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Canutillo ISD’s curbside meals to return August 10th

Officials with Canutillo ISD’s Child Nutrition Department announced earlier this week that the Texas Department of Agriculture has approved the district’s plan to begin serving meals to take home, either thru curbside or designated bus stops.

Beginning Monday, August 10th, 2020, Northwest Early College will start their curbside services, with all other campuses will starting Monday, August 17th, 2020.

Curbside will start at 11:00 am and run until 12:30 pm, Monday thru Friday at all campuses.

“Parents will pick-up meals at the school where your students are registered,” CISD officials explained. “We are implementing the contactless serving at the curbside. The way it works is by opening your automatic car trunk or roll down the passenger windows so we can place the meal there with less exposure.”

The buses will start distributing the meals at 10:00 am and will deliver according to the school bus route for each particular campus for the students registered at that campus.

Parents picking up free breakfast and lunch for students at any of the 10 distribution sites or the bus stops in the Canutillo Independent School District will no longer need to bring their student to receive the meals.

New federal and state rules will allow CISD to distribute meals to parents of registered Canutillo students during 2020-2021 school year without their student present if they follow one of the two procedures:

Parents can bring their students to their school distribution site starting on the first day of school to be officially counted by CISD Child Nutrition staff. Once counted, a parent will be issued a card specifying how many children live in that household. The card must be presented daily to receive meals.

A second option for parents is to bring any of the four documents to show proof that a child is registered in Canutillo ISD: an official school enrollment document (letter or email), Student report cards, School attendance records from a school district parent portal, Student ID cards. The same procedure as above will follow.

These meals are regulated by the National School Lunch Program requirements.

“We know and understand that our community has been deeply impacted by the COVID‐19 and together we are trying to help in any way that we can,” officials added.

“The well-being of our students, parents, and staff will always remain an important focus. Please stay tune for any updates and remember to stay strong and optimistic for our students. We will get through this together!”

Breakfast and Lunch will be distributed at the same time, with menus will be posted on the district website.

Canutillo ISD to donate laptops to help support distance learning in El Paso region

Thursday morning at a special meeting, the Canutillo Independent School District Board of Trustees approved the donation of 1,500 plus laptop computers to other school districts. 

District officials say the move was to “help ensure every child in the region has equal access to an education.”

“When a child succeeds, our community succeeds because we are responsible for all of them,” said Superintendent Dr. Pedro Galaviz. “The superintendents in the region have always created partnerships and collaborate rather than compete.  And during this unprecedented time, we will all come together to make sure every student has access needed for a quality education.”

The district has been working to close the gaps in computer and internet access among students that have presented barriers to instruction. It’s a problem that the district addressed and sought to avoid at the outset of the pandemic.

“We understand one of the challenges to remote learning has been ensuring all students have laptops and an internet connection to connect to digital classes,” said CISD Board President Sergio Coronado.  “These initiatives aim to give every child a chance to succeed.”

COVID-19 has exposed the dire need for adequate technology resources.  Nationwide, technology companies are experiencing shortages in production and unexpected delivery dates.

CISD officials say that many districts in Region 19 have had to react to the situation and place orders for hardware systems that will very possibly go unfulfilled by the anticipated start date.

The district will enter an agreement to provide technology hardware to local children in need.  Starting this school year, CISD will transfer technology to other districts in the region to include Fabens ISD, San Elizario ISD, and Sierra Blanca ISD and any other districts that are in need of technological devices.

On April 28, 2020, the Trustees approved a $4.8 million request to purchase Apple devices for every student in the district. As a result, students from Pre-Kinder through 12th grade will have access to their own device for the 2020-2021 school year.

At a June 25, 2020, special board meeting, the Canutillo ISD Board of Trustees unanimously approved the initial allocation of $300,000 to fund the Canutillo Connect initiative, which will bring universal internet connectivity to the school district’s community through an outside wireless mesh network.

District officials share that the district is the first in the region, and third in the state to take on this broad initiative.

Canutillo ISD to host immunization clinic for community

Canutillo ISD will be hosting an Immunize El Paso Vaccination Clinic for the community Monday, June 29, 2020.

Organizers say that this is an important event because many doctors’ offices are only seeing patients through telemedicine or have reduced hours.

“Students must be up to date with their immunizations regardless of what model of learning we use to re-open our schools, whether it is remote or face to face,” said Dr. Monica Reyes, Executive Director of Canutillo ISD Student Support Services. “Parents should take advantage of it especially in this pandemic time to prevent the spread of other diseases and viruses.”

The State of Texas and the Department of Public Health mandates that all students have up-to-date vaccinations in order to attend public school for the 2020-2021 school year.

Proper social distancing will be practiced and masks will be required. Parents are asked to only bring the child or children that require vaccination to the site.

  • When: Monday, June 29, 2020
  • Where: Lone Star Building Recreation Center,
    7000 5th Street, Canutillo, Texas 79835

(enter through the chain link fence and proceed to back of building)

  • Time: 2:00-5:00 pm
  • Cost: Medicare and most insurance accepted

$10 for VFC eligible recipients

Required Documents:

  • Parent identification
  • Current immunization record
  • Insurance card

For more information or any questions, please call Student Support Services Department at 877-7650 or 877-7659 or visit Canutillo ISD’s Website.

Canutillo ISD board approves intersessional calendar for 2020-21 school year

On Tuesday, the Canutillo ISD Board of Trustees unanimously approved an intersessional school calendar, as recommended by Texas Education Agency Commissioner Mike Morath.

“This new calendar provides flexibility for the district in terms of responding to possible spikes in COVID-19 case numbers,” Canutillo ISD Superintendent Dr. Pedro Galaviz said. “Recommended by the Texas Commissioner of Education, we agree that this schedule is best in view of the unpredictability of the disease.”

District officials say this would be to offset missed school days in the event of a COVID-19 outbreak during the next school year. All plans are subject to change as per guidance from health authorities.

Under this new calendar, students will return to school on August 3, 2020; the calendar will incorporate a fall break and a spring break.

Each break will include a preceding week to provide intervention and remediation for small group learning.  This also provides flexibility to help the district make up for any days lost.

“The district feels this calendar allows for closer monitoring of students focusing on their safety, wellness and learning,” officials shared via a news release

Canutillo ISD board approves pay raise for all employees

On Monday, Canutillo ISD Board of Trustees unanimously approved a two percent general pay increase for all CISD employees for the 2020-21 school year. 

“I consider our faculty and staff our greatest assets,” said Superintendent Dr. Pedro Galaviz. “We truly appreciate the work they do in educating and supporting our students.”

Over the past four years, the District has been in a sound financial position to continually increase compensation.

“We are pleased to be able to provide these salary increases to our teachers and staff during such a challenging time,” said Board President Sergio Coronado. “They have worked so hard for our children and the present situation has demanded even more of their time and effort.”

The compensation plan, approved on May 26 at the regular board meeting, keeps Canutillo ISD among the highest-paying school districts in the region.

Starting teacher pay would increase from $52,500 to $53,150 a year and all other teachers’ pay will climb through pay-scale step increases.

Canutillo ISD rolls out Summer program to meet learning needs during pandemic

Learning for Canutillo ISD students will not end when school officially concludes later this month, as the District’s Curriculum and Instruction Department (C&I) administrators have developed a distance learning program for their students this summer.

According to CISD officials the program, Summer S.A.L.T. (Sustaining Academic Learning Together), is “a robust remote instruction program that will launch June 8.”

“We are not about to lose the momentum we had when we rapidly switched to distance and online learning during the health crisis,” Canutillo ISD Superintendent Dr. Pedro Galaviz said. “Our students, teachers, and parents adapted very well to the dramatic change in the learning environment this spring and we are determined to take what we learned and deliver a high quality program to boost their progress.”

The program partners with parents and supports the continued growth and learning of their students to prevent a loss of information and preserve all they learned this year.

The C&I department explains that during typical school years, teachers can account for the summer slide, or loss of information, at the beginning of the next school year. However, this is not a typical year.

School closures due to COVID-19 may have a bigger impact on students and the amount of information students lose over the summer will be greater.

Executive Director of Curriculum and Instruction Dr. Debra Kerney says that CISD recommends a whole-child approach to learning and this is an opportunity to spice up the summer.

“This summer, we want students to relax, play outside, and experience adventures with their families,” Dr. Kerney said. “A dash of Summer S.A.L.T. daily will give children time to explore new ideas, play, and strengthen math and reading skills. This will help them to successfully leap into next year and land on their feet.”

Summer S.A.L.T. is a menu of activities for parents and children to choose from. Students are asked to spend a little bit of time each day reading and practicing math. In addition, the menu includes activities for social studies, science, art, community, citizenship, and exercise. There are an abundance of other fun activities to do while at home this summer.

Children will also be able to participate in a schedule of online lessons provided in English and Spanish by CISD teachers.

Every CISD student in Pk-5th grade will receive Grab ‘N’ Go Packs by mail, more than 21,000 books in all, to be used during Elementary Literacy-Extension Live-Stream Sessions.

In addition, dual language students will receive a set of books in Spanish.

Students will receive credit at the start of the next school year for the time they put into the menu this summer. Organizers plan contests for time spent reading and online use of Imagine Math, myON, and Istation, and students in PK through 8th grade are encouraged to login at least 4 times a week.

The Summer S.A.L.T. Menu and links to the live-stream sessions will be available on the District Website.

Canutillo ISD announces top teachers for 2020

The Canutillo Independent School District community has chosen its top educators of the year.

Congressman Silvestre & Carolina Reyes Elementary School Teacher of the Year Nancy Campero was selected as the CISD Elementary Teacher of the Year.

She is a 3rd-grade bilingual teacher who has worked at Reyes Elementary for 3 years.

Canutillo High School Teacher of the Year Anthony Lopez-Waste was selected as the CISD Secondary Teacher of the Year. He teaches World History and AP World History.

He is also a Senior Class representative and coaches Varsity Girls Basketball and JV Softball.

Ms. Campero and Mr. Lopez-Waste will represent CISD in the Elementary and Secondary Teacher of the Year Contest for Region 19 later this summer. If they’re successful there, they could represent the El Paso region in the Texas Teacher of the Year contest.

“Our teachers in Canutillo never cease to amaze me,” said Superintendent Dr. Pedro Galaviz. “Ms. Campero and Mr. Lopez-Waste are exemplary representatives of who we are and what we do as a premier district.”

Canutillo ISD to purchase $4.8M worth of Apple devices for all students in the district

On Tuesday, April 28, the Canutillo Independent School District Board of Trustees approved a $4.8 million request to purchase Apple devices for every student in the district.

“We believe this substantial investment in devices is critical to ensuring that all students have equitable access to learning,” said Board President Sergio Coronado. “In this unprecedented time, Board members remain committed to supporting the needs of our students, families, staff, and community.”

Canutillo ISD partnered with Apple, Inc. in launching this one-to-one solution to be issued to all students fall 2020.  Students from Pre-Kinder through 12th grade will have access to their own device allowing faculty to expand the classroom beyond its four walls.

“This opportunity will keep CISD students at the forefront of this technological age and help fulfill the district’s mission of producing future-ready students,” CISD officials shared via a news release.

District officials add, “Through this agreement, Canutillo will purchase devices, professional development, project management, engineering solutions, and a comprehensive institutional technology training process….the total price tag is $4,804,806, with a 30% discount. ”

In addition to purchasing computer solutions for students, CISD has also purchased WiFi hotspots to be placed around the community and issued to families in need of internet connectivity.

“Technology has obviously benefited education in many ways. However, it can also create educational inequity when some students enjoy access, while others do not. This problem has been called the digital divide or technology gap. This purchase is intended to close this gap, thus providing equal opportunity for learning,” said Superintendent Dr. Pedro Galaviz. “This pandemic has caused us to act and rethink our educational environment.”

Canutillo ISD will also be updating its facility master plan in partnership with the community to build ‘Canutillo Connect’, a comprehensive solution to turning Canutillo into a “smart city”.

Clint ISD Board announces students won’t return to school this year; Approve COVID19 Substitute Teacher pay

On Thursday, during their regular school board meeting, Clint ISD announced that students would not be returning to classes this school year. Board members also approved pay for Substitute Teachers in the district, hit hard by COVID19.

Officials announced that the current school year would be finished at home, stating that students would not be returning to their campuses this school year.

“Due to increased concerns regarding the Coronavirus (Covid-19) and as directed by the Department of Public Health, District students will not return to school for the remainder of the school year,” district officials shared via a news release.

CISD officials added, “The District will continue to implement all recommendations by the Department of Public Health.”

During the same board meeting, CISD members announced that their substitute teacher would receive pay.

“In an effort to reduce substitute teacher turnover and help ensure the availability of substitute teachers and continuity of operations and staffing upon the re-opening of District campuses, the Clint ISD Board of Trustees during their regular board meeting on April 16, 2020, approved compensating substitute teachers during the District’s closure due to the Covid-19 pandemic,” officials shared.

Substitute Teachers will receive two payments that will be calculated based on the Substitute Teacher’s average gross earnings in the months of January 2020 and February 2020.

The payments will be made in April 2020 and May 2020. Substitute Teachers that did not receive gross earnings during January and February 2020 will not receive the payments.

Clint ISD offers needed medical equipment from shuttered academy

In an effort to share available resources to help the community combat COVID-19 (Coronavirus), officials with Clint ISD announced they are offering needed medical equipment to local hospitals in the El Paso area.

According to district public information officer Laura Cade, the Clint ISD Health Professions Academy located at Mountain View High School is closed and houses equipment and supplies that can immediately be used by local hospitals.

Equipment such as hospital beds and stretchers, as well as supplies such as personal protective equipment (PPE) and hospital pillows will be offered to community hospitals in need.

CISD officials added that they invite other school districts throughout the El Paso area to do the same.

According to the Mountain View High website, the specialty school is open to all students from the area:

“The Center of Health Professions at Mountain View is a health care professional preparation program offered to students throughout El Paso area.

Students that join in can choose from four available pathways where they will gain hand-on experience in a health care setting.”

Clint ISD Health Professionals Academy | photo courtesy

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.”

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.

Back to School! Students in Socorro, Clint ISDs return to class Monday

Where, oh where has the summer gone?  That’s the question that’s on the minds of thousands of students and parents as both Socorro ISD and Clint ISD open the 2019-2020 school year Monday.

CISD students, staff and teachers now join SISD in a near year-round-schedule, although Clint officials call the change a ‘balanced calendar.’

Via a news release, officials say Clint’s new balanced calendar will allow students to have breaks which are more frequent and evenly spread out throughout the academic school year.

“This calendar will also allow for intersessions in the fall and spring in which accelerated instruction and opportunities for enrichment can be provided for students,” district officials shared via an emailed news release. “The financial benefits of the balanced calendar will assist the District in funding needed activities aligned to adding instructional initiatives for all schools.”

Students will have intersession breaks beginning September 30-October 11 and March 9-13, with the last day of school falling on June 4, 2020.  To view the complete Clint ISD Schedule, click here.

Just down the road, Socorro ISD students make their familiar trek back to the classrooms as well.

SISD officials say they will welcome more than 47,000 students for the 2019-20 school year on Monday, and they be greeted by more than 3,500 educators across their 49 campuses.

For SISD students, the new opportunities for the 2019-20 school year include a new open enrollment policy, the opening of a new elementary school, three new early college high schools, the new Dual Language Academy, more technological devices and resources to enhance student learning, and improvements and renovations at existing facilities through Bond 2017.

With the opening of three new early college high school programs, SISD will be the only district in the region to offer an early college high school program at each one of its comprehensive high schools.

The new early college programs are Empire Early College at El Dorado High School, Falcon Early College at Eastlake High School, and Pebble Hills Early College at Pebble Hills High School.

Early college high schools give students the opportunity to graduate with up to 60 college credit hours or an associate degree along with their high school diploma.

Two significant milestones are also in store for two of the district’s campuses, as Montwood High celebrates it’s 30th anniversary, while over in the High Desert, Eastlake High School will celebrate its 10-year anniversary this school year.

The district’s newest campus, Cactus Trails Elementary, is opening for the 2019-20 school year in the Pebble Hills area. It is the 49th school in the district and welcomes some 900 students in Pre-Kindergarten to fifth grade. The school was the first Bond 2017 project to be completed.

For more information on SISD, click here.

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

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