October 28, 2013 – The Leander ISD Educational Excellence Foundation (LEEF) Mudstacle & Family Fun Run is on Saturday, November 2 at Vista Ridge High School (200 South Vista Ridge Blvd., in Cedar Park) at 8:30 a.m.
Mudstacle participants will climb, crawl and run their way through a fun, muddy obstacle course. The full Mudstacle course
is a 3.1-mile (5K) combination mud and obstacle course designed to challenge each member of the family. Three divisions will be offered: Open Division (ages 12 and up), Family Division (all ages; under five must be accompanied by an adult), and Kids Division (ages five-12 on a 1-K kid-friendly loop)
. For young children, an interactive Kid Zone will be available.
With more than 400 race enthusiasts of all ages already registered, the Mudstacle will be the place to be on November 2. The Mudstacle will feature food trailers, local vendors, a silent auction and more fun and entertaining activities for the whole family.
Funds raised through the Mudstacle & Family Fun Run will go to support and expand LEEF programs like innovative teaching grants, textbook scholarships for high school students enrolled in dual credit courses through ACC, distributing free children's books to Leander ISD families and college readiness initiatives.
Stay up-to-date with all of the LEEF Mudstacle activities, team rankings and more by visiting www.leanderedfound.org
or liking the Mudstacle Facebook page
LISD's high school marching bands competed on Saturday, October 26, in UIL Area Marching Competition at Gupton Stadium. All five LISD HS bands earned a spot in the finals, and LISD bands took the top three of four spots that advanced to the state contest! Vista Ridge High School, Cedar Park High School and Vandegrift High School will perform in the UIL State Marching Contest on Tuesday, November 5, in the San Antonio Alamodome. Additionally, Leander High School was selected as the first alternate. Congratulations to these outstanding band members and their hard-working directors! Photo courtesy of Eric Weigand.
October 21, 2013 –Vandegrift High School was recently awarded a Lemelson-MIT InvenTeam grant in the amount of $8,900 to create an indoor personal mapping device for the visually impaired. VHS is one of 15 high schools nationwide to be selected as an InvenTeam this year.
InvenTeams are teams of high school students, teachers and mentors that receive grants up to $10,000 each to invent technological solutions to real-world problems. The students from VHS who are participating are: Monica Phan, Marina Bendele, Katie Frierson, Sahar Rashed, Trudy Bui, Gloria Bui, Adley Greear, Ruchika Mitbander, Avni Shah, Lillie Hammer, Caroline Naples, Sam Trinh, Neha Mulpuri and Sondra Rahmeh. The faculty mentor is VHS teacher Rad Allen, the lead mentor is Catherine Bui and the advisory mentor is Shakeel Rashed.
This initiative of the Lemelson-MIT Program aims to inspire a new generation of inventors.
“The inventions that this year’s teams have undertaken focus heavily on improving the safety and wellbeing of those in their communities. I feel optimistic that the students are seeing issues affecting others around them, and responding quickly with original and useful ideas to technically solve problems,” said Leigh Estabrooks, invention education officer for the Lemelson-MIT Program.
Rad Allen, computer science and robotics teacher at VHS, initiated the InvenTeam application process last spring and attended training at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT) in June to help prepare the final proposal. A prestigious panel of judges composed of educators, researchers, staff and alumni from MIT, as well as representatives from the industry and previous Lemelson-MIT Award winners, assembled this fall and selected VHS as one of this year’s InvenTeam grantees.
The VHS InvenTeam will use their grant money to build a GPS enabled device designed to help users identify and share locations such as rooms, staircases and emergency exits. With the use of this product, the team hopes to improve personal independence of their visually impaired users and encourage them to venture out to more unfamiliar places.
In our continuous efforts to gather data and be in compliance with new and updated laws and regulations, below you will find information regarding new reporting requirements for families with children who are dependents of a member of the active duty armed forces or families who have children in the foster care system. Please disregard this message if this does not apply to you.
There were two bills passed during the last legislative session that require school districts to collect new information about student’s military connectedness and foster care status.
- Senate Bill 525 - requiring to begin collecting data on military connected-students enrolled in Texas public schools.
- Senate Bill 833 - requiring TEA to collect the data for all students who are in foster care.
The collection of this data allows schools to recognize and monitor critical elements of student success for children who are dependents of military personnel or foster care.
We are asking that parents whose children are dependents of a member of Active Duty Armed Forces, Texas National Guard or Reserve Forces or if your child is currently in the conservatorship of the Department of Family and Protective Services (Foster Care) to complete the form these forms: English
Blank forms can also be obtained from your campus registrar.
Please complete the form and return to your campus by Friday, October 25th.
Military Connected Student Code
In 2009 The Texas Legislature adopted the Interstate Compact on Educational Opportunity for Military Students – Texas Education Code Chapter 162. This legislation requires schools to recognize and extend certain privileges to students who are military dependents. Previous to this legislation, TEC 25.005 was passed to require TEA to pursue reciprocity agreements, for students who are military dependents, with states that have not adopted the Compact on Educational Opportunity for Military Students. Additionally, TEC 25.006 requires TEA to adopt policies and procedures that assist military dependent students in the transition process of changing schools when their military parents are reassigned and forced to relocate.
Foster Care Indicator Code
The Texas Education Agency (TEA) is mandated under Texas law to facilitate services for foster care students (TEC 25.001(g), 25.002(a), 25.002(g), 25.007, 29.081, 33.904, 54.366, 54.367, TFC 262.201).
Additionally, TEA is required to share education related data with the Department of Family and Protective Services for foster care students as mandated in TEC 7.029 (a).
Currently the data sharing MOU consists of the Department of Family and Protective Services providing TEA with a list of foster care student names and TEA matching this information against the PEIMS data collected for a given school year. The information for the matches is sent back to DFPS and provides numerous pieces of academic information as required by the MOU.
October 21, 2013 – Leander ISD parents are invited to attend the district’s “Keeping Your Child Safe: Preventing Addictive Behaviors” conferences on Tuesday, November 12 from 6:30-8:30 p.m. in the lecture hall at Rouse High School (1501 CR 271 in Leander) and Tuesday, November 19 from 6:30-8:30 p.m. in the lecture hall at Vandegrift High School (9500 McNeil Dr., in Austin). Parents may attend either event. Information will be repeated both nights. Light snacks will be provided.
The conferences are designed to engage and inform parents of issues regarding substance abuse and addictive behaviors and as they relate to student safety and wellness. Because research shows that parents are the most important factor in preventing the use of alcohol, tobacco, other drugs and addictive behaviors, the conferences will address:
· What is going on in your child’s brain related to substance use and
addictive behaviors (and why it matters);
· How the media influences youth;
· The latest drug trends in area;
· How you can motivate and help your child be successful;
· What young people are saying they get from parents and what they
need from their parents; and
· Simple strategies to prevent and intervene on substance use and
This conference is designed for parents. Childcare is available. To help the district plan appropriately, please RSVP
and indicate if you plan to attend the event on Tuesday, November 12 or Tuesday, November 19 and if you will need childcare for either evening.
The “Keeping Your Child Safe: Preventing Addictive Behaviors” conferences are the second part of the district’s four-part wellness series
October 18, 2013 – Leander ISD officials announced today that Mason Elementary has been authorized to teach the International Baccalaureate Primary Years Programme, and as such, Mason Elementary is now an IB World School.
“Congratulations to the hard-working students, parents and staff at Mason Elementary for becoming an IB World School. This fantastic achievement means that you are now globally recognized for offering instruction that challenges our youngest students to be active participants in a lifelong journey of learning,” says LISD Superintendent Bret Champion. “On behalf of LISD, we are so proud of the entire Mustang family!”
Mason Elementary began the IB authorization process in 2009. The process to become an IB World School takes anywhere from three to five years in which the teachers must attend Primary Years Programme training, write curriculum and create assessments based on the six transdisciplinary themes mandated by IB. The IB Primary Years Programme focuses on the development of the whole child by using a project-based curriculum that aligns with student inquiry themes—who we are; where we are in place and time; how we express ourselves; how the world works; how we organize ourselves; and sharing the planet.
“Becoming an IB World School has been a wonderful, challenging experience that has improved teaching and learning at Mason Elementary,” said Principal Jamie Klassen. “This journey would not have been possible without the incredible support of our Board of Trustees, LISD, our amazing teachers, dedicated parents and remarkable students. We are absolutely thrilled to be an IB World School!”
Mason Elementary joins two other LISD IB World Schools — Leander High School became an IB World School in 1999 and Grandview Hills Elementary became an IB World School in 2012.
For more information about the IB Programme in LISD, visit www.leanderisd.org.
Leander ISD is now present on another social media platform - Pinterest. We will be pinning information such as teacher resources, parent and student information, healthy habits for kids, volunteer information and more! If you have a great pin that you want to share, please do! We welcome your help with making this platform a great place to share ideas and knowledge and to inspire one another. Check out the Leander ISD Pinterest
October 11, 2013 – Leander ISD will host the 2013 fall “Forum for Change” at Leander High School on Friday, Nov. 1 from 10:30 a.m. – 2:30 p.m. The Forum is a bi-annual, student-led event that teaches students about bullying prevention, the importance of unity in schools and ways to improve their campus cultures. The Forum is spearheaded by C-Squared, a student-led club dedicated to promoting a culture of kindness and caring that is active on many LISD campuses.
The theme for this year’s forum is “Keys to Kindness.”
K – Keeping Your School Unified
E – Exploring More Than Yourself
Y – You Don’t Know Their Story
S – Stop and Listen
“Students who attend the Forum will leave with a greater understanding of the keys of kindness and will open so many new doors for people at their own schools,” said LHS senior Juan Brown, one of the Forum’s student organizers.
Roughly 400 students from LISD middle and high schools, as well as sponsors from elementary schools, are expected to attend. The day will feature hands-on activities including team-building games, group discussions and student-created media addressing the theme. Campus sponsors will also have an opportunity to collaborate together.
C-Squared began as a coalition of clubs at Leander High School in May 2010. Since its inception, the C-Squared organization has grown to include clubs at numerous LISD elementary, middle and high schools. Forums for Change happen twice a year, in the fall and in the spring.
October 10, 2013 – Leander ISD announced that 14 students were distinguished as Semifinalists in the 2014 National Merit Scholarship Program and 59 students were honored as Commended Scholars based on their outstanding performances on the Preliminary SAT/National Merit Scholarship Qualifying Test (PSAT/NMSQT). The total number of students receiving the National Merit Semifinalist and the Commended Scholars distinctions represents a 30 percent growth from the previous year.
In addition, 25 students in the LISD class of 2014 received recognition through National Hispanic Recognition Program and two students were honored through the National Achievement Program. Overall, 100 LISD students were honored for the 2012 PSAT/NMSQT scores.
Thirty-four Cedar Park High School were students honored.
Nine students from Leander High School were honored.
- Five students qualified as National Merit Semifinalists: Kan Chen, Tyler Lovelace, Kyle Maupin, Lindsey Stawowy and Amanda Wu.
- Twenty students qualified as Commended Scholars: Benjamin Baldazo, Savannah Burchfiel, Katherine Cano, Brian Castelli, Claire Christensen, Maximilian Doan, Gabrielle Ford, Wyatt Hahn, Kevin Helmers, Aaron Ingram, Jocelyn Johnson, Shane Kelly, Amanda Krakar, Hoo-Won Lee, Andrew Maas, Bryce Morris, Samuel Simpson, Robert Wang, Sheena Wang and Connie Zhao.
- Nine students were recognized in the National Hispanic Recognition Program: Scholars: Katherine Cano, Maria Cervantes, Christian Ernand, Diego Gutierrez, Gabriel Haro, Christina Loera, Jeremy Martin and Max Vargas; and Cullen Cadena received Honorable Mention.
Two students from Rouse High School were honored.
- Five students qualified as Commended Scholars: Kathryn Allison, Alan Champion, Laura Friedrick, Michale Hall and Sean O'Neil.
- Three students were recognized in the National Hispanic Recognition Program: Sandra Lopez, Taryn Olivas and Gino Santolamazza.
- One student was recognized in the National Achievement Program: Jacob James – Outstanding Participant.
Twenty-nine students from Vandegrift High School were honored.
- One student qualified as a Commended Scholar: Christian McConnell
- One student was recognized in the National Hispanic Recognition Program: Scholar: Christina Sheldon.
Twenty-six students from Vista Ridge High School were honored.
- Five students qualified as National Merit Semifinalists: Caley Butler, Calvin Geng, Neha Mulpuri, Nishith Sripathi and Justin Yu.
- Seventeen students qualified as Commended Scholars: Hisham Ali,
Amulya Angajala, Damian Cho, Christopher Fernandes, Roslyn Harold, Zachary Hartman, Addison Holmes, Dylan Hoover, Chandler Jaynes, Michael Johnson, Zachary Moring, Bailey Phillips, Bryn Robertson, Jacob Schmidt, Li Wan, Marguerite Zamora and Jonathan Zhang.
- Six students were recognized in the National Hispanic Recognition Program:
Scholars: Mia Chiarelli, Sydney Cohen, William Martinez, Michael Mendez and Megan Sekiya; and Bryce Martinez received Honorable Mention.
- One student was recognized in the National Achievement Program: Kevin Dieudonne - Outstanding Participant.
- Four students qualified as National Merit Semifinalists: Nathaniel Fousek, Zachary Lewis, Catherine Mazenko and Brandon Nguyen.
- Sixteen students qualified as Commended Scholars: Rachel Anderson, Megan Butler, Samarth Dhruva, Saloni Gyani, Nicholas Janssen, Nicholas Kelly, Michael Kowlessar, Steven Leal, Victoria Lee, Brian Maule, James Phelan, Richard Rusnak, Sahil Solankee, Kaysie Tam, Jacob Villareal and Calvin Woods.
- Six students were recognized in the National Hispanic Recognition Program: Scholars: Briar Coker, Forrest Henry, Steven Leal, Daniel Sanchez and Samantha Sutton; and Jacob Villarreal received Honorable Mention.
On Wednesday, October 16 all 9th – 11th graders in LISD will take the PSAT/NMSQT, and juniors will have the opportunity to receive accolades based on their scores. Please go to the LISD College and Career Readiness website
for more information and FREE prep resources for the PSAT.
More about the recognition programs:
National Merit Semifinalists, Commended Scholars and students recognized through the National Achievement Scholarship Program are identified by the National Merit Scholarship Corporation. About 1.5 million juniors in more than 22,000 high schools entered the 2014 National Merit Scholarship Program by taking the 2012 PSAT/NMSQT. Semifinalists, who represent less than one percent of U.S. high school seniors, include the highest scoring entrants in each state. These high-school seniors will compete for scholarships worth about $35 million next spring. In late September, more than two-thirds of the high scorers on the PSAT/NMSQT receive Letters of Commendation in recognition of their outstanding academic promise. Commended students are named on the basis of a nationally applied Selection Index score that may vary from year to year and is typically below the level required for participants to be named Semifinalists in their respective states. Although Commended Students do not continue in the competition for National Merit Scholarships, some of these students do become candidates for Special Scholarships sponsored by corporations and businesses. The National Achievement Scholarship Program is an academic competition established in 1964 to provide recognition for outstanding Black American high school students. Each year, approximately 3,100 outstanding National Achievement Program participants are brought to the attention of about 1,500 four-year colleges and universities in the United States.
The College Board recognizes outstanding Hispanic/Latino high school students based on their PSAT performance through the National Hispanic Recognition Program. Each year, the program honors about 5,000 of the highest-scoring students from over 250,000 Hispanic/Latino juniors who take the PSAT/NMSQT.
October 8, 2013
Leander ISD will be auctioning off surplus equipment items including: large industrial kitchen equipment such as warmers, ovens and steamers among other equipment, plastic and metal audio-visual carts, various small electronics such as boom boxes, overhead projectors and DVD players, as well as book cases and file cabinets. See the Lemons Auctioneers website
for a full viewing of available items for sell. (Look for Leander I.S.D. on Lemons Auctioneers site)
Online Auction Activation: October 10, 2013
Auction Preview: October 17, 2013 at Materials Management Distribution Warehouse, 1900 Cougar Country Dr. Cedar Park TX 78613
Online Auction Completion: October 21, 2013
Auction Removal: October 22 - 24, 2013 at Materials Management Distribution Warehouse, 1900 Cougar Country Dr. Cedar Park TX 78613
All items are sold “as is”. No refunds or exchanges. All items not picked up by end of business on October 24, 2013 will remain the property of Leander I.S.D. and will be sold in the next online auction or otherwise disposed of. Buyers MUST have sufficient equipment to pick up and transport their purchases.
Joey Garner – Distribution Manager (512) 570-0627
David Ishman – Warehouse Lead (512) 570-0602
Rick Jones – Materials Management (512) 570-0628
October 4, 2013 – Leander ISD Superintendent Bret Champion announced that the average score on the SAT college-entrance exam continues to be higher than state and national averages, and the district’s score increased by 30 points from the graduating class of 2012 to the class of 2013, despite the national average score decreasing by three points.
The number of 2013 LISD graduates who took the SAT also grew, outpacing the three percent growth in student enrollment. Last year, 1,417 LISD graduates took the SAT, an eight percent increase from the year before.
The SAT test consists of critical reading, mathematics and writing sections. Each section is scored on a scale of 200 – 800 points. LISD scores increased in all of these areas in 2013:
- Critical reading – 524 (compared to 514 in 2012); State – 471; National – 491
- Mathematics – 551 (compared to 541 in 2012); State – 496; National – 503
- Writing – 500 (compared to 490 in 2012); State – 456; National – 480
“District-wide, we’ve focused our efforts to help students recognize the value of tests like the SAT and other college-prep programs,” said Champion. “More LISD students are taking the SAT and our scores are rising. That tells us that students understand the important role these tests fill in the entire process of becoming college-ready.”
Champion also reported that 53 percent of LISD SAT test-takers met the College Board’s 2013 SAT College and Career Readiness Benchmark, ahead of 43 percent of national SAT test-takers who met the benchmark.
“LISD has had a history of exceeding the state’s and nation’s scores, and we continue to see that trend. While all of these comparisons are good indicators of the strides the district has made in its college-readiness initiatives, the true objective for LISD is for our students to be self-directed learners and raise the bar for themselves so that they can achieve their goals in whatever career paths they choose.”
To further offer increased access to college-entrance exams, LISD is administering two exams in October, the PSAT (Preliminary SAT/ National Merit Scholar Qualifying Test) and ReadiStep, which are precursors to the SAT.
All LISD freshmen, sophomores and juniors will take the PSAT on Wednesday, Oct. 16, at no cost.
Likewise, all LISD eighth-grade students will take the ReadiStep on Wednesday, Oct. 30. The ReadiStep is a test that provides practice for, and early exposure to, college-entrance exams. ReadiStep is part of the College Board family of assessments, which includes the PSAT and SAT, and is aligned with the English, language arts and mathematics national standards for college success. The ReadiStep is available to LISD students at no cost through the Hill Country Education Foundation.
College-readiness information and FREE prep resources are available on district’s college- and career-readiness webpage
, including practice materials for the PSAT and SAT.
October 1, 2013 – The State Board of Education (SBOE) recognized 17 Texans who have provided collectively more than 100 years of volunteer service to Texas public schools honored with the Heroes for Children award at the SBOE meeting on Friday, September 24. Among those honored was Doug James, a pastor at Hill Country Bible Church-Austin, who was recognized for his service to the students of Leander ISD.
James is the chief organizer and proponent of a program to supply 3,200 LISD elementary school students with backpacks full of school supplies. He is also responsible for the phenomenal growth of an award-winning Literacy Partners program, which counts 250 literacy partners and 20 mentors from 15-faith based congregations of various denominations in 21 elementary schools.
The Heroes for Children honorees are selected by the State Board members and recognized for volunteering their time, talents and skills to help improve the public schools in their communities. James, along with the other heroes, received a certificate of honor, a copy of the resolution scheduled for board approval, and photographs commemorating the ceremony. Each hero’s name is engraved on a plaque that is permanently displayed at the Texas Education Agency.
Pictured below: Bret Champion, Doug James, Don Hisle, Grace Barber-Jordan
Please consider volunteering as an appraiser (judge) for Leander ISD DI Teams. Each team needs two appraisers in order to register their teams with Destination Imagination. Time requirements for appraisers include attending a half-day DI Appraiser Training at Cedar Park Middle School on February 8, 2014, as well as attending the full-day DI Regional Tournament on February 22, 2014 at Rouse High School in Leander ISD.
Please contact your campus QUEST teacher to sign up as an Appraiser by October 17, 2013. If you have questions, please email Sarah Hyde