As City/County Health officials issued an updated order for all independent school districts and private schools in El Paso County for the reopening of on-campus instruction, delaying the start of in person classes until after September 7th, local school districts have been quick to respond.
The order essentially halts all in person classes until after Labor Day, however does make note that virtual classes will be allowed per the individual school district’s plan.
Below are the statements/releases from the area’s school districts. This story will be updated as statements are released.
Virtual instruction for all Fabens ISD students will begin on Aug. 10
On July 9, 2020, Public Health officials issued an updated order for the reopening of on-campus instruction. The updated order limits face-to-face instruction and requires school buildings to remain closed to non-essential personnel until at least Sept. 8.
Fabens ISD will begin remote instruction on August 10, 2020 in accordance with the calendar that was adopted by the Board of Trustees. The first four weeks of school will be conducted virtually for all students.
Fabens ISD has ordered laptops for all students, Pre-K through 12th grade to ensure vibrant, connected virtual instruction for all students. Due to high demand, some technology device shipments have been delayed for several districts.
Our deepest thanks go out to Canutillo ISD for providing laptops to districts, including Fabens ISD, to ensure devices are available for the start of school. We will resume with on-campus instruction for families who choose this option on Sept. 8, or once local health authorities deem it safe to do so.
We will continue to follow the guidance and directives from health and government authorities to ensure we are doing our
part to reduce the rate of infection and subsequent risk of exposure to COVID-19.
Parents were sent a survey to select their preference of virtual or traditional (on-campus) instruction. Parents should still proceed with choosing an option as soon as possible in order to facilitate planning for campuses. The survey can be found at https://www.fabensisd.net/Domain/704.
Due to city’s recent public health order and in the best interest of health and safety for our students and teachers, the Canutillo Independent School District will begin school two weeks later than previously announced. Remote learning instruction will commence on Monday, August 17 instead of August 3.
The first three weeks of classes will consist of 100% remote learning. Then, starting Tuesday, September 8, parents may choose between on-campus instructional settings and remote instruction.
Superintendent Dr. Pedro Galaviz says that the well-being of Canutillo’s students, parents, and staff will always be the driving determinant of decisions. And, the District’s actions will continue to be based on local, state and federal education and health authority guidance.
“We have had to be flexible in terms of our planning for a return to school, and, COVID-19 is once again affecting the schedule in the greater El Paso region,” Galaviz said. “With a substantial increase in rates of infection in this area, we are having to change the date for the first day of school.”
Parents were sent a survey listing the instructional options that will be offered once campuses are open. The options include remote learning; hybrid schedules (combination of remote learning and in-person); and daily face to face. Parents should still proceed with choosing an option as soon as possible in order to facilitate planning for campuses. The survey can be found via this link.
The city’s order also states:
All children with special healthcare needs which are considered medically fragile should not return to school until the 2021-2022 school year.
Students, teachers and staff age 2 years and older should wear face coverings, unless medically contraindicated or if this may pose a risk to the student, teachers, and staff.
Please note, that this plan is subject to change depending on future guidance from local, state and federal education and health authority.
Due to the city’s recent public health order and in the best interest of health and safety for students and teachers, the Ysleta Independent School District will delay the start of classes for the 2020-21 school year until Monday, Aug. 17, at which point all students will begin at least three weeks of online learning at home.
“Please be assured we made this decision for the well-being of our teachers and students in order to ensure an excellent academic experience for every child,” said Superintendent of Schools Dr. Xavier De La Torre.
“We are continuing to finalize plans for the new school year, and over the next few weeks, our parents will continue to have the opportunity to select either face-to-face instruction or online learning for their child for the upcoming school year,” Dr. De La Torre added.
The delayed school start date will prompt two changes to Ysleta ISD’s new year-round calendar, officials said.
The first change affects the two-week break – or intersession – for students in October. Originally scheduled for Oct. 5-16, the break will now be reduced by one week and take place only from Oct. 12-16. That means classes WILL be in session from Oct. 5-9 for both online and face-to-face instruction.
In addition, Ysleta ISD will add one week to the end of the school year, and the last day of school is now Friday, June 11, 2021.
Currently, the district is continuing to provide professional development to teachers in the areas of technology and content in order to equip them with the tools to provide a quality online experience. Ysleta ISD is also enhancing its technology support to ensure all student devices are ready for online instruction, and continuing to make safety its No.1 priority by aligning safety and health protocols with state public health recommendations.
Ysleta ISD parents are being asked to reach out to the district to confirm whether their child will either return to campus for face-to-face Classroom Learning, or participate in Online Learning at home. Parents can do so by calling (915) 434-0280 and taking a brief, three-question survey.
Parents who do not complete the survey will be contacted by their child’s school over the next few weeks to confirm their choice. For more information, parents are encouraged to submit questions through the “Ask The District” tab on the main webpage at www.yisd.net.
IDEA Public Schools El Paso
IDEA Public Schools will be following the City of El Paso and State guidance regarding school opening recommendations. All IDEA campuses in El Paso will begin classes on Monday, August 17 with all students participating in distance learning until Monday, September 7.
Beginning Tuesday, September 8, parents will have the option to send their children to school, continue distance learning or switch back and forth as needed. On campus start date is subject to change based on guidance from local and state authorities.
For the upcoming school year, IDEA Public Schools will provide personal technology devices, including computers or tablets, to all scholars enrolled at IDEA campuses.
One-to-one personal technology creates opportunities to meet the needs of every student with an intentional focus on structure and rigor to keep all scholars on track regardless of where the learning itself is taking place. Technology allows for uninterrupted learning, regardless of possible restrictions placed on in-person schooling.
The program also allows schools to extend the learning window, create new opportunities and learning models for students, and boost the home to school connection.
The City of El Paso Department of Public Health released new orders limiting face-to-face instruction and requiring school buildings to remain closed to non-essential personnel until at least Sept. 8.
EPISD also will delay the first day of instruction to Aug. 17. The first three weeks of school will be conducted virtually for all students.
We will resume with the phased-in approach to the return to campuses on Sept. 8, or once local health authorities deem it safe to do so.
“EPISD is committed to our mission to serve as a strong community partner,” Superintendent Juan Cabrera said. “We have worked closely with the County and City of El Paso to ensure the health and wellbeing of our students, staff and community. We will to continue to work together for the safety of our community.”
EPISD staff and teachers will continue to work remotely until school buildings are opened. Last week, parents were sent a survey listing the three instructional models that will be offered once campuses are open. The options include continued virtual; staggered schedules (combination virtual and in-person); and daily face to face for certain groups. Parents should still proceed with choosing
an option as soon as possible in order to facilitate planning for campuses. The survey can be found at episd.org/reopeningplan
The city’s order also states:
•All children with special healthcare needs which are considered medically fragile should not return to
school until the 2021-2022 school year.
•Students, teachers, and staff age 2 years and older should wear face coverings, unless medically
contraindicated or if this may pose a risk to the student, teachers, and staff.
It is my hope that our community is safe and well. When our district previously released our reopening plans for the 2020-21 school year, we emphasized to our community that all plans were subject to change pending guidance from the Texas Education Agency (TEA) as well as local health and government officials. We’d like to update our community on the new developments.
Guidance from Texas Education Agency
TEA has released new guidance to school districts, and I am very proud to report that the Socorro Independent School District is in compliance with the learning models outlined by Commissioner Mike Morath on July 7, 2020. TEA is requiring that all students have the option to receive five day in-person instruction, but parents should be allowed to choose the At-Home (Remote) Learning Model if they don’t feel comfortable with the Traditional Learning Model. Via our Parent Scheduling Survey, we offered SISD students the option to learn all five days from school or from home.
Also, due to TEA guidance, the Hybrid Learning Model is only available to students in PreK through 2nd grade. If you haven’t filled
out our Parent Scheduling Survey, please do so by the end of today.
Additionally, the TEA Commissioner is providing all school districts in Texas with a three-week transition period similar to our SISD model in which we start the school year with three weeks of full remote instruction to provide our teachers and employees adequate time and space to adjust to the strenuous safety protocols and new way of teaching.
Guidance from Local Health & Government Authorities
As all of you may know, there has been an alarming spike in Covid-19 cases not only across our El Paso County but also across the country.
I agree wholeheartedly with the order by El Paso City-County Health Authority Dr. Hector Ocaranza with the support of both County Judge Ricardo Samaniego and Mayor Dee Margo that would prohibit any in-person classes by local school districts until after Labor Day in September.
Therefore, we have made a proactive decision to update our school calendar for the 2020-21 school year, which will meet guidelines issued by both TEA and El Paso health and government authorities. The adjusted calendar will still provide additional flexibility that will allow us to close our district or schools due to potential positive COVID-19 cases as necessary.
It is important to note that the new first day of school for students in the Socorro Independent School District will be on August 17, 2020. Teachers’ first day back to work will be August 3, 2020. We will continue with our plan to begin the school year with full remote instruction only for the first three weeks of school as authorized by TEA.
In-person instruction will begin on September 8, 2020 as directed by El Paso City-County health and government authorities.
Due to the pandemic continuing to get worse with record-breaking cases being reported daily in the El Paso community, we urge our families to do their part in preventing the spread of Covid-19 by practicing social distancing, staying home when possible, wearing their masks, and washing their hands frequently. Socorro ISD desperately needs our community’s help to go “Back to School SAFELY!”
I understand that our SISD stakeholders may have many questions and concerns, but I continue to ask for your patience, understanding, cooperation, and flexibility as our team works through the many issues that must be addressed for the new school year. We are still in uncharted waters; however, I know that together as Team SISD we will figure out the best and safest ways to navigate another challenging school year.
As with all Back to School plans, details may be subject to change pending the state of our local community health and new guidance issued by national, state, and local authorities as we approach the first day of school.
Rest assured that we will continue to update you as we finalize plans and move forward with the best interest in mind for our students and staff. We continue to consult regularly with local health and government officials, TEA, and seek additional guidance from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) to ensure that our procedures and protocols reflect the optimal ways to operate and “Keep Team SISD Safe.”
Please continue to check our #TeamSISD Back to School SAFELY webpage (www.sisd.net/backtoschool) as well as our Twitter, Facebook, and Instagram accounts frequently for updates and answers to questions you may have.
Our TOP priority remains the physical and emotional well-being of our students, employees, and families. I am grateful for the collaboration and unity that I continue to witness in our outstanding community. By working together, we will launch a safe and successful 2020-21 school year.
I greatly appreciate your continued support and trust in Team SISD. Stay healthy and stay strong. God bless all of our families.
José Espinoza, Ed.D.
Superintendent of Schools
Some local officials also added their voices to the discussion, the following is a statement from State Senator Jose Rodriguez:
Earlier this week, the president said he would use every means possible to force schools to re-open, regardless of the situation with COVID-19. Unfortunately, the situation in Texas is deteriorating rapidly, with the governor warning of significant increases in fatalities. Despite record-breaking numbers of cases, hospitalizations, and deaths in recent weeks, the Texas Education Agency is pushing local school districts to start instruction next month.
Parents and teachers are concerned that we are moving too quickly during a high-risk period and without sufficient planning. I share those concerns.We must be guided by the best science-based information available, not the politics of the president or some state leaders. Teachers and support staff must be given options that allow them to work without putting themselves or their families at risk.
I applaud the El Paso Public Health Department for issuing an order prohibiting in-person school openings until Sept. 7. This is a prudent move for our community’s health and safety.
“We are excited to welcome our students and staff back to school for the 2020-2021 school year,” FISD officials shared. “We are working to ensure a safe and productive environment for all.”
As part of the new plan, parents in FISD will be offered two learning options: in person learning or full time virtual classes.
Parents and guardians will be contacted to select the preferred educational setting for each student.
Officials also shared that the Fabens ISD calendar features intersession weeks, which consist of special days where students have the opportunity to participate in remediation, acceleration, or enrichment activities, similar to summer school offerings in previous years.
These intersession weeks will provide flexibility in case there is a need for a district closure or a delayed start date to the school year, which is currently set for August 10, 2020.
Option 1: Traditional: In-person instruction on campuses with increased disinfection protocols.
Option 2:Full-time virtual learning.
In addition to the options, school hours have changed to allow for smaller groups of students on buses for social distancing requirements.
Fabens Elementary and O’Donnell Intermediate school will start at 8:00 a.m. and dismiss at 3:00 p.m. Fabens Middle and Fabens High School will start at 8:30 a.m. and dismiss at 3:30 p.m.
District officials add that the that details are subject to change based on guidelines from local, state, federal, and health authorities.
On Friday, the Fabens Independent School District was named as one of three finalists in the state of Texas for the H-E-B Excellence in Education District Award grant.
Fabens ISD is the only school district in west Texas to be named a finalist.
“The Fabens Independent School District is extremely honored to receive this recognition. It is a true testament to the great community we have and to the commitment made by all of our staff and students,” said Dr. Veronica Vijil, the superintendent of schools for Fabens ISD.
“We have a learning organization that is student-centered, focused on student outcomes, and embraces the growth mindset philosophy,” Dr. Vijil added.
According to the H-E-B Excellence in Education Awards website, this honor is designed to recognize school districts and is based on the following criteria:
• Commitment to student achievement through innovative programs
• Parent/Community involvement
• Professional development opportunities for teachers and administrators
A panel of Excellence in Education judges is planning to visit two secondary campuses in the district on Tuesday, February 4, 2020. Grant winners will be announced in May 2020.
On Friday, officials with the Council on Regional Economic Expansion and Educational Development (CREEED) awarded a total of $42,000 to the Clint Independent School District and the Fabens Independent School District, gifts that will expand each districts’ dual credit programs and improve their student educational attainment.
The Accelerated Certification of Teachers El Paso (ACT El Paso) scholarship fund, established by CREEED in 2015, helps high school teachers complete the prerequisites and gain the credentials needed to teach dual credit courses.
“CREEED is focused on increasing the number of students enrolled in dual credit courses, so we’re investing in districts across El Paso. The earlier we can prepare students for college, the more successful they will be in earning their degrees,” said Richard A. Castro, Chairman of CREEED.
“We also want to alleviate some of the financial burden that teachers face when they enroll in these certification programs, especially as their studies ultimately benefit El Paso’s students.”
Clint ISD was awarded $22,000 in scholarships for 11 teachers. This money will help grow the district’s current roster of dual credit credentialed teachers to 43.
Prior to receiving its first ACT El Paso grant in 2015, Clint had no dual credit credentialed teachers, and certification students who wanted to enroll in dual credit courses had to take classes online. Today, 199 Clint ISD students are taking dual credit courses at Clint, Horizon, and Mountain View High Schools.
“CREEED’s Dual Credit partnership has helped Clint ISD enormously, allowing us to offer our students a more comprehensive program that prepares them for their post-secondary education. Providing our students with college credit while still in high school helps them make the most of their time here,” said Clint ISD Superintendent Dr. Juan Martinez. “We appreciate CREEED’s investments in our community and its future.”
The $20,000 grant awarded to Fabens ISD will support 10 teachers, six of whom will use the money to complete graduate courses in order to become credentialed to teach dual credit courses.
The additional four scholarships were awarded to teachers who are completing alternative Texas teaching certification programs to further enhance their classroom skills and allow them to teach courses for both high school and college credit. These teachers include former and current instructors at El Paso Community College and UTEP.
Fabens ISD currently has 188 students enrolled in dual credit courses. “We’re working diligently to increase that number,” said Dr. Veronica Vijil, Fabens ISD Superintendent. “Our district works hard to ensure we give our teachers all the support and training they need to enhance their instructional skills. With help from CREEED, we’re closer to accomplishing that goal.”
Dual credit enrollment in El Paso is climbing. Since 2015, the number of students taking dual credit courses has increased from 4,725 to 7,811 students, a 65 percent increase.
“These are promising numbers for the future of our region,” said Castro. “The studies show that 65 percent of all new jobs by 2020 will require some training and education beyond high school. In order to ensure economic prosperity for the El Paso region, we have an obligation to prepare our students for success.”
Access to these advanced courses gives students a head start on their post-secondary education. The likelihood that a student will complete a postsecondary degree program within four years increases significantly if they complete 16 hours of dual credit courses before graduating high school.
Additionally, college credits earned through high school dual credit courses are at no cost to the student, lowering the overall cost of college tuition.
“We want all our students, regardless of their economic background, to be college and career-ready by the time they graduate high school, so they can successfully enroll in and complete a post-secondary degree program without remediation,” said CREEED Executive Director Eddie Rodriguez. “The more credentialed teachers we have across El Paso, the more dual credit courses we will be able to offer our students and get them ready for college.”
To learn more about CREEED’s ACT El Paso scholarship, click here.
On Thursday, officials with the College of Education at The University of Texas at El Paso and community leaders unveiled the Miner Teacher Residency Program, a full-year teacher placement designed to boost the readiness of aspiring teachers to better serve diverse students throughout the El Paso region.
With funding and technical support from University-School Partnerships for Renewal of Educator Preparation (US PREP), a national center funded by the Gates Foundation committed to high-quality university-based teacher preparation, UTEP is working with local school districts to pilot an innovative teacher preparation program within the College of Education.
Students seeking a teaching degree will now be eligible to take part in a one-year teaching residency program where they will spend an entire year in a real classroom, co-teaching with an experienced mentor teacher and engaged in an immersive coaching model led by field based UTEP College of Education faculty members. This will provide these aspiring teachers with the hands-on training and classroom management skills they’ll need before entering the workforce.
“This pilot effort is an incredibly important opportunity to provide student teachers with the most realistic, relevant, and rigorous preparation possible,” said Clifton Tanabe, Ph.D., dean of the College of Education. “We think this will be a game changer for our students and for the schools that hire them as first year teachers. Given the ‘closed loop’ educational ecosystem in El Paso – UTEP graduates comprise 75 percent of El Paso’s teachers, and El Paso students comprise 80 percent of UTEP’s student body – we expect this program to have a profound long-term impact.”
Aspiring teachers who go through the residency program will be part of an exciting paid internship initiative funded by Workforce Solutions Borderplex, the Council on Regional Economic Expansion and Educational Development (CREEED), and the El Paso Community Foundation.
“Our partnership with these generous local organizations will allow our students to focus completely on their training and not have to work the ‘graveyard shift, after working in the schools all day, just to make ends meet,’ said Tanabe.
19 UTEP College of Education students will make up the first cohort participating in the residency program. They will be placed within El Paso ISD and Socorro ISD classrooms and paired with seasoned and effective teachers to mentor them through their year-long program. The goal is to have all participants gain extended, hands-on practical teaching experience alongside a highly qualified, trained mentor teachers and faculty UTEP members, as well as priority consideration for full-time employment after they complete their residency.
“UTEP is a wonderful partner with EPISD in the development and training of innovative educators for the El Paso and West Texas region,” said EPISD Superintendent Juan Cabrera. “The Miner Teacher Residency Program will further our combined efforts to provide the children of the Border with the best-prepared corps of teachers who will use the latest research-based techniques to help our students meet their academic goals.”
“Team SISD is proud to be part of this innovative program to further invest in our future educators,” said SISD Superintendent José Espinoza, Ed.D. “Our commitment is to ensure SISD has highly qualified and effective teachers and we provide numerous opportunities for aspiring teachers to succeed thanks to powerful partnerships, such as this one, with UTEP and other local organizations and agencies dedicated to improving our overall educational community in El Paso.”
The new initiative replaces UTEP’s previous semester-long teacher training program with more intensive year-long placements in high-performing local elementary schools. It is based on the model pioneered in 2015 by US PREP, which has been utilized by programs at Texas Tech and Lubbock and the University of Houston, among others.
“CREEED was happy to facilitate the partnership between UTEP and US PREP earlier this year, and we are delighted to be supporting the new teacher residency program,” said Amy O’Rourke, Choose to Excel Director at CREEED. “To improve education outcomes and increase educational attainment in our region, we must invest in our teachers and aspiring teachers so they have the tools, training, and experience they need to lead students in innovative and transformative classroom instruction.”
After the success of this pilot program, UTEP hopes to incorporate the full year of hands-on in classroom training as part of all future teacher graduate requirements.
“The further you go in education, the better your professional prospects; it’s that simple,” said Joyce Wilson, President & CEO of the Workforce Solutions Borderplex. “If we want to attract high-paying jobs with advancement opportunities to El Paso, we need a workforce with the requisite level of training. That starts in elementary school with well-trained and experienced teachers.”
Student teachers under the semester approach and in the residency program will benefit from close supervision and regular feedback from teachers who will serve as their mentors and supervisors, all of whom were recruited, selected, and trained by UTEP. In addition, each elementary school hosting residency students will also host two full-time clinical faculty members to serve as site coordinators and liaisons between UTEP and the school districts.
“We are excited to bring the proven US PREP model for teaching training to El Paso,” said Stephanie Otero, Vice President of Operations of The El Paso Community Foundation. “The additional staff UTEP has hired to support the program will enhance communication, collaboration, and data sharing between the university and the school districts, making for a better experience for student teachers and better outcomes in their classrooms.”
Like the students they teach, most of the student teachers in the Miner Teacher Residency Program are Latinx and bilingual. A committee made up of college and district representatives selected the finalists from a pool of 40 applicants based on GPA, faculty input, and the candidates’ openness to learn and seek feedback.
Canutillo ISD topped the traditional districts with a 91, followed by Paso Del Norte Academy with a 91 as well. Via a news release, officials with Canutillo ISD shared their excitement.
“This new high rating tells us nothing new about the exemplary performance of our students under our outstanding teachers and staff,” Canutillo ISD Superintendent Dr. Pedro Galaviz said. “We have been seeing the evidence of significant improvement in student progress at our schools for quite some time now.”
Of their ‘B’ rating, Socorro ISD’s Superintendent José Espinoza said, “Our overall rating shows that Team SISD is doing a great job of ensuring our students are achieving, progressing and prepared for post-secondary education,” Espinoza said. “While the ratings reflect a new way that the state is looking at performance, it is based in a large part on a standardized test students take one day out of the year and doesn’t reflect the whole amount of work and investment we make in our students. However, there is always room for improvement and we are committed to continue working toward 100 percent academic excellence for all students.”
Officials with the El Paso Independent School District also reacted to the numbers, saying they “showed tremendous growth and improvement and surpassed other large urban school districts in Texas, according to accountability figures released by the Texas Education Agency today…EPISD’s score of 86 is the highest for urban districts that serve overwhelmingly large numbers of low-income students.”
EPISD’s Superintendent Juan Cabrera added, “We are building the best EPISD in our history…I am proud of our dedicated teachers who have done an exceptional job of adapting modern and innovative methods of learning. Thank you to our teachers and community who have supported our historic efforts over the past five years.”
According to the release from the TEA, campuses receive a rating based on performance in three areas:
Student Achievement measures what students know and can do by the end of the year. It includes results from state assessments across all subjects for all students, on both general and alternate assessments, College, Career, and Military Readiness (CCMR) indicators, like AP and ACT results, and graduation rates.
School Progress measures how much better students are doing on the STAAR test this year versus last year, and how much better students are doing academically relative to schools with similar percentages of economically disadvantaged students.
Closing the Gaps looks at performance among student groups, including various racial/ethnic groups, socioeconomic backgrounds and other factors.
Seventy percent of the accountability rating is based on the better of Student Achievement or Student Progress (whichever is better is the only performance measure counted). The remaining 30 percent is based on performance in the Closing the Gaps area.
To learn more about the A-F accountability system, click here.
Note that while 2018 campus ratings continued under the Met Standard, Met AlternativeStandard or Improvement Required labels, district ratings are based on an A-F scale. The A–F rating labels will be applied to campuses at the end of the upcoming school year.
Districts, charters, and campuses can appeal the rating assigned on August 15. TEA will release the final 2018 ratings based on the outcomes of the appeals in December. To view the 2018 state accountability ratings for districts, charters and campuses, visit the TEA website.
In the graphic below are the region’s schools, sorted by letter-grade average, as selected on the TEA website.
To view the specific schools, use the box below to search out each individual school via the searchable tool below.
Select a school or district below to get started. Use TXschools.org to see how well different schools and districts are doing. Each report provides an in-depth look into how campuses and districts are performing overall and in different areas.
On Wednesday it was announced that EPCC’s Dual Credit and Early College Program has been recognized as a finalist in the Examples of Excellence in the associate level.
“EPCC’s Dual Credit and Early College High School programs are having tremendous results in getting youth in our region on a path to higher education,” Dr. William Serrata, EPCC President said. “The data shows that students who take just one college course in high school are more likely to pursue a college degree and be successful.”
The EPCC’s Dual Credit and Early College Program gives students opportunities to earn college credit while still in high school.
EPCC’s Dual Credit and Early College High School program was one of only 21 finalists selected from more than 139 nominated programs from 27 states, DC and Puerto Rico.
The four 2018 Examples of Excelencia will be announced October 11th at the Celebración de Excelencia in Washington, DC.
“We are honored that Excelencia in Education has selected El Paso Community College’s Dual Credit and Early College High School Program as an Example of Excelencia. This nation-wide recognition highlights the work we are doing to provide students in our region the opportunity to take college courses while in high school,” Tonie Badillo, Dean of EPCC’s Dual Credit and Early College High School Programs said.
“These students have the opportunity to save time and money by getting a head start on their college career.”
Since being established more than a decade ago, EPCC’s Dual Credit and Early College High School program has addressed the region’s low educational rate in comparison with Texas and the Nation.
The program has become a nationally recognized model for its success rates. Students in EPCC’s Dual Credit and Early College programs have high graduation and completion rates in the courses they take and when they continue to 4-year institutions. The data shows that 58 percent of students who take just one college course in high school pursue an advanced degree versus 33 percent for those who do not.
Students in EPCC’s Early College High School Programs have a 75 percent success rate in completing their associate degree while still in high school which outperform the national and state averages which are less than 30 percent.
EPCC offers Dual Credit in the majority of area high schools. There are 12 Early College High Schools spread out through area school district partners including Canutillo ISD, Clint ISD, El Paso ISD, Fabens ISD, Socorro ISD and Ysleta ISD.
¡Excelencia in Education!is an organization that works to accelerate Latino student success, enhance our workforce, leadership, and economy. Examples of Excellence recognizes institutions and practices that bring attention to evidence-based practices that work for Latino students in education.
It’s another year in the history books, as 2017 fades and 2018 dawns.
From the streets of downtown, to the football fields of the schools around town, to the houses of worship throughout the Borderland and locations in between, our photographers were busy documenting our story.
Below are the best shots from our team of photographers: Chief Photographer Andres Acosta, and Kevin Venegas.
At the January Fabens ISD Board Meeting, Superintendent Poncho Garcia Jr. recognized and thanked the board members for their service and commitment to the community and students of Fabens.
Garcia said that each board member has the passion and commitment to see all students succeed at the highest level possible; and that each stand up for public education and support the district in doing what is best for all our students.
Garcia, the longest-serving superintendent in the region at 15 continuous years in his position, made sure the Fabens ISD School Board members were recognized for their role in the district’s success.
Board members Orlando Flores, President, Rey Sepulveda, Vice-President, Aurora Alvillar, Secretary, and Sylvia Gonzales, Marcos Salcido III, Greg Spence and Benjamin Morales, were all honored as residents who donate their time and service to ensure that the entire district provides the best learning opportunities for all students.
Garcia said, “Our board has done an excellent job insetting high expectations in offering numerous opportunities for our students to be both college and career ready…we are very appreciative for all the support the board has given in making a district of “Wildcat Pride”, character and family.”
In response, the Board members had the following statement about Mr. Garcia’s tenure in Fabens:
Accomplishments are not possible unless there is equal and sincere commitment from board and superintendent. The board meaningfully values the forty-one years of experience that Mr. Garcia has in Education. The board equally recognizes that he is the only superintendent in Region 19 who is a Veteran with service to the U.S. Navy.
To date, Mr. Garcia is the only superintendent in Region 19 with the longest tenure of fifteen years in office. This service and experience has built a trustworthy relationship and has allowed Mr. Garcia to foster a very strong sense of stability for Fabens.
Garcia responded by saying he “[was] appreciative of the continuous support and commitment from all board members.” Garcia added, “As a former U.S. Navy “sailor”, Mr. Garcia is prepared and excited to see that every student “sails” with the opportunities that are brought to Fabens and ensure that they are academically and socially successful.”
The following are some of the accomplishments that Mr. Garcia highlighted:
Increased enrollment in dual credit & college courses
Established the Cotton Valley Early College High School
Designation of FHS as a T-STEM Academy by Texas Education Agency
Met Standard Rating
13+ years of Superior Rating on OUR School First
Recruiting and retaining of high qualified teachers and staff
Highest paid teacher salary in Region 19
Provided technology equipment (laptops) to all teachers
Upgrading & renovating facilities
1. New FHS Gym 2. FES exit road 3. New Track Field 4. New Tennis Courts
Free breakfast and lunch
Renovation of FHS Fine Arts building
Successful Passage of Bond for $8.4 million (Nov. 2014)
Community health based clinic-GAMUT
Created a Counselor’s Corner at FHS
Redesigned District Website
Investment of $250,000 for band instruments
David Sublasky Headstart Center
FHS courses at FMS
Highly successful UIL program at all grade levels
Expanding business partnerships
Refunding bonds with a savings of $740,000
Healthy fund balance
Investigating and sightseeing new CATE to include Culinary Arts and Agriculture
In addition, during the past ten years, the board also supported the expansion of FHS library, construction of Fabens Elementary School, Renovation of O’Donnell Intermediate School, Amador Villalobos Field House, Science Lab at FHS, and a Multipurpose Center.