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Home | Tag Archives: Douglass

Tag Archives: Douglass

El Paso ISD Community Schools celebrates its volunteers

EPISD Community School volunteers were thanked for constantly going above and beyond in their efforts to help students and their families during a holiday luncheon last week.

The luncheon was just one way to thank the volunteers who make up EPISD’s efforts to connect students and families to community services aimed at helping them reach their academic and economic goals.

The volunteers help with outreach like job fairs, food pantries and adult learning courses.

Community Schools is a program that currently serves six campuses in EPISD, as well as the neighborhoods surrounding them. The campuses are: Bowie High School, Guillen Middle School and Hart, Aoy, Douglass and Zavala elementary schools.

“This is a great program to get parents involved in their children’s school,” said Juan Adame, a VISTA volunteer with Community Schools program. “They do so much to help our kids and our parents … it’s our turn to thank, them.”

The luncheon included holiday treats like doughnuts and coffee, as well as steaming hot menudo. Participants also chatted and played games to celebrate a job well done.

But for many of the volunteers, the fun will be short-lived. They want to get back to serving their communities.

“I like to help,” said Amber Fernandez, who often helps the program with food pantry deliveries. “This program has helped a lot of people. And a lot of people come out.”

Story by Victoria Castillo  |  Photos by Leonel Monroy –  EPISD

Video+Gallery+Story: El Paso ISD students impacted by consolidation visit their new schools

Students from the four schools scheduled to close in May as part of EPISD’s ‘Rightsizing for the Future’ initiative visited their new campuses on Thursday to help them become familiar with the facilities and the teachers they will have starting next school year.

The field trips included tours, goodie bags and – later in the evening – an open house for parents.

Students in grades pre-k through fourth from Alta Vista, Beall, Burleson and Schuster elementary schools visited their soon-to-be new campuses: Coldwell, Douglass, Zavala and Dowell, respectively.

“EPISD is focused on making this important transition as easy and seamless as possible for the students and families impacted,” said Superintendent Juan E. Cabrera. “Our receiving campuses are excited and happy to welcome the new students. I am confident that this transition will be beneficial for everyone.”

Dowell Elementary Principal Yeni Ontiveros personally high-fived every Schuster student that walked through the front door on Thursday. They’re all familiar faces since also is the principal at Schuster.

During her welcome remarks, Ontiveros announced to the Schuster Patriots that the Dowell Owls would officially become the Patriot Owls starting in the fall – an indication that the two schools were coming together.

“We’re very excited with this transition and this open house allows our Schuster students to become more familiar with their surroundings and the staff before the consolidation,” she said. “The students from both campuses are extremely excited to have new classmates. It’s been very positive.”

An energetic vibe spread throughout Dowell Elementary as faculty and staff greeted their new students and teachers from Schuster.

Principal Yeni Ontiveros showcased Dowell with a short video featuring messages from students. The Schuster kids cheered and smiled throughout the video – High School Musical’s “We’re All In this Together” played fittingly in the background.

Schuster teacher Stormy Daniels said the reception at Dowell helped calm some of the nerves her students have about the move.

“Even though they’re a little nervous, getting to go on the visit makes it that much more calming for them. They are making the connection as to what they have now at Schuster and what they’ll have at Dowell, so it’s not a scary thing.”

The students left with t-shirts featuring the Dowell Owl mascot – a memento from their visit and a further sign of unity. “I feel welcome because of all the things they did for us,” said Schuster fourth grader Fernando Reyes. “I’m excited because I got to meet new people and new teachers.”

The sentiment was shared throughout EPISD as Coldwell, Zavala and Douglass elementary schools offered similar tours to welcome the Alta Vista, Burleson and Beall elementary students.

The campuses are set to unite for the 2019-20 school year. The Coldwell teachers and students took in their Alta Vista counterparts by spending some quality time in their classrooms doing projects, icebreakers and other interactive activities to build the foundation for the coming year.

The lessons went seamlessly. With both students sharing purple as their school color, they already appeared to be one student body.

“We want them to make friendships and focus more on social-emotional learning,” said principal Jose Gijon. “It’s been fun for students and great for both campuses.”

Alta Vista fourth-grader Daniel Galicia looks forward to exploring his new campus and meeting new friends. He got to know his future classmate Mariah Reyes a bit more after a short question and answer exercise. But what most impressed him about the 2011 National Blue Ribbon School.

“It’s beautiful and big.” Mariah seemed to be the perfect ambassador for Coldwell. “I really think it’s going to be fun for me to have new friends and for them to experience this wonderful school,” she said. “I talk to them and make them feel like they are already part of the school. They have all these programs to help students here. If they’re having trouble, they do everything they can to help them. I really love our school.”

Down in the Chamizal neighborhood, the students from Beall Elementary eagerly walked into what will be their new home starting in August: Douglass Elementary.

Maria Guerra, the principal at both campuses, said the staff at Douglass beyond happy to finally meet the Beall students who will now be a part of the Dragon Family.

“We have the Bowie drum line and cheerleaders here to welcome them and to show them that no matter what school, we are all part of one happy family,” she said. “I know that the Douglass students are excited to welcome their new friends, and our goal is to show the Beall community that we are here to serve their needs.”

The mood was just as cheerful down the street at Zavala, which was welcoming students from Burleson. Zavala students lined up to welcome the buses carrying the students from Burleson.

“We worked hard to make them feel welcome,” said Zavala fifth-grader Jose Villanueva. “We want them to know they’re going to have a great time at this school.”

Story by Reneé de Santos   |  Photos by Leonel Monroy 

El Paso ISD to Gather Input on School Closure Plans; Announces January Meetings

Parents and community members who wish to provide input on the proposed closure of schools being considered by the EPISD Board of Trustees can log on and have their voice heard.

Using EPISD’s Let’s Talk customer-service portal, the District has developed a site where participants can learn more about the District’s Rightsizing for the Future initiative and give their concerns and opinions. The website can be accessed by clicking here.

While on the website, participants can review presentations, read frequently asked questions and provide input that will be relayed to the EPISD Board of Trustees in anticipation of the discussion on school closures scheduled for January.

The Board is considering two options on the potential closure of three schools and early consolidation of Schuster Elementary School, which already had been slated for a merger with Dowell and Crosby elementary schools as part of the Bond 2016 program.

According to EPISD officials, “Rightsizing would create fiscal sustainability in EPISD and streamline the number of campuses the District operates.”

Option 1 of the plan calls for the closure of Alta Vista, Beall and Burleson elementary schools, and the early consolidation of Schuster. Option 2 would close Alta Vista, Douglass and Burleson, and also include the early consolidation of Schuster.

The District also has scheduled a series of in-person community meetings at potentially-impacted campuses to discuss the proposed rightsizing plans.

The meetings are scheduled from 5 to 6:30 p.m. on the following dates and locations:

• Jan. 9: Alta Vista, 1000 N. Grama St.; and Beall, 320. S. Piedras St.

• Jan. 10: Burleson, 4400 Blanco Ave.; and Schuster, 5505 Will Ruth Ave.

• Jan. 11; Douglass, 101 S. Eucalyptus St.

El Paso ISD Destination Imagination Teams Headed to State

Creative thinkers at Burges and Coronado high schools earned top honors in their respective categories in the regional Destination Imagination competition, earning them a spot at state April 7-8 in Lubbock.

Burges and Coronado were among a dozen EPISD schools competing at the regional Destination Imagination competition last week at Eastlake High School. Burnet, Cielo Vista, Coldwell, Cooley, Douglass, Mesita, Polk, Whitaker, Zavala elementary schools and Magoffin Middle School also competed.

For Burges, going to state has become a tradition. They have been at least 13 times. The Mustang team won for Challenge B: Scientific Challenge Top Secret.

“Destination Imagination is a creative problem solving competition,” said coach James Towle. “Students act, sing, and dance, design and create costumes, design and build sets, write scripts, practice improve skills, learn and incorporate mechanical, technological, and chemical engineering, learn how to budget, and build their teamwork skills.”

A student of Towle’s once described the competition as “all of the elective classes on your campus built into one.”

Coronado’s Nadine Rivas calls DI an “international creative thinking group.”

“We do a lot of creative problem solving in DI,” Rivas said. “Our team had to write and act out a short skit which showed the repercussions of the color ‘pink’ disappearing.”

This is Coronado’s first venture to state, where they are competing in the fine arts challenge “Vanished.”

Finishing second in their respective challenges were teams from Cielo Vista and Douglas elementary schools. Mesita’s engineering team took third place in their challenge.

Coldwell received the Spirit of Discovery and Imagination Award for outstanding spirit, teamwork, volunteerism and sportsmanship.

“The recipients of this award are the ones who go out of their way to help others, making sacrifices not for themselves, but to give something to someone else,” said Julie Witte, a Guillen Middle School teacher who coordinates DI.

Burges High School also received the Renaissance Award for outstanding design, engineering, execution and performance.

According to DI organizers, “the Renaissance Award recognizes those who demonstrate extraordinary amounts of effort and preparation in their solutions or outstanding skill in engineering, design or performance. While the destination is creativity, these fellow travelers make the journey itself memorable.”

Students at 59 EPISD Campuses will get Free School Lunch, Breakfast

Students 59 El Paso Independent School District campuses will get free school lunches and breakfasts thanks to national program aimed at providing more nutritious meals students.

Laura Durán, EPISD’s Director of Food and Nutrition Services, announced that the District once again will participate in the Community Eligibility Program from the National School Lunch and School Breakfast Programs.

The Community Eligibility Program, or CEP, provides breakfast and lunch to all children at no cost and eliminates the collection of meal application for free, reduced-priced and paid students meals.

“The application process can be cumbersome for some families, and we know that there are many of our schools that will have a majority of the students qualify for free or reduced-priced meals,” Durán said. “This program gives us the opportunity to reach as many students as we can in order to give them a nutritious meal that will help them be ready for instruction.”

The CEP targets schools with high volumes of students who would already qualify for free or reduced-priced meals based on income or other eligibility requirements.

The schools participating the program are:

• Elementary Schools: About Face, Alta Vista, Aoy, Barron, Beall, Bliss, Bonham, Bradley, Burleson, Burnet, Clardy, Clendenin, Coldwell, Collins, Cooley, Crockett, Crosby, Douglass, Dowell, Fannin, Moye, Hawkins, Hillside, Johnson, Lamar, Lee, Logan, Moreno, Newman, Park, Putnam, Powell, Rivera, Roberts, Rusk, Schuster, Stanton, Travis, Whitaker and Zavala.

• Middle Schools: Armendariz, Bassett, Canyon Hills, LaFarelle, Charles, Guillen, Henderson, Magoffin, Morehead, Terrace Hills, Wiggs.

• High Schools: Austin, Bowie, Chapin, Irvin, Jefferson, Telles Academy and the College, Career and Technology Academy.

Students attending schools not participating in the CEP may qualify free and reduced-price meals through the traditional application process. Each school in EPISD, as well as the Food and Nutrition Services Department, has a copy of the eligibility rules and guidelines policy that are used to determine participation.

Applications may be picked up at each campus, or they may be downloaded from the EPISD website at www.episd.org under the Food and Nutrition Services Department. Applications are also available in at the Food and Nutrition Services office at 6531 Boeing.

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