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Home | Tag Archives: El Paso Independent School District

Tag Archives: El Paso Independent School District

Telles Academy opens food pantry to benefit area students

A new food pantry organized by the El Paso Independent School District in partnership with El Pasoans Fighting Hunger will kick off this week to help families in need.

After seeing a call for food assistance, Raymond Telles Academy organized a fresh food pantry will operate from 2:30 to 3:30 p.m. every other Friday starting this week at the schools Central El Paso campus.

The pantry will serve the families of students at Telles, as well as those from EPISD’s College, Career & Technology Academy and the Region 19 Head Start program adjacent to the Telles/CCTA. The campus is located at 2851 Grant in the building that once housed Houston Elementary School.

To qualify, families must complete a registration form and participate in a one-time nutrition class available between 1:30 – 2:30 p.m. before the Telles food pantry opens every other Friday.

“Students started coming in asking for food for their families,” Telles’ parent liaison Elsa Torres said. “They are worrying about what their families are going to eat for the weekend, and we know that students can’t learn if they’re hungry or concerned about meals.”

Torres and the Telles social worker Ari Medina quickly saw the high number of students struggling with food insecurity and organized a small food pantry with donations from teachers that fed at least 80 people.

“We had a family that came in who needed food, so they filled out the application, and they were able to get food for these couple of days and told them to come back for our grand opening,” Torres said.

According to Feeding America food data, nearly one out of four children and one out of every seven adults in the state of Texas struggles with hunger.

“Unfortunately, some live paycheck to paycheck and don’t have the money saved for important things like a car repair, which takes them to school and work,” Torres added. “So a lot of times they have to make a difficult choice: groceries or things like car repairs.”

The school transformed an empty classroom into a small grocery store with colorfully decorated sections dividing the food items, and fundraised to purchase refrigerators and freezers to offer families meat and dairy.

“I had a young mom who had just had her baby when she came in,” Torres said. “She was grateful for what she said was our little store and she did a little ‘shopping.’”

The pantry was stocked for its initial week with the help of many people at Telles. Security guards, custodians, paraprofessionals and even student helpers moved a truck-full of food from a trailer into the pantry.

“It makes me happy to think how people have kindness in their heart to unite and do this for students,” said eighth-grade student Michelle Gabrieles, one of the students who helped stock the shelves at the pantry.

Telles Academy and CCTA teach students from different areas of the city and struggle with transportation. Medina hopes that having access to food options at their school will allow them to stay healthy.

Families can fill their bags or carts with organic sandwich bread, frozen meat, canned fruit and vegetables and fresh produce and will have access to bilingual healthy meal recipes.

“The students are very happy, so grateful. It’s a very rewarding service we are providing here,” said Medina, the social worker at the school. “We want to make the food pantry homey so that everybody can feel welcomed here.”

Story by Liliana Gonzalez | Photos by Leonel Monroy – EPISD

El Paso ISD Announces Early Release for Some Schools Due to Trump Visit, Crowds & Traffic

Several El Paso Independent School District campuses near the site of a planned rally by President Donald Trump will have early release on Monday in anticipation of large crowds and potential traffic issues.

The schools, all of which are near the El Paso County Coliseum, will release students at noon on Monday. Classes at all campuses will resume as normal on Tuesday.

The impacted schools are:

  • Aoy, Beall, Burleson, Clardy, Cooley, Douglass, Hart and Zavala elementary schools. The afternoon pre-kindergarten and Head Start sessions will be moved to the morning.
  • Guillen and Henderson middle schools.
  • Bowie, Jefferson and Silva Health Magnet high schools.

All after-school activities for the impacted campuses are cancelled on Monday.

EPISD officials worked with local, state and federal law enforcement agencies to determine an appropriate plan of action for the presidential visit. EPISD Police said there are is indication of road closures that may have impacted the operation and release time of schools outside the vicinity of the Coliseum.

The rest of the district’s schools, including Central Office, will operate on a normal schedule on Monday.

El Paso ISD’s Silva, Green Schools Earn National Blue Ribbon Awards

Two U.S. Department of Education Blue Ribbon Awards for 2017 went to campuses in the El Paso Independent School District.

Dr. Green Elementary School received its first Blue Ribbon and Maxine Silva Health Magnet High School received an unprecedented third Blue Ribbon, the U.S. Department of Education announced on Thursday.

“We are beyond proud of the work that is happening inside our campuses. Teachers and students have embraced active learning as a transformative tool in education,” EPISD Superintendent Juan Cabrera said. “Silva and Green are clear examples of schools making a difference in the lives of students and their families.”

The Blue Ribbon is considered one of the most prestigious prizes given to a school in the country.

With the addition of Green, there are now 12 EPISD schools that have earned at least one Blue Ribbon since the program began in 1982.

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

U.S. Education Secretary Betsy DeVos on Thursday announced that a total of 342 public, charter and private schools had earned a Blue Ribbon this year based on their achievements on closing the performance gaps among student subgroups.

The National Blue Ribbon Schools award affirms the hard work of students, educators, families, and communities in creating safe and welcoming schools where students master modern learning.

Green and Silva celebrated their awards on Thursday with student assemblies and other fun activities.

The celebrations were especially meaningful for Silva, the only school in El Paso ever to earn three Blue Ribbons.

“Having three Blue Ribbon is no easy feat and this accomplishment rests solely on the work done by our students and teachers,” said Jefferson/Silva Principal Fred Rojas. “Silva prides itself as a great school, and this award is further recognition that our efforts are making a difference.”

This is Green’s first Blue Ribbon, but the school is equally as excited.

“We are joining an elite group of schools,” Principal Judy Quintana said. “It’s proof positive that our students, teachers and parents have worked hard to provide this community a world-class education.”

Two El Paso ISD Seniors Named National Merit Semifinalists

Two El Paso Independent School District high-school seniors earlier this week were included in the elite list of National Merit Scholar semifinalists for 2018.

Coronado High School’s Daven Cheu and Franklin High School’s Mauricio Gonzalez were among the five El Paso County students who made the list published by the National Merit Scholar Corp.

Both Gonzalez and Cheu have big plans for college and were mostly surprised by the honor.

“It’s going to be a great opportunity to help me to go to the college I want to go to,” said Cheu, an IB student considering a major in environmental systems at the University of California at San Diego. “I didn’t quite expect to be here. I have to get the paperwork sorted out and then find out what happens next.”

Gonzalez knows being a semifinalist will look good on his resume when he applies to Yale University, his top choice for now.

“It’s a pretty big honor,” he said. “I know there are a lot of students who compete and to be one of three from EPISD is pretty big. I’m just happy to represent El Paso and EPISD. I hope I move on further and win a scholarship.”

The corporation also named former Chapin High School student Connor Jarolimek as a semifinalist. Jarolimek was a student at Chapin when he took the qualifying PSAT test, but has since moved out of state.

National Merit will notify students advancing to finalists.

Franklin High School’s Mauricio Gonzalez
Coronado High School’s Daven Cheu
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