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.

Monday, June 23, 2014

Summer Dinner Theatre @MISDCenter presents Southern Hospitality

Theater students from four of Mansfield ISD's high schools are working together this summer for a dinner theater production of Southern Hospitality.

MISD Dinner Theatre presents Southern Hospitality
Friday, July 11 and Saturday, July 12
Price: $15
Mansfield ISD Center for the Performing Arts
1110 W Debbie Lane, Mansfield, Texas 76063
House opens at 6:00 p.m.; Dinner Served at 6:15 p.m.
Call 817-299-1235 to reserve tickets or for additional information.

Performers include students from Mansfield HS, Legacy HS, Summit HS, and Timberview HS. Melissa Danforth, head theatre director from Timberview HS is directing the production and Austin Rose and Melissa Iverson, theatre directors from Summit HS, are the show's technical directors.
The Futrelle Sisters - Frankie, Twink, Honey Raye and Rhonda Lynn - are in trouble again. This time, the problem is bigger than ever: their beloved hometown, Fayro, Texas, is in danger of disappearing and it's up to the sisters to save it from extinction. Ever since the Super SmartMart and the rendering plant closed, folks have been leaving Fayro in droves, but Honey Raye, with a major assist from her former nemesis, Geneva Musgrave, has come up with a possible solution. It seems a salsa manufacturing factory is looking to relocate and a company representative is headed to Fayro on a scouting mission. Honey Raye, as the president of the Chamber of Commerce, makes promises that are not to be believed in order to woo the rep to choose Fayro. In fact, Honey Raye has told them that on the very weekend of the rep's visit, the town just happens to be having their biggest celebration of the year: 'Fayro Days', which includes a craft show, a pet costume parade, a beauty pageant and a huge Civil War battle reenactment. So now it's up to the citizens of Fayro to quickly make her promises a reality. The biggest hurdle to impressing the salsa representative is staging a Civil War battle reenactment with only fifteen participants. Added to this is the dilemma of Twink being so desperate to get married that she's practically dragging the unwilling groom, Deputy John Curtis Buntner, to the altar. But this pales next to the financial problems the preacher and his wife are having - unless you don't consider gambling away your mobile home a problem. Frankie, however, seems to have it worst of all, what with her husband, Dub, going through a major mid-life crisis at the same time her five-year-old twins are literally tearing up the town. And unfortunately for all of them, the 'meanest woman in twelve counties', Dub's wicked, old Aunt Iney, is on her way for a visit. Iney's arrival in Fayro is definitely cause for alarm for the sisters; but it's nothing compared to their panic when the old girl drops dead in the Dubberly home just before the salsa rep shows up. But how the Futrelle sisters and the other citizens of Fayro, including sweet, simple, Raynerd Chisum, pull together and save their town is a testament to Southern strength and ingenuity - and a recipe for total hilarity.

Monday, June 9, 2014

Cross Timbers Students Collect Change to Make a Difference

The students of Cross Timbers Intermediate School opened their hearts and their piggy banks to collect funds for the Common Ground Network’s Feeds the Kids for Summer campaign.

Students competed in “Penny Wars” to see who could gather the largest donation for the community program that supplies over 10,000 meals for Mansfield children in need.

Susan Luttrell, a representative for Common Ground Network, visited the school on June 5 to accept a check from the Cross Timbers Student Council students (pictured above). After a week of donating coins, the students presented a generous donation of $1,096.19!

The Feed the Kids for Summer program is able to feed one child for about five dollars per week, which means the funds provided by Cross Timbers will assist over 200 kids for an entire week! If you are interested in donating cash or food, please contact the Common Ground Network at 817.240.3509 or send funds to P.O. Box 1049, Mansfield, Texas 76063. Mark donations for Feed the Kids for Summer.

The organization is also looking for volunteers to assist with bagging food and unloading trucks. Contact volunteer coordinator Bob Woodland at or Phil Stover

Check out the Common Ground Network website for full details. 

Thursday, June 5, 2014

Elementary Students Make History at UIL Meet

Mansfield ISD elementary students competed in the inaugural UIL Elementary School Academic Tournament at Lake Ridge High School on Tuesday, May 20, 2014.

Over 150 students from seven elementary campuses competed in 10 academic events including: art, chess puzzle, creative writing, music memory, number sense, oral reading, ready writing, spelling, and storytelling.

Check out photos and highlights from the very first MISD Elementary UIL District Meet: