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Home | Tag Archives: SISD (page 5)

Tag Archives: SISD

SISD students, employees showcase photography skills in ‘Print Those Pics’ contest

Numerous Socorro Independent School District students and employees participated in the third annual Print Those Pics cell phone photography contest, which was celebrated with an awards reception at SISD’s District Service Center.

Unique, creative and commemorative images showcased the skills of students and employees from all over the district who submitted their favorite photographs taken on their cell phones. This year, 320 submissions were entered in the contest.

SISD Visual Arts Specialist Macka Jones coordinated the event which he created a few years ago.

“I just wanted to get people involved with art and I figured the easiest way to do it was to use something they all have, which is a cell phone,” Jones said.

Twelve winners were selected at this year’s ceremony. Nine were in the student division and three in the employee division.

This year’s judge was local professional photographer Mayra Razo, who specializes in maternity, newborn, child, and family fine art portraits.

Participants were eager to see their photographs showcased. Many had never considered entering or displaying their work before and were excited to see it being admired by students, employees and members of the community.

Jasmine Casas, a junior at Pebble Hills High School, was pleased to hear her photo had earned an award, especially since she’d never entered a contest and she’d never even displayed it on social media before.

“It’s a picture I took a couple months ago when I went to New York,” said Casas, who won third place in the high school division for her photo “Haze Above the City.” “That day was our last day there and it really captures New York City, because it captures the skyline and the negative space at the top, and it has the fog right about the skyline.”

Jones said he was very happy to see smiles, knowing that photography is an outlet for people to express their feelings and views through a medium that most everyone has access to.

“It’s bittersweet because some of the photographs were taken of the tragedy that happened a few weeks ago at the Walmart, but it just shows that it impacted our students. It shows how they went and turned that into a positive thing for people to see and they wanted to exhibit their artwork,” Jones said. “So, we’re seeing it through their vision.”

Examples of those photos include “El Paso Strong” by Rene Mendoza from El Dorado High School, whose photo featured a local El Paso Strong mural for which he won second place, and another also titled “El Paso Strong” by Sebastian Rangel from Socorro Middle School, which displays the Walmart memorial and won third place.

The Print Those Pics exhibit will be on display now until the end of September at the District Service Center.

The winners of this year’s contest are:

Student Division – Elementary
1st Place: Brent Poiteyint from Cactus Trails
2nd Place: Adel Andrea Malanche from John Drugan
3rd Place: Ava Marquez from Sgt. Roberto Ituarte

Student Division – Middle School
1st: Karely Torres from Bill Sybert
2nd: Heather Hernandez from Socorro
3rd: Sebastian Rangel from Socorro

Student Division – High School
1st:  Helena Rubio El Dorado
2nd: Rene Mendoza from El Dorado
3rd: Jasmine Casas from Pebble Hills

Employee Division
1st Place: Maria E. Sosa from Escontrias
2nd Place: Rosa Contreras from Sgt. Jose F. Carrasco
3rd Place: Alicia Torres from Sgt. Roberto Ituarte

Print Those Pics event photos

Socorro ISD staff, architects reveal design for Socorro High’s reconstruction

Socorro Independent School District and VLK Architects had a community meeting to discuss the progress, timelines, and design of Socorro High School’s reconstruction.

The $135 million project is one of 26 projects in SISD’s Bond 2017 program, which voters approved to improve existing facilities and address continuing growth in the district.

“We organized this community meeting to ensure communication and accountability surrounding Bond 2017 and to continue delivering “Promises Made, Promises Kept,” said Tom Eyeington, the district’s chief operations officer.

“We received great input from our students, parents, and staff, when we were planning the design, and we were very excited show them what the new school is going to look like.”

Socorro High School was built in 1965 and is the oldest high school in the district. The reconstruction will upgrade the educational appropriateness of the 54-year old campus and turn it into a state-of-the-art facility for its community of learners.

The first phase of Socorro’s reconstruction started in the summer, and includes installation of temporary walls around areas of the school that will be demolished, and fencing around the softball fields, tennis courts and vocational buildings.

“We are extremely excited that the renovations of our new home have begun,” said Josh Tovar, the school principal. “Our Team SISD students, teachers and community members who value the area, our tradition, and our history deserve this project. We look forward to seeing the renderings come to life.”

Once construction is finalized, Socorro High School will be a tri-level building with an open space concept and multiple learning spaces for large-group instruction, small-group collaboration, and individual study. The campus will be equipped with high quality security features, latest technology advancements, as well as furniture and installations designed for 21st century learning.

The project will be phased over a three-and-a-half-year period, but students already are eager for the reconstruction.

“My younger brother and sister have been talking about coming to this school for years and I’m really excited that they will get to experience high school in the new building,” said Stephanie Fierro, a senior at Socorro High School.

“It’s sad to see our school go away, but I know that in the long run it’s better for the students coming in.”

During the meeting, SISD Board Member Gary Gandara acknowledged that demolishing the school was bittersweet, but ensured students and staff that the modernization will be a positive thing for the community.

“This school is beautiful and it carries a lot of memories,” Gandara said. “It’s sad to think it will be torn down but I promise that when you see the new building you will be very proud of it.”

To learn more about Bond 2017 projects, visit the bond’s website; to view photos of the meeting, click here.

Socorro ISD educator named Region 19 Teacher of the Year and State Finalist

Dr. Sue A. Shook Elementary teacher and SISD Elementary Teacher of the Year Perla Lozoya was named the 2020 Region 19 Elementary Teacher of the Year at the Region 19 celebration.

Region 19 officials announced that Lozoya is also a state finalist in the Texas Teacher of the Year program.

She is one of only three elementary school teachers to represent their areas at the state level in the recognition program to honor the state’s most outstanding teachers.

Lozoya is a fourth-grade teacher and has 14 years of teaching experience. Before becoming an educator, she was a social worker who offered teen parents guidance and support.

Her students say she teaches with enthusiasm and fills their minds with knowledge and their hearts with love. She loves to dance and incorporates music and dancing in many of her lessons.

Lozoya was recently a guest speaker at a Region 19 early childhood education conference, where she shared her passion for teaching using song and dance to engage her students and help them learn while being active and having fun.

The honor was bestowed on Lozoya, Thursday evening, August 22nd.

Socorro ISD announces on-line purchasing of tickets for SAC football games, athletic events

Student-athletes in the Socorro Independent School District are ready to kick off the fall season with enthusiasm and grit, and now fans can get a ticket to the excitement online.

“Our football games at the SAC are going to be big time events for our SISD community this coming season,” said SISD Athletic Director JJ Calderon. “Our athletic and fine arts programs have put in countless hours of preparation in order to represent their schools and communities to the best of their ability.  We are excited to showcase our highly competitive teams and quality performers this season.”

The football season opener features Eastlake taking on Canutillo at 5 p.m. Aug. 29 at the SISD Student Activities Complex, 1300 Joe Battle Boulevard.

Fans can purchase tickets to any SISD athletic game online using the Ticket Spicket website or mobile app. The cost for general admission tickets is $5 for students and $7 for adults.

Tickets on mobile devices will be scanned at the gates (tickets have a special barcode that cannot be duplicated). Tickets also will be sold at the door on game day.

Other fall sports include volleyball, tennis and cross country. Tennis teams had their season opener Aug. 6 and volleyball teams began their season on Aug. 13. Cross-country runners will have the Montwood Invitational Midnight Madness Aug. 23 at the SAC.

SISD develops well-rounded and exceptional student-athletes who excel in numerous sports. In the 2018-19 school year, SISD athletic teams earned 25 team trophies – 10 district, 11 bi-district and 4 area championships.

In addition, 24 individual student-athletes qualified and competed at state and a wrestler won the state championship. Last year, 79 student-athletes signed to continue playing their sport at colleges and universities.

Purchase tickets to watch SISD athletic games on the Ticket Spicket website.

Football games at the SAC

SISD high school athletic schedules

Workforce Solutions Borderplex seeking Employers for September’s JobCon at SISD

Ahead of next month’s SISD JobCon, Workforce Solutions Borderplex (WSB) officials are actively seeking “dynamic businesses” to take part in the event.

JobCon scheduled for Wednesday, September 11, 2019 at Socorro Independent School District (SISD.)  WSB officials say close to 2000 students will come together for a day of career exploration.

“Workforce Solutions Borderplex, in partnership with SISD, is hosting the JobCon to captivate and educate high school students about target industries and the high-demand careers in their area of the Borderplex region,”  officials shared via email. “At past JobCon events, students visited one-on-one with employers located in the Borderplex region, in a fun, collaborative setting.”

Companies who are interested in taking part in the SISD JobCon event must bring an engaging interactive exhibit where students can get hands-on experience in that industry.

The event offers employers the opportunity to not only display their services, but also the highlights of their industry to the future workforce.

Officials added that the JobCon Series was developed to captivate the interest and educate high school students in the Borderplex region about the high-demand careers that are available in their community.

“Students will leave this event knowledgeable about the diverse range of career opportunities available in their area, as well as the skills needed to acquire these jobs.”

The deadline for businesses to register to take part in the SISD JobCon is Friday, August 30th.

For more information on how to take part in the SISD JobCon, please contact the Business Services Unit at 915-887-2332 or at

CREEED awards $150k in scholarship funds to 75 Socorro ISD teachers

Monday, the Council on Regional Economic Expansion and Educational Development (CREEED) awarded $150,000 in scholarship funds to 75 teachers in the Socorro Independent School District through its Accelerated Certification of Teachers (ACT El Paso) Scholarship Program.

The funding will help educators attain dual-credit certifications, dramatically expanding the number of Socorro ISD high school teachers to teach dual-credit courses.

Dual-credit courses give high school students the opportunity to take college-level coursework and to earn college credit while still in high school.  Research shows that students who successfully complete 16 hours of dual credit courses are four times more likely to complete a college credential or degree program on time.

CREEED launched the ACT El Paso program in 2015 as part of its effort to improve college readiness  and post-secondary attainment for all students in El Paso County.

“CREEED is delighted to be making this long-term investment in our public schools,” said Richard A. Castro, Chairman of CREEED.  “This scholarship program strengthens Socorro’s faculty, enriches its educational offerings, and helps prepare more of its students for the rigors of college.”

Dr. Jose Espinoza, Superintendent of Socorro ISD, said that the scholarships would strengthen the district’s curriculum and provide its teachers with additional training and professional development opportunities.

“We are honored to receive the ACT El Paso Scholarships to support more SISD teachers in their professional growth by earning dual credit teaching credentials,” added Dr. Espinoza. “The scholarships will enable Team SISD to continue its laser-sharp focus on college and career readiness by strengthening our highly qualified and effective teaching force and expanding opportunities for our students to take dual credit courses in high school.”

ACT El Paso is part of CREEED’s larger strategic focus of increasing educational attainment, improving educator effectiveness, and engaging parents and community organizations in El Paso’s education system.

“Our commitment to El Paso’s students, and families, has always been about increasing their ability to excel in higher education and our economy,” said Eddie Rodriguez, Executive Director of CREEED. “Dual credit courses prepare more of our students for college, and help ensure that our region has a strong and competitive workforce to power our economy.” .

“The ability to go through the credentialing process and take graduate courses has fundamentally changed the way I approach all my classes,” said fine arts teacher Candace Printz. “I want all my students to have the ability to think critically, and be exposed to the same level of rigor and education. Thanks to CREEED’s commitment, I was able to find my calling again and bring a new passion to my teaching.”

To find out more about CREEED’s ACT El Paso scholarship fund, please click here

Hambric sixth-graders happy to receive backpacks from The Great Khalid Foundation

Earlier this week, sixth-graders at Jane A. Hambric School were treated to a new backpack and school supplies from The Great Khalid Foundation at a special presentation at the school.

Hambric was one of three schools selected throughout the city by the foundation for the back-to-school giveaway, which generously helped some 100 students at the campus.

The sentiment of thankfulness rang throughout the gym at Hambric where the backpacks were distributed. Students waited eagerly in line to receive their backpacks filled with supplies and many held large colorful signs thanking The Great Khalid Foundation.

“It makes me feel proud, it makes me feel happy,” said Linda Wolfe, executive director of The Great Khalid Foundation and Khalid’s mother, upon accepting the many signs gifted to her. “It makes me feel like everything that we are doing is worth it.”

The Great Khalid Foundation is a non-profit founded to give back to the families in the city of El Paso. The foundation works to alleviate some of the financial burden for parents and provide students with opportunities to succeed.

“(The backpacks) are expensive, and we know that it’s a need,” Wolfe said. “We didn’t want parents to incur costs.”

The students were more than grateful and excited to receive the backpacks from the foundation created by the singer Khalid, who is an SISD alumnus and Americas High School graduate.

Student Giselle Aguirre had a message for her generous donor that was unanimous with that of her peers, “Thank you Khalid and we all love you.”

Hambric principal Joanne Anguiano said the school wrote an essay to The Great Khalid Foundation about the school’s demographics, students’ needs, academics, and the way they support their students’ education to be considered for the backpack giveaway.

“One of the very important things that The Great Khalid Foundation did was help a lot of our students who come from a low economic status and a lot of what’s on their mind is that they don’t have materials ready,” Anguiano said.

“We want to take that off their mind so they can just focus on their academics, to be ready and prepared to hit the ground running. We want to get them prepared for life.”

This year, the foundation joined KISS FM’s Mike and Tricia’s Stuff the Bus School Supply Drive. Wolfe said they decided on the partnership based on the radio team’s continued dedication to the community of El Paso over the last 23 years.

The backpacks and school supplies given to the Hambric students were donated by Walmart. Other supporters of this year’s Stuff the School Bus Drive were First Light Federal Credit Union, El Paso Electric and Western Tech.

Ramon Mendoza, a sixth-grader at Hambric, was thrilled to receive his Marvel-themed backpack.

“I want to be a singer like Khalid,” Mendoza said.

To view more Backpack giveway from The Great Khalid Foundation event photos, click here

Back to School! Students in Socorro, Clint ISDs return to class Monday

Where, oh where has the summer gone?  That’s the question that’s on the minds of thousands of students and parents as both Socorro ISD and Clint ISD open the 2019-2020 school year Monday.

CISD students, staff and teachers now join SISD in a near year-round-schedule, although Clint officials call the change a ‘balanced calendar.’

Via a news release, officials say Clint’s new balanced calendar will allow students to have breaks which are more frequent and evenly spread out throughout the academic school year.

“This calendar will also allow for intersessions in the fall and spring in which accelerated instruction and opportunities for enrichment can be provided for students,” district officials shared via an emailed news release. “The financial benefits of the balanced calendar will assist the District in funding needed activities aligned to adding instructional initiatives for all schools.”

Students will have intersession breaks beginning September 30-October 11 and March 9-13, with the last day of school falling on June 4, 2020.  To view the complete Clint ISD Schedule, click here.

Just down the road, Socorro ISD students make their familiar trek back to the classrooms as well.

SISD officials say they will welcome more than 47,000 students for the 2019-20 school year on Monday, and they be greeted by more than 3,500 educators across their 49 campuses.

For SISD students, the new opportunities for the 2019-20 school year include a new open enrollment policy, the opening of a new elementary school, three new early college high schools, the new Dual Language Academy, more technological devices and resources to enhance student learning, and improvements and renovations at existing facilities through Bond 2017.

With the opening of three new early college high school programs, SISD will be the only district in the region to offer an early college high school program at each one of its comprehensive high schools.

The new early college programs are Empire Early College at El Dorado High School, Falcon Early College at Eastlake High School, and Pebble Hills Early College at Pebble Hills High School.

Early college high schools give students the opportunity to graduate with up to 60 college credit hours or an associate degree along with their high school diploma.

Two significant milestones are also in store for two of the district’s campuses, as Montwood High celebrates it’s 30th anniversary, while over in the High Desert, Eastlake High School will celebrate its 10-year anniversary this school year.

The district’s newest campus, Cactus Trails Elementary, is opening for the 2019-20 school year in the Pebble Hills area. It is the 49th school in the district and welcomes some 900 students in Pre-Kindergarten to fifth grade. The school was the first Bond 2017 project to be completed.

For more information on SISD, click here.

Socorro ISD student-athletes excel on field, in classroom

Socorro Independent School District’s athletic program continues to develop student-athletes who excel on the playing field and thrive in the classroom.

“Socorro ISD has a long history of success, not only in athletics but in many areas,” said JJ Calderon, SISD director of athletics. “We had a great year and we will continue to work with all of our programs to grow and produce championship athletes and teams.”

In 2018-2019, athletes and teams garnered much success winning numerous district titles and advancing to compete at UIL state competitions.

In addition, 79 seniors earned scholarships to continue their academic and athletic careers at universities and colleges across the country.

The athletes earning scholarships competed in various sports, including football, baseball, basketball, track and field, soccer, volleyball, and tennis. Eleven SISD student-athletes and one student athletic trainer signed with Division 1 schools.

The following athletes signed letters of intent to play at the next level:

Americas High School

  • Teresa Quintana, basketball, signed with to play at Sul Ross University in Alpine.
  • Darell Hernaiz, baseball, signed with Texas Tech University and was drafted to MLB team Baltimore Orioles
  • Erick Martinez, baseball, signed with New Mexico Junior College.
  • Dasen Chisolm, football, signed with Tarleton State University.
  • Tyler Rodriguez, track, signed with University Texas at Arlington.

Eastlake High School

  • Stephanie Sanchez, volleyball, signed with the University of Texas of the Permian Basin.
  • Aerial Garcia, cross-country, signed with Texas A&M Corpus Christi.
  • Carlos Armendariz, cross-country, signed with Southern Arkansas University.
  • Amaris Chavez, cross-country, signed with University of North Texas.
  • Adrian Talavera, baseball, signed with New Mexico Military Institute in Roswell, NM.
  • Robert Espinoza, wrestling, signed with Schreiner University.
  • Keith Rodriguez, track and field, signed with the University of Texas at El Paso.
  • Lindsey Martinez, soccer, signed with Wayland Baptist University.
  • Halie Chavira, soccer, signed with McMurry University.
  • Pablo Aguirre, soccer, signed with Otero College.
  • Ozman Ochoa, soccer, signed with West Texas A&M University.
  • Nomar Ogaz, soccer, signed with Northland College Wisconsin.
  • Jorge Garcia, baseball, signed with New Mexico Military Institute.

Eastlake High School signing event photos gallery 1
Eastlake High School signing event photos gallery 2
Eastlake High School signing event photos gallery 3
Eastlake High School signing event photos gallery 4

El Dorado High School

  • Sarah Marquez, volleyball, signed with the University of the Southwest in Hobbs, NM.
  • Natalie Gonzalez, soccer, signed with Texas A&M Corpus Christi.
  • Riley Perez, soccer, signed with Our Lady of The Lake University.
  • Irania Acosta, soccer, signed with Sam Houston State University.
  • Amelia Causey, soccer, signed with Seminole State College.
  • Sonia Doziers, soccer, signed with Neosho County Community College in Chanute, KS.
  • Francisco Baltazar, football, signed with Valley City State University in Valley City, ND.
  • Ricky Espinoza, basketball, signed with University of the Southwest.
  • Jeramea Dennison, track and field, signed with Indiana Tech in Fort Wayne, IN.

El Dorado High School signing event photos gallery 1
El Dorado High School signing event photos gallery 2

Montwood High School

  • Nadia Kern, volleyball, signed with Trinity University in San Antonio.
  • Robert Loya, baseball, signed with New Mexico Military Institute in Roswell, NM.
  • Triston Johnson, basketball, signed with University of the Southwest in Hobbs, NM.
  • Megan Pennington, track and field, signed with Crown College, St. Bonifacius, MN.
  • Larry Torres, tennis, will sign with Letourneau University in Longview, TX.
  • Joseph Martinez, tennis, signed with University of the Southwest.
  • Tereus Henry, wrestling, signed with Fort Hays State University.
  • Cassy Favela, wrestling, signed with Schreiner University.
  • Sarah Polanco, softball, signed with Hardin-Simmons University.
  • Azul Munoz, softball, signed with the University of Texas Permian Basin.
  • Zoey Lopez, soccer, signed with the University of Texas at El Paso.
  • Alberto Ortiz, soccer, signed with Otero Junior College in La Junta, CO.
  • Bryan Meraz, soccer, signed with Wabash College in Crawfordsville, IN.
  • Julian Sosa, soccer, signed with University of the Southwest.
  • Luis Lopez, soccer, signed with McMurry University in Abilene.
  • Andrew Gomez, soccer, signed with Park University in Gilbert, AZ.
  • Samantha Luna, sports medicine, signed with the University of Texas Permian Basin.
  • Elias Robles, sports medicine, signed with Texas Tech University.
  • Jason Fernandez, football, signed with Southwestern Assemblies of God University.
  • Richard Lara, football, signed with Western New Mexico University.
  • Eric Ramirez, football, signed with Western New Mexico University.
  • David Marentes, football, signed with Trinity International College in Deerfield, IL.
  • Efren Young, football, signed with Beloit College in Beloit, WI.
  • Steve Moreland, football, signed with Lake Forest College in Lake Forest, IL.
  • Isaiah Aranda, football, signed with Trinity International College in Deerfield, IL.

Montwood High School signing event photos gallery 1
Montwood High School signing event photos gallery 2

Pebble Hills High School

  • Triniti Anderson, volleyball, signed with Hardin-Simmons University in Abilene.
  • Nayeli Betancourt, soccer, signing with Texas A&M International in Laredo.
  • Alyssa Muniz, softball, signed with Northwest Kansas Technical College in Goodland, KS.
  • Caleb Gerber, football, signed with the United States Air Force Academy.
  • Mario Carmona, football, signed with Western New Mexico University.
  • C.J. Beanes, football, signed with Western New Mexico University.
  • Noah Mendoza, football, signed with San Diego Mesa College.
  • Fabio Novoa, football, signed with the University of Texas at El Paso.
  • Ryan Sandoval, baseball, signed with Howard College in Big Spring, TX.
  • Jasper Sanchez, baseball, signed with Otero Junior College in La Junta, CO.

Pebble Hills High School signing event photos gallery 1
Pebble Hills High School signing event photos gallery 2

Socorro High School

  • Rebecca Lopez, softball, signed with El Paso Community College.
  • Jose Enriquez, baseball, signed with PIMA Junior College in AZ.
  • Jonathan Rios, baseball, signed with Cochise JC in Douglas, AZ.
  • Rodrigo Christian Arras, baseball, signed with Park University in Gilbert, AZ.
  • Mario Luna, cross-country, signed with University of Texas Permian Basin.
  • Sebastian Mendoza, track and field, signed with Western New Mexico University.
  • Misael Ortiz, track and field, signed with the University of Texas at El Paso.

Socorro High School signing event photos gallery 1
Socorro High School signing event photos gallery 2
Socorro High School signing event photos gallery 3
Socorro High School signing event photos gallery 4
Socorro High School signing event photos gallery 5


SISD -TV News coverage video

Socorro ISD students win Burger King scholarship

Six Socorro Independent School District students are recipients of the 2019 Burger King McLamore Foundation Scholarship.

Jimena Mendez, Celeste Soto, Nathalie Valencia, Adriana Villalobos and Samantha Ortiz were among the 19 scholarship recipients this school year.

“We believe it’s important to invest in students’ futures because they are the leaders of tomorrow,” said Joe Labrado, director of operations for Burger King.

“We are proud partners in education of SISD, and we are happy to give back to the schools because we are part of the community.”

The program, in memory of the restaurant’s founder James “Jim” McLamore, awarded $3.7 million to more than 3,400 students in North America this school year. Since its inception in 2000, 33,000 high school students have been awarded more than $35 million in scholarships.

“I was awarded $1,000 from Burger King,” said Valencia, a Socorro High School student. “This is my first scholarship and I am really grateful for Burger King because they believed in me. They gave me this opportunity that proves I am worth receiving a scholarship and they contributed to my education.”

The scholarship funds are raised though the National Canister Program in the fall, in which customers donate their change at every store.

Burger King also sells coupon booklets every October for $1.

“Whatever we raise locally stays locally,” Labrado said.  To view Burger King scholarship event photos, click here.

Dual Language Academy set to open for 2019-20 school year

The Socorro Independent School District is gearing up for a new year at the new Dual Language Academy/Academia de Dos Idiomas.

“Opening this academy is a dream come true,” said Lucia Borrego, SISD chief academic officer. “It took a lot of effort and team work to get it going. None of this would be possible without the vision and support of our Superintendent Dr. José Espinoza, our board of trustees, cabinet members, and the awesome principals, teachers and staff. Their passion is incredible.”

The Dual Language Academy is opening for the 2019-20 school year at Myrtle Cooper Elementary, 1515 Rebecca Ann Dr, and at Dr. Sue A. Shook Elementary, 13777 Paseo del Este.

Students will follow a 50:50 instruction model with 50 percent of the learning time in English, and 50 percent in Spanish.

The district selected its first Dual Language Academy cohort at a lottery event on April 26. The program will welcome two sections of kindergarten and first-grade students at each school.

To prepare for a successful first year, teachers and staff engaged in plenty of professional development, and students participated in a summer bridge camp to ensure a smooth transition into the program.

“Our students, teachers, and families are very excited about the Dual Language Academy and we are looking forward to a great year,” said Juan Berumen, the instructional officer for the Dual Language Academy.

“Our summer bridge camp helped our students get comfortable with the new setting, learning the new language in preparation for the first day of school.”

Being a dual language learner helps students become bilingual, biliterate and more culturally aware.

“My son really enjoyed the camp,” said Leslie Covarrubias, a parent of a first-grade student at Myrtle Cooper. “I like that they are teaching him proper Spanish, and after the camp, I’ve even heard him singing Spanish songs.”

Teachers enjoyed the camp, too, and are excited to welcome their students on the first day of school, July 29.

“This is such a great program and it will better serve our students and community,” said Fatima Chavez, a dual language teacher at Dr. Sue A. Shook. “

To learn more about SISD’s Dual Language Academy, visit the website.

Socorro ISD celebrates success of Texas ACE, partnership with YWCA

The Socorro Independent School District, in partnership with YWCA El Paso Del Norte Region, recently celebrated a succesful first year in the Texas Afterschool Centers on Education (ACE) program.

“We have partnered with YWCA to create a unique afterschool program that brings endless opportunities to our students and strengthens our community,” said Lucia Borrego, chief academic officer. “When we form community partnerships it benefits humanity as a whole.”

Texas ACE program provides more than 1,200 students in grades PreK-8 free Science, Technology, Engineering, Arts, and Mathematics (STEAM) opportunities afterschool, during intersession, and summers.

SISD Superintendent José Espinoza, Ed.D., board members, and administrators, as well as Dr. Sylvia Acosta, CEO of YWCA, her board of directors, and leadership staff, celebrated the partnership with a special ceremony.

“We are so thankful for the strong partnership we have with SISD,” Acosta said.

“The program helps students access quality afterschool programs in a fun way. You can see the excitement in their eyes when they are learning, and now they’re talking about going to college, becoming scientists, and doing big things in their lives.”

Texas ACE is funded through an annual $1.5 million 21st Century Community Learning Centers grant from the Texas Education Agency.

Team SISD is one of 51 entities in the state to earn the grant and the only school district in the region to be eligible for four more years of grant funding.

“This partnership has gone above and beyond for our kids,” said Alejandro Olvera, principal at Ernesto Serna School. “Our students are in a safe environment where they learn and have fun with their study groups. By the time their parents pick them up, they don’t want to go.

Texas ACE is offered at Campestre, H.D. Hilley, Hueco, Escontrias and Rojas elementary schools; Escontrias Early Childhood Center; Desert Wind and Ernesto Serna K-8 schools; and Salvador H. Sanchez and Socorro middle schools.

Child Nutrition Services teams awarded protective gear through CAS grant

The Socorro Independent School District continues to improve the operation of Child Nutrition Services by providing its employees protective gear and equipment.

The SISD Human Resources and Risk Management departments recently presented all Team SISD cafeteria teams with new freezer jackets through a $5,835 grant by Claim Administrative Services.

“Safety has always been the number one priority in the Socorro Independent School District,” said Mario Carmona, SISD director of benefits. “Our cafeteria workers are valued employees who play an important role in the success of our students. The jackets will provide a barrier between our employees and the elements. We want to ensure that they are safe and healthy at all times.”

Cafeteria workers serve breakfast, lunch, snacks, and suppers to SISD children during the school year and in the summer; a job that requires employees to experience drastic temperature changes throughout the day.

“We work in extreme temperatures and often have to go into the freezer or the coolers to get products out,” said Shelley Chenausky, director of child nutrition services.  “We were so excited that our employees received these jackets. They will positively impact our workers every single day.”

SISD cafeteria freezers are chilled to -10 degrees Fahrenheit to keep food safe and inactivate bacteria or mold.

“These jackets were needed because the freezers get really cold,” said Luis Gaytan, a cafeteria manager at SPC. Rafael Hernando III Middle School and Sgt. Roberto Ituarte Elementary. “We can use the jackets to take things out and into the freezer, and during inclement weather to take out the trash.”

In previous years, CNS employees also have received special cashier mats, aprons, goggles, gloves and other personal protective equipment to continue promoting safety and increase their wellness.

“It’s the little things that make a difference,” Chenausky said. “Our team is really grateful to receive these items. It keeps them protected and shows them that we care about their safety and their wellbeing.”

Gaytan agrees.

“It’s really awesome that they did this for us,” he said. “It shows they are thinking about us and that food services is an important part of the district.”

To view CNS CAS grant event photos, click here.

VASSP athletes celebrated after successful track and field season

The Socorro Independent School District’s Volunteer After School Sports Program (VASSP) completed another successful track and field season and had its championship games in May.

“This is our son’s first sport so he really has enjoyed it,” said Omar Uribe, a parent at Purple Heart Elementary School. “This program has taught him about teamwork and comradery, and it’s also disciplined him to workout out on a daily basis.”

More than 1,000 students in grades Pre-K through sixth grade participated in the program. The athletes competed in various events, such as the 50 and 100-meter dash, shot put, discus, long jump, 4×100 relay and the 400 and 800-meter runs.

VASSP is a co-ed intramural sports and community outreach program designed to provide after-school physical activity for students, increase volunteer parental involvement, and help students attain more interest in their school grades.

“I was very excited to run and be a part of the track and field team at my school,” said Alexia Davila, a second-grade student at Elfida P. Chavez Elementary. “This is the third time we play in the championships. We come back every year because track makes us strong and gives us more energy.”

The first place track and field VASSP champions were James P. Butler Elementary in the junior division, and John Drugan School in the senior division. Second place winners were from Purple Heart, junior division, and James P. Butler, senior division, and third place teams were from Sgt. Jose F. Carrasco, junior division, and Lujan-Chavez, senior division.

“I’m very proud of my team and excited that we won first place,” said Coach Francisco Torres. “The kids love the sport and they are very resilient. They always show up to practice and work hard.”

Click here to learn more about the SISD VASSP program.  To complete the SISD online volunteer registration form click on the link below.

SISD Volunteer Application

To view the gallery of VASSP event, click here.

Socorro ISD’s Cactus Trails Elementary community meets at open house

Socorro Independent School District’s newest elementary campus, Cactus Trails, had an open house meeting to prepare for July 29, the first day of the 2019-2020 school year.

Cactus Trails, home of the Diamondbacks, will serve some 900 students from Pre-K to 5th grade in the Pebble Hills feeder area.

“Our Cactus Trails open house was a huge success,” said Leslie Thomas, the school principal. “The Pebble Hills auditorium was filled, and the energy and excitement from our families was certainly contagious. I can’t wait to open the doors of our new state of the art facility!”

The Cactus Trails community was happy to meet faculty and staff, and eager to explore their new campus through a virtual tour.

Parents and students were able to see the school’s flexible and collaborative learning spaces, its unique safety features, and the outside learning amphitheater.

“We’ve seen the school being built from the ground up and we are definitely excited about what is to come,” said Gabriela Holguin, a future Cactus Trails parent. “I like the goals that are set in place, and the standards. We are also excited about all the programs the new school will have to offer. I’m looking forward to my daughter participating in sports, in reading and math activities, and in art class, too.”

The meeting provided parents information about special programs, transportation, child nutrition services, and more.

In addition, future Diamondbacks debuted the school uniforms with a fashion show.

“The feeling in here is very electric,” said Ziolet Estinoze, a special education teacher. “I know it is going to be an amazing campus. The teachers are great and you can tell that everyone is very excited about getting to know each other.”

To learn more about Cactus Trails Elementary, visit the school website.  Click here to view Cactus Trails open house event photos.

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