San Marcos Mercury | Local News from San Marcos and Hays County, Texas
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June 1st, 2008
Hays CISD news briefs

Graduations fill last weekend of May Nearly 600 students from Hays High School, Lehman High School and The Academy@Hays crossed the stage Friday and Saturday as part of the final rite of passage in public school.

Dakota Peterson, HHS valedictorian, commented in his Friday Commencement speech that the Class of 2008 has grown up right alongside the community.

“We have shuffled from school to school as we watched our community grow,” he said, noting that many of his fellow students remember the only places to buy groceries were Bon Ton and Buda Grocery.

“Let us thank our teachers who showed us, more than any other lesson, how to learn,” he said. “That is one of the biggest gifts our high school education has given us. And for that we will be forever in your debt.”

Dakota urged his classmates to take pride in what they do and “what you bring to the world because we all bring something spectacular,” and to relish in their accomplishments.

“Parents, never compare your kids to someone else’s kids,” said Alexis Guadarrama, valedictorian of the LHS Class of 2008. “A job may be good for some quick money now, but an education will last a lifetime.”

Alexander Rasche, salutatorian of the LHS Class of 2008, advised his classmates to “remember to expect the unexpected, prepare for the unprepared” and “don’t listen to anything anyone else has to say. Listen to what your heart has to say.”

Elsa Hinojosa, Principal of Lehman High School, told the class, “As the sun sets on your high school experience, many of your dreams will come true. You can make a difference in the lives of others.”

(Photos of both graduation ceremonies available upon request)

Masons ‘level’ cornerstones of new elementary schools

Members of the Grande Lodge of Texas Masons conducted the symbolic “leveling” of the cornerstones of Blanco Vista Elementary School and Camino Real Elementary School on Saturday, one more step as those schools ready for opening in August.

During the ceremony, Masons verify with a square, level and plumb, that the “craftsmen have done their duty.”

“I find this cornerstone well formed, true and trusty and may this undertaking be conducted and completed by the craftsmen according to the Grand Plan, in peace, love and harmony,” said Archie Scott, a Mason from Austin.

The ceremony dates back hundreds of years. George Washington was a Freemason and Masons “leveled” the cornerstone of the Texas Capitol in 1885.

“The cornerstone reminds us that if we are to build any lasting structure, it must rest upon a firm foundation and one that is truly set,” according to the ceremony readings. “When properly prepared by the tools of operative masonry, the cornerstone is perfectly square.”

(Photos available upon request)

Hays CISD TAKS scores show improvement

The most recent preliminary scores on Hays CISD students’ Texas Assessment of Knowledge and Skills (TAKS) show all campuses are moving in the right direction: up.

All student “subgroups” in the district made gains this year in the reading/ELA portion of the TAKS, and preliminary results show the district is recognized or exemplary in this subject.

“Eight campuses had reading passing rates in the 90 percent range,” said John Thornell, Hays CISD Executive Director of Assessment. “The highest gain occurred in the economically disadvantaged subgroup.”

District commended rate is 33 percent of all students tested, a 4 percent gain over last year.

The writing portion tells a similar story. Eight campuses have passing rates in the 90 percent range.

“The campus that made the largest gain in writing this year was Tom Green Elementary School, with 7 percent,” Thornell said.

The district commended rate is 27 percent.

The passing rate for math is 76 percent, a 4 percent gain over last year, he said.

“All accountability subgroups showed gains from 4-5 percent in math,” he said. “Nine of our 16 campuses had math passing rates in the recognized range for all students.”

The district commended rate for math is 22 percent, which is a 3 percent gain over last year. Dahlstrom Middle School achieved the highest gain in commended passing rate, he said.

Students showed an increase of 7 percent in passing the science portion of the TAKS.

“All campuses, except for two showed gains in science this year, ranging from 1 percent to 22 percent, which occurred at Hemphill Elementary School,” Thornell said. “Noteworthy is the 71 percent of economically disadvantaged students at Hemphill that passed science this year.”

Three campuses-Buda Elementary, Elm Grove Elementary and Negley Elementary-report commended rates in science of greater than 50 percent.

In Social Studies, all campuses but two scored in the 90 percent range.

“The district commended rate in social studies is 37 percent this year which is a gain of 3 percent over last year,” he said. “Our middle schools really shined in social studies this year”

Deadline for student transfer application is June 2

Deadline to file an application for a student transfer-from one school to another within Hays CISD, as well as from another district into Hays CISD-is Monday June 2. Applications must be picked up and filed at the Central Administration Office, 21003 Interstate 35 in Kyle. The applications are for school year 2008-09.

All students wishing to transfer to a school outside of their attendance zone next year must complete a transfer application. Students who have been granted transfers in the past must fill out a new transfer form. Students who are in a special program at a location other than his/her “home” campus, should contact the principal to ensure he/she will continue to receive services at that location.

Parents of students applying for a transfer will be notified by letter prior to the start of school on August 25. Transportation for students granted permission to attend schools outside their attendance areas will not be provided by the school district.

New student registration set for August

New student registration will be in early August-6 and 7 for elementary students, and August 11 and 12 for secondary students. The registration will take place at all campuses during regular business hours. During the summer, campuses are open Monday through Thursday.

According to state law, to enroll, students must provide:

o A birth certificate or another document suitable as proof of the child’s identity
o A copy of the child’s records from the school most recently attended
o A record showing that the child has the immunizations required, proof that the child is not required to be immunized or proof that the child is entitled to provisional admission.

Students shall not be denied enrollment if they cannot provide a birth certificate or Social Security number. However, they must provide proof of immunizations.

Please call the Central Administration Office, 268-2141, if you are new to the district and are unsure where your child will be attending school.

Chief Information Officer – Hays CISD

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