Monday, September 30, 2013

New AP Grant Scoring
Big Within Mesquite ISD

Our student participation in AP Exams isn’t the only thing improving through a grant sponsored by the National Math and Science Initiative and the Texas Instruments Foundation. So have our students’ scores.

The grant, which debuted in the 2011-12 school year, is geared toward math, science and English AP classes. Students with a qualifying score of 3 or higher on exams in these three courses earn $100 per test. By the end of the grant’s second year, here are results of math, science and English AP Exams:

Exam participation was up by 29 percent overall.
Qualifying scores increased by 42 percent overall.
The number of exams taken by African American and Hispanic students grew by 61 percent.
Qualifying scores by African American and Hispanic students improved by 55 percent.

We look forward to continued success through this great program. Please join us in urging students to participate in AP classes, which can lead to college credit hours and tuition savings.

Friday, September 20, 2013

These Three Upcoming
Events Calendar-Worthy

Please get out your calendar, smart phone or whatever you use to flag key dates for you and your family. Over the next month or so, Mesquite ISD is hosting several events — or in one case getting a program started — that may be of value to you and your neighbors.

Have you driven by our new Technology Excellence Center, formerly the Armory Building next to Hanby Stadium, and wondered what it looks like inside? Then please join us between 4 and 6 p.m. on Monday, September 30, for our Community Open House. Tours and demonstrations will take place, and refreshments will be served.

Our next Parent University, a district-sponsored workshop geared to help our parents and guardians bring out the best in students, is set for Tuesday, October 29. With the theme of Cyber Safety, this event will take place from 6 to 7:30 p.m. at our Professional Development Center, 2600 Motley. Learn how to protect your child through the safe use of the Internet and other mobile devices. Childcare will be provided.

And last but not least, our A.L.I.V.E. Program for parents, guardians and community patrons kicks off another annual session in October. Back by popular demand, this class continues through May through monthly meetings. It provides a thorough look inside what it takes for us to educate nearly 40,000 people a day. Not only do A.L.I.V.E. participants get one-on-one time with our district leaders, they also get to experience some things – like cafeteria food – just like a student. Perhaps you’ll want to become one of our Board members some day like one of our A.L.I.V.E. graduates successfully did.

I urge you to make a special effort to attend at least one of the three events or programs. We need your participation and connection to our district to improve even further as a school community.

Monday, September 16, 2013

Board + Students = Twice
the Fun at TASB Conference

Through my leadership roles with Mesquite ISD and the UIL, I attend many conferences. But in my mind, the upcoming annual TASA/TASB* Convention stands out as a special one for two reasons.

First of all, this Dallas convention will honor Mesquite ISD’s Board of Trustees in a huge way. Our Board is one of five finalists in the 2013 Honor Board Award Program sponsored by TASA. This is the third time MISD’s Board has been selected as a finalist for this award. The winning board will be announced on Friday, September 27.

Secondly, our district’s new Culinary Class has been invited to lead a Student Culinary Showcase at the same event. Our students will be involved in interactive cooking demonstrations with the thousands of school administrator convention guests Friday and Saturday, September 27-28.

Best of luck to both our stellar Board and students. I will see you there!

*TASA stands for the Texas Association of School Administrators,
while TASB is the Texas Association of School Boards.

Wednesday, September 11, 2013

9–11 Anniversary Tugs on
Our Hearts 12 Years Later

No matter how far we live from New York City or Washington, D.C., we felt close to all those impacted on 9-11. If you're like me, you remember exactly where you were, what you were doing and how your heart ached watching the TV footage.

As horrible as it was that day and during its aftermath, we cannot forget what happened. Please join me this week in honoring the 2,996 lives lost as well as the hundreds of heroes who saved others.

9-11 was the deadliest incident for firefighters in the U.S. history. Our own Mesquite Fire Department secured a piece of 9-11 history--a steel beam from the World Trade Center warped by the explosion. Money is being raised to build a memorial to show this striking 9-11 representation to our community for years to come.

Friday, September 6, 2013

PTA: An Easy Way to Get Involved
With School, Help Your Student’s Success

It’s no secret that children do better in school when families are involved.

Studies have proven this over and over. One easy way to become more active in your child’s school experience – and help bring out the best in that student – is by joining PTA.

Texas PTA’s theme this year is “Be your kid’s biggest fan. Be PTA!”

Through the local PTA chapter of your student’s school, you’ll keep abreast of the best ways to support that campus. PTAs work hard to connect families, schools and the community for the betterment of education. Campuses rely heavily on PTA’s infrastructure of volunteers, so your participation can make a huge difference.

To learn about your child’s school’s PTA chapter, volunteering, meetings and more, please visit