District Choirs Mix It Up

Brownsville ISD mixed choir students representing six early college high schools earned 100 chairs or 62% of the total membership in the Texas Music Educators Association (TMEA) District Mixed Choir on Saturday, September 24 at Rivera ECHS. This is the first round in the process leading to membership in the auspicious TMEA All State Choir. A total of 500 students representing 15 schools participated in the district competition. The top 20 students in each section that were selected for membership in the District Mixed Choir will advance to the next audition level in November in Harlingen. Congratulations to four BISD students for ranking first chair in their sections: Jacqueline Villanueva, Soprano 2, Rivera ECHS; David Mejia, Tenor 1, Hanna ECHS; Daniel Ledesma, Tenor 2, Hanna ECHS; and Matthew Allen, Bass 1, Rivera ECHS. Congratulations to the BISD vocalists who participated in this competition. View the results by campus.

Beyond the Practice Room

Six BISD students representing Lopez, Pace and Hanna ECHS earned chairs in the Texas Music Educators Association (TMEA) All Region Band auditions held on Saturday, September 24 in Harlingen. One student advanced to the area round of auditions. The All Region Jazz Band will perform on Saturday, February 18, 2017 at the Harlingen CISD Performing Arts Center. Congratulations to these dedicated student musicians. View the BISD results by campus.

A&M Commandant Will Visit BISD on September 28

Brownsville ISD is pleased to host Brigadier General Joe E. Ramirez, Jr., USA (Ret.), Commandant of the Texas A&M University Corps of Cadets, who will visit two schools on Wednesday, September 28. The Commandant will stop at Ortiz Elementary at 9 am to talk with students and lead them in a round of calisthenics. At 10 am, Commandant Ramirez will address top juniors and seniors from all BISD Early College High Schools in the Veterans Memorial ECHS auditorium about A&M University, admission requirements, scholarship opportunities, the Corps of Cadets, postsecondary success, and overcoming obstacles in life.

BISD Launches Dollars for Champs and Champions Program

Dr. Zendejas has been visiting district campuses to launch the new BISD Dollars for Champs and Champions program which will provide college scholarships to outstanding early college high school graduates and fund educational grants for motivated teachers and employees. Several interested private and public organizations have also expressed a desire to match any funds raised by the BISD Dollars for Champs and Champions program. BISD employees who wish to support this worthwhile initiative may make a tax deductible donation by completing this form and sending it to the BISD Payroll Department. Get the form here.

UTSA Top Scholar Session @ BISD

The University of Texas San Antonio (USTA) will host an information session for BISD top 5% seniors and juniors about the Top Scholar Program on Wednesday, October 5 from 5:30 – 7:00 pm in the BISD Boardroom. The UTSA Top Scholar Program is a merit based scholarship combined with personalized experiences in academics, leadership, and community service. Those selected to be Top Scholars will receive a four-year scholarship that includes funding for tuition, fees, and room and board. Recipients also receive support for internships and study abroad programs, priority registration privileges and are auto-enrolled in the Honors College. To learn more, view the flyer.

Del Castillo Shows Results to Foundation Guests

One year ago in September 2015, Del Castillo Elementary School was awarded a $15,000 grant to purchase library books by the Snapdragon Book Foundation. Del Castillo was one of only ten schools selected from 500 applications submitted nationwide. Members of the Snapdragon Foundation Board, Clark and Anne Knickerbocker, visited the Del Castillo library on September 14, 2016 to see the actual library books that were purchased with the grant funds. Jessica Hedrick, the Del Castillo librarian, made the effort to secure this grant to support student literacy. Congratulations to Del Castillo!

Hanna and Lopez Bands March to Success

Students from Hanna, Lopez, Rivera, and Veterans Memorial Early College High Schools participated in the 2016 Bands of America Regional Marching Band Competition on Saturday, September 17, 2016 in McAllen. Bands from Laredo, San Antonio, Austin, and the Rio Grande Valley competed in this two day tournament. The Hanna Golden Eagle Marching Band won 3rd in its division and the Lopez Lobo Band earned the Outstanding General Effect Trophy and 1st Place in its division during the preliminary round. Both bands advanced to the final round and gave stellar performances in spite of blazing temperatures. Hanna completed the event with 5th place overall and Lopez won 10th place overall. Congratulations to all BISD students and their directors.

Oliveira Band Wins National Honor

The Oliveira Middle School Symphonic Band, under the direction of Gaspar Garcia, was named a Class AA Winner in the National Wind Band Honors contest held by the Foundation of Music Education. The Oliveira Band was the only band from South Texas to be recognized. Last year, the Oliveira Band was a Commended National Winner in Class AA. The National Wind Band Honors Contest through the Foundation of Music Education seeks to recognize and award outstanding achievement in performance by secondary school bands. Directors across the nation submitted CD recordings of their ensembles and adjudicators listened to all entries and provided detailed tape-recorded comments and brief written comments. Congratulations to these outstanding Oliveira Dolphins.

10 BISD campuses earn all possible distinctions in 2016 accountability ratings

The Texas Education Agency today announced that more than 400 campuses that
achieved a Met Standard rating in the 2016 state accountability ratings also earned all distinction
designations applicable to their individual school. A total of 10 BISD campuses are included in this group: Veterans Memorial Early College High School; Manzano Middle School; Martin Elementary School; Garden Park Elementary School; Sharp Elementary School; Gonzalez Elementary School; Champion Elementary School; Paredes Elementary School; Ortiz Elementary School; and Pullam Elementary School.

Distinction designations are awarded to campuses based on achievement in performance
indicators relative to a group of 40 campuses of similar type, size, and student demographics.
Depending on campus grade levels and type, the number of potential distinction designations can
vary. Up to seven distinction designations can be earned for

• Academic Achievement in English Language Arts/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.

“Earning one or more campus distinctions is noteworthy and should be a source of pride in a
community,” said Commissioner of Education Mike Morath. “Earning all possible distinctions is
a significant accomplishment and should signal to parents that there is extraordinary work taking
place on that campus.” View the entire media release.

BISD Joins Health Alliance

In June, Brownsville ISD became a member of the Alliance for a Healthier Generation. The Alliance was founded by the American Heart Association and the Clinton Foundation in response to the growing rate of childhood obesity. The program is based on the latest research on childhood health combined with the most effective school policies. BISD is committed to creating systemic change that makes the healthy choice the easy choice for every student and employee. Learn more about the Alliance for a Healthier Generation movement here.

Colleges Come to BISD

BISD Early College High School juniors and seniors will participate in University Day on Thursday, September 29 from 9 AM to 1:30 PM at the Brownsville Events Center. The students will have the opportunity to visit with representatives from several colleges and universities to learn about their admissions procedures and educational programs. Call Pilar Janis, Lead & Higher Education Counselor, at 548-8251 for questions.

Budget Input Continues

BISD stakeholders and employees participated in four Budget Input and Solutions Workshops held on Tuesday, August 9, 2016 to share thoughts and make suggestions on reducing the district budget for 2016-2017 and future years. If you were unable to attend one of the meetings, you may email your recommendations to budgetinput@bisd.us.