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Back to school Guide

2015-2016 school year

STISD Moving forward Holidays Dress code

Bring Your Own Device The new

Class Rank


Welcome back!

Welcome, STISD students and families, to the 2015-2016 school year. The beginning of the school year is always an exciting time. It is a fresh start, full of possibility and promise. This year, we are kicking it off with a renewed sense of direction for our district, one focused on providing a universe of educational opportunities to all of our students to allow them to reach the highest levels possible of college and career preparation. Marla M. Guerra, Ed.D. Superintendent of Schools

forward we continue to cultivate existing partnerships while also extending As the district moves forward, invitations to those interested in teaming up with us. We are strengthening our academic offerings both inside and outside of the classroom through new programs and enrichment opportunities.

This year, we will also open the doors to our second middle school, Rising Scholars Academy of South Texas, while Medical Academy will transition into its new state-of-the-art facility in Olmito. We are welcoming new students and new staff and faculty members to the district, growing our district family and bringing new ideas and perspectives to the table. Whether you are a new or returning student, this year will be an exciting one. Please take a few moments to review this Back-to-School Guide, as it includes important information for the 2015-2016 school year. yea we hope that you will commit to being the best you can be academically. We commit to supporting As we begin this new year, you in this endeavor! Have a wonderful school year. Sincerely,

Marla M. Guerra, Ed.D.

Your Campus Principals:

Nora Casarez, Ed.D., BETA Principal


Irma Castillo Sci Tech Principal

Ana Castro, STPA Principal

Harry Goette Medical Academy Principal

Barbara Heater, Ph.D., Med High Principal

The most current information is always available at

Carrie Sauceda Rising Scholars Academy Principal

2015-2016 Get connected!

Helpful tip: Look for the icons throughout the guide to show you what to look for on the district website. Visit our district & campus websites for resources, news and up-to-date information.


+Social Media: @southtexasisd


Interested in serving the district or your child’s campus? Visit the district website to learn more about how.


Be on the lookout for a fresh look to our monthly district newsletters. Beginning in August, we will begin publishing a new e-newsletter. Visit the Public Relations section of our website for more information.

nutrition Breakfast • Full price: $1.25 • Reduced price: $.30 Lunch • Full price: $2.75 • Reduced price: $.40 • Adult price: $3.25

+District Councils & Committees -Educational Improvement Council (EIC) -Campus Parent Student Teacher Organization (PSTO) -School Health Advisory Council (SHAC) For more information, please visit: & Family-Get Connected Nutrition


Menus are posted monthly on the district website at under Departments – Nutrition. To apply for the Free and Reduced Lunch Program, download the form on the district website, or pick up the form from the cafeteria manager. Foods with minimal nutritional value (sodas, candy, popcorn, etc.) may only be purchased after school. For more information, call Ray Coody at 514-4236 or visit

tRANSPORTATION STISD provides bus transportation for its students. Students are picked up and dropped off at their designated hometown location each school day. Students who live the furthest from their school will be picked up at an earlier time than those who live closer. The bus leaves at approximately 4:15 p.m. each day. The tutorial bus leaves at approximately 5:20 p.m. The bus schedule for the 2015-2016 school year will be posted online at by mid-August. For more information, contact the transportation manager at your child’s campus: Transportation contacts: BETA & STPA (Edinburg): Rudy Hernandez at 318-8523 or 564-3627 Med High & Sci Tech (Mercedes): Elva Villarreal at 514-4240 or 494-4962 Rising Scholars (San Benito): Eddie Guerra at 421-1223 or 532-1480 Medical Academy (Brownsville): Rolando Garcia at 214-6123 or 494-4986

The most current information is always available at


basic Information School Hours

IMportant dates cont.:

Regular Days 8:30 a.m. - 4:05 p.m., Monday - Friday Buses leave at approximately 4:15 p.m.

Holidays • Labor Day: September 7 • Columbus Day: October 12 • Thanksgiving Break: November 25-27 • Holiday Break: December 21-January 1 • President’s President Day: February 15 • Spring Break: March 14-18 • Easter Break: March 25 • Stress Day: April 25

Tutorial 4:15 - 5:15 p.m. on selected days Buses leave at approximately 5:20 p.m. p.m Libraries • Biblioteca Las Américas, Mercedes 7:45 a.m. - 5:30 p.m., Monday - Friday • Gateway to the World, Edinburg 7:30 a.m. - 5:15 p.m., Monday -Thursday 7:30 a.m. - 4:30 p.m., Friday • Medical Academy Library, Libra Olmito 8:00 a.m. - 5:00 p.m., Monday 8:00 a.m. - 5:15 p.m., Tuesday -Thursday 8:00 a.m. - 4:30 p.m., Friday. • Rising Scholars Library, San Benito 7:30 a.m. - 5:00 p.m., Monday - Friday

IMportant dates:

Nine-Week Reporting Periods • October 16 • December 18 • March 11 • June 2 Progress reports are released every three weeks. Exam Early Release Days • December 15, 16, 17, 18 (8:30 a.m. - 2:00 p.m.) • May 30, 31 and June 1, 2 (8:30 a.m. - 2:00 p.m.) Credit by Exam Test Dates • August 11-13 • November 17-19 • February 23-25 • June 7-9 Enrollment Dates

First Day of School: August 24 Last Day of First Semester: December 18 First Day of Second Semester: January 5 Last Day of School: June 2 Fall Open Houses • BETA: BE August 19 (Meet the Teacher Night) • Rising Scholars: August 20 (Meet the Teacher Night) • STPA: August 20 (Meet the Teacher Night) • Medical Academy: August 27 • Med High: September 1 • Sci Tech: September 8 Spring Open Houses STPA: February 11 • ST • Med High & Sci Tech: February 25 • BETA: March 1 • Medical Academy: March 3 • Rising Scholars: March 10


• Transfers for Second Semester: October 19-23 Only STISD students who are currently in the 7th and 9th grade are eligible to transfer at this time (upon availability). • Enrollment for Second Semester: November 3 Only students who are currently in the 7th and 9th grade are eligible to enroll at this time. time • Transfers for Upcoming School Year: November 30- December 4 Only STISD students who are currently in the 8th and 9th grade are eligible to transfer at this time. • Enrollment for Upcoming School Year: January 16 Only students outside of the district who are currently in the 6th, 7th, 8th and 9th grade are eligible to enroll at this time. for additional information Check http://ww regarding 2016-2017 enrollment, including exact start times by campus.

The most current information is always available at

Helpful Information Grading System • 90-100 = A • 80-89 = B • 75-79 = C • 70-74 = D • Below 70 = F (Students receive credit for a grade of 70 or higher.) Ranking System The ranking policy is currently undergoing revisions by the STISD Board of Directors. Beginning with the class of 2016, students will need to opt-in to receive their ranking. STISD is also creating a new scholastic honors program. For additional information, visit & Family- Class Rank Information. All high school courses are college preparatory and have a weight of 1.0. Pre-Advanced Placement courses in Grades 9 & 10 have a weight of 1.05. Advanced Placement and Dual Enrollment courses in Grades 11 & 12 have a weight of 1.10. International Baccalaureate (IB) courses have a weight of 1.15. To calculate the Grade Point Average (GPA) used for class ranking, multiply each grade by the weight factor (ex. 79 x 1.10 = 86.9) and then average the grades (ex. 86.9 + 75.6 + 84.7 + 84.0 + 90 + 92.4 = 513.6 / 6 = 85.6) To see the weight of all classes, go to, click on Policies and enter class ranking in the search engine. Attendance Attendance is crucial to a student’s academic success. State law requires that a student be present at least 90 percent of the days the class is being offered in order to receive credit. If a student is absent, absent the parent/guardian must call the school that day to report the reason for absence and then submit a written note for the absence within five days of the student’s return. For more information, speak with the PEIMS clerk at your child’s campus. Dress Code The district’s dress code is established to reinforce good grooming and hygiene, instill discipline, promote a disruption-free educational environment, avoid safety hazards and teach respect for authority. Students are expected to adhere to the following standards of dress and grooming: • Students should come to school well groomed and appropriately dressed Note: Examples of inappropriate dress include: backless or semi-backless blouses, see-through apparel, mesh stockings/blouses/shirts, low-cut blouses, jeans with cut-off waist bands, blouses with one shoulder only, excessively tight clothing, gang or cult-related clothing, rainbow-colored hair, absence of foundation garments, etc. This list is not meant to be all-inclusive.

Dress Code Cont. • Caps may be worn in the halls. Each teacher has the right to have students remove their caps in his/her classroom. • Female students are not allowed to wear short blouses that will reveal the waistline area. • All students are required to wear appropriate footwear while on school premises. Note: Due to safety reasons in laboratory situations, students are discouraged from wearing shower or beach thongs to school. For more information, read the school handbook and Student Code of Conduct. STISD Board of Directors The STISD Board of Directors is comprised of 24 members from Cameron, Hidalgo and Willacy Counties, making it the largest school board in the nation. Each county has four elected positions representing each County Commissioner’s Precinct. In addition, each county judge appoints a member to represent every 100,000 people. Elections for the board are held the first Tuesday of November on a biennial basis. The next board election will be held in November of 2016. Board meetings are open to the public and held at 7:00 p.m. on the fourth Tuesday of every month, except December. The schedule of board meetings is available on the district website. For additional information on the board, visit www.stisd.netAbout Us- Board of Directors, or call 514-4216. STISD Board of Directors Members: Joe L. L Lopez of Brownsville (President), Douglas E. Buchanan of Raymondville (Vice President), Maria G. Leal of Palmhurst (Secretary), Graciela Camargo of Weslaco, Eduardo L. Cantu of Los Fresnos, Yolanda Cuellar of Progreso Lakes, Javier Farias of McAllen, Richard Fleming, M.D. of Mission, Adrian Garcia of Brownsville, Homero Garcia of Weslaco, Margarita Garcia of San Juan, Sylvia Sánchez Garza of Edinburg, Hector Gonzales of Lyford, Eduardo Gonzalez of Edinburg, Filomena Leo, Ed.D. of La Joya, Robert J. Lerma of Brownsville, Henry LeVrier of Brownsville, Ramon Montalvo, III of Weslaco, Eliceo Muñoz, III of Brownsville, Berta Palacios of San Juan, Irma Perez-Treviño of Harlingen, Israel G. Quintanilla of Raymondville, John L. Solis, III of Raymondville and Rick Villarreal, D.D.S. of Brownsville

The most current information is always available at


programs & services Online Gradebook Parents and students may access grades and current assignments and even correspond with teachers through the Infinite Campus Student Information portal. The school will provide you with the web link and your user name and password.

Support System Students have a strong support system at STISD to help them with any academic, personal, medical, emotional or developmental challenges. All students have access to a counselor, nurse, wellness specialist, social worker and diagnostician.

Bring Your Own Device (BYOD) Initiative Through this initiative, initiative students can bring their own mobile devices to school to use as learning tools inside and out of the classroom, under the direction of their instructors. There are endless possibilities for integrating technology into the classroom to increase student achievement. The district values the knowledge of technology that our students possess; through the BYOD ini tiative, it plans to facilitate the use of the tools with which students are most comfortable (smart phones, tablets, laptops, e-readers, etc.) to increase interest and success. Wi-Fi is available throughout the district facilities and on the buses.

STISD Education Foundation The STISD Education Foundation is a non-profit organization dedicated to raising money for college scholarships and enrichment opportunities for STISD students. The Foundation accepts applications for its scholarships in the spring.

For additional information on the guidelines in place for this initiative, reference pages 6-8 of the 2015-2016 Student Code of Conduct. All district acceptable use policies, guidelines and filtering will apply. Parent Connection The Parent Connection program encourages parents to participate in the educational, social and emotional development of their son or daughter, and helps them create a support and networking system with each other.

The STISD Education Foundation assists with funding two Summer Leadership and Virtual College Symposiums – one for rising 8th-graders and one for rising juniors. These programs are open to all students within the two eligible grade levels. For more information, visit, or call STISD Executive Director Patricia Villaseñor at 956-357-8881. Half-Day Program Through the Half-Day Career & Technology Program, eligible students can take the majority of their classes at their home high school and career and technology classes at an STISD high school. STISD offers the following courses: • BETA: Technology; • Med High: Nursing Assistant; • Medical Academy: Culinary Arts and Patient Care Assistant; and • Sci Tech: Automotive Technology, Construction Technology & Welding. For more information, call Belinda Simons at 514-4257.

A schedule of meetings for the 2015-2016 school year will be posted on the district website under Parents & Family- Parent Connection. For more information on the Parent Connection program, call Cindy Ponce at 383-1684, Candace Guillen at 421-1212, or Nancy Talavera at 574-3012. Migrant Program Every STISD school has a counselor and/or social worker that can assist children of migrant families with school enrollment, credit recovery, laptop and book loaning, social services and other related services.


The most current information is always available at


Central Offce • Superintendent: Marla M. Guerra, Ed.D. 956-565-2454 or 800-217-8839 100 Med High Dr., Mercedes, TX 78570 BETA • Principal: Nora Casarez, Ed.D. 956-383-1684 or 800-474-6040 510 S. S Sugar Rd., Edinburg, TX 78539 Med High • Principal: Barbara Heater, Ph.D. 956-565-2237 or 866-546-2263 700 Med High Dr., Mercedes, TX 78570 Medical Academy • Principal: Harry Goette 800-784-7722 956-214-6100 or 80010650 North Expressway 77/83, Olmito, TX 78575 Rising Scholars • Principal: Carrie Sauceda 956-399-4358 or 877-563-1100 151 S. Helen Moore Rd., San Benito, TX 78586 Sci Tech • Principal: Irma Castillo 956-565-4620 or 866-611-3622 900 Med High Dr., Mercedes, TX 78570 STPA • Principal: Ana Castro 956-381-5522 or 866-781-7872 724 S. Sugar Rd., Edinburg, TX 78539 STISD 100 Med High Dr. Mercedes, TX 78570

Phone Numbers Departments • Business: Marla Knaub • Nutrition: Ray Coody • Enrollment: Amanda Odom • Half-Day Program: Belinda Simons (Post-hire): Marla Knaub • Human Resources (Post-hire) • Human Resources (Pre-hire): Jeff Hembree • Instruction/Curriculum: Jeff Hembree • Library Services: Ann Vickman • Maintenance/Operations: J.P. Villarreal • Public Information: Amanda Odom • Special Services: Josie Garcia • Summer School: School Jeff Hembree • Technology Services: Inquire at campus • Transportation: Elva Villarreal Not sure which department or person you need? Call 565-2454 or e-mail Emergency Phone Numbers (after 5:00 p.m.) • BETA • Med High • Medical Academy • Rising Scholars • Sci Tech • STPA • Back-up 1 • Back-up 2

Non-Profit Organization U.S. Postage PAID McAllen, TX Permit No. 333

514-4222 514-4236 514-4255 514-4257 514-4222 514-4224 514-4224 514-4268 514-4211 514-4255 388-2619 514-4224 514-4240

564-3627 494-4962 494-4986 532-1480  494-4962 564-3627  494-4962 491-9056

STISD 2015-16 Back to School Guide  
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