Monday, September 15, 2014

Superintendent Update - September 2014

Dr. V opens the new school year with updates on the Boren and Ponder Elementary construction projects, two major road improvements within the district, a controversial business proposition near MISD schools and the kickoff of various fall semester student activities.

Thursday, August 28, 2014

Nutrition staff supports local back to school program

Mansfield ISD purchased property and a building on Mansfield-Webb Road that is currently being leased by the The Community at Lake Ridge church through the fall. The Student Nutrition Services (SNS) Department coordinated with the church staff to use the auditorium as meeting space for department back to school meetings.

Upon arrival, SNS staff noticed that the church had a Back-to-School outreach program to provide backpacks and school supplies to families in the area. As a gesture of appreciation and community partnership, the nutrition staff bought a backpack to donate to their cause.

“We let the SNS staff know of this plan and said if anyone wished to make a monetary donation in appreciation of the hospitality shown to us, we would add it to the backpack,” wrote SNS Assistant Director Training & Federal Programs, Sondra Thomas. “After lunch we presented the backpack to one of the pastors of the church with more than $1,100 inside! That money will go towards buying school supplies for students in need. It was absolutely incredible. The church staff was so surprised and greatly touched by the generosity of our staff.”

Next spring, Mansfield ISD will use the building to house Student Nutrition Services as well as the Department of Research, Assessment, & Accountability.

Tuesday, August 26, 2014

Legacy Band Senior Spends 7 Weeks with DCI, Returns as a Champion

Mansfield ISD's own Christopher “C.C.” Waggoner, a senior at Legacy High School and a member of the Legacy Bronco Band, returned this month from a whirlwind summer marching with Drum Corps International’s Blue Devils Drum & Bugle Corps.

And he brought back a souvenir – a Gold Medal that came with the Blue Devils earning 1st Place at the 2014 DCI World Championships in Indianapolis, Ind., in early August.

At 17, C.C. was the second youngest member to make it into Blue Devils A Corps this year , one of 16 Mellophones on the Brass Line. In January and throughout the spring, he attended monthly weekend camps in Concord, Calif., for rehearsals. In late May, he left to join the 150-member corps for almost a month of practices in Concord before hitting the road in mid-June.

The rigorous schedule included three-a-day rehearsals; thousands of miles spent traveling and sleeping on a bus and at designated locations throughout the tour; and 29 competitions across the country – all in the span of seven weeks.

The Blue Devils remained undefeated throughout the season, which culminated in the DCI World Championships at Lucas Oil Stadium in Indianapolis on Saturday, August 9. The Blue Devils won the championship, breaking the scoring record with a 99.65 before more than 24,000 fans.

This has been an amazing experience and will definitely be a summer to remember for C.C. as he enters his senior year.

Two 2014 MISD graduates, Seth Neufeldt and Sam Olayiwola of Lake Ridge High School, marched with the Bluecoats, who earned the Silver Medal at the DCI World Championships. All three boys are a testament to MISD’s fantastic music program – and their band directors, Glenn Fugett, head director at Legacy, and Matt Garrett, head director at Lake Ridge.

C.C. marched with the Bluecoats in Summer 2013. At Legacy, C.C. is first chair French Horn in the Wind Symphony; has made the All-Region Band for the last three years; qualified for Area the last two; and made All-State 4A Symphonic Band as a sophomore. He was Drum Major for the 2013-2014 school year.

Drum Corps is a highly competitive activity for youth up to 21 years old. It requires a great deal of self-discipline, teamwork and leadership. The Blue Devils are one of 22 World Class Corps in DCI, which also includes 25 Open Class Corps. All 22 World Class Corps and 15 of the Open Class Corps competed in the championships. The field was cut to 25 for the semifinals and 12 for the DCI Finals on August 9.

Guest post by Ana Waggoner.

Thursday, July 3, 2014

#EdTech Team Presents @ISTEconnects Conference

(Pictured L-R: Melanie Beckett, Debbie Stevenson, Emily Young, Chrissy Boydstun, and Julie Gross)
Last week 16,039 tech educators from all over the world met at the International Society for Technology in Education (ISTE) conference and expo in Atlanta, Georgia. Six Mansfield ISD staff members were selected from among 2,599 applicants to make presentations during the conference.

The MISD team participated in a variety of workshops and sessions and along the way connected with educators from across the country. Inspiration was easily found with educators sharing the ways that they integrate technology.

Some of the session topics included: Twitter in Education, Ignite Sessions, EdTEKTalks, engaging digital learners, iBooks Author, gamification of curriculum, coding, makers movement, App Smackdown, BYOD programs, best apps for making videos, blended learning, Google Apps, Google Classroom, iPad integration, Project Based Learning, Tech in the 1st 5 Days, after-school programs, microblogging, and much more.

Team members representing Mansfield ISD:
  • Melanie Beckett, Lake Ridge HS
  • Chrissy Boydstun, Mansfield HS
  • Julie Gross, Legacy HS
  • Marie Medina, Advanced Academics
  • Debbie Stevenson, Mansfield HS
  • Emily Young, Technology Department
Thanks to Darrell Sneed, Christie Alfred, Doug Brubaker, Cynthia McCallum, Vonda Nunley and Shelly Butler for encouraging the team.

Wednesday, July 2, 2014

City of Arlington Breaks Ground on $16 Million Tri-Schools Street Improvement Project

(L-R: Mansfield ISD Board President Dr. Michael Evans, Mayor Robert Cluck, Asst. Superintendent Construction Services Jeff Brogden, City Council Member Sheri Capehart, MISD Board Member Beth Light, and Superintendent Dr. Jim Vaszauskas)
Officials from the City of Arlington and Mansfield ISD gathered at Carol Holt Elementary School in south Arlington on Tuesday, July 1 to celebrate the groundbreaking of the city's $16 million Tri-Schools Street Improvement Project.

During this project, crews will complete several water, sanitary sewer, storm water drainage, street lighting and street pavement improvements.

City Council Member Sheri Capehart said this project’s significance was highlighted by the ongoing collaboration with Mansfield ISD.

“Through this project, I’m happy to say we have a much more collaborative relationship with MISD than, I believe, we’ve ever had in the past,” said Capehart. “We did it not only for the spirit of collaboration through necessity, but for the benefit of all.”

The Tri-Schools Street Improvement Project will improve the roads and sidewalks in the area of three Mansfield ISD schools: Carol Holt Elementary, T.A. Howard Middle School and Cross Timbers Intermediate School, making it safer for all traveling in the area.

Dr. Michael Evans, president of the MISD Board of Trustees, also had great things to say about the partnership between the City of Arlington and MISD.

“We are celebrating a good thing today because anytime we can provide better access for our children and their parents, we are doing a good thing,” he said.

Crews will reconstruct the following roads: Calender, Curry, Ledbetter and Russell. These existing roads have limited sidewalks, narrow lines and two-lane asphalt roadways with ditch drainage, making it unsafe for the community.

Arlington Mayor Robert Cluck said some school buses have fallen into some bar ditches because of these roads.

“We are going to fix it, it’ll take about two years but when it is fixed it will be really safe and nice,” Mayor Cluck explained. “This is what cities are supposed to do, it’s one of our primarily roles public safety and infrastructure.”

The Tri-Schools Street Improvement Project began on June 9, 2014 and is expected to be done in August 2016.

This project, which is part of the City of Arlington's 2008 bond, is one of 16 major public works and water utility upgrade projects totaling as much as $80 million scheduled to roll out over a two-year period.

Monday, June 30, 2014

Parents Learn English in Summer ESL Program

The Department for English Language Learners (ELL) and Bilingual Education provided a unique summer English language learning program for parents whose children attended the MISD Pre-K/K summer school program at Erma Nash Elementary.

The idea came from Cindy Adkison, ELL/Math Improvement teacher. Adkison, pictured above, who believed the success our district has had in providing a quality English as a Second Language (ESL) program that turns our English Language Learners into fluent English speakers would work for adults.

“Why not provide an opportunity for the parents,” noted Adkinson. “Logistically, it was easy, since the parents could take their children to Erma Nash and then simply walk over to RL Anderson for their own class.”

They registered 50 students, which was their target number, and approximately 45 attended regularly. The class was divided into two sessions in the morning and afternoon to accommodate schedules. The adults came from El Salvador, Ecuador, Honduras, Mexico, China, Pakistan, Iraq, and Vietnam. Many of them were professionals in their home countries – an attorney, a high school teacher, a middle school teacher, an accountant, a graphic designer, and licensed daycare worker among others.

The curriculum used is written specifically for adult language learners and covers topics that are relevant to them: personal information, school, work, friends and family, health, shopping, and community. The students practiced reading, writing, listening, and speaking during teacher-directed activities in the classroom and computer lab. Students also learned basic computer skills as they accessed a web-based program coinciding with the lessons.