Week of January 11, 2021 - January 15, 2021 Newsletter

Academy Updates

In this weeks newsletter you will find:

  • Some amazing new enrichment, volunteer and scholarship opportunities.
  • Mrs. Tarr will be on campus the week of 1/11/2021! (Monday and Wednesday)

Emailing Mrs. Tarr: Please make sure to include your first name, last name, ID number, and the academy that you are in. This will make it easier for us to help you with your questions and concerns.

  1. Volunteer Hours Update: Spring Semester, you will need to complete 12.5 hours of Volunteering (virtual or in person). Opportunities are listed below. If you know of other Virtual Volunteering opportunities with 503C organizations, please let us know so that we can add it here. We will talk more about this at our next monthly meeting and address any questions you may have.
  2. New Volunteer and Enrichment Opportunities have been added to the list below.
  3. A Scholarship section has been added below.

Enrichment Hours: You will find links in the newsletters to enrichment opportunities for the semester. Please remember that you will need to complete two enrichments per semester for a total of 4 for the year.

Note: During the spring semester monthly meetings will not count towards enrichment. We will talk more about this at our next monthly meeting and address any questions you may have.

DMA Monthly Meeting - 1/14/2021

Join us for the next DMA Monthly meeting on Teams.

When: Thursday - January 14th from 3:30-4:30

Where: Click here to join the meeting (Teams)

Who: All DMA students

Attendance will be taken.

We Need Your Input

Every year the Global Studies Academy hosts the Global Issues Summit and they encourage fellow academies to get involved.

The theme of this year's Global Issues Summit is "Collaborative Communities." To go along with the theme, we would like for you to tell us, how do you build and maintain a successful community?

Please share your thoughts with us using the Global Issues Summit High School Survey.

Student's Spotlight

We would like to start highlighting our outstanding Academy students and their accomplishments in and outside of school. If your student has won an award, received a scholarship, participated in a competitive summer program, etc. please submit this Google Form. We will post your student's accomplishment in/on the varies academy social media platforms and they may be featured in other community publication.


Hightower Academy Booster Club Needs You


The Hightower Academy Booster Club is still looking for fill some board member positions. If you are interested please contact the Nikki at


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This year's theme: I am strong because...

Strength isn’t only about how fast you can run or how many pushups you can do – it’s also about the strength inside of you.

How do you rise above troubles and keep moving forward in tough times? When you make mistakes or get scared, what helps you clear the clouds above your head? When people around you are feeling down, how do you use your inner strength to lift them up?

Our theme this year invites you to tell us what makes you uniquely strong.

Enter a Doodle



ACE Students, the Design and Construction Industry

The ACE Mentor Program Houston is open to any high school student who has the curiosity

and drive to learn about a career in design and construction — from contracting and

engineering to architecture and landscaping.


Illinois College of Fine & Applied Arts - High School Competition

Put your talents to the test for the 2020–21 Discover FAA High School Competitions! All students in grades 9–12 are encouraged to participate. Challenge yourself to stretch your abilities, explore the wide variety of classes and majors offered within the College of Fine and Applied Arts, and compete for a scholarship for either one of our college degree programs or a 2021 summer program. Through these competitions, we hope to encourage a future generation of creative thinkers and emphasize the importance of the arts in society.

Registration is now open.

Click here for more information:

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Fort Bend Regional History Day - Virtual Contest

The registration period is November 30, 2020 through January 24, 2021, at 11:59 pm.

  • All projects must be submitted digitally, through this portal, by 1/24/2021 at 11:59pm.

Judging for the contest will be held virtually February 1 - 16, 2021, and the Awards Ceremony will be posted on this site on February 20th.

Judge evaluation sheets will be sent electronically to students via Zfairs, and students who place 1st, 2nd, or 3rd in each category will be awarded medals, which will be sent to their campuses.

Click here to create an account and learn more.

Participation in this event will count for 2 Enrichment Activities.

Enrichment Opportunity: Filmmaker's Academy

This virtual academy teaches students how to use film to express themselves.

Registration opens January 6, 2021

When: January 30, 2021 from 9-Noon

Where: Virtual Event

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Scratch MIT

Explore and learn more about coding through Massachusetts Institute of Technology and Scratch.

The website offers 25 activity guides/tutorials, you choose which 2 interest you the most! Use the activity guides/tutorials and complete the 2 activities of your choice. Complete the Enrichment Form found in Schoology, and earn credit for 1 Enrichment Activity.

Click here for a how-to guide.

You may only complete and submit this activity once during the Spring Semester.

Coding Competition - Fort Bend ISD

Video Game or Animation

The theme for the 2020-2021 Coding Challenges will also be "Life Reimagined with Robotics." Consider all the ways that robots and robotics have changed our lives. From surgery to food delivery, robots have changed how we now view ordinary tasks. Your team will earn points for incorporating the theme in a way where robots play a role in the project. For example, in an animation they could be a robot character that fits into the story or in a video game they may be the playable character or villain. The way the theme is incorporated is open but should flow and not seem like the robot is an afterthought in the project. Participants will use Scratch or other coding software to develop an E-rated, school appropriate animation or video game project. The project should be interesting and visually appealing.

Please see the competition details for more information (Note: Scroll down on the website and select "2020-21 Coding Competition Overview")

Participation in this event will count for 2 Enrichment Activities.

Creative Careers Presentations

What does someone with a degree in dance do for a career? If I study architecture but I don't want to build houses and skyscrapers, what job options are there for me? What is an urban planner? If you think you'd like to study art and design, architecture, music, dance, theatre, landscape architecture, sustainable design, or urban and regional planning, you'll want to join an information session to find out about all the exciting career options. Presented by Illinois College of Fine & Applied Arts.

Wednesday, January 20

Wednesday, February 17

Wednesday, March 17

Wednesday, April 21

7:00 p.m.–7:30 p.m. (CDT/CST)

Click here to register

Portfolio Tips Presentations

Learn the best practices for putting together an art and design portfolio. We will show you real examples of portfolio work and offer tips to make your portfolio stronger for admission to the School of Art and Design. Presented by Illinois College of Fine & Applied Arts.

Thursday, January 21

Thursday, February 18

Thursday, March 18

Thursday, April 15

Thursday, May 20

7:00 p.m.–7:30 p.m. (CDT/CST)

Click here to register

Online Enrichment

You can select the topic you want to learn about. These are free courses, DO NOT PAY for anything. Take a picture of the screen when you complete the course as your evidence. Insert the picture into the enrichment form

Edx FREE Course

Find any course that is related to digital media on Send me an email of the course for approval before taking it.

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Advertise Your Academy

Promote your academy while earning volunteer hours!

Create a 30 second video/advertisement that encourages Middle School students and their parents to apply to the Digital Media Academy.

The 30 second advertisement needs to include:

  • Your favorite thing about the academy
  • What you have got out of being in the academy
  • What events, enrichments, and/or volunteer opportunities have you enjoyed (or what has 'spoken' to you)
  • Why you would recommend joining the academy

Remember any images, sounds, or songs you use must fall under the fair use policy (Example: Do not take a popular song and use it as your background music, as this violates copyright).

The video must be submitted by 1/25/2021 and will be featured as part of our district recruitment efforts.

Please email a link to your completed video to Mrs. Tarr @ Once the video has been approved you will earn 3 volunteer hours.

This volunteer opportunity is for Spring Semester (required volunteer hours for spring semester = 12 hours).

Filmmaker's Academy Facilitators

On January 30, 2021, Fort Bend ISD will be hosting the Filmmaker's Academy. We are looking for student volunteers who can assist teachers in facilitating elementary students virtually in Teams.

At this time, we are only looking for 5 students to volunteer for this event. Your role as a facilitator does not require that you have knowledge of film, photography, or editing programs, but it is a bonus if you are familiar with things such as Schoology, Teams, and WeVideo.

If you are interested in this volunteer opportunity for the spring semester, please email both Mrs. Tarr and Mrs. Watson ( and on the same email, before slots fill up.

The event will take place virtually on Teams on 1/30/2021, and volunteers will be needed from 8:30AM-Noon.

You will receive 3.5 volunteer hours for this opportunity.

Arc of Fort Bend - Virtual Teen/Tween Social

Our next volunteer opportunities are for our "Virtual Teen/Tween Social" being held on Friday, January 8th and Friday, February 5th, 2021 from 6 - 8 pm. This fun event is held on the first Friday of the month from September - June and provides a fun opportunity for teens with an intellectual or developmental disability (I/DD) to interact with and practice social skills with their peers. Due to COVID-19, this event is currently being held virtually on Zoom meeting.

This fun and rewarding opportunity is for volunteers ages 14 +. Each Teen/Tween Social event is limited to a maximum attendance of 20 teens with IDD and 20 volunteers.

We ask that no more than 5 people from their group volunteer at each event, to allow room for other groups and individuals to volunteer with us as well.

Volunteers may sign up for upcoming Virtual Teen/Tween Social events here:

January 8, 2021:

February 5, 2021:

Peer Tutorials

We are looking for tutorial videos that can be used to support your peers within the Academy.

Use the Signup Genius to look at our current need for videos. You must signup to complete this volunteer opportunity, and spaces are limited. Additional opportunities will be offered throughout the Semester.

A successful Peer Tutorial Video would include:

  • Directions with images that demonstrate how to complete the task/use the tool
  • Introductory slide with title
  • Anything else noted on the Signup Genius related to your particular tutorial video

Remember any images, sounds, or songs you use must fall under the fair use policy (Example: Do not take a popular song and use it as your background music, as this violates copyright).

Email Mrs.Tarr with a link to the completed peer tutorial videos by 2/1/2021. Each completed video will count towards 1.5 volunteer hours.

If you have an idea for a peer tutorial video - email Mrs. Tarr and let her know.

Tutor Children Virtually With TeensGive

Our virtual volunteering options are a dream come true for our volunteers and their parents alike by removing the transportation component and opening up communities well beyond our local area and allowing direct interaction with people that need our help.

Sessions are delivered via laptops and even phones and are all recorded to ensure quality and safety.


Archive Historical Documents

Fans of history may be interested in becoming citizen archivists for a non-profit organization such as the National Archives in Washington, D.C. Would you enjoy transcribing speeches made by Franklin Roosevelt, case histories made by the Tennessee Valley Authority during the Great Depression, or cataloguing Purple Hearts awarded between 1942-1963? All of these tasks are awaiting the help of virtual volunteers right now. The Smithsonian also engages citizen scholars in tasks such as transcribing diaries of prominent Americans or joining the Wikipedia Volunteer Program’s efforts to strengthen the website’s offerings on Smithsonian-relevant content.

Before signing up for these opportunities make sure you get your parent permission.


Fort Bend Junior Service League Volunteer Scholarships

The Fort Bend Junior Service League (FBJSL) established a scholarship program in 2008 for local teens and women who desire to further their education. FBJSL awards up to four Volunteer Scholarships in the amount of $1,000 each to female high school seniors who have demonstrated outstanding achievement in volunteerism and community service.

Deadline is February 1, 2021.

For more information CLICK HERE


The George Foundation Higher Education Scholarship Program

The George Foundation has established a scholarship program to assist graduating high school seniors and current undergraduate students from Fort Bend County who have enrolled or plan to enroll at a public two- or four-year college or university in Texas. Students must demonstrate strong academic performance and leadership in addition to financial need. Awards are renewable up to three years or until a bachelor's degree is earned, whichever occurs first, contingent upon The George Foundation continuing the scholarship program.

Applications open 1/6/2021 and must be submitted by 3:00PM on 2/15/2021.

For more information CLICK HERE

George and Mary Josephine Hamman Foundation

Each Spring, the George and Mary Josephine Hamman Foundation awards seventy (70) scholarships to Houston area high school seniors for undergraduate study. The award is $20,000., disbursed over four years (or until the student graduates, if earlier), provided the recipient conforms to the requirements set forth in the award. The recipient may select any major at any four year college or university in the United States.

Scholarship applications may be submitted during the student’s senior year in high school. Students may complete our scholarship forms online (see link below) after September 15th of their senior year. Do not submit an application before you take the SAT or ACT. To be eligible for the scholarship, you must have a minimum SAT composite score of 1000 (on the Math and Reading/Writing portions combined), and/or an ACT composite score of 21. All SAT and/or ACT scores must be from the same test date.

George and Mary Josephine Hamman Foundation
3336 Richmond, Suite 310
Houston, Texas 77098

A number of finalists will be selected from the applications received and will be invited for an interview. They will subsequently be notified in writing/email if they will or will not receive a Hamman Scholarship. If a student is not invited in for a personal interview by March 15, they may assume that they are not a finalist and no correspondence will be forthcoming from the Foundation.

Applications due February 16, 2021.

Click here for more information.

The George Foundation Technical Scholarships

The George Foundation provides funding for technical scholarships for students and veterans obtaining a degree of certification from Texas State Technical College (TSTC) in Fort Bend County.

For more information CLICK HERE

Texas Comptroller

Multiple scholarships, grants, scholar programs, and federal programs are available through the Texas Comptroller website.

The Coolidge Scholarship

The Coolidge Scholarship is an annually awarded, full-ride, presidential scholarship that covers a student’s tuition, room, board, and expenses for four years of undergraduate study.

This one-of-a-kind scholarship may be used at any accredited college or university in the U.S.


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The Aggie Homework Helpline

The Aggie Homework Helpline (AHH) is an initiative to help provide quality, free online tutoring to PK-12 learners and families. The mission of the AHH is to connect Texas families and school district partners with Aggie tutors and education interns who are committed to improving learning outcomes for PK-12 students.

Tutoring appointments through the AHH can be scheduled between 8 a.m. – 8 p.m. CST Monday-Thursday and 8 a.m. — 5 p.m. CST Friday.


Questions About Transportation

I know some of you have been asking about transportation for academies students who have chosen to return to face to face instructions. It's my hope after the district has a better picture of the number of students request face-to-face instruction, FBISD transportation will be better able to coordinate bus routes for pick-up and drop-off. If you have specific questions about your child transportation you can contact FBISD Transportation at (281) 634-4077 or email them at

For further concerns or questions you can always go on FBISD Let's Talk and voice your concerns or questions. This is the best way for FBISD leadership to hear your concerns and questions.

Zoom Meeting Expectations

I want to remind students that MSA Zoom meetings/events are school and academy sponsor events and FBISD Student Code of Conduct applies and enforce. I ask that students adhere to the following expectations.

  • Demonstrate courtesy and respect for all participants and guests
  • Behave in a responsible manner by turning off your mic, video, and refraining from using the annotating tool without permission from the meeting host.
  • Ask thoughtful questions during Q&A
  • Be in compliance with host requests
  • Comply with all guidelines noted within the SCC (School Code of Conduct)

Message to Freshmen

If you have not join Schoology course yet , please use the following code Class of 2024 - 6F9F-7XCM-4WGFF to join. This where you will need to upload your enrichment assignment.

Remind Codes


Text the correct code to the number 81010

@dmaco2021 – C/O 2021

@dmaco2022 – C/O 2022

@dmaco2023 – C/O 2023

@dmaco2024 – C/O 2024

Schoology Codes

Schoology Code

Class of 2021 - FG6CQ-RZD6J

Class of 2022 - 8JNQT-6XRNF

Class of 2023 - 6WX8-CP4H-9F2WT

Class of 2024 - 6F9F-7XCM-4WGFF

DMA Student Body Meeting

September 10, 2020

October 8, 2020

November 12, 2020

December 10, 2020

January 14, 2021

February 11, 2021

March 11, 2021

April 8,2021

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How to build your creative confidence | David Kelley