26 Texas schools nominated for 2017 national Blue Ribbon honors


AUSTIN – The Texas Education Agency today announced the nomination of 26 Texas public schools for national 2017 Blue Ribbon Schools recognition.

Founded in 1982, Blue Ribbon Schools is a U.S. Department of Education program that recognizes public and private elementary, middle and high schools where students perform at very high levels. The nominated schools in Texas include the following:

  • Amarillo ISD – Whittier Elementary School
  • Banquete ISD – Banquete Elementary School
  • Birdville ISD – Smithfield Elementary School

  • Dallas ISD – Barack Obama Male Leadership Academy
  • Dallas ISD – Dallas Environmental Science Academy
  • Dallas ISD – Irma Lerma Rangel Women’s Leadership School
  • Edinburg CISD – Austin Elementary School
  • Edinburg CISD – Jefferson Elementary School
  • El Paso ISD – Green Elementary School
  • El Paso ISD – Silva Health Magnet
  • Galveston ISD – Austin Middle School
  • Gunter ISD – Gunter Elementary School
  • Houston ISD – Eastwood Academy
  • Houston ISD – Lyons Elementary School
  • Jim Ned CISD – Lawn Elementary School    
  • Judson ISD – Crestview Elementary School
  • KIPP Houston – KIPP Shine Prep
  • La Porte ISD – Jennie Reid Elementary School
  • Laredo ISD – Hector J. Garcia Early College High School
  • Los Fresnos ISD – Rancho Verde Elementary School
  • Montgomery ISD – Montgomery Intermediate School
  • Oakwood ISD – Oakwood Elementary School
  • San Antonio ISD – Travis Early College High School
  • Whitehouse ISD – Stanton-Smith Elementary School
  • Wylie ISD – RF Hartman Elementary School
  • Ysleta ISD – Valle Verde Early College High School

All schools that have been nominated for the 2017 honor were selected as exemplary high performing schools as measured by state assessments. Each school has an economically disadvantaged population of 22 percent or greater.

The nominated schools must now complete a rigorous application process through the U.S. Department of Education. Announcements of the national award winners will be made in September 2017.  Schools that receive the award are recognized at the Blue Ribbon Schools awards ceremony in Washington, D.C.

RHS Dixie Belle to Dance at Inauguration Celebration


Congratulations to Alyssa Andrews, Richland High School Dixie Belle captain, for being selected to perform with a group at the Black Tie and Boots Inaugural Ball in Washington D.C. This event is sponsored by the Texas State Society of Washington D.C. Alyssa is one of only 25 Texas Dance Educators Association (TDEA) All-State dancers invited to perform at this prestigious event. 

> Invitation Letter

National Science Teachers Association’s Science and Children Claims and Evidence Publication

Sabrina Dowell, fifth-grade teacher at Mullendore Elementary, was recently published in the National Science Teachers Association’s Science and Children publication. She contributed to the article “Claims and Evidence: Creating opportunities for students to practice speaking and writing about science.” (Used by Permission)

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#WeAreBirdvilleISD #BISDShines


Former Watauga Middle School and Birdville ISD graduate (Haltom High School) Halapoulivaati Vaitai is a starting offensive tackle for the Philadelphia Eagles. (He also played college football at TCU.) Vaitai recently sent a message of encouragement to the Watauga Middle School football team. #BISDShines #WeAreBirdvilleISD

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BISD Board Approves District of Innovation Plan


On October 27, 2016, Birdville ISD’s Board of Trustees unanimously voted to become a District of Innovation (DOI). A District of Innovation is a concept passed in the 84th Texas Legislative Session in House Bill 1842 that gives traditional independent school districts most of the flexibilities available to Texas’ open enrollment charter schools. To access these flexibilities, a school district must adopt an innovation plan, as set forth in Texas Education Code chapter 12A.

BISD adopted an innovative plan that allows the District to be exempt from:

  • Minimum attendance for class credit or final grade;
  • First day of instruction requirements (allowing school to begin earlier in August); and
  • Length of school day requirements (awarding a student credit based on mastery of content as opposed to simply meeting class time).

“The District of Innovation is an avenue to allow flexibility so our educators can better meet the needs of our students,” said Superintendent Dr. Darrell G. Brown.

To learn more about BISD’s District of Innovation Plan, visit birdvilleschools.net/innovation.

BISD Board Approves STEM Certification Plan


Trustees also voted to move forward with having North Richland Middle School designated as a certified Science, Technology, Engineering and Mathematics (STEM) campus. In order to qualify as a STEM-certified campus, all of the math and science teachers will be immersed in a year-long training experience that assists them in understanding and aligning their practices to the research which defines quality STEM instruction. Training for staff includes face-to-face and online sessions, as well as onsite coaching visits by STEMscope consultants.

Dr. Elizabeth A. Clark, Associate Superintendent for Curriculum and Instruction, said, “Birdville ISD wants to embrace, implement and support innovative approaches that expand the opportunities for students and staff to personalize and enrich learning that goes beyond what the state uses in accountability.”

RHS Marching Band Wins the 2016 Lone Star Preview Marching Contest


Congratulations to the Richland High School Marching Band for being named Grand Champion of the Lone Star Preview Marching Contest in The Woodlands, Texas. During preliminary competition, the band placed first overall and won every caption in the AAA division including Best Auxiliary, Percussion, Musical Performance, Visual Performance, and General Effect. In finals, the band placed first overall as well as receiving caption awards for Musical Performance and General Effect. Of special note is the fact that RHS was the only 5A band selected for finals and competed against many recent UIL State Marching Contest finalists. #BISDShines

Nancy Sinclair, retired BISD Speech and Language Pathologist, named TAPED Outstanding Speech Language Pathologist in Texas Deaf Education


Retired BISD Speech Language Pathologist, Nancy Sinclair, received a 2016 Special Recognition Award as “Outstanding Speech Language Pathologist” at the Texas Association of Parents and Educators of the Deaf (TAPED) state conference. Sinclair has had an immeasurable impact on so many lives in and out of deaf education. When she began 30+ years ago, in order to communicate with her students, she audited night classes in ASL. Sinclair is extremely knowledgeable about teaching Deaf/Hard of Hearing students. After retiring this past year, she agreed to assist a beginning therapist.

Birdville ISD Receives Recognition for Transparency Efforts from Texas Comptroller


Texas Comptroller Glenn Hegar announced Birdville ISD is the latest local government entity to achieve specific transparency goals through the Comptroller’s Transparency Stars program. The Transparency Stars program recognizes local government entities that provide easy online access to important financial data. BISD received two Transparency Stars under the new program.

The first star was awarded in the area of Traditional Finances, which recognizes entities for their outstanding efforts in making their spending and revenue information available.

“By providing meaningful financial data in addition to visual tools and analysis of its revenues and expenditures, Birdville has shown a true commitment to Texas taxpayers. This effort achieves the goals set by my office’s Transparency Stars program,” Hegar said. “I am pleased to award BISD a star for its accomplishments.”

The Comptroller’s office launched the Transparency Stars program in March to recognize cities, counties and school districts making important strides to greater government transparency. Local government entities can apply for stars in the areas of:

  • Traditional Finances
  • Contracts and Procurement
  • Economic Development
  • Public Pensions
  • Debt Obligations

After receiving an initial star for Traditional Finances, remaining stars may be awarded in any order.

In addition to the star for Traditional Finances, BISD also received a star for Debt Obligations.

For more information on the program, including specific guidelines and information on how to apply, visit the Comptroller’s Transparency Stars website.