Friday

Congratulations to the 7th, 8th, and JV football teams on posting wins last night against Quitman!

This afternoon, the volleyball teams travel to Malakoff for a district match. The varsity will play at 4:30, followed by the JV and 9th grade. All of the volleyball teams remain undefeated in district play. The varsity goes into this afternoon’s match with at 10-0 district record.

Tonight, the varsity football team plays host to Quitman. Kickoff is set for 7:30. Tonight’s game is an important district contest for both teams. In addition to football, the Mighty Bulldog Marching Band and the varsity cheerleaders will be providing support and entertainment.

The Bulldog Band is getting ready for their performance at the UIL Marching Contest this coming Wednesday. The band will be participating in the Mabank Marching Contest on Saturday.

We will also be hosting our annual cross country meet on Saturday at the 4 Pines Ranch. There will be a number of teams at this meet and this will be the final meet prior to the district meet on October 21. Eustace will also be hosting the district meet at the 4 Pines Ranch.

I hope everyone has a great weekend!

Federal Programs

With the shutdown at the federal level, I thought that it would be a good time to review the funding the EISD receives from the federal level. First, EISD receives funds from Title I and Title II. These funds are used to pay for teachers, aides, and contracted services. Title I funds are provided to schools with a high concentration of low income and disadvantaged students. Title II funds provide local school districts with money to improve the quality of teaching and principal leadership through recruitment, teacher training and professional development, and class size reduction.

EISD also receives funding at the federal level for our Head Start classes. The purpose of Head Start is to provide disadvantaged students with the necessary academic skills, social skills, and health needs to be successful in school. Head Start does not just focus on students, but works with the entire family to improve the academic readiness of students.

Federal funding is also provided to EISD for special needs children. Along with state aid for these students, EISD receives IDEA funds from the federal level. These funds are designed to help these students reach their full academic and social potential.

Finally, we receive federal funding for our school breakfast and lunch program. The amount of funding that a district receives in this program is based upon the number of students receiving free or reduced price meals.

Overall, EISD receives over $1 million in federal funds through these programs. These funds are all designed to help disadvantaged students to achieve at the highest possible level. If you ever have questions about any of our federal programs, please do not hesitate to contact me at cholcombe@eustaceisd.net. I will be happy to answer your questions.

This Week

Congratulations to the Mighty Bulldog Marching Band on earning a 1st Division at the Mesquite Marching Festival!! According to Todd Felty, EISD band director, this is the highest rating that the Bulldog Band has received at the Mesquite Festival in over 15 years. The band will be competing at the Cedar Creek Marching Festival in Mabank this Saturday in preparation for the UIL Marching Contest at Mesquite on Wednesday, October 16.

All the High School volleyball teams remained undefeated in district play after posting wins over Kemp this past Friday. The varsity team will be playing Hampton Prep today at 5:00.

This Week

Tuesday – Start of 2nd 6 Weeks; HS Varsity Volleyball v. Hampton Prep – 5:00; Band Practice 6:30 – 9:00

Thursday – Report Cards; MS & JV Football at Quitman – 5:00

Friday – Intermediate Right Choice Awards; High School District Volleyball at Malakoff – 4:30; Varsity Football v. Quitman – 7:30

Saturday – Cedar Creek Lake Marching Festival at Mabank; Eustace Cross Country Meet

I hope everyone has a great week!

Friday, Holiday Monday, and Raptor

Today marks the end of the 1st 6 weeks in the 2013-2014 school year. Report cards will go out next Thursday.

Today our cross country teams compete in the Lindale meet. This afternoon, the varsity girls volleyball team will host Kemp in an important district match. The varsity will start at 4:30. The JV and 9th grade teams will play after the varsity match.

Tonight, the varsity football team will travel to Malakoff for their second district game. Kickoff is set for 7:30. Along with the football game, fans will get to see the Mighty Bulldog Marching Band and the varsity cheerleading squad.

I encourage everyone to come out and support the volleyball teams and then make the short drive to Malakoff to support the football team, band, and cheerleaders!

Tomorrow, the Mighty Bulldog Marching Band competes in the Mesquite Marching Festival.

A reminder that Monday, October 7, is a comp day. There will be no classes on Monday. Classes will resume Tuesday, October 8, at their regular times.

Starting Tuesday, each campus will have the Raptor Security System online for visitors to the school. Visitors will be required to show a state ID that will be scanned by a card reader. The Raptor System will generate a unique visitor pass, complete with picture, for each visitor. The Raptor System will also check each visitor against a nation-wide database of sex offenders.

I hope everyone has a great weekend!

TEA Waiver Approved and Federal Shutdown

Districts across the state were recently notified that the Department of Education had “conditionally approved’ the waiver request submitted by TEA regarding requirements of the No Child Life Behind Act. Several other states have already had similar waivers approved. Basically, the waiver will mean that Texas schools and districts will no longer be subject to Adequate Yearly Progress (AYP) and will also not be required to commit federal funds to address not meeting AYP.

In a letter from the Department of Education, it states: “The USDE announced on Monday that Texas has been approved for a waiver from No Child Left Behind (NCLB), in exchange for state-developed plans to prepare all students for college and career, focus aid on the neediest students, and support effective teaching and leadership.”

AYP was designed to ensure that all student groups were meeting achievement goals; however, each year the minimum percent of students passing was increased until it reached 100%. While it is always the goal of EISD to have a 100% pass rate in all tests, it is somewhat less than ideal to think that if 99% of the students met the standard, a school or district would still be rated as not met AYP. Adequate Yearly Progress was a good start, but, as with all things in education, its usefulness needs to be reexamined at the federal level.

Since districts will not be labeled with AYP any longer, districts will not be subject to the requirements that certain funds must be set aside if a district missed AYP. Since EISD had missed AYP last year, there was a requirement EISD had to set aside 20% of our Title I allotment for professional development. EISD had always used Title I and Title II funds for professional development. Usually, this amounted to about 10% collectively of both funds. These professional development activities provided numerous opportunities for our core subject area teachers to receive training through the Region 7 Service Center. Having to add another 10% on top of what we were already spending was taking away from the areas (such as additional teachers) where we could best utilize these funds.

Overall, the waiver is a great benefit for EISD. We will be able to serve our students in a way that best meets their needs.

As for the federal government shutdown, I do not think that we will see a great deal of impact. From what I have read, the federal programs that are utilized most in our district (Title I, Title II, school lunch and breakfast program) are not going to be impacted by the shutdown. The funding for these programs were already in place. There may be some delay in getting funds because of a reduced work force in Washington, but overall, the impact on EISD will be minimal. The only program in which there is some question is the Head Start program. This program may be more vulnerable to a shutdown. We will have to wait and see on this. Our intention is to keep all of our programs operating to serve our students.

A reminder that our Middle School and JV football teams will be hosting Malakoff starting at 5:00 PM. The 7th grade will play first, followed by the 8th grade and then the JV.