ParentConnection

by Coy Holcombe.  

The electronic grade book that the district uses, GradeSpeed, has a feature called ParentConnection that allows parents/guardians to monitor their children’s grade via the Internet. Attendance can also be monitored this way. In order to take advantage of these features, all you need is an Internet connection and an email address.

To enroll in ParentConnection, go to the district’s homepage, www.eustaceisd.net, and look on the left-hand side of the page for the “GradeSpeed Parent/Teacher Access” link. Click on this link. A “Sign in to GradeSpeed” page will appear with several choices. Click on the “Parent” link at the bottom.  The sign in screen will now appear. Click on the link at the bottom of the sign in box that is titled “Click here to sign up.”  An information screen will appear. At this screen, you are asked to provide a user name and a password. The user name can be anything that you like; however, it needs to be something that is easy to remember. Many people choose the first initial of their first name along with their entire last name. For example, Sam Jones might choose the user name sjones. You will also have to provide a password.  This password may be letters, numbers, or a combination of letters and numbers. The other information required at the top of this page is self-explanatory. In the middle of this page is a button that says “Add Email.” Click on this button to add an email address to your account. At the bottom of the page is a check box stating that you agree to the terms and conditions of using this service. Once all of the information is entered, click the “Submit” link at the bottom of the page. Your information will be submitted to the appropriate campus for review.

Once your information is reviewed and approved, you will receive an email stating that you can now log in to ParentConnection. On your initial log in, you will need to add your students to your account. To do this, click on the blue link titled “Add a student to my account.” A screen will appear and ask you to enter information for the student you wish to add. You will need to enter the student’s name, address, birthday, and campus. You will also have to enter the student’s ID number. If you are unsure of this number, please refer to that student’s report card. If you do not have a report card, you will need to contact the campus that student attends and ask for their ID number. At the bottom of the page, click the “Submit” button. The campus that your student attends will review this information and add your student to your account. The campus will also send you an email to let you know that your child has been added to your account. If you have more than one child, regardless of what campus they attend, simply follow the same procedure for adding that child. You do not have to have separate accounts for each child.

One of the best features of the ParentConnection program is the ability to set “triggers” for your children. Triggers will generate an email or text message if your child’s average in any case falls below an average that you have set. Triggers can also be used to monitor your child’s attendance. To set triggers, you must be logged into ParentConnection. On the left side of the page, click on the “Triggers” link.

You can access ParentConnection anytime to view your child’s current averages. The averages are clickable and will let you see all the grades that make up that average. I encourage all parents to take advantage of this informative tool.  

Videos on the Website

by Coy Holcombe.  

Last year, visitors to our homepage had an opportunity to view weekly video updates from the high school. There were also videos available of special events at other campuses. This year EISD is expanding its video content at all campuses. We are doing this for several reasons: first, it is important that our students know and learn how to use this technology. Second, this gives an opportunity for parents to view events that they may not have been able to attend. Third, it gives community members an opportunity to keep up with some of the events happening at EISD. Finally, as we expand our video library, we hope to be able to provide parents and students with an opportunity to review important presentations at a later time.

One of the major goals this year was the live broadcast of a Friday night football game over the Internet. Rusty Meyners, the district’s technology coordinator, has done an outstanding job in making this a reality. Rusty has also recruited high school students to help in this undertaking.

As this year progresses, EISD will be adding to its video library. Please visit the homepage and click on the television for a listing of available videos at each campus. 

Atomic Learning

by Coy Holcombe.  

If you have visited our homepage, you have seen the link for Atomic Learning (or AL for short). Atomic Learning has an entire library of videos devoted to technology applications and other technology topics. EISD has contracted with Atomic Learning to provide this library for all staff members, students, and community members. There is no charge to anyone to use this library.

You will need a log-in name and a password to get into the system. Although this library of videos is made available for all to use, contractual obligations prevent EISD from posting the log-in and password on the homepage. Instead, just send an email to AL@EustaceISD.net and the log-in and password will be emailed to you. Again, I want to emphasize that this is a service available not only to our faculty and students, but to community members as well.

I encourage you to take advantage of this vast resource. Once in the Atomic Learning website, you can search for specific topics or applications. Most of the topics have the lessons broken down into short segments. You can view all the lessons in order or pick and choose which topics you want to watch. If you have any questions concerning Atomic Learning, please email me at cholcombe@eustaceisd.net.

 

"How 'bout those Bulldogs"

by Stan Sowers.  

What a great week of festivities leading up to the homecoming game against Quitman.  I’d like to thank everyone involved.  We could not have pulled it off without the help of the booster club, cheerleaders, homecoming committee,  maintenance department, band, and even the Ag program.

And what a homecoming it was.  In front of a packed house, the Eustace Bulldogs regained the lead with just under 2 minutes remaining in the game and then let their defense secure the victory with a fumble recovery and an interception.  This brings their record for the season to 2 and 2.

I couldn’t be more proud of the students, the staff, and the volunteers that made this such a successful week.  My hope is that all bulldogs, young and old, felt as proud to be a part of Eustace ISD.   

Compensatory Funding

by Coy Holcombe.  

EISD receives about 59% of its funding from the state. The other 41% comes from local sources. The 59% from the state is made up of various programs. One of the programs is compensatory funding. Compensatory funding is based on the number of students with approved free and reduced lunch applications. Actually, the exact number is the average of the highest six months of approved applications from the previous federal fiscal year. So, right now, EISD is receiving compensatory funding based on the number of approved applications from October 2007 – September 2008. Currently, this number is about 1021.

As stated before, this 1021 is the average of the highest six months from the previous federal fiscal year. This number might increase somewhat based on the approved applications from September 2008; however, at this point it will not decrease any. 

To calculate our state compensatory funding, take the district’s compensatory number, 1021, and multiply it by our adjusted allotment. The adjusted allotment is the greater of several different allotments that are calculated by the state. For EISD, our adjusted allotment is $3,614. Multiplying these two numbers together gives us $3,689,894. However, at his point, the state is only funding 20% of this allotment. Now, take $3,689,894 and multiply it by 20% = $737,978. From this allotment, the state deducts an amount to help pay for the cost of state testing and other related expenses. For EISD, the state deducts about $62,000. So, that leaves EISD receiving about $676,000 in compensatory funding.

EISD uses its compensatory funding to pay for certain teachers’ salaries, certain paraprofessional salaries, tutorials, special programs, and supplies and materials. If you have any questions about our compensatory program, or any other program in EISD, please do not hesitate to contact me at cholcombe@eustaceisd.net.

Friday

by Coy Holcombe.  

What a fantastic Friday night! Everything got started about 2:30 with a parade and pep rally held at Bulldog Stadium. Special thanks goes out to the National Champion TVCC Cheerleading Squad for taking time out of their busy schedule to come over and participate in our pep rally.

After that, our varisty volleyball team got the evening started by posting another win. We had a tremendous crowd to see our Bulldogs win their homecoming game 41-32. Before the game, Brandy Hilliard was crowned homecoming queen for 2008. At halftime, everyone enjoyed the performance of the Bulldog Band. Also at halftime, there were several staff members recognized for their service to EISD. We have 8 staff members with 30 or more years of service to the district. These staff members include: Geraldine Carson – 30 years, Rob Tyner – 30 years, Janice Beasley – 30 years, Judy Wimberley – 31 years, Henry Carter – 32 years, Nettie Holland – 35 years, Chuck Powers – 40 years, and Elbert Kirk – 45 years.

Special thanks goes out to everyone who made this homecoming weekend a great success. The athletic booster club officers and members put in a lot of hours in preparation for homecoming. Our maintenance staff worked many hours making sure that our facilities were in top condition. Our EHS cheerleaders, which is the best cheerleading squad in this area, did a fantastic job with the signs and cheering on our Bulldogs.

Finally, I want to thank all the ex-students for making the trip home to Eustace. I hope each of you had a fantastic homecoming.

Community Effort

by Coy Holcombe.  

The original bonfire was built and in place on Wednesday. Our ag department worked hard getting the wood in place for this community event. Sometime late Wednesday night, this bonfire was vandalized and destroyed. However, school personnel and community members came to the rescue Thursday. I wish I had the names of everyone that contributed to rebuilding the bonfire. I do know that Jack Wallace, Haskell Cook, Donald Slay, and Doug Wendell spent a good portion of Thursday morning hauling and stacking wood. I know that Chance Sutton offered all the wood that we needed for the bonfire. I know that we had parents and students bring in pickup loads of wood yesterday afternoon. And, I know that the bonfire last night was a great success.

Thank you to all the people that came together to make this bonfire happen. I hope everyone has a great homecoming weekend!

Hurricane Aftermath

by Coy Holcombe.  

It is still early in the day, but it appears that EISD did not suffer any hurricane related damage. Our maintenance crews are checking out each campus this morning. While we will probably have a few leaks from the wind-blown rain, there is no outward appearance of any damage to our buildings or other structures.

A special thank you goes out to all our maintenance staff and technology staff for their preparations for the storm. Proactive measures were implemented by each of these staffs to ensure that our electronic equipment and data would not be damaged by the storm. In addition, our maintenance staff stayed well into the night on Friday to clean up after the football game and to make sure everything was secured.

Open House

by Coy Holcombe.  

Tomorrow, between the hours of 1:00 and 2:15, we are having an open house for all ex-students and community members to tour district campuses. I would like to extend a personal invitation to all ex-students to come by and see the new additions at each of our campuses. We are certainly proud of all of our new facilities and extremely thankful to the community for their support in the construction of these facilities. For anyone that has been away for awhile, I would like to briefly recap the construction that has taken place over the last two years:

Primary – We have completely enclosed the campus and added approximately 20 new classrooms and a new media center. Of our four campuses, this is the campus that has seen the most dramatic change in appearance and functionality.

Intermediate – New classrooms were added and a new cafeteria seating area was added onto the back of the existing Primary cafeteria.

Middle School – A new practice gym was added that included new dressing rooms and a new weight room.

High School – New classrooms were added as well as a new science lab. The High School was also completely remodeled on the inside. Murals have also been added on a couple of walls.

New Competition Gym (under construction) – The new gym is being constructed on the west end of the football parking lot.

New Transportation Facility (under construction) – This is being built on FM 316, just south of Bulldog Stadium.

As a result of the new construction, we have been able to relocate two of the portables that were being used as classrooms to other places in the district. One is now located next to the band hall and serves as a practice building for the band. Another portable was relocated south of the Primary school and serves as our DAEP.

Again, none of this would have been possible without the support from the community

"Bad to the Bone"

by Stan Sowers.  

Let’s hear it for our own Shawn Baldwin!  He was selected as the "Built Ford Tough 3A Player of the Week" for the entire State of Texas.  Rushed for 240 plus yards with a heavy heart after his mothers funeral that afternoon.  What an inspiration to all of us.

How about that FFA team?  They’re wasting no time in representing us well in competition.  The Plant Identification Team for the first time won 1st place in their competition against 12 other teams in their district.  With approximately 100 students competing they took 1st, 5th, and 8th place.  The students involved were:

1st place team- Al Hamm, Brodie Baker, Logan Grimes, Jessica Hill

5th place team- Brady Tindel, Rickey Haley, Caleb Wonhas, Ty Browning

8th place team- Ben Huddleston, Steven Sutton, Tim Gassman, Michael Umbling

 EHS Bulldogs are, "Bad to the Bone"