Dear Education Partner:
Earlier this month, we received wonderful news when our EC/Pre-K Centers were named the 2015 winners of H-E-B’s Excellence in Education Early Childhood Award. The announcement was made in Austin during the 14th annual H-E-B Excellence in Education Awards banquet. It was an honor to be on hand to hear this great news. Board President Dr. Viola M. Garcia and Board Member Merlin Griggs joined us at the banquet. Aldine Area Superintendent Dr. Linda Rodriguez, who organized the application process, also attended, along with our seven of the eight EC/Pre-K Center principals. Those principals are Maria Galindo of deSantiago EC/Pre-K Center, Juan Santos of Garcia-Leza EC/Pre-K Center, Gladys Moton of Jones EC/Pre-K Center, Michelle Burke of Keeble EC/Pre-K Center, Debbie Hagood of Kujawa EC/Pre-K Center, Linda Reed of Vines EC/Pre-K Center, and Sherri Batro of Reece Academy. Sandra Arredondo, principal of Hinojosa EC/Pre-K Center was unable to attend. The schools received $30,000 ($5,000 for being a state semifinalist and $25,000 for winning the award) from H-E-B. At the May 19 Board meeting, they presented the Aldine Education Foundation a check for $30,000 to fund two endowed scholarships. The scholarships will be awarded to two Aldine ISD graduates who began their academic careers at one of the district’s EC/Pre-K Centers. Congratulations to our EC/Pre-K Centers for winning this prestigious award!
May has been filled with celebrations, awards ceremonies, and concerts, including a number of banquets to recognize students for their academic, athletic and performing arts accomplishments during this school year. At the May 19 Board meeting, close to 40 students were recognized, along with their parents, for accomplishments in academics, athletics and performing and visual arts.
Also this month, we took time to thank the many volunteers who devote their time and talents to our children. On May 21, we held our annual VISA (Volunteers in the Schools of Aldine) reception at the M.O. Campbell Educational Center. Board members, administrators and principals took time to thank more than 600 individuals who volunteer in our schools. Ninety-four volunteers have accumulated more than 1,000 hours of service to our schools. Of these high achievers, five volunteers, Juanita Honeycutt, Tommye Newman, Cheryl Knighton, DeAnn Crumbly and Gabino Gutierrez have accumulated more than 12,000 lifetime hours. Each received a framed certificate presented by Board President Dr. Viola M. Garcia and me. We can’t thank our VISA volunteers enough. They play such an important role at our campuses and we are fortunate to have them as members of our Aldine family.
On May 18 we held our annual Extra Milers reception to say thank you to teachers and other school personnel who go above and beyond the call of duty. Cabinet members served lemonade and snacks and presented them with certificates thanking them for their service.
We held our annual Employee Awards Banquet on May 12 at the Hilton Houston North Hotel. We honored almost 80 employees who are retiring or have reached milestones of 40, 35, 30, 25, and 20 years of service to Aldine. This event is always one of the highlights of the year and a chance to highlight some of the finest educators and support employees in the nation. It also provides us with a chance to say good-bye to those who will be retiring and beginning a new phase in their lives. We thank all of our retirees for their dedicated and devoted service over the years.
On May 21, we held our third annual Aldine Education Foundation (AEF) reception at Davis High School. One hundred-sixty-three seniors received either Aldine Scholarship Foundation or AEF scholarships at the event. The two non-profits joined forces two years ago to provide more financial support for AISD seniors so that they can attend college. AEF also provides teaching grants to AISD teachers.
Also this month, we held our second Community Meeting to discuss the district’s future and to address our master facilities plan with our stakeholders. We reviewed with our stakeholders options we are exploring to address our growth and our needs for the future. A recent population study conducted by Population and Survey Analysts (PASA) indicates that Aldine will continue to grow by 3% (or 2,000 students per year) for the next five years. That will mark a 15% growth rate by 2020. We discussed the following options at the May 7 Community Meeting: new campuses, reconfigured grade levels to maximize current capacity, improvements and upgrades for various facilities and programs including performing arts, career and technical education and athletics. On May 27-28, our District Executive team will meet to discuss these options and on June 16 we will hold our fifth Steering Committee meeting. If you are on the Steering Committee, please plan to attend the June 16 meeting.
Five Aldine ISD high schools were named to U.S. News & World Report’s Best High School rankings list. The five are Victory Early College High School, Carver High School, Aldine Ninth Grade School, Aldine High School and MacArthur High School. Victory earned a Gold Medal, Carver earned a Silver Medal and Aldine Ninth Grade School, Aldine High and MacArthur High each earned Bronze Medals. Victory earned a Gold Medal for the third straight year and is ranked No. 28 in the state. U.S. News and World Report evaluated schools on three academic indicators. Those indicators are:
• State testing – schools had to perform better than average to pass.
• How effectively schools educated their least-advantaged students.
• The school’s College Readiness Index (CRI). The CRI rated student participation and performance on Advanced Placement and International Baccalaureate exams.
Earlier this month, Governor Abbott signed Senate Bill 149 into law, which will give seniors who have yet to pass all five of their End of Course Exams (EOC) a different route to graduation. Senate Bill 149 calls for the formation of a committee to evaluate poor-performing students, their grades, college entrance exam scores and attendance to determine whether or not they will receive a diploma. The committee must include a parent; a teacher of the subject the student is struggling with, a counselor, and the school’s principal (or designee).
The Texas Education Agency released STAAR (State of Texas Assessments of Academic Readiness) scores. As we have done in the past, we will spend the summer reviewing scores and mapping out a plan to address areas for improvement.
The biggest highlight of this school year will come the first week of June when thousands of Aldine ISD seniors will receive their high school diplomas during graduation ceremonies. I want to congratulate all of our graduates, their parents and families for reaching this milestone in their lives. I know our Board of Trustees, and our entire school district, wishes them great success as they begin college, enter the military or enter the work force. A complete list of our graduation ceremonies with live video streaming, along with dates and times, can be found in the Calendar of Events below and on our district web site.
Thank you for all of your support during the 2014-15 school year. We will be busy this summer planning for the 2015-16 school year and also planning for Aldine ISD’s future. We are fortunate to have business and community partners who take such an active and vested interest in our school district.
Wanda Bamberg Ed.D.
Superintendent of Schools
• MacArthur High School senior Lourdes Rodriguez received a $2,000 KPRC 2 Senior Scholarship. Channel 2 anchors Owen Conflenti and Rachel McNeil surprised Lourdes with her scholarship in person at MacArthur and the presentation was broadcast during Channel 2’s morning news show on May 20.
• The Aldine Dance Company and the Carver High Dance Company swept the competition at the 24/7 Dance Competition held recently at the Westin Galleria. The two dance troupes won five gold medals in solo performance. The Carver Dance Company was awarded the highest score of the entire competition in Contemporary Dance, Jazz and Hip-Hop. The troupes also took top honors in Tap and Contemporary/Lyrical/Jazz.
• The Nimitz High School Robotics team finished in first place at the Marine Advanced Technology Education (MATE) competition held at NASA’s Neutral Buoyancy Lab at Space Center Houston. The Nimitz team qualified to compete at the MATE International Robotics Competition, set for June 24-27 at Memorial University of Newfoundland in St. John, Newfoundland.
• Aldine ISD was well represented at the Class 6A State Track and Field Meet as three individuals and three relay teams qualified for state. The Davis High School boy’s 4×200-meter relay team placed third at state and earned a Bronze Medal. The team consisted of Lexington Thomas, Montray Norris, Anthony Malone and Brandon McDaniel. The Davis High girls sent two relay teams to state, the 4×100-meter relay team and the 4×200-meter relay team. Both teams consisted of Tyana Davis, Shauntezz’ Marie Austin, Daphne Smith and Kenaysia Dixon. MacArthur High School’s Abraham Pineda qualified in the 800-meter run. Eisenhower High School’s Diamond Thomas qualified in the discus and fellow Eagle George Nyakwol qualified in the triple jump. All earned a trip to state by finishing first or second in their respective events at the Region III Meet.
• Three Aldine ISD softball teams qualified for the Class 6A playoffs. The MacArthur High Lady Generals, under the direction of head coach Lechelle Lara, finished second in District 18-6A to earn a playoff spot. The Nimitz High Lady Cougars, under the direction of head coach Bubba Delk, finished third in district play and the Davis High Lady Falcons finished in fourth place to earn a trip to the playoffs.
Monday, May 25
Memorial Day Holiday, District Schools and Offices Closed
Tuesday, May 26
Business Partners Appreciation Luncheon, DoubleTree Hotel, 11:30 a.m.
Thursday, June 4
Last Day of Instruction
Thursday, June 4
Lane School Graduation, W.T. Hall Center for Education, 5:30 p.m.
Davis High School Graduation, M.O. Campbell Educational Center, 7 p.m.
Friday, June 5
Graduations, M.O. Campbell Educational Center:
Hall Center for Education, 6 p.m.
MacArthur High School, 7:30 p.m.
Saturday, June 6
Graduations, M.O. Campbell Educational Center:
Nimitz High School, 8 a.m.
Carver High School, 11 a.m.
Eisenhower High School, 1:30 p.m.
Aldine High School, 5 p.m.
Victory Early College HS, 7:30 p.m.
Monday, June 8
Board Study Session, Board Room, 6:30 p.m.
Tuesday, June 9
Board Meeting, Board Room, 7 p.m.
Tuesday, June 16
Steering Committee Meeting, Hall Center for Education, 6:30 p.m.