School Board Attends Training Sessions

The Eustace ISD Board of Trustees recently attended the Summer Leadership Institute in San Antonio. The Summer Leadership Institutes provides training for new and experienced board members. Certain training sessions for board members are recommended annually. The Summer Leadership Institute is sponsored by the Texas Association of School Boards. EISD was one of the few districts in attendance that had 100% of its board members at the training.

Please take a few minutes to thank the members of the EISD Board for all the time that they devote to making sure that our students receive a world-class education. The members of the EISD Board of Trustees include: Gary Walsh, president; Michael Cates, vice president; Ashley McKee, secretary; Cotton Walker, member; Sonny Hodge, member; Bobby Ashton, member; and Steven Bell, member.

Governor Perry Signs HB 5

Last week, Texas Governor Rick Perry signed HB 5 into law. HB 5 provides some dramatic changes in the state’s testing program, graduation programs, and accountability system. Below is a summary from the Equity Center on the changes:

Yesterday, Public Education Chairman Jimmie Don Aycock’s House Bill 5, a comprehensive education reform bill, was signed into law. There will be a transition plan for House Bill 5 to go into effect beginning with the 2014-15 school year, but students who enter the ninth grade before the 2014-15 school year will be permitted to choose between one of the current plans or the new foundation plan as outlined in the bill and 2013-14 seniors will be allowed to graduate if they have
met the requirements of the foundation plan.

 As approved, House Bill 5 will make the following changes:

 Graduation Plans

  • Create a foundation plan of 22  credits which includes: 4 ELA, 3 Math, 3 Science, 3 Social Studies, 2 Foreign Language, 1 Fine Art, 1 PE and 5 electives.
  • Allow students to earn an additional endorsement in one of five areas: STEM, Business and Industry, Public Services, Arts and Humanities and Multidisciplinary Studies. Each endorsement requires students to earn a total of 26 credits which includes an additional flexible math credit, flexible science credit and two      additional electives.
  • Require all students to have a personal graduation plan developed with their parents and local educators that promotes college and workforce readiness.
  • Allow districts to partner with community colleges and industry to develop rigorous courses that address workforce needs, provide technical training and count towards graduation.

Assessment

  • Reduce the number of required end-of-course assessments from fifteen to five.
  • Allow students to meet their graduation assessment requirement by passing ELA I, ELA II, Algebra I, biology and US History. English Language Arts tests are combined into one assessment instead of separate reading and writing tests.
  • Eliminate the requirement that the end-of-course assessments determine fifteen percent of a student’s course grade and establishes clear graduation requirements for students and parents by eliminating the cumulative score requirement.
  • Provide for transparency by requiring the STAAR exams to be released to the public.
  • Allow satisfactory performance on Advanced Placement exams, SAT exams and the ACT to satisfy graduation requirements.
  • Allow districts at their discretion to administer English III and Algebra II assessments for diagnostic purposes only.

Accountability

  • Evaluate schools on more measures than state standardized assessment by requiring at least three additional indicators of academic performance including but not limited to percentage of students graduating with endorsements or distinguished level of performance, number of students earning college credit and number of students earning workforce certificates.
  • Establish a three category rating system that evaluates schools on academic performance, financial performance and community and student engagement.
  • Direct the agency and districts to release all three ratings at the same time to provide a clearer understanding of overall school performance.
  • Allow local communities to engage in the accountability process by requiring districts to set goals and evaluate performance locally in addition to state ratings.

Thanks for a Great Year

It really is difficult to believe that today is the last day of the 2012-2013 school year. It seems like it was just a few weeks ago that I was writing an entry welcoming everyone back for the school year! In my experience, school years that go by fast are usually school years in which there have been many successes throughout the year. To me, there is no doubt that the 2012-2013 school year falls in that category. There is not enough time to go through all of the successes that our students, staff, and parents have enjoyed this year. I do want to take this opportunity to thank some people for making this a successful year.

  • First, I want to thank the staff members of EISD. Your hard work and dedication throughout this year has been evident. Everything that you do for our students is greatly appreciated. I know that there are many things that you do that go unnoticed. These are the things that really make a difference in the lives of our students.
  • Second, I want to thank the EISD Board of Trustees for providing us the resources and the means to provide a world-class education for our students. All of the things that seemingly come together to make everything possible are the result of the leadership and guidance of our school board.
  • Third, I want to thank the parents, grandparents, family and friends that provide the support that is absolutely necessary for success. Without you, the success we enjoy would simply not be possible.
  • Finally, I want to thank the students of EISD. Your hard work and willingness to do whatever is necessary truly makes this district what it is. You make EISD different from other districts. Very simply, you are the best!

I hope everyone has a safe and enjoyable summer!

Graduation and This Week

Congratulations to the Class of 2013!! Graduation ceremonies were held this past Saturday in the E. L. Kirk Gymnasium for our seniors. As always, we had a great turn out to honor our graduates. I want to say thank you to some people that made this event a great success:

  • Jack Wallace and the maintenance and custodial staff went above and beyond in getting the gym set up and ready for graduation. This is not something that just happens the day before graduation. This is almost a week long project that involves getting the floor covered, setting the stage up, bringing chairs from storage and then arranging those chairs on the floor. In addition, the gym was cleaned from top to bottom.
  • HIgh School Staff – I want to thank Stan Sowers, Shelby Adams, Gwen Orr, and Phyllis Bice for all the work they put in to making this graduation a great success. Also, a special thank you to the senior sponsors: Jeff Brown, Theresa Tindel, Beth Costlow, Chuck Powers, Heather Holloway, Kathleen Krum, Heath Ragle, and Vikki GoDair. Also a special recognition to Mandy Rolison for a great send off speech for the seniors.
  • Transportation Department – Thanks for providing the shuttle vehicles.
  • Law Enforcement Agencies – A special thank you to the DPS, Henderson County, and Eustace Police Department for providing security for graduation. Also to our security officers – Haskell Cook and Wade Morton.
  •  The Eustace Volunteer Fire Department – A special thank you for providing people to help with parking.
  • Staff Members – Thanks to all the staff members from all the campuses that came out to be a part of the ceremonies.
  • All the parents, grandparents, family and friends that came out to honor the graduates. Thank you for your attendance. None of this would be possible without your help and support.
  • EISD Board of Trustees – A very special thank you for giving us the means and resources to provide a first class education for our students and a first class graduation ceremony for our seniors.
  • Finally, to the Class of 2013 – You definitely made EISD better. May you continue to enjoy success in whatever you pursue. Always be Bulldog Proud!

This Week – We only have two school days this week and both of those are early release days.

Monday – Early Release; Intermediate Awards Day

Tuesday – Last Day of Classes; Early Release; Intermediate – Big Prize Giveaway/ Money-Aire Championship; Primary – 1st and 2nd Grade Parties

Wednesday – Staff Workday

I hope everyone has a great week.