August 2013, Edition

Dear Education Partner:

Dr Wanda Bamberg, Superintendent of SchoolsDuring the Aug. 20 Board meeting, Trustees appointed Jose Palacios, Jr., to fill the unexpired term of Marine Jones. Mr. Palacios is a 30-year resident of the Aldine community. He and his wife Mary have six children, four of whom graduated from Aldine ISD, and two who are currently enrolled in the district.

Mr. Palacios is an active parent at Davis High School, has served as an assistant to the PTO president and is a strong supporter of the Davis ROTC program.

We welcome Mr. Palacios to our team of eight and look forward to working with him in the future. We also thank Mrs. Jones for 11 years of service on the Board and wish her well in her well-deserved retirement.
Also during the Aug. 20 Board meeting, Trustees approved a school board election for Positions 3, 4 and 5 and a special election for Position 1. The election will be held on Tuesday, Nov. 5. Polls will open from 7 a.m. to 7 p.m. Position 3 is held by Rose Avalos, Position 4 is held by Rick Ogden and Position 5 is held by Steve Mead. As stated earlier, Mr. Palacios was appointed to the Position 1 seat to fill the unexpired term of Mrs. Jones. State law mandates that a special election be called to fill the unexpired term. Mr. Palacios will run to be elected to the unexpired term.

Voting information and polling places can be found on the Harris County Elections Division website.

In July, we learned that our Board was named the Region 4 Outstanding School Board and have subsequently learned that they have been selected as one of five state finalists for Texas’ Outstanding School Board award. The entire Board will be interviewed during the TASA/TASB Convention, set for Sept. 27-29 in Dallas. The Texas Outstanding School Board will be named during the weekend of the convention. Aldine’s Board has been named the Region 4 Honor Board three times and in 1973 and 1998 was also named Texas’ Outstanding School Board.

The 2013-14 school year begins on Monday, Aug. 26. We are looking forward to another exciting year, one that will be filled with opportunities and challenges for our students and staff.

One of the highlights of the new school year will be the opening of General Benjamin Oliver Davis, Jr. Ninth Grade School, which will be the district’s fifth ninth-grade school and first to open since 1999. We expect an enrollment of approximately 800 students.

We will also be implementing block scheduling for high school students this year. Block scheduling will allow students to earn eight academic credits in one school year instead of seven in the traditional seven-period day. In addition, each student will be scheduled in a daily intervention or enrichment period. This period will allow each campus to provide additional assistance for students in each core area and provide students opportunities to participate in enrichment activities such as leadership development, SAT/ACT prep, science fair, history fair and other activities.

We are also excited about our partnership with YES Prep, which will start this school year. YES Prep will operate a campus program charter (YES Prep Hoffman) in a portion of Hoffman Middle School. The program will use the programs and curriculum of YES Prep and as required by law the curriculum will incorporate the Texas Essential Knowledge and Skills (TEKS). The students enrolled in YES Prep Hoffman will be and remain AISD students. The initial sixth-grade class will consist of 140 students.

We will also face a challenge in transportation, as will motorists who use Aldine Westfield, due to repair work that is currently underway on the overpass at Aldine Westfield and Beltway 8. Earlier this month, an 18-wheeler carrying huge spools spilled its load and damaged the overpass. While two lanes remain open, the right lane on Beltway 8 Westbound has been closed. The southbound lane on Aldine Westfield will be open the first week of school, but will be closed again the week of Sept. 2. It will remain closed until permanent repairs are completed sometime in October. The repair work will affect a number of our bus routes in the Nimitz and Aldine verticals, but we have a plan in place to address the issue and we will transport our students in a safe and effective manner until the construction is completed.

Soon we will begin the 2013-14 Leadership Aldine class. This class meets monthly and provides an inside look at how the district operates. If you are interested in participating, please contact the public information department at (281) 985-6202. Class size is limited to 50 participants. Our first meeting will be September 19 in the Board Room at the Central Office.

The 2013-14 school year began this week and I look forward to seeing you and visiting with you when I am out in the community. Thank you again for your support.

Wanda Bamberg Ed.D.
Superintendent of Schools

District Highlights

• Houston Academy teachers Pameolin Nelson, Dorothy Williams, Courtnay Holiday, Sheana Carr and John Herridge were awarded an ING Unsung Heroes grant in the amount of $2,000. The money will be used to fund the school’s vertical garden project. The Houston Academy teachers were among only 100 winners from across the nation of an ING Unsung Heroes Grant.

• The MacArthur High School athletic department was the recipient of two grants from the East Aldine Management District. The school’s cross country team received a $15,000 grant to fund its summer running and fitness program and to help fund the team’s trip to Wisconsin in September to compete in the Midwest Invitational Cross Country Meet. The volleyball team received an $8,825 grant to fund its summer volleyball program.

• Three Aldine ISD schools, Goodman Elementary, Stehlik Intermediate and Raymond Academy, each received $50,000 CASE Partnership Grants to fund after-school programs.

• Eisenhower High School senior running back Donald Catalon was named to the Houston Touchdown Club’s Pre-Season All-Greater Houston High School Football Team. Catalon received a plaque from Houston Texans owner Bob McNair to signify his being selected to the team. Donald has already committed to the University of Texas and is one of the Houston area’s top running backs.

The Nation’s Best!

Aldine ISD is fortunate to have so many volunteers who give of their time and talents to assist our students and staff and who also support our school district. One of the staunchest supporters of this district is John Cornett, who spent decades volunteering, serving on advisory boards and bond committees. Some of the boards John served on were the TIRZ Board, the Aldine Greenspoint YMCA Board and the Aldine Education Foundation Board. John was also a part of many organizations in our community, including Scouting and the PTA. He helped organize the Sonny Donaldson Golf Tournament, which provided scholarships to Aldine ISD seniors. John spent a majority of his life in Aldine, raising a family, working in the insurance business and being a fixture in the school district. Unfortunately, John is moving out of the district and during the Aug. 20 Board meeting, we honored him for his selfless service to Aldine. We will miss John’s warm smile, his can-do-attitude and his wisdom. We wish him well in this new chapter in his life. We were fortunate he was a part of our community for so many years. John is definitely one of the Nation’s Best!

Upcoming Events

Monday, Aug. 26
First Day of Instruction

Monday, Sept. 2
Labor Day Holiday, District Schools and Offices Closed

Monday, Sept. 16
Board Study Session, Board Room, 6:30 p.m.

Tuesday, Sept. 17
Aldine Education Foundation Breakfast, Hilton North Houston Hotel, 7:30 a.m.

Tuesday, Sept. 17
Board Meeting, Board Room, 7 p.m.

Thursday, Sept. 19
Leadership Aldine, Board Room, 8 a.m.

Monday, Oct. 7
Board Study Session, Board Room, 6:30 p.m.

Tuesday, Oct. 8
Board Meeting, Board Room, 7 p.m.

Wednesday, Oct. 9
ACC Meeting, MOC Theater, 9:30 a.m.