Tuesday, September 27, 2016

Attend SBISD College Night on October 11

College Night is an evening designed especially for students and their families to learn more about the many post-secondary options available to students after high school. The evening program is organized as a one-stop “shopping” event. In recent years, up to 3,000 people have attended and we are expecting just as strong turn of a turn out in light of hosting this event on only one night this year.

We will welcome over 200 representatives from regional, state and national colleges and universities, both public and private, as well as technical and military-related institutions on October 11, 2016 from 6-8pm at Spring Woods High School.

In addition, due to the early opening of the federal and state financial aid process, we will host financial aid information tables and also welcome representatives from Wells Fargo to share information about saving for higher education.

Students and parents can review a weekly updated list of college fair participants.

October 11, 2016
SBISD College Night
6-8 p.m.
Spring Woods High School

2045 Gessner Rd. 77080

Lastly, the Texas Vaccine Institute will be offering the Meningococcal Vaccine again this year at College Night.  Accepted insurances are Aetna TRS Active Care I, Aetna TRS Active Care II, Aetna TRS Choice POS II, United Health Care, Blue Cross Blue Shield PPO, Medicaid, and Amerigroup Medicaid.  Students covered by these insurances do not have to pay anything and will need to submit a copy of the insurance card and the student’s DOB must be written on the copy.  Students without insurance or with insurance that does not cover the Meningococcal Vaccine will be required to pay $15.00.

*Overflow parking will be available with shuttle service to/from Spring Woods High School throughout the evening

**SBISD regrets that College Night conflicts with the Yom Kippur Holiday. We have worked since July to try and change the date to no avail. For families impacted by this scheduling conflict, please note that Katy and Alief ISD have graciously offered our families the opportunity to attend their district events as follows:

October 5, 2016
Katy ISD College Night
Merrell Center
6-8:30 p.m.
Leonard E. Merrell Center


October 13, 2016
Alief ISD College Night
Alief Taylor High School
6-8 p.m.
Alief Taylor High School


Tips for students attending the college fair >>

Friday, September 23, 2016

Watch D.O.G.S. (Dads of Great Students) Form at Two Campuses

A WatchDOG volunteer helps out in a classroom recently at Rummel Creek Elementary.
The way Chris Holmes described it to a Houston Chronicle reporter, he was often the only man in attendance when the Rummel Creek Elementary School PTA met at the school. Dads wouldn’t come.

Holmes stopped being a lonely man overnight when more than 200 other fathers packed the school’s cafeteria during an informational meeting in August for a new volunteer program called Watch D.O.G.S. (Dads of Great Students). This group operates across Texas and the nation, helping fathers engage with their children in a structured way.

Dads at the evening sign-up session at Rummel Creek consumed 60 pizzas in less than an hour. They volunteered for 172 daylong volunteer sessions at the school.
View more photos of Watch D.O.G.S. at Rummel Creek >>

“It showed me how badly dads want to be involved, but they don’t know how,” Holmes told Chronicle reporter Shelby Webb.
Read Houston Chronicle story >>

Watch D.O.G.S volunteer Richard Houston joins sons Daniel, 5th grade, and David, 1st grade, at Meadow Wood Elementary School during a morning TV broadcast.
In 2013, Meadow Wood Elementary pioneered the Watch D.O.G.S. program for dads in Spring Branch ISD. It operates in more than 300 suburban schools across Houston. Rummel Creek’s Holmes shadowed Meadow Wood program dads.
Read CW39 story and watch the video >>

Meadow Wood Principal Pamela Redd introduced this program in an elementary school in Cypress-Fairbanks ISD years ago, and then brought it to Meadow Wood Elementary, where 110 dads from about 300 families are now involved.

She believes that demographics and changes in family work-school relationships are just a few reasons why such programs should be promoted.

“Students mostly see moms in schools, and many of the teachers in schools are women. Before this year (at Meadow Wood), we did not employ a male. (This year, the school has a male teaching assistant.) Having adult males around an elementary school is great for all kids,” she said.
View more photos of Watch D.O.G.S. at Meadow Wood >>

Recent studies by the U.S. Department of Education and the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention show that students perform better academically and are better behaved if fathers take an active role in their lives, including at school. An involved male adult may also boost student health measures and even help the students who see active Dads transition successfully from school life to careers, some studies contend.

Last year, Meadow Wood Elementary had its 110 Watch D.O.G.S. volunteers on campus for full-day sessions that range from morning student drop-off duties to classroom observations and one-on-one tutoring. Seventy new fathers signed up recently at the 500-student elementary, and more are expected to do so soon.

Once dads like Meadow Wood’s Richard Houston, who is new, and Jason Hare, an eager returning volunteer, are on campus, there’s a really strong reason why they won’t be leaving soon.

“My boys really wanted me to do this,” Houston said. “They saw other kids and all their friends with parents here, and they wanted me to do it, too.” Houston’s sons Daniel, a fifth-grader, and David, who is in first grade, grinned widely as they were announced to the entire school along with their dad on closed-circuit television as a part of a morning broadcast.

Jason Hare, a returning Watch D.O.G., joined at the beginning when middle school daughter, Grace, attended Meadow Wood. His son Jacob and daughter Sophie are two reasons he is back. “They’re so excited that I am being a Watch D.O.G. again,” Hare said.

At Rummel Creek Elementary recently, kids slapped the hands of two volunteer dads enthusiastically.

“One dad told me he felt like J.J. Watt with all the kids high-fiving him in the hallways,” Holmes told the Houston Chronicle. “One even asked him to sign a cast on his leg.”

Watch D.O.G. Kevin Rump is in his second year at Meadow Wood as the program coordinator. “I love that my son loves it so much, but this program has also given me insight and a window into what this school and the teachers do each day,” he adds.

Several volunteers like Rump noted that they learned so much about current education and teaching by following a school day schedule as a Watch D.O.G.

Rump said duties like listening to young students read aloud were inspiring for him, and especially different than his typical workday as a pension consultant.

“It was really neat and also refreshing to me to hear a student reading to me,” he said. “I don’t hear that during my regular (business) day.”

Students Honored for High Marks on AP Exams

Many eligible for college credit through testing program

The Advanced Placement (AP) program continues to grow in Spring Branch ISD, where more than 2,300 high school students scored high enough on AP Exams in 2016 to earn possible college credits in dozens of subject areas and courses.

Last spring, almost 5,700 AP Exams were taken by more than 2,600 students, an increase of more than 500 testers from a year ago.

The increase highlights efforts at every high school campus to recruit students to rigorous AP-level courses and then encourage them to take credit-level exams as courses are completed.

“It is encouraging not only to see the growth in the number of students taking AP exams, but the consistency in our scores as our AP program grows,” said SBISD Advanced Academic Studies Facilitator Amy Ellingson. “It is a testament to our Pre-AP and AP teachers, all of whom work diligently to ensure the success of our students.”

The College Board’s AP program allows high school students to take university-level courses ranging from English literature and composition to U.S. history as well as several levels of calculus and physics. SBISD students tested in 32 separate areas.

Students can potentially earn college credit by earning a score of 3, 4 or 5 on their AP Exams. In 2016, more than 55 percent of SBISD exams earned a 3, 4 or 5. The average district score was 2.76, which was much higher than the state’s average score of 2.51. The U.S. average score was 2.85 last year.

The College Board recognizes students for outstanding achievement on multiple exams with several separate award categories.

The AP Scholar Award is granted to students who receive scores of 3 or higher on three or more AP Exams. SBISD had 301 AP Scholar Award recipients in 2016, including six 10th-graders from Westchester Academy for International Studies.

The AP Scholar with Honor award is granted to students who receive an average score of 3.25 on all AP Exams taken and scores of a 3 or higher on five or more of these exams. SBISD had 93 of these award recipients last year.

The AP Scholar with Distinction is awarded to students who receive a 3.5 on all AP Exams taken and scores of 3 or higher on five or more of these exams. SBISD had 198 students earn this distinction in 2016.

The National AP Scholar Award is given to U.S. students who receive an average score of 4 on all AP Exams taken and scores a four or higher on eight or more exams. In SBISD last spring, 31 students earned this top distinction.

In all, 623 SBISD students earned one of these honors for their performance on AP Exams in 2016. By comparison, 568 students won similar honors in 2015.

Among highlights, 181 juniors from SBISD high schools who tested in spring 2016 earned the AP Scholar Award. (See below for these student names by high school)

“Our students put in countless hours to prepare, and it is so exciting to see students who understand that hard work will pay off for their future,” Advanced Academic Studies’ Amy Ellingson said.

“Fewer college classes to take means fewer classes to pay for and faster access to the classes that apply to their chosen field. Knowing that students are able to enter college with credits for classes is exciting and brings T-2-4 to life,” she also said.


AP Awards by Campus:

Memorial High School
(358 students honored)
129 students earned the AP Scholar Award
56 students earned the AP Scholar with Honors Award
148 students earned the AP Scholar with Distinction Award
25 students earned the AP National Scholar Award


Northbrook High School
(4 students honored)
4 students earned the AP Scholar Award


Spring Woods High School
(49 students honored)
40 students earned the AP Scholar Award
5 students earned the AP Scholar with Honors Award
4 students earned the AP Scholar with Distinction Award


Stratford High School
(201 students honored)
117 students earned the AP Scholar Award
32 students earned the AP Scholar with Honors Award
46 students earned the AP Scholar with Distinction Award
6 students earned the AP National Scholar Award


Westchester Academy for International Studies
(11 students honored)
11 students earned the AP Scholar Award




Current SBISD Students Issued AP Achievement Awards:


Memorial High School

Seniors who earned the AP Scholar Award: Breanna Alvarez, Rachel Amran, Timothy Bailey, Kathryn Belcher, Austin Bopp, Katherine Burcham, Amelia Caven, George Chirapurath, William Choi, Madison Dahmer, Kaveri Dixit, Elizabeth Eubank, Blaire Evans, Aidan Farmayan, William Guinn, Aria Herbst, Anthony Huynh, Rachel Jiang, Samuel Kersey, Brian Kim, Ha Eun Kim, Rebecca Kroger, David Lee, Rachel Lootens, Catherine Mastren, Marshall Matheny, Emma Mueller, Benjamin Neyland, Zabrina Nguyen, Rebecca Owens, Meaghan Pansacola-Rouch, Anastasia Papin, Jihwan Park, Ju Sung Park, Morgan Parker, Celine Patel, Nicole Rodriguez Oliva, Kyra Rubinstein, Darian Sedaghat, Frances Siller, Kate Sparenberg, Luke Tesarek, Annie Titterington, Margaret Vincent, Lauren Vu, Jing Wang, Zibo Wang, Julia Westwick

Seniors who earned the AP Scholar With Honor Award: Kaho Adachi, Richard Anderson, Alexis Bennett, Justin Bryant, Analisa Canto, Miguel Caranti, Arushi Guddanti, Christina Hruzek, Alex Hwang, Alexa Iannacone, Davis Kirchhofer, Sakurako Kobayashi, Claire Miller, Joanna Moy, Lan Nguyen, Davis Palmie, Ashley Park, Maya Prakash, Rachel Ray, Arun Ruhfus, Daniella Sanchez, Robert Trout, Liyun Xu

Seniors who earned the AP Scholar With Distinction Award: Christopher An, Devin Arrants, Elizabeth Bik, William Caesar, Carson De La Rosa, Julia Delaney, Daniel Fonseka, Joshua Gao, Joshua Glass, Connor Hanna, Max Hardy, Zachary Hattig, Trent Herndon, Yue Hu, Vincent Huang, Benjamin Hughes, Tiger Im, Jungeun Koo, Seung Mook Lee, Joy Lu, Mark Oldham, Jungwoo Park, Austin Peterson, Juliette Pferdehirt, Tucker Reinhardt, Simon Rysin, Andrew Su, Grace Winburne, Frank Yang


Stratford High School

Seniors who earned the AP Scholar Award: Madison Aycock, Arturo Benitez, Hannah Broom, Madison Bryant, Kellan Cerveny, Andrew Dawson, Michell Dias, Darius Dixon, Taylor Gee, Hasib Hamdi, Sadaf Hashemian, William Hastings, Cameron Henkel, Gabriel Herrera, Carly Keusseyan, Abigail Klasing, Ernest Kohnke, Sini Lehtinen, Claire Lewis, Patrick Lewis, Emily Lister, Bolin Mahaffey, William Manke, Elena McInroe, Nestor Mejia Velaswquez, Ezra Meyer, Alec Milazzo, Samdup Miller, Noor Rajab, Philip Salls, Tomas Samitier, Emma Silavong, Mia Trinh, Grayson Whelen, Heream Yang

Seniors who earned the AP Scholars with Honor Award: Kyle Brastrom, Jairo Cano-Farias, Caroline Crawford, Mark Duna, Matthew Hopper, Dania Khan, Alec Norman, Heavin Oh, Mary Schwabenland, Jessica Sheldon, Anna Skelly, Alyssa Stanford, Nathan Winn


Spring Woods High School

Seniors who earned the AP Scholar Award: Citlali Bataz, Bruce Beth, Christopher Call, Geoffrey Call, Preston Cheney, Christopher Kim, Amanda Lee, Joel Melendez, Tracy Nguyen, Courtney Obermiller, Heather Obermiller, Pamela Ortiz, Miguel Portillo, Dean Ramirez, Gloria Sparks, Lisa Tran, Quinn Walstead, Karah Welch, Xsana Yusef

Seniors who earned the AP Scholars With Honor Award: Katherine Koslan, Jeremiah Menslage

Westchester Academy for International Studies
(11 students honored)

Juniors who earned the AP Scholar Award: Kimberly Amaro, Jasmine Anderson, Samuel Escamilla, Daniel Jaimes, Marco Medina, Catalina Row
Seniors who earned the AP Scholar Award: Carmina Escobar, Michael Facundo, Chang Jeong, Samantha Verduzco


Monday, September 19, 2016

Two Campuses Earn TEA All-Distinctions Top Ratings

The Texas Education Agency has announced that more than 400 campuses across the state – including two Spring Branch ISD schools – achieved the Met Standard rating in the 2016 state accountability ratings and also earned all seven distinction designations applicable to their individual campus.

The SBISD campuses recognized for receiving all possible distinctions are district charter middle school Cornerstone Academy and highly innovative Spring Branch Academic Institute, formerly called the School for Highly Gifted Students TEA announced the all-distinction honors for schools on Sept. 14.

Many SBISD campuses earned one or more TEA distinctions, but not all possible.

The distinction designation is awarded to a district campus based on achievement in performance indicators relative to a group of 40 campuses of similar type, size and student demographics.

Depending on campus grade levels and type, the number of potential designations of distinction can vary. Up to seven distinction designations can be earned for the following:
  • Academic Achievement in English Language Arts/Reading;
  • Academic Achievement in Mathematics;
  • Academic Achievement in Science;
  • Academic Achievement in Social Studies;
  • Top 25 Percent: Student Progress;
  • Top 25 Percent: Closing Performance Gaps; and
  • Postsecondary Readiness
In making the state announcement, TEA Commissioner of Education Mike Morath noted that earning one or more distinctions is noteworthy and should be a source of pride in a school community.

“Earning all possible distinctions is a significant accomplishment and should signal to parents that there is extraordinary work taking place on that campus,” the state’s highest education officer said.
The SBISD Board of Trustees in April unanimously approved renaming the School for Highly Gifted Students as the Spring Branch Academic Institute.


The institute operates a “school within a school” concept at three campus locations – Valley Oaks Elementary, Spring Forest Middle and Stratford High. About 80 students identified as highly, exceptionally and profoundly gifted are provided learning opportunities by meeting individual abilities, strengths and interests.

Cornerstone Academy, with about 380 students enrolled, has provided a program of high academic success since it opened more than a decade ago. Since opening, this campus has earned TEA’s Exemplary rating yearly. Students are provided a challenging and advanced curriculum in all subject areas.

In addition, advanced technology and hands-on project methods are combined to pursue individual and group projects and learning methods.

To view the 2016 state accountability and distinction designations for all districts, charters and campuses in Texas, please visit the TEA website.

District Fine Arts Calendar (2016-2017)

Student Theater and Fine Arts events announced!

Student theater, band, choir and orchestra performances will be offered this year across Spring Branch ISD. Performances will include funny puppets, a premiere production and famous children’s stories and toe-tapping musicals.

The fall high school theater season ahead includes the world premiere of What’s My Color at Spring Woods High School. The musical was written by Australian playwright, Wendy Lewis, and composer Yuval Halpern.



Lewis and Halpern will spend a week in October working with student performers on campus. The musical premiere is billed as “perfect for children of all ages, and anyone who sees the world through rose-colored glasses.”

On Oct. 20, the much decorated, regional award-winning Stratford Playhouse will begin a new season with a “triple crown” Tony winner, Avenue Q School Edition, which combines human and puppet. The musical comedy tells the story of a recent college grad named Princeton who moves into a shabby New York City apartment all the way out on Avenue Q.

Together, Princeton and new-found friends struggle to find jobs, dates, and their ever-elusive life purpose. Avenue Q promises gut-busting humor and a delightful, catchy musical score.
Avenue Q Press Release >>

Other not-to-be-missed student performances include Seussical the Musical at Westchester Academy for International Studies in early November; A Piece of My Heart, also in November, and The Velveteen Rabbit written for young audiences in December, both presented at Memorial High School.

Spring Woods High’s Safari Players will also present Clifford Odets’ drama, Awake and Sing, right before the Thanksgiving break.

Public performances announced at this time include the following:

October 2016

3, Fall Preview Choir Concert, Spring Woods High Auditorium, 7 p.m.
4, Northbrook HS Combined Choir Concert, Northbrook High Auditorium, 6 p.m.
5, SBISD Band Extravaganza, Tully Stadium, 7 p.m.
11, Choir Fall Concert, Landrum Middle Auditorium, 6 p.m.
12, Cabaret Choir Show, Northbrook High Auditorium, 7 p.m.
13, Fall Choir Concert, Spring Oaks Middle School, 5:30 p.m.
13, Fall Choir Concert, Spring Forest Middle Auditorium, 6:30 p.m.
13-14, What’s My Color, Spring Woods High Auditorium, 7:30 p.m.
15, What’s My Color, Spring Woods High Auditorium, 2:30 p.m.
15, Dessert Murder Mystery Theatre, MHS Performing Arts Center, 7 p.m.
17, Fall Short and Sweet Choir Concert, MHS  Performing Arts Center, 7 p.m.
17, What’s My Color, Spring Woods High Auditorium, 7:30 p.m.
17-19, Fall Into Theatre, Spring Forest Middle Auditorium, 6:30 p.m.
20, Spookfest, Spring Forest Middle Auditorium, 6:30 p.m.
20, What’s My Color, Spring Woods High Auditorium, 7:30 p.m.
20-22, Fall Theater Play, Northbrook High Auditorium, 7 p.m.
20-22, Avenue Q, School Edition, Stratford Playhouse, 7:30 p.m.
21, What’s My Color, Spring Woods High Auditorium, 2:30 p.m.
24, Fall Choir Concert, Stratford High Auditorium, 7 p.m.
25, Fall Orchestra Concert, Spring Woods High Auditorium, 6:30 p.m.
25, Band and Choir Halloween Concert, Spring Woods MS Auditorium, 6:30 p.m.
25, Fall Orchestra Concert for Everybody, Stratford High Auditorium, 7 p.m.
26, Halloween Concert, Spring Oaks Middle School, 6:30 p.m.
27, Fall Band Concert, Spring Forest Middle Auditorium, 6:30 p.m.
27-29, Avenue Q, School Edition, Stratford Playhouse, 7:30 p.m.
28, String Orchestras Concert, Memorial High Performing Arts Center, 7 p.m.
29, Avenue Q, School Edition, Stratford Playhouse, 2:30 p.m.



November 2016


1, ComedySportz SWHS vs. SWHS, Spring Woods High Mini-Auditorium, 7 p.m.
4-5, Seussical the Musical, Westchester Academy, 7 p.m.
5, Seussical the Musical, Westchester Academy for International Studies, 1 p.m.
8, ComedySportz SWHS vs. CyFalls HS, SWHS Mini-Auditorium, 7 p.m.
11-12, Cornerstone Academy’s Aladdin Jr., SWHS Auditorium, 6:30 p.m.
11-12, Seussical the Musical, Westchester Academy, 7 p.m.
17-19, A Piece of My Heart, Memorial Performing Arts Center, 7 p.m.
17-19, Clifford Odets’ Awake and Sing, Spring Woods High Auditorium, 7:30 p.m.
21, Clifford Odets’ Awake and Sing, SWHS Auditorium, 2:30 p.m. & 7:30 p.m.



December 2016


1, Choir Holiday Concert, Landrum Middle Auditorium, 6 p.m.
1, Winter Orchestra Concert, Northbrook High Auditorium, 6:30 p.m.
1, Cornerstone Academy Fine Arts Revue, Spring Woods High School, 6:30 p.m.
1, Winter Orchestra Dinner and Concert, Stratford High Auditorium, 7 p.m.
4, Orchestra Concert, Spring Woods Middle Auditorium, 6:30 p.m.
5, Middle-High School Winter Choir Concert, Memorial High Theater, 6:30 p.m.
6, Band Christmas Concert, Spring Oaks Middle School, 5:30 p.m.
6, Winter Orchestra Concert, Spring Forest Middle Auditorium, 6:30 p.m.
6, Winter Orchestra Concert, Spring Woods High Auditorium, 6:30 p.m.
6, Choir Winter Concert, Stratford High Auditorium, 7 p.m.
6, Band Winter Concert, Memorial High Performing Arts Center, 7:30 p.m.
8, Winter Choir Concert, Spring Oaks Middle Auditorium, 5:30 p.m.
8, Band Concert, Spring Woods Middle Auditorium, 6:30 p.m.
8, Winter Choir Concert, Spring Forest Middle Auditorium, 6:30 p.m.
8, Band Winter Concert, Stratford High Auditorium, 7 p.m.
8, SWHS Bands Winter Concert, Spring Woods High Auditorium, 7 p.m.
9, String Orchestras Concert, Memorial High Performing Arts Center, 7 p.m.
9, The Velveteen Rabbit, Memorial High Performing Arts Center, 7 p.m.
10, The Velveteen Rabbit, Memorial High Performing Arts Center, 2:30 p.m.
11, LMS Choir Christmas in the Park, Spring Branch Presbyterian Church, 5 p.m.
12, Winter Band Concert, Spring Forest Middle Auditorium, 6:30 p.m.
12, Spring Woods High Choir Sounds of the Season, Tallowood Baptist, 7 p.m.
13, Choir Concert, Spring Woods Middle Auditorium, 6:30 p.m.
14, Band Winter Concert, Northbrook High Auditorium, 6:30 p.m.



January 2017


8, ComedySportz SWHS vs. Westside HS, Spring Woods Mini-Auditorium, 7 p.m.
12-14, Winter Musical, Northbrook High Auditorium, 7 p.m.
12-14, You’re a Good Man, Charlie Brown, Northbrook High Auditorium, 7 p.m.
26-28, Winter Musical, Spring Woods High Auditorium, 7:30 p.m.
26-28, Me & My Girl, Stratford Playhouse, 7:30 p.m.
26-28, Mary Poppins, Memorial High Performing Arts Center, 7:30 p.m.
27, IB Theatre Student Showcase, Westchester Academy, 4 p.m.
28, Winter Musical, Spring Woods High Auditorium, 2:30 p.m.
28, Me & My Girl, Stratford Playhouse, 2:30 p.m.
30, Winter Musical, Northbrook High Auditorium, 7 p.m.



February 2017

2-4, Me & My Girl, Stratford Playhouse, 7:30 p.m.
2-4, Mary Poppins, Memorial High Performing Arts Center, 7:30 p.m.
3, Bobcat Factor Talent Show, Spring Forest Middle Auditorium, 4:30 p.m.
3-4, Winter Musical, Spring Woods High Auditorium, 7:30 p.m.
4, Winter Musical, Spring Woods High Auditorium, 2:30 p.m.
4, Me & My Girl, Stratford Playhouse, 2:30 p.m.
4, Mary Poppins, Memorial High Performing Arts Center, 2:30 p.m.
7, Choir Valentine Concert, Northbrook High Auditorium, 6 p.m.
7, ComedySportz Faculty Match, Spring Woods High Mini-Auditorium, 7 p.m.
23, Pre-UIL Concert, Landrum Middle Auditorium, 6 p.m.
24, Symphony Orchestra Concert, Memorial High Performing Arts Center, 7 p.m.
28, Choir Pre-Contest Concert, Spring Forest Middle Auditorium, 6:30 p.m.
28, ComedySportz SWHS vs. St. Agnes, Spring Woods Mini-Auditorium, 7 p.m.



March 2017

2-4, Waiting for Godot, Westchester Academy for International Studies, 7:30 p.m.
4, Waiting for Godot, Westchester Academy for International Studies, 2 p.m.
7, Spring Choir Concert, Spring Oaks Middle Auditorium, 5:30 p.m.
9, Band Spring Concert, Stratford High Auditorium, 7 p.m.
28, Spring Choir Concert, Memorial High Performing Arts Center, 7 p.m.
28, Choir Spring Pre-UIL Concert, Northbrook High Auditorium, 6 p.m.
28, Choir Pre-UIL Concert, Spring Woods High Auditorium, 7 p.m.
30, Band Pre-UIL Band, Northbrook High Auditorium, 6:30 p.m.



April 2017


10, Band Pre-Contest Concert, Spring Forest Middle Auditorium, 6:30 p.m.
21-22, Markettes Spring Show, Memorial High School Auditorium, 7 p.m.
25, ComedySportz SWHS vs. Taylor HS, SWHS Mini-Auditorium, 7 p.m.
27-28, Spring Theater Play, Northbrook High Auditorium, 7 p.m.
27-29, Brighton Beach Memoirs, Stratford Playhouse, 7:30 p.m.
28, String Orchestras Concert, Memorial High Performing Arts Center, 7 p.m.



May 2017


3-6, Bobcat Theatre Spring Musical, Spring Forest Middle Auditorium, 6:30 p.m.
4-6, Brighton Beach Memoirs, Stratford Playhouse, 7:30 p.m.
5, Bandoleras Spring Show, Northbrook High School Auditorium, 7 p.m.
6, Brighton Beach Memoirs, Stratford Playhouse, 2:30 p.m.
5-6, Zombie Prom, Memorial High Performing Arts Center, 7 p.m.
6, Zombie Prom, Memorial High Performing Arts Center, 2:30 p.m.
9, Band Spring Concert, Memorial High Performing Arts Center, 7 p.m.
10, Choir Talent Show, Northbrook High Auditorium, 6 p.m.
10, Choir Pop Show/Senior Solos, Stratford High Auditorium, 7 p.m.
11, Band Spring Concert, Spring Forest Middle Auditorium, 6:30 p.m.
11, Pop Show, Spring Woods High Auditorium, 7 p.m.
11, Spring Orchestra Concert, Stratford High Auditorium, 7 p.m.
12-13, Choir Pop Show, Memorial High Performing Arts Center, 7 p.m.
15, Choir Spring Concert, Spring Forest Middle Auditorium, 6:30 p.m.
15, SWHS Jazz Bands Spring Concert, SWHS Mini-Auditorium, 7 p.m.
16, Spring Show, Landrum Middle Auditorium, 6 p.m.
16, Band Spring Concert, Northbrook High Auditorium, 6:30 p.m.
16, Orchestra Spring Concert, Spring Forest Middle Auditorium, 6:30 p.m.
16, ComedySportz SWHS vs. Alumni, SWHS Mini-Auditorium, 7 p.m.
16-17, Band Concert, Spring Woods Middle Auditorium, 6:30 p.m.
17, Band Spring Concert, Spring Oaks Middle School, 5:30 p.m.
17, Spring Orchestra Concert, Spring Woods High Auditorium, 6:30 p.m.
18, Pop Concert, Spring Oaks Middle Auditorium 5:30 p.m.
18, Orchestra Spring Concert, Northbrook High Auditorium, 6:30 p.m.
18, SWHS Bands Spring Concert, Spring Woods High Auditorium, 7 p.m.
22, Cluster Percussion Concert, Spring Woods High Auditorium, 7 p.m.
23, Orchestra Concert, Spring Woods Middle Auditorium, 6:30 p.m.
24, Choir Pop Show, Northbrook High Auditorium, 6 p.m.
25, Choir Concert, Spring Woods Middle Auditorium, 6:30 p.m.


Note: Special reservation and pricing policies may apply for some theater and additional campus events. Seniors who are 65 years old or older seeking STARCard discounts for events should always check special reservation and pricing policies ahead of time.

Spring Forest Middle Earns $3,000 Health-Fitness Grant


The Houston-based Oliver Foundation has awarded a $3,000 grant to Spring Forest Middle School to add nontraditional exercise equipment ranging from medicine balls to mini-kettle balls and agility ladders as student activity options.

The $3,000 grant award was announced on Sept. 9 to Spring Forest Middle’s Ryan Harvey, who heads up the health-fitness department and coach. Presenting it was Oliver Foundation Program Director Sandy Bristow. Principal Kaye Williams and district administrators attended the grant announcement.

“The Oliver Foundation is proud to present Spring Forest Middle School with one of this year’s Healthy Choices grants to support the Get Fit project, and we have enjoyed working with Spring Branch ISD during the past 10 years,” Bristow said.

The local nonprofit foundation is dedicated to the prevention of childhood obesity. It provides technical support, training, and nutrition and physical activity education materials to grant recipients.

Harvey’s grant request for the campus’ Get Fit project focuses on nontraditional physical activity options. The grant will fund 15 medicine balls and 15 slam balls, 50 jump ropes, 15 rubber mini-kettles, five agility ladders and chin-up bars, 15 resistance exercise tubes and several equipment and medicine ball racks.

“Our goal with Project Get Fit is to get the students in our care to a place where they are healthy, self-confident and determined to be successful in life wherever their path may lead them,” Coach Harvey said. Project Get Fit will include weekly nutritional lessons, too.

“Many kids today are not into traditional sports like football or volleyball. While they may not be excited about PE, equipment like kettle and medicine balls will give kids a new way to work out that is exciting and dynamic to them. This grant gives them a new opportunity that our students would not otherwise have,” the coach said.

The Oliver Foundation’s partnership with Spring Branch ISD dates back to 2005. Between 2011 and 2013, it partnered with Baylor College of Medicine on a two-year study tracking body mass indexes (BMI) for second-graders at three SBISD schools.

Other Oliver Healthy Choices grants awarded to SBISD include:

  • Nottingham Elementary, 2014-15
    Moving ‘N Grooving, $3,000
  • Buffalo Creek Elementary, 2014-15
    Girls on the Run, $3,000
  • Landrum Middle School, 2015-16
    Teen Advisory Board Grant, $500
  • Ridgecrest Elementary, 2015-16
    Marathon Kids, $3,000
The Oliver Foundation was founded by Mrs. William B. Oliver in 1995. The foundation began programs to prevent childhood obesity in 2004.

Friday, September 16, 2016

Don’t Miss The Miss Firecracker Contest at Memorial High

Memorial High School is presenting Beth Henley’s comedy, The Miss Firecracker Contest for two more nights, Sept. 16-17 at 7 p.m. This critically acclaimed play takes place in a small Mississippi town. It tracks a young wannabe beauty queen named Carnelle with a goal is to win the local Miss Firecracker Contest.

Struggling with her tarnished reputation, Carnelle, along with an assortment of quirky friends and family, battles others’ judgments in order to make herself a somebody in her home community.


Cast and crew (above) photographed recently include the following students:


Standing left to right are Katherine Maykopet, Ashley Adams, Cooper Hawkins, Lily Serrata (Stage Manager), Elaine Goulden (Tessy Mahoney), Alyssa Heckler, Alex Willoughby (MacSam), Emily Deans, Meredith Rauch (Carnelle Scott), Valarie McFatter, Michael Clulow, Claire Peachee, Fischer Nordin, Beck Laake (ASM/Understudy), Ramez Shakhashiro and Jacob Wheelock


Kneeling left to right are Jade Nguyen, Hattie Krawiecki, Joy Chung, Kylie Baker, Kate Burcham, Regan Hicks (Elain), Sydney Milanesi (Popeye Jackson), Nicholas Nahm and Chloe Williamson. Students listed are all on tech crew. Not pictured is Brian Carles (Delmont)



Tuesday, September 13, 2016

SBISD Graduates Outscore State and National Averages on 2016 ACT


Spring Branch ISD students have posted scores higher than the state and national averages on the ACT, a curriculum-based measure of college readiness, even though test takers marked an all-time high with 1,110 district students. Four years ago, SBISD had 887 students take the ACT.

In the ACT, students are tested in English, mathematics, reading and science, and earn individual scores in each area as well as an overall composite score. The composite represents an average of the four individual scores.

English
Mathematics
Reading
Science
Composite
SBISD
22.4
23.5
23.5
23.0
23.2
State
19.4
20.7
21.0
20.7
20.6
Nation
N/A
N/A
N/A
N/A
20.8

The percent of SBISD students testing who qualified by ACT’s research-based measures as ready for college-level coursework far exceeded state and national averages, too, compared to college readiness benchmark scores in designated college courses.


This year’s results show that SBISD’s composite score was 23.2, far above the Texas average of 20.6 and the ACT reported national average composite score of 20.8. Possible scores on the ACT range from 1 up to 36, often called a “perfect” score.

Earlier this year, two Memorial High School students – an incoming senior and junior – received a perfect 36 on the ACT. See related story/link here. . .

“Spring Branch students continue to produce some of the highest ACT scores in the Houston area and outscore their state and national peers on average,” Superintendent Dr. Scott Muri said.

“This year’s gains are worth celebrating as we work to prepare all students for T-2-4 success in whatever they elect to do after high school – military training, technical certifications, two- and four-year college degrees.”

SBISD student performance on the ACT also topped the state averages in all five testing areas – English, mathematics, reading, science and composite. And though more SBISD students took the ACT last year, district performance went up in four of five areas (English, reading, science and composite score).

In addition, this growth reverses declines observed the previous year in the same areas. State averages, by comparison, declined in four of five areas and were flat in the one remaining area.

In college readiness measures, SBISD students posted higher than state and national scores in several areas – 71 percent ready in college English composition, 61 percent in college algebra, 59 percent college social science, and 52 percent college biology.

By comparison, the Texas averages for college readiness were 57 percent in college English composition, 42 percent in college algebra, 43 percent in college social science, and 35 percent in college biology.

National averages for college readiness among ACT-tested high school graduates this year were slightly higher than the state, but lower than the district averages – 61 percent in college English, 44 percent in college-level reading for social sciences, 41 percent for college algebra, and 36 percent for college biology, or science.

College-readiness benchmarks were 18 on the ACT English test, which indicates that a student is likely ready for a college composition course and would earn a “C” or better grade. Other college benchmarks are: 22 for college algebra and social science and 23 for college biology, or science.

Nationwide, 64 percent of the 2016’s high school graduates took the ACT, or nearly 2.1 million students, compared to 59 percent of students a year ago.

Many national news reports focused on the latest scores from the ACT as more evidence that this year’s high school graduates aren’t ready for college-level courses. On the other hand, low scores were expected due to the growing and changing demographics of the student testing population.



Five Year Trends - Average ACT Scores (ACT College Readiness Letter for SBISD - Aug. 24, 2016) >>

Monday, September 12, 2016

Listening to Students

Photo courtesy of Raise Your Hand Texas

Valley Oaks Elementary Principal Gary Henry and several students are featured in the most recent blog posting and video compiled by the Austin-based public education group, Raise Your Hand Texas.

The video and posting, titled “Giving Students a Stake in Their School,” retells through Principal Henry and student voices how the school’s SPARK Park playground was rebuilt by including students in the playground design process.

“Everyone in education says they put students’ interests first. But not everyone asks students what they think, what they need, and what they want,” the blog posting states. Valley Oaks Elementary was one of 13 elementary schools rebuilt under the 2007 SBISD bond plan. The blog posting also describes how the entire community – staff, students and parents – were involved in the redesign of this new campus. The new Valley Oak Elementary opened in January 2015 at the intersection of Westview and Pech.

Raise Your Hand Texas’ recent blog posting also includes a link to a Houston Public Media radio news story about SBISD’s decision last year to become a District of Innovation. The district was one of the first public school districts in state to make such a proactive move toward greater local control and innovation.

Principal Henry is not the only SBISD leader praised by the Austin group for innovative thinking and practice. Sherwood Elementary Principal Stefanie Spencer was featured earlier by Raise Your Hand Texas in a question-and-answer style blog posting. That interview focused on her passion for giving all students access to quality education, describing her as both an “idealist and doer.”

Spencer, like so many of her SBISD principal colleagues, is a graduate of the Rice Education Entrepreneurship Program (REEP), a business certificate program for educators based at Rice University. Raise Your Hand Texas is a sponsor of the REEP program.

Raise Your Hand Texas story - Business Lessons Help Build School & Culture

Previous Raise Your Hand Texas story - Q&A With a Principal: Would-Be Lawyer Turned Educator Passionate About Giving Students Access to Quality Education


Friday, September 9, 2016

Happy Birthday, Valley Oaks Elementary!

Sixty years ago today, September 10, 1956, Valley Oaks Elementary opened its doors to the community. Click on the video below to view a special tribute to commemorate 60 years of educating students. Special thanks to our past principals and other contributors to our video. Mostly, thank you to all of our past and current community members who made Valley Oaks what it is today and will continue upon our greatness in the future.