October 22, 2014

  • HPISD Given Highest Rating For Finances

    Highland Park ISD has its finances in order, at least according to the Texas Education Agency, which gave the district a “superior” rating in the most recent Schools FIRST (which stands for Financial Integrity Rating System of Texas).

    The highest possible rating reflects HPISD’s financial management and reporting system, and it was reached by analyzing staff and student data from the 2012-13 school year, as well as budget and financial data from the fiscal year ending in August 2013.

    The financial accountability system was developed by the TEA in 2001, in response to Senate Bill 218. For you numbers gurus, you can examine the entire HPISD report here.

    By Todd Jorgenson Oct. 22, 2014 | 5:05 pm | 1 Comment | Comments RSS
  • High Schools Team Up For Soles4Souls

    Area high schools are banding together for a cause, launching a drive to collect 25,000 shoes for Soles4Souls.

    Highland Park High School, Ursuline Academy, Hockaday, Episcopal School of Dallas, St. Mark’s, Cistercian, and several other schools have joined the movement by setting up drop off locations. New and used shoes can be donated at the high schools throughout October.

    Soles4Souls has distributed more than 22 million pairs of shoes in 127 countries since its inception in 2007. Noah Conner, a junior at HPHS and one of the student ambassadors for Soles4Souls, said everyone probably has a pair of shoes in their closet that they don’t wear, and they can be used to make the world a better place. 

    By Allyssa Schoonover Oct. 22, 2014 | 10:46 am | No Comments | Comments RSS
  • October 21, 2014

  • Air Force Thunderbirds at Alliance Air Show

    Lookintbirds1Dhorizontalg for a great family activity? The Fort Worth Alliance Air Show is this weekend, Oct. 25-26.  The headliners are the U.S. Air Force Thunderbirds. It looks like it will be perfect blue-sky weather. It’s a great reason to be looking up instead of down at our phones! Admission is free, although you’ll have to pay for parking. All the details are at allianceairshow.com.

    By Patricia Martin Oct. 21, 2014 | 11:26 am | No Comments | Comments RSS
  • Providence Releases New CD of Hymns

    Providence 9

    Students from five grade levels participated in the recording at the school on Sept. 9. (Photo: Chris McGathey)

    A sea of children stand in their uniforms, boys in pressed shorts and girls in smocks with Peter-Pan collars, hands folded, eyes gazed with intensity.

    They’re singing their hearts out with purpose — to record a CD of hymn medleys to be sold by their school, Providence Christian.

    “It’s a rare feat, to have that many children sing by memory and learn all those words — words some of them don’t even understand yet,” pianist David Leeman said.

    Read More…

    By Sarah Bennett Oct. 21, 2014 | 10:00 am | No Comments | Comments RSS
  • October 20, 2014

  • HPMS Takes On Shrek: The Musical

    Fairy-tale characters put their best foot forward at dress rehearsal.

    Fairy-tale characters put their best foot forward at dress rehearsal.

    Some Highland Park Middle School students have been hard at work rehearsing for their upcoming performance of “Shrek: The Musical” on Oct. 23-26.

    The cast of 43 seventh- and eighth-grade students are in a Playbill class taught by Susan McCormick, the HPMS drama director. Megan Kelly Bates of the Preston Center Dance Conservatory has contributed to the show as well.

    The show features Stephen Bates as Shrek, Claire DeJean as Fiona, and Jack Smith as Donkey, accompanied by the whole slew of fairy-tale characters. The musical is based on the 2001 film and William Steig’s book. It hit Broadway in 2008 and was nominated for eight Tony Awards, including Best Musical.

    Admission is a mere $5 and tickets are available from 10:30 a.m. to 1 p.m. on Oct. 23-24, and 30 minutes prior to the show.

    By Allyssa Schoonover Oct. 20, 2014 | 1:35 pm | No Comments | Comments RSS
  • October 17, 2014

  • HPISD to Deep-Clean Campuses This Weekend

    Highland Park ISD just released a memo on behalf of superintendent Dawson Orr saying that the school district will commence a deep-cleaning of each campus this weekend and into next week. Custodial staff will also “step up” daily cleaning measures.

    “We have checked the CDC guidelines for recommended cleaning products and the commercial grade anti-viral disinfectants currently in use on every campus exceed those recommendations,” Orr said in the memo.

    In the spirit of rumor control, the district wished to emphasize that no member of the Bradfield Elementary community was on the Frontier Airlines flight with Ebola patient Amber Vinson — a parent and student did fly from Cleveland to Dallas on Oct. 13, but on a different plane.

    Read More…

    By Sarah Bennett Oct. 17, 2014 | 12:27 pm | No Comments | Comments RSS
  • Hyer Carnival Will Be All Fun and Games

    From left, Arden Cryer, Jenna Bowen, and Madison McBee  Middle (l to r):  Lennox Byrd, Principal Jeremy Gilbert, Jack Bowen, Jacob Steele, and Tyler Gravlee   Seated Front (l to r):  Elise Pankratz and Lydia Pankratz

    From left, back row: Arden Cryer, Jenna Bowen, and Madison McBee. Middle row: Lennox Byrd, Hyer principal Jeremy Gilbert, Jack Bowen, Jacob Steele, and Tyler Gravlee. Front row: Elise Pankratz and Lydia Pankratz

    With events that include names such as “water wars,” “cake walk,” and “can smash,” how can this weekend’s annual carnival at Hyer Elementary School not be fun for all ages?

    The carnival has a “Stay Cool” theme this year, and will feature plenty of activities in addition to those listed above. There also will be plenty of rides and refreshments between 11 a.m. and 3 p.m., and of course, the community is invited.

    By Todd Jorgenson Oct. 17, 2014 | 10:27 am | 1 Comment | Comments RSS
  • October 16, 2014

  • Eat BBQ and Donate to Highlander Band

    Members of the Highlander Band join Mike Shannon, managing partner of Peggy Sue BBQ, to promote Friday's fundraiser. (Photo: Greg Sommers)

    Members of the Highlander Band join Mike Shannon, managing partner of Peggy Sue BBQ, to promote Friday’s fundraiser, which includes dinner and a silent auction. (Photo: Greg Sommers)

    Before you watch them march and hear them play during Friday’s football game, you can support the Highlander Band at its annual BBQ With the Band fundraiser from 5 to 7 p.m. Friday in the HPHS cafeteria.

    The dinner and auction will feature catering by Peggy Sue BBQ, and it will even include a take-out option from 4:30 to 6:30 in the teacher parking lot off Douglas Avenue. There will be live entertainment by the Dixie Scots and various silent auction items (including six raffle baskets valued at $1,000 or more).

    The goal, of course, is to raise money for the band’s operating costs, instrument purchases and repairs, equipment and uniforms, and transportation. You can preview some of the auction items here.

    By Todd Jorgenson Oct. 16, 2014 | 10:31 am | No Comments | Comments RSS
  • October 15, 2014

  • Books Debate Continues With School Board

    Parents and neighbors stood out in the hallway to hear at the HPISD school-board meeting. (Staff photo: Sarah Bennett)

    Parents and neighbors stood in the hallway to hear at the HPISD school-board meeting. (Staff photo: Sarah Bennett)

    The HPISD Board of Trustees clearly expected a crowd at the Oct. 14 meeting, as it was held at the Armstrong Elementary auditorium instead of the usual McCulloch Intermediate School location.

    (Update: HPISD had long scheduled the meeting to be held at Armstrong in honor of the Centennial celebrations.) But even Armstrong’s auditorium didn’t provide enough seats. Prior to the meeting’s start, parents and neighbors were gathered outside the auditorium, spilling into the hallway and lobby, straining for a chance to hear.

    The first item of note was an “Ebola update” from Dr. LeeAnn Kridelbaugh, who is a member of the medical-education staff at Cook’s Children’s Medical Center. She briefed the board on Ebola health concerns, and then met in the library with school nurses and a handful of parents with additional questions. Sources have reported that absences at Armstrong have gone up since county judge Clay Jenkins (an Armstrong parent) has been at the front of the Ebola fight — though school nurses have confirmed that there is no reason to panic. Read More…

    By Sarah Bennett Oct. 15, 2014 | 5:16 pm | 11 Comments | Comments RSS
  • ESD Sophomore is Comfortable Behind Camera

    ESD sophomore Cal Etcheverry will attend the All-American High School Film Festival in October in New York. (Courtesy photo)

    ESD sophomore Cal Etcheverry will attend the All-American High School Film Festival in October in New York.

    Cal Etcheverry made nine short films, formed his own studio, and won a grand prize at a festival for a French-language project.

    Then he became a sophomore in high school.

    Etcheverry’s passion for filmmaking has led to a diverse and polished resume of student films, three of which were accepted into the All-American High School Film Festival in late October in New York City. Read More…

    By Todd Jorgenson Oct. 15, 2014 | 10:00 am | No Comments | Comments RSS
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