February 25, 2014

Todd Marshall
Director of Communications,
Marketing and Development
903.794.3651 ext. 1013

Budget Calendar Texas Middle School Course Guide and Virtual Academy Agreement Approved during TISD Board Meeting

Texarkana, TX – The Tuesday, February 18, 2014 regular session of Texarkana Independent School District Board of Trustees addressed the 2014-15 budget calendar, Texas Middle School Program of Studies and Course Description Guide for the upcoming school year and continued partnership with Calvert Educational Services for the Texarkana ISD Virtual Academy.

Deidra Reeves, Chief Financial Officer, shared with Trustees the current status of the 2014-15 budget calendar. “Since January, we have been preparing our estimated budgets and will now be moving forward through the end of March visiting with campuses and departments to review their respective needs. We essentially know the fixed numbers from the State of Texas and will have estimated appraised values from Bowie County Appraisal District in April.” TISD will have their first budget reading on April 15 with public hearing on budget, proposed tax rate and final budget approval on June 24.

In other business, Lori Ables, Director of Secondary Curriculum, Instruction & Academic Services, presented changes to the Texas Middle School Program of Studies & Course Description Guide for 2014-15. “For the upcoming school year, we have elected to integrate the Health Science & Medicine (HSM) Career Academy with the Science, Technology, Engineering & Mathematics Academy (STEM). Undoubtedly, there is much crossover within the curriculum of the two academies and we find that HSM is a natural fit with the STEM program.

“Based upon student interest, our newest academy offering will be Innovative Design & Exploration of the Arts (IDEAs). This academy will focus on the design component of the arts and exploration in innovative careers such as video game design, commercial design, animation, digital art, landscape architecture, graphic design and urban planning,” Ables continued.

Research shows that arts experiences, whether they be visual, musical or kinesthetic, develop young minds within pattern recognition, cognitive control, creativity, focus and auditory distinctions, and connectivity.

Lastly, Trustees approved the continued collaboration between Texarkana ISD Virtual Academy and Calvert Educational Services (CES) for the 2014-15 school year. Through this partnership, CES provides a customized version of their world-renowned curriculum that is also aligned with the Texas Essential Knowledge and Skills (TEKS).

The Texarkana ISD Virtual Academy provides online learning for any public school student who is motivated to learn academic content in a customized educational setting with the daily support of a responsible adult. Students will be challenged and encouraged to achieve the highest academic level of learning while at the same time fostering their ability to integrate ideas and concepts across subject areas. All students enrolled in the academy have the same accountability measures required by the State and are required to take all annual assessments.

Enrolled students have course studies tailored to their individual strengths and needs. Studies include: English, Math, Science, Social Studies, Physical Education, Health, Fine Arts and Spanish for grades 7 and 8.

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