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Denton ISD

GRAND-Parents Day scheduled for Friday

The 12th annual GRAND-parents Day is set for Friday, with the district’s 21 elementary schools planning various activities.

GRAND-parents Day — Grandparents Reading And Nurturing Day — was initiated to encourage grandparents to get involved in the public schools.

“GRAND-parents Day is an opportunity for them to embrace this invitation, visit our schools and help with our literacy programs,” said Sharon Cox, director of communications and community relations for Denton ISD.

GRAND-parents Day was initiated in 2001 by the Grandparents in Public Schools Task Force to honor the important role grandparents have in a child’s education. The 2013-14 chair for the group is Pat Cheek, grandparent and retired teacher.

The day was established to coincide with National Grandparents Day, which is the first Sunday after Labor Day.

Any grandparent wanting to have lunch can contact their grandchild’s school by 9 a.m. Thursday. Cost for lunch is about $3.

For more information, call Denton ISD administration office at 940-369-0000 or the grandchild’s school for specific information.


Grandparents Day, Gridiron Night set

The Denton Independent School District’s Adopt-A-School: Partners in Education and Grandparents in Public Schools programs will conduct the fifth annual Grandparents and Gridiron Night at 7 p.m. Sept. 13 at the C.H. Collins Athletic Complex.

The event will feature the varsity football game between Guyer and Flower Mound Marcus. Denton ISD’s grandparents group and its partnership sponsors will provide free tickets and transportation to and from the game at these locations:

Robson Ranch at Robson Ranch activities center. Buses depart at 5:45 p.m.

Denton ISD Dennis E. Stephens Central Administration Building, 1307 North Locust. Buses depart at 5:30 p.m.

Savannah Elementary School, 1101 Cotton Exchange Drive, Aubrey. Buses depart at 5:30 p.m.

All volunteers in the Grandparents in Public Schools program are encouraged to attend. Grandparent volunteers, Robson Ranch residents, grandparents in the U.S. 380 corridor and others interested in learning more about the program are also welcome.

All participants will receive seats in a stadium suite, food and drinks. Denton ISD will also recognize the Grandparents in Public School volunteers at the game.

Denton ISD’s Grandparents in Public Schools program, initiated in 2000, has become an integral part of the district’s volunteer efforts and the event has become a way to thank its participants and encourage others to join the experience.

At the game, there will also be an opportunity to register in the Denton ISD Senior Citizens Athletic Pass program. The program gives Denton ISD grandparents the opportunity to support Denton ISD athletics with free admission to all high school and middle school athletics and half-price admission on reserve seating at all varsity football games.

To reserve a spot or get more information, contact Sharon Cox in the Denton ISD community relations department at 940-369-0006 or by e-mail at Spaces are limited.


Guyer High

Guyer Theater to present ‘In the Heights’

Guyer High School Theater students will present the Tony award-winning In the Heights at 7:30 p.m. Thursday-Saturday and Sept.12-14 in the school auditorium, located at 7501 Teasley Lane.

In the Heights opened on Broadway in 2008 and earned 13 Tony nominations and four awards, including Best Musical, Best Original Score, Best Orchestrations and Best Choreography.

Tickets are $10 for all ages and can be purchased at the door or at the Guyer High office between 9 a.m. and 4 p.m.

For more information on the performances or tickets, contact Crotwell at 940-369-1156 or by e-mail at


W.S. Ryan Elementary

Watch D.O.G.S. kickoff set for Sept. 11

W.S. Ryan Elementary School will be conducting a kickoff party for its Watch D.O.G.S. program at 6 p.m. Sept. 11, in the school cafetorium.

Fathers, grandfathers, uncles and big brothers of Ryan students are invited to attend with their students and learn about becoming a member of the Watch D.O.G.S. (Dads Of Great Students) program.

Participants will be able to sign up for Watch D.O.G.S. days at the school. Free hot dogs and drinks will be served.

For more information, contact school counselor Shannon Raikes at 940-369-4610.


Denton High

Fourteen students earn IB Diplomas

The Denton Independent School District’s International Baccalaureate Diploma Programme at Denton High School finished the 2012-13 school year with 14 graduates receiving the Distinguished IB Diploma.

Each of these graduating seniors completed all of the requirements in the IB Diploma Programme curriculum and underwent two years of college preparatory rigor to achieve this distinction.

The recent IB graduates include Kyle Caldwell, DePaul University; Julian Conley, University of North Texas; Sidney Durmick, The University of Vermont; Jamitrice Keating-Lynton, Texas Christian University; Austin McGregor, UNT; Madison Morgan, UNT; Jorge Olguin, UNT; Emily Papai, Drexel University; Brianna Parker, The University of Texas at Dallas; Zach Sanderson, UNT; Elizabeth Sherling, Pace University; Elena Souris, Trinity University; Ryan Steiner, The University of Texas at Austin and Taylor Wootton, UNT.

These graduates earned a minimum of 24 college credit hours at their participating colleges and universities in conjunction with the reception of their Distinguished IB Diploma. Depending on their area of study and institution of higher education, the IB diploma could be worth as much as 41 college credit hours.

Denton ISD welcomes students from within and outside the district to apply for a transfer to Denton High and enroll in the IB program.

For more information on the IB program, contact Denton High IB coordinator Beth Hughes at 940-369-2238 or by e-mail at


Krum ISD

Vinson named director of special programs

Krum Independent School District has named Laura Vinson its director of special programs.

Vinson is in charge of KISD’s special education and dyslexia programs, as well as Response to Intervention. She also makes sure the district is in compliance with Section 504 of the Rehabilitation Act of 1973.

Vinson spent 13 years as a general academic and special education teacher within Sanger ISD. She then was a diagnostician for four years and assistant director of special education for 15 years at the Denton County Special Education Cooperative.

She’s been involved in the education field for more than 30 years and said her current position allows her to be directly involved with teachers, students, and parents.


Little Elm ISD

Groundbreaking held for new STEM Academy

In a groundbreaking move, Little Elm Independent School District “turned dirt” on its 31-acre site in The Colony last week signifying the start of construction on one of the only kindergarten through eighth-grade Science, Technology, Engineering and Mathematics academies in the country.

“The new STEM Academy has set the tone for the transformation we are leading in all of our classrooms,” Superintendent Lynne Leuthard said. “On behalf of our current students and the many more to come, I thank you for the role you have played and are about to play in the creation of this campus.”

The STEM Academy will provide students in kindergarten through eighth grade a unique opportunity to build a strong foundation in subjects that are increasingly important in today’s technology-dependent society.

“We must educate our workforce to keep up with the demands of our economy,” State Rep. Pat Fallon, R-Little Elm, said. “It has been proven that graduates who have STEM experience have vastly more earning potential over a lifetime, so clearly this is the direction schools need to be headed.”

More than 120 attendees including residents of The Tribute, future students as well as current teachers and staff joined in the ceremony as everyone took turns shoveling dirt on the property.

A unique partnership between the district and Matthews Southwest, developer of The Tribute, made possible the issuance of $15 million in new bond debt to fund construction of the 80,000-square-foot campus.

The design documents, created by SHW Group, set the tone for an innovative and collaborative learning environment. Pogue Construction will be the contractor for the project.

The campus exterior will mirror key characteristics of The Tribute development, and is situated on the site the district purchased from the 2002 Little Elm ISD Capital Improvements Plan. It pairs brick and stone to accent the existing amenities of the neighborhood.

The entry area to the campus will serve as a centralized meeting area with a “staired” space for seating. This space will also be used for multi-purpose and informal gatherings. It will be tucked beneath a sweeping, circular stairway that will connect the first and second floors.

The primary grades will be housed on the first floor of the facility, while secondary students will be on the second floor. All students will have access to common learning areas including a cafeteria, gymnasium as well as outdoor learning spaces.

Most importantly, flexible learning spaces will divide grade levels into “houses” rather than traditional hallways lined with classrooms. Collaborative areas will inspire students to work on projects and facilitate the shift in instruction that the district is striving to achieve.

Each “house” will have a common center for resource and reference materials for direct access. All of the “houses” will be connected by a two-story atrium for school-wide meetings that can also be used to facilitate small-group instruction.

The entire facility will be wireless with interactive technology for student use. The district currently provides laptops for students in grades six through 12.

Students who reside within The Tribute will have the first opportunity to enroll and remaining students will be selected at random from other Little Elm ISD campuses. Entrance into the STEM Academy will not be based on academic achievement or other criteria.


Northwest ISD

Tidwell principal receives state honor

John M. Tidwell Middle School Principal Kim Barker has been selected to represent the Texas Association of Secondary School Principals as a Region XI Outstanding Assistant Principal Award.

Last year, Barker was the associate principal at Northwest High School. TASSP recognizes outstanding principals and assistant principals from the 20 region Education Services Centers in the state. Barker was nominated and selected by her peers within the region.

Nominations are based upon exemplary performance and outstanding leadership. As a Region XI winner, Barker is eligible to compete for the state title of Texas Assistant Principal of the Year.


Middle schools to present ‘Willy Wonka, Jr.’

Northwest ISD will present its sixth annual middle school musical Roald Dahl’s Willy Wonka, Jr.

Performances will be at 7 p.m. Sept. 13-14 at Vernon Solomon Performing Arts Center, 2301 Texan Drive in Justin. Tickets are $10 for adults and $7 for students. To make reservations, call 817-215-0268.

Faith-Based Rally scheduled for Sept. 19

Northwest Independent School District Partners in Education is offering an opportunity for faith-based organizations to learn how to become more involved in the school district.

The Faith-Based Rally will be from 11:30 a.m. to 1 p.m. Sept. 19 at the NISD Administration Building, 2001 Texan Drive in Justin. NISD Partners in Education will share ways to partner with the school district to ensure students have the resources they need to be successful in a global society.

To atttend, RSVP by calling 817-215-0175.


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