June 2014, Edition

Dear Education Partner:

Dr Wanda Bamberg, Superintendent of SchoolsThe 2013-14 school year came to a close the first weekend in June with our annual graduation ceremonies. Nearly 3,000 seniors received their diplomas and will now move onto a new chapter in their lives. Some will attend college, while others will enter the work force or join the military. We wish them all well.

Our administrators and principals will spend the summer planning for 2014-15 by reviewing data from 2013-14 and making sure our plans and facilities are ready when students return.

We recently received the STAAR End-of-Course (EOC) results from the Texas Education Agency. Below are this year’s results:
• U.S. History – 92%
• Biology – 84%
• Algebra I – 75%
• English I – 50%
• English II – 51%

We made gains in both Algebra I and Biology and U.S. History was administered for the first time. English I and English II were actually new tests that combined the previous reading and writing tests into one assessment taken during a five-hour time frame. We had many students who did not complete the tests so we will double our efforts to support our students who need to re-test.

On June 8, we held a birthday party for W.W. “Bill” and Iris Thorne. Their children, Bill Jr., and Anita, coordinated the event and it was well attended as the Thornes’ grandchildren, relatives, former and current Aldine ISD personnel, friends and elected officials came out to wish them well and take part in the celebration. Bill and Iris Thorne will celebrate their birthdays later this month. Bill will turn 90, and Iris will turn 89.

Bill enjoyed a storied career in education and public service. He served as superintendent of Aldine ISD and is credited with saving the district fiscally in the 1950s. He also served as the first president of North Harris College (now Lone Star College-North Harris), the first chancellor of the North Harris Montgomery Community College District, the first executive director of the Harris County Toll Road Authority and as the first executive director of the North Houston Association. He was instrumental in the formation of the Aldine Teachers Credit Union, which is now known as InvesTex Credit Union.

Iris served in the business office at the Central Office for many years and both have been involved in their community in addition to their professional lives. State representatives Senfronia Thompson and Sylvester Turner presented the Thornes with a proclamation from the Texas House of Representatives lauding their service and their 71-years of marriage. Former Aldine ISD Superintendent M.B. “Sonny” Donaldson reflected on Mr. Thorne’s years as superintendent, when he became known as “Mr. Aldine.” Former co-workers and community members also spoke glowingly of the Thornes’ service to others over the last seven decades.

It was an uplifting afternoon of sharing this special occasion and catching up with so many former Aldine family members and community members.

During the June Board meeting, our Trustees approved the budget for the 2014-15 school year and set the proposed tax rate. Trustees approved a budget of $598,736,416 which is an increase of 12.5 percent from the 2013-2014 budget, helping the district rebound from significant cuts in state funding in 2011. The proposed tax rate was set at $1.28588, a two-cent decrease from the 2013-14 budget. The 2014-14 property tax rate will not be officially adopted until the district receives the certified tax roll from the Harris County Appraisal District, which should happen in late August.

Also at the June Board meeting, Trustees approved salary increases for all staff. It is our goal to remain competitive with the surrounding districts. I appreciate the Board’s commitment to attracting and retaining quality educators and employees for our children. It proves their level of support for the work our employees do every day. I appreciate the time, effort and expertise each person provides in his/her job and the commitment to the Aldine community.

Our employees will receive some much-deserved down time this summer to recharge their batteries and come back refreshed for the 2014-15 school year. Our administrative team and principals will be busy this summer, but will also get a couple of weeks off to recharge themselves. We look forward to the coming school year and working with all of our partners. Thank you for your continued support.

Wanda Bamberg Ed.D.
Superintendent of Schools

District Highlights

• The district was a recipient of a $64,000 grant from Goldman Sachs Discover a Brighter Future Fund and Acellus to provide funding at eight Aldine ISD high schools to implement a financial education program at the schools during the 2014-15 school year.

• The Francis Elementary School library received a $5,000 grant from the Laura Bush Foundation. The money will be used to expand, update and diversify Francis’ library.

• One-hundred-forty-seven Aldine ISD seniors received either Aldine Education Foundation (AEF) or Aldine Scholarship Foundation (ASF) scholarships during an awards ceremony held at Davis High School on May 22.

• The Houston Symphony held a neighborhood concert at MacArthur High School on June 4. The concert was free to the public.

The Nation’s Best!

Carver High School teacher Adriana Jimenez is a principal’s dream. After spending all day teaching, Adriana devoted her spare time tutoring students after school. It’s a calling she’s taken great pride in over the years while she’s been at Carver. The 2013-14 school year found the energetic and dedicated Adriana spending time after her daily duties were completed assisting students who were labeled “bump up kids,” Dyslexic, “504 students,” or special education students. She provided one-on-one and small group tutoring to help those students close their learning gaps. She also served as the student council sponsor during the 2013-14 school year. Adriana played an active role in helping Carver students improve their school and their community. Adriana even gave up some of her weekends to work with the student council on fund raising and other community projects, and she did so with a smile on her face and much love in her heart. Adriana is a valued and respected teacher at Carver High School and is definitely one of the Nation’s Best!

Upcoming Events

Friday, July 4
Fourth of July Holiday, District Offices Closed

Monday, July 14
Board Study Session, Board Room, 6:30 p.m.

Tuesday, July 15
Board Meeting, Board Room, 7 p.m.

Tuesday, July 22
Apple Celebration, M.O. Campbell Educational Center