Thursday, April 17, 2014

SBISD Makes Good News

Spring Woods High School’s boys and girls soccer teams, SBISD’s partnership with two highly regarded public charter schools, and an innovative, peer-to-peer student mentoring program in reading called Learning Together are a few of the notable district events and programs making local news recently.

Spring Woods High School Boys and Girls Soccer

Spring Woods High’s Girls and Boys Soccer teams competed in the 4A Region III semifinals April 11-12 at Turner Stadium in Humble. It marked the first time for a boys and girls team from the same high school to move on to regional competition.

Buoyed on April 11 by the support of 1,200 Spring Woods High classmates, Tiger Boys soccer defeated Jacksonville 2-1. That team lost a day later against Lee High in a 3-1 overtime game. Spring Woods High girls fought hard, but lost 1-0, also in overtime, to College Station on Friday.

To read more about Tiger soccer, please visit this Houston Chronicle news report:

Learning Together at Terrace Elementary with United Way

United Way's Learning Together program at Terrace Elementary School was the focus of an upbeat, April 12 news feature in the Houston Chronicle newspaper.

Piloted this school year with nearly 140 students at six Houston-area campuses, United Way's Learning Together program puts older students in charge of tutoring younger peers – in this case, fourth-graders overseeing second-grade students who attend Terrace Elementary.

Some students in the program begin behind grade level, but they all have made great gains, educators said. Not only are they reading better, they're raising their hands to speak in class more, they're checking out harder books from the library and they're more confident when reading aloud.

Houston Chronicle subscribers can read more about this story here:

SKY Partnership in SBISD earns praise from USA Today columnist

The author of an upcoming book on charter schools in the United States praises the work that Spring Branch ISD has done in recent years with the KIPP and YES Prep programs at two district middle schools.

Richard Whitmire, author of “On the Rocketship: How High Performing Charter Schools are Pushing the Envelope,” writes about charter schools and how debate about public schools vs. charter schools in New York City might be a sign of the future in education – or in education politics – in a recent USA Today newspaper column.

SBISD’s SKY Partnership includes the KIPP Courage College Prep at Landrum Middle School program and YES Prep Northbrook at Northbrook Middle School. These two programs operate alongside traditional middle school programs, and in some areas like fine arts and sports they are combined.

“In recent years these top charters have shown they can partner with regular school districts in ways that help both. If (New York City Mayor Bill) de Blasio ever visited schools in Denver or the Spring Branch district in Houston, he might start rethinking his hostility toward charters, They could help him achieve his goal of narrowing the gap between the haves and have-nots,” Whitmire states in the



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