Education

McRoberts Elementary School receives two prestigious TABSE awards 

(March 24, 2017) –  Congratulations to the faculty and staff at McRoberts Elementary School for being recognized as a Demonstration School by the Texas Alliance of Black School Educators (TABSE).  During the TABSE 32nd Annual State Conference in Houston, Texas, Mayor Sylvester Turner acknowledged the McRoberts Elementary School educators who work tirelessly to support and advance their students.

McRoberts Principal Dr. Kwabena Mensah also accepted the 2017 TABSE Principal of the Year Crystal Award.  He dedicated the award to his students, parents and staff who he says “continually set high expectations for everyone who walks through their school doors.”

Each year, TABSE recognizes distinguished individuals who have made local and state contributions to the education of African-American educators and learners.

(March 27, 2017) – The Katy ISD Communications Department was recently recognized by the Texas School Public Relations Association (TSPRA) Star Awards program.  The Department earned seven recognitions this spring.  The Star Awards honors outstanding work in print, graphics, video and other school communication tools and strategies.

The awards presented to the Katy ISD team include the Gold Star Award for its Student Excellence Awards Program, Bethke Elementary logo, and Tays Junior High branding; the Silver Star Award for the Student Excellence Award invitation, Katy ISD Annual Report and Mark L. Hopkins Law Enforcement Center dedication program; and the Bronze Star Award for the “Thank You to 2014 Bond Voters” video.

This spring the Communications Department was also presented with a Special Congressional Recognition from U.S. Congressman, Michael T. McCaul from Texas District 10.  The recognition was for being named a 2016 MarCom Gold Winner— an award the department won for its monthly Katy ISD Update newsletter.  The MarCom award acknowledges electronic publications that exceed a high standard of excellence and serve as a benchmark for the industry.

Congratulations to the Katy ISD Communications Department.

Calf Scramble

One of the wildest, most spirited and extremely heartwarming RodeoHouston® events is the Calf Scramble. With the drop of a cowboy hat, the calves are signaled to be released onto the dirt arena for 30 Texas 4-H and FFA members to chase and catch using only a rope halter.  The number of students is always greater than the number of calves. With teenagers and calves darting in every direction across the NRG Stadium floor, the calf scramble is one of the most chaotic, unscripted and beloved events of the Rodeo.

Each student who catches a calf is awarded a $1,750 certificate to purchase a registered beef heifer or market steer to show at the Houston Livestock Show™ the following year. Returning as an exhibitor, the student shows in a special competition with other calf scramble winners. The student receives a $250 bonus if program requirements are fulfilled throughout the year.

A donation of a calf in the calf scramble is $2,000, individuals, companies, organizations can donate this much or less. The donations go towards the certificates for the calf scramble winners.

Calf Scramble Results

When reviewing the calf scramble results, the categories are Mystery Calf, Glazier (First) Catch and Hard Luck. The Mystery Calf is selected by the Calf Scramble Committee prior to the event and remains a secret from the participants. The student who catches the Mystery Calf receives an additional prize along with the calf scramble certificate. The person to catch the first calf receives a belt buckle and $150 in addition to the certificate. Hard Luck is an award given by the Calf Scramble Committee to a participant who did not catch a calf, but showed an exceptional effort. The Hard Luck winner also receives a certificate to purchase a heifer.

The following students were Calf Scramble winners.  Please follow the link for results: March 20th

Save The Date To March For Babies

       HOUSTON, March 24, 2017 – Thousands of families and local business leaders will join together on this spring across the Houston area for the 2017 March for Babies, the nation’s oldest fundraising walk, which helps more babies survive and thrive.

This year’s Houston Ambassador Family is the O’Brien family. Leanne and Kieran were excited about becoming parents in 2015 and looking forward to starting their family.  But their baby twins, Remy and Ronan were born at 28 weeks weighing 3 pounds 2 ounces and 2 pounds 3 ounces, respectively, when Leanne was diagnosed with preeclampsia. Leanne was unconscious for four days and nearly lost her life due to complications while the twins spent their first 140 days fighting for life in a hospital Neonatal Intensive Care Unit (NICU).  Today, the O’Brien family is dedicated to making sure other parents don’t have to experience the same trauma.

Cris Daskevich, senior vice president of Texas Children’s Hospital and Texas Children’s Pavilion for Women, serves as the 2017 Houston March for Babies chair. “For the past 20 years, my career has focused on improving care for mothers and babies. Texas Children’s mission is to provide the best possible patient care, education and research to advance the health of all women and children” said Daskevich. “As a mother, I am delighted to serve in this important role to raise awareness and funds to support the March of Dimes and our shared vision of preventing birth defects and premature birth.”

Houston-area residents can sign up today at marchforbabies.org to start a team with co-workers, family or friends; or make a donation to help more babies get a healthy start in life. Local event details are as follows:

  • Houston: April 23, University of Houston, Registration 8 a.m. Walk Start 9 a.m.
  • Fort Bend: April 29, Constellation Field, Registration 8 a.m. Walk Start 9 a.m.

“March for Babies is a memorable and rewarding event for the whole family,” says Daskevich. “We will celebrate children and parents who experienced the NICU by recognizing these families throughout the day with a purple superhero cape for NICU graduates and a symbolic lei for mom and dad. The event will also feature a birthday party celebrating the 5th anniversary of Texas Children’s Pavilion for Women, loads of fun in the kids zone and a variety of food trucks.”

“This year for the first time, participants will have the opportunity to walk through our Memory Mile and visit our unforgettable March for Babies Memory Garden. Those who have experienced loss will find a meaningful way to remember their baby by planting a flower in our butterfly garden,” she says.

Premature birth is the leading cause of death among babies in the United States. It affects about 380,000 babies – that’s 1 in 10 — born each year, including 40,992 in Texas. Funds raised by March for Babies in the Houston area support March of Dimes programs such as Healthy Babies are Worth the Wait, NICU family support and local research grants that provide comfort and support for moms, babies and their families.

The March of Dimes is the leading nonprofit organization for pregnancy and baby health. For more than 75 years, moms and babies have benefited from March of Dimes research, education, vaccines, and breakthroughs. For the latest resources and health information, visit our websites marchofdimes.org and nacersano.org. If you have been affected by prematurity or birth defects, visit our shareyourstory.org community to find comfort and support. For detailed national, state and local perinatal statistics, visit peristats.org. Find us on Facebook, Instagram and Twitter.

The 2017 March for Babies is sponsored nationally by Kmart, Famous Footwear, Macy’s, Cigna, HCA, and regional sponsor Publix Super Markets, Inc. In our community, March for Babies is sponsored by Texas Children’s Hospital Pavilion for Women, H-E-B, The Woman’s Hospital of Texas, Reliant, Community Health Choice and KPRC-TV.

Katy ISD Teams Advance to the Texas Destination Imagination Affiliate Tournament

(March 10, 2017) –  After months of practice, 19 teams from Katy ISD have qualified to compete at the Texas Destination Imagination Affiliate Tournament held at Lubbock ISD on April 7-9.   

The Gulf Coast Regional Tournament was held on Saturday, March 4th at Seven Lakes High School.  Schools representing the Cy-Fair, Fort Bend, Pasadena, Friendswood and Alvin Independent School Districts along with area private schools attended the annual event.  Approximately 375 teams competed in eight different challenges.  The following Katy ISD schools are preparing to compete against more than 400 teams from districts throughout Texas:

Elementary

  • Alexander, Griffin, Hayes, Holland, Katy, Stanley, Williams and WoodCreek

Junior High

  • Beckendorff, Cinco Ranch, Seven Lakes and Tays

High School

  • Katy and Seven Lakes

The Destination Imagination program fosters students’ creativity, courage and curiosity through open-ended academic challenges in the fields of S.T.E.M (science, technology, engineering and mathematics), fine arts and service learning.  Participants learn patience, flexibility, persistence, ethics, respect for others and their ideas and the collaborative problem solving process.  In Katy ISD, Destination Imagination teams form at participating campuses each September.

For more information about Destination Imagination visit: www.destinationimagination.org

Posted on March 22, 2017March 22, 2017 by Jon-Michael Salter

In the Football world, one that is highlighted by the big play offense and nose-breaking defense, it is the play of the quarterback, the playmaking wideout, or the shut down corner, that gets the biggest cheers amongst barstools and living room couches alike. There is one position that goes unnoticed and as of lately, has almost become completely extinct. The Fullback. A position on the field that requires the smash mouth approach of a middle linebacker, the smooth feet of a tailback and the humble “no one notices until I screw up” approach of an Offensive linemen.

This week for our small school sleeper profile, we decided it is time to give the fullback the love it deserves, as we introduce you to Dreon Johnson.

This 6’0 ,245 lbs, prospect, has the size and strength to be a difference maker in an Eagles, offense that was craving a fullback during 2016. He has the thick base you would want from your blocking back and the smash mouth attitude to succeed. He runs the 40-yard dash in a shade under 4.7 and can create a true matchup problem for defensive coordinators.

What I really love about playing fullback, coming out of the backfield, or coming down on kickoffs, is the contact. I will never shy away from contact, I don’t think there is any room for it on the field. If you don’t want to hit, than why play this game? I love coming out of the backfield and knocking my guy, no matter who he is, what position he is , just knocking him out of his shoes!”

That is where I made my money..on knockout hits, on offense, or tackles on kickoff, or big blocks, in any matter.  I love it. That is how I fit in Philadelphia, forget about my skill set, really, I can do whatever they ask me to do, to help the team, but I fit in Philadelphia, because of my tough-guy, punch you in the mouth style of play. That is how they do it in Philly’, and that is how I will do it, or how I would do it if I get a chance our there, or for any team for that matter.”

Playing at Towson University, Johnson was used in a bevy of ways. When he got on campus, he was thought to be a defensive end, or linebacker. He started his career well, but after a few injuries left the team short of talent, Johnson and his coach saw it fit to let him lend a hand on offense.

In football, you can’t be selfish. There is no room for it. I was asked to move over to Fullback and I signed on the dotted line so to speak. I jumped at the situation, anything to help the team, really, to be a part of the team and really contribute.

When Coach, came to me, I was like ” No Problem, lets go” and really that was it. I put my helmet on and started learning the game on that side of the ball. I honestly can say it was the best thing for me.”

It was his selfless manner, that stuck out to his position coach, and other parts of the Towson, family. One coach going as far to say, “He is a leader, he truly is..and the way he would take any task and run with it stood out. He is special!”

We asked Dreon about his attitude and how he seemed to roll with the punches so well.

Honestly, it was upbringing. I owe everything to my Mother. We were given the short end of the stick, but we were all strong. My mother is strong, my family in general, made me a man quick. My circumstances forced me to be the man of the house at a young age. So I would say having to adapt to that kind of situation made these things so small to me. Not to say my team or football is small, but my life was one way and I had to adapt to it. I came out great and my family is doing great, because we are so strong and capable of dealing with hard times.

Having to be the man at such a young age, having to help raise my siblings, it taught me a lot. A discipline that most kids at my young age would of curled up and quit. Really, a kid my age shouldn’t have to deal with this, but because of the things put in front of me, I had to be a man. I take football as it goes, my Coach asks me to play fullback, I will play fullback, if Coach says “Dreon you’re QB”, shoot I will be QB, and do my best. I am an athlete, so whatever a coach needs me to do I will, I understand it is cliché to say something like that, but it’s the truth. Like I believe it is family first, make sure they are good and I am good. I treat my team like it. If they are doing good, I am!”

Dreon, has the skillset to be a legitimate problem in the Eagles, offense. He adds to it a versatility, that coaches love, and has the attitude and playing style that would make him a fixture in Philadelphia sports for years to come.

Does your pre-schooler enjoy a good story and a chance to mingle with other children his or her own age? The Maud Smith Marks Branch Library offers a variety of fun, educational programs to take children from babyhood to kindergarten and beyond. There is no registration for any storytime. For more information call the library at 281-492-8592.

Infant Storytime

This program will meet each Tuesday morning at 10:15 a.m. and 11:15 am.  This is an interactive program for children ages 0 to 12 months and their caregivers.  Each session will last about 20 minutes, featuring nursery rhymes, songs, and finger plays.

Storytime

Storytime for preschool-aged children is held each Wednesday at 10:15 a.m. Stories, fingerplays, and songs are featured.  This is ideal for children ages 3 to 5, but all children and their caregivers are welcome.

Pre School Explorers

Is your pre-schooler ready to explore the world?  Children ages 2 ½ to 5 are invited to come to the Maud Marks Library on Wednesdays at 11:15 AM as we explore the world.  There will be plenty of stations for science and sensory exploration as we learn about the world.  No registration is required.

Totally Toddler Storytime

Toddlers aged 18 to 36 months are invited to participate in our Totally Toddler Storytime which is held on Thursdays at 10:15 a.m. and 11:15 a.m.  This program is designed with “little wrigglers” in mind. Together the children and their caregivers participate in songs, games, fingerplays and hear some good stories.  Tickets are required for Toddler Storytime.  Tickets are given to the first 30 toddlers on the day of the event.

Fort Bend County Libraries’ Cinco Ranch Branch Library presents a variety of free children’s programs — Mother Goose Time, Toddler Time, Story Time, Pajama Night Story Time, Kinder Korner, and After-School Breaks — every month. These programs are free and open to the public. The library is unable to accommodate daycares and school groups at these activities. The schedule for April is as follows:

Mother Goose Time — Tuesdays at 10:15 a.m. — provides caregiver/infant multisensory circle-time activities — including simple sign language, folksongs and lullabies, and finger plays

— that are especially designed to stimulate babies’ social, emotional, and physical

development through rhythm and music. Mother Goose Time is intended for infants from age 1 month to 12 months. Mother Goose Time will take place on April 4, 11, 18, and 25.

Toddler Time – Wednesdays at 10:15 a.m., and Thursdays at 10:15 am and 11:30 a.m. – is a structured program of caregiver/child activities, stories and songs for older babies, from 12 to 36 months of age. Program dates are April 5, 6, 12, 13, 19, 20, 26, and 27.

Stories & Play – Tuesdays at 2:00 p.m. — for children from 1 to 3 years of age. Children will be treated to a story and then have open play time. Stories & Play will take place on April 4, 11, 18, and 25.

Pre-school children, 3 to 6 years of age, will enjoy Preschool Story Time, where they hear stories, watch movies, and participate in age-appropriate craft activities, beginning at 11:30 a.m. each Wednesday. Program dates are April 5, 12, 19, and 26. 

Pajama Night Story Time — Tuesdays at 7:00 p.m. — gives families an evening option for the activities presented during the daytime.  Program dates are April 4, 11, 18, and 25.

Family Story Time takes place on the 1st Saturday of the month, beginning at 10:15 a.m. Families with children of all ages are invited to attend.

Kinder Korner — a time for kindergartners to enjoy stories, movies, crafts and other activities – takes place on the 2nd and 4th Wednesdays at 4:30 p.m. Program dates are April 12 and 26.

The After-School Breaks — crafts, movies, stories, and more for school-aged children entering grades 1 through 3 – begin at 4:30 p.m. on the 1st and 3rd Wednesday of the month. Program dates are April 5 and 19.

The Creative Connection, which begins at 2:30 p.m. on the 2nd and 4th Saturdays of the month, is designed for youth in grades 4 through 8. Program dates are April 8 and 22. 

Minecraft MondayApril 24, 4:30 p.m. Minecraft challenge for students in grades 4 through 8. Reservations required. To register online at the library’s website (www.fortbend.lib.tx.us), click on “Events,” select “Cinco Ranch Branch Library,” and find the program. Participants may also register by calling the library at 281-395-1311, or by visiting the library.

For more information, please call the Cinco Ranch Branch Library at 281-395-1311 or the library system’s Public Information Office at 281-633-4734. The Cinco Ranch Branch library is located at 2620 Commercial Center Blvd in Katy.

Fort Bend County Libraries’ Bob Lutts Fulshear/Simonton Branch Library, 8100 FM 359 South in Fulshear, presents a variety of free children’s programs — Toddler Time, Story Time, and After-School Breaks — every month. These programs are free and open to the public. The schedule for April is as follows:

Toddler Time — Tuesdays at 10:15 a.m. — offers caregiver/child activities, stories and songs for older babies, from 12 to 36 months of age. The program dates are April 4, 11, 18, and 25.

Pre-school children, 3 to 6 years of age, will enjoy Story Time, where they hear stories, watch movies, and participate in age-appropriate craft activities, beginning at 10:15 a.m. each Wednesday. The program dates are April 5, 12, 19, and 26.

The After-School Break — crafts, movies, stories, and more for school-aged children in grades 1 through 5 – begin at 4:30 p.m. on the 2nd Thursday.  The After-School Break on April 13 will be “Welcome, Spring Chickens!” Make a “Spring Chicken” complete with nest and egg.

For more information, please call the Bob Lutts Fulshear/Simonton Branch Library at 281-633-4675 or the library system’s Public Information Office at 281-633-4734.

AUSTIN – Texans for Education Opportunity Founder and Co-Chair Stacy Hock today issued a statement following the Senate Committee on Education’s passage of Senate Bill 3, which would establish an education savings account and tax credit scholarship program in the State of Texas:

“We could not be more pleased with the Senate Education Committee’s decision to pass SB 3 out of committee today, and we applaud Chairman Larry Taylor for his steadfast leadership on this important issue.

“We received an overwhelming out pour of support from not only the many individuals who testified in favor of SB 3 on Tuesday, but the millions of Texans who have expressed their support for school choice – and this legislation – in the months leading up to this week’s hearing.

“However successful we were in advocating for school choice in committee this week – the fight is long from over. We look forward to working with lawmakers in the weeks to come as this bill makes its way even further through the legislative process.”

The Senate Committee on Education heard testimony on this legislation for over 9 hours on Tuesday. It will now head to the Senate floor for wider consideration.

To learn more about Texans for Education Opportunity, click here.