Luling ISD ENews - February 2021
Dear Luling Family,
The year 2020 has come and gone, and we have excitedly welcomed 2021 as a year of hope. As unsettling as last year was, I am confident that our future is bright, based on the perseverance and determination of our staff and students.
The Luling ISD Board of Trustees approved three early release days to allow staff to plan and prepare for engaging and rigorous instruction. This time was a direct request from staff, and we are so lucky to have a supportive Board that was spurred to action to meet this need. I am so grateful for the way Luling ISD staff have come together with a commitment to collaboratively work together to ensure the best educational opportunities and support our students and families.
Our schools will highlight the history and contributions of African Americans throughout February in honor of Black History Month. Staff and students have activities and lessons planned to both observe and celebrate this important month! We will post all of the exciting events (with pictures!) on our social media sites!
This week, February 1-5, is National School Counselor Week. This week focuses the public’s attention on the unique contribution of school counselors. We have an amazing team of counselors in our district who provide our students with academic, college/career, and social/emotional development. Thank you, LISD Counselors, for all you do!
Spotlight Staff - February
The February Spotlight Staff is mathematician Michael Benitez.
Mr. Benitez is a math teacher at Luling High School and is known for motivating his students and team members. When you walk inside Mr. Benitez’s classroom, students are engaged in either whole group or small group instruction and his classroom management is evident through smooth transitions and student-led activities. Mr. Benitez has taken the lead to help students prepare for college readiness assessments including SAT, ACT, and TSI. In addition to teaching math, he is organizing upcoming astronomy nights. This event will provide students the opportunity to use a high-power telescope to learn about stargazing and view distant planets in our solar system.
Spotlight Student - Primary/Elementary
The February Spotlight Primary/Elementary Student is Quinn Meyre
Spotlight Student - JH/HS
The Spotlight Student of the Month from JH/HS is Dimi Poulos.
The Specials teachers at Luling Primary are connecting literacy across content areas. Ms. Horne and Ms. Dougherty read books to students and use the content from the book in their fine art activities. Ms. Horne read the book “You Are What You Eat” by Serge Bloch and had students create their own artistic representations of themselves as the foods they like to eat. Ms. Dougherty read “The Mitten” by Jan Brett and had students retell the story through music and movement. What a great way to build literacy skills in our students!
Students are using technology to reinforce learning in math. Students in first grade are using comparative language to describe the relationship between numbers and are independently practicing the skill on Education Galaxy. Students are also practicing the use of pictorial models to describe the relationship between numbers. We are solidifying the skills that our students are learning in class.
-Mr. Weikert, Principal
We just celebrated our 100th day of school last week and it is hard to believe we only have a few months left of the school year! With that being said, we want to use every moment of time we have to help our students grow and learn in order to be prepared for the next grade level.
We are continuing this semester with reading being our focus, and starting February 16th, we will kick off our Texas Reads One book that our entire campus will be reading. We are excited to get this started and cannot wait for our students to have these books in their hands! We will be doing some fun things on Campus in relation to the book, so stay tuned!
On February 5th our students will be attending a virtual presentation called Ned’s Mindset. This is a positive behavior program presentation. Ned’s message and memorable friends inspire students, promote academic achievement, and support our school goals! We are working to do these things here at Shanklin with our students and we appreciate all of the support our families give as well at home.
Our student council members have many activities coming up. We are going to be keeping them busy with different community service projects, and in practicing being leaders of our school. One project we have coming up is called “Souper Bowl” and it will be a food drive benefiting our local Luling Food Bank. Our students will be collecting cans of soup and cash donations.
-Ms. Schwarzlose, Principal
Gerdes Junior High News
Advancement Via Individual Determination
AVID 6th grade and 8th grade Collaboration
AVID’s mission is to close the opportunity gap by preparing all students for college readiness and success in a global society. About half of the students at Gerdes Junior High are enrolled in the AVID elective class. The AVID elective class offers the opportunity for students to learn a variety of strategies to support their academic growth. During the AVID elective class students receive additional academic support, social, and emotional support that will help them succeed in all of their academic courses. This means students are learning how to ask questions of their teachers and of their peers, how to engage in learning with their peers, and how to collaborate with one another.
Over the past few weeks 8th grade AVID students have been teaching our 6th grade students how to engage in a structured tutoring format that helps students work through something they don’t understand and take ownership of their learning. Before students engage in a tutoring session, they complete a TRF (Tutoring Request Form) to identify their point of confusion (POC), which is where the student begins to not understand the subject at hand. After determining their POC, students work in small groups, where each student explains what they do know about the subject they are learning, the resources they have used to help them, and the efforts they have made to understand the subject. When a student shares their POC with the other students in their tutoring group, the students who were listening take turns asking the student with the POC questions to help work through what they don’t understand. Student questions you hear are “Is this process similar to a process that you have done earlier?, Do you have anything in your notes that tells you what a theme is? Does the rule about ___ apply here?, or Have you combined like terms?”
By working together with their peers, students build their self-confidence and collaboration skills. In addition, the tutorial process empowers students to troubleshoot their own learning so that when students come to a POC they don’t give up but persevere through the academic challenge.
-Mrs. Meshell, Principal
High School News
CTE - Construction Courses
Luling High School’s Career and Technical Education (CTE) department strives to expand learning, opportunity, and preparation towards a student’s more successful post-high school experience. One of the CTE pathways offered at LHS to help prepare students are construction classes.
Students enrolled in one of the several construction classes offered at LHS, gain knowledge and skills needed to enter the workforce or to prepare for a post-secondary degree in construction management, architecture, or engineering. Throughout the school year, students learn about and gain experience in safety, tool usage, building materials, codes, and framing. A major portion of the course requires hands-on learning.
Construction courses are instructed by Mr. David Smith.
National Honor Society
In January, ten students were inducted into the National Honor Society (NHS) at Luling High School. The inductees, their parents, and some of the current NHS members gathered to celebrate the new members at an induction ceremony organized by NHS sponsor, Mrs. Denise Adams.
Welcoming remarks and the importance of pursuing the four key National Honor Society values: leadership, character, service, and scholarship were made by current NHS members. The keynote address was delivered by LISD Superintendent, Mrs. Erin Warren.
Membership in the Luling High School Chapter of the National Honor Society is an honor and a privilege. NHS is an organization dedicated to recognizing and encouraging those students who demonstrate excellence not only in the classroom, but as leaders in their schools and communities as well.
-Mr. Alvarez, Principal
Special Program News
Dyslexia Information – February 2021
Dr. Sally Shaywitz is one of the world’s preeminent experts on reading and dyslexia. In the 2020 edition of her book, Overcoming Dyslexia, she shares the following:
Reading is complex. It requires our brains to connect letters to sounds, put those sounds in the right order, and pull the words together into sentences and paragraphs we can read and comprehend.
People with dyslexia have trouble matching the letters they see on the page with the sounds those letters and combinations of letters make. And when they have trouble with that step, all the other steps are harder.
Dyslexic children and adults struggle to read fluently, spell words correctly and learn a second language, among other challenges. But these difficulties have no connection to their overall intelligence. In fact, dyslexia is an unexpected difficulty in reading in an individual who has the intelligence to be a much better reader. While people with dyslexia are slow readers, they often, paradoxically, are very fast and creative thinkers with strong reasoning abilities.
Dyslexia is also very common, affecting 20 percent of the population and representing 80–90 percent of all those with learning disabilities. Scientific research shows differences in brain connectivity between dyslexic and typical reading children, providing a neurological basis for why reading fluently is a struggle for those with dyslexia.
Dyslexia can’t be “cured” – it is lifelong. But with the right supports, dyslexic individuals can become highly successful students and adults.
This video created by Region 10 Dyslexia Consultant, Nancy Disterlic, provides some practical home strategies to use in working with your child.
Each month we’ll share more tips and ideas on how to support your scholar. Don’t forget to visit the Dyslexia Program Page on the Luling ISD website (https://www.luling.txed.net/page/dyslexia-pro) to find out more information regarding Dyslexia.
-Mrs. Ewald, Director of Campus Operations
“You can be extremely bright and still have dyslexia. You just have to understand how you learn and how you process information. When you know that, you can overcome a lot of the obstacles that come with dyslexia. When you figure out how you learn, you can accomplish whatever you want.Tim Tebow, Professional Athlete
Curriculum and Instruction News
Middle of Year Diagnostic Assessments
January brings the start of a new semester, colder weather, and middle of year diagnostic testing (not necessarily in that order). Just as we use meteorological tools to predict the winter weather, we utilize diagnostic testing to help forecast student performance. Diagnostic assessments provide teachers with valuable information about students’ strengths and challenges, as well as how much they have grown since the beginning of the school year.
The data we glean from these important assessments help to establish intervention groups, identify areas for reteaching and create a road map for future student learning. Middle of year diagnostic assessments also provide the opportunity for teachers and students to collaborate and refine student learning goals. By doing this, students can take ownership of their learning. And, as John Hattie’s Visual Learning research has indicated, setting goals with students yields a 1.44 effect size on student achievement. When you consider that an effect size of .4 suggests an effective practice, setting goals with students blows everything else away!
We depend on the morning meteorologist to accurately predict the day’s weather, guiding our daily decisions like what to wear and what to do. Likewise, our students depend on their teachers to provide them a detailed forecast for their academic growth. Middle of year diagnostic testing allows teachers to weather learning storms and brighten daily instruction.
-Mrs. Jennings, Director of C&I
Luling ISD Athletics
Spring Season Has Arrived!!!!
It’s that time of year again and we have student athletes competing in a variety of sports. Junior High basketball is wrapping up their seasons and our High School Lady Eagles and Eagles are in the home stretch of the district calendar. Our coaches and athletes have done an outstanding job this season.
Powerlifting had its first meet this past week in Gonzales and we expect some big-time lifts this year. They are constantly working hard while others sleep, so keep grinding to reach those goals
Softball, baseball, track, tennis and golf have all began practices and will be having meets or scrimmages here in the upcoming weeks. Many of our athletes are involved in multiple sports so let’s wish them all good luck in their pursuit of excellence.
Reminders for Softball and Baseball: all tickets will be pre-sold prior to games just as we have done in basketball. We are still under capacity limits for spectators so seating will be very limited. Please follow the link below for ticket purchases.
Home Game guidelines: https://www.luling.txed.net/page/athletics
Go Eagles and #TalonsUp !!!
Luling ISD Athletic Core Values
Luling ISD has added a COVID Dashboard to the district website. We understand the need for full transparency during this time and know that by publishing our current COVID numbers, our community will have up-to-date information. The COVID Dashboard can be found here: