Luling ISD March ENews
Dear Luling ISD Families,
It is an exciting time in Luling ISD as student achievement continues to increase, athletic teams are competing at higher levels, and work is underway to pass a bond to improve the facilities for our students.
We are providing students with unique opportunities starting in elementary school and building upon those experiences through our middle school programs, high school career pathways, and early college classes. Each step builds our students’ skills and knowledge to set them up for success beyond our doors. This monthly newsletter is one way to showcase the engaging learning that is occurring on our campuses and the successes our students are achieving.
Shanklin and Gerdes students that will take STAAR in the upcoming months, participated in an interim assessment from TEA this month. The reading and math test is designed to predict if students are on track to pass the STAAR. Letters with this information and the results of the assessment were sent home with each student. The campuses are providing additional help to students through interventions, tutoring, and Saturday STAAR Camps. We need your help in making sure your student is attending these opportunities. I cannot wait to see the growth our students will show this year!
I'm sure you feel very ready for a relaxing, rejuvenating Spring Break. I hope you and your family enjoy your time together and come back energized for the remaining weeks of the school year, which always seem to fly by in an instant once Spring Break is over!
The Luling Independent School District Board of Trustees called for a $31.9 million bond referendum, scheduled for May 4, 2019.
Over the last two years, LISD evaluated the physical condition, safety/security, capacity, and educational adequacy of its facilities through a district-wide facility assessment. After evaluating the findings from the study, planning, and feasibility studies were conducted to assess options for the five buildings determined to be in poor condition. A Community Advisory Committee (CAC) comprised of students, staff, parents, retirees, and diverse community members participated in a series of meetings to review the district findings. Upon review of the information, the CAC came to unanimous agreement on the preferred project scenario. Two students from the CAC group then presented the recommendation to the LISD Board on February 7th for consideration.
School districts ask voters for permission to sell bonds to investors to raise money for capital projects. Voters then authorize the district to take out a loan and pay that loan back over an extended period. This is the primary way school districts can afford facility projects. State and federal laws regulate how the bond dollars can be used. School districts may issue bonds to pay for construction, renovations of buildings, purchase of land, equipment, and/or buses. Bond dollars cannot be used for salaries, employee benefits, or operating costs by state law.
If approved by voters, the bond would provide funding for the following projects:
· New Elementary School at Shanklin Site
· Renovation of existing 2003 Classroom Building
· Renovations at Gilbert Gerdes Junior High School
For more information, please visit www.luling.txed.net and click on Bond Information.
BLACK HISTORY MONTH COMMUNITY CELEBRATION
February is our nation’s time to honor and celebrate Black History. During the month of February all LISD campuses celebrated Black History in a variety of ways. Campuses created “I Have a Dream” boards where students made a connection to what their dreams were and how Dr. Martin Luther King’s speech still has an impact on their daily lives. On February 28th LISD celebrated with the community by hosting our first annual “Step Into the Legacies of Black History” program. Students performed step routines, sang, read poems, and presented artwork. High school Culinary Arts students also provided a taste of soul food. Families participated in a variety of activity tables that included building a community freedom quilt, creating peace dove garland, reading picture books centered around Black History, and other games. The night concluded with a performance by the Mt. Zion First Baptist Church Mass Choir of San Antonio and a reenactment of Dr. Martin Luther King’s “I Have a Dream Speech” by Dr. Otis I. Mitchell, who is a senior pastor at the same church.
LULING PARTICIPATES IN TEXAS READS ONE BOOK!
Primary, Shanklin, and Gerdes Schools will be participating in a wonderful Read Aloud program, Texas Reads One Book. ALL students and their families will join together in supporting a district-wide initiative to READ together~ Today a reader, tomorrow a leader! ALL students (PK-8) will receive a book to read together at school, with their families and independently.
Jason Garrett, Head Coach of the Dallas Cowboys, will kick-off this exciting journey on April 15th, with a VideoCast. EVERY student will receive their very-own book to read with teachers at school and with families at night. Students will be encouraged to take pictures of themselves reading with family members and send pictures to school for a campus-wide poster.
Renowned author, Gordon Korman, has created a personal message and introduction of his book that all students at Gerdes Junior High will read. EVERY student will receive their very-own book and participate in Read-Aloud and Sustained Silent Reading activities at school. Mr. Korman has invited students to update him on their progress using Twitter and we will begin a #hashtag dialogue with him after the launch.
MARCH SPOTLIGHT STAFF MEMBER
Ms. Bahlmann consistently strives to the meet the needs of every individual student on a daily basis. She always capitalizes on those teachable moments such as using a few minutes of instructional time to teach a new vocabulary word that may have nothing to do with Texas History but will enrich their academic vocabulary. Walking by Ms. Bahlmann's classroom you will see students creating models of missions, writing scripts and performing the plays about how Texas gained its independence. Students have developed websites that show how the cultures that settled in Texas have had an impact on our state then and now. In addition to focusing on engaging our students with rich authentic tasks, Ms. Bahlmann is often the go to person on our campus when teachers need to know what might work best for a kiddo. This year she has been instrumental in our successful implementation of our AVID Program. She has taken a leadership role as an AVID Site Team member, partnering with Ms. McMarion and the AVID students on their trips to the College Fair/Spurs game, ExploreUT, and our first annual AVID Retreat at Camp Champions on Lake LBJ. Ms. Bahlmann expects the very best from every student and the students do their very best for her. Thank you Ms. Bahlmann for being a part of our Gerdes Junior High family.
The Primary School celebrated Black History month in February with a variety of activities. During announcements, individuals who made significant contributions were celebrated and their information and products were displayed in the cafeteria. Students wrote a response to an “I Have A Dream” prompt, following the writing process to produce a written piece describing what they dream about becoming when they grow up. Student work was displayed in the cafeteria for other students to see and was available during the art showcase night for parents. The art showcase occurred on Wednesday February 20th, featuring student work inspired by black artists. During art class, students learned about black artists and their work which served as inspiration for the student work. Each class focused on a different piece from the artists. During the showcase, students picked their favorite piece from each class and participated in activities with their families. The student artist with the most votes in each class received an art kit with supplies during the Primary School Award assemblies on February 27th.
100th Day of School
When you are working hard in school, it’s good to have a bit of fun and take a break from the
normal routine. Students and staff members celebrated the 100th Day of School at Shanklin Elementary on February 8. Creativity abounded as students and staff members dressed up as if they were 100 years old or designed t-shirts that represented the special day of learning. Students participated in various reading and math activities which revolved around the number 100.
I Have a Dream... to Inspire Writing to Learn Across the Curriculum
Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. continues to inspire and motivate little writers at both Primary and Elementary campuses. We are seeing compassion, kindness, and enthusiasm grow as readers become writers and writers become readers. Best Literacy practice is using Write to Learn (part of AVID’s WICOR strategy) to deepen comprehension and foster a connection between reading and writing. Our emerging writers are connecting reading and writing with becoming respectful and responsible citizens.
““Every secret of a writer’s soul, every experience of his life, every quality of his mind, is written large in his works.” — Virginia Woolf
Super Saturday STAAR Camp
On Saturday, February 23rd Gerdes Junior High students participated in our Academic Camp. This camp is focused on helping students prepare for the upcoming STAAR assessments. Students participated in a variety of activities that range from having races through the hallways, playing “Heads Up” with academic vocabulary words, and playing $25,000 pyramid. Students also enjoyed having breakfast and lunch provided. We will have two more Academic Camps this spring (March 30th and May 4th). Students participate in the camps from 8:30 - 11:30. All GJH students are invited to attend.
AVID STUDENTS GET MOBILE
March is going to be an eye-opening, experience-rich month for our AVID students as they prepare to take multiple trips and welcome the newest members of their AVID family. Their first stop is Saturday, March 2nd, when they will load up early and head to The University of Texas at Austin to participate alongside thousands of other AVID students from around the state in Explore UT. From the University website:
Held annually at UT Austin, Explore UT aims to inform students, parents, teachers and community members from across the state about the importance of the public research institution and higher education in Texas. The day-long event invites Texans of all ages to experience robust research experiences, hands-on demonstrations, and experiments, and participate in the richness of the university's scholarship and knowledge.
Use this link to see more information about this exciting event: Explore UT
HIGH SCHOOL NEWS
Algebra 2 students are studying quadratic functions. During the unit, students wrote custom equations to create their parabola solar cooker based on their vertex and a point they calculated for the focus. Students utilized marshmallows as the test subjects. Positioning the marshmallow at the focus allowed the cooker to maximize sunlight and warm the marshmallow.
The new cosmetology CTE pathway is a big success! After a series of 3 year-long courses and passing the state exam, students will be licensed cosmetologists. We are in year 1 of the program, and students are learning applied skills through hands-on training. Students are also exploring possible careers in the cosmetology industry. For the next two years, these students will begin to acquire the hours needed in order to obtain their license. At the end of year three, students will have the required number of practicum hours and take the state licensing exam. Imagine! Graduating high school licensed to be a cosmetologist!
SUPPORTING LEARNING AT HOME
Are you looking for a resource to help your student strengthen reading or math skills at home? If so, students in Pre-Kindergarten through grade 8 have access to Istation Reading and Imagine Math. According to Istation “Students who use Istation Reading make greater gains in overall reading ability compared to those who do not use the curriculum” (https://www.istation.com/Reading). Imagine Math is a math program that personalizes learning for each student. Because the system is adaptive, students learn at their comfort level, with the right degree of challenge (https://www.imaginelearning.com/programs/math).
For our students in high school, Khan Academy provides students with free online courses, lessons, and tutoring. Whether a student is struggling with a concept in math, science, computer programming, history, economics, or just wanting to improve an SAT score, Khan Academy “offers practice exercises, instructional videos, and a personalized learning dashboard that empower learners to study at their own pace in and outside of the classroom” (https://www.khanacademy.org/about).
If you are looking for additional resources, please visit “Homework Help” on the Parent tab of the Luling ISD webpage.