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Sunday , June 24 2018
Home | Tag Archives: Canutillo ISD

Tag Archives: Canutillo ISD

Canutillo ISD Awarded for Outstanding Financial Reporting

For the second consecutive year, Canutillo ISD was awarded the Certificate of Excellence in Financial Reporting (COE) by the Association of School Business Officials International (ASBO).

“This award recognizes the excellent reporting by our dedicated finance staff,” Canutillo ISD Chief Financial Officer Martha Piekarski said. “The report informs our stakeholders about the healthy financial state of the district, making it an important tool for displaying transparency, building trust, and engaging with the community.”

ASBO International’s COE recognizes districts that have met the program’s high standards for financial reporting and accountability. CISD earned the Certificate of Excellence for its Comprehensive Annual Financial Report (CAFR) for the 2017 fiscal year.

The District was recognized for the demonstration of their commitment to financial transparency. The CAFR is reviewed by a team of professional auditors, who provide feedback to improve future documents. If the CAFR meets the requirements of the program, the document may receive the Certificate of Excellence.

A district’s participation in the COE program can facilitate bond rating and continuing bond disclosure processes.

Canutillo ISD is proposing a balanced budget for the 2018-19 school year. And, the Canutillo ISD Board of Trustees recently approved an increase of the starting pay for teachers to $50,000 including a 2 percent general pay increases for all employees.

Canutillo ISD Increases Teacher Starting Pay to $50k; All Employees Set for 2% Pay Hike

Starting pay for teachers in the Canutillo Independent School District will reach the $50,000 mark starting in the 2018-19 school year after the Board of Trustees approved a compensation package that gives all employees a salary increase.

“We appreciate our teachers and employees and we wanted to give them a compensation package that matches their commitment to our students and community,” said Superintendent Pedro Galaviz. “We know we have to compete for employees, and I feel this is giving Canutillo an edge over other districts in the region.”

The new salary package for CISD employees increased the salary for teachers with zero year’s experience to $50,000, up from the $47,500 they receive this year.  This makes teachers in Canutillo among the highest paid in El Paso County.

The $1.3 million in raises the CISD Board approved last week includes a 2 percent general pay increases for all employees. The Board will approve the $56.2-million budget for the 2018-19 school year later this summer.

Canutillo’s compensation plan also makes adjustments to teacher stipends. Some of the stipend increases include $2,500 to $3,000 for secondary math and science teachers, as well as $1,500 to $2,500 for self-contained special education teachers.

Administrators said the stipend changes were necessary.

“The teaching field stipends we have approved will keep us competitive with peer districts in El Paso,” said Martha Carrasco, CISD’s Chief Human Resources Officer. “We know that in order to keep and attract high-quality teachers, we have to give them an incentive. I feel these stipends will help us recruit and retain the best.”

CISD Board President Blanca Trout said trustees were elated to be able to give employees throughout the District a just pay increase.

“We’ve raised the bar for our District and the expectations we set as a community are high,” Trout said. “Our compensation package needs to match the expectations we set for teachers and employees.”

Northwest Early College Celebrates 10th Anniversary, Partnership With EPCC, Canutillo ISD

Northwest Early College High School (NECHS) held a celebration Wednesday to commemorate the school’s opening in 2008.

“EPCC will be marking the 10th anniversary of two of its 12 early college high schools this summer: Northwest Early College High School, in partnership with Canutillo ISD, and Transmountain Early College High School, with El Paso ISD, both opened in July 2008,” Tonie Badillo, Dean of Dual Credit and Early College High Schools (ECHS) said.

“EPCC’s early college high school initiative has provided a unique opportunity to the youth in our region to earn an associate’s degree while in high school.”

ECHS initiative is designed to allow students to simultaneously earn a high school diploma and an associate’s degree in four years.

School officials, via a news release said, the ECHS “must target and enroll students who are historically underrepresented in higher education, including economically disadvantaged, first-generation, English language learners and minority students.”

The ceremony –  held in the school’s grotto to honor current students, faculty and graduates – was followed by a field day at the adjacent West Side Soccer Complex.

Canutillo High’s Math Team Snags State Championship

Calculating mathematical formulas is a cinch to the Canutillo High School Math Team, and it all added up to a state crown for the Eagles.

The math whizzes competed last weekend at the UIL Academic State Meet at the University of Texas at Austin and took home first place as a team in the Calculator Applications event.

CHS mathematics teacher and team coach Rudy Medina says that this is the first UIL academic state championship to come out of Canutillo and also the first El Paso school to have a UIL State Championship team in a math-related event in recent history.

“It means so much to them and they take great pride in representing our school and the Canutillo community,” Medina said. “It’s something they worked so hard for and to come away with results that no one else in the city has been able to do by winning it all is a huge accomplishment. I’m very blessed to have coached them.”

All four Canutillo team members finished in the top 10 of 24 competitors. Leading the team and also earning individual medals at the state meet were Gabriel Carrillo, 2nd place, Ricardo Corona, 4th place, and Brian Lara, 6th place. Carlos Tovar finished in 8th place.

“Winning a state championship is a major achievement for any academic team given the talent and competition in the state of Texas,” CISD Superintendent of Schools Dr. Pedro Galaviz said. “This is yet another example of how Canutillo continues to rise above and be recognized among the best in the state.”

All year, this team has held first place and swept competitions in the region and state. In April, they won first place at the Texas Math and Science Coaches Association (TMSCA) state competition for the second straight year in 5A calculator applications. They also won the UIL Academic Regional Meet at Texas Tech in the spring.

In January, the team took first in the city at the Franklin Math Meet. And, in November, they placed first in calculator applications among all schools class 1A to class 6A at the Texas Tech Fall Fandango competition.

Canutillo ISD Leader Named Region 19 Assistant Principal of the Year

Jessica Meléndez-Carrillo, Assistant Principal at Congressman Silvestre & Carolina Reyes Elementary School was recently selected as Assistant Principal of the Year in Region 19 by the Texas Elementary Principals and Supervisors Association (TEPSA).

Carrillo is being recognized among her peers for her exceptional leadership in the day-to-day operations of Reyes Elementary, instilling pride in the school’s accomplishments and reinforcing their leadership in helping children develop a lifelong love of learning. She says she is living the dream working in Canutillo with stellar educators whose goal is student success.

“​I’ve had the honor to start my professional career in Canutillo ISD and get to know the community,” Carrillo said. “I am able to attain such an honor because I have learned from the best team of teachers, administrators, custodians, cafeteria staff, aides, librarians and counselors. Every single day is a new opportunity for learning and growth.”

Each year, TEPSA Region Assistant Principals of the Year have the opportunity to apply for the National Assistant Principal of the Year Award, a recognition program produced in partnership with the National Association of Elementary School Principals (NAESP). Carrillo will attend the Awards Reception June 13 during the TEPSA Summer Conference in Austin, Texas.

“I am always looking for ways to learn more and grow professionally in order to do a better job for our students and the community,” Carrillo said. “I look forward to representing Canutillo ISD and Region 19 this summer at the TEPSA Conference.”

TEA Taps Socorro, Canutillo ISD’s Early College High Schools for National Honors

Socorro Independent School District’s Mission Early College High School (MECHS) and Canutillo ISD’s Northwest Early College High School (NWECHS) have been nominated by the Texas Education Agency for national 2018 Blue Ribbon School honors.

For 2018, MECHS was nominated for the Exemplary High-Performing School category. The school was the first early college high school to open in the El Paso region and was previously designated as a national Blue Ribbon School in 2012.

Canutillo ISD’s Northwest Early College High School (NWECHS), also nominated in the Exemplary High-Performing category, has earned a list of accolades as the school celebrates its 10-year anniversary.

“This nomination is truly a defining moment in my career as an educator. We have made such progress here and have impacted so many student lives. I could not be more proud of the work that we do; work that could not be accomplished without the dedication of a wonderful faculty and staff”, said Tracy Speaker-Gerstheimer, Principal at Northwest Early College High School

In addition to SISD and CISDs’ nominations, the Texas Education Agency announced the nomination of 24 other Texas public schools for national 2018 Blue Ribbon Schools recognition.

“Northwest and Mission Early College High Schools continue to set the standard for early college high schools, not only in our region and the state, but nationwide.” Tonie Badillo, EPCC Dean of Dual Credit and Early College High Schools said. “We are very proud of their achievement in being named Blue Ribbon Schools nominees.”

Each nominated school has an economically disadvantaged population of 39 percent or greater.

The nominated schools must now complete a rigorous application process through the U.S. Department of Education. Announcements of the national award winners will be made in September 2018.  Schools that receive the award are recognized at the Blue Ribbon Schools awards ceremony in Washington, D.C.

Click here to learn more about the national Blue Ribbon program. 

The nominated schools in Texas (by district or charter) for 2018 include:

Exemplary High-Performing Schools

  • Alief Montessori Community School – Alief Montessori Community School (Houston)
  • Canutillo ISD – Northwest Early College High School
  • Devers ISD – Devers Elementary School
  • Houston ISD (3) – Challenge Early College High School; Debakey High School for Health Professions; East Early College High School
  • La Joya ISD – Jimmy Carter Early College High School
  • Mercedes ISD – Mercedes Early College
  • Mumford ISD – Mumford Elementary School
  • Socorro ISD – Mission Early College High School
  • Valley View ISD (2) – Valley View Elementary School; Valley View South Elementary School
  • Walcott ISD – Walcott Elementary School

Exemplary Achievement-Gap-Closing Schools

  • Arrow Academy – Arrow Academy-Liberation Academy (Meadows Place)
  • Edinburg CISD (2) – Anne L. Magee Elementary School; Hargill Elementary School
  • Golden Rule Charter School – Golden Rule School-Sunnyside Campus (Dallas)
  • Harlingen CISD – Dishman Elementary School
  • Hidalgo ISD – J.C Kelly Elementary School
  • IDEA Public Schools – IDEA Mission Academy (Mission)
  • Lamar CISD – Jackson Elementary School
  • Laredo ISD – J. Kawas Elementary School
  • Nacogdoches ISD – Nettie Marshall Academy of Dual Language
  • Pharr-San Juan-Alamo ISD (2) – Carmen Anaya Elementary School; Cesar Chavez Elementary School
  • Robstown ISD – San Pedro Elementary School

Founded in 1982, Blue Ribbon Schools is a U.S. Department of Education program that recognizes public and private elementary, middle and high schools where students perform at very high levels or where exemplary progress has been made toward closing achievement gaps among subpopulations while maintaining high achievement levels among all students.


Herald-Post Best of 2017: Year in Pictures

It’s another year in the history books, as 2017 fades and 2018 dawns.

From the streets of downtown, to the football fields of the schools around town, to the houses of worship throughout the Borderland and locations in between, our photographers were busy documenting our story.

Below are the best shots from our team of photographers: Chief Photographer Andres Acosta, Steven Cottingham and Kevin Venegas.

EPCC Adopts Canutillo Elementary School to Promote ‘College-Going Culture’

El Paso Community College (EPCC) adopted Canutillo Elementary School as part of its elementary school adoption program during a proclamation ceremony held at the school on December 7, 2017.

EPCC President Dr. William Serrata welcomed Canutillo Independent School District (CISD) Superintendent Dr. Pedro Galaviz, Canutillo Principal Julie Melendez and the student body to the program.

“A student is never too young to learn the importance of going to college,” Dr. William Serrata, EPCC President said. “Reaching out to elementary school students and their parents allows students to learn that higher education is within their reach and we build a college-going culture.”

Canutillo Elementary School is EPCC’s fourth school adopted and first for CISD.  “We are excited and invite this partnership with EPCC as it exposes our students at an early age to the future college opportunities available to them,” Dr. Pedro Galaviz, CISD Superintendent said.

Previously EPCC adopted Campestre Elementary from Socorro Independent School District (SISD), Frederick Douglass Elementary from El Paso Independent School District (EPISD) and Ramona Elementary from Ysleta Independent School District (YISD).

EPCC officials added, “We are committed to increasing the number of students going to college in the region…by building strong elementary school and college connections through campus tours, workshops, presentations, outreach programs and parental involvement, EPCC is building a college-going culture where college begins in kindergarten.”

EPCC has plans to continue adopting elementary schools across its district.

Reyes Elementary Students Train to Run, Empower Themselves

Girls at Congressman Silvestre and Carolina Reyes Elementary School are running to learn and be empowered thanks to several local health and leadership organizations around El Paso.

The Junior League of El Paso partnered with the El Paso Center Against Sexual and Family Violence to bring a Girls on the Run council to El Paso. According to Jessica Arvizu, an advocate with the Center, Girls Going the Distance is a life skills development pilot program based on the Girls on the Run model. Through a mentoring relationship centered on running, the program uses dynamic, interactive lessons and running games, to inspire and motivate girls and encourage lifelong health and fitness and build confidence through accomplishment.

RES Assistant Principal Jessica Melendez-Carrillo said they have about 35 3rd-5th grade girls in the 10-week program that is designed to inspire girls to be joyful, healthy and confident, using various lessons addressing self-care, self-esteem, positive relationships and empowerment.

At the end of the program, the girls will participate in the Flying Horse 5K Race organized by Race El Paso November 18, 2017 in Anthony, Texas and New Mexico. Junior League member Danielle Adams was on hand to train and run with the girls.

“This is about empowering girls to not only be physical, healthy and strong but also brings the goal of accomplishing something,” Adams said. “The girls are going to be awesome in this run!”

The girls also received generous donations of brand new running shoes, socks and t-shirts from the Braden Aboud Memorial Foundation while Race El Paso provided the girls discounted registration fees for the race.

“Reyes Elementary is so excited to have this program here this year and appreciates all the effort from every organization that made this possible for the girls,” Melendez-Carrillo said

Story in Many Pics: Canutillo Crushes Riverside 49-7

The Riverside Rangers traveled to Northwest El Paso Friday night to take on the Canutillo Eagles, at a stadium only a few miles from the river itself.

The Eagles came out firing, rushing past the Rangers en route to a 49 to 7 win.  Our very own Steven Cottingham was there and we now bring your his view of the game in this ‘Story in Many Pics.’

Canutillo ISD Physical Therapist Supports Student Access to Educational Environment

Walking, running, lifting and playing are skills that one third grader in Canutillo does not take for granted. As a student, Lucas faces many challenges when it comes to the basic physical skills he needs to access his education.

But, with a little help from a big heart, he moves closer to success.

When Lucas was evaluated for age appropriate gross and fine motor skills by Canutillo ISD Physical Therapist Harriet Baumann, DPT, it was determined that he was developmentally delayed. Baumann, in her seventh year with CISD and the only physical therapist in the District, has worked with Lucas since he was three years of age on areas such as his range of motion, strength and balance. She explains the role the District plays in the lives of students like Lucas.

“The primary focus of physical therapy as a related service in the educational environment differs from clinical physical therapy,” Baumann explained. “Physical therapy in schools is used to support the student’s educational program to ensure access to learning activities.”

Students are supported in their daily routine at school through accommodations and modifications to their environment.  This includes direct PT services on their campus and indirect services such as recommendations for appropriate adaptive equipment for home and school, procuring the equipment through Medicaid, private insurance, charities or private funds, as well as staff, student and parent education on its use to facilitate success and learning.

“We are here to make sure that each child has better and safer access to their educational environment – anything that helps them get to their classroom or their desk,” Baumann said. “Here in Canutillo, we integrate students into the school community. We support the educational program. Physical therapy is not the program.”

Physical therapists look at the students’ needs for safe positioning, transfers, mobility, endurance and self-help skills. This may include support of adaptive equipment for function, rest, comfort, access, and specific training for students, staff members and families. Baumann also says that education is one of the major parts of her job educating parents or staff about obesity, musculoskeletal and neurological disorders and how they affect them as well as precautions to take with the child in the classroom.

“We focus on the child and family’s goals within the educational and community setting,” Baumann added. “I educate them about services and equipment that are available to them – to see that we can support the family as a unit. It’s fun to watch them grow together over the years and change.”

Lucas’ father, Tim, is happy to see Lucas, who was diagnosed with a chromosomal syndrome, make progress.

“Lucas has improved a lot. We are very thankful for the services the District and Mrs. Baumann has provided,” Tim said. “She helped us get an adaptive tricycle. He loves the trike and we take him for rides.”

In addition to her regular duties as a physical therapist, “Harri” coordinates with a dedicated group of advocates to lead Team Canutillo in the Greater El Paso Special Olympics where Lucas participated for the first time this year.

“It was very joyful for us to see Lucas participate in the events. It brought tears to our eyes. We’re happy that Canutillo is involved in the Special Olympics,” Tim added.

Baumann cannot contain the rewarding feelings she has helping students learn in their environment.

“The best part of my day is when all of a sudden, something just clicks with a student and we hit a milestone,” Baumann expressed. “Lucas has made tremendous progress in functional access and his motor skills. Every day I come to work, I can’t believe I am fortunate enough to have made this is my profession. I think have the most rewarding job in Canutillo.”

National Physical Therapy Month is observed in October. For more information on physical therapy tips to get moving or keep moving for life, visit the American Physical Therapy Association Move Forward website.

Video+Gallery: Replays Ready – 2017 Socorro ISD Marchfest Prelims & Finals

Thanks to our partnership with and Socorro ISD, we here at El Paso Herald-Post are proud to bring you the replays of our streaming coverage of the 2017 SISD Marchfest.

“This program is like the halftime that doesn’t end, paired with day-long qualifying similar to what you’d see at Daytona or Indy,” said Chris Babcock, long-time play-by-play announcer.

“These kids, the directors, the parents and the pit crews have been working since mid-summer for this event, with their eyes on the prize of a state championship, as a 7-year-band dad I felt the time was right to give them the spotlight they deserve.”

Babcock was joined by Lorraine Kubala, retired band director and band blogger, for the special all day event.

The finals are above, while you can check out your favorite band during the prelims via the player below.

Photos by Andres Acosta, Chief Photographer – El Paso Herald-Post

Canutillo ISD Creates Student IT Tech Team to Gain Real-World Experience

As Information Technology is advancing around the globe, Canutillo ISD students are gaining real-world experience via a new program.

A team of five high school seniors from Canutillo and Northwest Early College High Schools have been hired to help the District by working alongside CISD technicians throughout the 2017-18 school year.

Career and Technical Education (CTE) Director Tracy Andrews said that the students will be valuable in helping with the shortage of technicians working in the district while they investigate the IT field.

“We are thrilled that the students have chosen to pursue this opportunity and gain from the real-world experience it will provide them,” Andrews said.

“They will be learning and experiencing work-based learning at the optimal level,” she added.

The CISD’s CTE Department partnered with the District’s IT Department to create the first Student IT Tech Team and named them “Game of Codes.”

The students followed the process to apply, interview and be hired by the CISD Human Resources Department, just as any other candidate would be required to do.

Two of the students are members of the Girls Who Code club at NWECHS and will be working on coding projects related to issues the district faces and closing the gender gap of females in technology jobs in the United States.

All team members will continue to be coached by their respective career prep teachers as they work for the District.

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.