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IMPACT A magazine for IDEA students, families and supporters. VOLUME 3 ISSUE 1 | SUMMER 2016

DANCIN’ WITH MS. MOYER

FULL OF FIGHT

IDEA Walzem’s Lacrosse team rallies together 34

Get in the groove at IDEA Rundberg 40

ENGINEERS OF THE FUTURE

Mariachis

IDEA Pharr’s mariachi team excels in music 46

IDEA San Benito offers PK-12 STEM education 54

BEYOND THE CLASSROOM  TWEET #IMPACTBYIDEA UPON RECEIPT!

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 // LETTER FROM THE EDITOR

I come from a family of athletes: my mother was a star volleyball player and a drum major. My father was a lauded baseball player who ultimately played at the college level, and my older sister was born playing sports. I, on the other hand, caught a pop fly baseball with my forehead when I was in the 2nd grade and ended up blacked out in the outfield, only awakened by the switching of teams, and the other team’s outfielder asking me to get out of her way. #TrueStory With athletics out of the question, much to my parents’ disappointment, I turned to other types of extracurricular activities to expand my horizons (and protect my forehead.) It was ultimately through my discovery of Odyssey of the Mind (now called Destination Imagination) and Academic Decathlon that I found my niche, and developed a knack for communications. A knack that has become a twelve-year (and counting!) career. In this issue of IMPACT magazine, in addition to highlighting the incredible successes of the past semester (like ALL of our high schools being nationally ranked by the Washington Post & US News & World Report!) we highlight the robust extracurricular offerings that our students participate in beyond the classroom. As experts in sending students to and through college, we know that colleges and universities love well-rounded students with diverse interests. We’re proud to offer our students a suite of choices to hone the skill, sport, or subject matter they’re passionate about beyond the classroom hours. Enjoy this issue of IMPACT by IDEA. And, as you wrap up reading the magazine, answer this: what role did extracurricular activities play in your life? Best,

Vanessa Barry Vice President of Marketing & Communications

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TABLE OF CONTENTS IMPACT | CONTRIBUTORS EDITOR AT LARGE Irma Muñoz EDITOR-IN-CHIEF Vanessa Barry ART DIRECTOR Phil Chairez

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10 14 20

COLLEGE SUCCESS CELEBRATION College Signing Day 2016 Reach Higher Summit Alumni Spotlight

24 26 28 30 34

BEYOND THE CLASSROOM ATHLETICS The Quest For State A Vision for IDEA North Mission Pursuing Excellence Full of Fight

38 40 42

HEALTH & WELLNESS Movin’ With Ms. Moyer Garden Club

44 46 48 50

MUSIC & CULTURE Romantico, Clasico, Poderoso Checkmate, College Folklórico Success

52 54 56 58

ACADEMICS Pre-K to 12 STEM Helping Hands Extracurriculars

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SUMMER SUCCESS Prevent Summer Slide Summer Reading

72 78 79 80 82 83 87

BACK TO SCHOOL BASICS Uniform Policy Healthy Kids Here Transportation Attendance Immunization Form Academic Calendars Meal Charge Policy

STORYTELLER Tripti Travers PHOTOGRAPHER Johnny Quiroz CONTRIBUTORS Every single IDEA Public Schools campus contributed to the success of this magazine. Thank you, #TeamAndFamily, for opening your doors to IMPACT magazine. We’re thrilled to showcase your programs. ON THE COVER El Mariachi. IDEA College Prep Pharr student Osnel Cerda shines in his mariachi regalia. COMMENTS OR QUESTIONS? Email marketing@ideapublicschools.org IMPACT is produced for IDEA students, families, employees, and supporters by the Marketing and Communications department at IDEA Public Schools. CONTENTS © 2016 BY IDEA PUBLIC SCHOOLS. ALL RIGHTS RESERVED.

MISSION IDEA Public Schools prepares students from underserved communities for success in college and citizenship.

Founders’ Message Regional Update

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 // FOUNDERS MESSAGE

TOM & JOANN’S 2015-16 Highlights

IDEA proudly announced its plans to expand to El Paso, Texas, and Baton Rouge, Louisiana in 2018.

In May, more than 2,000 students achieved IDEA Millionaire Reader status!

The Washington Post released an article about IDEA in conjunction with our presence on the America’s Most Challenging High Schools in America list.

ThinkItUp broadcasts a segment featuring IDEA’s AP For All program on NBC, ABC, CBS, and Fox!

Corey Robinson, IDEA Regional Board Member David Robinson’s son, gives IDEA San Antonio students NCAA apparel and speaks to our students about focusing on their studies! 4

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For the 10th year in a row, we celebrated 100% College Acceptance. Read more on page 10.


Dear IDEA Team and Family, In the Summer 2016 issue of IMPACT magazine, we celebrate the incredible college entrance success that we enjoyed this spring and provide an update on recent accomplishments and current initiatives in your region. We also, for the first time ever, highlight the incredible and robust extracurricular offerings our nearly 30,000 students have access to throughout Texas. Finally, we share some summer tips and reminders that will help prepare families for the first day of school on August 15. Our college success this year took a myriad of forms. For the 10th year in a row, we celebrated 100% college acceptances. The Class of 2016 earned more than 2,589 acceptances. Our 507 seniors set a record for Tier 1 and Tier 2 college and university acceptances with students accepted to Princeton, Brown, Cornell, Johns Hopkins, and more. IMPACT also showcases a few alumni who are achieving remarkably in college--students like Jose Bethancourt who will soon appear on ABC’s Shark Tank (read more on pg. 16). As we all know, this success does not come easily. IDEA’s college success is the result of many factors, including our well-rounded programs, the hard work of students, the steadfast support of families, the tireless efforts of faculty and staff, the generosity of donors, and the endorsement of friends and fellow educators around the country. The college results we have achieved are also a testament to the potency of our College Support Model— an integrated mix of people, programs, and college-going culture that bring it all to life. Our unprecedented college success this year has been further recognized by the latest annual rankings released by U.S. News & World Report and The Washington Post, which ranked IDEA Public Schools among the very best schools in the nation for the second year in a row. We are deeply grateful for the time, energy, and commitment of the many people who make up IDEA’s “village.” Despite our varied backgrounds and beliefs, we join together in pursuit of one common mission—College For All Children— and ultimately produce collective results far greater than the sum of the individual inputs.

As you read about the many contributors to IDEA’s college success including what happens #BeyondTheClassroom, we hope you will share news of our accomplishments with your relatives, friends, and co-workers, as well as the people you meet each day. Our message of hope, hard work, and perseverance in pursuit of education and opportunity for all is a powerful one—capable of transforming our communities and propelling our nation forward in the years ahead. There is no more important or rewarding work than this. Though not all results are yet in, by many regards, 201516 was an incredible school year with successes and gains in so many areas. As we prepare to open 6 new schools in 2016, we are excited to see what’s to come for new families, existing families, next year’s Pre-K students, next year’s college freshman, and the nearly 30,000 students who will sit in desks at IDEA schools across Texas in August.

Tom Torkelson Founder and CEO @TomTorkelson

JoAnn Gama President and Superintendent @joanngama

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 // ORGANIZATIONAL UPDATE

RIO GRANDE VALLEY

What an incredible year it has been at IDEA Public Schools. In March, we celebrated that for the 10th year in a row, 100% of IDEA seniors were accepted to college. In April, we learned that every single high school in IDEA Public Schools was nationally ranked by The Washington Post. In May, we celebrated the fact that this year, 2,000 young scholars joined the Millionaire Readers club. And now, as we enter the summer, we’re excited for what is to come during the 2016-17 School Year. As we prepare our students for success to and through college, we know that developing wellrounded students with extracurricular and academic chops is of the utmost importance. For this reason, we provide our scholars with a variety of extracurricular activities that supplement their academic experience. Our students have access to programs such as sports, mariachi (P.44), drama, UIL, STEM (P.50), Model United

Nations and so much more! And, our students are proving that they are making progress in the extracurricular activities they participate in as they are academically. What does this mean for students at IDEA Public Schools? It means our students are receiving the opportunity to participate in extracurricular activities that not only develop their minds, but teach them the importance of team work, and an appreciation and respect for healthy living. These programs also teach them tolerance, and how to interact with their peers to accomplish a goal. We are proud supporters of extracurricular activities because they provide our next generation of leaders with important lessons that will help get them to and through college, and in life. Have a fantastic summer, Rio Grande Valley!

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Jill Koehler Senior Vice President of Schools

Elizabet Garza Senior Vice President of Schools

Ernie Cantu Senior Vice President of Schools

Dr. Virginia Richter Senior Vice President of Schools

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01 Throughout the following pages, you will read about IDEA’s 10th Annual College Signing Day, our 2nd Annual Reach Higher Summit, learn about IDEA’s 2,400 Alumni, and more!

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 // COLLEGE SUCCESS CELEBRATION // COLLEGE SIGNING DAY 2016

Just 10 years ago, IDEA Public Schools celebrated a major milestone - the first ever College Signing Day for its very first class of graduating high school students.

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hat April day in 2007, 37 proud IDEA seniors gathered together with their families, friends, faculty, staff and peers. Fitting easily into the gym at IDEA Donna, they revealed where they would be going to college. 100% of this first graduating class had beaten the odds and been accepted into a college of their choice, advancing IDEA’s bold mission of “College for All” and blazing a trail for all future IDEA graduates. Fast forward 10 years: To say that IDEA Public Schools 2016 College Signing Day needed a larger venue would be an understatement! As the year before, even the enormous State Farm Arena in Hidalgo was not sufficient to accommodate the 507 high school seniors and 12,000 students, spectators, and well-wishers on one day alone. This exuberant event - when IDEA students reveal their college choice to great fanfare - had to be split across two days: Wednesday, April 27 for seniors from IDEA Frontier, IDEA San Benito, and IDEA San Juan; and Thursday, April 28 for the seniors from IDEA Donna, IDEA Mission, and IDEA Quest. Both days’ events shared a similar format and the intensity of an extraordinary celebration. With music pumping in the background and IDEA schools’ own marching bands and cheerleaders performing enthusiastically, the Class of 2016 assembled under the iconic motto “Si, Se Puede!” “Yes, We Can!” Accompanied by their loved ones, and identified by boutonnières of vibrant yellow roses, the seniors filed into the arena to take their long-awaited and well-deserved turn centerstage. JoAnn Gama, Co-Founder, President, and Superintendent welcomed the seniors and highlighted their remarkable accomplishments. The Class of 2016 submitted over 5,000 college applications, received over 2,589 acceptances, and outdid every graduating class before them in terms of percentages of acceptance to selective and highly selective universities including Brown, Barnard, Cornell, Dartmouth, Princeton, Stanford, Texas A&M, Tufts, and the University of Virgina. “They have shattered statistics, and they have proven to all the other IDEA students in this arena just what IDEA students are capable of,” said Gama. IDEA Founder and CEO Tom Torkelson then took to the microphone, reminding the seniors of the long journey they

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had traveled together as students and as a school system. On Thursday, he invited 23 seniors from IDEA Donna to join him up on the stage. Thirteen years ago these very students had joined IDEA’s initial kindergarten class, becoming IDEA’s first K-through-12 graduates. He drew a vivid contrast between the first chaotic days when even parents had to turn out to help complete the school building, to today when nearly 30,000 students are enrolled in 50 streamlined schools and every IDEA high school is ranked within the top 1% of the most challenging in the country. He congratulated the students on their successes and reminded them of the dedicated team of teachers, principals, parents, advocates and funders who have stood behind them every step of the way. On Thursday, Torkelson had the additional pleasure of introducing a very special guest: NBA Legend and IDEA San Antonio Regional Board Member David Robinson. After leading the crowd in an arena-thumping cheer of “Go Spurs Go!” Robinson reached back to his own undergraduate experience at the US Naval Academy to add a note of personal encouragement. Recognizing the challenges that some seniors might soon face as they leave the familiar confines of school, he recalled his own sense of displacement and insecurity when he first got to college: “There weren’t very many faces that looked like me at the Naval Academy. I didn’t know whether I was academically up to snuff. And so my first couple of days there, I felt like I did not belong. And just last year, they inducted me as a Distinguished Graduate from the Naval Academy! So I’m gonna tell you this: Don’t underestimate yourself. You belong. Wherever you got into, you belong there. Go there and do a great job and make us proud.” As a champion of IDEA’s recent expansion into San Antonio where over 3,500 students are currently enrolled, Robinson reminded the seniors that they are beacons, lighting the way for the many younger students and new IDEA schools that follow. As befitted the occasion, a sense of gratitude permeated all aspects of College Signing Day. There were few dry eyes in the audience when selected seniors led their classes in an emotional thanksgiving to parents and families who have cheered and supported their journey to graduation. The


“They have shattered statistics, and they have proven to all the other IDEA students in this arena just what IDEA students are capable of,� said Gama. IMPACT JUNE 2016

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 // COLLEGE SUCCESS CELEBRATION // COLLEGE SIGNING DAY 2016

popular song “Cheerleader” played while students stood to face their families and hold up large posters expressing their thanks. Finally, it was time for the central part of the program the big “college reveal.” After inspiring introductions and messages from College Prep Principals and video montages from each graduating class, the spotlight shone on these deserving seniors. Younger IDEA schoolmates roared with admiration and encouragement as each senior stepped up to the microphone, announced their college choice and unfurled their new college banner. Some seniors turned cartwheels, some danced, some stage-dived…and all exuded joy and a soaring sense of accomplishment. These 507 seniors will soon join IDEA’s 1,900 alumni currently attending 120 colleges and universities across the nation! The Class of 2016 has broken many records, including winning a record $22 million in scholarships and grants for college. And yet for some students, this financial support will not be enough to cover tuition or expenses such as airfare, text books, supplies and meal plans. In recognition of this unmet financial need, IDEA has a unique Give Me 5-Staff Giving Campaign which is funded through voluntary annual contributions from across the IDEA community and epitomizes the system-wide commitment to matriculation for all. With the money raised through generous donations this year, 12 scholarships of $8,000 each were awarded to deserving seniors from across the 6 high schools on College Signing Day. Before the ceremonies could draw to a close, one important

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tradition remained on the agenda: the signing of the Commitment to College contract. Torkelson invited students who had received selective-college acceptances to the stage with their families, and asked them to lead their classmates in signing individual commitments to completing college. He asked all the spectators to bear witness to this act and to hold the students accountable to their promise. As blue and yellow balloons hailed down, the seniors took the solemn step of signing their pledge to earning a bachelors degree, with their families and friends all watching on. The IDEA Public School community proudly congratulates the Class of 2016! As our seniors take this next brave step on their journey, transitioning from high school into college and through to college graduation, we know they will carry this special day deep within their hearts. When times get tough, or when they face doubts or challenges at college or in life, we hope that the memory of this day - their day, College Signing Day 2016 - will sustain them, along with the many academic skills and life lessons they have gained at IDEA. The details of this occasion - the admiring faces of their younger schoolmates, the hopes and dreams of their families, the confidence and reassurance of their teachers, principals, administrators and well-wishers, and their own aspirations and commitment to crossing the next finish line - will remind them with deep certainty: “Si, Se Puede! Yes, We Can!”


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 // COLLEGE SUCCESS CELEBRATION // REACH HIGHER SUMMIT 2016

REACH HIGHER SUMMIT 2016 2016 marks the 10th year in a row that 100% of IDEA’s high school seniors have been accepted to college. In the 16 years since our founding, IDEA has expanded from 1 school with 187 students to 44 schools serving nearly 24,000, while remaining true to our mission of College for All Children.

Welcome Reception The event kicked off with a reception and dinner at which Tom Torkelson and JoAnn Gama welcomed the participants and described the inspiration behind the founding of IDEA Public Schools. To set the stage and tone for the summit as a whole, they invited words from three notable guests:

Don Shalvey Deputy Director, U.S. Program, Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation,

Darryl Cobb Partner, Charter School Growth Fund 14

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Kevin Hall President and CEO, Charter School Growth Fund.

With an ambitious growth plan that envisions the education of tens of thousands more students and a presence beyond the Rio Grande Valley and beyond Texas as well, IDEA is taking stock of the lessons we have amassed over 16 years of successes and challenges. The second annual Reach Higher Summit was organized to share these lessons with fellow charter schools and to also learn from their experiences in the field. The Summit thus brought together IDEA’s own experts with representatives of a number of Charter Management Organizations (CMOs), as well as educators, education supporters, and funders from across the country. The CMOs in attendance were part of the Charter School Growth Fund (CSGF) portfolio. CSGF identifies the country’s best charter schools, funds their expansion, and helps increase their impact. The CMO guests were part of CSGF’s “Emerging CMO” portfolio which means they are smaller networks at the moment and leaning on experts, such as IDEA, to plan for their growth.

The speakers reflected upon the evolving conversation around school choice, and on the role that IDEA is playing in demonstrating how a charter network can dramatically scale up its presence and impact while still delivering uncompromisingly on its mission. The open-mic format invited reactions and questions from a number of CMOs from California to North Carolina including the Camino Nuevo Charter Academy, STEM Prep Schools and Henderson Collegiate. A highlight of the evening was the mariachi band from IDEA Pharr. Dressed in full mariachi regalia, the young musicians serenaded the guests with several rousing numbers and kept the focus on the students whose interests lie at the heart of these conversations (learn more about IDEA Pharr’s mariachi group on page 46.)


Campus Learning Tour A full schedule was planned for April 28, with a tour of IDEA Academy and College Prep Pharr being first on the agenda. IDEA Pharr was established in 2010 to serve the high-need community located in and around the colonia of Las Milpas. Tour guide, and IDEA College Prep Founding Principal, Ernie Cantu illustrated just one of the many moving stories embodied by so many of the students and staff at IDEA. Born to migrant parents from Mexico, Cantu was himself raised in Las Milpas, where he and his siblings were orphaned at an early age and raised by an older sister. Cantu was one of few from his neighborhood to complete school and attend college, thus breaking out of the povertytrap faced by many of his childhood friends. Motivated to help children facing similar disadvantages, Cantu became an educator, eventually joining IDEA Public Schools in his own community.

At IDEA Pharr, summit participants heard about the development of the school from Founding Academy Principal Ms. Sonia Aguilar, and about the vision for the future from current college prep Principal Mrs. Claudia Ash-Martinez. They had the opportunity to see the nutsand-bolts of IDEA in action through observing classroom instruction at all levels, including a new Pre-K classroom, an Accelerated Reader classroom, and a World History Advanced Placement classroom. The ethos and aspirations of the school were illustrated by 11th grader Alejandro Gonsalez, who spoke to the participants about why he attends IDEA to get a better education and secure a brighter future for himself. IDEA Pharr stands poised to graduate its first class of seniors, including Alejandro, in 2017. Of this graduating class, all but four students will be the first in their families to attend college.

Luncheon Symposium Features Opportunities for Learning and Sharing After attending College Signing Day (Read on page 10), Summit participants gathered for a luncheon symposium where the focus was on sharing and discussing the lessons IDEA has learned along its 16-year journey.

Tom Torkelson gave the opening remarks outlining the current status of the IDEA school district, the vision for future growth and expansion to 172 schools and 100,000 students by 2022, and a road map for how IDEA plans to achieve this exponential growth without compromising quality or commitment. With facts and figures to support him, Torkelson underscored the conviction that lies at the core of IDEA’s mission - that a college degree is essential if low income children of color are to beat the odds stacked against them.

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 // COLLEGE SUCCESS CELEBRATION // REACH HIGHER SUMMIT 2016

10th Annual Dinner and Auction Gala Raises $300,000 for Student Scholarships The Reach Higher Summit culminated in a gala and fundraiser hosted at the University of Texas-Rio Grande Valley. Attended by 600 guests, the event celebrated IDEA’s year-on-year successes while also aiming to raise funds for scholarships to meet college funding gaps for IDEA graduates. In addition to sponsorships and ticket sales, the fundraiser featured a silent auction of unique items donated by the wider community, and beautiful, original works of art by IDEA high school students. The student artists were on

hand to explain their artistic inspiration as well as their hopes and aspirations for the future. In his remarks to the guests, Torkelson emphasized the impetus behind IDEA’s work and the critical need for disruptive innovations in public education for low income students. He thanked the many assembled elected officials, donors and board members who have put their support behind IDEA. He also introduced three special speakers - current and former students, who shone a bright and personal light on the individual stories of hope, hard work and tapped-potential that prove the importance of IDEA’s mission. First there was Carolina Cantu, who will be graduating from IDEA Quest in just a few weeks to attend Princeton University in the fall. As the first in her family to go to college, Cantu described what a life-changing moment it had been to enter IDEA Quest in 6th grade. In addition to the rigorous focus on academics, the consistent emphasis on college readiness at IDEA was a new and pivotal experience for her. She credits her success in applying and gaining entry to Princeton to a number of factors. Among these were the teacher and counselor who each took a

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keen interest in getting to know and understand her as an individual; IDEA’s college-readiness opportunities starting as early as 6th grade, such as field lessons (college field trips) and the Collegiate Summer Away Program, all of which helped her develop a list of best-fit college choices; and the counseling she received to help identify and secure a highly-competitive QuestBridge scholarship, thus putting Princeton - the university of her choice and one of the top universities in the country - within her financial reach. Next was Jose Bethancourt, a 2015 IDEA Donna graduate who credits his entrance into IDEA with putting him on the road to college and to success. As a first-generation college freshman at University of Texas-Austin, Bethancourt has continued the entrepreneurial exploits in technology that he began while still a high school student at IDEA. To the delight and pride of the IDEA community, Bethancourt has recently been selected as a finalist on the popular ABC show Shark Tank. In the coming months, you are likely to see Jose and his business partners on Shark Tank, pitching a new phone app in a bid to win financing. As Bethancourt works toward realizing his dreams, he is also giving back to the school as a donor and helping ensure that the next generation of dreamers accesses the opportunities he enjoyed. Finally, there was alumni presenter Ramiro Flores, a 2012 graduate of IDEA Donna, who is an embodiment of how high expectations and access to a college education can transform not just an individual but also have a positive multiplier impact on the wider community. Entering IDEA in 8th grade, with expectations so low in his previous school that neither he nor his peers expected to complete middle school let alone attend college, Ramiro thrived on the confidence and support of his IDEA school principal and teachers, and went on to attend University of TexasPan American. He has become a passionate advocate of educational equity for all, and has returned to teach 8th grade history and coach the debate team at his home school through Teach for America. Ramiro considers it the highest honor and privilege to now be teaching side-by-side with the very teachers and mentors who bolstered him as he worked to catch up with his peers in high school, and is grateful to be able to pay the gift forward through his teaching. The 10th Annual Dinner and Gala was underwritten by 100 individuals and organizations, and over $300,000 was raised in scholarship money. Like the Give Me 5 scholarships, these funds will be used to meet gaps in college funding as well as for emergency loans to IDEA alumni who are already attending college, further supporting matriculation to and through college.


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� // COLLEGE SUCCESS CELEBRATION // LOOKING AHEAD

Looking Ahead

From 187 students in 2000 to nearly 30,000 students to be enrolled by Fall 2016, IDEA’s growth rate currently stands an impressive 16,147%. With plans to establish more schools in the Valley and further expansion planned for San Antonio and Austin, and into El Paso and Baton Rouge, IDEA continues on an ambitious path of growth in partnership with neighborhoods, communities and organizations such as the Charter School Growth Fund. Despite exponential growth, and despite being the fastest-growing charter organization in America and the second largest charter organization in the nation, the fact remains that IDEA will only be able to offer seats to 5,000 of the 38,000 children who have applied to IDEA schools this year. The stark reality is this: the demand for a quality public education that guarantees for low-income students a path to a 4-year college far outstrips supply. We look forward to working with our fellow charter management organizations, with our supporters, and with national and local advocates of educational equity to meet this overwhelming demand. Join us in our mission to transform the outcomes of educational investment in low-income students of color, and break the cycle of intergenerational poverty in America.

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 // COLLEGE SUCCESS CELEBRATION // LOOKING AHEAD

Oh, the Places You’ll Go.

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When students graduate from IDEA Public Schools to attend a college or university of their choosing, we hope that many of them will choose to return to the Rio Grande Valley community – like over 30 alumni who already have as full time IDEA Public Schools employees. We want them to figure out what they can do to make the Rio Grande Valley and Texas a better place. For as much as IDEA has achieved with our work to create a more just and equitable community where every child graduates college and each student is ready to be an active citizen, our work is far from over. Our alumni are a critical part of that work and have the opportunity to contribute to their communities in significant ways.

The map below represents a footprint of where IDEA’s 2,400 Alumni currently attend, will attend, or have attended college. The list to the left are just a few examples.

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02 Throughout the following pages you will read highlights of some of the robust extracurricular offerings at IDEA Public Schools. From athletics to gardening, our scholars have access to it all.

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 // BEYOND THE CLASSROOM // SPORTS

Valery Tobias

Blazing a Trail for IDEA Athletics May 13, 2016 was an exciting day for sports at IDEA Public Schools! IDEA Quest College Prep sophomore and Trailblazer Valery Tobias made history by winning IDEA’s first top title at a state-level UIL athletics competition, taking gold in the Class 3A girls 800-meter run.

“This win is so big,” said Valery to a reporter from The Monitor after the race. “I can’t believe it. Those are the only words I have right now. This is so big for me. And not only myself, but for my school.” By all accounts, the race was a suspenseful one, with its fair share of drama. Valery’s feet got entangled with some other runners’ feet early on the course, but she was able to pull out and away and demonstrate the combination of speed and meticulous strategy that spells success in mid-distance running. Her finish time of 2 minutes and 16.86 seconds was her season best, and is the second fastest among 800-meter runs by girls in the Valley. Going into the race, Valery had a specific goal. Having taken a silver medal at her debut in front of 12,000 spectators at the UIL State and Track Field Championships last year, her sights were set even higher this time. “My race is only two laps, so that means I have to get every single detail right, but that will only make me better, and I’m aiming for that,” said Tobias to The Monitor some days ahead of this year’s competition. “I want to do better than last year, that’s one of my goals. I just want to go out and run strong and be persistent.” In addition to training for track, Valery also runs cross country and plays soccer for the Trailblazers. This builds her speed and stamina for her mid-distance runs, but sometimes presents its own challenges. Valery entered the track season this year worn-out from soccer. IDEA Quest coach Robbie

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Cruz worked with Valery to build her confidence and find her stride. Referring to her silver medal at State, Cruz said before a 400-meter race in Mercedes earlier in the season: “She feels like everybody is on her because of what she did last year. Everybody expects her back. We do, and I know she expects herself back. … ‘I told her, ‘You go out there and run for you. Don’t worry about your times or the critics. Just do it for you.’” With a relatively small athletics budget, IDEA Quest athletes like Valery train on UTRGV facilities or run laps around the school or the neighborhood. Despite these limited resources, the athletes are focused on big achievements. “We like coming out of nowhere,” Cruz said. “We like being the underdog. Whenever they announce our athletes on the podium, everyone looks at them like, ‘Who are these kids?’” For Valery, a season of hard work and dedication has paid off. As she crossed the finish line with her state win this year, she looked into the stands at her coach and covered her face as she teared up with joy. “When I crossed the line, I didn’t know what to feel. It was just super amazing. This is such an accomplishment for all that I’ve been through, and it’s amazing know that all of your hard work pays off. My season in track paid off.”


“I want to do better than last year, that’s one of my goals. I just want to go out and run strong and be persistent.”

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 // BEYOND THE CLASSROOM // SPORTS

A VISION FOR IDEA NORTH MISSION

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Principal David Wagner is on a mission: to make IDEA North Mission College Prep not just a center of academic excellence but an athletic powerhouse as well.

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firm believer that academics comes first, Mr. Wagner also believes in the benefits of a robust, extracurricular, athletics program. Not only will such a program teach students cross-over skills like discipline, grit, tenacity, and teamwork, but it will also retain motivated student-athletes who may otherwise leave IDEA North Mission to seek their high school education elsewhere. IDEA North Mission has started building a foundation for athletics. Boys and girls basketball teams have begun for the 6th grade, and the 6th grade flag football teams have already started making the school proud by winning games. As Mr. Wagner sees it, the next step in developing a serious athletics program is to expand essential facilities. This includes a separate gymnasium for sports such as basketball, a track around the soccer field for a track team, and a new baseball/ softball field. Making this vision a reality will not happen overnight. Financing alone will be a long-term project, and fundraising and planning begin this spring. IDEA Public Schools have already proven their academic excellence and competitiveness in the Valley, and across the state and country. With the right resources, IDEA can also prove its competitiveness athletically, to nurture and retain strong student-athletes within IDEA and widen college opportunities for a broader range of students.

PLUS!

IDEA Weslaco Pike also has big plans to expand their athletic program with the hopes of adding a pool!

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 // BEYOND THE CLASSROOM // SPORTS

PURSUING EXCELLENCE THE CROSS COUNTRY TEAM AT IDEA FRONTIER

“They push themselves, they push each other - there is a great family feel to our team.” -Coach Alanis

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his year, the cross country team at IDEA Frontier raced all the way to the State finals. The team attributes its escalating success – advancing from District, to Regionals, to State level in just a few years - to an unwavering commitment to doing Whatever It Takes to win. Led by coaches Mr. Albert Alanis and Mr. Joshua Lumley, the students on the cross country team are not your typical athletes. Take Jesus (Jesse) Garcia, a senior who found running very difficult when he started on the team in 7th grade. He recalls that he could only run a 21-22 minute mile then, in fact walking most of the way. But perseverance has led to remarkable progress and Jesse today is the captain of the team. “I loved how the amount of hard work you put into it, was what you got out of it. After 6 years of running, I see myself now running 5-minute-miles. It’s really awesome and that’s the kind of progression I see in everything I do, whether it is academic, outside school or any sport.” Observing the progress of athletes like Jesse, Mr. Alanis has learned that those who can succeed at this sport are not necessarily the obvious candidates. He notes, “As long as you like it, you can advance in it. As long as you have the dedication, you can excel at running. That is the beauty of running, anyone can do it, anyone can get faster. This group of kids, they are some of the smartest kids too. They do well in academics, and they do well in athletics. It is good to see that it is not just your normal athlete that is excelling.” From 14-year-old freshman Irving Chavira who wants to be a lawyer and study at Stanford University, to Brian Estrella a 12th grader who wants to major in electrical engineering, to Sabrina Garcia a 10th-grader who aims to become a registered nurse and study at UT Austin, the 8 runners on the Statequalifying team appear to bring the same passion and focus that they have as athletes to the goals that they are setting for their colleges, careers and their lives. When asked how he keeps them motivated, Mr. Alanis brings up a powerful concept: “I always talk to the team about making history. They get really invested in the idea of being the first in history. They were the first team in the history of IDEA to win a District championship. That was last year. Then they became the first team in IDEA history to qualify as a team for Regionals. They were the first team in the history of IDEA to make it to State as a team...I am always challenging them to be the first to do something.” The athletes commit to a rigorous daily practice, running 50-60 miles a week over a 5-month season to build their endurance and speed. They even practice over the summer so that when school begins in August, they are in good shape and ready to start working towards their new goal for the year. But getting to the top of their game is more than just a matter of athletic training. In keeping with IDEA’s Healthy Kids Here initiative, a key element of their training is also about overall health. Team members are counseled not just on running techniques, but also on the importance of proper sleep and nutrition. Coach Alanis drives home the link between health, personal responsibility and their cross-country goals: “So you want to compete at State?” he asks them. “There are about 211 teams in our District, out of those you have 10 at State. That is quite an accomplishment. But you want to be top 5? Those kids are hardcore. Those kids are on point with their sleeping, getting at least 8 hours of sleep, their nutrition and

their working out. I can help you with the working out, but the rest - you have to do that on your own.” The theme of personal responsibility is embedded into the sport. “Cross country is a beautiful sport, because as teamfocused as it is, you can also directly see how your hard-work or your slacking leads to your success. It is great to see this group of students get to see that as well,” says Coach Joshua Lumley, who also teaches Chemistry at the school. For him, seeing the students make it to State has been a dream come true. As a runner who ran cross-country and track in both high school and college, he feels privileged to share his passion for a sport that made a world of difference in his own life. Today he is making a difference to how these young athletes embrace challenges on and off the field. Says 16-yearold Christian Davila, a 10th-grader,“My coach has taught me that when we are racing, we are not racing against the other runners, we are racing against ourselves.” Sabrina says she has learnt “Never give up. Try your best. No matter what place you get, it is as much as you have put into it.” While the sport pushes the students to take personal responsibility, they are not on their own. There is a family-feel to the team, and they motivate each other to achieve beyond their limits. Each athlete appears to love the team, the sport of cross country running and what it has brought into their lives at and beyond IDEA. Jesse considers himself particularly lucky. “I love cross country and I love all that it brings, but I also love school and all that IDEA brings and all the opportunities that it gives me. So, being able to have the best of both worlds - the best in my education and academics, and the best in the sport I love, the sport that I believe can give you so much to help you out in life, is an opportunity that I can never be thankful enough for.” His love of cross country is an important feature of his plans for college and his outlook on life. “I applied to ten colleges this year. In every single application I included my participation in cross country because I really think that this sport has made me into the person that I am. One of the huge characteristics of cross country is perseverance: Every practice, every race, we have to persevere and finish that race to the best of our ability. And with that being said, on every test, every homework assignment, and every academic assignment that I need to complete, I persevere to finish it. Persevering not just in academics but in all you do in life. I am so glad that I ran into this sport.”

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 // BEYOND THE CLASSROOM // SPORTS

FULL OF FIGHT

LACROSSE OPENS NEW DOORS TO COLLEGE 34

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r. Timothy Richardson, iLearning HotSpot Facilitator “This is a fresh start for them. No one can say they are not at IDEA Walzem Academy, knows first-hand about the good enough to play lacrosse, because no one knows how to benefits of elite athletics like lacrosse when it comes to college play lacrosse. It is clean slate for all of them, joining a team admissions. When his oldest son was applying to college, where they don’t feel intimidated - they are all in the same the lacrosse recruitment video included in his application boat,” says Mr. Richardson, explaining the appeal of a niche attracted admission offers from some 20 colleges across the game like lacrosse over more common sports like football to country. Lacrosse opened college doors that the family never some of the players. As a coach with prior involvement in knew existed. Now, Mr. Richardson is helping pave the way children’s sports, he believes that these students are getting in to similar opportunities for students at IDEA Walzem College on the ground floor of a sport that, by some accounts, is the Prep by initiating the first lacrosse program in the IDEA school fastest growing the US. “By the time everyone else catches on, network. our program is already going to be set, Creating a school lacrosse program they are going to know what they are “I know if I can’t finish my from scratch is an expensive doing, and hopefully will do well.” undertaking. To make his vision Since lacrosse began at IDEA homework, I can’t manage financially viable, Mr. Richardson first Walzem, the players have been successfully applied for a grant from the the team. It teaches you to working hard to get up to speed with First Stick Program at US Lacrosse. He the skills and rules of this new game. then launched a fundraising campaign always keep your grades Students practice three days a week on the website www.donorschoose. after school, and many continue up. If you can’t keep your org, receiving grants and inspiring practicing at home, showing tangible messages from anonymous donors. grades up, you don’t play.” improvements at each session. As With the help of a matching grant from a demanding sport that provides retail outlet Dick’s Sporting Goods, excellent cross-training with other Mr. Richardson reached his campaign goal within less than seasonal sports like football, lacrosse meshes well with IDEA’s two months, and launched IDEA Walzem’s lacrosse program Healthy Kids Here program. in February 2016. In addition to the health and athletic benefits, the lacrosse Serving students in the 6th and 7th grades, the program program is already contributing to valuable life skills like already has 22 participants, many of whom had never played teamwork and leadership. 13-year old Taylor Gariston Kerry, another sport seriously before, let alone heard of lacrosse. a 7th grader, says that playing on the team is helping him

“I can tell some of them go home and practice their stick skills at home, because when they come back they are a lot better.” -Coach Richardson

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build stronger friendships. “I’ve learned how to be more interactive with more people, and how to bond.” Sixth-grader Jayden Rellan finds himself in a leadership role. As team manager, his job is to motivate team members and help out with the team’s needs. His love of lacrosse is also keeping him motivated academically. Finishing his homework and keeping up his grades have become a priority: “I know if I can’t finish my homework, I can’t manage the team. It teaches you to always keep your grades up. If you can’t keep your grades up, you don’t play.” Players also hone their grit and determination. Notes Mr. Richardson, “These kids are showing a lot of dedication and a lot of discipline by staying with the program, knowing that they don’t know a lot, knowing they are going to mess up, knowing they are going to miss where they are supposed to be on the field, but not getting frustrated. So, it is teaching them to learn something new without getting frustrated, and to stay the course and finish it out.” As a demanding contact sport, lacrosse helps students burn through their tensions at the end of a long school day. “It makes the stress of the day go away, whenever I start playing,” says 7th grader Corey Richardson, who is also Mr. Richardson’s younger son. He is a big fan of the sport that paved the way to college for his older brother. “Even if you are not athletic, go for it, just go for it. If you think you can’t do it, just go for it. If it is about applying to a certain college, just go for it. It will never happen if you don’t try,” he says, his takeaways from lacrosse spilling over into other aspects of life including decisions about college. In fact, increasing the menu of college options is one of the program’s key objectives. Mr. Richardson points out that lacrosse is recognized very much as an Ivy League sport that is lately being encouraged in urban and minority areas. People from these areas need to be made more aware of the opportunities lacrosse presents in terms of college choice and scholarships. And IDEA students who play lacrosse present ideal college candidates. As Mr. Richardson remarks,

“With IDEA having the reputation for creating students who are college-ready, that have the grades, that are able to go to Ivy League schools, having lacrosse under their belt is just going to open more doors for them, so they might have a better opportunity to get into a school, versus somebody that has never played lacrosse.” 36

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 // BEYOND THE CLASSROOM // HEALTH & WELLNESS

Movin’ With Ms. Moyer We work hard to make a variety of extracurricular programs accessible to our students. In fact, our teachers are so passionate about providing a well-rounded educational experience for our students sometimes...they start their own programs! Ms. Lynne Moyer, a 2nd grade Reading and Language Program teacher at IDEA Rundberg Academy, took it upon herself to spearhead a dance program at her campus and is getting students to follow her dance moves after school! After learning about First Lady Michelle Obama’s ‘Let’s Move’ initiative from Ms. Maribel Perez, IDEA Rundberg’s school nurse, Ms. Moyer, a former competitive tap, jazz, ballet, lyrical, modern, and pointe dancer and dance instructor, was inspired to help the scholars she works with every day at IDEA Rundberg get healthy and move. Extracurricular activities, like Ms. Moyer’s dance program, provide our scholars with cost-free outlets where they can participate in physical activity, thus aiding in the decrease of childhood obesity across the communities we serve and directly aligning with IDEA’s Healthy Kids Here program. “I also became very excited about giving our students an opportunity to express themselves,” said Ms. Moyer. Ms. Moyer explains that dance has always been a large part of her life since the age of three. It is something she’s always looked forward to, helped her relieve stress

and allowed her to express herself. She believes access to this program will provide students with the same opportunities, minus the cost. “Some of our students have a lot of energy, but don’t have the means to pay for extracurricular activities, and I think this will be a great outlet for them.” Weekly dance lessons, depending on the genre, can cost upward of $150 per month, and that doesn’t include the cost of purchasing dance shoes and clothes. Ms. Moyer’s dance program is free of charge, and does not require students to purchase dance gear. “You don’t need anything but a little heart and a soul that is ready to dance.” Although Ms. Moyer’s dance program for 1st - and 2nd - graders is in its infancy, her goal for her dance students is to be able to show off their hard work by performing in a dance recital and to learn some of the life lessons she’s gained from years of dance experience, like how to take care of your body, how to carry yourself, and be confident. All valuable skills as our students persist on their road to college.

Tiny Dancers

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This is the caption for this photo. It’ll probably have this student’s name followed by other words.


“You don’t need anything but a little heart and a soul that is ready to dance.”

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GARDEN CLUB

PLANTING SEEDS, HARVESTING HEALTH At IDEA Public Schools, we aim for our students not only to be prepared for college, but also to live happy and healthy lives. In fact, we see these outcomes as inextricably linked. The extracurricular activities we offer - like exercise, athletics, and cooking - teach students best practices for healthy living. But did you know that a growing number of IDEA campuses also have gardening programs to enhance our Healthy Kids Here program? In fact, more than 100 IDEA students are now Junior Master Gardeners through these programs. Why is this type of program important? What do students get out of gardening? Let’s first hear from Ms. Stephanie Soto, one of the facilitators of the Garden Club at IDEA Allan College Prep, about how the program got started and how she envisions this activity fitting in with IDEA’s wider mission. Ms. Soto is currently the Interventionist for grades 6 through 9, and has also been a science teacher for the prior 6 years. As

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an avid backyard gardener herself, she integrated gardening and composting units into her science lessons, and saw how it engaged young students. “It is amazing to see how kids open their eyes whenever they see something grow out of the ground from what they’ve planted,” she says. Having a Garden Club now allows Ms. Soto and her cofacilitator Ms. Nikida Koraly to impart not just the science, but also the practical mechanics and benefits of cultivating diverse, edible plants: “The big purpose,” states Ms. Koraly, “is to give kids exposure to foods and where they come from, and options for healthy eating.” The IDEA Allan Garden Club, which is open to 8th and 9th graders, has been meeting twice a month since January 2016. In this short span of time, the group of 9 students has completed planting 4 garden beds, and also started building a pallet compost pile. They are excited about getting their


“You don’t have to go to a store, you can grow it yourself and it’s fun. Of course you will make mistakes but you can learn from that.”

hands dirty, about digging-in and planting, and about tasting the produce as well! The facilitators have in fact enlisted the cafeteria manager to prepare a creative dish with the Club’s first harvest, so that the students can see the full arc of the food they have grown, from farm to table. For the students, this is a new experience. Though some have planted flowers before, all are new to vegetable gardening. Actually, many did not know what most plant-based foods looked like in the ground. “The first day that we had Garden Club, we went out and looked at the plants that we teachers had already planted, and the kids recognized only one - it was lettuce! They had never had kale before, they had never seen the different types of lettuces that there were, and they had never seen any sort of herbs growing from the actual ground,” says Ms. Soto with a smile in her voice. Today the students can recognize a new range of vegetables including spaghetti squash, Brussels sprouts, kale, and artichoke, and think of ways in which to incorporate these healthy and tasty options into their diets at home. Ms. Soto has plans to integrate the gardening program into the IDEA Allan campus more broadly. She envisions the College Prep students hosting an event where Academy classes rotate through different stations such as food-tasting, planting and composting, giving the older students leadership and community-service opportunities, while getting younger students to interact with the garden as well. Another plan is to encourage the College Prep science teachers to utilize the garden as a dynamic teaching resource during their life sciences units.

As for the Garden Club members themselves, they encourage others to join in. “You get to be outdoors, you get to hang out with your friends, you get to eat the fresh produce!” exclaims 9th-grader Sydney Hernandez enthusiastically. Sydney, who plans to major in computer science and minor in theater and writing in college, points to patience and problemsolving as some of the lessons she is drawing from her Garden Club experience. “These are skills that will help with computer programming,” she notes practically. Her friend and fellow 9th-grader Mia Calhoun, who aspires to be an engineer one day, feels that gardening is teaching her many transferable skills in addition to healthy eating: “It can teach you things that you don’t think you’ll need to know right now, but later on, you’ll say ‘Oh yeah! I remember my instructor teaching me that patience is a good word, that never giving up is good!’ It teaches you skills you might need later on.” Both girls also agree that being involved in extracurricular activities is enjoyable, will eventually be good for rounding-out their college applications, and add to their overall life experience at and beyond IDEA.

PLUS!

IDEA Eastside in San Antonio also has a garden program! This brings the total to 11 gardens throughout IDEA Public Schools with 2 in Austin, 6 in the Rio Grande Valley, and 3 in San Antonio!

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 // BEYOND THE CLASSROOM // MUSIC & CULTURE

Romántico, clásico, poderoso. Mariachi Teaches Students Music…and so much more.

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e want our students to be proud, not just of their academic achievements, but of their heritage and roots as well. Activities like Mariachi at IDEA College Prep Pharr give students a unique opportunity to embrace their cultural heritage while learning valuable skills that will help them on the road to college. While many students have joined Mariachi to learn a classical instrument for the first time, what keeps them coming back is the cultural connections they gain, the important life lessons they learn, and also the sheer fun they have making music together in a group. To 10th-grader Genesis Vasquez, playing Mariachi violin has been a powerful way to connect to her roots. “You feel the culture through your playing,” she says. IDEA Pharr student David Padron has also been captivated by his exposure to this traditional music. “It is romantic, classical, and powerful. Every instrument has its purpose, and when you hear it all together, it is completely amazing.”

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Wearing the Mariachi regalia is a key part of the group’s cultural experience. It is also a breathtaking sight to behold. “Once we are wearing our uniforms, everybody’s back is straight and our heads are held up high…we look pretty good!” David says proudly. An eleventh-grader who has been contemplating becoming a cardiovascular surgeon since sixth grade, finds that being in Mariachi teaches lessons like teamwork that extend into the classroom and beyond. “We are a group, everyone is a piece of the puzzle, and the music is the thing that puts us together.” David is not alone in discovering the many benefits of this extracurricular activity. Other students also talk about how participation in Mariachi motivates them at school and helps them with memorization skills, concentration, persistence, and confidence. Like mastering anything, becoming a good Mariachi takes effort. Take Melissa Tolentino. In addition to the 2 weekly practice sessions at school, she practices an additional hour at home each day. This forces her to be disciplined and balance all her commitments. “It is all about being able to manage your time responsibly. It is about having the mindset, being able to sit down with yourself and saying, ‘I need to do this.’ I need to focus on my school work first of all, but I also need to focus on something I am passionate about.” Melissa Tolentino has come a long way in a short time: From never having played an instrument just a year ago, she is now the guitar section leader and the Mariachi captain. “I have learned that I am capable of anything, I really am!” she exclaims, echoing the lesson that she has learned over the year from Mariachi instructor, Mr. Tony Saavedra. “Anything you set your mind to is possible,” she says. Melissa loves Mariachi so much that she would like to continue playing in college, where she aims to major in psychology and minor in music studies. Her enthusiasm is evident. “I’ve learned that Mexican culture is very rich. Joining Mariachi just made me feel more connected to it. Now I appreciate my culture more. I am very proud of my country and my ethnicity.” Melissa’s reflection is exactly why this group was founded two years ago. Since it launched, the Mariachi group has had many opportunities to proudly showcase their culture and new skills at IDEA events (Read about the Reach Higher Summit on Page 14.). The group hopes their founding will inspire other IDEA campuses to launch their own Mariachi groups.

“I’ve learned that Mexican culture is very rich. Joining Mariachi just made me feel more connected to it. Now I appreciate my culture more. I am very proud of my country and my ethnicity.”

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 // BEYOND THE CLASSROOM // MUSIC & CULTURE

Students Improve Thanks To Chess Moves The academic curriculum at IDEA Public Schools is not the only thing helping students increase their brain power, so is chess!

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hen students at IDEA Monterrey Park were surveyed to evaluate what extracurricular activities interested them most, students showed a great interest in chess. As a result, IDEA Monterrey Park created its first chess club last fall for students in the 6th and 7th grade. Students like 12-year-old Andrew Villarreal, a 7thgrader at IDEA Monterrey Park College Prep, have noticed improvements in their ability to focus thanks to chess. “Chess has helped me stay focused on what the teacher is talking about instead of getting distracted,” said Andrew. According to Ms. Jessika Bade, Chess Facilitator, ILearning Hot Spot Facilitator, Andrew isn’t the only one seeing benefits. Regardless of a student’s skillset, many gain a sense of empowerment from seeing themselves grow in the game. “It has helped students with their mathematics software. Their strategic thinking and their concentration is improving in class when they’re engaging with software,” said Ms. Bade. She also points to the positive influence of chess at the community-level: “You can play chess no matter your gender, ethnic background, or socio-economic status. It brings together a diverse group of students who may have not formed friendships if it wasn’t for chess…Chess levels the field for everybody.” As for 13-year-old, Matthew Oviedo, a 7th-grader at IDEA Monterrey Park College Prep who aspires to be a mechanical

engineer and attend MIT, he loves chess because he finds it challenges him mentally, just like his math and science courses. While he admits to having a good memory and excels at memorizing steps to solve math problems and chess moves, he has wanted to improve his strategic thinking. This is where chess has made a difference. “Chess helps you think ahead and think strategically. It helps you in math and science because it gets you to think ahead and not get too pressured. It also helps you stay calm and patient,” said Matthew. Over the past 2 years, Matthew estimates he has participated in about 8 competitions, and ranked in the top 10 in 6 competitions. As one of the more experienced players in the chess club, Matthew has also gained the opportunity to take on a leadership role and serve as a mentor to less experienced players on the chess team. In addition to the many hats Matthew wears in school - such as athlete, member of the reading club, manager of the softball team, and school president - he is captain of the chess club. Managing his time is no easy task, but Matthew believes the benefits of extracurricular activities like chess are helping him become the kind of well-rounded individual and leader that universities like MIT seek.

“Chess helps you think strategically. It helps you in math and science because it gets you to think ahead and not get too pressured.” - MATTHEW OVIEDO, 7TH GRADER, IDEA MONTERREY PARK COLLEGE PREP

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IDEA Riverview scholars also spend time after school increasing their brain power through chess! IMPACT JUNE 2016

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 // BEYOND THE CLASSROOM // MUSIC & CULTURE

DANCING THEIR WAY TO GOLD: The Folklórico Team at IDEA Alamo Academy Dancing is fun! It can also bring opportunities for recognition and achievement at an early age, as recently demonstrated by the 2nd grade Folklórico Dance Team at IDEA Alamo Academy.

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ust a few months since being formed, this young IDEA Alamo dance team has already gone on to winning a gold medal in the junior category at the Folkloric and Contemporary Dance Competition at La Feria de South Texas College in April 2016. The competition, hosted annually by South Texas College, the Center for Mexican American Studies, and Ballet Folklórico South Texas College, showcases talented student dance teams from all over Texas and California. It is one of the most prestigious folkloric competitions in the region, with a jury of prominent experts including judges from Mexico. The IDEA Alamo dance team worked hard to prepare for the competition. They focused their routine on a well-known dance - the Jarabe Tapatio, or the Mexican Hat Dance - and practiced 3 days a week for 2 hours, with an additional 4 hours on Saturdays. They swept away the competition, beating not just other schools but teams from private dance academies as well.

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Dancing in this traditional folk style has been a new experience for most of the young dancers, as well as for Mr. David Morales, 2nd grade teacher at IDEA Alamo who also coaches the team. Instructing the students on the techniques and steps of folkloric dancing has been just part of his goal. He also teaches the team about the history, culture, and Mexican roots behind these traditional dances and costumes, instilling in the students an appreciation for an important part of their cultural identities. Ms. Ana Garza, principal of IDEA Alamo Academy underscores the importance of these efforts: “Our culture is part of who we are and I think it is important for children as they grow to be proud of it. It’s important to encourage this from a young age.” Ms. Garza is committed to making dance and other extracurricular activities accessible to all students, many of whose families could not otherwise afford such programs. Through a 21st Century grant, IDEA Alamo provides its


“Statistically, we have seen that those students involved in after-school programs have improved academic performance.” - ANA GARZA, PRINCIPAL, IDEA ALAMO ACADEMY

students with a range of enrichment options such as violin, piano, guitar, chess, hip-hop, arts, sign language, traditional dances, and wellness and reading clubs. Says Ms. Garza: “For me it is very important to offer these opportunities to our students, because personally, I come from Mexican parents and was the first in my family to graduate from college. Unfortunately I grew up wanting to learn to dance, but my parents did not have the resources to afford the classes, which is why being able to offer these experiences to our students is a great blessing.” Ms. Garza is very proud of the dance team’s victory and about her students’ achievements, both academic and extracurricular. In fact, she draws a direct link between the two: “Statistically, we have seen that those students involved in after-school programs have improved academic performance, so that is the objective of the program.”

It is still early days for the 2nd grade Folklórico Team members, but they have already made IDEA proud through their success at competitive dance, while building the discipline and perseverance to be successful in their academics as well. This story draws from material originally published in El Periodic U.S.A.

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 // BEYOND THE CLASSROOM // ACADEMICS

Preparing Students for the 21st Century An Integrated Approach to STEM at IDEA San Benito

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any colleges and universities across the nation are beginning to place a stronger emphasis on their STEM programs. Considering the growth of career opportunities in STEM, it is no wonder they are focusing on attracting more STEM-ready students and producing more professionals to enter this booming industry. But how are schools across the nation adapting to this development? Let’s take a look at IDEA San Benito, one of several IDEA campuses where exciting things are brewing in STEM. Since its founding in 2008, IDEA College Prep San Benito has been designated a T-STEM school. T-STEM (which stands for Texas - Science, Technology, Engineering and Mathematics) is a prestigious designation that has been awarded to just 70 schools in the state so far. These schools meet strict criteria and follow a blueprint that, among other benefits, allows them access to public and private resources state-wide. The ultimate objective of T-STEM is to create centers of excellence in STEM instruction, preparing students to meet the demand of competitive colleges nationwide and be ready for the challenges of the 21st century. The T-STEM instructional approach is based on engaging students through project-based learning, in real-world contexts. IDEA San Benito College Prep is also a “Project Lead the Way” school, and follows a nationally-recognized STEM curriculum. As a school with these special designations, IDEA College Prep San Benito has an integrated program that gives students multiple opportunities to engage in STEM both during and after school. The engineering curriculum, a particular point of pride, gives insights into how the STEM curriculum is crafted. Starting freshman year, students learn the basics of engineering and the engineering design process, while also working on quarterly, hands-on projects. By junior year, students are getting into the physics and math behind engineering, learning coding and starting to build with robotics kits. The culmination is a senior-level capstone course, during which the students select an engineering problem and design a solution, creating a working prototype over the course of the whole year. “This prepares them for any major in the STEM field because there is a lot of math and science that goes into the work they do. It is not only building they have to know, they have to know the math and science behind it,” says Amanda Lucio, a 9th-12th grade engineering teacher who also helps facilitate the Robotics and Engineering Clubs. “Technology is

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growing, the need for solving problems is growing. It is really important for students to know these things, as it is the way of the future,” she adds. Ricardo Acevedo, Assistant Principal of Instruction and STEM Coordinator for the Campus also attests to the broader benefits of the project-based approach. “What we do is focus on our students’ individual problem-solving skills. We really stress the engineering design process and how students are going to approach problems, whether it is an engineering problem, or a lifelong problem. To adapt, they need to be able to develop processes, they need to be able to brainstorm, they need to find solutions, they need to test ideas, they need to fail in order to succeed, and that’s what we are stressing with our students. Our campus is really big on that, and that is how we finish off the school year: with a capstone project where the seniors come up with their own problems and their own solutions. Yes, they are developing a problem and a project, but they are really also teaching themselves about how to approach life.” Extracurricular activities such as the Engineering Club and the Robotics Club complement the curriculum, teaching students practical applications of their classroom learning, and also drawing them deeper into STEM disciplines. The Robotics team has made IDEA exceptionally proud by participating successfully in the BEST robotics competitions for the past 5 years. They have placed in several of the regional competitions this far, and made it to the State-level competition twice. In 2015, the team placed 3rd at State level and were awarded the Lockheed Martin Award. Participating in these robotics competitions has given


“Technology is growing, the need for solving problems is growing. It is really important for students to know these things, as it is the way of the future” - EDDIE RENDON, 9TH-12TH GRADE ENGINEERING TEACHER

students confidence and pride, served to motivate and focus them, and opened their eyes to the reality of competitiveness in the outside world. Says 17-year old 12th-grader Rogelio Diaz, “Going to regionals really showed me showed me that I’m going to have to work hard if I’m going to be able to do what these other guys can do, to compete at all.” Seeing the resources available to other robotics teams that have collaborated with universities, Rogelio Diaz, a 12th-grader says: “I realized how important it would be for me to get into a college that will help me be what I want to be, to just know where it would be best for me to go, so I can do my best in what I want to do.” The high demand for STEM programs has led to a dramatic new development for IDEA San Benito. In the 2016-17 school year, IDEA San Benito will transform to a Pre-K – 5th grade

STEM Academy. The school will be the first of its kind in the Valley to focus on STEM at the elementary level. “STEM education should not be limited to an after-school program,” said Tricia Noyola, principal at IDEA Academy San Benito. “This is the sort of opportunity that every child deserves. Other schools in the country typically have STEM campuses that are by invitation only, meaning only some students get to take part. At IDEA Academy San Benito, every scholar will take part.” At IDEA San Benito, the work of preparing students to meet the new demands of the college and career marketplace, will soon start from the very earliest grades.

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 // BEYOND THE CLASSROOM // ACADEMICS

Helping Hands Hands-on Skills for Success

I

n 2014, IDEA Mission College Prep launched IDEA’s Helping Hands Transition Program. This program provides individualized life skills instruction to our students with special needs. With a focus on obtaining meaningful employment and independent living skills, our students’ transition trajectories lead them to their own most dignified outcomes. Mr. Jose Garza, Life Skills teacher, with the support of Café manager, Cesar Rodriguez and his staff launched the program with students, and to date, its impact has doubled. The program strikes that hard-to-find combination of simplicity and effectiveness. Students help with important cafeteria tasks, such as preparing breakfast for the following day, cleaning equipment, organizing the storage room, and cleaning tables. In completing these straightforward duties,

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students are learning critical life skills, including responsibility, punctuality, and staying organized. Helping Hands also makes learning fun! In their first assignment, students prepared breakfast, using cereal, bagged cookies, plastic bags, and a sealing machine. Thanks to Mr. Garza, Mr. Rodriguez, and the staff at IDEA College Prep Mission, our Life Skills students have additional opportunities to grow and prepare for life in a practical, hands-on way. IDEA Mission knows that the road to college looks different for each student, and is committed to making sure that 100% of them graduate college-ready!


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Congratulations are in order for our STATE CHAMPIONS! IDEA San Juan varsity boys flag football

IDEA Quest varsity girls volleyball- UIL state qualifiers

RIO GRANDE VALLEY REGIONAL CHAMPIONS IDEA McAllen College Prep junior varsity flag football team

IDEA San Juan varsity boys flag football team varsity girls volleyball team varsity boys soccer team

IDEA Mission junior varsity volleyball team varsity cross country team varsity boys basketball team middle school girls soccer team middle school volleyball team middle school boys flag football team IDEA Donna varsity volleyball team varsity boys flag football team

RIO GRANDE VALLEY DISTRICT CHAMPIONSHIP IDEA Pharr College Prep middle school soccer team high school soccer team

IDEA Mission College Prep middle school girls soccer team middle school girls basketball team varsity boys flag football team

IDEA San Juan College Prep middle school boys flag football team varsity boys soccer team varsity girls volleyball team

IDEA Edinburg College Prep middle school boys cross country team middle school girls cross country team high school boys cross country team

IDEA Quest College Prep varsity girls cross country team

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ADDITIONAL UPPER VALLEY EXTRACURRICULAR ACTIVITIES: IDEA Pharr Academy folklorico dance team cheerleading team arts and crafts club cooking club IDEA Pharr College Prep mariachi award winning dance team academic UIL science fair

IDEA McAllen Academy piano tai kwan do ballet hip hop IDEA McAllen College Prep drum line academic UIL

IDEA Donna College Prep drum line

IDEA San Juan College Prep award winning dance team academic UIL

IDEA Edinburg Academy chess team IDEA Edinburg College Prep academic UIL IDEA Mission Academy cheerleading team

IDEA Quest College Prep academic UIL

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LOWER VALLEY EXTRACURRICULAR ACTIVITIES: * IDEA Riverview Academy music lessons dance team IDEA Riverview College Prep cross country team basketball team chess

IDEA Brownsville Academy soccer team UIL academic team IDEA Brownsville College Prep Basketball team

IDEA San Benito Academy ballet cheerleading squad healthy cooking club lego league IDEA San Benito College Prep science fair

IDEA Frontier Academy Academic UIL IDEA Frontier College Prep cross country UIL academic team

IDEA Weslaco Pike Academy piano karate dance IDEA Weslaco Pike College Prep The Mavs Book Bus tennis team cooking club

IDEA Alamo Academy violin piano folkorico IDEA Alamo College Prep UIL academics

IDEA Weslaco Academy 21st century sponsored programs IDEA Weslaco College Prep basketball

* This list was produced in Spring of 2016 and may not reflect additional extracurricular offerings that have launched since this date. 60

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 // SUMMER SUCCESS

Prevent Summer Slide & SummerLearn!

SUMMER SLIDE

READING SUGGESTIONS

IDEA students work hard all year on the pathway to college, and their dedicated families support them every step of the way. All of this effort should be rewarded with a restful summer break, but let’s also protect our students from the socalled “Summer Slide”.

A few of our favorite books for you to explore this summer!

The Summer Slide refers to the loss of academic knowledge that can occur over the summer. Studies show that without any summertime academic work, students can lose up to two months of the previous year’s instruction. Fortunately, there are many ways to make your summer both relaxing and productive. The following section contains suggestions for maintaining your child’s hard-earned knowledge so they can begin school rested and prepared.

Fostering a love of reading in our children is one of the greatest gifts we can give them! Establishing this habit is a shared responsibility between the home and school. We want students to become lifetime readers, and a child who sees reading as a pleasant and relaxing activity is likely to enjoy it. Please encourage your child to read at least 20-30 minutes daily and track it. Below is a list of suggested titles for students to choose from. Have a great summer and happy reading!

Your child should have received this magnet before the last day of school, but ICYMI here are the logins to IDEA’s softwares you can use throughout the year to get your #IDEASummerLearn on!

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Enjoy it but keep reading & learning!

This summer, and complete

My goal is to read

words over the summer

lessons/objectives on the math software.

Software available May 25 - july 31st. Find it at www.Ideapublicschools.org.

Use the log in information to access the appropriate software throughout the summer (until July 31st)

NAME OF SOFTWARE

GRADE LEVELS

URL

LOG-IN

Tumblebooks

k-6

www.tumblebooks.com

Username: ideaps Password: reads

Accelerated Reader

1-8

www.hosted274.renlearn.com/2406896

Username: school ID # Password: abc123

Dreambox Learning

1

www.clever.com/in/ideapublicschools

Username: school ID # Password: abc123

www.rmcity.org

Username: school ID # Password: school password

www.portal.achieve3000.com/index

Contact campus individual learning specialist.

www.web.stmath.com/entrance/

Username and password: 13 Character picture password

www.lms.thinkthroughmath.com/users/ sign_in

Username: school ID # Password: school password

www.khanacademy.org/

Login through gmail, facebook or clever (www.tinyurl.com/ zjnmduw)

Reasoning Mind achieve 3000 st math

2-5 6-12 6

think through math

6-7

khan academy

6-12

Remember, There will be a celebration for students who become millionaire readers over the summer or read one million words in the summer. So take the AR quiz right after you finish each book.

#ideasummerlearn

We cannot wait to hear about your journey! Be sure to take a lot of pictures and post them to social media so we can follow your summer experience as you read tons of books and enhance your math skills. If you have any questions or concerns, please reach out to your campus AR or Hotspot Facilitator or email individualizedlearning@ideapublicschools.org

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 // SUMMER SUCCESS

SUMMER READING LIST

Academy students are required to read these books by the first day of school (August 15th).

FUTURE 1ST GRADE SUGGESTED READING LIST

Barton, Byron. The Little Red Hen. 1993. The little red hen finds none of her lazy friends willing to help her plant, harvest, or grind wheat into flour, but all are eager to eat the bread she makes from it. Capucilli, Alyssa. Biscuit Plays Ball. 2012. Biscuit is excited to be at the ball game, but no dogs are allowed to play. Can the determined puppy find a way to join in the fun? Dewdney, Anna. Llama, Llama, Home with Mama. 2010. Llama Llama’s mother takes good care of him when he is home sick, so when Mama gets sick, Llama Llama knows just what to do. Henkes, Kevin. Old Bear. 2008. When Old Bear falls asleep for the winter, he has a dream that he is a cub again, enjoying each of the four seasons. Kulka, Joe. Wolf’s Coming. 2007. All of the animals in the forest go into hiding because the wolf is coming, but why they are hiding is the big surprise.

Martin, Bill. Chicka Chicka Boom Boom. 1989. An alphabet rhyme/chant that relates what happens when the whole alphabet tries to climb a coconut tree. Morris, Jennifer. Please Write Back! 2010. A sweet and very simple tale of a young alligator who writes to his grandmother, imploring her to write back, and his daily wait for the letter. Freeman, Don. Corduroy. 1968. The heart-warming adventures of an endearing toy-store teddy bear who found a little girl to love him. Rosenthal, Amy Krouse. Duck! Rabbit! 2009. Two unseen narrators lead readers through their comical, differing interpretations of the same simple drawings. Rathmann, Peggy. Good Night, Gorilla. 1994. The hilarious adventures of a mischievous gorilla who “borrows” the zookeeper’s keys.

Numeroff, Laura Joffe. If You Give A Mouse A Cookie. 1985. Relating the cycle of requests a mouse is likely to make after you give him a cookie takes the reader through a young child’s day. Ernst, Lisa Campbell. The Letters Are Lost. 1996. Long ago all the letters of the alphabet were together in their box, but one by one they disappeared and now the reader helps to find them. 66

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Brown, Margaret Wise. Goodnight Moon. 1947. In this modern classic, little Bunny says good night to all his favorite things.


SUMMER READING LIST

Academy students are required to read these books by the first day of school (August 15th).

FUTURE 2ND GRADER SUGGESTED READING LIST

Amelia Bedelia’s First Day of School, by Herman Parish (AR 2.2) Bear’s Loose Tooth, by Karma Wilson (AR 2.2) Biscuit, by Alyssa Satin Capucilli (AR 1.4) Click, Clack, Moo: Cows That Type, by Doreen Cronin (AR 2.3) Clifford the Big Red Dog, by Norman Bridwell (AR 1.2) Danny and the Dinosaur, by Syd Hoff (AR 2.3) Duck on a Bike, by David Shannon (AR 2.0) Goodnight Moon, by Margaret Wise Brown (AR 1.8) Green Eggs and Ham, by Dr. Seuss (AR 1.5) Hi, Fly Guy!, by Tedd Arnold (AR 1.5) If You Give a Pig a Pancake, by Laura Numeroff (AR 2.5) Lola at the Library, by Anna McQuinn (AR 2.2) One Fish, Two Fish, Red Fish, Blue Fish, by Dr. Seuss (AR 1.7) The Cat in the Hat, by Dr. Seuss (AR 2.1)

FUTURE 3RD GRADER

SUGGESTED READING LIST A Bad Case of Stripes, by David Shannon (AR 3.8) Amazing Grace, by Mary Hoffman (AR 3.5) Big Nate: In a Class by Himself, by Lincoln Peirce (AR 3.1) Diary of a Spider, by Doreen Cronin (AR 2.5) Freckle Juice, by Judy Blume (AR 3.1) Happy Birthday, Bad Kitty, by Nick Bruel (AR 3.6) Jigsaw Jones #6: The case of the Mummy Mystery, by James Preller (AR 3.1) Miss Nelson has a Field Day, by Harry Allard (AR 3.0) Stellaluna, by Janell Cannon (AR 3.5) The Lorax, by Dr. Seuss (AR 3.1) The True Story of the 3 Little Pigs, by Jon Scieszka (AR 3.0)

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 // SUMMER SUCCESS

SUMMER READING LIST

Academy students are required to read these books by the first day of school (August 15th).

FUTURE 4TH GRADER

SUGGESTED READING LIST Alexander and the Terrible, Horrible, No Good, Very Bad Day, by Judith Viorst (AR 3.7) Any of the books from the Big Nate series by Lincoln Peirce (AR 3.0-4.5) Any of the books from the I Survived series by Lauren Tarshis (AR 4.0 –5.0) Any of the books from The Magic Tree House series by Mary Pop Osborne (AR 3.0 – 5.0) Bad Kitty for President, by Nick Bruel (AR 4.5) Because of Winn-Dixie, by (AR 3.9) Cloudy with a Chance of Meatballs, by Judi Barrett (AR 4.3) Commotion in the Ocean, by Giles Andreae (AR 4.2) Donavan’s Word Jar, by Monalisa DeGross (AR 4.1) Flat Stanley, by Jeff Brown (AR 4.0) Tales of a Fourth Grade Nothing, by Judy Blume (AR 3.3)

FUTURE 5TH GRADER

SUGGESTED READING LIST Al Capone Does My Shirts, by Gennifer, Choldenko (AR 3.5) Any books by author Lemony Snicket (AR 4.0-6.0) Any books by author Margaret Peterson Haddix (AR 4.0 – 5.9) Any of the books from the Diary of a Wimpy Kid series by Jeff Kinney (AR 5.0 – 5.9) Hoot, by Carl Hiaasen (AR 5.2) The Chocolate Touch, by Patrick SkeneCatling (AR 4.7) The Homework Machine, by Dan Gutman (AR 4.8) The Invention of Hugo Cabret, by Brian Selznick (AR 5.1) True Tales of Animal Heroes, by Allan Zullo (AR 5.0) US Capital Commotion, by Josh Greenhut (AR 5.1) Wonder, by R.J. Palacio (AR 4.8)

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SUMMER READING LIST COLLEGE PREP SUMMER READING At the college prep level, Summer Reading will be driven by student choice this year, as students will be able to choose from approximately 40 different works per grade level for their Summer Reading text. The list of books was created by looking at various research-based resources, including all of the books referenced on the AP Literature & Composition exam for our students in grades 9-12, as well as lists published annually for educators as guides to works of literary merit. Each grade level represents a wide range of Lexile levels and interests (both fiction and nonfiction). Some titles you will see include:

6TH GRADE: Esperanza Rising, Wonder, & Matilda 7TH GRADE: Monster, The Boy in the Striped Pajamas, & The House on Mango Street

8TH GRADE: How the Garcia Girls Lost Their Accents & Angela’s Ashesf

9TH GRADE: Always Running & The Poisonwood Bible 10TH GRADE: Animal Farm & The Handmaid’s Tale 11TH GRADE: Up from Slavery & East of Eden 12TH GRADE: One Hundred Years of Solitude & Age of Innocence

We encourage our College Prep students to keep a Log for each book read, as well as analyze literary elements throughout the school year for all independently-read texts. The Summer Reading kicks off the IDEA Lighthouse initiative that emphasizes student choice in independent reading and a high-level of text analysis.

We can’t wait to learn about your summer reading choices!

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04 The following pages are filled with good-to-know back to school basics that will set you up for a successful First Day of School come August 15!

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 // BACK TO SCHOOL BASICS

IDEA’s DRESS CODE AND

UNIFORM POLICY

Professional, color-coded school uniforms help students focus on what matters most at school - learning! IDEA Public Schools continuously strives to create a positive school culture so that our students can focus on learning. This means paying attention to every detail, big and small, to ensure that our students succeed academically and #BeyondTheClassroom. We believe that school uniforms have a beneficial impact on students’ self esteem, attendance, graduation rates, and discipline. Uniforms eliminate unnecessary distractions (such as who has the coolest tennis shoes?), and ensure students’ focus remains on academic success. Uniforms are an important part of the IDEA culture.

1

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POLO SHIRT

IDEA-No Excuses! polo - shirt color depends on grade level (See page 74 for details)

2

BELT

3

PANTS

4

SHOES

Plain black leather belt

Flat front khaki pants (Dickies brand recommended)

Black shoes with black laces (if applicable)

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OVERALL APPEARANCE MALE STUDENTS: Short clean cut hair (above the neck), natural hair color, no mohawks or shaved hair designs, and no facial hair FEMALE STUDENTS: Combed hair and natural-looking hair color, only light makeup for young women in grades 9th-12th

POLO SHIRT

* IDEA- No Excuses! embroidered polo shirt; color determined by grade level * Polo shirt MUST be long enough to be tucked in

SPIRIT SHIRT

* School spirit shirt (or college shirt) can be worn on Friday and during other principal designated days

OUTERWEAR

* IDEA embroidered jackets may be worn in the classroom and to/from school

BOTTOMS

* Monday-Thursday: khaki bottoms in approved styles and colors * Friday: blue jeans with no holes, tears, studs, or designs * No khaki or skinny jeans, cargo pants, cargo shorts, leggings or jeggings * Skirts and shorts must be knee length

HATS

* All hats or headbands can be worn to/from school but shall not be worn into classrooms or hallways. Exceptions may be made by the Principal during cold-weather months.

JEWELRY

* Jackets in IDEA blue w/gold accent from approved vendor OR same style jacket in IDEA-designated school colors.

* No body piercings (eyebrows, nose, face, tongue, etc.) * No earrings of any kind for male students * Earrings for female students must not be larger than 1 inch

* Non IDEA embroidered sweatshirts may only be worn to/from school and during extracurricular activities

SHOES

* IDEA blue fleece lined jacket * No hoods

BELT

* All black shoes with black laces (if applicable) * No boots, heels, sandals, or open toe shoes * White socks

* Plain black belt * No embellishment (studs, ornate buckles, cutouts, etc.)

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 // BACK TO SCHOOL BASICS

POLO SHIRTS: Short Sleeve, Now Available! $11.50 - $13.50 + Tax

GRADES: K-5, 8

GRADES: 6, 10

OUTERWEAR: Light Weight, Available August 15 $24.00 - $26.00 + Tax

GRADES: 7, 11

GRADE: 9

GRADE: 12

OUTERWEAR:

Mid-Weight, Available October 15 $34.50 + Tax

ALL IDEA CAMPUSES

ACCESSORIES: Samples below

$

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Coupons from IDEA’s Preferred Uniform Vendors are on Page 89


BOYS BOTTOMS: Now Available! Prices vary. SHORTS

PANTS

FLEX PANTS

GIRLS BOTTOMS: Now Available! Prices vary. SHORTS

SKORTS

PANTS

FLEX PANTS

CAPRIS

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UNIFORMS ARE AVAILABLE FOR PURCHASE AT THE STORES BELOW. RIO GRANDE VALLEY STORE LOCATIONS

SAN ANTONIO

RGV ProDirect Polos Only

Dickies Factory Store Bottoms Only

Saga Printing Polos Only

1913 Houston Avenue McAllen, TX 78501 956-627-6161

506 S. Nevada Weslaco, TX 78596 956-968-5341

1233 N. 77 Sunshine Strip Harlingen, TX 78550 956-245-9817

1900 N. Expressway 77/83 Brownsville, TX 78521 956-280-5209

814 N. Expressway 77/83 Brownsville, TX 78521 956-545-0934

RGV ProDirect Polos Only 10720 Perrin Beitel Rd. San Antonio, TX 78217

Street Gear 1717 SW Military Dr. San Antonio, TX 78221 210-932-4327

AUSTIN

Today’s Style 1915 E. Riverside Drive Austin, TX 78741 512-447-0000 4631 Airport Blvd., #104 Austin, TX 78751 512-300-2772

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Beacons

National Outdoors

321 N. New Braunfels San Antonio, TX 78202 210-223-3311

5600 Bandera Rd. San Antonio, TX 78238 210-680-3322 6900 San Pedro Ave #117 San Antonio, TX  78216 210-979-8111


Uniform FAQ

Q: Why are we enforcing uniform standards consistently across IDEA Public Schools? A: IDEA Public Schools believes that uniforms play an important role in maintaining a culture of focused learning and positive behavior, and in many respects, the image of IDEA Public Schools. Uniforms promote a sense of school identity and cohesion, helping to raise the standards of school academics and prepare students for success in college and citizenship. Q: Why do we have the same uniform standards K-12? A: The only variation in uniforms by grade level is the color of the polo shirt. It is important to share uniform standards across the organization. In most instances, Academy and College Prep schools are located on one campus. Younger students learn and emulate older students. In turn, older students serve as role models. Unifying the standards allows for consistency in and across all of our schools. Q: Why are male students required to have short clean-cut hair (above the neck)? A: Clean-cut hair eliminates unnecessary distractions (i.e. who has the coolest hair style or color?). Extreme, eccentric, trendy haircuts or hairstyles are not acceptable. If students use dyes, tints, or bleaches, they must choose those that result in a natural hair color. Colors that detract from a professional student appearance are prohibited. Q: Why can’t we have slight variation in the standards, our own shoes for example? A: Experts say that standard uniforms reduce peer pressure by removing attention from economic and social differences among students. They also find that standard uniforms save parents money, time, and energy. For these reasons, IDEA Public Schools is committed to making sure that IDEA students’ uniforms are the same across all schools. Q: Why do we have approved vendors? A: We have approved vendors for two reasons: IDEA Public Schools has approved vendors in order to ensure the most competitive pricing and consistency for all IDEA parents and students. Approved vendors will have multiple locations throughout the Rio Grande Valley from Brownsville to McAllen. Our vendors are dedicated to superior customer service and serving IDEA families. Q: What if people are not able to afford the uniform requirements? A: We understand that uniform costs can be expensive, particularly for our lowest-income families and those families with multiple children. We have worked with our approved vendors to provide the most cost-effective and durable product possible. If the uniform expenses represent a hardship for families, we will work with them during and throughout the school year to ensure all students are in uniform. Both RGV Pro-Direct and Dickies will offer layaway options for IDEA families to help ease the burden of paying for uniforms. Q: How will schools enforce uniform standards? A: A Uniform Standards Committee comprised of representatives from throughout the district have been working during the last several months to develop enforcement guidelines. These guidelines are based on the feedback from parents, administrators, teachers, students, and IDEA staff and are meant to provide our school administrators with guidance. This will work to ensure even and consistent enforcement across all campuses and within the district. Q: Why has IDEA chosen to partner with Dickies for uniform bottoms? A: Dickies is the fastest growing school uniform provider in the country. Their high-quality, durable, and long-lasting nature are meant to withstand the day-to-day wear and tear of students of all ages and grade levels. We believe that Dickies provides exceptional value for IDEA families in both the short and longterm.

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What makes IDEA Public Schools so healthy?

Healthy Kids Here

As parents, you are your child’s first teachers. You play a key role in not only making healthy choices for your children, but also teaching your children to make healthy choices for themselves. From 7:30 to 3:45 your children are our students. Because they spend 8 hours a day, or more at IDEA Public Schools, we are in a unique position to improve both the educational outcome and health of your children. IDEA Healthy Kids Here, and our Child Nutrition Program support your efforts to raise healthy happy children by providing healthy food choices in our cafeteria, and ensuring our schools stay “junk food free”. We have a vision, and we want parents and students to share it with us. Our vision is that IDEA Public Schools will soon be recognized as the healthiest school district in the nation. We are confident that we will reach that goal because of the dedication of our team and family.

IDEA has farms at three of our campuses. These farms provide fresh produce to the cafeterias, and educational opportunities for students. IDEA has gardens at many campuses so students can experience seeing food grow. IDEA purchases a higher quality of foods. IDEA has a chef to work on menu improvements, and train staff in school nutrition techniques. IDEA has tastings and nutrition related events. IDEA students and parents are involved in menu planning. IDEA has a District Wellness Policy. IDEA does not allow “junk food” in school.

Some ways you can help. Encourage your student to eat lunch at school (check out our menu on the website). Make sure all foods you send to school with your child are healthy choices. Participate in our menu planning committee (ask your cafeteria manager how to get involved). Attend health and nutrition related events at your campus. Get involved with your school farm or garden.

Check out the meal charge policy on page 87.

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Transportation At IDEA Public Schools, the journey to and from school each day is an extension of classroom learning. As such, we adhere to the same high expectations on the bus as we do in classrooms. To ensure the safe transportation of your child to and from school, we ask that you carefully review the 2016-2017 bus routes online and contact your Campus Transportation Manager if you have any questions regarding your bus assignment or bus stop.

Campus Transportation Manager contact numbers are: IDEA Alamo (956) 975-1403

IDEA North Mission (956) 332-9916

IDEA Allan (512) 993-7153

IDEA Pharr (956) 369-9239

IDEA Brownsville (956) 373-4033

IDEA Quest (956) 369-7254

IDEA Donna (956) 373-6152

IDEA Riverview (956) 678-6541

IDEA Edinburg (956) 647-7635

IDEA San Benito (956) 647-7618

IDEA Frontier (956) 371-9916

IDEA San Juan (956) 369-4738

IDEA McAllen (956) 647-7382

IDEA Weslaco (956) 373-5570

IDEA Mission (956) 607-9662

IDEA Weslaco Pike (956) 332-4451

You can also find your school bus route and other transportationrelated information online. Visit www.ideapublicschools.org/transportation You can see your child’s bus stop information by logging into PowerSchool and clicking on Transportation.

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BE PRESENT & LEARN!

These are the top 8 reasons we want your child in school every day!

Children who are present at school every day have the best chances of graduating from high school and realizing the dream of graduation from college.

1. Poor Attendance Impacts Student Learning:

Every moment a child is not at school represents a lost opportunity to broaden horizons and deepen knowledge. IDEA Public Schools believes that every child must be present every day, ready to learn and actively engaged. Every IDEA school seeks to have 100% of students present every single day.

Research has demonstrated a direct correlation between poor student attendance and poor academic performance. Put simply, if students are not at school, they are not learning. Highest performing students are generally those with perfect or near perfect attendance throughout their educational careers.

2. Absenteeism Builds Throughout the Years: Students who have higher rates of absenteeism in their early

years will experience greater rates of absenteeism in the future. For every one day that your child misses school, it takes two days to make up.

3. Elementary Years Matter: A common misconception is that absenteeism only impacts students in high school; however, students who frequently miss school in the earliest years fall behind academically which may lead to retention or summer remediation.

4. Academic Deficiencies Multiply: As absent students fall farther behind their peers, gaps in knowledge expand and students struggle with more advanced concepts.

5. Chronic Absenteeism Increases Likelihood of Dropping Out: A strong correlation exists between chronically

absent (missing 10% or more of the school year) students and high school drop out rates. Students who are behind become easily discouraged as they struggle academically and ultimately lose perspective on the importance of going to school.

6. “Excused Absences” are Considered Absences: An excused absence indicates that your child had a medical appointment and are not counted for truancy purposes. But just like unexcused absences, these days out will have a negative impact on your child’s education.

7. Attendance Funds Your School and Teachers: For every day that your child misses school, IDEA Public Schools loses out on $45.00 of state funding which directly impacts your child’s school, teachers, and their ability to educate.

8. Parents and Students can be Taken to Court and Fined for Missing School: Students who frequently miss school without valid excuses can be taken to truancy court. Under Chapter 25 of the Texas Education Code, parents/guardians may be fined up to $50costs.

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Top 10 ways to help your child achieve top notch attendance. 1. Have Normal Bedtimes and Morning

Routines: Students who have consistent routines, schedules, and bedtimes are more likely to be well-rested and ready for school every day.

2. Schedule Doctor’s Appointments Around School Hours: Doctor’s and dentist appointments should be scheduled at least 30 minutes after school concludes to allow for your child to dismiss from school and account for travel time to the doctor/ dentist.

3. Avoid Extended Vacations: While it may be tempting

to extend long-weekends or holiday breaks, please avoid doing so.

4. Know Your Teachers and Administrators:

Introduce your younger students to their teachers and administrators early

5. Set an Example for Your Child: Demonstrate to your

child that attendance is a priority to you. Actively encourage your child to attend school every day and emphasize the importance of learning.

6. Develop An Attendance Tracker At Home: Just as

IDEA sets goals for students in the classroom, parents should set goals around attendance and track it at home.

7. Have a School Calendar with Scheduled Days Off: Be sure to get a copy of IDEA’s academic calendar. 8. Ensure Your Child is Truly Sick: Students often feign illness so they do not have to come to school.

9. Avoid Tardiness: Students who are tardy to school not

only miss out on instructional opportunities, but depending on how tardy they are, they may also miss out on breakfast.

10. Seek Help: Your students’ teachers, administrators, and

school are here to support you and your child if you are having a hard time with attendance. Parents and families can have a direct impact on a student’s attendance at school.

IMPACT JUNE 2016

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81


 // BACK TO SCHOOL BASICS

STUDENT HEALTH SERVICES

The Health Services team provides basic first aid to students with minor injuries and illnesses. The clinic staff members tend to students’ medical needs, maintain student medical records, conduct state-mandated health screenings, and communicate regularly with parents and staff members. The clinic staff members will administer medications/procedures to students with physician orders and parent consent forms when needed. Texas state law requires students attending school to be immunized against certain vaccine preventable diseases. The Immunization Branch encourages you to get your child vaccinated early so as to avoid the end-of-summer vaccination rush. Getting your child vaccinated protects your child’s health and that of the community. IDEA Public Schools in partnership with On Guard Community Services provides vaccines to our students. If necessary, please make an appointment to get your child vaccinated as soon as possible. Remember, students cannot attend school without the appropriate documentation for the required vaccines or a valid medical or conscientious exemption.

Immunization Requirements 2016-2017 Pre-K (4-year-olds)

• 4 doses of DPT/DTaP/DT/TdaP/Td • 3 doses Polio • 1 dose MMR received on or after the 1st birthday* • 3 doses Hib (one of which must be on or after 12 months) or 1 dose Hib after 15 months of age • 2 doses Hepatitis A received on or after 1st birthday* • 3 doses Hepatitis B • Pneumococcal Conjugate (Prevnar, PCV7) - 3 doses given with one dose given after the age of 12 months, or 2 doses if given between 12-24 months, or 1 dose if given after 24 months • 1 dose Varicella on or after the first birthday (if child has not had chickenpox) *

Kindergarten & 1st Grade through 6th Grade

• 5 doses DPT/DtaP/DT/TdaP/Td including one received on or after the 4th birthday (unless the 4th dose was on or after the 4th birthday, then 4 doses) • 4 doses Polio, including one received on or after the fourth birthday (unless the 3rd dose was on or after the 4th birthday, then 3 doses) ** • 2 doses MMR received on or after the 1st birthday * • 2 doses of Hepatitis A received on or after 1st birthday* • 3 doses Hepatitis B • 2 doses Varicella on or after the first birthday (if child has not had chicken pox) *

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7th Grade

• 3 doses DPT/DtaP/Td/Tdap with one dose on or after the 4th birthday • 1 booster dose of tetanus/diphtheria/pertussis containing vaccine (if at least 5 years have passed since last tetanus containing vaccine. The booster MUST be given once the 5 year time period has been met.) • 3 doses Polio with one dose on or after the 4th birthday (Polio vaccine is not required for students 18 years or older.) • 2 doses MMR (or 1 dose of Measles and 1 MMR) received on or after the 1st birthday * • 3 doses Hepatitis B • 2 doses of Varicella (if the student has not had the chickenpox disease) • 1 dose of Meningococcal

8th Grade through 12th Grade

• 3 doses DPT/DtaP/DT/Td/Tdap with one dose on or after the 4th birthday (One dose must be within the last 10 years) • 3 doses Polio with one dose on or after the 4th birthday (Polio vaccine is not required for students 18 years or older.) • 2 doses MMR (or 1 Measles and 1 MMR) received on or after the 1st birthday * • 3 doses Hepatitis B • 2 doses of Varicella (if the student has not had the chickenpox disease) • 1 dose of Meningococcal




2016-17 ACADEMIC CALENDAR * RGV & Austin

August S

7

October

September

M

T

W

T

F

S

1

2

3

4

5

6

8

9 10 11 12 13

S

4

M

5

T

W

6

7

T

F

S

1

2

3

8

9 10

S

M

T

W

T

THE COLOR KEY F

S

1 2

3

4

5

6

7

11 12 13 14 15 16 17

9 10 11 12 13 14 15

21 22 23 24 25 26 27

18 19 20 21 22 23 24

16 17 18 19 20 21 22

28 29 30 31

25 26 27 28 29 30

23 24 25 26 27 28 29 30 31

S

6

M

7

December

T

W

T

F

S

1

2

3

4

5

8

9 10 11 12

S

4

M

5

T

W

6

7

M

T

W

T

F

S

3

1

2

3

4

5

6

7

9 10

8

9 10 11 12 13 14

S

1

2

8

13 14 15 16 17 18 19

11 12 13 14 15 16 17

15 16 17 18 19 20 21

20 21 22 23 24 25 26

18 19 20 21 22 23 24

22 23 24 25 26 27 28

27 28 29 30

25 26 27 28 29 30 31

29 30 31

February S

5

M

6

T

7

March

W

T

F

S

1

2

3

4

8

9 10 11

S

5

M

6

T

7

2/20 & 4/14

8/13 & 06/03

S

F

BAD WEATHER DAYS

TEACHER WORK DAYS

January

T

8/15 & 06/02

8

14 15 16 17 18 19 20

November

FIRST/LAST DAY OF SCHOOL

PROFESSIONAL DEVELOPMENT

Students do not need to attend classes on these dates.

8/8 - 8/12, 10/21, 1/5 - 1/6, 2/10, 3/10 EARLY RELEASE DAYS

9/23, 11/11

April

W

T

F

S

1

2

3

4

8

9 10 11

S

M

T

W

T

F

S

1 2

3

4

5

6

7

8

12 13 14 15 16 17 18

12 13 14 15 16 17 18

9 10 11 12 13 14 15

19 20 21 22 23 24 25

19 20 21 22 23 24 25

16 17 18 19 20 21 22

26 27 28

26 27 28 29 30 31

23 24 25 26 27 28 29

HOLIDAYS

Labor Day 9/5 Columbus Day 10/10 Thanksgiving 11/21 - 11/25 Winter Break 12/22 - 01/04 MLK Jr. Day 1/16 Spring Break 3/13 - 3/17 Memorial Day 5/29

30

May S

7

June

M

T

W

T

F

S

1

2

3

4

5

6

8

9 10 11 12 13

S

4

M

5

T 6

W

7

T

F

S

1

2

3

8

9 10

14 15 16 17 18 19 20

11 12 13 14 15 16 17

21 22 23 24 25 26 27

18 19 20 21 22 23 24

28 29 30 31

25 26 27 28 29 30

*This calendar is subject to change pending updates made in surrounding school districts and inclement weather. Date issued: 2.13.16.

IMPACT JUNE 2016

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83




2016-17 ACADEMIC CALENDAR * Brownsville

August S

7

September

M

T

W

T

F

S

1

2

3

4

5

6

8

9 10 11 12 13

S

4

M

5

T

W

6

7

October

T

F

S

1

2

3

8

9 10

S

M

T

W

T

THE COLOR KEY F

S

1 2

3

4

5

6

7

11 12 13 14 15 16 17

9 10 11 12 13 14 15

21 22 23 24 25 26 27

18 19 20 21 22 23 24

16 17 18 19 20 21 22

28 29 30 31

25 26 27 28 29 30

23 24 25 26 27 28 29 30 31

S

6

M

7

December

T

W

T

F

S

1

2

3

4

5

8

9 10 11 12

S

4

M

5

T

W

6

7

M

T

W

T

F

S

3

1

2

3

4

5

6

7

9 10

8

9 10 11 12 13 14

S

1

2

8

13 14 15 16 17 18 19

11 12 13 14 15 16 17

15 16 17 18 19 20 21

20 21 22 23 24 25 26

18 19 20 21 22 23 24

22 23 24 25 26 27 28

27 28 29 30

25 26 27 28 29 30 31

29 30 31

February S

5

M

6

T

7

March

W

T

F

S

1

2

3

4

8

9 10 11

S

5

M

6

T

7

2/24 & 4/14

8/13 & 06/03

S

F

BAD WEATHER DAYS

TEACHER WORK DAYS

January

T

8/15 & 06/02

8

14 15 16 17 18 19 20

November

FIRST/LAST DAY OF SCHOOL

PROFESSIONAL DEVELOPMENT

Students do not need to attend classes on these dates.

8/8 - 8/12, 10/21, 1/5 - 1/6, 2/10, 3/10 EARLY RELEASE DAYS

9/23, 11/11

April

W

T

F

S

1

2

3

4

8

9 10 11

S

M

T

W

T

F

S

1 2

3

4

5

6

7

8

12 13 14 15 16 17 18

12 13 14 15 16 17 18

9 10 11 12 13 14 15

19 20 21 22 23 24 25

19 20 21 22 23 24 25

16 17 18 19 20 21 22

26 27 28

26 27 28 29 30 31

23 24 25 26 27 28 29

HOLIDAYS

Labor Day 9/5 Columbus Day 10/10 Thanksgiving 11/21 - 11/25 Winter Break 12/22 - 01/04 MLK Jr. Day 1/16 Spring Break 3/13 - 3/17 Memorial Day 5/29

30

May S

7

June

M

T

W

T

F

S

1

2

3

4

5

6

8

9 10 11 12 13

S

4

M

5

T 6

W

7

T

F

S

1

2

3

8

9 10

14 15 16 17 18 19 20

11 12 13 14 15 16 17

21 22 23 24 25 26 27

18 19 20 21 22 23 24

28 29 30 31

25 26 27 28 29 30

*This calendar is subject to change pending updates made in surrounding school districts and inclement weather. Date issued: 2.13.16.

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IMPACT JUNE 2016


2016-17 ACADEMIC CALENDAR * San Antonio

August S

7

October

September

M

T

W

T

F

S

1

2

3

4

5

6

8

9 10 11 12 13

S

4

M

5

T

W

6

7

T

F

S

1

2

3

8

9 10

S

M

T

W

T

THE COLOR KEY F

S

1 2

3

4

5

6

7

11 12 13 14 15 16 17

9 10 11 12 13 14 15

21 22 23 24 25 26 27

18 19 20 21 22 23 24

16 17 18 19 20 21 22

28 29 30 31

25 26 27 28 29 30

23 24 25 26 27 28 29 30 31

S

6

M

7

December

T

W

T

F

S

1

2

3

4

5

8

9 10 11 12

S

4

M

5

T

W

6

7

M

T

W

T

F

S

3

1

2

3

4

5

6

7

9 10

8

9 10 11 12 13 14

S

1

2

8

13 14 15 16 17 18 19

11 12 13 14 15 16 17

15 16 17 18 19 20 21

20 21 22 23 24 25 26

18 19 20 21 22 23 24

22 23 24 25 26 27 28

27 28 29 30

25 26 27 28 29 30 31

29 30 31

February S

5

M

6

T

7

March

W

T

F

S

1

2

3

4

8

9 10 11

S

5

M

6

T

7

4/28

8/13 & 06/03

S

F

BAD WEATHER DAYS

TEACHER WORK DAYS

January

T

8/15 & 06/02

8

14 15 16 17 18 19 20

November

FIRST/LAST DAY OF SCHOOL

PROFESSIONAL DEVELOPMENT

Students do not need to attend classes on these dates.

8/8 - 8/12, 10/21, 1/5 - 1/6, 2/10, 3/10 EARLY RELEASE DAYS

9/23, 11/11

April

W

T

F

S

1

2

3

4

8

9 10 11

S

M

T

W

T

F

S

1 2

3

4

5

6

7

8

12 13 14 15 16 17 18

12 13 14 15 16 17 18

9 10 11 12 13 14 15

19 20 21 22 23 24 25

19 20 21 22 23 24 25

16 17 18 19 20 21 22

26 27 28

26 27 28 29 30 31

23 24 25 26 27 28 29

HOLIDAYS

Labor Day 9/5 Columbus Day 10/10 Thanksgiving 11/21 - 11/25 Winter Break 12/23 - 01/04 MLK Jr. Day 1/16 Presidents’ Day 2/20 Spring Break 3/13 - 3/17 Good Friday 4/14 Memorial Day 5/29

30

May S

7

June

M

T

W

T

F

S

1

2

3

4

5

6

8

9 10 11 12 13

S

4

M

5

T 6

W

7

T

F

S

1

2

3

8

9 10

14 15 16 17 18 19 20

11 12 13 14 15 16 17

21 22 23 24 25 26 27

18 19 20 21 22 23 24

28 29 30 31

25 26 27 28 29 30

*This calendar is subject to change pending updates made in surrounding school districts and inclement weather. Date issued: 2.13.16.

IMPACT JUNE 2016

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ď € // RESOURCES

Support College For All Children Help us continue to support College For All Children and provide our students with more opportunities by giving to IDEA Public Schools. GIVE ONLINE TODAY AT donate.ideapublicschools.org

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IMPACT JUNE 2016


Meal Charge Policy 

The goal of IDEA Public School’s (IDEA) Child Nutrition Program (CNP) is to provide students with healthy meals each day.   Negative meal account balances place a large financial burden on IDEA.  The purpose of this policy is for IDEA CNP to be  compliant with federal & state policy, and to provide oversight and accountability for the collection of outstanding student  meal balances.    As part of this Meal Charge Policy, IDEA CNP may provide a Courtesy Meal for students who receive reimbursable meals but  do not have money to pay.   A courtesy meal consists of a cheese sandwich, white milk and a fruit during lunch service.   The  cost of the meal is absorbed by CNP.  Campus leaders decide if courtesy meals are implemented at their campus.  They will  also decide the negative dollar amount threshold at which courtesy meals will be implemented.    

Parents may provide their own child with breakfast, lunch or snacks. Students may not share food from home with other  students.    The procedures of the Meal Charge Policy can be found at “Meal Charges Procedures”. 

Courtesy Meals and Negative Charges  For campuses who decide to implement courtesy meals, students with a zero dollar balance in their meal account will be  allowed to charge to their accounts the number of meals set by their campus.  After the limit of meals allowed have been  charged students are provided the option to receive a courtesy meal at no charge.    Negative balances must be cleared in a timely manner.      Every effort is made to contact the parent concerning low and negative account balances.  Cafeteria management document  all written and verbal communication with parents.  Households with low and negative meal account balances will now be  contacted via telephone, text & email on a weekly basis until the negative balance is paid.    Payment  Money may be deposited into the student’s account to purchase reimbursable meals. 

Visit http://www.myschoolbucks.com  to  make  online  payments  quickly  and  securely.    Parents  can  check  their  children’s  balance anytime online.  You will be asked to input your child’s ID number and campus name.  We recommend parents set  low balance reminders on their accounts. 

Cash, money  orders,  checks  &  credit  cards  are  acceptable  methods  of  payment.    These  payments  can  be  made  at  the          student’s cafeteria or designated area.  Over the phone credit card payments are also available.    IDEA CNP offers payment plans on all negative balance accounts.  If you would like to elect this option, please contact your  campus cafeteria management. 

Free or Reduced Meals  Students enrolled in IDEA on the last day of class, will be allowed to continue their meal status (Free, Reduced Price, and Paid)  for the first 30 days of the following school year.  In accordance with Federal civil rights law and U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) civil rights regulations and policies, the USDA, its Agencies, offices, and employees, and institutions participating in or administering USDA programs are prohibited from discriminating based on race, color, national origin, sex, disability, age, or reprisal or retaliation for prior civil rights activity in any program or activity conducted or funded by USDA. Persons with disabilities who require alternative means of communication for program information (e.g. Braille, large print, audiotape, American Sign Language, etc.), should contact the Agency (State or local) where they applied for benefits. Individuals who are deaf, hard of hearing or have speech disabilities may contact USDA through the Federal Relay Service at (800) 877-8339. Additionally, program information may be made available in languages other than English. To file a program complaint of discrimination, complete the USDA Program Discrimination Complaint Form, (AD-3027) found online at: http://www.ascr.usda.gov/complaint_filing_cust.html, and at any USDA office, or write a letter addressed to USDA and provide in the letter all of the information requested in the form. To request a copy of the complaint form, call (866) 632-9992. Submit your completed form or letter to USDA by: (1) mail: U.S. Department of Agriculture, Office of the Assistant Secretary for Civil Rights, 1400 Independence Avenue, SW, Washington, D.C. 202509410; (2) fax: (202) 690-7442; or (3) email: program.intake@usda.gov. This institution is an equal opportunity provider.

 

IMPACT JUNE 2016

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 // RESOURCES

Póliza de Cargos de Comida    El objetivo de IDEA Public Schools (IDEA) Programa de Nutrición Infantil (CNP) es proporcionar a los estudiantes con comidas  saludables todos los días. Saldos negativos de las cuentas de la comida ponen una gran carga financiera en IDEA.  El propósito  de esta póliza es que IDEA CNP siga los reglamentos federales y estatales, y para proporcionar la supervisión y la rendición  de cuentas sobre el cobro de los saldos sobresalientes de alimentos de los estudiantes.    Como parte de esta póliza, IDEA CNP puede proporcionar una comida de cortesía para los estudiantes que reciben comidas  rembolsables, pero no tienen dinero para pagar.  Una comida de cortesía consiste en un sándwich de queso, la elección de  la leche, y una fruta/vegetal durante el servicio de comida. El costo de la comida es absorbida por CNP.  Los líderes de cada  campus deciden si las comidas de cortesía se implementan en su campus.  También decidirán el límite de saldo negativo en  la que se llevarán a cabo las comidas de cortesía.            Los  padres  pueden  proporcionar  a  su  estudiante  con  el  desayuno,  la  comida  o  aperitivos.    Los  estudiantes  no  pueden  compartir la comida de casa con otros estudiantes.   

Los procedimientos de esta póliza se pueden encontrar en " Procedimientos de Cargos de Comidas”.   

Comidas de Cortesía y Cargos Negativos   Para los campus que deciden poner en práctica las comidas de cortesía, los estudiantes con un saldo de cero dólares en su  cuenta de alimentos pueden cobrar a sus cuentas el número de comidas establecido por su campus. Después de que el límite  de comidas permitidas ha sido cargado, le proporcionaran  los estudiantes la opción de recibir una comida de cortesía sin  cargo.     Los saldos negativos se deben de ser liquidados de manera oportuna.     Se hará todo lo posible para comunicarse con los padres sobre los saldos de comidas bajos y negativos.  La Gerencia de  cafetería documentaran todas las comunicaciones escritas y verbales con los padres.  Los hogares con saldos de comida  bajos o negativos serán contactados por teléfono, correo electrónico y texto semanalmente hasta que se pague el saldo  negativo.    Pagos  Dinero puede ser depositado en la cuenta del estudiante para la compra de comidas reembolsables.    Visita http://www.myschoolbucks.com para hacer pagos en línea de forma rápida y segura.  Padres de familia pueden revisar  el balance de sus hijos en cualquier momento por internet.  Se les pedirá el número de identificación de estudiante y el  nombre de su campus. Recomendamos a los padres establecer avisos de saldo bajos en sus cuentas.    Efectivo, giros postales, cheques y tarjetas de crédito son métodos aceptables de pago.  Estos pagos se pueden hacer en la  cafetería del estudiante o área designada.  Pagos de tarjeta de crédito vía telefónica son aceptables.    IDEA CNP ofrece planes de pagos en todas las cuentas de balance negativo.  Si desea elegir esta opción, por favor, póngase  en contacto con la gerencia de su cafetería.    Comidas Gratis o a Precio Reducido   Los estudiantes inscritos en IDEA en el último día de clase se les permitirá continuar su estado de elegibilidad (gratis, precio  reducido, o pagado) durante los primeros 30 días del año escolar siguiente.    De conformidad con la Ley Federal de Derechos Civiles y los reglamentos y políticas de derechos civiles del Departamento de Agricultura de los EE. UU. (USDA, por sus siglas en inglés), se prohíbe que el USDA, sus agencias, oficinas, empleados e instituciones que participan o administran programas del USDA discriminen sobre la base de raza, color, nacionalidad, sexo, discapacidad, edad, o en represalia o venganza por actividades previas de derechos civiles en algún programa o actividad realizados o financiados por el USDA. Las personas con discapacidades que necesiten medios alternativos para la comunicación de la información del programa (por ejemplo, sistema Braille, letras grandes, cintas de audio, lenguaje de señas americano, etc.), deben ponerse en contacto con la agencia (estatal o local) en la que solicitaron los beneficios. Las personas sordas, con dificultades de audición o discapacidades del habla pueden comunicarse con el USDA por medio del Federal Relay Service [Servicio Federal de Retransmisión] al (800) 877-8339. Además, la información del programa se puede proporcionar en otros idiomas. Para presentar una denuncia de discriminación, complete el Formulario de Denuncia de Discriminación del Programa del USDA, (AD-3027) que está disponible en línea en: http://www.ascr.usda.gov/complaint_filing_cust.html y en cualquier oficina del USDA, o bien escriba una carta dirigida al USDA e incluya en la carta toda la información solicitada en el formulario. Para solicitar una copia del formulario de denuncia, llame al (866) 632-9992. Haga llegar su formulario lleno o carta al USDA por: (1) correo: U.S. Department of Agriculture, Office of the Assistant Secretary for Civil Rights, 1400 Independence Avenue, SW, Washington, D.C. 20250- 9410; (2) fax: (202) 690-7442; o (3) correo electrónico: program.intake@usda.gov. Esta institución es un proveedor que ofrece igualdad de oportunidades.

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Dickies® bottoms are approved IDEA Public School uniforms

BRING THIS CARD IN FOR

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SCHOOL!

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AUGUST 7th – 9th

OPEN SUNDAYS 7/19 – 8/23 , 10am – 5pm

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© WILLIAMSON-DICKIE MFG. CO.

IMPACT JUNE 2016

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 // RESOURCES

Package 1

2 shirts

Package Package 3 Package 2 2

BEST SAVINGS OF THE YEAR - Pricing June 1st - July 25th, 2016

3 shirts

1 light jacket

+

+ free name embroidery

+ free name embroidery

+

+

MAIN OFFICE MCALLEN

Pack age S $14.4 avings 0

1913 W. Houston Avenue McAllen, Texas 78501 956.627.6161 office

$57.00 tax not included

1 light jacket

4 shirts

$47.00 tax not included

1 light jacket

+

Discounts available at the following locations and at www.ideashirts.net

Packa ge Sa $12.9 vings 0

free name embroidery

Packa ge Sa $15.9 vings 0

$67.00 tax not included

MAIN OFFICE - MCALLEN

1913 W. Houston Avenue McAllen, Texas 78501 956.627.6161 office • www.ideashirts.net

Package 1

2 shirts

Package Package 3 Package 2 2

BEST SAVINGS OF THE YEAR - Pricing June 1st - July 25th, 2016

3 shirts

1 light jacket

+

+ free name embroidery

+ free name embroidery

+

+ free name embroidery

Pack age S $14.4 avings 0

$57.00

Discounts available at the following locations and at www.ideashirts.net

San Antonio 10720 Perrin Beitel Rd. San Antonio, Tx 78217

tax not included

1 light jacket

4 shirts

$47.00 tax not included

1 light jacket

+

Packa ge Sa $12.9 vings 0

Packa ge Sa $15.9 vings 0

$67.00

MAIN OFFICE MCALLEN 1913 W. Houston Avenue McAllen, Texas 78501 956.627.6161 office

tax not included

MAIN OFFICE - MCALLEN

1913 W. Houston Avenue McAllen, Texas 78501 956.627.6161 office • www.ideashirts.net

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ideapublicschools.org

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IMPACT JUNE 2016

IMPACT June 2016 Volume 3 Issue 1 RGV English  
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