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Home | Tag Archives: Ysleta ISD

Tag Archives: Ysleta ISD

UTEP, Community Leaders launch new Teacher Residency Program with Local School Districts

On Thursday, officials with the College of Education at The University of Texas at El Paso and community leaders unveiled the Miner Teacher Residency Program, a full-year teacher placement designed to boost the readiness of aspiring teachers to better serve diverse students throughout the El Paso region.

With funding and technical support from University-School Partnerships for Renewal of Educator Preparation (US PREP), a national center funded by the Gates Foundation committed to high-quality university-based teacher preparation, UTEP is working with local school districts to pilot an innovative teacher preparation program within the College of Education.

Students seeking a teaching degree will now be eligible to take part in a one-year teaching residency program where they will spend an entire year in a real classroom, co-teaching with an experienced mentor teacher and engaged in an immersive coaching model led by field based UTEP College of Education faculty members. This will provide these aspiring teachers with the hands-on training and classroom management skills they’ll need before entering the workforce.

“This pilot effort is an incredibly important opportunity to provide student teachers with the most realistic, relevant, and rigorous preparation possible,” said Clifton Tanabe, Ph.D., dean of the College of Education.  “We think this will be a game changer for our students and for the schools that hire them as first year teachers. Given the ‘closed loop’ educational ecosystem in El Paso – UTEP graduates comprise 75 percent of El Paso’s teachers, and El Paso students comprise 80 percent of UTEP’s student body – we expect this program to have a profound long-term impact.”

Aspiring teachers who go through the residency program will be part of an exciting paid internship initiative funded by Workforce Solutions Borderplex, the Council on Regional Economic Expansion and Educational Development (CREEED), and the El Paso Community Foundation.

“Our partnership with these generous local organizations will allow our students to focus completely on their training and not have to work the ‘graveyard shift, after working in the schools all day, just to make ends meet,’ said Tanabe.

19 UTEP College of Education students will make up the first cohort participating in the residency program.  They will be placed within El Paso ISD and Socorro ISD classrooms and paired with seasoned and effective teachers to mentor them through their year-long program. The goal is to have all participants gain extended, hands-on practical teaching experience alongside a highly qualified, trained mentor teachers and faculty UTEP members, as well as priority consideration for full-time employment after they complete their residency.

“UTEP is a wonderful partner with EPISD in the development and training of innovative educators for the El Paso and West Texas region,” said EPISD Superintendent Juan Cabrera. “The Miner Teacher Residency Program will further our combined efforts to provide the children of the Border with the best-prepared corps of teachers who will use the latest research-based techniques to help our students meet their academic goals.”

“Team SISD is proud to be part of this innovative program to further invest in our future educators,” said SISD Superintendent José Espinoza, Ed.D. “Our commitment is to ensure SISD has highly qualified and effective teachers and we provide numerous opportunities for aspiring teachers to succeed thanks to powerful partnerships, such as this one, with UTEP and other local organizations and agencies dedicated to improving our overall educational community in El Paso.”

The new initiative replaces UTEP’s previous semester-long teacher training program with more intensive year-long placements in high-performing local elementary schools.  It is based on the model pioneered in 2015 by US PREP, which has been utilized by programs at Texas Tech and Lubbock and the University of Houston, among others.

“CREEED was happy to facilitate the partnership between UTEP and US PREP earlier this year, and we are delighted to be supporting the new teacher residency program,” said Amy O’Rourke, Choose to Excel Director at CREEED.  “To improve education outcomes and increase educational attainment in our region, we must invest in our teachers and aspiring teachers so they have the tools, training, and experience they need to lead students in innovative and transformative classroom instruction.”

After the success of this pilot program, UTEP hopes to incorporate the full year of hands-on in classroom training as part of all future teacher graduate requirements.

“The further you go in education, the better your professional prospects; it’s that simple,” said Joyce Wilson, President & CEO of the Workforce Solutions Borderplex.  “If we want to attract high-paying jobs with advancement opportunities to El Paso, we need a workforce with the requisite level of training. That starts in elementary school with well-trained and experienced teachers.”

Student teachers under the semester approach and in the residency program will benefit from close supervision and regular feedback from teachers who will serve as their mentors and supervisors, all of whom were recruited, selected, and trained by UTEP.  In addition, each elementary school hosting residency students will also host two full-time clinical faculty members to serve as site coordinators and liaisons between UTEP and the school districts.

“We are excited to bring the proven US PREP model for teaching training to El Paso,” said Stephanie Otero, Vice President of Operations of The El Paso Community Foundation.  “The additional staff UTEP has hired to support the program will enhance communication, collaboration, and data sharing between the university and the school districts, making for a better experience for student teachers and better outcomes in their classrooms.”

Like the students they teach, most of the student teachers in the Miner Teacher Residency Program are Latinx and bilingual.  A committee made up of college and district representatives selected the finalists from a pool of 40 applicants based on GPA, faculty input, and the candidates’ openness to learn and seek feedback.

Riverside High names Ed Mena 2019 Distinguished Alumni

Riverside High officials say “You’re in good hands,” as they honor Class of 1983 Ed Mena as their 2019 Distinguished Alumni.

Mena is a corporate executive and entrepreneur with over 30 years’ experience working in high-profile senior leadership roles. Ed currently runs two high-performing Allstate Agencies, operates a boutique co-working space, and is actively engaged in his local community.

Ed is a devoted single father to his three boys Cameron (26), Andrew (17), and Kevin (13), and is both an advocate and financial contributor to causes close to his heart.

Born in El Paso, Mena graduated Riverside High and then went on to receive a BA in business administration from the University of Texas at Austin. He remains active in both communities, and recently contributed $1,000 to Riverside’s Marquee Fund, as well as donations towards the purchase of tee-shirts for incoming freshman and athletic achievement banners for the gymnasium.

At the University of Texas Ed recently formed a permanent endowment, the L. Ed Mena and Sons Chancellor’s Excellence Endowment, which includes ongoing donations for five years followed by investment at the discretion of the chancellor.

Mena’s executive career began at US-based multinational insurance company AIG in 1996; where he quickly rose through the ranks to serve as the Chief Executive for Latin America and the Caribbean, where he held P&L responsibility for the $1.6 billion dollar business. He was responsible for 3,200 employees across 12 countries and managed the Miami office. Prior to this,  Mena served as the CEO for the company’s operations in Panama, Chile, and Mexico.

He currently runs two Allstate Agencies servicing over 4,200 customers with plans for future expansion across Texas.

The Allstate-Ed Mena Agency Inc. was named an Allstate Premier Service Agency, a designation awarded to the top 15% of agents in the nation. Ed also won the Honor Ring Award several times, and earned the Allstate Good Hands In The Community award 4 consecutive years for his work with the National Center for Missing and Exploited Children.

The National Center for Missing and Exploited Children is a cause close to Mena’s heart, and he’s been an advocate and volunteer for the organization since 2013. His work with the National Center for Missing and Exploited Children expands beyond fundraising; he donates ample time advocating on behalf of the organization and speaking with parents of missing children.

In addition to his charitable endeavors, Mena has earned a variety of accolades for his professional work. In 2017 he was named Minority Businessperson of the Year by the West Austin Chamber of Commerce, and in the same year he was recognized by the Latino Leaders Magazine as one of the Top Insurance Agents for Latinos in the country.

In July 2018, Mena was nominated and subsequently selected for the University of Texas Chancellor’s Council Executive Committee. This prestigious group engages in dialogue with the University’s Chancellor and executive leadership team regarding special initiatives and issues of importance to higher education in Texas, overseeing a 20-billion-dollar budget.

Click here for a list of Homecoming activities.

YISD kicks off Fresh Fruit and Vegetable Program at four schools

The Ysleta Independent School District (YISD) will once again offer a Fresh Fruit and Vegetable Program for the 2019-20 school year at four campuses.

Capistrano, Cedar Grove, Constance Hulbert, and North Loop elementary schools were awarded more than $100,000 by the Texas Department of Agriculture to purchase fruits and vegetables for the program, which is administered by the Food and Nutrition Service and falls under the umbrella of the U.S. Department of Agriculture.

District officials announced the return of the program earlier this week, adding that the program is an “effort to promote healthier eating habits and improve overall student well-being,”

The program kicked off for the 2019-20 school year on Tuesday at the four campuses, which will serve students fresh fruits and vegetables at various times during the school day on Tuesdays and Thursdays through May 28, 2020.

The goal of the Fresh Fruit and Vegetable Program (FFVP) is to introduce children to fresh fruits and vegetables, to include new and different varieties, and to increase overall acceptance and consumption of fresh, unprocessed produce among children.

FFVP is consistent with and supports the Health and Medicine Division of the National Academies of Sciences, Engineering, and Medicine’s recommendations to provide healthier snack choices in schools.

The FFVP also encourages healthier school environments by promoting nutrition education. To learn more, visit the FFVP webpage.

YISD principal named international ‘Rookie of the Year’

Sageland Elementary School Principal Rachael Blair has won the 2019 Rookie of the Year Award from a global education organization for supporting and sustaining an exceptional MicroSociety program, which uses real-world learning environments to motivate students to succeed.

“This year, I took a group of 10 teachers to the conference who had never gone before in order to increase their training and knowledge of MicroSociety,” Blair said. “When we got there, they made a big point of telling us about one event in particular, how we really needed to attend – and that’s where they announced it. It was a big surprise, but it is definitely an honor!”

Blair, who became principal of Sageland Elementary in July 2018, received the honor from leading international nonprofit organization MicroSociety, which provides professional development, curriculum, and support to K-12 schools around the globe to implement its hands-on, experiential learning model.

Blair says at a particular time during the school day, the MicroSociety program at Sageland Elementary basically “turns the school into a little city. Kids become entrepreneurs. They are peacekeepers who monitor the hallways. They apply for jobs, keep a checkbook, do their banking, etc. It’s a big thing here at Sageland since it started in 1993, and my goal is to help it evolve.”

The Rookie of the Year award is part of the “George Awards,” which are named after the group’s founder Dr. George H. Richmond, and recognize outstanding achievement of students, parents, and community partners in real-world learning.

MicroSociety programs aim to educate the whole child by improving academic achievement while addressing critical issues of self-esteem, personal responsibility, social engagement, and 21st-century skills development.

“Principal Blair is breathing new life into Sageland,” MicroSociety officials said, adding that Sageland is the longest-running MicroSociety school in its global network. “She has embraced the model as a strategy for the 21st-century-learning benefits it offers her school community, and is committed to bringing the school back to its glory days and beyond.”

She was announced as the winner at the MicroSociety’s 27th annual International Conference, which took place over the summer in Tulsa, Oklahoma.

For more information about MicroSociety, click here.

Ysleta ISD Teacher of the Year among six finalists for Texas Teacher of the Year

Michelle Sandoval, an eighth-grade math teacher at Parkland Middle School in the Ysleta Independent School District (YISD), is among the top six finalists – three for the elementary level and three for the secondary level – for 2019-2020 Texas Teacher of the Year, state officials confirmed Tuesday.

“I feel so humbled and blessed and empowered to represent The District and the entire region because all of the other teachers I’ve met during this process have been amazing,” said Sandoval, adding that she believes transparency is “everything” when it comes to success in the classroom.

“When you are a real human in front of your students, you earn respect,” she said.

Sandoval, who began her 12th year in education when the YISD school year began Monday, won 2019-2020 Secondary Teacher of the Year honors at the campus, district, and regional levels before being named a state finalist Tuesday by the Texas Association of School Administrators (TASA).

“Every day in public schools across Texas, teachers perform miracles as they inspire children for lifelong learning,” said Kevin Brown, executive director of TASA, which has coordinated the Texas Teacher of the Year program since 2011.

“These six finalists are among the best in a profession that is perhaps the most important in our nation, both for individual children and for society,” Brown said. “They are national heroes and deserve this tremendous honor. They have distinguished themselves among thousands of outstanding, dedicated teachers across our state and nation have who have answered the call to serve others.”

Earlier this month, a panel of judges with representatives of Texas teacher associations and last year’s finalists for Texas Teacher of the Year selected this year’s six finalists from among 40 regional winners.

Sandoval is vying for the 2019-2020 Texas Secondary Teacher of the Year award against two others: Kami Dodds of Brady ISD and Jennifer Garner of River Road ISD.

The six finalists will be interviewed in Austin in October before two state-level winners — Elementary Teacher of the Year and Secondary Teacher of the Year — are announced at an October 25 awards ceremony.

At this ceremony, only one winner will be designated to represent Texas in the National Teacher of the Year competition.

Over the years, five Ysleta ISD teachers have gone on to win Texas Teacher of the Year – more than any other district in the state.

The Texas Teacher of the Year program has honored excellence in classroom education since 1969. The program annually recognizes and rewards teachers who have demonstrated outstanding leadership and excellence in teaching.

Ysleta ISD educator wins Region 19 Secondary Teacher of the Year

Michelle Sandoval, an eighth-grade math teacher at Parkland Middle School in the Ysleta Independent School District (YISD), has been named the top Secondary Teacher of the Year in the El Paso region for 2019-2020.

Sandoval will now compete against the best educators in the state for Texas Teacher of the Year honors.

“This has been such a humbling experience, but I am excited and thrilled to represent my city, my campus, and my community,” Sandoval said, adding that she was dazzled by the caliber of her fellow regional Secondary Teacher of the Year competitors.

“Once you hear the stories of all the finalists – why they teach, and why they’re so passionate about what they do – you realize the bar has been set so high,” she said. “So when they called my name as the winner, it was so incredible! It’s a memory I am never going to forget.”

Sandoval, who begins her 12th year in education when YISD classes get under way Aug. 26, says her enthusiasm for education began as a first-grader, when she stepped inside the “energetic and loving” classroom of a teacher whom she still considers the “ultimate example of an educator and true role model.”

“Her impact on my life was grand,” said Sandoval, who holds a bachelor’s degree in Interdisciplinary Studies from UTEP. “I knew I wanted to become a teacher who would touch the lives of so many young minds.”

Sandoval now joins other regional winners from across the state to compete for Texas Teacher of the Year. Six finalists will be named in the coming weeks, and state winners will be announced later this fall.

“We are honored and excited to have Ms. Sandoval represent our district and Region 19 at the Texas Teacher of the Year competition,” said YISD Superintendent of Schools Dr. Xavier De La Torre. “She is an exceptional teacher with a true passion for public education, and we are proud to have her on our championship team at Ysleta ISD.”

Sandoval was among 21 El Paso-area educators who qualified for the 2019-2020 Elementary & Secondary Teacher of the Year competition organized and sponsored by the Education Service Center (ESC)-Region 19 and TFCU.

Winners were announced at a special ceremony Thursday. All regional finalists won Teacher of the Year honors at their respective school districts earlier this spring.

Region 19 encompasses 12 school districts in El Paso and Hudspeth counties, as well as several charter schools.

Ysleta ISD Trustees vote to place $425m bond measure on November ballot

The Ysleta Independent School District Board of Trustees voted Monday night to approve a $425 million bond referendum to be included in the November 2019 election.

The proposed bond projects were recommended by the Facilities Advisory Committee (FAC), a special task force made up of about 80 community members from across all seven YISD Learning Communities.

The FAC included parents, community and business leaders, representatives from civic organizations, and elected officials.

“During a robust and interactive six-week process, the FAC carefully considered numerous projects and the physical condition of YISD schools, also known as the Facility Condition Index (FCI).” YISD officials shared via a news release.

“Overall, campus FCI scores ranged from 10.9 (best) to 69.9 (worst). The average FCI score of schools selected by the FAC for the proposed 2019 bond measure is 54.”

This bond package aims to fund various campus improvement projects, including safety and security enhancements; new school construction; school renovations and modernizations; and other improvements.

As part of the proposed bond, the most significant projects include:

Safety and security enhancements
New Hanks area middle school
New Riverside area elementary school
New Scotsdale Elementary School
Renovation of Dolphin Terrace Elementary School
Modernization of Bel Air High School
Districtwide refrigerated air conversion & life-cycle Improvements

Election Day for El Paso County is Nov. 5, 2019.

YISD wins 13 national awards for outstanding graphics, videos, publications

Ysleta ISD officials announced Monday that the district’s Public Relations Department won 13 national awards from the National School Public Relations Association (NSPRA).

With the baker’s dozen of wins – more than any other local district – awards spanned categories from outstanding graphic design, videos, publications, and marketing/recruitment during the 2018-2019 school year, including a distinctive 3D bus wrap that features the district’s talented fine arts students.

Every year, NSPRA hands out various honors as part of its Publications and Digital Media awards program, which highlights outstanding school public relations work performed during the 2018-19 academic year.

The highest is the Award of Excellence, followed by the Award of Merit, and Honorable Mention.

Ysleta ISD won the top award – Award of Excellence – for three entries:

2018 YISD Annual Report
2018 Fine Arts Bus Wrap
YISD Homestead Exemption Informational video, which explains the 20% homestead exemption available only to YISD homeowners in a quick and easy-to-understand way

YISD also earned four Awards of Merit for four entries:

Thomas Manor Elementary School Information Campaign
2018 Nativity Scene Restoration video, where Bel Air and Del Valle high school students repainted and refreshed the Nativity Scene at the downtown Jacinto Plaza for Christmas
Taking a Stand Against the Tornillo Tent City video, which documented an effort by local education leaders to support family unification for immigrant children
2018-19 YISD Elementary Teacher of the Year: Carol Love video

The District also won Honorable Mention awards for six entries:

Class of 2018 Superintendent Commencement Speech
Digital Marketing for the new Thomas Manor Elementary School
“Start … Grow … Succeed … at The District!” Recruitment Campaign
2018 Suicide Prevention Campaign video for the local “915 Cares” coalition
2018 YISD Volunteer Appreciation Luncheon video
Six-Time Texas Girls Wrestling Champions: The Lady Knights video

Award winners will be featured at the 2019 NSPRA National Seminar, which takes place from July 14-17 in Washington D.C.

YISD’s De La Torre begins term as Chair of Texas Urban Council of Superintendents

Dr. Xavier De La Torre, Superintendent of Schools at the Ysleta Independent School District, took on a new statewide leadership role Sunday as the 2019 Chair of the Texas Urban Council (TUC) of Superintendents.

The TUC is a network of the state’s largest urban school districts that advocate for traditional urban public schools.

“I am humbled by the privilege to serve as the 2019 Chair of the Texas Urban Council of Superintendents, and I look forward to leading the discussion on the areas of greatest opportunity and challenge in our school districts,” Dr. De La Torre said.

“At the same time, I look forward to giving El Paso and the Ysleta Independent School District a much-needed voice at both the state and national levels.”

TUC, which was founded nearly 50 years ago, consists of nine member districts: Aldine ISD, Austin ISD, Corpus Christi ISD, Dallas ISD, El Paso ISD, Fort Worth ISD, Houston ISD, San Antonio ISD, and Ysleta ISD.

It represents nearly 800,000 students and 50,000 teachers.

As the districts all serve large urban communities, their schools share similar interests and challenges, such as second-language learning, increasing college access, and school turnaround. They also routinely serve larger percentages of children living in poverty, who are less likely to have parents with high levels of education, and constantly balance various barriers.

For more information about the TUC, click here.

Ysleta ISD names new principals, Central Office directors

In preparation for the upcoming 2019-2020 academic year, the Ysleta Independent School District (YISD) on Thursday announced the appointment of new principals and Central Office directors. All positions become effective July 1.

The new campus principals are as follows:

·    Norma Sierra, current principal at LeBarron Park Elementary School, will fill the vacant principal position at Mesa Vista Elementary School. Sierra, who has spent 29 years at YISD, has worked as teacher, curriculum specialist, curriculum coordinator, assistant principal, and principal. She holds a bachelor’s degree in education and a master’s degree, both from the University of Texas at El Paso (UTEP).

·    Maritza Balderrama, current principal at North Star Elementary School, is the new principal at LeBarron Park Elementary School. An educator for 25 years at YISD, Balderrama has served as a teacher, assistant principal, and principal. She holds a bachelor’s degree in interdisciplinary studies from UTEP and a master’s degree from New Mexico State University.

·    Stephanie Lahrman, current Parkland Elementary School assistant principal, is the new principal at North Star Elementary School. Lahrman began her professional career in 2003, and has served as a teacher’s assistant, teacher, instructional coach and assistant principal. Lahrman holds a bachelor’s degree in interdisciplinary studies from Charter Oak State College and a master’s degree in educational leadership from Concordia University.

·    Juan Guzman, current principal at Tierra Del Sol Elementary School, will fill the vacant principal position at Scotsdale Elementary School. Guzman, whose career in education spans 19 years at YISD, has also served as an elementary schoolteacher, assistant principal, and principal. He holds a bachelor’s degree in interdisciplinary studies and a master’s degree, both from UTEP.

·    Michelle Romero, an elementary school principal at Socorro ISD, has been appointed the new principal at Tierra Del Sol Elementary School. Romero is a 24-year veteran in education and began her career at YISD as a teacher at Loma Terrace Elementary School. Since then, she has served as an instructional coach, assistant principal, and principal. Romero holds a bachelor’s degree in interdisciplinary studies and a master’s degree in English, both from UTEP.

·    Irene Youngs, current Lancaster Elementary School assistant principal, has been appointed principal at Pebble Hills Elementary School following the departure of Stacy Vasquez. Youngs, who has worked in education for 26 years, has taught all levels of elementary content – including bilingual education – and served as assistant principal for nine years.  She holds a bachelor’s degree in interdisciplinary studies and a master’s degree in educational administration, both from UTEP.

·    Amy Bejarano-Alarcon is the new principal at Del Valle Middle School following the resignation of Ida Perales. An educator for 13 years at YISD, Alarcon began her career as a science teacher at Riverside High School before moving to her current position as assistant principal at Ysleta High School. She holds a bachelor’s degree and a master’s degree from UTEP, and a master’s degree in education from Sul Ross State University.

·    Javier Salgado, current principal at Parkland Middle School, is the new principal at Desert View Middle School following the retirement of Mary Ann Olivas. Salgado, a 23-year veteran educator at YISD, previously served as a teaching assistant, teacher, instructional specialist, assistant principal, and principal. He holds a bachelor’s degree, and a master’s degree in history, both from UTEP.

·    Dr. Angela Reyna, current Ysleta Middle School assistant principal, is the new principal of Parkland Middle School. An educator for 16 years at YISD, Dr. Reyna has worked as a teacher, middle-school assistant principal, and high-school assistant principal. She holds a bachelor’s degree in interdisciplinary studies, and a master’s degree and doctorate degree in educational administration, all from UTEP.

·    Jacob Valtierra, current Eastwood High School assistant principal, is the new principal at Riverside Middle School following the resignation of Jonathan Valdez. Valtierra, whose career spans 12 years at YISD, previously worked as a teacher, as well as assistant principal at both middle and high schools. He holds a bachelor’s degree in political science from Stanford University and a master’s degree in business administration from UTEP.

In addition, YISD has appointed the following three new directors at Central Office:

·    Sylvia Belmonte, current school nurse at Lancaster Elementary School, is the new Director of Student Health Services following the retirement of Carey Raymond-Holden. Belmonte began her career in 2005 at University Medical Center (formerly Thomason Hospital) before transitioning into school nursing, and has also served as a clinical nursing instructor at UTEP. Belmonte holds a bachelor’s degree in nursing, and a master’s degree in nursing and nursing education, both from UTEP.

·    Dr. Blanca Lopez has been appointed Director of Secondary Personnel after serving in that position on an interim basis in the 2018-19 school year. Dr. Lopez is a 26-year veteran in education, serving throughout El Paso as a teacher, mentor, coordinator, and recruiter. She holds a bachelor’s degree in elementary education and a master’s degree – both from UTEP – and a doctorate degree in curriculum from New Mexico State University.

·    Shelley Smallwood, current Instructional Technology Initiatives coordinator, has been appointed the new Director of Innovative Learning following the retirement of Micha Villarreal. Smallwood, who began her professional career as a teacher in 1991, has served in a variety of roles at YISD, including instructional technology specialist and Project Get Ahead director. Smallwood holds a bachelor’s degree in elementary education and a master’s degree in curriculum and technology, both from UTEP.

Video+Story: Ysleta ISD approves budget for 2019-2020; Includes employee raises

On Tuesday night, the Ysleta Independent School District (YISD) Board of Trustees has approved a $475.5 million budget for the 2019-2020 school year, which includes employee pay raises ranging from 5% to 6.5%, and a one-time lump-sum payment of $500 per full-time employee.

“On behalf of all employees at the Ysleta Independent School District, I’d like to offer our sincere thanks and appreciation to our dedicated Board of Trustees for providing these generous wage increases,” Superintendent of Schools Dr. Xavier De La Torre said.

“We deeply value the passion, loyalty, and commitment of our employees, and we are proud to provide these pay raises as we continue striving toward greater heights of innovation and excellence in our programs and schools.”

The budget was approved Tuesday night at the school board’s regular meeting, and includes a $23.7 million employee compensation plan that calls for the following pay raises from the mid-point:

6.5% for full-time hourly employees (also classified as paraprofessionals or ancillary);
5% for teachers, nurses, and librarians with 0-5 years of service;
5.5% for teachers, nurses, and librarians with 6-18 years of service;
6% for teachers, nurses, and librarians with 19-30 years of service; and
5% for administration.

“Over the past five years, Ysleta ISD has steadfastly secured optimal revenue and delivered a balanced budget, while also providing annual pay raises and sustaining favorable health and welfare benefits,” YISD officials added via a news release.

“This year’s compensation plan is no different. Aside from the pay raises and one-time lump-sum payment, YISD will also contribute an additional $762 per employee to the district health plan. As a result, YISD employees will not see increases next year in their contributions toward their current health plans, officials said.”

In addition, full-time employees who meet certain requirements will receive a $500 one-time lump-sum payment on their last regular paycheck in November 2019.

This is the third year that YISD has offered the lump-sum payment to its employees.

Ysleta ISD announces new full-day Pre-K starting in August

On Tuesday, officials with the Ysleta Independent School District (YISD) announced that the district is now offering a new full-day pre-kindergarten program free of charge at select campuses for qualified El Paso-area families for the 2019-2020 academic year that begins in August.

“Ysleta ISD is now the first among the city’s three largest public school districts to offer the new full-day pre-K program, thanks to the passage of House Bill 3, which was signed into law last week and provides state funding for full-day pre-K programs for families who meet certain criteria,” district officials shared.

Since HB3 was signed into law, YISD officials have worked promptly and diligently to make the full-day program available at select campuses to families this upcoming school year. As a result, registration packets are now available at each participating campus.

Families in El Paso County can qualify for full-day pre-K if their student is four-years-old on or before Sepember 1, and meets one of the following criteria:

  • Unable to speak and comprehend the English language;
  • Educationally disadvantaged, which means a student eligible to participate in the national free or reduced-price lunch program;
  • Is homeless, as defined by 42 United States Code (U.S.C.) Section 1143a, regardless of the residence of the child, of either parent of the child, or of the child’s guardian or other person having lawful control of the child;
  • Is the child of an active duty member of the armed forces of the United States, including the state military forces or a reserve component of the armed forces, who is ordered to active duty by proper authority;
  • Is the child of a member of the armed forces of the United States, including the state military forces or a reserve component of the armed forces, who was injured or killed while serving on active duty;
  • Is in, or have been in, the conservatorship of the Department of Family and Protective Services (DFPS) following an adversary hearing held as provided by Section 262.201, Family Code; or
  • Is the child of a person eligible for the Star of Texas Award as a peace officer, firefighter, or emergency medical first responder.

Due to the limited space, spots in full-day pre-K classes will be filled on a first-come, first-served basis. Campuses with full-day pre-K classes are as follows: the Parkland and Ysleta Pre-K centers; and Constance Hulbert, East Point, Eastwood Heights, Edgemere, Glen Cove, LeBarron Park, Loma Terrace, Pasodale, Pebble Hills, Scotsdale, Tierra Del Sol, and Vista Hills elementary schools.

For more information regarding Ysleta ISD’s pre-K program and the registration process, visit the website.

13 Ysleta ISD schools named to Texas Honor Roll

Officials with the Ysleta Independent School District announced that 13 of the district’s schools have been named to the 2018-2019 Texas Honor Roll, the most of any school district in the El Paso region.

“We are tremendously proud of our Honor Roll campuses, which continuously demonstrate the kind of innovative instruction and leadership that is needed to ensure student success,” said Ysleta ISD Superintendent Dr. Xavier De La Torre. “This recognition once again proves that our bold, challenging, and ambitious approach to public education is not only yielding high academic achievement, but setting a gold standard for the entire El Paso region.”

The program, presented by Educational Results Partnership (ERP), is part of a national effort to identify higher-performing schools and districts that are improving student outcomes.

The Honor Roll campuses include: Alicia R. Chacon International School, Eastwood Heights Elementary School, Eastwood Knolls International School, Edgemere Elementary School, Glen Cove Elementary School, Mission Valley Elementary School, North Star Elementary School, Ramona Elementary School, REL Washington Elementary School, Scotsdale Elementary School, Valle Verde Early College High School, Vista Hills Elementary School, and Young Women’s Leadership Academy.

ERP, a nonprofit organization that applies data science to help improve student outcomes and career readiness, developed the 2018-2019 Honor Roll, and maintains the nation’s largest database on student achievement and utilizes this data to identify higher-performing schools and districts.

Schools that receive the ERP Honor Roll distinction have demonstrated consistent high levels of student academic achievement, improvement in achievement levels over time, and a reduction in achievement gaps among student populations. For high schools, the ERP Honor Roll recognition also includes measures of college readiness.

In Texas, the ERP Honor Roll program is supported by numerous businesses and organizations, including the Texas Business Leadership Council, American Automobile Association (AAA) Texas, Macy’s, Wells Fargo, Chevron Corporation, and Enterprise Holdings Foundation.

A total of 855 public schools in Texas were recognized.

Rio Bravo Middle student earns invitation to Washington for “doing the write thing”

Ysleta ISD officials announced that Rio Bravo Middle School eighth-grader Hennessy Mendoza has been selected to be one of two ambassadors to represent El Paso at the National Campaign to Stop Violence in June 2019.

Her essay was chosen regionally to win the “Do the Write Thing Challenge,” an educational program that gives middle-school students an opportunity to speak against violence.

The “Do the Write Thing Challenge” Program (DtWT) is an education program designed to give middle school students an opportunity to communicate in classroom discussions in written form, on the topic of bullying or violence and how it impacts their daily lives.

In addition to exposing the causes and impact of bullying and violence, students are asked to identify what they will do to address these problems.

Hennessy was presented with her award by Professor & Director of Mother-Daughter & Son Program at UTEP Dr. Josefina Tinajero; YISD Director of Academics – Middle Schools Naomi Esparza; Rio Bravo MS Principal Dr. Sandra Calzada; and Regional Coordinator of DtWT Maria Silva.

As part of the ceremony, YISD officials added, ” We would also like to also congratulate Hennessy Mendoza’s mother and her teacher Amy Navarette for a job well done.”

YISD announces 2019 summer school food service

The 2019 Summer Food Service Program at the Ysleta Independent School District (YISD) will provide free breakfast and lunch meals to children ages 1-18 from Monday through Thursday during the summer break at select campuses.

Breakfast is typically served from 7:30 a.m. to 8:30 a.m., and lunch from 11 a.m. to 12:30 p.m.  Most campuses are closed on Fridays; on these days, meals will not be served at those schools.

There are exceptions; please review the list below for program dates, locations, and meal times at participating campuses:

May 28 to June 27
Valle Verde Early College High School (breakfast from 8:15 to 9:15 a.m.; lunch from 12:15 p.m. to 1:30 p.m.)

June 10 to June 27
Eastwood MS, Indian Ridge MS, Parkland MS, Riverside MS, Rio Bravo MS, North Loop ES, Del Valle ES, Desertaire ES, Thomas Manor ES, Ysleta MS, Tierra Del Sol ES, Parkland ES, Ysleta Pre K (lunch from 10:40 a.m. to 12:30 p.m.) , Ysleta ES, East Point ES, Eastwood Heights ES, Riverside HS, Plato, Tejas, Eastwood HS

June 10 to July 11 (closed July 4th)
Parkland HS, Hanks HS, Bel Air HS, Del Valle HS

June 10 to July 18 (closed July 4th)
Ysleta HS

Aug. 5 to Aug. 8
Young Women’s Leadership Academy (breakfast 8:30 to 9:30 a.m.; lunch 11:00 a.m. to 12:30 p.m.)

For more information, please contact YISD Child Nutrition Services Verification Clerk Laura Lara at 915-434-0130 or Child Nutrition Services Director Alan R. Crawford at 915-434-0125.

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