Scholarships

March 31, 2017- The Blue Knights Motorcycle Club is once again offering the Peace Officer Memorial Scholarship, in honor of Paul Habelt. Graduating seniors who are willing to write a 250-500 word essay are eligible to apply. Applications are available in the counselor’s office.

May 1, 2016-The Travis Stone Cates Memorial Scholarship is now available for application. Graduating seniors who are planning to pursue a career in education and coaching are eligible. Applications are available in the counselor’s office.

 

A – F Ratings

By now I am sure that you have heard of the new A – F rating system for public schools. There have been numerous stories from around the state regarding this new system. Overall, not too many people have a favorable view of the A – F system. I want to take just a few minutes and explore, from Eustace ISD’s point of view, why this may be the case:

First, let’s go back to the Accountability Summaries that have been released for each one of our campuses and our district as a whole. These Accountability Summary sheets were released in September 2016. They list how a district (or campus) fared with respect to the 4 indices used in our accountability system. The indices include Student Achievement, Student Progress, Closing Performance Gaps, and Postsecondary Readiness. The district and each of our campuses met all the standards associated with these indices. All of our campuses and the district had the Accountability Rating of “Met Standard.”

The Summary Sheet also lists all the Distinctions that a campus earned. At the High School level, there were 8 different Distinctions possible. Eustace High School earned all 8 Distinctions. The Distinctions included: Academic Achievement in ELA/Reading, Academic Achievement in Mathematics, Academic Achievement in Science, Academic Achievement in Social Studies, Top 25 Percent Student Progress, Top 25 Percent Closing Performance Gaps, and Postsecondary Readiness.

At the Middle School level, 7 Distinctions could be earned. Eustace Middle School earned 3 of those Distinctions: Academic Achievement in ELA/Reading, Top 25 Percent Closing Performance Gaps, and Postsecondary Readiness.

There were also 7 Distinctions possible at the Intermediate School level. Of these 7, Eustace Intermediate earned 2 Distinctions: Top 25 Percent Closing Performance Gaps and Postsecondary Readiness.  (The Primary School is paired with the Intermediate School for accountability purposes.)

Now let’s compare the A – F grade that each campus received in the different Domains (The “Domains” in the A – F system correspond to the “Indices” in the Accountability Summary Sheets. The state using different names from one system to another just makes it more confusing for people to understand.) For the High School, in Domain I, Student Performance, the letter grade assigned was a “C”. Even though the High School received every Distinction possible with respect to student achievement, the letter grade was only a “C”. As stated above, the High School earned every possible Distinction possible. Yet, the highest letter grade at the High School was a “B”. There appears to be a disconnect between the Accountability System and the A – F Ratings System.

As noted above, every campus received a Distinction for Postsecondary Readiness. Yet, in the A – F system, the district letter grade for Postsecondary Readiness is a “D”. How do you achieve a Distinction at every campus and make a “D” as a district?

One of the most perplexing grades was given to the Middle School in the area of Student Progress. The Middle School met and exceeded the Target Score in the Index, but was given an “F” in the Domain. To me an “F” represents failing. How can a school be failing in an Index in which they scored above the Target Score to earn Met Standard?

Included with the A-F grades are explanations for how each grade is calculated. Domain III offers an interesting explanation for the formula used. It states, “Based on slope-intercept form: y = mx + b.” To me, if you are having to call on the slope-intercept formula to explain anything in the A – F system, something’s not right. This is supposed to be an “easy to understand” system.

Finally, in the report given to our legislators, the Texas Education Agency has included 3 pages of “caveats” about the A – F Rating System. According to Google, a caveat is defined as “a warning or proviso of specific stipulations, conditions, or limitations.” If these ratings are supposed to be a true indication of how well our schools are doing, how can there be even one caveat, much less three pages of them?

At Eustace ISD, we are going to keep doing what is in the best interest of our students. We are not going to be defined by a number or a letter. Instead, we will continue to be defined by making decisions based on the needs of our children. If you have questions, comments, or concerns about anything, please feel free to contact me at cholcombe@eustaceisd.net. Or, if you would like, please come by and visit me in person.

 

 

 

This Week

I hope everyone had a great 3 day weekend!!

Tuesday – High School Boys and Girls District Basketball at Scurry – 4:00

Thursday – MS Girls Basketball at Kemp – 5:00; MS Boys Basketball v. Kemp – 5:00

Friday – All Region Band Concert and Clinic in Canton; High School Boys and Girls Basketball v. Edgewood – 4:00

Saturday – All Region Band Concert and Clinic in Canton

I hope everyone has a great week!

 

TSI Testing

TSI testing will be held at Eustace High School on Tuesday, February 21 and Tuesday, March 21, 2017. Students who are eligible to test are:

  • Freshmen who are interested in the TVCC Welding program
  • Sophomores who are interested in taking college classes beginning the Summer of 2017
  • Juniors interested in taking college classes beginning the Summer of 2017
  • Eustace ISD will pay testing fees for students twice. After that, students must pay their own testing fee ($30.00)
  • Seniors- the district will pay for a limited number of seniors (who have never had their testing paid for by the district) to test one time. Our priority is to give those who want to be in dual credit classes the chance to test, and there are limited spaces.

Students can sign up for the February test January 17- February 15, 2017. A sign -up sheet will be posted on my door.

Students may visit the following websites for study resources:

www.mometrix.com/academy/tsi-test/

 https://secure-media.collegeboard.org/digitalServices/pdf/accuplacer/accuplacer-texas-success-initiative-assessment-sample-questions.pdf

www.tsipracticetest.com

 https://www.testprepreview.com/texas-success-initiative.htm

 www.mathhelp.com/tsi-math-test-prep/

 

 

NHS Dance

Who?: All students 9th-12th grade

When?: January 28th from 6:00-10:00 P.M.

Where?: EHS Cafeteria

Tickets will be sold before school and during FOCUS in the cafeteria by NHS members and Mrs. Miley. Cost is $3 for individuals and $5 for couples. These and all other details will be given through announcements, so make sure that your student is listening!

Update on Board Meeting, State Spirit Competition

I apologize for the lack of updates. We have had some technology issues that have required extensive repair time from our tech guys. I want to update you on a couple of things.

Board Meeting this Past Monday

This past Monday, the EISD Board of Trustees held a public hearing to review the 2015-2016 Texas Academic Performance Report. The public hearing started at 6:45 and was held in the High School library. During the hearing, the Board reviewed the TAPR’s for the district and each campus. The TAPR also contained the campus improvement plans for all campuses, a report on violent and criminal incidents, a report from the Texas Higher Education Coordinating Board on post secondary attendees, and a glossary. Following is a list of Distinctions earned at each campus:

High School – EHS earned every Distinction possible in 2015-2016
Academic Achievement in ELA/Reading
Academic Achievement in Math
Academic Achievement in Science
Academic Achievement in Social Studies
Top 25 Percent Student Progress
Top 25 Percent Closing Performance Gaps
Postsecondary Readiness

Middle School – EMS earned 3 out of 7 possible Distinctions in  2015-2016
Academic Achievement in ELA/Reading
Top 25 Percent Closing Performance Gaps
Postsecondary Readiness

Intermediate – EIS earned 2 out of 7 possible Distinctions in 2015-2016
Top 25 Percent Closing Performance Gaps
Postsecondary Readiness
(Note: Eustace Primary is paired with Eustace Intermediate for accountability purposes.)

Update on Regular Monthly Board Meeting

Following the TAPR hearing, the Eustace ISD Board of Trustees held their regular monthly meeting. The following actions were taken during the meeting:

  • School Board Recognition – All Board Members were recognized for their service to EISD. The Intermediate School provided a meal for the board, the Primary School provided desserts, the Middle School provided decorations, and the High School provided treat bags for each board member. In addition, each board member received a certificate of appreciation for the time and effort put in making sure that each student in EISD receives a world class education. Board members include:

Gary Walsh – President
Ashley McKee – Vice President
Bobby Ashton – Secretary
Cotton Walker – Member
Steven Bell – Member
Jimmy Kirkhart – Member
David Morton – Member

A special thank you to each of our board members for their devotion to providing our children with the best possible education!

  • Approved minutes from previous meetings.
  • Approved financial reports.
  • Approved the 2016 audit report.
  • Approved a resolution calling for a school board election on May 9, 2017.
  • Approved contract with the City of Eustace for the school trustee general election.
  • Accepted the resignation of Richard Gaddis.
  • Approved the employment of the following personnel: Jerry Clark as night custodian at the High School; Stacy Gilbreath as cook at the Primary cafeteria; and, Shelby Adams as principal of Eustace Primary.
  • Approved the extension of the superintendent’s contract by one year.
  • Approved the list of transfer students as presented.
  • Adjourned.

State Spirit Competition

On Wednesday, January 11, 2017, the Eustace Varsity Cheer Squad competed in the 2nd annual State Spirit Competition. During the preliminary round, squads competed in three categories: Fight Song, Band Dance, and Crowd Leading. This year, the Bulldog Cheerleaders competed in the 3A/4A Small Coed Division. The Bulldog Cheerleaders won the state championship in all three categories!! Overall, after the final round of competition, the Bulldogs finished 3rd in state and brought home the bronze medal!! Congratulations to all the students and their coaches, Melanie Tanner and Amanda Planeta, for all the hard work and long hours spent preparing for this competition. Also, I want to thank all the parents, grandparents, and other friends and relatives for all of their support this year.

Scholarships

February 10, 2017- The Henderson County Black History Scholarship application is now available for graduating seniors to apply. Application rules are:

  • Applicants must write an essay  entitled “ The Crisis in Black Education” , with a sub theme of “Is Your Education Complete?”
  • Applicants must submit a photo
  • Applicants must not have been arrested or convicted of a felony
  • Applicants must have a GPA between 70-90.
  • Applicants must submit two letters of recommendation, one from a teacher and an additional character reference.
  • Recipients of the scholarship must agree to attend the Parent/Student meeting and the Black History Banquet, which will be held at the Malakoff Community Center on February 25 at 7 pm.
  • Recipients must also agree to sell 5 banquet tickets.

PLEASE NOTE: Applicants do not have to be African-American to apply for this scholarship. Applications are available in the counselor’s office.

 

March 17, 2017- The Rotary Club of Cedar Creek Lake is once again offering scholarships to area graduating seniors who:

  • Are a member of a club or organization that participates in community service or have completed some type of community service personally
  • Have a letter of recommendation from a high school teacher, counselor or principal
  • Have a letter of recommendation from a member of the community who is not related
  • Have an overall GPA of 75 or higher

 

Students must also submit a photograph and a copy of their most recent transcript.

Applications are available in the counselor’s office.

 

March 31, 2017- The Cedar Creek Lake Kiwanis Club is offering two scholarships to graduating seniors. One is for students who will major in any discipline, and the other one (Kimberly LaCour Memorial Scholarship) is for students who plan to seek a degree in nursing. The applications are available in the counselor’s office. PLEASE NOTE: Students must type forms or fill out on computer. Handwritten forms will not be considered.

 

April 1, 2017-The Knights of Columbus of Gun Barrel City are offering a scholarship to graduating seniors who:

  • Have a minimum 2.75 GPA
  • Can provide proof of school attendance for the past two years
  • Can document active participation in extra-curricular activities in church, school and community
  • Proof of participation in  religious programs provided by your church
  • Document acceptance into college, university, seminary or convent
  • Provide a written statement  as to why you should receive this grant

Applications are available in the counselor’s office

 

 

Scholarships; TVEC Youth Tour

February 6, 2017-The Houston Livestock Show and Rodeo/Henderson County Area Go-Texan/ Scholarship is open for application for graduating seniors. To be eligible, applicants must

  • score at least a 950 on the SAT or a 19 on the ACT, and an official copy of scores must be included with the application (this can be a copy of the form sent by SAT or ACT, a print-out of scores, or a high school transcript listing scores).
  • Be ranked in the top 1/3 of the class at the completion of the first semester of the senior year, and this must be verified with an official transcript or certification from an appropriate school official.
  • Have made formal application to enroll with intent to attend an accredited, not for profit Texas college or university and participate in a curriculum leading to a bachelor’s degree. Online colleges or universities are not permitted.

To apply, visit www.rodeohouston.com, and look under the scholarship tab toward the bottom of the page on the right side. You will find complete information on the registration process there.

*Applicants for the Houston Livestock Scholarship ($20,000) do not have to be a member of FFA or 4-H. If applicant is a member of one or both, make a copy of your application and submit it to the Henderson County Area Go Texan Committee for a chance to win $2,000.

Another related scholarship is for graduating seniors who plan to further their education through a vocational program in Texas. This is the Henderson County Go Texas Vocational Scholarship  program. Applications for this scholarship are in the counselor’s office. These applications are due April 15,2017.

 

April 3, 2017- The TVEC (Trinity Valley Electric Cooperative) Scholarship is now available for application. Applicants must:

  • Be graduating seniors in the top 20% of their class
  • Parent or guardian must have TVEC electricity at their primary residence
  • Be continuing their education at an accredited school of higher education
  • Must be taking a minimum of 12 semester hours in college

Copies of the application are available in the counselor’s office.

Remember that the deadline for the TVEC Youth Tour to Washington D.C. is February 6, 2017. High school sophomores, juniors and seniors are eligible to enter the Youth Tour to Washington, D.C. Contest and win an all-expense paid trip to Washington, D.C. The trip takes place in June of each year. Highlights include a visit to your congressional offices, tours of historic monuments, memorials and the Smithsonian Institute. The tour group will travel to Arlington National Cemetery, Washington National Cathedral, the Supreme Court, and to the Library of Congress, as well as other special attractions. Applications are available in the counselor’s office.

Welcome Back and This Week

I hope everyone had a safe and enjoyable Christmas break! We have completed 3 of the 6 six-week periods of the 2016-2017 school year. Today is a staff workday. Tomorrow is the start of the 4th 6 weeks. Students will return at regular times tomorrow.

This Week

Monday – Staff Workday

Tuesday – Start of 4th 6 Weeks; High School Boys and Girls Basketball v. Quitman – 4:00

Thursday – Intermediate – Perfect Attendance/Right Choice Drawings; Report cards issued; Middle School Basketball – Girls at Grand Saline & Boys v. Grand Saline – 5:00

Friday – High School Boys and Girls Basketball at Grand Saline – 4:00

Saturday – Area All Region Tryouts; Cheerleading Show Off

I hope everyone has a great week!