Category

Education

Family Fun Day – Save the Date

By | Education, Events

Family Fun Day – Save the Date

On August 10, 2019, The Boys and Girls Clubs of the Permian Basin will hold their third Annual Family Fun Day. Mark your calendars for a day of free family fun, including music, games, face painting, petting zoo, jump zone and so much more! 

The Boys and Girls Club of the Permian Basin has hosted Family Fun Day for the past two years. Hosting the event alongside the Boys and Girls Club are The United Way of Midland County and UTPB’s early childhood education program, “First Five.” The event includes a large community school supply drive as a part of Family Fun Day to help under-privilaged children get a jumpstart on the upcoming school year. This year, Educate Midland is partnering with several local faith-based organizations to provide even more supplies for our children. 

Our Lady of Guadalupe and Father David Hererra, Goodwill Missionary Baptist Church and Pastor Ken Johnson, and First Baptist Church of Midland and Pastor Darin Wood expressed a desire to get their congregations involved in directly aiding the students of MISD and the Permian Basin. In the spirit of collaboration and Collective Impact, Educate Midland facilitated a partnership between the three churches and current event partners to further the success of the past two years.

This year’s goal is to provide 5,000 backpacks filled with school supplies for the children of the Permian Basin. Additionally, nearly a dozen other church bodies in the Permian Basin will join to sort and pack school supplies before the event, along with hundreds of other community volunteers. $85,000 has been raised through community and event partners in pursuit of this goal, and donations will continue to be accepted until the day of the event. 

Whether you donate your time, your resources, or join us for Family Fun Day, thank you for being an active member of our community, and for investing in our children. It takes big ideas, giving hearts and encouraging partnerships to bring communities together in the pursuit of change, and we can’t wait to see how our children benefit because of it.

Summer Alignment Programs / After School Tutoring Programs

By | College, Education

Summer Alignment Programs / After School Tutoring Programs

Elementary school teachers have one of the most important jobs: teaching children how to read. From kindergarten to fifth grade, teachers work with students to improve their reading skills and get them fully prepared for the following grade. However, who is working with students to enhance their abilities during the summer months? Studies show that low-income students can lose more than two months of reading achievement over the summer. Although low and middle-income students learn at the same rate throughout the school year, middle-income students advance their knowledge over the summer. Meanwhile, with lack of access to learning materials, low-income students are often falling behind, increasing the achievement gap between the two income groups each summer. By the end of fifth grade, low-income students can be two to three years behind their middle-class peers. 

This ongoing problem will continue to cycle if efforts are not made to change it. Our goal is to create opportunities for all students to advance over the summer through Summer Alignment Programs and after school tutoring. MISD has joined with Educate Midland and a group of our community partners to share and utilize the school system’s online math and reading tools in a variety of summer programs for MISD students. Our goal is to support our partners to facilitate a summer learning environment where students not only maintain their reading level, but excel into the next school year. 

XTO Energy’s generous funding and donations have helped us in aligning seven partners for these summer programs. For students to access the available online resources, we have donated new and repurposed laptops to YMCA, Kaleidoscope Ministries, Casa De Amigo’s, Unlock Ministries, Breaking Bread Kitchen, and the Boys and Girls Club of the Permian Basin for a total of more than 100 laptops donated for students’ use. Our seventh partner, Greater Ideal Baptist Church, did not need any technology donated but will still be utilizing the reading and math resources to track a progression of students in their summer program. MISD will also provide technical support throughout the summer to ensure the successful use of these learning tools for our students. 

There were 900 participants a day in 2018, and we are currently up to 1600 participants a day in 2019. We hope that these numbers will continue to rise each summer and our list of Summer Alignment partners will increase, allowing us to help as many MISD students as possible. Advancing reading levels among low-income students over the summer is not only possible, but achievable. 

SB 1882 – Charter School Startup and Support

By | College, Education

SB 1882 – Charter School Startup and Support

Creating opportunity for more choices in education within the community is our number one goal and one that we are very passionate about. Of the ten in-district charter schools located in Texas, four of them are located in Midland, giving MISD students the opportunity to pursue passions of their own in a flexible and innovative environment. 

Educate Midland has recently decided to assist Ben Milam International School, Goddard Junior High, and Bunche Elementary through the process of obtaining 501(c)3 status. This change is very exciting for these three schools and our community, however, this process can be rather confusing. Therefore, we would like to shed some light on how this process will work and what our involvement entails. 

While we are responsible for the transition of these three schools from district to charter, we are not running them. They will still proceed as normal, and leadership will be handed over as soon as the process is complete. The Senate Bill 1882, passed in 2017, grants additional funding to school districts that agree to work collaboratively with nonprofit partners, are focused on continuing collaboration, enhancing educational opportunities and ensuring schools provide the best programs for the children served. This opportunity for potential funding opens new doors for a unique and outside-the-box approach to education. Our goal is simply to guide these schools through this transition so that families and children are given the opportunity for choice in the community. 

We see the importance of this opportunity for these schools because their structure and vision for the future lends itself to a change in structure to a charter school. In fact, the vision already being implemented through REACH Network, pioneered by Goddard Junior High, was a driving force behind the decision to seek charter school status for the schools in question. REACH Network’s mission is to graduate students from its PK-8 curriculum prepared to fully engage and excel in high school coursework and have a strong path to post-secondary opportunities of their choice.

For a currently operating school or academy to become an in-district charter, charter organization officials fill out an application, which is then reviewed by the district. From there, a performance contract is set up and a 501(C)(3) to operate the charter. Once this is complete, Ben Milam International School, Goddard Junior High, and Bunche Elementary will run as normal, with additional freedom and advanced school subjects for each child to choose from. With the approval of Senate Bill 1882, the REACH Network, and a 501(c)3, these three schools will have successfully transferred from a public school system to a charter system, and we are honored for the opportunity to assist them in achieving this goal.

New Legislature – House Bill 3

By | Education, Legislature

New Legislature – House Bill 3

This week marked a historic moment in education as Texas State Legislature outlined the final version of House Bill 3, focused on School Finance. A lot of information of varied accuracy has been floating around about this bill, so in striving to be Midland’s local source for education information, we wanted to outline some of the most pertinent facts to help you better understand the implications of this bill.

The Basics:

HB 3 invests approximately $4.5 billion into Texas public education, reduces recapture by $3.6 billion and provides $5 billion in property tax relief. The legislation prioritizes many of the student-focused recommendations from the 2018 Texas Commission on Public School Finance.

Some Specifics:

  • New Dollars for Schools and Property Tax Relief: Increases the basic allotment to $6,160, a 20% increase above current law and compresses local property taxes by 8 cents in 2020 and 13 cents in 2021. This basically refers to the amount of money spent per pupil, or the cost associated with educating a child. Compression of local property taxes will result in local property tax relief, since Midland is a “property-rich” district. Reducing recapture means that our district won’t have as much money to send back to the state, otherwise known as the “Robin Hood” act.
  • Funding for Early Literacy: Infuses $780 million for low-income and English-language learning students in grades K-3, sufficient to fund full-day, high-quality pre-K for eligible 4-year-old students statewide, and an additional $1.1 billion in targeted resources for low-income students. This means that more money is being focused on the early critical years with options to put more money towards resources to support children with dyslexia, dual-language programs. Since Midland Independent School District (MISD) already has full-day pre-K, that money can be used towards other areas of need in early literacy.
  • Quality Standards for K-3: Expands evidence-based strategies to improve 3rd grade reading proficiency, such as reading academies and a requirement for Pre-K-6th grade teachers to demonstrate competency in the science of teaching reading by January of 2021. For us, this means the districts will be able to identify gaps in grades Pre-K-6th in reading on grade level and focus money towards solutions such as teacher training, additional literacy tools, or dedicated curriculum.
  • Outcomes-Based Funding: Provides equitable bonus funding to school districts based on the number of students meeting postsecondary readiness and access goals, differentiated for low-income, non-low-income, and special education student cohorts. This means our districts will receive more funding for more students graduating “college, career, or military ready” based on the standards TEA has placed on that definition. Passing the TSI (Texas Success Initiative test), hours enrolled in dual-credit classes, or ACT/SAT test scores are a few examples of this readiness indicators. Currently, only  about 50% of MISD students are graduating college, career, or military ready. This incentivizes plans to increase that number, like Educate Midland’s “What’s Your Plan?” campaign.
  • Strategic Teacher Compensation: Creates an optional pool of funding for districts to enact locally developed, robust teacher evaluation systems and reward Texas’ most effective educators. This is an accountability component, or a plan to allow teachers to be paid according to their added value/effort, instead of tying it to tenure or student-based outcomes (test scores.) Think of it how other professions are assessed on a performance-evaluation scale, and then compensated according to the standards set prior.
  • Dedicated Funding for Teacher Pay Raises: Requires that 30% of the increase in the basic allotment be used on pay raises for teachers, librarians, counselors, and nurses, prioritizing differentiated compensation for classroom teachers with more than 5 years of experience. This will likely be discussed and determined in the school board’s budget meeting. These raises must come from the $6,160 per pupil expense. So depending on how many children enroll in MISD or Greenwood ISD, $1,848 of that must go towards this “pot” of teacher raises.

What Comes Next:

  • HB3 has officially passed and the camaraderie amongst the Speaker of the House, Dennis Bonnen, and the Lieutenant Governor (head of the Senate), Dan Patrick, were very cordial about the agreement our government was able to reach in support of 5.4 million kids in Texas!
  • Gov. Abbott will sign the bill into law in the coming weeks.
  • Once signed into law, the Texas Education Agency, with other agency partners, will begin to create the standards for districts and charter schools surrounding what they can and cannot do with this funding.

 

Facts and figures provided by https://www.investedtx.org/

 

For more information on this landmark legislature, check out this recent MRT article. https://www.mrt.com/news/article/HB3-passage-would-mean-MISD-tax-rates-recapture-13899108.php
midland resources

How to Help Your Child Study for Exams

By | Education, Learning

How to Help Your Child Study for Exams

Watching your son or daughter struggling through a difficult class or worry about a big test, might leave you feeling helpless. While Mom and Dad can’t exactly go to school and take the exam in their child’s place, parents that establish strong study habits at home will set up their children for success in school. Here’s how to help your child study for exams:
midland resources

1. Create a study space and eliminate distractions

Studies repeatedly show that television is a distraction to students completing assignments, and it’s best to set a strict house rule: study time is “no TV” time. Eliminating TV distraction while studying will help your child increase their study productivity throughout their entire academic career.

2. Explain the difference between studying and homework

There is a fundamental difference between completing homework and studying, and it is important for your child to understand the difference. Completing their homework does not mean your child has studied for their exam. Encourage your child to study by:

    • Taking notes during the reading
    • Learn to skim material
    • Learn to comprehend reading material and summarize the information
    • Rewrite notes for longer review
    • Make flashcards for quick review

3. Encourage your child to organize their study and homework projects on a planner

Time management is a critical study skill that your child needs to master in their younger years. The ability to plan study and homework time ahead of due dates and exams will help your child to succeed in all their future endeavors. Encourage your child to study over multiple days, not the night before the exam. This is guaranteed to increase comprehension and memorization of the study material.

4. Develop critical note-taking skills

Many students will feel they have to write down every word the teacher says in a lecture, which can be an ineffective way of notetaking. Teach your child to adopt an outline form of note-taking, focusing on important key ideas. Utilize abbreviations to jot down more information quicker.

5. Help your child feel confident in their ability

Test-taking is a difficult experience for many students, so help your child feel confident in their test-taking ability. Encourage them to get a good night’s sleep the night before the exam; studying the night before rarely works, and will do more harm than good mentally. Remind your child to relax during the exam, take a deep breath and read all the directions and questions carefully. Remind them that they studied hard, they understand the material, and they are going to ace this exam!

If you’re looking for more tips and fun academic research tools, check out some of these sites:

Fun Activities for Children with Learning Disabilities

By | Education

Fun Activities for Children with Learning Disabilities

Just like any other child, kids with learning disabilities desire to achieve success, have a sense of belonging and receive validation. Academic struggles can damage confidence and ability for ones to learn effectively. However, by providing extracurricular outlets, children can discover their unique sense of accomplishment. Below we have provided a few examples of beneficial activities any child can be a part of.

Performing Arts

Performing on stage or with a group of people can benefit any child’s social skills. Acting in theater builds a camaraderie with other students, and helps a child’s reading and verbal communication skills. Picking up a musical instrument can provide a constructive outlet where a student can measure progress, establish a routine, and set goals for themselves.  

Art

Art is a therapeutic way for learning disabled children to communicate their thoughts and feelings creatively. It can provide students with the ability to think visually and convey emotion in a way that is not spoken or written. Art is an excellent way for children to express themselves and enhance self-esteem.

Sports

Sports provide opportunities to improve self-image and strategizing skills. The experience of working in a team improves collaborative skills and provides many social opportunities. Sports are often credited with instilling a “growth mindset” into participants. A growth mindset is developed when individuals practice their sport ritually and observe areas where they can improve through hard work.

Clubs

Extracurricular clubs such as chess, martial arts, student council, and various other activities are often available at your local school. Getting your student plugged in with activities that will provide the opportunity to grow, succeed, and measure their personal improvement is beneficial to a child’s overall mental development and well-being.

 

Spooky Science Experiments

By | Activities, Education

Spooky Science Experiments

Halloween is a time for a child’s imagination and curiosity to run wild. When your children take a break sometime this month from eating candy, introduce them to some of these easy at-home science experiments.

Rock Candy

Why buy candy when you can make your own?

Materials:

  • Cane Sugar
  • Water
  • Large Glass Container
  • Smaller Glass Jar
  • Measuring Cups
  • Heavy Stirring Spoon
  • Pencil
  • Food Coloring
  • String
  • Scissors
  • Wax Paper
  • Adult Supervision

Instructions

 

Oobleck

You’ll be fascinated by this substance that acts like a liquid when poured and a solid when handled!

Materials:

  • 1 cup of water
  • 1.5 -2 Cups Corn Starch
  • Food Coloring of Choice

Instructions

 

Glitter Volcano

This experiment will explode, sparkle and amaze!

Materials:

  • Vase
  • Baking Soda
  • Vinegar
  • Food Coloring
  • Glitter
  • Pan To Contain Mess
  • Adult Supervision

Instructions

 

Skittles Rainbow

A perfect snack and experiment for younger children!

Materials:

  • Pack of Skittles
  • ¼ Cup Warm Water
  • White Plate

Instructions

 

How Technology Can Enhance Education

By | Education

How Technology Can Enhance Education

Technology has created a pathway for students and teachers to escape the normal confines of a classroom and explore sites and programs that enhance the learning experience. Videos, presentation software, BlackBoard, clickers, and online classes are all innovations that have helped broaden how we view traditional teaching.  

Most educational technologies take what students learn in a lesson and make it a tangible, visual, and overall much more real experience. Clickers, for example, allow students to answer questions and receive feedback in real time. The feedback students receive can be a valuable learning experience in seeing what they did right or wrong. This kind of real-time feedback as opposed to waiting for a graded paper.

Technology allows our students to have a visual experience a chalkboard alone can’t give them. Innovations such as presentation software, videos, games, and video conferences offer a more visually stimulating and involved experience. Imagine whole classrooms engaged in conversation with Fortune 500 CEOs, entrepreneurs, innovators, and industry leaders via video conference. These kinds of experiences may only come once, but they can have a large impact in inspiring our students’ futures.

The numerous benefits that technology affords the education is becoming more and more realized. Campuses from kindergarten to college are utilizing games, tablets, and laptops in a way that students can relate to in our digital world. The relationship is mutual, technology will keep pushing education forward and education will keep pushing technology forward.

Educate Midland Newsletter Sign Up

X