Monday, September 26, 2016

Vision 2020 Focus: Algebra I Mastery

Mansfield ISD's mission is to inspire and educate students to be productive citizens. In alignment with this mission, one of the guiding statements in the district's Vision 2020 Strategic Plan is that students will demonstrate mastery of Algebra I by the end of ninth grade.

"The reason I'm teaching is to help kids love math as much as I do," said first-year teacher Kate Gustafson from Della Icenhower Intermediate School.

Watch more on how MISD teachers are laying that groundwork for students.

To view Mansfield ISD's full Vision 2020 Strategic Plan, visit the MISD website.

Friday, September 16, 2016

A Little-Known Resource for MISD High Schoolers

Smith (middle) and Spikes (right) walked a student through
the college application process.
For high schoolers who need some extra guidance with anything and everything related to college, free help is only a hallway or two away.

Mansfield ISD partners with The University of Texas at Arlington and inspirED to provide each high school with GO Centers. The centers connect high school students with college mentors who help them throughout the year with topics ranging from college admission, career choices and scholarships.

“Sometimes parents don’t have the time or knowledge to give their children what they need for college,” said Michelle Smith, counselor at Frontier High School. “Students come in who are first-generation college goers or who don’t have the means to help themselves. The Go Centers give them that extra one-on-one time.”

Smith said the centers have been a great extension to the counseling program.

At Frontier High School, former graduates are the ones manning the booths. Graduate Abigail Spikes said she was ready for college, but decided to come back and help other high schoolers when she realized everyone wasn’t as fortunate.

GO Centers are located near the counseling office.
“A lot of my friends didn’t have everything together for college,” said the Dallas Baptist University freshman. “I felt called to come back because college is incredibly scary if you don’t know what you’re doing.”

Spikes wants each high school student to know that they are not alone.

“We are here to help. We can schedule college visits, register for the SAT/ACT, talk about dual credit—there’s so many ways to get you on the right track after graduation, and it’s right here on campus for free.”

Students can set up appointments to visit their school’s Go Center by visiting the campus website. After choosing a campus, select the “resources” option on the top menu and select “Counseling Center.”

Friday, September 9, 2016

Students Give Back to Local First Responders

On Sept. 11, the nation will pause to remember the 15th anniversary of the largest terrorist attack on U.S. soil. Many ceremonies, memorials and special programs will be held to remember the lives lost; and at Roberta Tipps Elementary School, students and staff commemorated the day by showing their appreciation for local first responders.

Students enjoyed passing out drinks and cards
to the first responders.
Tipps Elementary held its fourth annual Patriot Day event on Friday, Sept. 9. Local police officers, firefighters and military personnel came to the campus to receive free water, sports drinks and snacks. Organizers say it was the least they could do to show their gratitude.

“As educators, it’s our responsibility to instill a sense of community within our students,” said Principal Cristina Hernandez. “What better way than to say ‘thank you’ to our public servants who protect us every single day.”

Students and staff stood in front of the school from 8:30 to 9:30 a.m. to hand out the beverages and personally thank the men and women in uniform. First responders who attended said it meant a lot to see the community give back.

Sgt. Robertson was overwhelmed by
the amount of gifts he received.
“It really is touching that they care in that way to provide those things to us,” said Sgt. Eric Robertson with the Mansfield ISD Police Department. “We had stacks of sports drinks to bring back with us, and that will help all of our officers throughout the year.”

Although the students at Roberta Tipps weren’t even alive during the attacks back on Sept. 11, 2001, events like this will continue teaching the next generation to never forget.

View a list of what other MISD schools are doing to commemorate 9/11 here.

Friday, September 2, 2016

Crossing Guard Gains Attention for Upbeat Moves

If you’ve ever passed by the intersection of Debbie Lane and Walnut Creek Road, it’s pretty hard to miss him. Reginald McGill can be seen waving at passersby, singing songs, and dancing—all while getting kids safely across the street.

“I am the first person the kids see in the morning, so I treat them with respect and greet them with joy so that they have a great day,” said McGill, who has been a Mansfield ISD crossing guard for a little more than one year.

When asked why McGill acts the way he does, he simply answered, “Why not?” He said he can’t just stand there for no apparent reason, so he has to be happy and make sure everyone around is happy too.

McGill makes sure to have a fun time, but he takes safety very seriously. Every child that crosses McGill’s path is accustomed to his four rules: listen to him, press the crosswalk button, say good morning every morning, and no electronic devices in the crosswalk or in hand. He also has a plea for motorists.

“I really wish drivers would slow down at the crosswalk and stop using their phones,” said McGill.

McGill reminds students about his four rules each morning.
It isn’t just a one-man show, though. The husband and father of three said being able to safely maneuver through one of the busiest intersections in the district is all done with the help of his nearby crossing guards.

“I couldn’t do it without them,” he explained. “Everything runs so smoothly out here because of our teamwork. We all love the kids, and we love what we do.”

Angelia Saleh, a fellow crossing guard at the intersection, summed up their relationship in one sentence.

“I’m the calm to his crazy,” she said. “We get the job done while having fun,” Saleh added.

For more information about the MISD crossing guard program, visit the MISD webpage.

Tuesday, August 2, 2016

Solar Car Team Cruises to National Second-Place Finish

The Shine Runners spent a lot of time perfecting their new race car.
The Mansfield ISD solar car team is returning from a seven-day cross-country race as top performers.

MISD Shine Runners, consisting of 13 students and two teachers from Ben Barber Career and Technology Academy, came in second place at the 2016 Solar Car Challenge.

The Solar Car Challenge is an event where high school students across the nation can race the solar cars they design and build. The challenge alternates each year as either a closed-track event at the Texas Motor Speedway or a cross-country event.

“We have been preparing for the 2016 race for two years,” said Robert Goodson, advisor for the MISD Shine Runners. “I think this race is important because it gives students a great project and experience that puts into practice and reality all of the theory and skills we teach them in our classes.”

Students worked hard on their newest race car design, which they named Bahama Blue. The solar car was made lighter, built with stronger batteries, and was the first car of its type to have a continuous variable transmission (CVT).

“This was also the first solar car to have a push-rod suspension like an F1 race car,” Goodson continued. “All of these are the reasons we think we were awarded with the Lockheed Martin Award for Excellence in Engineering.”

The team received the runner-up trophy at a ceremony in Minnesota.
The Shine Runners easily passed the initial vehicle judging phase of the event and were ready to take Bahama Blue on the open road.

The cross-country race started in Fort Worth, Texas. Within the course of seven days, they drove through Oklahoma, Kansas, Nebraska and finally Minnesota, totaling 785.8 miles driven in the solar car.

“I was very proud of the students and the sponsors,” said principal Catherine Hudgins. “There is so much work that goes into this endeavor and so many things that can go wrong. This team and the sponsors get an A+ for problem solving and teamwork!”

The second place finish is the highest placement the Ben Barber team has ever achieved. Overcoming the challenges of the long trip made the win that much sweeter.

“I couldn't be prouder of the team,” said Goodman. “They earned every bit of that second place finish and put their blood, sweat, tears, hearts and souls into that car.

The Solar Car Challenge took place July 17-23. After some much-needed rest, the team will work to improve the car and hopefully train some new team members.

Monday, June 27, 2016

MISD Camps Make Summer Learning Fun

Students dressed up in the conservation costumes they created.
With fashion shows being held, mysteries being solved, and neat projects being made, it was hard to believe that a science camp was in session.

More than 300 Mansfield ISD kids and teachers got the chance to experience that science is not boring.

“We say that science is fun, but science camp is amazing,” said Daniel Beauford, the administrator of the MISD Science Camp. “I love seeing the kids get excited about science.”

MISD Science Camp 2016 was held at Thelma Jones Elementary School on June 20-24. Students from kindergarten through third grade all toured different stations to learn real-life applications of science.

This year’s theme was conservation. The activities ranged from experimenting with alternative fuels and making water filtration systems to making lava lamps and using recycled items to create costumes.

A teacher demonstrates a homemade filtration system.
The science camp, which is in its fifth year, was planned by gifted and talented specialists from across the district who came together to create an engaging, hands-on science curriculum.

“Having high-quality summer learning opportunities is a commitment that MISD has made to help students stay on track to achieve their college, career and life goals,” said Marie Medina, program coordinator for advanced academics. “I am proud that we have so many educators who are willing to give up part of their summer to be there for the kids.”

Other than science camp, MISD also offers creativity camp; preparation for middle school math; science, technology, engineering, and math (STEM) camps; and college readiness courses.

View a full list of summer offerings here.