San Marcos Mercury | Local News from San Marcos and Hays County, Texas
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May 16th, 2008
Hays CISD news briefs

Technology in Hays CISD shows no limits The halls and rooms of the Hays CISD Performing Arts Center were buzzing, literally, with technology and the people-students and teachers-who work it on Thursday night during the 3rd annual districtwide technology showcase.

More than 50 projects represented by all campuses in Hays CISD were on display for parents and community members to look at, and more importantly, participate in.

From making movies to publishing books to designing a house to analyzing data surrounding a sound wave to “Survivor: Real Math for Real Life,” where Wallace Middle School students were assigned a job, a salary and a distance to work and they drew up a budget for living, the showcase brought to light that technology happens everyday in the classrooms of Hays CISD.

In the auditorium, animated and actual movies made by students rolled throughout the night, interrupted by the awarding of gifts to student logo design winners and $31,000 in Innovative Teaching Grants.

“Last year the Foundation gave $50,000 in Innovative Teaching Grants,” said Chris Harkrider, President of the Hays CISD Education Foundation. “This year, I am pleased to say we are giving away $70,000. It gives us a lot of pleasure to give back to this great school district.”

Traditionally, the Innovative Teaching Grants in the Spring average less than $20,000. However, that tradition was broken on Thursday with the granting of $31,000 to nearly 35 teachers throughout the district for innovation in their classrooms.

98 percent of all 8th graders pass reading TAKS

After two administrations of the Texas Assessment of Knowledge and Skills (TAKS) for reading, 98 percent of all 8th Graders in the district have passed.

“This is the first year for Student Success Initiative (SSI) reading in Grade 8, but 98 percent passing is simply outstanding!” said John Thornell, Hays CISD Executive Director of Assessment. “In Grade 8, our lowest scoring middle school is 95 percent passing with the other three at 98 or 99 percent passing.”

Ninety percent of all 5th graders and 93 percent of all 3rd graders have passed the TAKS reading test.

“In Grade 5, we have six of our nine elementary schools at or above 90 percent passing,” he said.

Districtwide, only 16, 8th Graders have not met their SSI reading requirements, Thornell said. Those numbers are 77 for 3rd Grade and 82 for 5th Grade.

By JULIE JEROME
Chief Information Officer – Hays CISD

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