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Home | Tag Archives: SISD (page 24)

Tag Archives: SISD

Socorro ISD BAC finalizes work with completion of all projects

The Socorro Independent School District’s Bond Accountability Committee (BAC) recently conducted its final meeting to discuss the completion of all Bond 2011 projects, and the allocation of the bond savings before presenting a final report to the board of trustees during a regular board meeting Sept. 19.

Superintendent Dr. José Espinoza thanked committee members for their service, commitment and dedication to Team SISD and helping the district remain true to its commitment of “Promises Made, Promises Kept!”

“Our district has had so many successes with the support of our Bond Accountability Committee,” Dr. Espinoza said. “Thank you for your service, trust and support. You are all vital members of Team SISD!”

The committee is composed of 13 members elected via an open application process; representing a cross section of stakeholders, including parents, employees, business owners, and other community members. BAC members were appointed to a two-year term and met regularly to receive updates and ensure the status of all projects were on time and within budget.

“I feel proud to have served on the committee,” said Robert Alvarez, committee chair. “We have done our due diligence to ensure all projects were finalized, as promised to the community.”

The voter-approved $297.4 million bond program offered Team SISD students state-of-the art facilities including three new elementary schools, a new middle school, science labs, the completion of two high schools, and improvements throughout the district.

The BAC worked diligently as a team and always kept focus on equitable education and facilities for all students in Team SISD.

“There has been total transparency throughout the process and the work has been completed in house, which is a tribute to the school district,” Alvarez said. “We didn’t have to hire a management firm to oversee the bond program. When we talked about what was needed, it was always about the children and the kind of school experience they would have, no matter where they are in the district.”

All Bond 2011 projects were completed one year ahead of schedule and well under budget with an overall savings of $37.4 million. The surplus allowed upgrades to air conditioning systems and other improvements at four middle schools — Capt. Walter E. Clarke, Socorro, Salvador H. Sanchez and William D. Slider.

The list of bond projects was based on a facilities master plan to proactively and equitably accommodate growth and meet the urgent needs of existing campuses and facilities.

“With the community’s support through the BAC, all projects were planned and monitored in house,” said Thomas Eyeington, chief operations officer. “It was a team effort and we have done what the community voted for. We completed the list on time, and made due with all the promises.”

Students Gain Real-World Experience Operating new SAC Video Board

The Socorro Independent School District offers students endless opportunities for college and career readiness and to ensure they graduate prepared for a lifetime of success.

One of the latest hands-on learning opportunities for high school students is operating the new, high-tech video scoreboard at the Student Activities Complex (SAC) during district athletic events.

The new project will provide students in Team SISD’s Career and Technical Education program real-world experience and allow them to gain valuable skills to increase their employment opportunities in the future.

Students SAC video Board3“We are building a program in SISD where excellence and opportunity come together. It can put students in a position where they can get what they need in high school and apply it to the real-world,” said Benjamin Munguia, media technology teacher at Pebble Hills High School.

“Live event coverage falls under that category. Our students will leave high school with the opportunity to get a job. They will be one step ahead of the game.”

Stephanie Ramirez, a sophomore at Americas High School and an aspiring sports journalist, said she is grateful to have an opportunity such as this one because it will benefit her future significantly.

“I want to do my best and give this project my all,” Ramirez said. “I will learn a lot of new skills that I will need in the real world.”

In addition to learning how to use the equipment that operates the video board, SISD students will broadcast the events for viewers toStudents SAC video Board watch online by subscribing to the SISD network through the NFHS Network School Broadcast Program.

“This is an awesome opportunity because it opens a lot of job opportunities for us,”

said Ryan Flahie, a senior in the district. “The more skills I can obtain the better because it will make me a more versatile person.”

The SISD network subscription prices for events vary. The annual pass to view all district events is $50 including playoffs, the seasonal pass is $40 and individual games are $9.99. Funds raised from the subscriptions will go back to support Team SISD high schools.

To subscribe to the network, click here or on the links below.

Americas High School

Eastlake High School

El Dorado High School

Montwood High School

Pebble Hills High School

Socorro High School

Socorro ISD Librarian Selected to Review National Magazine

Pamela Thompson, Col. John O. Ensor Middle School librarian, has been selected to review for School Library Journal, a national magazine that evaluates a broad range of resources, from books and digital content to databases, in more than 6,000 reviews published annually.

School Library Journal Book Review is a selection tool used in both public and school libraries. Each year it offers professional reviews of current titles published for children and young adults across a wide range of genres and subject areas.

“It was always a dream of mine to review for School Library Journal,” Thompson said. “Because I review many books that teens read, I can help my students select books that they will enjoy.”

Thompson said she is excited and proud of the achievement as she will be a native voice evaluating and recommending new books that librarians, publishers, and authors will use across the country.

Marcy Sparks, SISD’s library services coordinator, said Thompson was the perfect fit for the job given her constant nature to read, find enthusiastic ways to engage students and provide them great book recommendations.

“Reviewing a book is a lot of work,” Sparks said. “She is a credible source. She always reads on her own time and looks for whatever is new to give our students great recommendations.”

Socorro ISD Teachers Prepare for Successful new School Year

Teachers and administrators across the 47 schools in the Socorro Independent School District gathered at Eastlake High School earlier this week to kick-off the 2016-2017 school year.

Superintendent Dr. José Espinoza addressed the enthusiastic crowd of more than 2,700 educators and highlighted the many successes of Team SISD, welcomed new members to the team, and spoke about the endless opportunities the district provides its students.

2016-17 Staff return photos3“The success of our students is no accident,” said Superintendent Dr. Espinoza. “We hire the best educators and provide them the best training across the state. Let’s continue to work hard, educate, and empower our students as if they were our own children!”

Dr. Espinoza also outlined the district’s strategic directions Safe and supportive learning environment; College and career readiness;  Highly qualified and effective faculty and staff; Home, school and community partnerships; and Accountability for all.

Team SISD educators were motivated and cheered loudly as Dr. Espinoza announced the 2015-2016 STAAR and EOC results.

“For the third consecutive year, Team SISD continues to outperform the state,” Dr. Espinoza said. 2016-17 Staff return photos1

Teachers in the district said hearing how well SISD students score and the many programs and opportunities they can participate in got them even more excited for the new year.

“I have been very excited to come back to school since the Fourth of July,” said Christopher Silva, a journalism teacher at Pebble Hills High School. “I have a lab this year so I’m excited to showcase Photoshop and Adobe Illustrator and all these other programs that I thankfully have in this district that I didn’t have in another district.”

Christina Concepcion, a third-grade teacher at Helen Ball Elementary, said she has been teaching nine years and still gets butterflies at the beginning of a new year. Concepcion, who also is a parent in the district, said SISD is the district of choice for her family.

2016-17 Staff return photos2“I’m excited to go back to school,” she said. “I want students to have fun, learn and incorporate technology in the classroom. As a parent I wouldn’t pick another district for my child. The WIN Academy is amazing. I wish they had all these opportunities when I was in school.”

Mission Ridge Elementary teacher Zinnia Marrufo said she also is excited to start the new year and implement strategies she learned in trainings over the summer break.

“I’m proud to be a member of Team SISD,” Marrufo said. “SISD is the best district. We go above and beyond for our kids. They are always our main focus.”

Students return to class Monday, August 1st.

To view photos of the teacher professional development, click here.

Socorro ISD Technology Conference Focuses on Operation Future Ready

More than 800 teachers in the Socorro Independent School District will gather at the Digitally Nurturing Academics (DNA) “Learning is in our Genes” conference to learn the latest technological strategies and programs, as they prepare to welcome their students for the new school year.

“This conference will help teachers in our district learn new programs and applications so they can incorporate them into their instruction and equip our students to succeed in the new millennium,” said Miguel Moreno, SISD instructional technology coordinator.

The conference will include breakout sessions on a variety of topics, including exploring OneNote tools and functions, incorporating the Aurasma application into classroom instruction, blending assignments with HTML coding to create publications, and many others.

The sessions will be led by Team SISD’s instructional technology department and will include teachers from Socorro, Pebble Hills, Americas, El Dorado, and Mission Early College high schools.

Thousands of students at these schools will receive laptops to use 24/7 on school work and homework as part of the district’s DNA 1:1 digital technology initiative.

What:            Digitally Nurturing Academics (DNA) “Learning is in our Genes” conference

Who:              SISD high school teachers, administration, Instructional Technology department

Where:          El Dorado High School, 12401 Edgemere

When:            July 28, 2016    8 a.m. to 4 p.m.

Socorro ISD earns National PR Awards for Excellence in Videos, Branding

The Public Relations Department in the Socorro Independent School District has earned five publication and electronic media awards from the National School Public Relations Association for projects produced in the last year.

SISD Public Relations earned two 2016 NSPRA Awards of Excellence, the most among school districts in the region, for branding materials and a video produced in-house. The PR department won an Award of Excellence for a video depicting the success and impact of the district’s innovative WIN Academy.

The WIN Academy, which launched last school year, gives extra support and resources to students to ensure all Team SISD children succeed. NSPRA will be featuring the WIN video at the association’s national convention this month in Chicago.

SISD won an Award of Excellence for branding materials for Purple Heart Elementary, the district’s newest elementary school. The PR team also won an Award of Merit for the SISD Realtor Fact Sheet, which was produced for the district’s annual meeting to update real estate professionals on the district’s boundaries, enrollment, programs and progress, and the “We are #TeamSISD” video, highlighting the district’s achievements and commitment to student success.

The Honorable Mention was awarded for Team SISD’s #SISDin8 Twitter campaign, featuring SISD students who posted photos and thoughts about their last days as high school seniors.

2016 NSPRA Award of Excellence

Branding/Image Package

  • Purple Heart Elementary

Video (produced in-house)

  • SISD WIN Academy


2016 NSPRA Award of Merit

Special Purpose Publication

  • SISD Realtor Fact Sheet

Video (produced in-house)

·         We Are #TeamSISD

2016 NSPRA Honorable Mention

Social Media

·         #SISDin8 Twitter Campaign

Socorro ISD Students take part in 2016 National Purple Heart Run

Students and teachers at Purple Heart Elementary School decorated their school entry way and lined up along Campuzano Street to welcome veterans and to participate in the 2016 National Purple Heart Run.

The run is a national campaign that features a special vehicle that will be presented to a combat-wounded, disabled veteran. The truck is adapted to suit veterans who are paralyzed or who have lost legs or arms.

The vehicle made a stop at the school during the journey across the country, in which veterans are thanking fellow Americans for their2016 National Purple Heart Run2 support and care.

“Purple Heart is a big name for an elementary school,” said Jennifer Parker, campus principal. “We were excited to show that we are an honorable school, in an honorable community, doing honorable things.”

Purple Heart was the only school to receive a site visit from the Purple Heart truck, which is on a voyage to crisscross the nation in an effort to create awareness on the cost of freedom.

“It was beautiful to see the kids greet us,” said Joseph P. Tidwell Jr., National Coordinator of Homeless Veteran Program for the Military Order of Purple Heart. “This is a very special school to us. We had heard about it, but to be able to be here personally is big for me.”

2016 National Purple Heart Run3The students were excited to receive the visit and contribute to the campaign by presenting a donation as a way to honor and recognize military veterans for their sacrifice.

“I am really excited to be part of this,” said Briana Martinez, a fifth-grade student at Purple Heart. “It’s an honor to meet someone that has helped America and I feel proud to be able to contribute and help.”

The run is sponsored by the Wounded Warriors Family Support (WWFS) and the Military Order of the Purple Heart (MOPH).

Members of the organization say that with the right vehicle for mobility, a combat-wounded veteran will have the freedom to live a productive and quality life with his or her family.

Free Pre-K Still Available at 5 El Paso ISD Campuses

Spots for free pre-kindergarten classes are still available at five El Paso Independent School District campuses for any 4-year-old child who lives in El Paso County, regardless of their income or language capacity.

Availability for the half-day pre-kinder program exists at Barron, Crockett, Fannin, MacArthur and Schuster elementary schools. The programs have morning and afternoon sessions.

Registration for the EPISD free pre-kinder program will be from May 16-20. Parents who are interested in participating should call the school to schedule a visit and reserve a spot.

The program is open free of charge to any child living within the El Paso County boundary.

Socorro ISD’s 2nd annual ROBOCOM set for Saturday

ROBOCOM 2.0, SISD’s 2nd annual robotics competition, will feature 70 teams — 47 elementary and 23 middle school — competing from campuses across the district.

“The event engages children in Science, Technology, Engineering and Math (STEM),” said Y. Stephanie Carrasco, a district instructional officer for science secondary education, who coordinates the event. “It heightens their awareness of STEM higher education and career opportunities.”

Robobcom 2015 participant
Robobcom 2015 participant

ROBOCOM also includes an important student-supporting-student component. SISD’s high school students help develop the competition and manage the competition fields on the day of the contest. Third-grade through eighth-grade students will build robots and put them to the test in the competition.

Teams are judged on how well their robot meets the criteria, how successful it performs each challenge and the creativity of each team’s video presentation.


What:             SISD ROBOCOM 2.0

Who:               SISD elementary, middle and high school students; school faculty, staff; district instructional technology staff

Where:           Pebble Hills High School

                        14400 Pebble Hills Blvd.

When:             Saturday, Feb. 6, 2016

                   7 a.m. – 5 p.m.    Competition

Elementary first round –         7 a.m. preparation, 9 a.m. competition

Elementary second round –    11 a.m. preparation, 1 p.m. competition

Middle school –                      2 p.m. preparation, 4 p.m. competition

                        7:30 p.m.             Awards ceremony

Socorro ISD students showcase work at district science fairs

About 1,000 elementary, middle and high school SISD students competed in the district’s three science fairs and now those in 6th to 12th grade, whose projects ranked 1st or 2nd, will move on to the Sun Country Regional Science & Engineering Fair in February at UTEP.
Team SISD will have about 200 projects at the regional event, said Y. Stephanie Carrasco, the middle and high school science fair coordinator. Elementary winners do not move on to a regional meet.2016 Science Fair3The district science fair competitions began last November with elementary students. In December, middle school students took their turn. And on Jan. 23, high schoolers participated in the district science fair at Pebble Hills High School.

More than 250 students from grades 9th to 12th and 35 judges were at the annual event. Dressed in their Sunday best, the high school students answered questions from judges and others about their projects.

The quality of science projects this year was outstanding, Carrasco said. Students dealt with many subjects including global warming, robotics, and solutions for Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder.

Brianna Romero and Diana Lazare, seniors at El Dorado High School, showed how to best prevent soil erosion. The 16 year olds, who worked on the project for several months, discovered that the worst dirt for averting corrosion was caliche and the best was grass.

“Unfortunately, El Paso has a lot of caliche,” said Romero, who earned a third place for the project. “We have to find a way to add more grass (that doesn’t need a lot of water) to our area.”

Fourteen-year-old Koffi Amegble promised that his homemade portable solar powered generator works so well it can recharge a cellular telephone.

“I have charged two cell phones on this myself,” said the El Dorado High School freshman.

Amegble, who always has been interested in figuring out how electronic gadgets worked, placed first at the district competition and will move on to the Sun Country science fair. From there, the goal is making it to state in San Antonio and eventually he hopes for a career in the engineering field.

The district had the elementary and middle school science fairs on Nov. 14 and Dec. 5, respectively.2016 Science Fair2

Sixty elementary students attended the district’s November science fair at Mission Ridge Elementary. Twenty-six campuses showed up to the event and 32 school projects were named winners.

“This year’s elementary science fair almost doubled in size from last year; it was a great event with so much participation from around the district.” said Jennifer Ellis Martinez, coordinator of the elementary science fair. “I am so happy to see that SISD’s elementary science fair is growing and becoming more popular. It shows that teachers, students, and parents are interested in the sciences and learning about the world we live in.”

The sweepstakes winners at the elementary level were Caroline Garcia, a third grader from John Drugan School, and Ryan Olivas, fourth grader at Dr. Sue Shook Elementary School. The campus sweepstakes winner went to Dr. Sue Shook.

The December middle school contest for 6th to 8th grade students showcased 463 entries in 20 different categories. Every middle school, including K-8th grade schools, were represented. John Drugan, with 38-winning projects, was the campus sweepstakes winner, Carrasco said.

“The participation was great,” she said. “We had so many good projects. I think we will do well at Sun Country. Kids have worked so hard and it is paying off.”

Socorro ISD’s 2014-15 campus ‘report cards’ now on-line

The Socorro Independent School District is committed to providing a relevant and rigorous education for all students so that they are prepared for success in college, careers and life.

Team SISD is also dedicated to ensuring transparency and accountability to keep all district stakeholders informed of policies, procedures and assessments in our schools.

In order for parents and stakeholders to learn about the progress and success at SISD campuses, the State of Texas 2014–15 School Report Cards are now available on the SISD website and on the Texas Education Agency website. A print version also is available upon request at district schools or the District Service Center.

This is a report required by the Texas Legislature and prepared by the Texas Education Agency. It is to be shared with the parent or guardian of every child enrolled in a Texas public school. The report provides information concerning student performance on the State of Texas Assessments of Academic Readiness (STAAR), as well as information on student enrollment, class size averages, and financial expenditures.

The information contained in the School Report Cards is required by state law and is briefly described in the “2014–15 School Report Card Definitions.” The report for each school may or may not have all the information described, because the information presented depends on whether the school is an elementary, middle, or high school.

State law requires that the school report card display information about the state, the district, and the school. Where possible, the information must be reported by race/ethnicity and socio-economic status of the students and must include at least two years of results.

The School Report Cards can be found at

A more complete report about each school, the Texas Academic Performance Report (TAPR), is available by contacting each school’s front office or can be accessed online at

Parents and/or guardians may contact their child’s school if they have any questions concerning the campus report card. Working together, Team SISD is committed to ensure all students are Tomorrow’s Leaders Learning Today.

SISD’s Hernando Middle, MECHS are finalists for national education award

Two Socorro Independent School District campuses – SPC. Rafael Hernando III Middle School and Mission Early College High School — are finalists for the 2016 National Excellence in Urban Education Awards.

The two schools are the only ones from the El Paso area chosen. They will compete with 20 other campuses chosen nationwide by the National Center for Urban School Transformation. Hernando and Mission Early College meet all the rigorous criteria for the award, including high achievement, arduous curriculum, excellent instruction and enthusiastic student engagement.

2015 National Education Award2“This is phenomenal recognition for Team SISD,” said SISD Superintendent José Espinoza. “To be two of 22 schools in the country to become finalists is testament to the outstanding work that is being accomplished by the faculty and staffs of the schools.”

Beginning in early January, each finalist will receive a site visit from an NCUST evaluation team of researchers and practitioners. The schools with the greatest evidence of the criteria will be named bronze, silver or gold winners.

“These schools are among the best urban schools in the nation,” said Dr. Joseph F. Johnson, Jr., the center’s executive director, in a press release.

This is not the first time a SISD school has been recognized for this award. In 2014, Escontrias Elementary was given a bronze award by the National Center for Urban School Transformation.

For more information visit

Author: Socorro ISD

Socorro ISD announces opening of 3rd Early College High School

The Socorro Independent School District will open its third early college high school for the 2016-2017 school year.

Rams Early College High School will be housed at Montwood High School and will give students the opportunity to earn an associate’s degree in science. It will be open to students from the Montwood feeder area. The focus of the four-year curriculum will be on Science, Technology, Engineering and Math (STEM).

“We are so excited about the opportunity that is being provided to our kids,” said Montwood Principal Rosa Mireles-Menchaca. “It will give students a chance to pursue post-secondary education while still in high school.”

The program gives SISD the distinction of having the most early college high schools in the El Paso area, said Margie Nelson Rodriguez, the Early College High School Coordinator for El Paso Community College.

“SISD has the most because of the momentum and commitment from Superintendent José Espinoza and from EPCC President William Serrata,” Nelson Rodriguez said.

The Ram program is one of 45 early college high schools sanctioned by the state. It is expected to have about 135 students in its first cohort.

Currently, SISD has two other programs. Socorro Early College opened this school year and Mission Early College High School began in 2005.

Early college high schools are innovative schools that allow students an opportunity to earn a high school diploma and either an associate’s degree or at least 60 college credit hours toward a bachelor’s degree. It offers dual credit courses at no cost to students, rigorous instruction and accelerated courses, and academic and social support services to ensure students succeed.

“This will be a great experience for students,” said Brandon Rios, an assistant principal at Montwood who will be director of the program. “They will be learning to have a college mind set in high school.”
Eighth graders in the Montwood High School feeder area may apply for Rams Early College now. The application deadline is Feb. 15 and students may turn in their applications to their middle school counselors.
Click here for the application.
Author: Socorro ISD

City of Socorro to ticket drivers who ignore bus stop-arms

Starting Tuesday, January 5th, drivers in the City of Socorro who pass Socorro Independent School District school buses that are stopped with the stop-arm displayed will be ticketed for the offense.

In line with SISD’s initiative to make streets safer for students with the use of cameras on school buses, the City of Socorro has approved the ticketing and fines to be issued to drivers who ignore bus stop-arms.

Every SISD school bus has been equipped with a camera system to catch bus stop-arm violators. The violation is a minimum $300 citation. Currently, SISD is working on agreements for ticketing and fines with the City of El Paso and Horizon City.

“This state-of-the art bus surveillance system will ensure we keep our streets safe for children and adults. We are doing everything possible to create a secure learning environment throughout the entire day and before and after school,” said Dr. José Espinoza, SISD Superintendent. “We greatly appreciate the collaboration of local law enforcement and governments in our school and neighborhood safety efforts.”

Team SISD tested the bus camera system on 10 of the district’s school buses in the 2014 spring semester. The SISD Board of Trustees approved the contract for the districtwide state-of-the-art camera system at the December 2014 board meeting and then approved a resolution in support of the districtwide camera system at the January 2015 board meeting.

SISD transports about 12,000 students daily to and from schools districtwide.

Author: Socorro ISD

Socorro ISD students, staff participate in worldwide Hour of Code

Team SISD is celebrated the global Hour of Code with students and teachers participating in various activities to learn the basics of computer coding on Friday.

SISD’s Hour of Code reinforces the district’s commitment to Operation Future Ready, a districtwide initiative to ensure all students are engaging in relevant and rigorous digital learning to prepare them to be globally competitive graduates.

_MG_6072“Team SISD is embracing the Hour of Code to give as many students as possible a foundation in Science, Technology, Engineering and Mathematics (STEM) in an engaging and meaningful manner,” said SISD Superintendent Dr. José Espinoza. “Our priority is to prepare students for college, careers and life. Giving them a fun way to learn coding can open their eyes to an exciting education and career in technology.”

The Hour of Code is one hour of activity in which students from kindergarten through 12th grade will gain an introduction to computer science, demystifying code and showing them that anybody can learn code.

The event provides coding tutorials for all teachers to share with students as enrichment activities, computer clubs, and/or alternative assignments. SISD students will learn solo, in pairs or in groups to be empowered in computer science and coding activities.

The Hour ofCode is being celebrated around the world this week in honor of Computer Science Education Week, Dec. 7-13.

Author: Socorro ISD

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