Cedar Creek Art Show

I don’t often post two blogs in one day, but some of our High School art students won several awards at the Cedar Creek Art Show recently. Our High School art teacher, Brent Ragland, has shared the following information:

Here are our students’ results in the 4th Annual Cedar Creek Library Art Show:

Best of Show: Jonathan Miller-12th grade

1st Place: Seth Purselley-12th grade,   Kaylin Morton-11th grade

2nd Place: Meagan Gunter-11th grade

3rd Place: Shelbi Wooley-11th grade,  Chandler McFarlin – 10th grade

Congratulations to these students and to all the students that entered their art projects!Below are art projects that were entered by students from Eustace High School:





































































































Lessons from LEAP–Part 2

via Technology Tidbits by Twyla Felty

One of the most compelling activities that took place during last week’s LEAP tour at West Ridge Middle School was the half-hour spent with the student panel. They were funny and engaging, shared favorite apps, and answered questions from the curious group of tourist-educators as we rudely munched our lunch. The highlight, however, came with the final question which was posed by Greg Garner, the Educational Technologist of WRMS. Though I can’t quote it verbatim, the basic question was:

If the iPad program were suddenly ended tomorrow, how would you feel or how would this affect you?

I expected the usual, general student answer:  it would make me sad because I really like technology. However, that was not the response from these students. Their answers reflected true connections to the changes that were brought about by the seamless melding of technology into their learning environment.

One student expressed how he would miss typing since his handwriting was not only horrible for teachers to read, but a painstakingly slow process for him. An 8th grade girl used the word “stressed”. She is so busy that she couldn’t possibly add one more thing to her life, and the iPad has pulled her entire workload into one place, making managing school….well….manageable. Another student said that he would revert to being disorganized. He stated that the iPad kept everything in one place, and, after all, “backpacks don’t have search engines!” I was extremely impressed that technology had dramatically changed the way they learned, the way they functioned,  and the way they felt about school.

What a great question to ask?
If technology were removed from my school tomorrow, how would I feel and how would it affect me?
Perhaps it is the answer to this question that offers a true measurement of how successful we have been in implementing the use of technology into our classrooms.
What would your answer be?

This Week

This is National Library Week. Tomorrow, April 16, is National Librarians’ Day. A special thank you to the librarians and library aides that work with our students and staff in the district: Diane Chambers, High School; Heather Caronna, Middle School; Becki Smith, Intermediate School; and, Debbie McConathy, Primary School.

Congratulations to the softball team on their come from behind victory at Palmer on Friday! The win wraps up a playoff spot for the Lady Bulldogs for the second year in a row.

This week is the last week of the 5th 6 weeks. As last week, there are many different activities and events happening throughout the district this week.

Monday – Bulldog Extra – 3:30 – 5:30

Tuesday – Bulldog Extra – 3:30 – 5:30; Baseball at Kemp; Softball v. Dallas Life Oak; School Board Meeting – 7:00 PM – High School Library

Wednesday – Bulldog Extra – 3:30 – 5:30; Area Track Meet at Buffalo

Thursday – Bulldog Extra – 3:30 – 5:30; Early Childhood and Kindergarten Round-Up – Primary School

Friday – End 5th 6 Weeks; UIL Regional Academic Meet – Stephenville; Right Choice Rewards – Intermediate; Baseball at Red Oak Life

Saturday – UIL Regional Academic Meet – Stephenville

I hope everyone has a great week!

Lessons from LEAP–Part 1

via Technology Tidbits by Twyla Felty

This past week, I was privileged to go to a site visit of West Ridge Middle School in Eanes ISD to see their LEAP program in action. This middle school campus has gone 1:1 with iPads, and I just had to see it for myself! Since my return, I have been asked so many questions about my visit, that I thought I would share my thoughts here.

Lessons I took from LEAP:

1. Have a great reason for going 1:1–not “because we want the toy”. Relevance: learning and creativity
2. Start with a plan–the WRMS plan was a three year deployment process
3. The plan must start with sound investment in infrastructure–including the MDM and APs
4. Develop proper forms for students, parents, and teachers (include Responsible Use Guidelines)
5. Insurance is critical
6. iPads should be etched
7. Cases should be included in implementation cost–protect the corners
8. Apps should be included in implementation cost–starter money per device and additions for each year
9. Plan the initial distribution process careful–who and how many
10. Teachers need the technology 6 months to a year before students
11. Teacher training must be part of the process–PD, OTS, “on time”
12. Minimum teacher expectations and maximum student expectations (or kids can drive the program)
13. Rules for use and a common language established in the school
14. Develop clear communication channels for parents to set expectations and offer support
15. Parents are still in charge at home and teachers are still in charge at school
16.  Plan the check in/check out process–I love the idea of year long check-out!
17. Be prepared for student distractions and the “implementation dip”
18. Follow-up and track progress with “vision committee”–including teachers, parents, students
19. Campus on-site tech help for repairs/tech issues and on-site Ed Tech–two separate roles
20. Allow teachers and students to find and use the apps that meet their needs

I can’t begin to thank the principal, teachers and students of West Ridge Middle School enough for opening your doors to so many curious people. I was very concerned about being subjected to a “dog and pony show”, but everywhere we went, the students and teachers were genuine, open and honest about the entire process.Thank you for sharing your time and your great resources as well.

Best quote of the day:
I asked a 6th grader if he had found moving to the iPad difficult.
His answer: “It’s so easy a teacher can do it!”

Bigger picture:
Starting anything this big requires great planning and attention to detail.
Random acts of technology purchasing is like grocery shopping without a list. You are liable to spend a great deal of time and money only to get home and still not be able to make a meal with what you have in the bag!

The most important thing I learned:
All schools will eventually be 1:1, it is just a matter of when and what device.
This probably shouldn’t be news to me, but I had gone to the site visit because I am concerned about going 1:1 with iPads due to current device management issues I am having with a very small set. This realization was a wake-up call for me. I don’t know when my district will finally move to 1:1 at the Middle School, but, when we do, I hope to be ready, and this site visit was of tremendous help!
I’m certainly glad that I took a look before leaping!!

The great resources of West Ridge Middle School are posted right on their webpage.
For further information on the LEAP program, you can also visit their district’s home page.

2013 District Track Meet

The Eustace varsity girls captured their 3rd straight district title, yesterday. The Eustace varsity boys placed 2nd against a strong field of teams. Both the Eustace JV girls and Eustace JV boys placed 2nd in their divisions.

The top 4 finishers in the varsity events will advance to the new area track meet. The area track meet will be held next Wednesday in Buffalo. The overall results are at the bottom of this post. There is also a link for a pdf file that can be downloaded.

Congratulations to all the athletes and coaches for their hard work, dedication, and preparation.

A special thank you to all the workers that helped at the track meet yesterday. A special thank you to the maintenance department for their work in getting everything ready for the track meet. Finally, a very special thank you to the fans that came out to support the athletes.

I hope everyone has a great weekend!

Download (PDF, 176KB)

Update on HS District Meet, Art Show, and MS Girls Track

The district track meet will be held today. The running prelims will start at 9:00 AM. The field events will follow. The running finals will start no earlier than 5:00 PM. There is no admission charge for the track meet. Everyone is invited to come out and stay all day!

The following information is provided by our Middle School art teacher, Cheri Spivey. While the art show is still a few weeks away, I wanted to give everyone a chance to put this on their calendar.

You are invited to attend an afternoon of Art and Entertainment May 9th from
4-6 pm at the 5th Annual Student Art Show and Sale.

 6th, 7th and 8th grade students have been working hard all year and are anxious to show you their work. This is also a “fund-raiser”.  Almost every art student has donated at least one of their works of art to the show “for sale” by donations. They are all expecting
a big crowd. Please mark your calendars, and I will send another reminder when the day gets closer.

 The art will have a title, the artist’s name, and a suggested amount for donation. You can donate more (or nothing) for your student’s art. This is simply a suggested
“donation”. Of course, you may “purchase” any of the art work offered by any of the students. They will get a thrill from seeing that someone thought their work was “good enough” for someone to buy! The donations collected are so helpful for replacing art media, paper, tools and all the supplies we use up during the year.

 We will have cookies and soda for refreshments and Mady Bragg will be playing her guitar. Martin “Cosmo” Martinez of “Cosmo Universal Art” will return for the 4th year to demonstrate his unique spray paint art. You can visit his web-site and find him on you-tube. His amazing art is painted with spray paint, fire and razor blades. Incredible fantasy worlds emerge as if by magic. If you want a piece of his work, he will have items for sale.

Please, save the date and come to our show, May 9th from 4-6pm.

Oh, and bring your friends and neighbors too!

The following information is furnished by Trever Thorne, Middle School girls coach:

Please join me in congratulating both of the 7th and 8th grade Girl’s Track teams that competed in a very competitive district track meet.

 The 7th grade girl’s team placed third in their 8 team district scoring 87 points.  The 8th
grade girls also placed third in their 9 team district scoring 82 points overall.

We are VERY proud of how hard each young lady works and how well they represent Eustace while attending all of the track meets.