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Tag Archives: Canutillo ISD

Canutillo ISD Writing Collaborative Featured in State Publication

Writing-to-learn has become an innovative instructional strategy at Canutillo ISD and the District’s success story has been published in the Write for Texas: Success Stories from a Literacy Initiative 2014-2017 publication.

This year, in collaboration between the West Texas Writing Project (WTWP) at the University of Texas at El Paso, Canutillo ISD led an ongoing district literacy initiative designed to support the improvement of reading and writing instruction.

The published snapshot showcases a successful aspect of the state-wide writing initiative at Canutillo to document and recognize the work of the Write for Texas site and to inform and inspire other educators to adopt similar practices. Canutillo English Language Arts (ELA) and Reading Coordinator Natalie Spalloni says it is a major honor to be included in the Write for Texas Literacy publication.

“The partnership with UTEP flourished into a professional collaboration across all our secondary campus educators,” Spalloni said. “It is refreshing to have a shared conception that writing to learn is a legitimate instructional strategy.”

The Canutillo Curriculum and Instruction team used educational articles to elicit dialogue about writing instruction in relation to collaborative strategies that the teachers practiced. In addition to supporting the teachers’ own professional learning, the activities selected could be adapted for student instruction.

Spalloni explained to the publication that writing across the curriculum typically refers to process writing that is meant to be published and reflects a purpose and format particular to a content area such as a Science lab report or a Social Studies essay. Writing-to-learn activities, however, are short, informal writing tasks such as a notecard, foldable or chart that help students think through or process learning about key concepts or ideas presented in a course.

Through the professional development offered by Spalloni, groups of teachers from very different content areas reached a shared understanding of the definition of writing-to-learn. They understood how the strategies could be used to promote and measure student learning. She said that teachers gave anecdotal reports about the positive impact of the workshops.

One social studies teacher who participated in a workshop about collaborative annotation was eager to implement the strategy the next day. A middle school teacher who was originally hesitant to implement writing to learn in science class later shared his success with using the techniques. He reported that student engagement had increased and he was impressed by the volume of writing that they produced.

“In the past, formal writing instruction was taught in isolation, but now we see how integrating either low or high stakes writing into all units of content instruction offers educators immediate, authentic feedback from students about their individual level of content understanding,” Spalloni added. “It is exhilarating when teachers from varying content areas see me in the halls and ask me if we are having a writing workshop.”

A link to the entire publication and Canutillo snapshot can be downloaded here.

Canutillo Alumni Award Thousands in College Scholarships

Seven graduating seniors from Canutillo High School and Northwest Early College High School received $1,000 scholarships each from the Canutillo Alumni Foundation for Education (CAFÉ) and the Classes of 1994 and 2006 to attend college.

Oscar Moreno, Canutillo High School class of 2006, said that when his class got together for their 10-year reunion, they came up with ways to give to current CHS graduates who are headed to college.

“This is a prime example of Canutillo greatness and pride,” Moreno said. “These students demonstrate great potential and I know they will be a positive reflection to our community. We are a united community built on humility, honesty, and care, looking to push our future generations to do great things, not only for Canutillo, but for the El Paso community in general.”

The Class of 1967 will be celebrating their 50th reunion on Saturday, July 29, 2017 at the Sunland Park Racetrack and Casino Ballroom. The alumni teamed up with the Canutillo Optimist Club to raise money for scholarships and the community.

Class of 1967 graduate Teddy Martinez says that her class tries to get together once a year and always has their community in mind.

“I am very proud to belong to CAFÉ and give out so many scholarships,” Martinez said. “We hope to increase participation from other classes to do the same.”

Since 2004, more than $109,000 has been raised by the group and awarded to about 144 students. The Canutillo alumni association holds an annual golf tournament in the fall to raise funds for the scholarship. The Classes of 1994 and 2006 also raised money as part of their reunion activities.

The reunion celebration is open to all the community and tickets are on sale for $30. Call Teddy at 503-3067 for more information.

Texas Education Agency Designates Canutillo ISD 6 through 12 T-STEM District

Canutillo ISD announced that the Texas Education Agency has designated Canutillo Middle School as a Texas Science, Technology, Engineering and Mathematics (T-STEM) academy.

The middle school joins Canutillo High School, who is in its second year in the same T-STEM designation, making the District one of only a few in the state of Texas to have a sixth through twelfth grade T-STEM track.

T-STEM Academies are rigorous secondary schools focusing on improving instruction and academic performance in science and mathematics-related subjects and increasing the number of students who study and enter STEM careers.

Canutillo Middle School was designated based on a rigorous designation process by TEA requiring the campus to meet a number of benchmarks in relation to STEM such as mission-driven leadership, T-STEM culture and student and teacher retention. CMS Principal Mark Paz is excited about this (T-STEM) designation.

“This program will help students be better prepared for their transition to the high school STEM program,” Paz said. “This will also give colleges a good indicator that the students have gone through a rigorous process since the sixth grade.”

With the T-STEM designation, CMS will be provided with professional development and technical assistance to serve as demonstration schools and learning labs to showcase innovative instruction methods which integrate technology and engineering into science and mathematics instruction.

Earlier this month, the middle school was also awarded a Project Lead the Way Gateway grant for $20,000 made possible by Verizon Innovative Learning through the 2018-19 school year. Students will have unique learning opportunities in engineering, robotics, computer science, app creator, digital design, programing and coding based coursework provided by Project Lead the Way, a nonprofit organization.

“The Project Lead the Way grant will go a long way to help pay for the course curriculum and teacher training required for the program. Students will eventually graduate with the experience they need to succeed and do something amazing for our community in the future,” Paz added.

On May 25, CMS held a STEAM Fair for the elementary schools in the District to preview the projects that they will encounter when they come in. The fair featured robotics, student-created roller coasters, math activities, fine arts interactive projects, music performances, award-winning poster designs (Visual Arts) and more.

Incoming 6th graders can enroll in a free, STEM Camp held at CMS from June 19-22 from 8:30-11:30 a.m.where they will get a head start on STEM based projects, develop leadership skills, meet CMS faculty, and go on to participate in actual STEM based field experience. The program is open to all current 5th-7th grade students in Canutillo ISD and surrounding area.

Those who are interested in attending for the 2017-18 school year should apply by May 31.

Visit the school’s website at http://cms.canutillo-isd.org/STEAM for more information.

Canutillo ISD Recognized as an Honor Roll School District

Canutillo ISD is one of only 11 in Texas and the only district in the region to make the Educational Results Partnership and Institute for Productivity in Education‘s 2016 Honor Roll, which recognizes high performing schools.

CISD officials, via a news release, stated, “Canutillo ISD is an innovative and forward-thinking school district. The hard work that teachers and students do on a daily basis is being noticed throughout Texas and the nation, too.”

Three schools, Northwest Early College High School, Alderete Middle School and Reyes Elementary School were also honored as Star Honor Roll Schools.

District officials added, “What an accomplishment!  Just another example of how we are on the path to becoming a premier school district…this accomplishment showcases the hard work in Canutillo and also sends the message that El Paso is a center of high quality teaching and learning.”


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

CISD Students Offer Free Income Tax Preparation, Filing for the Canutillo Community

Canutillo ISD announced Thursday that the district is a Volunteer Income Tax Assistance (VITA) and My Free Taxes site.

The VITA program offers free tax help to people who generally make $54,000 or less, persons with disabilities and limited English speaking taxpayers who need assistance in preparing their own tax returns.

CISD officials say, “It is a win/win for both our community who is able to receive access and assistance to file their income taxes for free and for our Career and Technical Education (CTE) students and community members who have been educated on filing income taxes through a 24-hour course sponsored by the IRS.”

Officials added, “We are very proud to be the only VITA site on the far west side of El Paso and helping our community.”

For seven Saturdays in the months of February, March and April, students will be assisting clients with filing income tax returns at Canutillo High School from 9:00 a.m. – 1:00 p.m.

WHO: Canutillo ISD and VITA

WHAT: Students helping the community file their taxes

WHERE: Canutillo High School Library, 6675 South Desert Blvd

WHEN: Saturday, February 4, 2016 at 9:00 a.m. – 1:00 p.m.

Northwest Early College Students Outperform State, National Averages in PSAT Scores

The path to college is not always an easy one, but students at Northwest Early College High School (NWECHS) in the Canutillo Independent School District are well ahead of state and national averages.

NWECHS Principal Tracy Speaker-Gerstheimer emphasized the importance of having their students college-ready.

“We give a lot of attention and care to the preparation of our students for college,” Speaker-Gerstheimer said. “Many in our community don’t understand how to navigate the path to college. We are here to support the students with guidance, tutoring and give an SAT prep camp on Saturdays.”

NWECHS students averaged a total score of 1051 on the PSAT while the state mean was 970 and the nation averaged 1019 on the test.

The Preliminary SAT/National Merit Scholarship Qualifying Test (PSAT/NMSQT) is a standardized test administered by the College Board. Approximately 3.5 million students take the PSAT/NMSQT each year.

The scores from the PSAT/NMSQT are used to determine eligibility and qualification for the National Merit Scholarship Program.

As for any eighth graders – from any district – who are interested in attending Northwest Early College High School for the 2017-18 school year, they have until January 26, 2017 to apply for admission.

Interested students and parents can click HERE  for more information.

Socorro ISD beats Canutillo ISD 32 to 24; ‘Warm the Soul’ Overall Winner

Team SISD and Canutillo ISD leaders, board members, and employees faced-off for a friendly flag football match as part of the Socorro Independent School District’s annual Warm the Soul collection drive to benefit needy students.

The game ended with a victory for SISD who defeated Canutillo with a score of 32-24.

Since its inception in 2014, SISD’s Warm the Soul initiative has collected more than 600 pairs of new shoes for underprivileged children. This year, the district also collected blankets, scarves, socks, mittens and beanies.

SISD _ Canutillo ISD Warm the Soul3“Warm the Soul is a fun and unique event where Team SISD and Canutillo ISD join efforts to help students in need,” said SISD Superintendent of School Dr. José Espinoza. “Buying a new pair of shoes can be difficult for some families and we want to help with that need. A new pair of shoes, scarf, mittens or beanies will keep our students warm this season, boost their confidence, and allow them to focus on the education they deserve.”

The charity game, which kicked-off at 5 p.m. Nov. 16 in the Student Activities Complex, welcomed an array of players, including the two superintendents, board members, principals, coaches and other district staff who demonstrated their best athletic abilities and united for a good cause.

“This is my third year participating in Warm the Soul,” said Norma Myers, principal at O’Shea Keleher Elementary School. “Bridging two districts together to help students in need is great! We do it on a daily basis, but to do it this way is a lot of fun.”

After the game, Dr. Espinoza thanked Canutillo ISD and Team SISD staff for their donations and support. SISD Board President Gary Gandara, CISD Board president Stephanie Frietze, and trustee Armando Rodriguez, also thanked both teams for their participation.

“We appreciate Canutillo ISD for getting involved and bringing shoes to benefit our students,” President Gandara said. “This will definitely bring a smile to our students faces.”

SISD _ Canutillo ISD Warm the Soul1

Partnership Between Canutillo ISD, St. Francis on the Hill, Walmart help Students

Students at Deanna Davenport Elementary got a boost as they head back to school this fall.

A community service project partnership between Canutillo ISD, St. Francis on the Hill Episcopal Church, and Walmart provided a shopping spree for new school clothing and school supplies.

Give ‘em a Boost is targeted to the Westway community where 43.9% of children under the age of eighteen live below the poverty level.

The outreach program provided children from these families with a budget of $70 to purchase essential new clothing, shoes, dresses, shirts, pants, school uniforms as well as school supplies.

cisd 2Outreach organizer A.C. Sanders III encouraged this as an opportunity for other businesses and organizations to make a difference in the lives of each student.

“Meeting these students’ basic needs enables them to focus on learning and succeeding in life and school,” Sanders said. “Our philosophy is that the students learn better if they feel better about themselves. There’s nothing like seeing their smiles and gratitude as they head back to school with new gear.”

The outreach is funded by many individuals who make small and large donations and was able to more than double the number of students impacted in their second year to 120 from 50 last year with a grant from the Episcopal Diocese of the Rio Grande.

Walmart gave a 10% discount on all student purchases while Canutillo ISD provided the transportation for the trip.

Canutillo ISD and El Pasoans Fighting Hunger Feed 300 Families

The Canutillo Independent School District (CISD) has partnered with the El Pasoans Fighting Hunger Food Bank to provide 300 pantries to local families in need at the Lonestar Building located at 7000 5th Street in the heart of Canutillo.

Led by the staff, parent liaisons and volunteers of CISD’s Student Support Services Department, the pantries were delivered at the perfect time following the week off from school due to Spring Break when food resources were stretched thinner than usual.

Each pantry consisted of canned food, juice, raisins, beans, mashed potatoes, 10 pounds of chicken, applesauce and a choice of a frozen pizza or lasagna. The event also included a mini health fair in which pantry recipients received free blood pressure and cholesterol screenings. Families were identified based on need by the CISD Parent Liaisons among families across all six CISD elementary campuses.

“Our food pantry was a tremendous success, and it’s all thanks to our parent liaisons and volunteers,” said Dr. Monica Reyes, Director of the Student Support Services Department. “Due to this success, we are planning to have another food pantry at the end of May and hopefully continue this effort on a monthly basis.”

To qualify, families must have a child currently enrolled in any campus across Canutillo ISD and contact their campus’s parent liaison. For more information, please contact Student Support Services at (915) 877-7650.

CISD Food Pantry 3 CISD Food Pantry 4CISD Food Pantry 2

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

School districts from both sides of the Borderland are uniting to donate shoes and play a basketball game for a great cause.

Via the ‘Warm the Soul Shoe Drive,’ Team SISD and Canutillo ISD employees are uniting to collect shoes for students in the Socorro Independent School District.

SISD has collected more than 100 pairs of shoes for underprivileged students.

The shoe drive will culminate in a basketball game between the Team SISD and Canutillo ISD superintendents, board members and administrators at Eastlake High School.

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

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

What:         The Warm the Soul shoe drive and charity basketball game

Who:          SISD and Canutillo ISD leaders, SISD students

Where:       Gymnasium at Eastlake High School   13000 Emerald Pass

When:        Thursday, April 7, 2016  5 p.m.

Canutillo ISD Names New Executive Director of Facilities and Transportation

The Canutillo Independent School District (CISD) is pleased to announce the recent appointment of Mr. Bruno Vasquez to the key leadership position of Executive Director of Facilities and Transportation. Mr. Vasquez is a Registered Architect and a member of the American Institute of Architects with more than 15 years of experience in the education, government and healthcare sectors.

In this role, Mr. Vasquez is responsible for all facets of CISD’s facility maintenance, bond construction projects, energy management, student transportation and fleet maintenance.

“Mr. Vasquez’s systematic approach to project management, architectural design and construction management make him the ideal candidate for this important position,” said Dr. Galaviz, Superintendent of CISD. “He will no doubt help take CISD to new heights to ensure our students, faculty and staff continue to learn and work in some of the best quality facilities anywhere in the State.”

Mr. Vasquez is a native to the greater El Paso region and has spent his professional career designing well-known projects in El Paso, including two branch offices of TFCU. He most recently served as Senior Architect/Project Manager with HDR, Inc., in the construction of the new hospital on Fort Bliss.

Prior to this, he was an Architect with Carl Daniel Architects, Inc., where he managed more than 25 design and construction projects, some of which included complex and sophisticated HVAC and electrical systems. He also served as an Intern Architect/Project Manager with C.F. Associates, Inc., where he managed more than 50 design and construction projects.

“I am very excited to join Team Canutillo and to serve the best interests of our students,” said Mr. Vasquez. “My team and I will be using the data and detailed condition assessments from the Facilities Master Plan to confidently invest and maintain all of our publicly-funded buildings and assets to provide the highest quality educational environments.”

Mr. Vasquez earned his Bachelor of Architecture from the Universidad Autónoma de Ciudad Juárez and studied graduate-level courses at the Universitat Politecnica de Catalunya in Barcelona, Spain. He is also a member of the Texas Society of Architects and an Executive Committee Member of the AIA El Paso Chapter.

He is bilingual in English and Spanish and enjoys mountain biking and running.

Canutillo ISD Names Dr. Veronica Vijil as Associate Superintendent

The Canutillo Independent School District (CISD) is pleased to announce the recent appointment of Dr. Veronica Vijil to the key leadership position of Associate Superintendent. An experienced leader in education, Dr. Vijil returns home to El Paso County after serving the past 19 years as an educator in the Spring ISD within the Houston metropolitan area.

Dr. Vijil succeeds longtime educator Ms. Annette Brigham, who retired as Associate Superintendent last month.

“Dr. Vijil’s deep educator experience coupled with her knowledge of data management and compliance will be invaluable to our students, faculty and staff,” said Dr. Pedro Galaviz, Superintendent of CISD. “She is a warm person with high expectations and demanding standards of excellence. She is the best person for this position and will make a great fit to Team Canutillo.”

Dr. Vijil is a graduate of Burgess High School and began her educational career as an English teacher at Riverside Middle School. After a seven-year teaching position in Indianapolis, Dr. Vijil relocated to the Houston area where she served as a science teacher, Assistant Principal, Principal, and most recently Executive Director of Data Management & Compliance for Spring ISD.

Since September 2012, Dr. Vijil has also served as an Adjunct Professor at Sam Houston State University where she taught a Campus Business Management course as part of the Master of Education in Administration and the Principal Certification programs.

“When I arrived, the first thing I noticed is just how warm and friendly everybody is here at the Canutillo school district,” said Dr. Vijil. “I’ve already had the wonderful opportunity to meet many staff and students who welcomed me with open arms, and I look forward to getting to know everyone so we can take Canutillo ISD to even greater heights of accomplishment and student success.”

Dr. Vijil earned her Bachelor of Science in Education from the University of Texas at El Paso and a Master of Education from Indiana Wesleyan University in Indianapolis.

She later earned her Doctorate of Educational Leadership from Sam Houston State University in Huntsville, Texas, after completing her dissertation entitled, “Experiences of High School Hispanic Girls in Pursuit of Science, Technology, Engineering, and Mathematics-Related Coursework and Careers.”

She has also earned five Texas Educator Certificates and is the recipient of numerous accolades including the Spring ISD Secondary Principal and Teacher of the Year and two-time state semi-finalist in the HEB Excellence in Education Award. Dr. Vijil is bilingual in English and Spanish and enjoys cycling and running.

Canutillo ISD’s Northwest Early College High School named Honor Roll School

On Wednesday, the Canutillo Independent School District announced that the Educational Results Partnership (ERP) and the Institute for Educational Productivity (IPE) selected the Northwest Early College High School as a 2015 Honor Roll School.

“We are proud to be recognized by education and business leaders in Texas as an Honor Roll school,” said Tracy Speaker, Principal of Northwest Early College High School.

She added, “Our teachers and administrators work tirelessly to keep the focus on high expectations and student academic achievement and to continuously improve our practices. This hard work and dedication is paying off for all of our students, no matter their background.”

Schools receiving this distinction from leaders in the Texas academic and business communities have demonstrated consistent high levels of student academic achievement, improvement in achievement levels over time and reduction in achievement gaps among student populations. For High Schools, the Honor Roll recognition also includes measures of college readiness.

The Honor Roll is comprised of two different awards, the “Star Schools” Award and “Scholar Schools” Award.

Star Schools are those with significant populations of socio-economically disadvantaged students that have shown a significant increase in grade-level proficiency over time. Scholar Schools are schools that are showing significant levels of academic achievement, but do not have a significant socio-economically disadvantaged student population.

“The connection between economic and educational productivity is very real and critically important,” says Charles Miller, chairman of the Institute for Productivity in Education (IPE). “Shining a light on schools that work is a great first step, but we must also learn more about their financial data if we want the biggest bang for our education buck. With accurate academic and financial data, Texas can build a system that rewards productivity by giving schools the flexibility to reallocate resources for maximum student benefit. The Honor Roll is a powerful start.”

“The American education system has a secret. Many schools are doing well … the Honor Roll proves it. Students are achieving at higher levels than anyone admits and more students than ever are succeeding when given the opportunity,” said Jim Lanich, ERP President and CEO.  “All schools, no matter what zip code they are in, can achieve this kind of success and leadership from the business community is critical to ensuring successes for all students.”

The annual Honor Roll award is made possible by support from numerous businesses and organizations including State Farm, AAA, Macy’s, Wells Fargo, Enterprise Rent-A-Car, and several private foundations.  Chevron Corporation provided specific support in the creation of the STEM Honor Roll.

Northwest ECHS is one of 713 public schools in Texas to receive this honor as part of a national effort to identify higher-performing schools and highlight successful practices that improve outcomes for students.

A full list of the Honor Roll schools, districts and the STEM awardees can be found athttp://edresults.org/HonorRoll/HonorRoll?State=TX

Canutillo ISD Names Reyna Salcedo as Principal of Bill Childress Elementary School

The Canutillo Independent School District (CISD) recently appointed experienced educator and administrator Maria Reyna Salcedo to the key leadership position of Principal for Bill Childress Elementary School located in Vinton.

Tuesday, February 16th  marked her first day on the job in her new position after serving as Assistant Principal of Alderete Middle School since 2014 and Assistant Principal at Canutillo High School in 2008.

“We are excited to promote one of Canutillo’s best educators to the Principalship and have high expectations that Mrs. Salcedo will lead Bill Childress Elementary to new heights,” said Dr. Pedro Galavíz, CISD Superintendent. “Her extensive teaching and administrative experience, coupled with her commitment to engage with the community, will be invaluable to the Bill Childress and Vinton communities.”

Mrs. Salcedo has nearly 28 years of educational experience. Prior to her tenure at CISD, she served as a District Math Instruction Coach, Interim High School Principal, Summer School Director and Math Teacher in the Anthony (Texas) Independent School District.

Mrs. Salcedo also served as a Math Teacher at both Clint and Gadsden High Schools. She is a graduate of Gadsden High School and earned her Bachelor of Science in Secondary Math Education from New Mexico State University and a Master of Education from the University of Texas at El Paso with a focus on Technology Integration.

Mrs. Salcedo also holds an Administrator Certificate from the Region 19 Principal Alternative Certification Program.

Author: Canutillo ISD