roll is comprised of two different awards, the Star Schools Award and Scholar Schools Award. All three YISD schools were recognized as Star Schools, or those with significant populations of socio-economically disadvantaged students that have shown a significant increase in grade-level proficiency over time.

“The Honor Roll proves that all schools, no matter what zip code they are in, can achieve this kind of success,” said Jim Lanich, President and Chief Executive Officer of ERP. “School and school district leaders have a great opportunity to find out what’s working at these Honor Roll schools and replicate it.”

Honor Roll researchers say they have identified a common set of success factors in higher performing schools, which include:

 Clear, specific learning objectives aligned to college and career readiness, along with evidence-based instructional practices;

 Establishing a system-wide mission of college and career readiness for all students;

 Investing in human capital;

 Maintaining data and assessment systems to monitor school and student performance; and

 Deploying resources and guidance to support schools’ efforts to prepare all students for college and career.

Honor Roll schools will receive a banner to display on their campuses and be featured on the ERP website, where educators and policymakers seek out high-performing schools so they can replicate success.

A full list of the Honor Roll schools, districts, and the STEM awardees can be found HERE.

Ysleta ISD seeks Community Input for Prospective All-Boys Academy

Ysleta Independent School District has launched an online survey to seek input from parents and community members for the district’s new all-boys academy.

The survey aims to collect feedback from participants in order to develop attractive programs and curricula, as well as appropriate grade levels for the new school.

“This survey is an excellent opportunity for Ysleta ISD to hear directly from parents and the community as we develop the new all-boys academy,” said YISD Superintendent Dr. Xavier De La Torre. “Our goal is to provide an attractive school that not only builds on the district’s distinguished academic programs, but also provides students and parents with a slate of specialized programs and activities that will create a sound foundation for our boys to succeed not only at the academy, but throughout their lives.”

De La Torre announced plans to open El Paso’s first all-male public school at his annual State of the District Address in March. The campus location has not been determined; however, the school is slated to open for the 2018-2019 school year.

Parents and interested community members can access the online survey for the all- boys academy by visiting the Ysleta ISD website.

Ysleta ISD Principal Named Finalist for Prestigious National Honor

Capistrano Elementary School Principal Lynn Musel has been named one of eight finalists for the Texas National Distinguished Principal award by the Texas Elementary Principals and Supervisors Association (TEPSA).

“Being a finalist for the National Distinguished Principal is an amazing honor,” Musel said. “However, this would not be possible without our dedicated teachers and school staff, who are committed to changing the lives of children for the better.”

Musel was selected as a finalist not only for her extraordinary campus leadership, but her commitment to students and staff, serving the community, and contributing to the profession, including their professional associations. She was among 123 principals to be nominated for 2017 award, TEPSA officials said.

“The school principal is critical to student and teacher success,” TEPSA Executive Director Harley Eckhart said. “These exemplary principals are making a difference in the lives of students across Texas.”

The NDP program promotes educational excellence in pre-Kindergarten through eighth grade, and focuses on the fundamental importance of the school principal.

After a rigorous reading process, in which applicants shared their educational philosophies and accomplishments both in and out of the classroom, a peer-review committee selected eight finalists. These outstanding leaders then showcased their achievements during a school visit by a team of educators.

The winner will receive $10,000, and represent the state in Washington D.C. as the 2017 Texas National Distinguished Principal. In addition, all eight finalists, including Musel, will be recognized June 14 at a TEPSA awards reception in Austin.

Ysleta ISD Breaks Ground for new Bel Air Middle School Campus

The Ysleta Independent School District marked the official start of construction of the New Bel Air Middle School campus during a groundbreaking ceremony Friday morning. Bel Air middle and high school students, as well as Bel Air alumni, community members, and YISD administrators were on-hand for the ceremony.

“We are committed to the four pillars we established for this and all of our bond projects: on time, under budget, up the quality our students deserve, and, all things being equal, done by local contractors and architects,” said YISD Superintendent Dr. Xavier De La Torre. “I am proud to say that the new Bel Air Middle School project is meeting those pillars and we are excited to see the end result.”

ASA Architects designed the campus and Urban Associates will build the new school, both El Paso-owned companies. Construction is expected to be completed in time for the beginning of the 2018-2019 school year.

During the ceremony, Bel Air Middle School Principal Dana DeRouen thanked the YISD voters who approved the 2015 bond measure, as well as volunteers, students, parents, and community members who contributed to designing the new campus.

“I know everyone in the community is very excited as we begin to watch the Ysleta Independent School District literally lay the foundation for the success of our students,” he said.

Located at the site of the former Bel Air Junior High School, Bel Air Middle School is the first new campus construction project of the 2015 Bond program.

The $40 million campus will accommodate up to 1,200 students, and will feature state-of- the-art classrooms, science, technology, engineering, and mathematics (STEM) laboratories, and new athletics and fine arts facilities.

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Top 10 YISD Teachers of the Year Announced

The 2017-18 campus Teachers of the Year at the Ysleta Independent School District (YISD) were honored during a reception Tuesday evening at Central Office, where officials also announced 10 finalists for the district’s top two teaching awards: the Elementary Teacher of the Year and the Secondary Teacher of the Year.

All campus Teachers of the Year, as well as all campus Support Employees of the Year, will be honored at the YISD Teacher and Support Employee of the Year gala that takes place at 6 p.m. May 5 at the Centennial Conference Center and Banquet Hall at Fort Bliss.

The top five finalists for the 2017-18 YISD Elementary Teacher of the Year are:

 Karla Bazan, Del Valle Elementary School

 Jessica Fette, Cedar Grove Elementary School

 Nancy Gonzalez-Uribe, Scotsdale Elementary School

 Heather Holmes, Pebble Hills Elementary School

 Bernadette Rey, Ysleta Pre-K Center

The top five finalists for the 2017-18 YISD Secondary Teacher of the Year are:

 Laura Fabela, Valle Verde Early College High School

 Nicholas Flood, Indian Ridge Middle School

 Allen Haynes, Ysleta High School

 Rebeca Montes, Young Women’s Leadership Academy

 Stephanie Bocanegra Morales, Bel Air High School

A list of all 2017-18 campus Teachers of the Year and Support Employees of the Year can be found on the YISD main website at www.yisd.net.

YWLA Recruits New Class, Celebrates $10,000 STEM Grant

The Young Women’s Leadership Academy in the Ysleta Independent School District continues to celebrate an array of successes in its inaugural year, including winning a new $10,000 STEM grant and the successful recruitment of a new sixth-grade class that will begin attending the school in Fall 2017.

YWLA was the first single-gender college-preparatory public school in El Paso when it opened its doors in Fall 2016 to 240 sixth- and seventh-grade girls.

YWLA is a member of the Young Women’s Preparatory Network (YWPN), which played an integral part in planning and establishing YWLA by providing private enhancements based on college readiness, leadership and wellness life skills, so that graduates achieve academic success and are prepared for college and life.

“What we found out through this year’s admission process is that our school recruits very high-caliber students who are strongly motivated and interested in our STEAM work,” said YWLA Principal Malinda Villalobos, referring to the school’s emphasis on Science, Technology, Engineering, Arts, and Math. “We are so excited about the possibilities of what we are going to be able to do.”

YWLA acceptance letters were mailed out this month to 133 girls, about half of whom hail from neighboring school districts and private schools, or are being homeschooled. Exact numbers for this new class of incoming sixth-graders are broken down below:

ywla ns

Throughout April, the newly admitted YWLA students will register for classes and order uniforms at the campus. All YWLA students – new and returning – are required to attend a weeklong summer camp at the school from July 31-Aug. 4.

In addition, YWLA teacher Ivan Ortega has been awarded a $10,000 grant from Lockheed-Martin to purchase drones, which will allow students to add an aerial aspect to their ongoing projects in STEM (Science, Technology, Engineering, and Math). Ortega applied for the grant in cooperation with YWPN.

“Our girls just finished a robotics piece in their class, where they built and programmed robots. But even after the project ended, they felt like they really didn’t want to take the robots apart,” Villalobos said. “Now with this grant, they finally feel like they can take their robots apart – because now they’ll be building drones!”

At YWLA, students benefit from advanced coursework and a biliteracy component, as well as three “core value” classes in Responsible Leadership, College & Career Readiness, and Wellness Life Skills. They may also choose to participate in a variety of elective classes and extracurricular activities, as well as language classes in Spanish, Chinese, American Sign Language, and Latin.

Ysleta ISD hosts 2017 Parental Engagement Conference Saturday

Ysleta ISD’s Parental Engagement Conference is set for Saturday, February 25th, and all district parents, administrators and community members are invited to the event.

YISD officials say the conference is designed to help parents learn how to help their children succeed in school.

The event features more than 30 small-group sessions that will address topics like social media and school discipline, as well as provide information on our Early College High Schools and adult education classes.

The keynote luncheon speaker is co-founder of Ignite Your S.H.I.N.E. LaVonna Roth. She is an internationally recognized keynote speaker, consultant, and author who specializes in helping people gain confidence in themselves and their talents so they can make a difference in their communities.

What: 2017 YISD Parental Engagement Conference

When: 7:30 a.m. to 1:30 p.m. Saturday, Feb. 25

Where: Bel Air High School, 731 Yarbrough Drive

Aaron Price Named new Hanks HS Head Football Coach

The Ysleta Independent School District has hired Aaron Price, former offensive coordinator at Humboldt State University, to serve as Hanks High School’s new athletic coordinator and head football coach.

Price has 19 years of collegiate-level football experience to include offensive coordinator at the University of Texas at El Paso (UTEP), assistant football coach at Tulane University, assistant football coach at Washington State University, and offensive coordinator at Idaho State University.

Price holds a bachelor’s degree in physical education from Washington State University.

On Wednesday, he was introduced by Hanks High School Principal Gloria Spencer to students, faculty, and staff during a pep rally.

He is the son of Mike Price, former head football coach at UTEP.

Ysleta ISD Announces ‘Supper Program’ for Three High Schools

In a bid to help support the wellness, health, and development of students, the Ysleta Independent School District has launched a new “supper program” at three high schools, primarily to provide free and nutritious meals to active students who remain on campus after school for extracurricular activities.

The supper meals are being offered from 3:45 to 4:45 p.m. on school days at Del Valle, Hanks, and Ysleta high school. The meals are free of charge to children 18 years and younger, but are also available for purchase by adults.

The supper program is funded through the U.S. Department of Agriculture’s (USDA) Child and Adult Care Food Program.

“We launched this program not only to support students, but to help parents who may be concerned their active children don’t have access to healthy food outside the traditional school day,” said Michael Vasquez, YISD’s Director of Child Nutrition Services.

“We have numerous high-school students who stay on campus after school for sports, theater, band, or other clubs,” Vasquez added. “Our new supper program assures parents that their children can easily stop by the school cafeteria and eat a nutritious meal on their way to rehearsal or practice – instead of simply curbing their appetites with chips, candy, or fast food.”

The supper program was first piloted in January at Ysleta High School, expanding to Del Valle and Hanks high schools in February, officials said.

This new program is just the latest effort by YISD to increase student access to healthy meals. Already, 33 schools in the Bel Air, Del Valle, Parkland, Riverside, and Ysleta learning communities provide free lunch meals to every student, regardless of family income. In addition, all YISD schools offer free breakfast meals to all students.

Ysleta ISD Students, Staff head to Austin for Capitol Schoolhouse

The Ysleta Independent School District is among 11 districts in the state invited to participate in the Texas Capitol Schoolhouse, an annual event that brings students and staff to the state Capitol to show legislators how technology is being used in the classroom to prepare students for the 21 st century.

The Schoolhouse event takes place from 8 a.m. to 4 p.m. Monday, Jan. 30, in the Texas Capitol Basement Rotunda in Austin. Representing YISD at the event this year is Parkland Middle School, which will send teacher Raquel Kuker and students Rebecca Enriquez, Jesus Garcia, Abraham Haggerty and Marvin Parker to participate in the event.

YISD Director of Innovative Learning Micha Villarreal is also scheduled to be on hand.

As part of the event, Parkland Middle School students and staff will join other invited participants in setting up a temporary classroom at the Capitol at 8 a.m., and conducting class as they normally would at their home schools. Throughout the day, state legislators and invited guests have the opportunity to venture through these temporary classrooms to observe and experience how state-of- the-art educational technology is integrated into students’ daily learning environment.

“We bring the schools together to show our legislators the wonderful things their technology funding has done for Texas classrooms,” said Schoolhouse organizer and Executive Director Dr. Deborah Jolly. “Each time the event becomes more and more impressive as the technology use becomes more and more sophisticated.”

This year, students will be working with video & sound editing, robotics, online virtual learning environments, and 1-to- 1 laptop computing, as well as full video production, developing educational gaming lessons, and robotics. All of these districts are using forms of blended technology, games and simulations, and personal learning environments.

“These students are eager to show their Representatives and Senators how these tools are used in the educational process and how much they benefit from their use,” Jolly said.

This year’s Schoolhouse participants include the Texas School for the Deaf and the following independent school districts: Coleman, Coppell, Deer Parks, Denton, Klein, New Braunfels, Pasadena, San Saba, Temple, and Ysleta.

Ysleta ISD Issues One-Time Lump-Sum Payment for Employees

Employees at the Ysleta Independent School District will receive a one-time lump-sum payment this week as part of the district’s compensation plan.

The compensation plan—part of the 2016-17 district budget that was approved during the June 1 meeting of the Ysleta ISD Board of Trustees—included a one-time lump-sum payment paid to eligible employees in December, in addition to a 1.5 percent pay increase.

“Our employees are the foundation to the success of the Ysleta Independent School District,” said YISD Superintendent Xavier De La Torre. “I am thankful that the Board of Trustees approved this one-time payment so our teachers, staff, and professionals can enjoy an extra payment in time for the holidays.”

To be eligible for the one-time lump-sum payment, employees must have been employed full-time at YISD on or before Aug. 22, and remain continuously employed through Dec. 21.

Ysleta ISD, EPCC aim to Open Two New Early College High Schools

The Ysleta Independent School District and El Paso Community College aim to open two new early college high schools at Parkland and Ysleta high schools.

The two schools will join Valle Verde Early College High School to make three total early college high schools in the district with approval from the Texas Education Agency.

The early college high school model has proven to be successful in the El Paso community. YISD’s Valle Verde ECHS has received numerous accolades from the TEA, including receiving all seven distinction designations and being named as a model campus.

In addition, Valle Verde ECHS has been named among the best high schools in the nation and the top high school in El Paso by Newsweek and US News & World Report.

The addition of the Parkland Early College High School and Ysleta High School Early College Academy would increase options for students to earn an associate’s degree from EPCC while simultaneously earning a high school diploma.

The “school within a school” model at Parkland and Ysleta would also provide students the opportunity to enjoy traditional high school activities such as athletics, fine arts and JROTC while taking dual credit courses.

“The Ysleta Independent School District prides itself on providing our students with programs that focus on college and career readiness,” said YISD Superintendent Dr. Xavier De La Torre. “The addition of early college high schools at Parkland and Ysleta is a testament of our commitment to increase the number of students earning a baccalaureate degree, which will translate into economic prosperity for our community.”

Ysleta ISD will host three information sessions for families to learn more about the programs and the application process.

Information session times and dates are listed below:

 Parkland Early College High School, 6 p.m. Monday, Nov. 14, Parkland High

School theater, 5932 Quail Lane

 Ysleta High School Early College Academy, 6 p.m. Monday, Nov. 14, Ysleta High

School Auditorium, 8600 Alameda Ave.

 Valle Verde Early College High School, 6 p.m., Wednesday, Nov. 16, Ysleta ISD

Central Office Theater, 9600 Sims Drive

More information and student applications are available on the YISD Early College High School website.

TEA: Ysleta ISD High Schools earn Most State Distinctions in El Paso

High schools in the Ysleta Independent School District earned the highest number of state distinctions among all El Paso school districts in connection with this spring’s testing results, according to figures released this week by the Texas Education Agency (TEA).

All YISD schools achieved the rating of “Met Standard” in 2016 state test results, along with 7,667 campuses across Texas, TEA officials said. By earning the “Met Standard” rating, schools were eligible to receive “Distinction Designations” based on academic achievement in the seven areas below:

 English language arts/Reading;

 Math;

 Science;

 Social studies;

 Top 25%: Student Progress;

 Top 25%: Closing Performance Gaps

 Postsecondary readiness.

Three YISD high schools (Del Valle, Parkland, and Valle Verde Early College) each earned distinction designations in all seven areas – more than any other El Paso-area school district.

In addition, four high schools (Bel Air, Hanks, Riverside, and Ysleta) each earned distinction designations in six areas, while Eastwood High School earned distinctions in five areas. Del Valle and Parkland high schools were the only comprehensive high schools in the El Paso region to earn all seven distinction designations.

TEA officials said only 167 schools in the state – or 1.9 percent – earned all seven distinction designations for this year’s test results.

“Earning one or more campus distinctions is noteworthy and should be a source of pride,” said TEA 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.”

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.

In the Northeast area, Parkland HS far outperformed neighboring high schools with its seven distinction designations – Chapin HS received distinctions in five areas while Irvin HS and Andress HS earned none.

In addition, three YISD elementary schools (Eastwood Heights, North Star, and Ramona) earned all six distinction designations awarded at the elementary level by TEA. Eastwood Knolls International School, and Valley View, Ranchland Hills, and Rio Bravo middle schools, earned distinctions in six of seven areas.

Edgemere, Loma Terrace, Scotsdale, Vista Hills, Glen Cove, and Lancaster elementary schools, as well as Alicia R. Chacon International School, won distinctions in five areas.

In total, YISD high schools earned a combined 50 distinction designations. By comparison, El Paso ISD high schools received 41, and Socorro ISD high schools received 21.

Ysleta ISD takes the wraps off Fresh Fruit and Vegetable Program at 12 Schools

In an effort to promote healthier eating habits and improve overall student well-being, the Ysleta Independent School District (YISD) is kicking off its Fresh Fruit and Vegetable Program for the 2016-17 school year.

Beginning today, students at 12 YISD schools will receive fresh fruits and vegetables during the school day on Tuesdays and Thursdays through June 1, 2017.

YISD applied for the program in the spring, and 12 campuses were selected.

Participating campuses are Ascarate, Capistrano, Cedar Grove, Constance Hulbert, Del Valle, Marian Manor, Mesa Vista, North Loop, Pasodale, Ramona, South Loop, and Ysleta elementary schools. These campuses were awarded more than $282,000 by the Texas Department of Agriculture to purchase fruits and vegetables for the program.

The Fresh Fruit and Vegetable Program is a program by the U.S. Department of Agriculture. It is administered by the Food and Nutrition Service, which provides free fresh fruits and vegetables to students in participating elementary schools.

 

 

‘Transformers’ Descend on YWLA Campus for Summer Camp

More than 200 sixth- and seventh-grade girls eagerly descended this week on the campus of YISD’s new Young Women’s Leadership Academy (YWLA) – the only single-gender public school in El Paso – for an interactive and motivational summer camp, just three weeks before it opens for the 2016-17 academic year.

The highly anticipated Aug. 22 launch of the Young Women’s Leadership Academy has taken more than a year of thoughtful, strategic, and innovative planning in conjunction with the Dallas-based Young Women’s Preparatory Network, which has played an integral part in planning and establishing YISD’s new college-preparatory school for girls in grades 6-12.

As part of its support, the Young Women’s Preparatory Network is providing $1 million in enhancement funding to help finance YWLA, which will be temporarily located at 7615 Yuma Drive (former site of Ranchland Hills Middle School) for the next two years before moving to its permanent home at 8040 Yermoland Drive (former site of Hillcrest Middle School).

In order to prepare its inaugural class of sixth- and seventh-grade girls for success, YWLA is hosting a special summer camp from 9 a.m. to 3 p.m. Aug. 1-4 to unite students before the school year begins, giving them an opportunity to familiarize themselves with the campus, fellow students, faculty, and staff before the official start of classes.

The interactive summer camp includes energetic daily team-building exercises, a scavenger hunt, and leadership sessions, as well as introductions to the students’ upcoming academic classes.

Students were also able to bring in school supplies for the year to their classrooms, received their school uniforms, and were given a sneak peek of the school’s new Nike sportswear. The camp ends at 3 p.m. Thursday with a half-hour yoga session.

During the school year, the YWLA curriculum will focus on science, technology, engineering, arts, and mathematics (STEAM), and students will benefit from advanced coursework and a biliteracy component. It also includes three “core value” classes: Responsible Leadership, College & Career Readiness, and Wellness Life Skills.

In addition, YWLA students can choose to participate in a variety of elective classes and extracurricular activities, as well as language classes in Spanish, Chinese, American Sign Language, and Latin.

The YWLA’s mascot is the Transformers, and the school’s mantra is, “Imagine the Possibilities.” Its colors are navy blue, kelly green, and metallic gold, and it is under the leadership of Principal Malinda Villalobos and Academic Dean Lisa Boatright.

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