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Monday , October 22 2018
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Tag Archives: Douglass Elementary

Two El Paso ISD Schools among 26 Texas Blue Ribbon Nominees

Two El Paso ISD campuses are among the selective group of 26 Texas schools that have been nominated for the 2017 National Blue Ribbon Award recognizing the top schools in the country.

Dr. Green Elementary School and Maxine Silva Health Magnet High Schools were among the group of exemplary, high performing schools that are vying to compete for the privilege of being named a Blue Ribbon School. Winners will be announced in September.

“It’s an honor to be among the handful of Texas school districts that have schools on the list of nominees,” said Superintendent Juan Cabrera. “The fact that we have two schools on that list is proof positive that the focus on future readiness and innovation in our classrooms is paying off.”

If Green is selected, it would join nine other schools – including Silva – in EPISD that have received a Blue Ribbon since the program’s inception in 1982.

Silva’s nomination gives it the opportunity to win its third Blue Ribbon Award. The school earned the distinction in 2003 and 2011 — the most awards of any school in El Paso County.

Besides Silva, the other EPISD schools with Blue Ribbons are: Crockett Elementary, Schuster Elementary, Hillside Elementary, Coldwell Elementary, Douglass Elementary, Transmountain Early College High, Cielo Vista Elementary and Lamar Elementary.

Nominated schools must now complete a rigorous application process that will be monitored by the U.S. Department of Education. Winners will be recognized during a Blue Ribbon awards ceremony in Washington, D.C.

Douglass hosts first UIL Competition for Elementary Students

More than 300 students participated in the University Interscholastic League (UIL) competition at Douglass Elementary School, the first of its kind for EPISD elementary students.

It all started at Douglass a few years ago with a team of 12 students competing at the Ysleta Independent School District UIL competition.

“I challenged faculty members to find a challenging and innovative way to have students express themselves artistically and academically,” Douglass principal Alonzo Barraza said.

Taking a page from the success of the school’s chess team, these faculty members put together a team of students to compete at the YISD competition in reading and math. After two years EPISD Academic Coordinator Carolyn Mackey and the Douglass UIL Coaching staff decided to introduce a UIL level event for the District’s elementary schools.

“The purpose of the UIL competition is to provide our students an avenue to express themselves academically in various content areas such as oral reading, storytelling, mathematics and chess puzzles,” said Mackey. “These activities are high order thinking activities, which will help our students bring forth rigor, student creativity, social and emotional maturity and problem solving all in one competition.”

The competition, which was to be piloted originally by the four Bowie feeder pattern elementary schools, quickly grew into a pool of 17 elementary schools.

Schools participating in the event were Alta Vista, Aoy, Barron, Beall, Bond, Burleson, Burnet, Cooley, Douglass, Dowell, Fannin, Hart, Mesita, Park, Putnam, Western Hills and Whitaker elementary schools.

“The principals were very supportive from the beginning,” Barraza said. “This event wouldn’t have been possible without them.”

Douglass Elementary took first place with the most points, followed by Beall and Mesita elementary schools. Mesita received first place in the mathematics team category and Douglass Elementary received first place in the chess puzzle team category.

With such overwhelming participation and enthusiasm in its first year Barraza hopes the event will keep growing to include all EPISD elementary students.

“It is very exciting to see that what started out as a small team of 12 students at Douglass has grown to a team of about 300 students district wide,” Barraza said. “This is something we hope thrives for years to come.”

New Mural aims to Inspire Douglass Elementary Students

A new mural in the main hall of Douglass Elementary hopes to inspire generations of students to follow the path toward higher education and successful careers.

The mural was painted and installed by Powell Elementary art teacher Ivan Torres and it depicts the road students will take toward success: from Douglass, through Guillen Middle and Bowie High, and eventually to El Paso Community College and the University of Texas at El Paso.

news2_2385_m“The mural really represents the EPISD vision of creating future-ready students,” Douglass Principal Alonzo Barraza said. “It depicts the progression of the student as they go from elementary to middle and high schools and beyond. We are fortunate we have artists giving back to our community and sparking the interest of the children.”

Torres painted the mural, which is approximately 17 feet long and 3 feet tall, over the span of several years. It is made up of three different panels, the first of which he painted on his own. Bowie High School students helped him with the other two panels.

“I made it a class project when I was teaching at Bowie,” Torres said. “They helped me prep and assemble the second and third panels, as well as helping draw and paint the second panel.”

The artwork was unveiled on March 28, much to the delight of the faculty, staff and students at Douglass.

“The students love it,” Barraza said. “They like to point out the different schools they are familiar with and recognizing their own school is the beginning of their journey.”

The mural features all of the school’s in the Douglass’ feeder pattern, framed by the Franklin Mountains and blooming yellow poppies.

The image of a mother reading to her son also highlights the importance of parental involvement since the path of education starts at home.

Torres was inspired to paint the mural after graduating with his degree in art and education from UTEP.

“I wanted to do something with an education theme, so I collaborated with some people about the idea and went from there,” Torres said. “I want them to pursue higher education, and start thinking about college now.”

As an EPCC College Bound campus, the mural is representative of what the school is trying to teach the students early their education careers.