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Home | Tag Archives: team sisd

Tag Archives: team sisd

Video: SISD Superintendent releases information about July graduation plans

Saturday morning, Socorro ISD Superintendent Dr. Jose Espinoza sent out a latest message to the  Socorro ISD community about 2020 Graduations.

In his message, he announces the graduation plans for July, for the district’s eight high schools.  All graduations will be held at Socorro’s Student Activities Center – the SAC.

Starting Thursday, July 16th Mission ECH will have their ceremony at 8am, with El Dorado High’s ceremony at 8pm.

Friday July 17th will have Pebble Hills High celebrating at 8pm, with Socorro High’s celebration taking place at 8pm on Saturday, July 18th.

The following week on Thursday, July 23, Option High will have their ceremony at 8am, with Eastlake taking the field to celebrate at 8pm.

On Friday, July 24, Montwood High will have their ceremony at 8pm, followed on Saturday July 25 with Community Education’s graduation at 8am, and Americas at 8pm.

Espinosa added that while many details still needed to be worked out, all ceremonies will follow Social Distancing guidelines.

SISD Cares Fund established to help feed families impacted by COVID-19 pandemic

With concern for its neighbors and a desire to make a positive difference, the Socorro Independent School District recently established a SISD Cares Fund to support El Pasoans Fighting Hunger Food Bank (EPFH Food Bank) in their efforts to feed families impacted by the COVID-19 pandemic.

All monetary donations to the SISD Cares Fund will go toward providing meals to El Paso families during this pandemic.  The EPFH Food Bank has distributed close to 80,000 boxes of food to nearly 23,000 families in El Paso since the COVID-19 pandemic began, and there is still great need to assist those who are food insecure.

“We are proud to team up with our community partners El Pasoans Fighting Hunger and Paso del Norte Community Foundation to help families during this challenging and unprecedented pandemic,” said SISD Superintendent Jose Espinoza, Ed.D.

“It is of utmost importance to provide support to those that need it most. We encourage those in Team SISD who can join in our efforts to ensure no child or family goes without the nutritious food they need to stay healthy.”

Donations also will support the challenge grant established by Hunt Family Foundation, Paul L. Foster Family Foundation and MountainStar Sports Group Foundation who have agreed to match all donations made to El Pasoans Fighting Hunger up to $1 million.

“Donations of any amount will help feed the SISD community and this is a great opportunity for Team SISD, including employees, parents and students, business associates, and supporters, to contribute to those in most need during this difficult and uncertain time,” district officials share. “Together, Team SISD can make a meaningful impact.”

Click here to donate to the SISD Cares Fund

Two Socorro ISD seniors earn Gates Scholarship

Two seniors in the Socorro Independent School District have earned the prestigious Gates Scholarship, which provides funding for the full cost of their postsecondary education.

Gustavo Ramirez from Americas High School and Eric Corona Jr. from Mission Early College High School are among the 300 students nationwide who earned the highly selective scholarship.

“I definitely wasn’t able to do this alone,” Corona said. “I am lucky enough to have had the support of my family, my friends, my school, the district of course. I just want to thank them again because this is something I could’ve never accomplished without them.”

The Gates Scholarship provides for the full cost of college/university attendance, including tuition, fees, room, books, transportation, and other personal costs. More than 36,500 applicants nationwide applied for the scholarship that is available for exceptional, minority students.

“I’ve always been very passionate about having a positive contribution to the community,” Ramirez said. “This scholarship opportunity has allowed me to pursue my dream of higher education because of the funding it provides, so I am very grateful for that.”

Since the Gates Scholarship was established in 2018, several SISD students have won the generous financial award. Gates scholars are students with outstanding academic records, strong leadership abilities and have exceptional personal success.

“This is a great opportunity because the Gates scholarship pays for everything,” said Director of Guidance and Counseling Tammi Mackeben. “These top-notch students take their education very seriously and meet their expectations every school year.”

Mission Early College High School principal Ben Ortega said all seniors are encouraged to apply for as many scholarships as they can. The Go Center specialist on campus helps students identify scholarships they qualify for and with the application process.

“I believe all of our students have the potential to bring in that money for themselves,” Ortega said. “Eric is a perfect example; this will definitely take him far in his education and I could not be prouder.”

The Americas High School counseling department posted a congratulatory message on Twitter for Ramirez.

“Gustavo, you allowed your dreams to become your wings, and now we see you fly,” the counselors said in the Tweet. “Congratulations on being selected as Gates Scholar and member of Gates Scholarship Class of 2020!”

Socorro ISD PD keeping district, community safe during time of uncertainty

As the situation during COVID-19 pandemic changes day to day, Socorro Independent School District Police Services department is working to keep SISD safe and support the community as it adjusts to new operations.

Across the vast district, SISD Police Services has been implementing their usual security routines at all campuses, but also has been assisting staff members with the meal service at SISD schools, the issuing of laptops to students at the District Service Center, and student wellness checks.

Police Chief Jose Castorena said they are taking it one day at a time as daily interaction has changed, such as greeting students and parents.

“We are following the social distancing guidelines,” Castorena said. “Keeping six feet apart and no more handshakes.”

With the district closure, the police officers are keeping close vigilance on campuses and all facilities in Team SISD. They are ensuring the community respects the school closures and stay off fields, tracks and other facilities that are not currently open to the public. The police dispatchers are also busy with their usual 24/7 surveillance of all schools and facilities in the district.

The SISD police officers also serve a critical role in conducting wellness checks. If a teacher, counselor, principal or administrator has any concern about a student at home or if a teacher has not been able to reach a student, the officers’ assistance can be requested to visit the student’s home and ensure they are safe.

“We want the community to know that we are here to support everyone and keep all students safe even during the closure,” Castorena said.

Police Services has been integral during the meal service ensuring the process goes smoothly.

“Shout out to our SISD Police Department for ensuring our safety while breakfast and lunches are served,” wrote Robert Rojas Elementary School Assistant Principal Virginia Acevedo via Twitter.

The SISD community, especially the Child Nutrition Services department, is always grateful for Police Services’ presence.

“We appreciate you Socorro ISD Police Department for providing support to all our meal service sites,” wrote Child Nutrition Services Coordinator Agueda Reyes via Twitter.

Child Nutrition Services Director Shelley Chenausky echoed the same sentiment, thanking them for their help.

“Thank you, Sergeant Watling, for your support at Mission Ridge during meal service,” said Child Nutrition Services Director Shelley Chenausky.

Socorro ISD nurses assist Team SISD with COVID-19 questions, concerns

Socorro Independent School District nurses are stepping up to support employees, students and parents in the Team SISD community who have questions or concerns regarding COVID-19.

Nurses at all SISD campuses are participating to Keep SISD Safe with up-to-date information for anyone in the district who wants to know more about staying healthy and safe during the coronavirus pandemic.

The nurses are following guidelines from the El Paso health department and the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention to answer questions from the SISD community.

“Our district nurses are amazing,” said Marivel Macias, SISD assistant superintendent of administrative services. “They came together and wanted to make sure that they were able to provide their knowledge, their experience and support to all of our essential employees and SISD community.”

It is especially important to offer health services resources and assistance to all essential personnel who are diligently working to make sure that the district continues to move forward during the closure, Macias said.

Nurses are available to assist all campus employees, students or parents. They are also supporting essential personnel in Child Nutrition Services, Police Services, Facilities and Operations, Transportation, Technology Services, the District Service Center and Education Center.

“It’s a personalized resource for #TeamSISD employees to get the answers to questions they may have, from a nurse that they trust. Our vision is for our dedicated employees to feel supported and confident in their health as they come in to work each and every day ready to do an incredible job.” Macias said.

Nurses can be reached through their district email addresses and their office phone numbers.

They are available from 7:30 a.m. to 4:30 p.m. Monday through Friday to answer any questions or provide guidance.

“I’m extremely proud of our nursing team and what we are doing,” said Nickole Renteria, Eastlake High School nurse and interim assistant nurse manager. “Our nurses are being proactive in reaching out to the community.”

On a regular basis, school nurses are critical to the SISD community by providing guidance and resources regarding health and wellness. During the coronavirus pandemic, they are more important than ever and have expanded their services remotely to continue to assist Team SISD.

“We are here to help with the anxiety and questions the community has but also to assist and alleviate the El Paso health department during this time,” said Rebecca Madrid, SISD nurse manager. “We want our community to know that our nurses are health services experts and that we are here to serve and assist our SISD community.”

Photo courtesy SISD

Socorro ISD continues to grow, District surpasses 47,000 enrollment milestone

The Socorro Independent School District reached a new milestone when third-grader Jesus A. Rodriguez enrolled at Robert R. Rojas Elementary in the Socorro feeder pattern.

The student population topped 47,000 for the first time on March 28 as Rodriguez walked in the door.

“The way they welcomed my son was definitely a surprise and it made us feel very special,” said Lyzzett Hernandez, Jesus’ mom. “I did my research before enrolling my kids in this school, and everyone said great things about it. As a mom, that is what you want for your child, for them to receive the best education possible.”

Rojas administrators welcomed Rodriguez, his mom, and sisters and presented them with school spirit gifts to commemorate the special occasion. Socorro High School students and staff made a special trip to the school to welcome the new family.

The drumline played for the future Bulldogs, while cheerleaders, flag team and Missionettes cheered and chanted, holding posters that read, “Welcome to Team SISD.”

“Team SISD is certainly a destination district as families are choosing to live in our community, where we proudly provide endless opportunities for our students to be prepared for college, careers, and life,” said Superintendent José Espinoza, Ed.D. “It is an honor to serve this rapidly expanding side of El Paso, Horizon City and the City of Socorro. We remain committed to giving our students and their families the best experience in their educational journey.”

Rojas Principal Jaqueline Salas is excited about welcoming new students to her school, and making history in SISD. She also said her school takes pride in reassuring students of their value on a daily basis.

“We strive to make our students feel special every day,” Salas said. “Our school is a safe place for our students to learn and grow. We can’t wait for them to take advantage of all the programs in our school and district.”

Officials share that Socorro ISD continues to be a “fast-growing school district, adding 1,000 students in the last three years, despite more school choices in the area.”

Click here to view the 47,000 student event photos

Socorro ISD Campuses highlight Tech during Digital Learning Day

Recently, students and schools within the Socorro Independent School District took part in Digital Learning Day with interactive, technology-based teaching and learning.

“We are celebrating students by showcasing their creative, innovative, inspiring projects that have been wonderful,” said Erica Aragon, instructional technology specialist. “There are an array of different activities. The whole point is to motivate and inspire our students to pursue their dreams and to get them ready for college and careers.”

With more than 300 students present, the district also highlighted projects that integrate technology in the classroom at the second annual Academic Technology Showcase “Building Wonder” at the District Service Center.

The event showed the ways students use digital lessons and technological resources to enhance their learning, including samples of 3D printer work, multimedia, animation, graphic design and video production. They also competed in an app challenge and a video contest as part of the showcase.

WIN Academy students also participated in a Sphero competition. The students were challenged to develop an amusement park for their Sphero robots using computer coding skills and their technology expertise. They demonstrated their creations and digital learning at the technology showcase.

“Technology helps students become more engaged in curriculum,” Aragon said. “It gets them motivated to actually learn more about any digital tool that they are using. Through technology, they also can learn about content, fine arts, physical education and so on.”

Samantha Villareal, a sixth grader at SPC Rafael Hernando III Middle School , showed off a math program that she created, which helps students learn and understand different math concepts, at the showcase. It was the second time she has participated.

“I am just excited to be here and to do it again,” said Villareal, who wants to go into forensics when she grows up. “I have a lot of fun with it. And it’s really encouraging knowing there is a good community around supporting girls to do STEM (Science, Technology, Engineering and Math).”

Digital Learning Day also was in full gear in classrooms across the district. Students in all grade levels participated in numerous lessons throughout the day. They participated in coding, desktop publishing, robotics and programs such as Office 365, Nearpod and Prodigy, said Miguel Moreno, the district’s coordinator of instructional technology.

“We really wanted to highlight how technology is the avenue to learning and students connecting with one another,” Moreno said. “We want to highlight the things we do in the district. Every student has access to technology. Not many districts can say that.”

Through its Operation Future Ready efforts, SISD constantly works to advance digital teaching and learning, to fully train educators to utilize new resources, and to offer more technological devices for student use.

Jose Salinas, a third-grade WIN Academy teacher at Desert Wind School, said he uses technology all the time in the classroom. Currently, students are learning how to code using Ozobots.

“It keeps me inspired to keep learning about technology,” Salinas said. “I can teach them, so when they grow up, they can pursue careers in STEM.”

At Mission Ridge Elementary, Grecia Decena, third grade, said she enjoys the iPads and computers used in her classroom. She loves Prodigy because students use characters to battle each other using math problems.

“I’m not very good with math, but this makes it easier for me to learn,” Salinas said. “I never had any classes with all this technology before. It’s actually very fun.”

Fourth-grade Mission Ridge teacher Christina Reveco said she is appreciative students have access to a lot of different devices. It gives them an opportunity to use technology on a daily basis.

“That will really help them in the future,” she said.

Digital Learning Day at Desert Wind School photos  |   Digital Learning Day at Dr. Sue Shook Elementary photos

SISD continues partnership with EPCC, UTEP to provide enrollment services for seniors at home campus

On Monday, officials with the Socorro Independent School District, in partnership with El Paso Community College and The University of Texas at El Paso, announced the dates for their Operation College Bound enrollment services for seniors this spring at all six comprehensive high schools in the district.

“Our priority for every student in Team SISD is to ensure they are college and career ready. This incredible partnership with EPCC and UTEP gives our seniors a head start to enrolling in postsecondary education and helps them move forward to make their college and career dreams a reality,” said SISD Superintendent José Espinoza, Ed.D. “In Team SISD, we treat and educate all students as if they are our own children, and I am proud we can provide this service so they can be prepared for the future.”

Socorro Independent School District seniors will be able to finalize the enrollment process to attend El Paso Community College and register for new student orientation for The University of Texas at El Paso at their own high schools on March 26 and April 1 through 5.

The event premiered last year at SISD high schools to provide on-site enrollment services directly to the students at their campuses. It was the first time the process was conducted in any school district in the region.

The Operation College Bound event gives SISD seniors the ease and convenience to enroll in college in a familiar environment with assistance from representatives from the college and university.

The seniors at every comprehensive high school in SISD will attend an enrollment day at their school.

They will be led through the enrollment process, which will be set up in the gyms, classrooms and computer labs at the schools. The EPCC and UTEP staff will guide the students through the process and answer questions. SISD high school administrators and counselors also will assist with the events.

“EPCC is proud to partner with the school districts and UTEP to ensure graduating seniors in our region go to college,” EPCC President Dr. William Serrata said. “Operation College Bound helps students enroll and receive the information they need to make a successful transition from high school to higher education.”

UTEP will be available to talk with students about the transition from high school to college, answer any questions that students may have, and offer information about new student orientation, financial aid, housing, student life and student engagement.

The event also will include a showcase of UTEP programs to highlight exciting academic opportunities that students may pursue while attending the university.

“The University of Texas at El Paso is dedicated to providing access to higher education opportunities for all students in the community we serve,” said UTEP President Diana Natalicio.

“As a top tier research university, our academic programs are highly competitive, ensuring our success in preparing UTEP students to play leadership roles in their fields of study. Our Operation College Bound partnership with the El Paso Community College and the Socorro Independent School District reaffirms our shared commitment to build a solid educational foundation for young people in our region, from PreK through graduate school.”

The first event will be at 9 a.m. Tuesday, March 26 at Socorro High School, 10150 Alameda Avenue.  The other Operation College Bound registration days will be:

April 1 at Eastlake High School

April 2 at Americas High School

April 3 at Montwood High School

April 4 at El Dorado High School

April 5 at Pebble Hills High School

Socorro ISD: Free Pre-K, Kindergarten Registration Day set for April 6

The Socorro Independent School District will have a pre-kindergarten and new kindergarten student registration day for the 2019-2020 school year from 8 a.m. to 2 p.m. Saturday, April 6 at elementary schools across the district.

SISD offers free half-day Pre-K to all students who live in the district, even if they don’t meet the state requirements; the district also offers free full-day Pre-K based on a first-come, first-served basis.

The full-day program is free for those who qualify based on economic, language, homeless or military (active) requirements as established by the state.

Families who do not qualify for free Pre-K but would like to enroll in full-day are entitled to a free half-day and tuition-based for the other half. The tuition is $181.68 per month for a 10-month school year.

New kindergarten students (not currently enrolled in SISD Pre-K) will have the opportunity to apply for SISD’s new Dual Language Academy. The academy will be available for students in kindergarten and first grade for the 2019-2020 school year at Dr. Sue Shook and Myrtle Cooper elementary schools.

The following documents will be required during the Pre-K and new kindergarten registration:

  • student birth certificate
  • immunization record
  • social security card
  • a current utility bill
  • an identification for the parent or legal guardian registering the child

Registration will take place April 6 at the elementary home schools as indicated below. Cactus Trails Elementary School students will register at Pebble Hills High School.

Registration for Pre-K students will continue April 8 at designated Pre-K hubs and elementary campuses that serve Pre-K. New kindergarten registration also will continue April 8 at the designated home campuses.

Parents of children who turn four years old by Sept. 1, 2019 and live within the district boundaries can register them for free Pre-K.

Parents of children who turn five years old by Sept. 1, 2019 and live within the district boundaries can register them for kindergarten in SISD schools.

Click on the SISD street search to search which school your child should attend based on your home address.

Pre-K and new kindergarten registration locations on April 6:

Benito Martínez Elementary
2640 Robert Wynn St., 79936Bill Sybert School
11530 Edgemere Blvd., 79936

Cactus Trails Elementary School  at Pebble Hills High School, 14400 Pebble Hills Blvd.

Campestre Elementary
11399 Socorro Rd., 79927

Chester E. Jordan Elementary
13995 Jason Crandall Dr., 79938

Desert Wind School
1100 Colina de Paz, 79928

Dr. Sue Shook Elementary
13777 Paseo del Este, 79928

Élfida P. Chávez Elementary
11720 Pebble Hills, 79936

Ernesto Serna School
11471 Alameda Ave., 79927

Escontrias ECC
10400 Alameda Ave., 79927

H.D. Hilley Elementary
693 N. Rio Vista Rd., 79927Helen Ball Elementary
1950 Firehouse Dr., 79936

Horizon Heights Elementary
13601 Ryderwood Ave., 79928

Hueco Elementary
300 Old HuecoTanks Rd., 79927

James P. Butler Elementary
14251 Ralph Seitsinger, 79938

Jane A. Hambric School
3535 Nolan Richardson, 79936

John Drugan School
12451 Pellicano, 79928

Loma Verde Elementary
12150 Ted Houghton, 79936

Lujan-Chávez Elementary
2200 Sun Country Dr., 79938

Mission Ridge Elementary
150 Nonap Rd., 79928


Myrtle Cooper Elementary
1515 Rebecca Ann Dr., 79936O’Shea Keleher Elementary
1800 Leroy Bonse Dr., 79936

Paso del Norte Elementary
12300 Tierra Este Rd., 79938

Purple Heart Elementary
14400 GR Campuzano, 79938

Robert R. Rojas Elementary
500 Bauman Rd., 79927

Sgt. Roberto Ituarte Elementary
12860 Tierra Sonora, 79938

Sierra Vista Elementary
1501 Bob Hope Dr., 79936

Vista del Sol Elementary
11851 Vista del Sol Dr., 79936

SGT. Jose F. Carrasco Elementary
14900 Tierra Mirage., 79938



The district has designated the following Pre-K hub schools to serve as the home campus for Pre-K students from other schools:

  • Cactus Trails will serve Pre-K students from Cactus Trails and James P. Butler Elementary School.
  • Myrtle Cooper will serve Pre-K students from Myrtle Cooper, John Drugan and Loma Verde.
  • O’Shea Keleher will serve Pre-K students from O’Shea Keleher, Bill Sybert, Jane A. Hambric, Helen Ball and Elfida P. Chavez.
  • Robert R. Rojas will serve Pre-K students from Robert R. Rojas and Ernesto Serna School.
  • Sgt. Jose F. Carrasco will serve Pre-K students from Sgt. Jose F. Carrasco and Lujan-Chavez.
  • Sgt. Roberto Ituarte will serve Pre-K students from Sgt. Roberto Ituarte, Chester E. Jordan and Paso del Norte.

Vista del Sol will serve Pre-K students from Vista del Sol and Sierra Vista

14 Socorro ISD teams advance to state Destination Imagination contest

Fourteen teams from Socorro Independent School District will compete in the Texas Destination Imagination after coming out on top at the 2019 West Texas Destination Imagination Regional Tournament at Eastlake High School.

“It’s just such an incredible contest,” said Stephanie Carrasco, SISD advanced academics coordinator. “There is a lot of creativity. It is very student oriented. Students have to come up with the idea and design the props. The ideas they come up with leave you in awe because really this is their own thoughts, their own ideas. The tenacity they have to see it completed is just amazing.”

The teams, who will compete March 22-23 in Corpus Christi, participated in academic challenges in the fields of technical, science, fine arts, improvisation, engineering and service learning.

Destination Imagination is a global creative problem-solving organization that prepares kindergarten to high school students for college and career readiness through 21st century thinking and learning principles.

Participants solve challenges by generating ideas with team members through research, exploration and presentation of solutions. Students in grades kindergarten through second grade compete in an early learning challenge.

Those in grades three through 12th take part in two challenges: a central challenge, which they have been working on months prior to competition, and an instant challenge, which is spontaneous, and they learn about on day of the contest.

“Students are developing a great sense of teamwork and collaboration and develop skills that are going to be supportive all throughout their careers,” Carrasco said. “They have research skills that they develop and they use those in their English class or they use those in a job later on. They think creatively to really think through problems and how to solve those problems.”

Jude Rodriguez, a fourth grader at Escontrias Elementary, began work on his challenge in September. He was happy with his performance on the day of competition.

“I like doing Destination Imagination,” Rodriguez said. “Competing adds a little bit of a challenge to my life. Plus, you learn a lot.”

Here are the 14 SISD teams going to the state tournament and their competition challenges:

Americas HS
Medical Mystery – Scientific

Eastlake HS
Medical Mystery – Scientific

El Dorado HS
Monster Effects – Engineering

El Dorado HS
Escape Artists – Service Learning

Col. John O. Ensor MS
Medical Mystery – Scientific

SPC Rafael Hernando MS
Monster Effects – Engineering

Hurshel Antwine Elementary
On Target – Technical

Lujan Chavez Elementary
Escape Artists – Service Learning

Mission Early College HS
On Target – Technical

Montwood HS
Game On – Fine Arts

O’Shea Keleher Elementary
Monster Effects – Engineering

Paso del Norte School
Heads Up – Improvisational

William D. Slider MS
Game On – Fine Arts

Sun Ridge MS
Escape Artists – Service Learning

Thirteen SISD teams were recognized in the Rising Stars activity – Pop Up!

Benito Martinez Elementary
H.D. Hilley Elementary
Hueco Elementary
John Drugan School
Horizon Heights Elementary
Escontrias Elementary
Loma Verde Elementary
Lujan Chavez Elementary
Sierra Vista Elementary
O’Shea Keleher Elementary
Robert R. Rojas Elementary
Purple Heart Elementary
Dr. Sue Shook Elementary

Socorro ISD All-State musicians showcase talents at TMEA convention

Ten Socorro Independent School District band and choir students were named 2019 Texas Music Educators Association All-State musicians.

The SISD honorees will perform with band and choir ensembles at the state convention this weekend at the Henry B. Gonzalez Convention Center in San Antonio as part of the 2019 TMEA Clinic/Convention.

Being an All-State musician is the highest honor a Texas music student can receive. This year, 1,792 students were selected for the prestigious title through a competitive process that began with more than 70,000 students from around the state.

“To rehearse and perform with the best of the best musicians will provide a lifelong experience that may lead to scholarship opportunities and professional careers in music,” said Ronald Pingor, assistant director of fine arts.

The highest-ranking musicians will get to perform in one of 15 Texas All-State bands, choirs, or orchestra ensembles. Students also will have the opportunity to work with nationally recognized conductors.

“I’m very proud of both of my students and their achievements,” said Joe Estala, choir director at Pebble Hills. “Being an All-State musician requires a higher amount of concentration than the average student in a regular classroom. It’s very inspiring to watch them practice and perform.”

Students hope the experience will open doors for their musical career after high school.

“I’m honored to be recognized as an All-State musician,” Talavera said. “This was one of the goals I wanted to accomplish before I graduated from high school. I can’t wait for the rehearsals! We are going to learn from so many amazing people. There is also going to be a college fair that weekend and I want to learn about the different music schools available. I hope one of them is in my future.”

SISD’s All-State musicians are Fernando Montes, Sebastian Ortega, and Kayla Rubio from Americas High School; Robert Harris from El Dorado High School; Abigail Talavera from Eastlake High School; Steven Phan from Montwood High School; and Juan Lara, Rosendo Vasquez, Raul Romero, and Diane Tiscareno from Pebble Hills High School.

SISD to Open ‘Academia de Dos Idiomas’ at Two Schools for 2019-2020

The Socorro Independent School District announced Wednesday that they will open a dual language academy at the start of the 2019-2020 school year.

“Team SISD is the right choice for endless opportunities and we are pleased to announce that those opportunities will soon include a dual language academy,” said José Espinoza, Ed.D., SISD Superintendent of Schools. “We will provide high-quality instruction for students to learn to read, write and speak a second language. Coupled with our effective Operation College Bound efforts, this rigorous, multicultural education will prepare our students for future success in a global society.”

The new academy will be offered at Myrtle Cooper and Dr. Sue A. Shook elementary schools. Instruction will be in English and Spanish for two sections of kindergarten and first-grade students. SISD plans to grow the academy every year thereafter.

“We anticipate a huge demand for Academia de Dos Idiomas among both our native Spanish and English speakers,” said Lucia Borrego, Chief Academic Officer. “This is an exciting opportunity for our students as it will help them become global citizens that are competitive in a diverse market economy.”

Benefits of being a dual language learner include proficiency and literacy in both languages, high levels of academic achievement, greater creativity, attention to detail, problem solving skills, and confidence.

The enrollment process will be based on various criteria and a lottery system. Students who join the academy will participate in a summer bridge camp with activities and learning to prepare them for the next school year.

Information nights have been scheduled for parents to learn more about the academy. The information nights will be:

  • 5:30 to 6:30 p.m. Feb. 7 and 20 at Myrtle Cooper Elementary, 1515 Rebecca Ann Dr.
  • 5:30 to 6:30 p.m. Feb. 13 and 25 at Dr. Sue A. Shook Elementary, 13777 Paseo Del Este.

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.

Khalid Surprises Ernesto Serna Students with Gifts, Holiday Cheer

An assembly at Ernesto Serna School turned into an exciting surprise for students and staff when world-famous artist and songwriter Khalid made an appearance at the school.

The Socorro ISD alum surprised more than 700 students with gifts and holiday cheer.

“Socorro ISD supports me a lot so I try and extend my gratitude in multiple ways,” Khalid said. “It’s super special for me to give back to El Paso. The fact that I get to come to school and get to hand out gifts to all these kids is special. Maybe today they woke up in a bad mood but they left in a better mood, as long as that purpose is accomplished that’s all that matters.”

The Ernesto Serna community thought the event was a reception to honor their charitable deeds. Earlier this year, the campus raised $2,000 to contribute to the Make-A-Wish Foundation and help a child’s dream become a reality. The school also participated in a toy and canned food drive to help others in need.

SISD Superintendent José Espinoza, Ed.D., Board Trustee Paul Guerra and Principal Alejandro Olvera thanked students for their generous donations and support. Moments later, Dr. Espinoza announced to students that they were in for a special treat from someone who wanted to give back to them.

Dr. Espinoza called up Khalid’s parents and his sister and thanked them for their generosity and kindness. He went on to introduce the highly acclaimed singer.

“He’s a proud Team SISD alum, MTV Video Music Award winner, Billboard Music Awards winner, Teen Choice Award winner, iheartRadio Music Award winner, American Music Award winner, an Americas High School graduate. He’s the talented musical artist, Khalid!” Espinoza said.

Students were thrilled when they saw Khalid make his grand entrance. The school bleachers were filled with tears of joy, looks of awe, wide eyes, and bright smiles full of excitement.

Brandon Valenzuela, a seventh-grader at the school, said meeting the Grammy-nominated artist has been a dream come true.

“I was crying when I saw him,” he said. “It was my dream to meet him, and I can’t believe he chose us. He is so nice. To me, he’s perfect.”

Khalid gave a countdown and all students, kindergarten through eighth-grade, unwrapped their Christmas presents. They received cosmetic playsets, drawing dashboards, LOL dolls, fire trucks, and more.

Another student, Diego Martinez, received a guitar.

“I love music and I love my guitar,” said the fifth-grader. “I was so happy that I hugged him and kept saying thank you. I will always remember this moment and this gift. I’m going to be even more excited when I hear his songs!”

Principal Olvera said his students were star-struck and thankful to have received a gift from Khalid.

“At Ernesto Serna we take pride in helping others and today we were blessed with this opportunity where Khalid came to our school to spend this time with our kids and invested in our children,” Olvera said. “This really meant a lot!”

For Khalid, giving back to his home town was a humbling experience and an opportunity to share an inspiring message.

“Persistency is the key to success,” Khalid said.  “It’s about not giving up. I always say this, ‘the one day you could have given up, the next day could have been your blessing”, and a lot of people don’t get to see that, and some people don’t make it to that… You have to work for what you want. Be true to yourself, your goals, your dreams and everything will line up as you want it to be.”

To view more photos of 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.

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