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Home | Tag Archives: El Paso ISD

Tag Archives: El Paso ISD

El Paso ISD High Schools Earn Cash for Athletics

Three EPISD high schools will get a boost in their athletic facilities thanks to their participation in a video contest by Powerade.

Franklin and Austin high schools each won regional grand prizes in the “Power Your School” contest from Powerade, earning them $10,000 toward improvements to the athletic equipment at their campuses.

Additionally, Bowie High School earned $2,000 for their participation.  A total of $100,000 were awarded throughout the region.

“We wanted to show some the need for new weight room equipment and we also wanted to the wide range of diversity in our school and how so many athletes use the weight room,” Franklin’s student activities manager Angel Santa Cruz said. “We also wanted to be creative with our transitions, making sure we included every type of sport.”

Three students worked collaboratively with Santa Cruz, teacher Jose Bueno and football coach Frank Martinez to create the concept for the video, direct it, film it and edit the final product.

Senior Georgett Hernandez spent her time behind the video camera documenting footage of each sport captured in the video.

“It’s so cool to take part of something that will benefit the school for years to come,” she said.

Author:  Reneé de Santos | Photo courtesy of Franklin HS – EPISD

Video+Story+Gallery: Deaf-Ed Students Visit ASL-Fluent Santa at Bassett Place

Santa’s visit to Bassett Place gave dozens of Hillside Elementary deaf-education students a sure sign that the jolly old man might fulfill their wish list this Christmas.

The elementary students lined up to meet this special Santa who understood them in their language. He looked over their wish lists as each signed Barbie dolls, cars, PS4s, dinosaurs and other popular toys.

He signed back acknowledging their wish, then posed for a picture signing ‘I love you.’

“This is special for me,” said the hearing Santa fluent in American Sign Language, or ASL. “My older son is deaf, so we know the families. I’m happy to do this for the kids.”

The visit to Santa left a permanent grin on the face of first grader Savanna Carrillo.

“I was happy,” she said through an ASL interpreter, explaining she requested a doll.

Another student asked for a fish … “a live one,” he signed to his teacher.  Meanwhile, Jesus Jasso signed and spoke to Santa asking for a Lego BB-8.

“I like to sign. I can only talk a little,” he said, using both his voice and signs.

Paraprofessional Sylvia Aguirre stood among the kinder and first-grade students, asking them what they asked of Santa.

“I love this. It’s amazing for our children,” she said. “It’s makes me happy to see them so happy.”

The event continued with a special performance by the Hillside Singing Signing Choir. The hearing students sang and signed traditional holiday selections before an audience of parents and their hearing impaired peers.

The performance ended with an emotional rendition of “Silent Night” where the students’ music and voices abruptly stopped mid song but continued signing to give the hearing audience a glimpse into the world of the deaf students.

“We do this at the end of ‘Silent Night’ to show how they experience it,” said choir teacher Diedre Minton. “It fosters communication between our hearing and non-hearing students so they sign to each other and our hearing students have a better understanding of their disability.”

Story by Reneé de Santos |  Photos by Leonel Monroy |  Video by Raymond Jackson/EPISD

EPISD’s Community Partners Provide Hawkins Students with Holiday Gifts

Not all heroes wear capes. Some of them wear red velvet suits and black patent-leather boots and belts.

“Our children were so thrilled to meet Santa and to welcome our community partners,” said Principal Adriana Ruiz.

“This is proof positive that we have amazing organizations who help us bring joy and education to the children of our community.”

All 300 students at Hawkins Elementary School on Tuesday received a gift and a hug from jolly Santa Claus thanks to a partnership between good ol’ Santa and several community-minded civic and professional organizations from throughout El Paso.

Joining Santa in helping to provide gifts to the students at Hawkins were the El Paso Women’s Lions Club, the American Legion Post 36 and the U.S. Marines 19 Rifle Unit.

Story and photos by Martín A. López – EPISD

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.

Coronado High’s Robo-sleigh Delivers Presents to Pre-Schoolers

Dozens of pre-schoolers gathered at Coronado High School to receive a gift from a friendly character riding on a sleigh. No, it wasn’t jolly Santa Claus on top of that motorized magical vehicle.

Thanks to the hard work of Coronado robotics students, the fully-operational sleigh featured a cute penguin instead of the red-clad gift-giver.

The robot sleigh was a hit among the pre-schoolers, who are part of Coronado’s CDL program.

The students sang “Jingle Bells” and “Rudolph the Red-Nosed Reindeer” before the same high-school students who helped build the robot sleigh delivered presents to each good boy and girl in attendance.

Teacher Andy Mendoza said his robotics students build the sleigh as part of their hands-on studies on science, technology, engineering and math.

Story by Gustavo Reveles | Photos by Reneé de Santos – EPISD

Story+Gallery: Teachers, Community Partners Unite to Give Rockets Gifts

Teachers, faculty and some very special community members gathered this week to play Santa Claus for nearly 200 Irvin Rockets.

For the second year in a row, the school organized its Irvin’s Angels event in which members of the faculty — with the help of partners in education from Fort Bliss, the Texas Department of Transportation and other entities vested in wellbeing of the school — came together to donate gifts to students right as they’re getting ready to head on out for the holiday break.

Students were served snacks and other goodies in a festive environment before being surprised by a visit from the real Santa, who brought with him sacks full of gifts.

“This is an opportunity for us to brighten the day of our students, some of whom may not get a gift this holiday season,” said Principal MaryAna Giba.

“This is just a small way in which we can tell our students that our faculty and staff, as well as our military and TxDOT partners, care about them and care about their future.”

This is the second year Irvin organizes this event, and already the number of gifts handed out has more than doubled.

Organizers say they expect even more students to benefit in upcoming years.

Author: Gustavo Reveles  | Photos courtesy of Irvin High – EPISD

Video+Story: EPISD Celebrates Torres Elementary Groundbreaking

Dozens of students wearing tiny yellow construction hats on Friday helped mark the start of construction of Dr. Joseph E. Torres Elementary School, EPISD Bond 2016’s first consolidation project.

District officials and representatives from Bradley and Fannin elementary schools – the two campuses that will merge to form the new Torres Elementary – celebrated the groundbreaking of the school in front of family and friends of the school’s namesake.

“This is such an important day. Our family is beyond happy,” said Bobby Ortiz, Joseph Torres’ nephew. “Joe Torres was a wonderful person. But most importantly, he was an advocate of education and proof that El Paso schools do a wonderful job.”

The new school, which will be built on the Bradley site and is slated to open with its combined student population for the 2020-21 academic year, is named after the late Joseph Torres – a World War II veteran, dentist and philanthropist with a long list of accomplishments in El Paso.

Torres is credited with the improvement of conditions and benefits for military veterans in the region and was known for providing dental services at low or no cost to low-income families. He was an El Paso High School graduate and U.S. Army veteran.

Friday’s ceremony celebrated the start of construction at the school, and the beginning of the school consolidations that are part of the Rightsizing for the Future campaign aimed at matching the number of schools the District operates with the number of students enrolled in EPISD.

The $19.2-million construction project will build 50,000 square feet of modern, 21st-century instructional facilities that include new classrooms, a library, a multipurpose room and administrative offices.  The funding also will pay for major renovation to existing facilities at the Bradley site.

The EPISD Board of Trustees awarded the construction project contract to Aztec Contractors. The new building was designed by ERO Architects.

Bradley Principal Kathleen Ese and Fannin Principal Peggy Gustafson announced during the ceremony that the colors for Torres will be royal blue, black and white – a combination of the current Bradley and Fannin colors.  The administrators also unveiled the name and logo for the new school mascot, the Raptors.

“We are looking forward to starting our new chapter as Torres Elementary,” Gustafson said. “Our new facilities are going to have a tremendous impact on our community.”

Bond 2016 was approved by voters to help modernize and right-size the District.  In total, the Bond will consolidate 18 existing schools into eight new campuses.

“This is an exciting time in EPISD,” said Carmen Arrieta-Candelaria, EPISD’s Deputy Superintendent for Finance and Operations. “The work we are doing here at Torres and throughout the District with the Bond 2016 funds will go a long way in making sure that our students have access to world-class facilities and top-notch educational services.”

For more information about Bond 2016 log on to District’s bond webpage.

Story by Gustavo Reveles |  Photos by Leonel Monroy  |  Video by Angel Dominguez/EPISD

Superintendent Donates Penny Swap Stipend to Lee Elementary

He didn’t arrive in a sleigh nor was he wearing a red suit and leather boots, but EPISD Superintendent Juan E. Cabrera was playing the part of Santa on Wednesday.

Cabrera came to deliver a special gift to the students at Lee: his $750 holiday stipend from the successful Penny Swap election.

The gift will be used to buy more of the special computer coding robots students at the school have been using as part of the successful efforts to use EPISD’s Active Learning Framework in the classroom.

“I wanted to give back and thought the holiday bonus was a great way to do it,” Cabrera said. “It’s also my way to thank our employees and the community for supporting the Penny Swap.”

The $750 is a special grant presented to Lee Elementary in collaboration with the EPISD Education Foundation. All full-time EPISD employees will be receiving a $750 stipend as promised with the successful passage of the Tax Ratification Election, or Penny Swap, on Nov. 6.

“This extra $750 will be in our employees check this Friday,” Cabrera said. “I’m happy that we can make a small difference in lives of our dedicated employees this holiday season.”

Lee was selected because of its teachers’ support of EPISD Education Foundation’s Employee Giving Campaign.  The campus will be using the extra funds to expand their coding program using Dash Robots.

“It is a great honor to be able to receive Mr. Cabrera’s $750 stipend,” principal Terry Montes said. “The teachers can utilize these robots to integrate the mastery of TEKS and provide an engaging atmosphere for students to learn.  We appreciate the opportunity to enhance our students’ successes through this donation.”

A group of third graders, some with Dash Robots in hand, thanked the superintendent for his donation. They were all smiles as they talked to him about how the technology works and how much they enjoyed using it.

“Everybody has the chance to try the robots,” said third grader Daniel Meniola. “I think they’re going to like learning to coding them. I’m excited about getting more Dash.”

His classmate Esmeralda Grijalva is equally excited about the prospect of more Dash Robots at the school.

“I think it’s really cool we get more robots. They are really cool,” she said. “I like it when you program them and you have to test them to see if it works correctly.”

Lee Elementary showcased its Active Learning Framework model to leadership in EPISD and the community earlier this month.

The Dash Robots are among one of the many active learning strategies at the campus.

“I’m excited about active learning we are doing across the District and especially here at Lee Elementary,” Cabrera said. “We are really engaging kids in a different way. I’m excited to see what they’re doing with the extra money.”

Suspect In South El Paso Officer Involved Shooting In Custody

The man suspected of shooting an El Paso Police Officer in South El Paso was taken into custody just after 8 p.m. Tuesday night, according to El Paso Police Spokesman Sgt. Robert Gomez.

The shooting happened around 12:10 p.m. Tuesday afternoon near the intersection of North Seville Driveand Sambrano Avenue, about a mile east of Fox Plaza.  The yet-unnamed suspect was taken into custody at a home along the 100 block of North Clark, shortly after 8 p.m.

According to initial information, the officers were investigating reports of a suspicious person in the neighborhood when the man, only identified as a Hispanic male, fired at least one shot toward the officer as he was inside his vehicle. The officer was shot in his hand and transported to University Medical Center where he was treated and released hours later.

EPPD says officers returned fire during the initial incident and the suspect fled from the scene and into the neighborhood.

The search for the suspect forced a massive manhunt and closure of Alameda Avenue and a lockout of Cooley Elementary on Clark and Alameda. Just after 3 p.m., EPISD officials were able to arrange for buses to transport the students from Cooley Elementary to nearby Henderson Middle School.

According to police, approximately eight hours after the beginning of the manhunt, they were forced to use gas to enter a residence and take the suspect into custody. No officers were hurt during the suspect’s apprehension.

El Paso Police are working the the Texas Rangers, and are also conducting two internal investigation into the officer involved shooting. The identity of the suspect is expected to be released Wednesday.

Officers expect to be investigating the incident through the night, but said they expect Cooley Elementary to return to normal schedule on Wednesday. They are asking residents who live within the immediate perimeter to seek alternate housing arrangements for the evening if possible.

Gallery by Steven Cottingham, El Paso Herald Post

BREAKING: EPPD gives briefing on officer involved shooting in the Lower Valley.

Posted by El Paso Herald-Post on Tuesday, December 11, 2018

Video+Gallery+Story: Franklin, Coronado High Join Forces for ‘Holiday Blessings Drive’

 Coronado and Franklin high schools students set aside their competitive spirit on Friday, December 7 as they got together to collect toys, clothing, shoes and gifts for students at Douglass Elementary.

Student council members from both schools started the Holiday Blessings Drive five years ago at Zavala Elementary, picking a different school each year to visit.

The high schoolers welcomed each grade level into the school’s choir room, where Santa Claus and stacks of boxes awaited each student.

Before each student received their gifts they were made to take an oath and promise not to open — or even try and get a peek — of their gifts until Christmas morning.

Student Council students pick an elementary at the beginning of the school year, meeting with the principal and counselor to coordinate the project.

The elementary in turn is responsible for providing students’ clothing and shoe sizes, as well as what the students have asked for on their holiday wish list.

Story & Photos by Leonel Monroy |  Video by Raymond Jackson/EPISD

Video+Story: EPISD Showcases Active Learning Framework for Visitors

Instructional leaders from throughout the region and country were in the El Paso Independent School District to speak with students and teachers about how the Active Learning Framework is transforming education in our schools.

The visit to Lee and Coronado High School gave dignitaries like Texas State Board of Education Member Georgina Perez and Amy O’Rourke, a former educator and the wife of Congressman Beto O’Rourke, a glimpse of the successes EPISD has had implementing the Framework in the classroom.

Principals and educators from the Canutillo Independent School District also took part in the visits.

“My favorite part of Active Learning is in the end there’s always a big project that you get to do that you work on with your team,” Lee fourth-grader De’lon London said during a conference-style panel discussion that included other classmates. “Active Learning has helped me do better. It will help me with jobs I may have in the future. Active Learning is fun.” 

EPISD is considered a national leader in the implementation of Active Learning strategies, which changed instruction from a sit-and-get model into an engaging, small-group and project-based model. EPISD’s Active Learning Framework allows teachers to use interactive, technology-based and researched-backed strategies to let students learn state standards in a much more effective and long-lasting manner.

The visitors were given access to students and classroom teachers who have embraced the Framework and have seen results in student performance.

“We heard from our students and they talked about how they are able to work in groups and established norms. They talked about how they are able to accomplish their learning tasks. They talked about the work of the teacher and how the teacher has become a facilitator,” said Tamekia Brown, EPISD’s Chief Academic Officer.

“This is the beauty of the Active Learning Framework,” she added. “This is what is transforming teaching and learning in our community.”

Brown said students like De’lon’s are seeing the difference the Framework is having in the classroom.

“They want more of it,” she said. “This is a note to us as adults, as those individuals who are charged with helping them to experience this, to do it better and bigger and to continue to get better in how we are providing Active Learning experiences.”

Lee teacher Cecilia Perez has seen the changes in her students, whom she taught first as third graders last year and now as fourth graders.

“I saw a dramatic improvement in them,” Perez said. “I was the same person, and they were the same students. It was just that I changed the way I was teaching. I’m proud to be part of this. I’ve been teaching for 20 years and I’ve tried lots of different things. This is something I am going to stick with. I’m glad that we are supporting it as a district.”

Bonham Elementary School principal Sandra Sanchez visited classrooms to watch Active Learning in progress. She and other principals took notes and posted sticky notes with accolades on the doors of the classrooms.

“This has definitely been a great experience learning the different aspects and the different components of active learning and how our educators in EPISD are working together to provide our students with those opportunities.”

Inside the classrooms she’s seeing rigor and activity engagement among students.

“We’re looking for that exploration process of learning,” she said. “We’re seeing here at Lee Elementary that the teachers have taken a shift and they’re no longer standing up and teaching and delivering that instruction directly. The students are now taking ownership of their learning.”

Brown is encouraged by the demonstrated active learning occurring at Lee and throughout EPISD.

“The future is bright and EPISD,” Brown said. “In about 2022, every classroom in every school will have quality seats because we will have every teacher coached and trained on the Active Learning Framework, so we are really excited. There are great things to come and this is the time to be in EPISD.”

The visits were held last week.

Story by Reneé de Santos | Photos by Leonel Monroy Video by Angel Dominguez and Raymond Jackson/EPISD

Henderson Middle Students Get Jump Start on Future Medical Career

Students at Henderson Middle School who are interested in the medical field were lucky enough to visit the Medical Center of the Americas recently.

The 60,000 square foot building consists of medical labs and research spaces that many healthcare professionals, life science researchers, and biomedical entrepreneurs use to collaborate.

The field trip was an excellent learning experience for students because they learned that working in the medical field does not mean that they have to focus on one specialty their entire career. Instead, they can expand and major in different medical areas at the same time.

“Overall, it was a great experience because these real-life researchers provided us with information of the steps needed to achieve success in the biomedical field,” said Henderson Middle eighth-grader Anahi Bustamante. “To me, that is invaluable.”

This is good for students since their thoughts of the medical field is limited, which leads them to not pursue their medical dreams. This experience also taught students more about the highly specialized medical equipment that exists and how to use it.  

Students can now use what they were taught to expand their knowledge in the medical field and look forward to the biomedical advances that researchers at the MCA make.

NOTE: The following article was written by Henderson Middle School student Serena Evans and first appeared in The Hive Newletter. 

Story by Serena Evans  |  Photos by Henderson Middle  – EPISD

Second Annual EPISD College Art Fair Set for Next Week

Many representative from the top art schools in the country will be in El Paso next week to review portfolios and recruit El Paso ISD students who wish to pursue a college education in the fine arts.

It’s all part of the second annual EPISD Art College Recruiting Fair.  According to EPISD officials, their district is one of few school systems in Texas that organizes a college fair specifically for students seeking to attend art schools.

“EPISD recognizes the importance of fine arts in our education system and we want to make sure that those students with the talent and drive to pursue a college education in the arts have the means and information to do it,” said Philip Barraza, EPISD’s Director of Fine Arts. “The College Art Fair is a unique way for us to provide access to students.”

Last year, EPISD’s first college art fair resulted in the recruitment of more than 80 students that received one-on-one conferences with art-school officials from schools as far away as Paris, France.

Scenes from 2017’s fair | Photo by Alicia Chumley

The schools awarded $368,000 in scholarships and grants to EPISD students.

This year, colleges and art programs from the School of Chicago Art Institute, Maryland College of Art and Design, Southern Methodist University, the University of Texas at Austin, the Pacific Northwest College of Art, the University of Michigan, UTEP and other schools from throughout the country will be on hand to speak to students.

Recruiters from Columbia University and New York University were in EPISD earlier this year to recruit.

The recruiters will review portfolios, go over admission and scholarship information and give tips for students who wish to become more competitive in art education.

The event is 9 to 3:30 p.m. on Tuesday, December 4, at the Region 19 Education Service Center’s Paso Del Norte Conference Room, 6611 Boeing Drive.

El Paso ISD Pilot Program Trains Students to Become Tech Entrepreneurs

A pilot program aimed at creating tech-savvy entrepreneurs brought together more than 400 EPISD high-school students to give them a leg up on their road to success.

The Success through Technology Education Foundation brought Techstars — a nationally known program that mentors and trains new entrepreneurs — to Bowie High School for a first of its kind high-school program.

The half-day training gave students real-world scenarios and steps to start up a business.

“The goal of having Techstars program will be to excite and engage youth by the masses to make a lasting impact in El Paso,” said Joseph Sapien, the foundation’s executive director. “If students can self-identify as an entrepreneur and gain the confidence of starting businesses, then they are more likely to start them here.”

Sapien, who coordinates a STEM Business Challenge, saw how TechStars presented an attractive and innovative model tailored to college and professional startups, and thought the model would work for high school students.

He worked with CTE facilitator Victor Martel to coordinate the workshop for EPISD CTE students.

“They are learning the business model and taping into their entrepreneur talents that they probably don’t know they have,” Martel said. “El Paso ISD was chosen to pilot this program so this opportunity for the city is phenomenal. Our students are the only ones in the country getting it right now. It’s inspiring them to look at themselves as entrepreneurs.”

Bowie senior Ethan Ontiveros’ team worked on a business plan to create a battery to power gymnasiums by using students’ energy on treadmills and stationary bikes.

“This shows high school students that they can do anything they want,” Ontiveros said. “Nothing is a dumb idea. They have showed us how to market our business, how to grow and be open to new things.”

Coronado High senior Valerie Camarena already knows she wants to start her own company one day in the field of technology or engineering.

“I don’t want to have a normal job like other people,” Camarena said. “This gives us a head start and gets us into it. It has improved my perspective. Instead of having an immature mind getting into this, you start thinking ‘I got to get my stuff together and be prepared for the real world.’ This throws you out there. I need to start building on it and be able speak out in front of people and turn my nervousness into excitement.”

Story by Reneé de Santos | Photos by Leonel Monroy – EPISD

El Paso ISD Expands ‘OnRamps’ Program; Offers Students UT-Austin College Credit Opportunities

Thanks to an expanded program, students in every EPISD high school can complete their graduation requirements and enroll in courses taught by professors at the University of Texas at Austin to earn some college credits at the same time.

EPISD joins Clint ISD, Socorro ISD, Ysleta ISD as well as Harmony Science Academy in El Paso, in offering the OnRamps program.

The OnRamps dual-credit program allows students to earn hours toward a bachelor’s degree during their high-school years under the instruction of accredited professors at UT-Austin.

The OnRamps program began in EPISD last year at Chapin, Austin, Jefferson and El Paso high schools. This year, it expanded to all EPISD traditional high schools and Transmountain Early College High School.

“We just saw it as another opportunity for students to get dual credit,” said Jason Long, EPISD’s executive director of college and career readiness and innovation. “There’s some constraints with the traditional dual-credit program most high school currently offer.  The UT OnRamps program removes those boundaries for students.”

Unlike the traditional dual-credit classes, the OnRamps program does not require that students pass the Texas Success Initiative. Also, because the courses are taught by professors at the Austin university, EPISD is not required to hire teachers with master’s degrees.

OnRamps courses are free of charge to EPISD students, allowing parents to save up to $1,100 in tuition and textbooks per class. Courses include physics, ELA, pre-calculus, college algebra, statistics, history, computer science, geoscience and art & entertainment technology.

Students interested need to check with their counselors to see which OnRamps courses are available at their campus.

Chapin High School teacher Ben Mendoza began working with the program last year. His role in the OnRamps physics course is to be a liaison between UT-Austin and the students who enroll in the course.  He helps monitor labs, facilitate exams and assist with homework.

“They have to take ownership of their education,” Mendoza said. “I like seeing that and how it transforms them from the beginning to the end.”

Mendoza also promotes the program among his students at Chapin and hopes more OnRamps course offerings become available.

“It gives you a leg up on other students because you get to have that college experience beforehand,” he said. “There’s no risk, so why not take it? You can get two things done at once and gain some experience.”

Chapin senior Mia Flores, who plans to attend UT-Austin next fall, liked the opportunities afforded through the OnRamps program. She earned college credit for the physics course she took last year.

“What I liked about taking the honors classes that it was a lot more independent than my regular courses,” Flores said. “I got to be exposed to what a real college course was like. It’s a lot of learning on your own and I really appreciated that aspect.”

Chapin junior Alexia Morales took Mendoza’s OnRamps course for the challenge.

“I want to attend UT-Austin so I felt if I excel in this class I will be able to use the credit,” Morales said. “So far, it’s been challenging. It’s a great class and great experience. I look forward to taking more OnRamps classes.”

Story by Reneé de Santos | Photos by Leonel Monroy  – EPISD
**EDITOR’S NOTE: An earlier version of this story incorrectly stated that EPISD was the only district in the area offering ‘OnRamps’  The story has been edited to add the correct information.**
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