LISD ENews - November
October was a busy month for all, with our celebration and acknowledgment of multiple national campaigns (Domestic Violence, Breast Cancer, Bullying, Suicide Prevention, Red Ribbon Week, etc.). The participation from staff and students was amazing and a true testament that schools are meeting the needs of the whole child.
Data from across the state shows that the lack of instruction due to COVID last Spring has had a detrimental effect on Texas students. Significant academic skill gaps are evident in our students, as proven by the diagnostic assessment that was administered in September. Be assured that our staff is focused on providing instruction to help close these gaps. You can help by ensuring that your child is in attendance every day. Teachers cannot provide interventions if the student is not actively participating in their instruction. If your child is not being successful as a remote learner, I highly recommend face-to-face instruction.
Luling ISD wants to hear from our parents and community! A survey will go live November 9th and it is my hope that all families will take the time to answer a few questions in an effort to continue our focus on improvement.
Traditionally, this is a time of year when we pause to consider all that we are thankful for and to spend time with our family and friends. I continue to be thankful to serve as the Superintendent in such a supportive community. The past seven months have been challenging, and I am so appreciative, but not at all surprised, at how we have come together as a school community to have a successful start to this school year.
-Erin Warren, Superintendent
Climbing the Mountains of High-Expectations
In Ancient Greek mythology, Sisyphus was punished by Zeus to spend eternity pushing a boulder uphill. Every time Sisyphus neared the summit, the boulder would tumble back down to the bottom and he would start all over again. In normal circumstances, the boulders of our students’ education are heavy loads to shoulder -- and the pandemic has only increased the weight.
Now, more than ever, we need to provide high-expectations for our students so that they are prepared for an unpredictable and ever-changing future. To do this, though, it is critical to provide support to our students as they push towards their academic peaks. Increasing rigor will build their muscle and stamina so that they can rise to the challenge, but they cannot do this without reinforcement and the strong climbing ropes we can provide. We cannot move the mountain and we should not take away the boulder, but we must provide the structures so that our students fulfill their potential.
Once a student pushes their boulder over the mountain, like Sisyphus, they must start their next climb. To avoid the discouragement that there is another peak looming on the horizon, we must provide our students with the resources and tools to continue on to their next phase of learning. We push alongside our students with differentiated, scaffolded instruction. And as they grow stronger, we grow stronger as educators. Unlike Sisyphus, our struggles are not futile and with each others’ help, we will achieve greatness.
-Errin Jennings, Director of Curriculum and Instruction
You can access Ascender directly from the district website (see above). If you have questions about Ascender access, please contact your student's campus.
november spotlight staff member
Mrs. Keilman is one of our fabulous Shanklin Elementary teachers! Her fellow staff members cannot say enough about what an amazing teacher she is and how much they enjoy working with her. Mrs. Keilman helps students perform better because she is constantly coming up with a plan to help support all students. She is very knowledgeable about her department and helps out where ever she can. Mrs. Keilman works with such kindness and empathy towards everyone.Outside of the classroom, she helps provide meals to the coaches every Saturday during football season. She attends district events and shows her support of Luling ISD! We are so happy that she is part of the Eagle family!
November Spotlight Student - Primary/Elementary
Ronderick is a first grader in Ms. Rodgers class at Luling Primary. Ronderick leads others with his positive attitude in class, is always kind/respectful, and works very hard in all subjects! He is incredibly knowledgeable and passionate about music composers and geography. Ms. Rodgers admires his strong passion for learning!
November spotlight student - JH/HS
The entire seventh grade teaching team collaborated and nominated Jayden. Jayden constantly helps other students in each of his classes and goes above and beyond in classroom participation. Jayden tells everyone good morning/good afternoon as he passes them in the hallway, and is a joy to be around. Jayden participates in community service as his family allows. Jayden is very generous and makes sure his classmates know he is there for them and will help anyway he can!
Soaring Eagles Drone Project
As the weather begins to turn that means only one thing, we are moving into our winter sports for the 2020-2021 school year. Volleyball, cross country and football are wrapping up and we are headed indoors.
We are excited to begin basketball as both our defending District Champion Eagles and Lady Eagles start their march toward district and the post season. This year will look different as the teams will split venues on game nights due to the ongoing UIL capacity regulations. We still need to pack the gyms as much as possible and come out and see these young men and women defend their championships in a new and tough district.
Powerlifting will soon begin to practice and we can’t wait to build off the solid year we were having last winter. Dates and times of the meets will be released as soon as THSPA and THSWPA finalizes the requirements for meets.
As we close out the second six weeks, we need to stay vigilant on grades and eligibility requirements. Parents can log into their parent portal to keep up with the day to day progress of their student. Our goal in athletics is to have every athlete on at least the A/B Honor roll each Six Weeks. We can do this but need your help.
A recent survey of our Fall sports was conducted to see where the athletic department is doing a good job and what we can improve on. You might see some minor changes here and there in procedures, but rest assured that the coaches are working tirelessly to improve each day to build a solid and successful program for all out athletes.
-Coach Stacey Martin, AD
New Teacher Support
The first year of teaching is challenging and Luling ISD strives to support our new teachers in various ways. New teachers begin the year with two days of orientation to acclimate them to the systems and structures used in Luling ISD. They then join the rest of the staff for two weeks of back-to-school professional development.
Each new teacher is also assigned a seasoned teacher as a mentor who is located on their campus. New teachers learn valuable information from their mentors including where to locate things on campus and in the district, who to contact for information, what needs to be turned in when, and how to use the various systems we have in the district for tasks such as submitting lesson plans and grades. The amount of information a new teacher learns can be very overwhelming and our mentors provide on the spot assistance and answers to our new teachers.
New teachers and mentors meet once a month as a group to learn from each other and to
collaborate on areas that are challenging specifically to the new teacher. Currently, the group is
participating in a monthly book study using the book Conscious Classroom Management by Rick Smith and Grace Dearborn. Classroom management is one of the biggest challenges to a new teacher and having a reference tool for how to manage this is invaluable, along with the ability to ask mentors for help and advice on the subject. We truly appreciate both our new teachers and mentors in Luling ISD and want them to be successful for our students.
-Dr. Glenda Thacker, Director of Strategic Initiatives
Focus on Literacy
During the month of October, Luling Primary School focused on literacy by building reading and
writing skills. Students were explicitly taught reading skills through Guided Reading working in
small groups with their teachers using resources that target foundational reading skills.
Students also read mentor texts to generate ideas using the district adopted writing process.
Students recorded ideas they generated during brainstorming on a circle map, organized their
ideas using a tree map which they used to write sentences. Students engaged in the revising
and editing process to refine their work and created a final copy that they shared with the class.
We are excited to see our students grow as readers and writers.
Fire Safety Week
Luling Primary School partnered with the Luling Fire Department to promote fire safety
awareness. Firefighters demonstrated how their equipment keeps them safe while rescuing
people who are in danger. The demonstration helped students see that the firefighters are
the same special helpers they were before they put on the equipment. Students learned that
hearing a smoke alarm means to get outside and stay outside. We are so appreciative of these
heroic community helpers for taking the time to educate out students.
-Hank Weikert, Principal
We’ve been busy learning at Shanklin, but also participating in activities to help our
community. The Toiletry Drive was a great success! Our students and families are
so giving and kind, and we want to say thank you to all who donated to the women and children
here in Caldwell County!
Students have had fun dressing up for Red Ribbon Week and celebrating our 50th day of school!
We had so many students in cute poodle skirts and slicked-back hair and leather jackets. They
enjoyed the “Sock Hop” during their Specials time as well on this day.
While we love having fun at school the learning MUST go on! Please continue making sure
your child is reading nightly for at least 15-20 minutes. The gap in instruction due to COVID resulted in skills gaps for our students. The staff is working hard to fill those gaps, but students must continue to practice their reading skills at home. All students have homework every night - reading! Thank you so much for your help and support in building our students literacy skills. When we are all partners in our students education and all have the same goals for student success we will see the results.
-Michelle Schwarzlose, Principal
GJH Celebrates Unity Day
October is National Bullying Prevention month. Each Monday during the month of October, students have engaged in lessons and conversations with their peers about the effects of bullying both as a victim and as a bystander. On October 22 we celebrated Unity Day. Students wore orange and participated in roundtable discussion about their experiences in regards to bullying. Students discussed the different types of bullying that can be overt and direct with physical behaviors, such as fighting, hitting, or name calling. Other behaviors can be covert, with emotional-social interactions, such as gossiping or leaving someone out on purpose. Bullying can also happen in-person, online or through smart phones and texts. During the Unity Day activity, students showed solidarity by writing one positive or unique characteristic about themselves on an orange strip of paper. Each student’s strip of paper was linked to form a school wide chain. Our chain represents that we are united together to recognize the importance of celebrating our differences to make us stronger as we “link” together.
Students Learning to Collaborate Face-to-Face and Virtually
Students are consistently building their collaboration skills using technology. Face-to-face and remote students are working together in small groups, not just to dialogue about their learning but to also share their computer screens, virtually, with one another so that all students in the group are able to see one another’s work that helps the students have more dialogue with one another. Student conversation about what they are learning is one of the most powerful strategies for students to develop understanding of content and apply their learning to other situations.
Red Ribbon Week
The last week of October is Red Ribbon Week. Red Ribbon Week is the largest drug abuse prevention campaign in the nation. This year’s Red Ribbon Week theme was “Be Happy, Be Safe, Be Drug Free.” Each day of the week students dressed up to show their commitment to being drug free. On Monday, we wore hats to show they were “hats off to being drug free”. On Tuesday, we wore mustaches to say: We “mustache” you to say no to drugs. On Wednesday, we wore crazy socks to say “Sock-it to drugs”. On Thursday, we wore jeans because we are “jean-ious” to say no to drugs. On Friday, we wore our favorite team gear to show we are “teaming” up against drugs. Students also received goodie bags from our ACE program and Connection Services.
-Kelly Meshell, Principal
HIGH SCHOOL NEWS
As part of Luling High School’s goal of increasing early college opportunities, AP Studio Art is now available. AP Studio Art is an advanced placement course with the specific goal of completing a portfolio in early May for submission to College Board for college credit. The students are graded on many criteria and awarded a score. Any student who receives a “3” and above will earn college credit.
As part of the Texas core curriculum requirements for college, also known as “the basics,” students must have at least three (3) credit hours of Creative Arts. This AP Art credit may meet that requirement while still in high school.
Students shown in the picture are exploring textures by taking pictures. Students will then select his/her favorite six pictures and draw them on the panels of a texture cube, including all six pictures on each side of the cube.
Culinary Arts students partnered with the Luling Fire Department to learn about fire extinguisher procedures.
In addition to safety procedures, students in culinary arts learn the fundamentals and principles of the art of cooking and the science of baking. This includes management and production skills and techniques. Students enrolled in this course can pursue an appropriate industry certification. The course is offered as a classroom and laboratory-based course.
Thank you to Firefighter Lohse and Gregg for providing this live training experience.
-Joseph Alvarez, Principal