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Tag Archives: SISD

Socorro ISD Earns Two H-E-B ‘Excellence in Education’ Honors

The Socorro Independent School District has been selected in two major categories as a finalist for the statewide 2019 H-E-B Excellence in Education awards.

Team SISD was recognized as an outstanding large district and the SISD Board of Trustees was recognized as an outstanding school board.

The recognition marks the first time a school board of trustees from the El Paso-area has been named a finalist in the awards program since it was opened to school districts across Texas outside of H-E-B markets.

In addition, this is the third time SISD has been named a finalist in the H-E-B  awards program.

SISD is one of only five finalists among large school districts and the board of trustees is one of only five school boards in Texas to be named finalists in the prestigious awards program, which recognizes exceptional school districts and governing boards.

“We are proud and humbled to receive this awesome acknowledgement of the amazing work achieved by our excellent teachers, administrators, and staff, which is always supported tremendously by our incredible Team SISD community,” said SISD Superintendent José Espinoza, Ed.D. “Our three-time recognition as a district coupled with the recognition for our outstanding school board reaffirms our unwavering commitment to provide the highest quality education for students to succeed now and in the future.”

The H-E-B Excellence in Education Awards program was launched in cooperation with the Texas Association of School Administrators in 2002 as a positive way to support public education in Texas. In 2018, the H-E-B Excellence in Education Awards awarded more than $700,000 in cash prizes, gift cards and grants to finalists and winners, according to the H-E-B website.

Since its inception in 2002, the program has awarded over $10 million to Texas educators, schools and

districts. It has become the largest monetary program for educators in the state, spotlighting best practices and celebrating the passion and creativity of Texas educators.

The large school district winner will receive $100,000 and one or more school boards may receive a special judge’s award totaling up to $25,000.

School districts are honored for their commitment to student achievement through innovative programs, parent/community involvement, and professional development opportunities for teachers and administrators.

School boards are awarded for leadership in the community based on academic/student progress within the district, identification of community needs, and specific actions taken based on those needs, and new and creative methods for community engagement.

“We are extremely honored to earn this wonderful recognition. It is a testament to the great success in our outstanding school district,” said SISD Board President Cynthia Najera. “Team SISD’s consistent student success and overall achievements demonstrate to the El Paso-region and all of Texas that we certainly are providing endless opportunities for students, staff, and the community.”

SISD will be awarded $5,000 as a finalist in the large school district and $5,000 as a finalist in the school board category. A panel of H-E-B Excellence in Education judges will visit SISD in February. The site visit will include a tour of two SISD campuses, meetings with the superintendent and board of trustees, and lunch with representatives from the school district.

After visiting the five finalist districts, H-E-B will announce the winner in May.

The SISD Board of Trustees are President Cynthia Ann Najera, District 2 representative; Vice President Angelica Rodriguez, District 3 representative; Secretary Antonio “Tony” Ayub, representative at-large; Trustee Hector F. Gonzalez, District 1 representative; Trustee Paul Guerra, District 4 representative; Trustee Gary Gandara, District 5 representative; and Michael A. Najera, representative at-large.

Socorro isn’t the only local district to be honored by the nomination, Canutillo ISD is up for an H-E-B honor as well. To read that story, click here.

Socorro ISD Science Fairs Sharpens Research, Presentation Skills for Students

More than 900 Socorro Independent School District elementary and middle school students participated in the annual district-wide science fairs in the fall.

About 400 elementary students displayed their projects at Pebble Hills High School and almost 500 sixth- to eighth-grade students showcased their projects at Eastlake High School.

“This is a good experience for a student,” said Danielle Navariz, elementary science instructional officer. “It’s important. Not only are they learning about science, but they are improving their presentation skills. The students have been preparing for months on their projects, culminating with the science fair.”

Third-, fourth- and fifth-grade students created projects in various categories, including behavioral and social science, earth and environmental science, life science, physical science and engineering.

John Drugan School was named the sweepstakes winner again. Two Drugan students, Sophia Smith, fourth grade, and Christopher McDonald, fifth grade, also took sweepstakes. Smith’s category was behavioral and social science. McDonald had an earth and environmental science project.

James P. Butler Elementary third grader, Midori Moreno, was the sweepstakes winner for her physical science project.

At the middle school level, sixth- through eighth-grade students showcased projects in various categories, including sciences, behavioral and social science, biochemistry, biomedical engineering, cellular and molecular biology, earth and environmental sciences, mathematics, plant sciences, system software and translational medical science.

John Drugan again had top winners in several categories. Sixth-graders Aiden Veik and Fatima Franco won sweepstakes in the life and engineering categories, respectively. Joaquin Roman, a Montwood Middle School sixth-grader as well, took home the sweepstakes win in physical science.

In the seventh grade, Arella Orrosco and Gabriel Ramirez, both from John Drugan, and Mercedes Lopez, Socorro Middle School, were sweepstake winners. Orrosco took first place in life, Ramirez was tops in physical science and Lopez won the engineering category.

Eighth-graders Alan Martinez and James McDonald, from Drugan, and Samuel Fierro, from Ensor Middle School, took sweepstakes. Martinez and McDonald earned first for life and engineering, respectively. Fierro won for his physical science project.

Students worked hard on their projects, spending time researching, experimenting and creating their storyboards.

“This science project was based on my desire to be an architect,” said Roman, a middle-school sweepstakes winner. “I wanted to find the best building material and it turned out to be adobe. It was so much fun doing this and it will help me when I become an architect.”

The first-place winners, 66 students, from the middle school science fair advanced to the Sun Country Regional Science & Engineering Fair, which will be March 2 at Pebble Hills High School.

They will be joining the first- and second-place high school winners, who will compete at the district high school science fair on February 2 at Pebble Hills High School.

Socorro ISD’s Adult Education, CTE Partnership Lauded as National Model

Socorro Independent School District administrators will be presenting at a congressional briefing in Washington D.C. on a unique partnership between the district’s Community Education and Career and Technical Education departments that is garnering more success and opportunities for adult students and the local workforce.

The pioneering initiative is being showcased as a national model and was recently featured in a National Skills Coalition briefing titled “Better Together: How adult education/CTE collaborations benefit workers and business.”

SISD Community Education director Anthony Fraga and Career and Technical Education director George Thomas will meet with the assistant secretary for career, technical, and adult education in the U.S. Department of Education and provide testimony for congressional representatives February 6 in Washington D.C.

Fraga initiated the innovative model in 2015, when the district started offering courses for adult learners in various fields being taught by instructors from SISD’s CTE program. Students enrolled in the district’s adult education program can take free courses to pursue training and earn certifications in heating, ventilation, and air conditioning (HVAC); electrician pre-apprenticeship, computer repair and maintenance; security services; and office administration.

“The certifications that we offer to our students are on the list of in-demand occupations here in this region,” Fraga said. “After they finish

Photo courtesy SISD

our program, we can turn to our workforce development board and they’ll provide us opportunities for our students to interview with employers.”

Since the inception of the program, demand for the courses has increased steadily with the department exceeding their state target of 76 students for Integrated Education and Training (IET). In the most recent year, the department served 184 adult students in IET easily doubling that target.

Across the nation, the focus is on increasing the skills of workers to meet the needs of the workforce, which is exactly what the SISD model is achieving, Fraga said.

“Our program is focused on getting students completed with the certification program or to transition to college,” he said. “We put them on a career pathway now.”

State and national leaders are looking at the SISD model to show other districts and communities how to integrate existing funds and resources to benefit both students and employers, which came about from the strong interpersonal relationships and teamwork that is well established in Team SISD, Fraga said.

Photo courtesy SISD

Thomas agrees that the partnership was a natural for Team SISD, where departments regularly work together to solve problems and develop systems to better serve the community.

“For our partnership to be used as an example of a national model is a very proud moment for me,” Thomas said. “Mr. Fraga and the adult education office has done a wonderful job in recruiting and placing the adults in programs that they have a true interest in.”

As part of SISD’s commitment to highly prepare students for college and career success, the CTE program invests significantly in teacher training, equipment and software.  The collaboration allows the adult education program to use the CTE resources, such as teachers, labs, and equipment, to provide the certification training at a lower cost with a higher student success outcome.

The successful partnership has contributed to a cost savings of some 70 percent compared to contract vendors, allows for more than three times participation in the adult ed programs, and has yielded a certification rate for the adult learners of nearly 100 percent.

“We support our teachers with the instructional strategies that assist them in creating positive outcomes for our students,” Thomas said. “It is this training that provides the skills to ensure that our students are highly successful.  Our teachers also have a mindset to teach all students to success and that sets them apart from most instructional service providers.  They are the most equipped to support our adult English as a Second Language learners.”

Currently, some 1,100 students are enrolled in all programs offered in the Community Education department, which includes the IET program and ESL and GED programs.

Socorro ISD Launches ‘Make it Count’; Perfect Attendance Earns Fun Reward Days

Starting next week, the Socorro Independent School District will give students with perfect attendance a special treat in the spring as part of its annual Make it Count attendance reward program.

The district will have a 12-week challenge to motivate students to strive for perfect attendance from January 14 to April 18.

Students are encouraged to be at school every day to Make it Count in the classroom, to improve their academic success, and to celebrate their accomplishment with a fun activity at the end of the school year.

Students with perfect attendance will be rewarded with various events designed for different grade levels. Elementary students will get to meet their favorite superheroes and watch movies at the Student Activities Complex during a Superhero Family Night on May 10.

Middle school students will be rewarded with an Xtreme Day of fun attractions from 6 to 9 p.m. May 24 at the SAC.

High school students with perfect attendance will earn a pool party May 13, 16 or 17 during the school day at the SISD Aquatic Center.

To learn more about Make it Count rewards, visit the district website.  For information on the individual rewards, click on the links below.

Read more about the Superhero Family Night
Read more about the Xtreme Day
Read more about the Pool Party at the SAC

Socorro ISD Students to Provide Free Tax Filing for Community

Tax season is here, and students in the Socorro Independent School District are once again set to help community members file their tax returns, free of charge.

Students providing the services are IRS income tax certified, and many of them have experience, said Nicole Matsuda, business teacher at Socorro High School.

“Last year, Socorro High School students helped about 100 families file their return and they’re ready to help even more people this year,” she said. “They want to give back to the community that has given so much to them.”

SISD students, with the help of the Volunteer Income Tax Assistance Program, will offer tax preparation services from February 1 through April 15 at Americas, Eastlake, Socorro, Montwood and Pebble Hills high schools.

To receive services, taxpayers with an annual income of $54,000 or less can show up to one of the sites from 4:30 to 7 p.m. to file their 1040 EZ, 1040A and 1040 forms.

The process for a typical return takes about 30 minutes.

Individuals should take a photo identification card, original social security card for everyone listed in the income tax return, W-2 wage statements for the 2017 year, 1099-SSA, 1099-R and 1099-G, work expenses, 1095 health coverage, direct deposit information, the 1098 for student loans, proof of child dependent care expenses, and property tax statements.

If filing a joint return, both individuals must be present.

Americas High School, 12101 Pellicano Dr.
Feb. 5, 7, 12, 19, 21, 26 and 28
March 5, 7, 26 and 28
April 2, 3, 9 and 11
Eastlake High School, 13000 Emerald Pass
Feb. 5, 6, 12, 13, 19, 20, 26, and 27
March 5, 6, 12, 26 and 27
April 2, 3, 9 and 10
Montwood High School, 12000 Montwood Dr.
Feb. 5, 7, 12, 19, 21, 26 and 28
March 5, 7, 26 and 28
April 2, 3, 9 and 11
Pebble Hills High School, 14400 Pebble Hills Blvd
Feb. 4, 7, 11, 18, 21, 25 and 28
March 4, 7 and 28
April 1, 4, 8, 11, and 15
Socorro High School, 10150 Alameda Dr.
Feb. 4, 5, 11, 12, 18, 19, 25 and 26
March 4, 5 and 26
April 1, 2, 8, 9 and 15

SISD Students to Showcase STEM Skills at ROBOCOM 5.0 Saturday

The Socorro Independent School District will have its annual robotics competition, ROBOCOM 5.0, on January 12 at Pebble Hills High School.

Based on the rules of the First Lego League (FLL), it allows elementary and high school students to immerse themselves in real-world science and technological challenges.

District officials share that this year’s theme is “Into Orbit.” Student groups will create a project that will show how humans can survive in space for the long-term.

Fifty-two teams from all SISD elementary, PK-8 and middle schools will participate, and all high schools have students supporting the event. Each round will feature different teams competing.

All teams will be recognized at the roll call and winners will be announced at the awards ceremony.

Twenty-five teams will advance to the regional competition organized by UTEP on January 26. These teams then have the opportunity to advance to a higher level of competition outside of the El Paso region.

The ROBOCOM 5.0 schedule is:

Round 1 Competition – 9:00 a.m.
Round 2 Competition – 11:00 a.m.
Round 3 Competition – 1:00 p.m.
Round 4 Competition – 3:00 p.m.
ROBO Roll Call – 6:10 p.m.
Awards Ceremony – 6:30 p.m.


Lumbre Motorcycle Club Donates Winter Coats to Campestre Elementary Students

One hundred Campestre Elementary School students received new jackets thanks to a fundraiser by a motorcycle club.

The Lumbre Motorcycle Club, a non-profit group who raised the money through enchilada plate sales, donated the coats to Campestre. The group did the same thing three years ago, said Angie Morales, the counselor at Campestre Elementary School.

“We are so thankful for Lumbre,” Morales said. “In our community we see students who really need a jacket. When we had our first cool weather, I saw some students in really thin jackets or no jackets. It makes me so happy to see the faces of these students. They are happy.”

Carlos “Keebler” Castaneda, president of Lumbre, said his club of 13 members knows the need in this area is higher than other parts of El Paso.

“We do this for the kids,” Castaneda said. “I get very emotional. They say thanks, hug you and you cry. They don’t expect these kinds of things.”

The parents and students were grateful for the jackets that will help shield them from the winter weather.

“What a nice thing for them to do,” said Jesus Gonzalez, grandfather to Vicente Gonzalez, a second grader at the school. “We ride our bicycles everywhere and this jacket will keep him warm.”

Principal Rosie Vasquez is not surprised that Lumbre donated jackets, she said.

“It warms my heart to see what they have done,” Vasquez said. “Now, my kiddos will be able to come to school and not be cold this winter.”

Socorro ISD Celebrates Spirit of Giving Throughout District

As the holidays are a time for helping, sharing, gift-giving and spreading good cheer, the Socorro Independent School District embraces those traditions and ensures that their students learn the importance of giving back to their communities.

“Helping others who are less fortunate is essential to making a student a better person,” said Terrie Maya, El Dorado High School’s student activities director. “At SISD, we have great academics, but we also provide great community service projects. There are many endless opportunities to make our communities better and help the people who live in them.”

El Dorado recently completed their annual Aztec Angels project. More than 200 dolls, bikes, trucks and other toys were collected by each of the school’s third period classes to provide gifts for students identified by the Salvation Army.

It’s the school’s biggest community project. Students saved money from their jobs, did fundraisers or got the community involved in helping.

“It makes me really happy because some of these kids have never received a gift,” said Aolani Fierro, a senior at El Dorado. “Some of these kids have never had a Christmas before, so I am really proud that El Dorado was able to grant that for them, even if it’s a little gesture.”

The Eastlake High School Key Club brought holiday cheer to needy high school students in the district. The students set up a giving tree with 106 ornaments that represented homeless high school students in the district. Students, faculty, staff and administration picked ornaments and bought warm clothing such as hoodies, socks, blankets and beanies.

Key Club sponsor Anna Vasquez said she learned from Lorena Cartagena, SISD’s homeless-foster care liaison, that she was having a hard time getting gifts for homeless students in high schools.

“Everybody wanted to donate toys to the little ones,” Vasquez said. “So, we decided we would adopt those students.”

Every Falcon involved in the project was happy to get the opportunity to bring some cheer to the students.

“Everybody deserves to feel joy during Christmas, even if it’s a little bit,” Vasquez said. “Whatever their hardships are in life, I feel like one little present will help these students to know that somebody cares for them. Somebody wants them to feel joy during Christmas.”

Sophomore Diego Chavez said he hopes their gesture inspires others to do the same.

“It’s not just about us,” Chavez said. “It’s about helping the community out. Everyone should get involved.”

Pets were the theme for Bill Sybert School’s holiday giving. The school featured a run-a-thon to raise money and awareness to help animals at the Humane Society. Teachers, parents, students, staff, and community all did their part. There were even dogs available for adoption from the Society.

“As a principal, it is important that I instill kindness and love for others in scholars,” said Gabriela Elliot. “I aim to reach them not just at the academic level but also socially and emotionally. I always tell them we are making this place a better place, one Scorpion, one action, one day at a time, and I am proud to say that my scholars exude kindness and constantly surprise me with their innovative ideas and generosity. I am one proud principal!”

In addition, Team SISD had its 10th annual Winter Warm Up Clothing Drive. Employees chose a name and then provided a coat or jacket and a warm clothing item like socks, a beanie, mittens or a blanket to a student in the district.

“There’s a definite need to help our Team SISD students,” said Maya Kirtley, coordinator of the drive. “Our District Service Center employees always rise to the occasion to take care of our students and help where they can. It’s amazing to see the generosity of our employees and how they ask about the event before we even start promoting it. We’re a family and we see our students like our children. It’s a feeling that is evident all year long.”

Annual Fitness Day a Hit with SISD’s Jane A. Hambric Community

Earlier this semester, Jane A. Hambric School hosted its annual Family Fitness day, an initiative that promotes wellness and health among students and the community.

“This is such a great event,” said Joanne Anguiano, principal at Hambric. “We want to motivate students to be healthy. This is also is an amazing way to involve the community. There are so many parents and students having fun with all the games. I love it.”

As part of the district’s commitment to offer students a well-rounded education and strengthen home, school and community partnerships, the event encourages students to make healthy lifestyle choices.

The school also celebrated receiving two grants: $4,000 from Fuel to Play 60 and $2,000 from Action for Kids. 

Students and parents participated in fun football games, such as tire run, kick off and football throw — all located on the football field. Heart rate monitors also tracked heart rates as part of the fitness day.

“This is an awesome turnout,” said Erica Armijo, physical education teacher at the school. “We try to change it up every year. Our goal is to encourage a lifelong healthy lifestyle for our students.”

Edward Saavedra and his daughter, Ashley, a kindergarten student, enjoyed all the different activities.

“It’s great because it gives me more time with her,” Saavedra said. “It’s fun and it gets everyone moving.”

In addition to a day of physical activity, Walgreens gave flu shots and Gymnastics Elite, Texas Dental, Cigna, Young Marines and the Girl Scouts provided information on their services.


To view more photos from the event, click here.

Annual Socorro ISD Art Exhibit Lets Employees’ Talent Shine

Team SISD employees showed off their talents at the third annual SISD Employee Art Show earlier this season.

Dozens of creations were entered in the exhibit. The pieces included a variety of media that were displayed at the District Service Center from photography to oil paintings.

“I think it was a great opportunity to showcase the work of our employees,” said Macka Jones, SISD’s visual arts specialist. “We have a lot of employees that do this when they are off as a hobby. I really enjoy seeing what they turn in.”

Linda Martinez contributed a photograph she took of her daughter at a Fourth of July fireworks show in Dallas this year. The kindergarten teacher at Sgt. Jose Carrasco Elementary School was inspired by last year’s exhibit.

“It’s exciting because I saw the previous ones while at the DSC for training and I was like ‘I want to be a part of that,’” Martinez said. “I found out more information about it and that is what made me want to be a part of it. I am proud that it is on the wall.”

Martinez said having employees participate in events like an art exhibit helps boost morale and allows people to get to know their colleagues.

“It makes you happy to walk through these halls and see this amazing work,” she said. “Just like me, it makes you want to be a part of it. It makes you excited to be a part of such a great thing like the Socorro school district.”

Claudia Castaneda, art teacher at Eastlake High School, enters the exhibit every year. She likes when she sees others participating in the event.

“It allows people to show their talent and their passion,” Castaneda said. “I like it because it keeps you going as an artist.”

To view more photos from the event, click here.

SISD’s Annual Career Awareness Event sets 4th-8th Graders on Path to Future Success

Socorro ISD fourth- through eighth-grade students spent a recent Saturday discovering college and profession possibilities at the fourth annual Career Awareness Showcase at Pebble Hills High School.

The event exposes students to different programs in the district so they can make an informed decision when selecting their endorsement for their high school career path. Students learned about Team SISD’s endless opportunities, including the Career and Technical Education program, advanced academics academies, dual credit courses and early college high schools.

“The Career Awareness Showcase is an opportunity for our students to learn about careers that they might not have considered,” said George Thomas, SISD’s Career and Technical Education director. “It really helps them and their parents when it comes time to choose their endorsement prior to high school.”

Students were able to hear about science, technology, engineering and math (STEM), business and industry, public service, arts and humanities, and multidisciplinary studies.

More than 70 presenters, including current high school students in various SISD programs; and business and industry professionals, answered questions about the district’s programs or their line of work.

Mike and Danielle Fisher made sure, Justin Walters, 10, attended the showcase. The Bill Sybert School fifth grader wants to be a pilot in the United States Air Force. He wore a vest with all his stepdad’s military medals and honors he earned while in the military.

“I wanted to find out more about the career I want to have,” Walters said. “I like to travel and I like the military, so becoming a pilot would help me achieve that.”

The Fishers were impressed by the event and said it was beneficial for their son and other students.

“This is excellent exposure,” Mike Fisher said. “It makes sure students are prepared for what they want to do in the future. I have never seen anything like it before.”

Danielle Fisher said she applauds SISD’s effort to teach their young students about college and career readiness.

“This allows students to have bigger and better opportunities before entering college,” she said. “It makes them think and gives them a chance to achieve their dreams. It’s really an amazing event.”


To view photos from the event, click here.

Acclaimed Children’s Author Joe Hayes Visits Purple Heart Elementary

Award-winning bilingual author and storyteller Joe Hayes brought his talent to Purple Heart Elementary School as part of the school’s Book-of-the-Month event.

The author of the Texas Bluebonnet Award book nominee, “Grandpa’s Hal-lo-yoo-ya Hambone,” which was the Heroes Book-of-the-Month, spent several hours in the school library telling entertaining stories that made children laugh, gasp and listen intently. He used his voice for different characters from an old Spanish-speaking abuela to a no-nonsense chicken.

Hayes, who will be the guest speaker at the fourth annual SISD Battle of the Bluebonnets reading contest on February 22 at the DSC, has been a nationally known teller of Southwestern tales from Hispanic, Native American and Anglo cultures for 38 years. He has written 25 children’s books, visited more than 3,000 schools and traveled throughout the country, to Spain and eight Latin American countries.

“He really is a treasure,” said Dawn Demings Rico, librarian at Purple Heart. “He has been an advocate for school and libraries and books. He is valued immensely throughout the district, throughout El Paso and the Southwest area.”

This was Hayes’ second visit to Purple Heart. Rico invited the Santa Fe resident so children could understand what authors do. Throughout the month, students read the book and teachers found ways to incorporate lessons from it. There were family recipe books and other projects.

“I wanted our kids to make a connection with our book of the month,” Rico said. “I think it’s sort of an abstract concept to students. They don’t realize who is behind writing the book and the process that’s behind it. For them to be able to see him in person, to see the person who created the ideas, I think it’s very powerful.”

For Hayes, there is nothing like telling a story to room full of kids. He gets so much satisfaction seeing their faces engaged.

“It recharges my battery,” Hayes said. “Just to receive the appreciation from the children and to see that they still enjoy listening to a story in the 21st century is very, very satisfying.”

He makes that point because he discovered early on that children really do enjoy listening to family stories. It’s important that people pass on their stories to their children or grandchildren, Hayes said.

“Children don’t have enough direct contact with adults anymore,” Hayes said. “They get stories in other ways like electronic ways. It doesn’t come right from a person to them. Storytelling gives them a sense of really getting the full attention of an adult, which is vital to a child.”

However, becoming a reader is probably the most important thing, he said. It’s the foundation for the whole educational experience, he added.

“It begins with reading and reading is what carries us through our entire life as learners,” he said. “So, it is absolutely essential. Anytime you can come up with something that is going to engage children and get them interested in reading then you feel like you are making a real contribution.”

To view a gallery of photos from the event, click here.

Socorro High’s Health Professions Academy Welcomes Freshman Class with White Coat Ceremony

The Health Professions Academy in the Socorro Independent School District had its 27th annual White Coat Induction Ceremony for more than 100 freshmen students entering the program at Socorro High School.

The event is the formal recognition of students chosen for HPA and as future healthcare providers. During the ceremony, the students are presented with a stethoscope and white coats. A parent or family member is invited to be on stage to help them put on their coat.

“This marks the transition,” said Fabiola Armendariz, HPA coordinator. “This acknowledges their beginning as a healthcare student and hopefully in a health profession.”

HPA is among the seven advanced academic academies available for SISD students.

The academy allows students to do clinical rotations at University Medical Center, Del Sol/Las Palmas Medical Centers, Adobe Animal Hospital, St. Giles Nursing and Rehabilitation Center, Oasis Nursing Home, Walgreens and CVS pharmacies, Socorro Medical Clinic, Team SISD high schools medically fragile units, and assist school nurses across the district.

Fourteen-year-old Ariana Casillas was excited to receive a stethoscope and her white coat. She has dreamed of becoming a pediatrician since she was a little girl.

“This is my first step in achieving that dream,” Casillas said. “I hope to attend Texas Tech University. I’ve already learned how to take a pulse. It’s going to be hard, but it is worth it in the end.”

Her mother, Diana Casillas, is proud of her daughter’s goals.

“She is taking advantage of all Socorro (Independent School District) has to offer,” Casillas said. “That’s the big difference from other places. They prepare you at a young age. They prepare you with the foundation of a career. Where else are you going to get that, but here.”

To view more pictures from the event, click here.

Socorro ISD Students Headed to State for Legislative Contest

Three Socorro ISD students will compete in the UIL Congress state contest January 7-9 in Austin.

The students advancing to state are Bryan Liston, Pebble Hills High School, who came in first place; Caitlyn Acevedo, Americas High School, who was second; and Ethan Lopez, another Trailblazer, earned third place.

“Congratulations to all of our coaches and students,” said Stephanie Carrasco, coordinator of advanced academics for the district.

“Our students were well prepared to present their affirmations and arguments for proposed legislation. The speeches were eloquent and the presenters were confident. Our students represented Team SISD proudly.”

The UIL Congress event is a competition that models the legislative process of democracy, specifically, the United States Congress.

According to the UIL website, during the tournament, students “caucus in committees, deliver formal discourse on the merits and disadvantages of each piece of legislation, and vote to pass or defeat the measures they have examined. Parliamentary procedure forms structure for the discourse, and students extemporaneously respond to others’ arguments over the course of a session.”

Team SISD swept the ESC Region 19 competition in November at Canutillo High School.

Pebble Hills HS Congress

Socorro ISD Approves Boundary Adjustments, Campus Changes for 2019-2020 School Year

The Socorro Independent School District Board of Trustees approved boundary adjustments, which will go into effect January 2019 for new students and at the start of the 2019-2020 school year for current students.

“In planning for the boundary adjustments, Team SISD’s priorities are to be good stewards of all resources and to respect families in the existing school communities,” said Marivel Macias, assistant superintendent of administrative services.

“We focused on boundary adjustments that made best use of our existing campuses and adjusted for our new elementary school, while considering the needs of our students and families,” Macias said.

“Our commitment is to provide all students a high-quality education in a comfortable, safe learning environment.”

The boundary adjustments are being made in the El Dorado and Pebble Hills feeder patterns to maximize the use of existing facilities in those areas and to adjust for SISD’s newest elementary school, Cactus Trails Elementary School, which is set to open in the Pebble Hills area in July 2019.

Via a news release, Socorro ISD officials shared, “Team SISD is proactive in monitoring the growth in the district, demographics, and use of facilities in order to be poised to always provide students in all areas of the district safe and supportive learning environments.”

The boundary changes were carefully crafted taking into consideration many aspects, such as staffing, transition periods, student transportation, and potential facility renovations.

During October and early November, the district met with students, parents and community members at 10 community meetings to explain the proposed boundary adjustments and gain feedback from the stakeholders.

SISD also met with teachers, support staff, administrators, and district directors at 27 faculty and staff meetings to discuss the boundary changes.

The 2019-2020 boundary adjustments include the following changes:

  • Hurshel Antwine Elementary School will transition into a middle school for the El Dorado feeder pattern.
  • Paso del Norte K-8 School will become an elementary school for the El Dorado feeder pattern.
  • Sgt. Roberto Ituarte Elementary School will be the pre-k hub school in the El Dorado feeder pattern.
  • The new SISD elementary school, Cactus Trails Elementary School (PK-5), will serve students that currently go to James P. Butler and Chester E. Jordan elementary schools.

The changes were approved during SISD’s regular board meeting in mid- November; t learn more about the approved boundary adjustments, visit the district website.

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