LULING ISD APRIL ENEWS
Hello Luling ISD Families!
As you know, the School Board called for a bond referendum for the May election. After hearing the results of the facility assessment report and the recommendations of the Community Advisory Team, the Trustees agreed that we can no longer afford to continue to 'band-aid' our schools. I urge everyone in the community to learn more about the bond by attending one or more of the Open Houses and the Community Meetings. The days, times, and locations can be found below.
Students in 4th, 5th, 7th, 8th, and English 1 and 2 will participate in the first round of STAAR testing next week. You will receive specific information about dates and content areas to be tested from each campus. It is important that each student be present for school on these days. If your child is absent, please call the school office that morning to let them know. We are confident that if each student does their very best, they will be successful. Our students and teachers, along with your support and help, have worked very hard this year to make the academic gains required by the state.
We hope to promote a positive atmosphere with increased communication and welcome your input and suggestions on ways to accomplish this. Please email me at firstname.lastname@example.org to share any ideas or concerns.
APRIL SPOTLIGHT STAFF MEMBER
Texas Reads One Book is Coming to Luling!
April 15 launches the nationwide Texas Reads One Book for Primary and Shanklin Elementary Students and One Book One Campus for Gerdes Junior High. Jason Garrett, Head Coach of the Dallas Cowboys, will kick-off this exciting journey on April 15th, with a VideoCast for Primary and Shanklin. Renowned author, Gordon Korman, has even created a personal message and introduction of his book for Gerdes students.
At the conclusion of the broadcasts, EVERY student will receive their very own book! Teachers will use this book for their read aloud in the classroom and every student will be expected to read at home with families and friends, at the park, on the courts, or anywhere - the possibilities are endless! A schedule of pages to read will be sent home with the book and an introduction of this special program.
THREAT ASSESSMENT TRAINING
Campus administrators and counselors recently attended a School Threat Assessment workshop sponsored by the Texas School Safety Center. A retired FBI secret service agent, Cindy Marbel, who has more than 25 years assessing and managing threats gave a very informative and engaging presentation sharing her expertise on this topic. The workshop provided an outline for building a research based and best practices team approach to identify, investigate, assess, and manage the person(s) and situations posing a threat to schools. Emphasis was placed on identifying the person(s) of concern early so they could receive the interventions needed to prevent future violence instead of only focusing on punitive actions. Incidents of school violence can be prevented in part by teaching and ensuring our students have the coping skills to handle life’s challenges and also fostering a positive school environment where students feel safe reporting concerns. The valuable knowledge gained from this workshop will help shape the procedures used in assessing school threats moving forward and continue to make safety a priority in Luling ISD.
-Mrs. Pirkle, Social and Emotional Support Specialist
Luling Primary School celebrated National Reading Day with a week of guest readers in every classroom. Guest readers have an opportunity to share their love of reading and model expressive reading for our students. The students are excited to have these visitors in their classroom. The Primary school also celebrated Dr. Seuss’ birthday with Dr. Seuss themed dress up days and a special breakfast. Students dressed in stripes, Seuss hats, and themed outfits. Students also enjoyed eating green eggs and ham.
-Mr. Weikert, Principal
Saturday STAAR Camp
On March 2 and 30, Shanklin Elementary third-fifth grade students participated in our STAAR
Camps. The camps provide a myriad of activities so students feel more confident to soar on the upcoming STAAR assessments on April 9 and 10. Another session will be offered on May 4 as we make final preparations for the May STAAR administration. Breakfast is served as early as 7:30 a.m. with camp activities running from 8-11 a.m. All third-fifth grade students are eligible to participate in any of the provided camps.
Principal’s Writing Challenge
Shanklin Elementary would like to congratulate the students for their stellar efforts in
the recent Principal's Writing Challenge. The students were served a pizza treat and were
rewarded with a writing journal and a Smencil! (They will be formally recognized at the
upcoming honors assemblies on April 18.) Their work is displayed on a bulletin board in the
main hallway by second and third grades. Congratulations Eagles!!!
Winners: 5th - Gary Cantu, Marco Bolanos, Natalie Reyes, Mali Whitman, Johanna Martinez, Lilian Pruett 4th - Victor Frausto 3rd - Ishmi Puentes 2nd - Justin Cruz, Seliyah Lopez, Bryana Busto
Communities In Schools Champion
A big shout out is extended to second grade teacher Casey Oswald. She is pictured with
Amanda Matthews, Shanklin's Communities In Schools Site Coordinator. Casey was one of ten
educators in the region who were chosen as a CIS Champion winner for 2019!
Honorees were selected as a CIS Champion for being identified as a teacher who:
*openly and actively makes referrals of appropriate students to the CIS program
*demonstrates an exceptional dedication to educating students from a holistic view
*understands the importance of engaging students by having CIS address personal issues that
are affecting the child so that they can be ready to learn
*makes time to meet with the CIS Project Director to discuss the needs of students as well as
improvement in the needs that have been identified
*includes CIS services as a part of their awareness of services available to all students.
Congratulations Ms. Oswald!
-Mrs. Ewald, Principal
ADVANCED TECHNOLOGIES AT SHANKLIN AND PRIMARY
Primary and Elementary are using technology in new ways. Enrichment groups solve math problems using a variety of apps, ELAR classrooms research and annotate texts using ipads, MATH classrooms engage in Manga High problem solving platforms with peers using ipads and now Primary is going to launch MimioConnect learning next year. A magnetic interactive tool that turns any whiteboard into highly engaging, interactive learning is coming soon to learning. Using ipads and MimioCollaborate, students can solve problems on ipads at their desk that will project onto the whiteboard, while teachers and students will use a stylus at the board to sort, write, and create interactive responses. Teachers will be able to upload PDFs and use the Mimio to make it interactive. Possibilities are endless… Learning has just begun!
-Dr. Weikert, Director of Elementary Curriculum & Instruction
GJH Chicken Incubator Watch
Check out the GJH Chicken Incubator. Ms. Bryant, 7th grade Science teacher, is hatching chickens in her classroom. The incubation began on Wednesday, March 20th and students have been watching the incubation process. The eggs are expected to hatch on April 9th but could happen up to 2 days before or after. Ms. Bryant has a webcam setup and is live-streaming the incubator. Click on the link below to watch the incubator live. After hatching, the baby chicks will live in her classroom and Ms. Bryant will live-stream their growth process.
Students participate in Socratic Seminar
Students are building a number of skills as they participate in a Socratic Seminar session. The Socratic Seminar enables students to learn how to think for themselves. Students read and process an article by noting important information and identifying connections they are making in the article. In small groups, students generate higher order questions that require students to think critically, analyze multiple meanings in the text, and express their ideas clearly and confidently. During the Socratic Seminar, students respond to one another by listening to one another rather than interrupting. Students paraphrase essential elements of others’ ideas before responding in agreement or disagreement.
Robotics Team Wins
On February 9, 2019 the Gerdes Junior High Robotics Team “Incredible Eagles” participated in the VEX IQ Challenge in San Antonio, Texas. These students participate in the Afterschool Centers on Education (ACE) program hosted at Gerdes Monday through Friday from 4:00 PM - 6:00 PM. Team members include Vanessa Villegas, Rianah Rios, Diego Palacios, Samuel Tellez, Diego Reyes, Natalie Sanchez, Meadow Guillen, Joel Sanchez, Jaquelin Acosta, and Abigail Zamora.
-Mrs. Meshell, Principal
AVID is Growing
AVID students enjoyed an extremely busy, very fulfilling, month of experiences, trips, and visits - and growing their program along the way. Spring is recruiting season for AVID, so current AVID students got to present to their peers about all the ways that AVID has changed them and made them better students and contributors to their school and community. The interest was so high following these presentations that we will be expanding from two sections in 6th grade with 44 students this year, to more than 150 students in grades 6,7,8 as well as approximately 120 students in 5th grade!
Before Spring Break, students were able to make the trip to UT-Austin to participate in ExploreUT with thousands of other students from around the state. During this event, UT opens its campus and all departments for visitors to take part in sessions such as: eating liquid Nitrogen ice cream, using a 3D printer, robotics, chemical reactions, theatre, and flying drones (and many more!). Students also had the opportunity to tour buildings and facilities and even got to eat lunch at one of the campus dining halls. (EXPLOREUT) click the link for details...
The week after ExploreUT, 81 current and future AVID students got the opportunity to stay multiple nights at The Outdoor School at Camp Champions on Lake LBJ, in Marble Falls. The teachers and students concentrated on team-building and building confidence in themselves during their time at camp. Some of the activities they were able to participate in were: high and low ropes course, climbing on the rock wall, pickle-ball, fishing, gaga ball, insect-catching, and visiting with some of the camp’s animals. Students were given a wooden name tag necklace at the beginning of camp and could earn beads to put on it through positive attitudes and actions while there. (The Outdoor School) click the link for details…
AVID continues to change lives and open doors - it’s a great day to be an (AVID) Eagle!
-Mr. Fox, AVID Director & Professional Learning Coordinator
MAKERS-SPACE AND STREAM
STREAM combines science, technology, reading and writing, engineering, arts, and mathematics to provide an enrichment, creative learning experience for students. STREAM learning allows students the opportunity to apply their knowledge and skills to real-world situations in a well-rounded curriculum. Gerdes Junior High, spearheaded by Ms. Bahlman, is opening a STREAM lab on campus for grades 6-8. Teachers will have an opportunity to take students into this “makers-space” to enrich their lessons with critical thinking and creativity. While we do not know what careers will be available to our students just ten years from now, we do know they will need skills in creativity, critical thinking, and problem-solving -- and these skills can flourish for our students in a STREAM lab.
“The man who is swimming against the stream knows the strength of it.” Woodrow Wilson
-Mrs. Jennings, Director of Secondary Curriculum & Instruction
HIGH SCHOOL NEWS
Luling High School hosted an incoming 9th grade parent and student meeting recently to provide information about academic courses and programs of study including endorsement options for the 2019-2020 school year. Parents and students toured the high school campus, visiting Career and Technical Education (CTE) classrooms. Presentations were conducted by the high school administrative team and the Director of Secondary Curriculum and Instruction.
Current 8th graders have started working with the high school counselor on choice sheets for next school year, planning academic courses and endorsement options. As part of the graduation requirement set by the state, students must graduate with at least one endorsement. An endorsement can be in any of the following programs of study: STEM, Business and Industry, Public Service, Arts and Humanities, and/or Multi-Disciplinary. Students must complete a series of courses starting in his/her 9th grade year.
Luling High School continues to expand their Career and Technical Education (CTE) courses. This year, Luling High School added the Culinary Arts program. The Introduction to Culinary Arts course offered this year introduces students to fundamental preparation terms, concepts, and methods in Culinary Arts where laboratory practice parallels class work. There is emphasis on basic kitchen and dining room safety, sanitation, equipment maintenance and operation procedures. The course also provides an overview of the professionalism in the industry and career opportunities leading into a career pathway in Culinary Arts.
During the 2019-2020 school year, Culinary Arts I will be added, the next course in the Culinary Arts sequence. The Culinary Arts program will provide the foundation for those wanting to continue in the culinary field in any of the many diverse opportunities including: Chef, Kitchen Manager, Banquet Chef, or a Restaurant Entrepreneur.
Luling High School is working to establish a partnership with The University of Texas at Austin to offer courses through UT's OnRamps program beginning in the 2019-2020 school year. With dual enrollment (UT & LHS), students will be able to take courses such as college algebra at LHS and get high school and college credit at the same time.
This is part of LHS and Luling ISD's continuous plan to expand student access to obtain college hours while enrolled in high school. By 2021-2022, students attending Luling High School will have the opportunity to complete college core curriculum requirements, which equate to 42 college credit hours. The ultimate goal is to make Luling High School an Early College High School, which allows students to earn a high school diploma and up to 60 college credit hours, with the possibility of an Associate’s Degree.
-Mr. Alvarez, Principal