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Home | Tag Archives: Canutillo ISD

Tag Archives: Canutillo ISD

Canutillo ISD Garcia Elementary student honored for saving neighbor during dog attack

“Be Safe. Be Kind. Be Ready,” is what Gonzalo and Sofia Garcia Elementary students are taught in school. One student showed these actions and values outside of the campus, and his actions were recognized during a rally.

“Luis really demonstrated our motto, ‘Be Safe, Be Kind, Be Ready’,” Garcia Elementary Principal Theresa Heimer said. “Our chant is a reminder to all students that they need to be safe and responsible in any kind of situation, be kind to all those we meet and greet, and be ready to act in all kinds of situations.”

On the evening of November 25, third-grader Luis Villalva helped save his neighbor, Elvira Frias, who was being attacked by a dog outside her home.

As she yelled for help, Luis and his mother came to her rescue and the dog released her. Frias thanked Luis for being there and helping her in this frightening event.

During the school’s monthly Ravens Pride Pep Rally, Luis was honored and was greeted by his family, law enforcement, and the students and staff at Garcia Elementary.

The celebration took place Friday, December 20, in the Garcia Elementary cafeteria.

Canutillo ISD set to celebrate 60th Anniversary with December Diamond Jubilee

Canutillo ISD has come a long way since its establishment in 1959 and the entire community is celebrating its history, the people and the many accomplishments over the years.

Throughout the year, Canutillo ISD has been celebrating their 60 years of excellence and to mark the milestone, the Canutillo Alumni Foundation for Education (CAFÉ) will host a Diamond Jubilee Saturday, December 14, 2019. The event will include dinner and feature live music, dancing, door prizes, a silent auction. The entire community is invited to attend.

The 60th Diamond Jubilee event coordinator and Canutillo alum, Sergio Martinez, says that this event is a tribute to all of the accomplishments the District has achieved recently.

“There have been so many good things coming out of the District lately and we, as a whole community, join with them to celebrate what Canutillo has become today,” Martinez said. “This event honors the heritage and people of the past and the present.”

Headlining the dance party will be El Paso band and Canutillo natives, Mainstreet.

Tickets are $50 general admission, $400 reserved table, or $1,000 Diamond Sponsor, and only available through Friday, December 6.  To purchase tickets and get more information, click here.

Back in 1959, the area was a rural community surrounded by cotton fields in El Paso’s Upper Valley. Canutillo had fewer than 200 students walking the halls of a single school building. Canutillo students interested in continuing their education after eighth grade had to travel almost 15 miles to attend El Paso High School.

It wasn’t until 1963 that Canutillo ISD graduated its first senior class.  The new school district experienced growing pains through the 1960s until bonds were passed to support expansion.

The high school on Bosque Road opened for the 1974-75 school year. Canutillo Middle School on Talbot Road was completed in 1980. In 1987, voters passed a $7.1 million bond issue for construction of Jose H. Damian Elementary School and Deanna Davenport Elementary School in Westway.

The growth continued. Bill Childress Elementary School opened in 1996 and Canutillo Elementary School was added in 1998. Then, the new $7.3 million Canutillo High School was opened in 2005.

By 2006, Canutillo Middle School moved into the old high school and Jose J. Alderete Middle School was added. Gonzalo & Sofia Garcia Elementary School welcomed students in 2008.

Also in 2008, Canutillo ISD and El Paso Community College joined efforts to open Northwest Early College High School, CISD’s second high school, which provides high school students the opportunity to obtain a high school diploma and associate’s degree in just four years. Then, Canutillo’s most recent campus, Congressman Silvestre and Carolina Reyes Elementary School opened in 2015.

Today, fueled by an increasing student population and forward-thinking leaders, Canutillo ISD has emerged from its modest beginnings to become a top-rated, premier school district with ten innovative campuses serving more than 6,200 students.

Northwest Early College High School earned a 2018 National Blue Ribbon Award. And, the District was selected as a finalist for the statewide 2019 H-E-B Excellence in Education award for the first time as an outstanding small district.

The accolades continue. In August, Canutillo ISD became the only traditional school district in the El Paso region to earn back-to-back “A” ratings in accountability from the Texas Education Agency. For the second consecutive year, the District received an Exemplary A-Rating with a grade of 91 in overall performance for the 2018-2019 school year. This makes Canutillo ISD the highest rated among districts in Region 19.

District leaders are pleased with the recent accomplishments that could be considered one of the most memorable and accomplished seasons Canutillo ISD has ever experienced.

“The Canutillo and surrounding communities have really taken notice of the remarkable progress our district has achieved over the years,” said CISD Board President Sergio Coronado. “We have a lot to be proud of and are thrilled for the prospect of an even brighter future.”

CREEED Invests $75k in Canutillo Mathematics College Readiness Initiative

The Council on Regional Economic Expansion and Educational Development (CREEED) has awarded Canutillo Independent School District (CISD) $75,000 to support a dramatic expansion of its middle school mathematics college readiness program. 

The funding will help increase the number of students who can take Algebra I while still in middle school. 
“Algebra is widely considered the gatekeeper subject,” said CREEED Chairman Richard A. Castro. “Students who complete a mathematics course beyond Algebra 2 are four times more likely to receive a college degree, but that is challenging when you don’t have any exposure to Algebra before high school.  CREEED’s grant helps prepare El Paso students for high school and college.”
Under the new CISD mathematics college readiness plan, all eighth-grade students who “meet” or “master” seventh grade standards on the annual STAAR mathematics test will be enrolled in Algebra I. 
In addition, some students who scored as “approaches” on the STAAR exam will be enrolled in Algebra I and provided additional assistance in the advanced coursework.  
Only 24% of CISD eighth-graders completed Algebra I last year. Today, almost one-half of CISD eighth-graders are successfully completing their first semester of Algebra I.  
“The question is no longer if our students should take algebra, but when,” said CISD Superintendent Dr. Pedro Galaviz.  “Thanks to CREEED’s support, CISD will be able to transform expectations, making the completion of Algebra I in middle school the norm rather than the exception.”
Canutillo is also investing in advanced teacher training as part of the new program, which will be rolled out over the next five years. 
With CREEED’s financial assistance, CISD plans to make Algebra I available to all students who scored at the “meets,” “masters,” and “approaches” levels by 2024.  

Canutillo ISD’s Damian Elementary honored for promoting the development of the whole child

On Friday, the Texas Association for Supervision and Curriculum Development (Texas ASCD) announced the recipients of the 2019 Texas Whole Child School and Texas Whole Child Aspiring School awards, and Canutillo ISD’s Damian Elementary was among those honored. 

Led by Principal Jesus Barba, Damian Elementary was awarded an honorable mention.

“Educating our scholars with the whole child approach provides them with the necessary social and emotional skills to be successful in their futures,” said JDE Principal Jesus Barba.

“I encourage my faculty and staff to instill the 7 strengths to reach a million dreams, a platform that opens up a discussion around topics like fulfillment, happiness, and success.”

Damian Elementary was also named to the 2018 – 2019 Educational Results Partnership Star Honor Roll for high achievement in student success.

The Texas Whole Child School Award program recognizes schools implementing a culture and approach that ensures each child is healthy, safe, engaged, supported, and challenged. These tenets provide every student access to a successful education.  The award program increases visibility to the Whole Child philosophy.

Texas ASCD believes more schools will transition from a narrowly defined academic focus on achievement as measured by state tests to a focus promoting the development of the whole child.

Canutillo students open graphic design and print shop next week

Graphic design students at Canutillo High School will get real-world experience by opening a graphic design and printing business on campus.

Canutillo ISD Career and Technical Education (CTE) Director Tracy Andrews says that students will gain valuable experience through the business.

“Our goal is to teach our students both knowledge and skills. CTE not only teaches skills for specific career fields, but it also teaches skills for life,” Andrews said.

The new business, DigiPrint, will expand on the student’s learning by offering real-life experiences from an owner’s viewpoint.  They will learn customer service, bookkeeping, marketing a service or product, managing a budget, and sales strategies.

In addition to the traditional training with graphic design software, they will learn to analyze, manipulate and finalize a design using a variety of mediums.

The CTE Career Cluster – Arts, A/V Technology and Communications (AAVTC) – focuses on careers in designing, producing, exhibiting, performing, writing, and publishing multimedia content including visual and performing arts and design, journalism, and entertainment services.

Careers in the AAVTC Cluster require a creative aptitude, a strong background in computer and technology applications, a strong academic foundation, and a proficiency in oral and written communication.

The grand opening of DigiPrint is scheduled for 1:00 p.m. on Monday, October 7 at Canutillo High School, located at  6675 South Desert Boulevard.

Canutillo ISD Superintendent commended by Board of Trustees, Contract extended

Student outcomes have been the primary focus of Canutillo ISD Superintendent Dr. Pedro Galaviz since he arrived at the District in 2013. And, the Board of Education has praised the results.

“The District has seen tremendous success under Dr. Galaviz’ leadership,” said Board President Sergio Coronado.  “He is a true educational leader who keeps true to his belief of always keeping students in the forefront. We’re privileged to have Superintendent Galaviz leading our district.”

Trustees voted 5 – 1 Monday night to extend Dr. Galaviz’ contract and included a 4% increase, which is equal to what district administrators received.

According to CISD officials, under Dr. Galaviz, the district is on the national map due to several accomplishments. Canutillo ISD is the only school district in the region to earn back-to-back ‘A’s in accountability from the Texas Education Agency (TEA).

For the second consecutive year, the District received an Exemplary Performance A-Rating with a grade of 91 in overall performance. This makes Canutillo ISD the highest rated among districts in Region 19.

Canutillo ISD also received a top tier credit rating upgrade. Moody’s Investors Service upgraded their credit rating to Aa3, from A1. The District improved its credit rating and is now among the best-rated school systems in the region.

“I am proud to serve this amazing community. Their unwavering support and dedication to the students are what makes this a special place,” Dr. Galaviz said. “I believe these actions represent a vote of confidence in our team’s vision, progress, and performance. I appreciate the hard work of our students, teachers, staff, parents, and trustees for making CISD a premier school district.”

In addition to this year’s amendment, for future evaluation cycles, if Dr. Galaviz receives a satisfactory evaluation, one year will be added to the end of the contract term and his base pay will be automatically adjusted with the same raise, if any, approved for other district administrators.

Canutillo ISD expands Pre-k program

Tuesday morning, officials with Canutillo ISD announced that the district would be expanding its pre-kindergarten program for this school year.

The District is now offering a new, full-day pre-k program free of charge at all of its elementary campuses for qualified El Paso-area families for the 2019-2020 school year.

Increased funding for full-day pre-kindergarten for families who meet certain criteria was made possible by the passage of House Bill 3 during the 86th session of the Texas Legislature and signed into law in June.

Canutillo ISD Superintendent Dr. Pedro Galaviz and district leaders are excited about this new change.

“It’s a great opportunity to get kids off on the right foot,” Galaviz said. “Canutillo understands the importance of a strong foundation for students.”

Parents can now begin registering for full-day pre-k online. There are some requirements to be eligible for the program.

Children must be four years old by September 1 and meet one of the following requirements:

  • Does not speak or understand English;
  • Eligible for the free or reduced-price lunch program;
  • Homeless;
  • Has a parent that is active duty military or active duty reserve;
  • Is or ever has been in the conservatorship of the Department of Family and Protective Services following an adversary hearing;
  • Has a parent that was an active duty member of the armed forces, state military forces or reserve component who was injured or killed while serving on active duty.

More information on the pre-kindergarten program, including the documents needed for enrollment can be found on the Canutillo ISD website.

Canutillo ISD ‘Super Readers’ attend summer literacy academy

Canutillo ISD’s ‘Super readers’ had the opportunity to improve their super powers at a special summer literacy academy at Congressman Silvestre & Carolina Reyes Elementary School.

Canutillo ISD English Language Arts Curriculum Coordinator Natalie Spalloni said that the students will be taught why it is important to read and explained the goals of the academy.

“The goal of the Super Readers Academy is to create a community where readers feel safe to take risks as readers,” Spalloni said. “Readers will be surrounded by rich book talk, animated demonstrations, and social-emotional support while acquiring technical skills necessary for proficient reading.”

The Super Readers Academy provides support to help more students meet and exceed the district goal that 90% of all first and second grade students will be reading at grade level.

The free academy was made available to kinder through second grade Canutillo ISD students who were nominated by their campus.

The focus is to improve phonological awareness, phonics, fluency, vocabulary, comprehension, and writing. An emphasis on differentiating instruction to meet the needs of all students, including struggling learners, is a highlight of Super Readers Academy.

The second annual academy has been redesigned to better meet the needs of the students by using a Scholastic program called LitCamp.

The curriculum works on seven strengths: belonging, curiosity, kindness, friendship, confidence, courage, and hope. It uses a strength-based model to build children’s literacy and resilience skills side by side in small groups.

During the academy, teachers read out-loud to students twice a day, along with students reading independently each day. Children read about three books a day for eight days.

“We are excited to bring such a great summer option to our students,” Spalloni added. “They will grow and get the opportunity to be a part of something special that will benefit them in all subjects.”

Author: Elizabeth Caro  – Canutillo ISD

Three Canutillo ISD schools make the 2018-19 Texas Honor Roll

Three schools in the Canutillo Independent School District have made the honor roll.

“We continue our strong reputation and work hard every day to become a premier school district,” said Dr. Pedro Galaviz, Canutillo ISD Superintendent of Schools. “Our principals create the conditions for teachers and students to thrive, leading to recognitions like this.”

Jose Damian Elementary, Canutillo Middle School, and Northwest Early College High School have been named to the 2018 – 2019 Educational Results Partnership Star Honor Roll for their high achievement in student success.

While these campuses are already on the national map for high quality teaching and learning, for high schools, the Honor Roll recognition also includes measures of college readiness.

Northwest Early College High School, who has been selected to the Star Honor Roll four consecutive years, was named a 2018 Blue Ribbon School by the U.S. Department of Education – the highest honor given to a school by the federal government.

Along with their debut on the Star Honor Roll, Canutillo Middle School was designated as a T-STEM academy by TEA, making the District one of only a few in the state of Texas to have a 6th – 12th grade T-STEM track.

Jose Damian Elementary, also on the STAR Honor Roll for the first time, is in its second year of being a STEM focused school and prides itself on its focus on intervention, acceleration, and closing the achievement gap.

The program, sponsored by the Campaign for Business and Education Excellence (CBEE), is part of a national effort to identify higher-performing schools and districts that are improving student outcomes. It recognizes schools and districts that have demonstrated consistent high levels of student academic achievement, improvement in achievement levels over time, and a reduction in achievement gaps among student populations.

Canutillo ISD, Project Vida partner to open health clinic

Canutillo area residents will now have greater access to integrated health care in their community thanks to a new partnership between the Canutillo Independent School District and Project Vida Health Center.

The federally-qualified Canutillo Northwest Health Center is now open at 7000 Fifth Street in Canutillo and will provide primary health care and behavioral health to patients of all ages.

A licensed professional counselor will be available for integrated behavioral health care.

Canutillo ISD Executive Director of Student Support Services Dr. Monica Reyes is proud of the district’s participation in making the health center a reality.

“When our superintendent, Dr. (Pedro) Galaviz, said he wanted greater access to integrated health care services for our community, we went straight to work and established a partnership with Project Vida,” Reyes said. “We are pleased to continue to further support our students and their families with complete wrap-around services that now include accessible health care.”

David Godinez, Program Manager of Navigation and Behavioral Health in Schools for Project Vida Health Center says that the program enables more convenient access to services that would otherwise be out of reach for communities that reside further from city services.

“Project Vida aims to fill the gap with access to fully integrated primary and preventive care,” Godinez said. “The fact that we are able to open a health center in the heart of Canutillo will accommodate and benefit this community greatly.”

The clinic is now open four days a week, and as demand increases, organizers say that services will expand to six days a week. Patients without insurance are charged for services according to their ability to pay based on sliding scale fees.

Canutillo ISD Superintendent Dr. Pedro Galaviz believes that the new center will greatly improve the overall physical and mental well-being of students and their families.

“When our kids and parents are healthy, they have less to worry about, and they can be more successful in school and in life,” Galaviz said.

Community organizers will celebrate the opening of the new health center with a ribbon-cutting ceremony Tuesday, May 21, 2019, at 10:00 a.m.

Canutillo students win top honors in essay contest

From more than 8,200 essays submitted from local districts, 42 top essays were selected in a contest, with five students representing Canutillo ISD as semi-finalists and one of two national finalists.

The Do the Write Thing Challenge is an annual contest where students all across America rise to the challenge of doing something to end youth violence. It gives middle school students an opportunity to examine the impact of youth violence on their lives.

Alderete Middle School students Celeste Nunez, Lily Garcia, Brianna Martinez, Esther Parra, and Canutillo Middle School student Mia Lopez were among the semi-finalists.

A committee comprised of attorneys, judges, professors, and counselors met to interview the semi-finalists and their parents from the region. Then, on April 13, the semi-finalists attended a recognition reception where top essays were recognized and the top 2 national finalists were announced. Nunez is one of those finalists.

In her essay, Nunez says that she wants to inform people about the harm that violence does.

“I felt shattered like a puzzle unsolved,” Nunez writes. “I am fed up knowing that people feel unworthy or dissimilar or isolated.”

Nunez will represent Canutillo and the El Paso region at the Do the Write Thing Recognition Week in Washington D.C. this July. During the recognition week in Washington, the essays will be published into the Library of Congress.

Nunez will participate in leadership sessions and have opportunities to meet and interview national leaders and members of Congress.

Author: Lhaisha Contreras – Canutillo ISD

CISD’s Rodriguez to lead Hispanic outreach for national school board organization

Canutillo Independent School District Officials announced that Trustee Armando Rodriguez was elected chair of the National Hispanic Council of School Board Members, a branch of the National School Boards Association (NSBA) tasked with furthering education policy benefiting the Latinx community throughout the United States.

In his new role, he will help NSBA better understand the needs and goals of Hispanic students and communities that continue to grow in numbers in every region of the country.

Rodriguez, a 14-year veteran of the CISD Board, is the first El Pasoan to serve on this capacity.

“I’m honored to have been elected by my peers from across the country and to be able to represent Canutillo and El Paso on an important national stage,” said Rodriguez, who in 2005 became the youngest person in El Paso County ever to serve on a school board. “This position will allow me to bring to the table the wonderful work that is happening along the U.S.-Mexico Border, and share best practices with those who may be dealing with a surge of a Latino population for the first time in their hometown’s history.”

Rodriguez’s role will allow him to serve on the National School Board Association’s board of directors — a first for an El Paso-area trustee.

Voters first elected Rodriguez to the Canutillo school board in 2005, just years after he graduated from Canutillo High School. Since then, he has earned state and national recognition as an education advocate and a leader in Hispanic legislative issues.

He is a graduate of Leadership TASB, the premier leadership program for school-board members in Texas. He has served on every committee for the Texas Association of School Boards and currently is the vice chair of membership for the organization.

Rodriguez is the past president of the Mexican-American School Boards Association and serves on the National Association of Latino Elected Officials Board of Directors.

A Canutillo native, Rodriguez is a graduate of the University of Texas at El Paso.

Canutillo ISD Named Finalist for 2019 H-E-B Excellence in Education Small District Award

Canutillo Independent School District (CISD) officials announced on Tuesday that their district had been selected as a finalist for the statewide 2019 H-E-B Excellence in Education award. Canutillo was recognized as an outstanding small district.

“Outstanding teaching, learning, leadership, and governance are the essential ingredients for a great school district,” said Superintendent Dr. Pedro Galaviz.

“Once again, CISD has distinguished itself by being named an H-E-B Excellence in Education Award finalist and we look forward to showcasing our district. These awards stand as an exemplar for positive school-business relationships.”

The H-E-B Excellence in Education Awards program was launched in cooperation with the Texas Association of School Administrators in 2002 as a positive way to support public education in Texas. In 2018, the H-E-B Excellence in Education Awards awarded more than $700,000 in cash prizes, gift cards, and grants to finalists and winners, according to the H-E-B website.

The small school district winner will receive $50,000.  School districts are honored for their commitment to student achievement through innovative programs, parent/community involvement, and professional development opportunities for teachers and administrators.

A panel of H-E-B Excellence in Education judges will visit Canutillo ISD in February.

The site visit will include touring campuses and talking with administration, staff, parents and community members. After visiting the three finalist districts, H-E-B will announce the winner in May.

Since its inception in 2002, the H-E-B program has awarded over $10 million, becoming the largest monetary program for educators in the state, spotlighting best practices and celebrating the passion and creativity of Texas educators.

Canutillo isn’t the only local district to be honored by the nomination, Socorro ISD is up for two H-E-B honors as well. To read that story, click here.

Alumni Foundation Sends Canutillo Kids to College

Canutillo alumni have worked together to provide scholarships for graduates since 2004 and are proud to announce a new partnership with the Paso del Norte Foundation to further their mission.

The Canutillo Independent School District and the alumni group established an agency-advised fund to help meet the needs of the Canutillo Alumni Foundation for Education (CAFÉ).

Earlier this year, the Canutillo ISD Board of Trustees unanimously passed a memorandum of understanding regarding its desire to work together with CAFÉ. The MOU states that the District will jointly host future alumni fundraising-related events for the mutual benefit of the District’s and CAFÉ’s missions.

CISD Superintendent Dr. Pedro Galaviz says that it is crucial that the District works together with alumni in the community.

“Our partnership with CAFÉ and Paso del Norte will ensure the success of the foundation in meeting its mission and ultimately benefit kids,” Galaviz said. “Next, we will be moving to expand the fund’s presence and encourage alumni, businesses, and community members everywhere to contribute to the success of our students going to college.”

This year, nine graduating seniors from Canutillo and Northwest Early College High Schools received $500-$1,000 each from CAFÉ, the Classes of 1967, 1994 and the Canutillo Sun-Up Optimist Club.

Since 2004, more than $114,000 has been raised by the group and awarded to about 153 students.

CAFÉ holds an annual golf tournament to raise funds for the scholarship. The next tournament will be Friday, May 3, 2019. Next year, CAFÉ plans to promote a membership drive to encourage annual and monthly giving.

Tax-deductible, one-time, annual and monthly gifts can now be made online by visiting their website. Supporters will receive a free CAFÉ gift with their annual or monthly contribution.

Northwest Early College High School Student wins Congressional App Challenge

Northwest Early College High School student Aya Abdelgawad has once again received recognition as an emerging woman in technology.

This week, the office of Representative Beto O’Rourke announced that she won the Congressional App Challenge for the 16th Congressional District.

Every year, Congressional representatives invite middle school and high school students to create and submit their original mobile apps for a chance to win the app challenge. The contest inspires students to explore science, technology, engineering and math (STEM), along with coding and computer science.

Abdelgawad’s Just Breathe app helps users relax and gain good stress management techniques. She explained what inspired her to create the app.

“It started with a school science project on mental health,” Abdelgawad said. “I wanted to create a relaxed atmosphere in a way that is available to people at all times.”

The aspiring developer demonstrated that the app, available for Android, is targeted toward students. It contains options for breathing and stress management techniques on a daily basis.

“From here, I want to make it compatible for IOS users and add additional strategies like attitude, spiritual, and more breathing exercises,” Abdelgawad continued.

This congressional award is just the latest in a string of awards that Abdelgawad has earned recently. Earlier this year, she was selected as a 2018 Greater El Paso Affiliate of the National Center for Women & Information Technology (NCWIT) Honorable Mention Award for Aspirations in Computing. She is also a member of the Canutillo ISD student IT tech team and led the Chica Code Camp this summer where young ladies learned coding.

Author: Elizabeth Caro, Intern Canutillo ISD

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