SUNSET P-TECH BISON NEWS

August/September Edition

Principal's Message

Hold the vision, Trust the process


This journey is a process of ups and downs, hard work, and sacrifice but with the right mindset and a willingness to trust us to guide you..the sky is the limit.

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We are so excited to have our students back and establishing their routines. It has been a hard year. In August, we had our first graduating class in spite of COVID. Though we are not out of the pandemic just yet we are forging ahead to continue to be successful in our practices. We have resumed face-to-face instruction and we are ready to start closing the gaps from our year of shut down and planning our success for this graduating class of seniors. Our freshman and sophomores are on the Sunset campus taking high school and college classes. Our juniors are attending Dallas College at Mountain View 2-3 days a week and we have 52 seniors attending UNT Dallas 5 days a week to complete their associates. It is a great time to be successful
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Orientation Week

UNT Dallas always does a fabulous job of providing a detailed orientation for our students for the second year. This year is different because this is the first year our seniors were able to come to campus and engage in face-to-face orientation along with the Lincoln B-TECH team. It was an exciting week of information, guest speakers, and assisting our students in planning for their senior success. The students were able to hear a motivational speech from former Mavericks player Josh Howard who is the newly hired head coach at UNT Dallas. He spoke about being committed and remaining consistent during this journey. He was able to share his story of how he was able to accomplish his goals.

UNT DALLAS

This year is exciting because we are able to see students for face-to-face instruction but also our seniors who are currently on track for their Associate's degree are attending UNT Dallas daily for college classes. Last year was our first graduating class but they had to take all of their courses online. This is the first time they are able to come to campus and take part in the UNT Dallas community. The students have done an excellent job of acclimating to their new environment. They were asked to form study groups to help each other stay on track with their assignments and study for exams. Students have begun to utilize the many resources on campus including the state-of-the-art collaborative study rooms. The students' schedules consist of leaving Sunset High School at 7:50 am. High school students are not allowed to drive to campus due to university protocols. Sunset P-TECH provides transportation to and from campus. We leave UNT Dallas at 4 pm just in time for daily dismissal. The students have Academic Round-Up built into their day as well as college success support through a program called "Project Wayfinder". Through this program, students learn how to be successful college students. Each senior is assigned to a time slot.


ATTENDANCE:

Our seniors are still expected to meet district and state mandates for attendance. If a student is not on campus 90% of the time they are expected to make up seat time according to district policies. Though these students may not have a traditional high school schedule they are still Dallas Independent School District high school students. If you have any questions concerning attendance please do not hesitate to contact, Ms. Robison at 972-502-1614.

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Academic Round Ups Underway

Each year we have what we call "Academic Round-Ups". We do grade checks weekly for our college classes to ensure our students stay on track with their success. Our college sessions run for a semester which will end in late November or early December. Sometimes students get off track so built-in interventions are put in place to ensure we are able to guide them through the process. Based on the grade checks, students are placed on an Academic Round Up list to attend tutorials on Wednesdays after school from 4:45 pm-6:15 pm. Students are expected to be on time and they must remain the entire session. Our P-TECH team has done a fabulous job and making sure it runs effectively. The students have met with the counselor in cohort huddles to understand their academic expectations.
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Sunset Under Construction

Sunset High School is getting a facelift. A $46-million renovation of Sunset High School will include a 1,000-seat competition gym, a black-box theater, new administration offices, and a holistic makeover of the school’s mishmash interior. Construction is in full swing. If all goes as planned, it could be finished in August 2023. There are some constraints to our being under construction such as limited entrances, a new location for the main office and no parking for students. Our students will need to park in locations outside of the one parking lot available. Due to these hiccups, our UNT Dallas must remain at UNT Dallas daily from 8:30 am-4 pm due to the lack of space. We can't wait to see the new renovations!!!

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Getting Back to Business

We are back in the business of changing students' lives. There have been many changes in the last year and a half but one thing has not changed, our desire to see students succeed. We have two new faculty, Ms. Okoche, English I, and Mr. Ward, Biology. We were sad to see Ms. Long and Ms. Alavarez leave. Ms. Long is still going strong at Sunset High School teaching English with our comprehensive students. You can follow her at https://twitter.com/longloveslit. Ms. Alvarez is currently teaching outside of the district but Sunset P-TECH is still family. She surprised the students and staff at the Homecoming Game. Our teachers are back setting the bar high for excellence. We also have a new office staff member, Ms. Villapando who is working to become a teacher. She manages many of our online college classes. Talk about on-the-job training!! Take a moment to look at all of the students' hard work.

2021 Oak Cliff Scholar

Yesenia Tejeda

Yesenia Tejeda is a first-generation college student who graduated from Sunset P-TECH Early College High School. She was born and raised in Oak Cliff, where she is the second of five children. Yesenia graduated high school with an Associate of Arts and is continuing her studies at The University of North Texas at Dallas. She will major in early childhood education and hopes to become an elementary school teacher and college professor. Yesenia said she’s been blessed to have a strong support group of friends and mentors, as well as a loving family. She hopes to better herself and her community.

WORKPLACE LEARNING

Steering Committee Meeting

On October 6th, we conducted our first Steering Committee Meeting. Due to COVID restrictions and Sunset HS constructions, we are continuing to conduct our meetings via Zoom. We hope to have a meeting or two face to face at a later date. We gave our updates from last year as well as discuss our vision for academics, mentoring, internships, and workplace learning engagements for the 2021-2022 school year. We have had some new members join the team as some members moved on to new exciting adventures. Sadly we had to say goodbye to Ms. Elizabeth Cheek (UNT Dallas), Mr. Justin Bryant (Dallas HCM), and Ms. Karen Kaighan (Children's Health). They will definitely be missed. Since that time we have gained a new industry partner Dallas ISD Early Learning and Dr. Paul who will be our representative from Dallas HCM. We also have a new representative for Dallas College at Mountain View, Ms. Wright. We would like to thank all that attended and gave us some great resources for our students this year. We look forward to working with all of our partners.

Dallas ISD Early Learning

Dallas ISD Early Learning is Sunset P-TECH's newest partnership supporting the Teacher Education pathway. On October 6th, our teacher education students were invited to meet and hear about the exciting journey of Assistant Superintendent of Early Learning, Dr. Elena Hill. She shared her journey through education and gave them words of inspiration for our future educators. After our guest speaker, the students were able to participate in a Mythbusters Game about the field of education. We want to ensure the students have all of the facts about the field of education as well as understanding their many options in being a part of this pathway. Thank you Early Learning!!!

Children's Health-LinkedIn

LinkedIn is the largest business-oriented networking website geared specifically towards professionals or those building to become professionals. As we prepared our students not only to finish college, we are also helping them to build their professional futures. We help them by inviting professional guest speakers, building resumes, and assisting our seniors in creating their Linkedin accounts. The benefit of a well-written LinkedIn account is it aids in building your professional brand. LinkedIn gives you the ability to showcase your profile, expertise, recommendations and connections, not only is your profile the first professional impression of you when recruiters and employers use LinkedIn to search for candidates but it also demonstrates credibility in your industry and highlights your achievements. Every senior will create their LinkedIn profile before graduating. Program Director, Christopher Phillip from Children's Health has volunteered for a second year to come assist our students in building their professional profiles.


There are 7 benefits to creating their LinkedIn profile.


Our students will have the opportunity to:

1. Gain exposure to Hiring Managers and Recruiters

2. Demonstrate your knowledge, credibility and leadership expertise

3. Use LinkedIn as a research tool

4. LinkedIn has a great job board

5. You can gain social proof for your skills and talents

6. Follow Companies

7. Join LinkedIn Groups


For more details about these 7 benefits please read the following article

https://www.linkedin.com/pulse/7-benefits-using-linkedin-sarah-rycraft/

Shout Out to the 2021 Graduates

We are so proud of our 2021 graduates. Each graduate had their own plan for their future. We graduated 75 seniors and of those seniors, 53 gained their associate's degree. We plan to continue to stay in contact with those students to hear about their accomplishments. We would like to congratulate Elizabeth Enriquez that started an apprenticeship with Texas Health Dallas designed to help them earn certifications as patient care technicians. The current classroom training will prepare them to study further with Texas Health Resources University to become EKG or monitor technicians. Also, Crystal Vergara, a future teacher, has joined the Sunset P-TECH team as a substitute teacher. She is currently working on her bachelor's degree at UNT Dallas and requested to volunteer to work with our current Sunset P-TECH students. The Workplace Learning Coordinator researched the qualifications of becoming a substitute teacher in the district and learned all of our students with associate degrees are qualified to become substitute teachers. We had two substitute positions come available and she eagerly applied.

Homecoming 2021

This year Sunset High School was able to celebrate Homecoming in traditional fashion. The students were able to participate in a Homecoming Game in which WE WON!! It was an exciting week. Our UNT Dallas seniors did not want to get left out of the fun so they slightly modified the dress for the week because they could not walk the UNT Dallas campus in PJs but they banned together to come up with a great week of representation:



  • Monday- Jersey Day
  • Tuesday- Twin Day
  • Wednesday- Western Day
  • Thursday- School Spirit Day
  • Friday- Flashback Friday

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UT Southwestern Public Health Presentation

UT Southwestern third-year medical student, David Osula presented to our seniors on the Public Health pathway on October 14th. He joined us virturally to give students the facts about COVID-19 and the vaccinations available. The students received concrete information in which they will be challenged to educator the Sunset community as well as the UNT Dallas community. They are actively planning how they will disseminate this information. We will be working with UNT Dallas to publicize the information. Keep your eyes open for coming information.

SUNSET P-TECH ECHS

Sunset P-TECH will enable students to explore a wide range of career interests in the fields of public health and education. The curriculum in these two areas of focus will provide a foundation of knowledge on which to pursue a bachelor's degree.


Students who opt to pursue the Public Health track will have the opportunity to develop the skills and experience to protect the safety and improve the health of communities through education, policymaking, research, prevention, and administering services while serving as a "change agent" in promoting healthcare equity, quality, and accessibility.

Students who opt to pursue the Teacher Education track will have the opportunity to develop the skills and experience to explore and engage with delivering high-quality education, acquire the communication, teamwork, and problem-solving skills that are necessary for success in the 21st-century classroom in the field of education.

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