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Our mission is to provide a quality education through shared responsibility in a safe supportive environment for all students to meet the challenges of a global society. We are “Committed to Excellence”, and we work hard to make the site a primary source for timely information for all users, and a main gateway for improved communication between parents, teachers, students and other members of our community. Our goal and responsibility is to help each student develop an enthusiasm for learning, a respect for self and others, and the skills to become a creative independent thinker and problem solver.

Cubs Corner

Guilty As Charged!
By Dana Ketchersid
Colonial Heights Principal

Ladies and Gentlemen of the jury I have to admit that I am guilty! Guilty of having one of the most rewarding and enriching jobs there is. As principal of Colonial Heights Elementary, I daily enjoy the blessing of working with endearing children, a talented staff and devoted parents. You could ask any of my predecessors- Tom Gaither, Diane Fulford, Jerry Thomas or Fred Cawthon and I’m sure they would agree. If you need further evidence please consider the following:

Each morning as I stand sentinel at the front of the first grade hall, I am greeted with charming smiles, toothless grins and embracing hugs. These children start my day in the brightest way and each child is special in their own unique way. Looking at these children I see future engineers, architects, scientists, doctors, lawyers, teachers, astronauts and the bright futures that await them. Working alongside my dedicated and talented staff we seek to create a culture of universal achievement. One of the most important lessons I’ve learned along the way is the value and significance of teamwork to achieve this goal. We have a cohesive and collaborative staff that is willing to help each other no matter what their position. One of my new staff members recently remarked, “I’ve noticed that no matter what position people are in, everybody helps each other.” This collaboration is further witnessed through the sharing of knowledge and expertise- veteran teachers working alongside novice teachers to create dynamic and engaging lessons, respectively learning from each other. I would also like to share my gratitude to our Superintendent, Dr. Monroe, and her administrative team for providing excellent training to prepare our staff in this journey. During this school year we’ve been provided with instruction in helping children that speak English as their second language, specialized information to close the achievement gap with our under-resourced students, brain-based learning techniques, No Excuses University, as well as Margaret Kilgo curriculum training to enhance our instruction.

In creating a culture of universal achievement Colonial Heights has implemented a couple new things. One has to do with our adoption of the No Excuses University creed. We want all students to have the opportunity to go to college. To help promote this belief, each classroom has adopted a college and is learning different aspects about their adopted colleges. For example, several of our classrooms have learned their college’s fight song or a chant. College symbols resonate throughout our hallways as our entire staff is dedicated to preparing our students with the knowledge to go to college! Students are able to share their chants, cheers, etc. through our assemblies each six-weeks.

Another new introduction at Colonial Heights is our Champions Cub Club. This is a celebration of excellence in academics, behavior and attendance. Assemblies are held each six-weeks and students are recognized for their efforts. We’ve been fortunate enough to have the BMS cheerleaders join us and help award students meeting the specified criteria. We appreciate the positive role-models these girls provide and appreciate Mr. Waldrip, middle school principal, for sharing these students. These are just a couple of the exciting ways we’ve worked to promote a culture of universal achievement. In closing Ladies and Gentlemen of the jury, I’m sure by now you’ve been convinced that the work of a principal, although challenging at times, is extremely rewarding and enriching. Besides when I get ready to retire, and hopefully that is some years from now, I’ve already got a replacement at my campus. First grade student, Anahi, said she wants to grow to be a principal someday. Perhaps she will be the next guilty one!

Standardized Assessments in Prek?

In the recent Texas elections, the topic of prekindergarten has made the candidates’ platforms and debates. One candidate outlined a universal prekindergarten. There have been discussions from the candidates of implementation of a standardized assessment in prekindergarten.

Currently, Texas Public Schools receive one-half day attendance funding for enrolled prekindergarten eligible children. School districts often partner with outside agencies such as Head Start in order to offer full-day quality prekindergarten programs. Head Start is the main federal preschool program. This public program, created in 1964 as a part of President Lyndon B. Johnson’s anti-poverty agenda, provides preschoolers with education, nutrition, health, and social services at special centers based in schools and community settings throughout the country. Research studies that have followed assessments at ages 12 and 15 revealed significantly higher scores in reading and mathematics from students that participated in Head Start Preschool Programs verses a controlled group of students of the same age and demographics that did not participate in a Head Start Preschool Program.

One of the reasons, electoral candidates’ selected prekindergarten programs for Texas Public Schools is that there is overwhelming academic research that has proven students that complete prekindergarten programs perform at a higher achievement level beginning in kindergarten through high school continuing to college or universities. There is an effort to maximize educational gains, educators and policymakers are placing more and more importance on the early education of children in Texas and in the United States.

As far as implementing standardized assessments, quality prekindergarten programs currently implement one of the Texas Commissioners’ standardized reading readiness assessments correlated with data which measures the success rate of prekindergarten students that transition to kindergarten. Over and over the data reveals students that the long-term benefits are documented in longitudinal studies.

There are some misconceptions about assessments for young children. These assessments are not paper and pencil test. Readiness assessments differ from typical standardized tests by covering more than just math and literacy. Some like the C-PALLS assessment created by the Children’s Learning Institute for use in the State of Texas, measures language and literacy, reading skills, math, social and personal development, and science. Testing children before they enter kindergarten is not a new or unusual phenomenon.

There are two types of standardized tests: high stakes and low-stakes. High stakes test scores are increasingly used by elementary, middle, and high schools for accountability purposes. Low-stakes testing has the purpose of improving instruction to ensure all students learn and master the learning outcomes. Readiness assessments are about ensuring that children are ready to learn. It is about ensuring a smooth transition from the child’s pre-school learning to the kindergarten classroom and early grades of elementary school.

Advocates for early education place universal access to prekindergarten programs on the top of their priority list. Advocates recommend that states increase access to prekindergarten programs for all children who need it by: increasing funding for prekindergarten initiatives and making funding a priority in low-income areas; offering all-day programs; providing transportation to and from school; and making staff members available who can communicate with parents and students whose primary language is not English.

Children learn numerous items while they attend preschool. The curriculum hosts a full-day of learning from morning circle time, content area instruction of English Language Arts, Mathematics, Science and Social Studies, music and movement, play time, transition time, and health and nutrition. Preschool learning promotes language, social, physical, and cognitive goals. At the Bright Beginnings Academic Center, we are committed to providing a quality prekindergarten early learning program for all prekindergarten eligible students. We are fortunate to be able to continue to provide a full-day learning program for our students. Our campus is currently in its fifth year, and we strive for continuous improvement for a quality prekindergarten program for our students and their families.

The Bright Beginnings’ Campus recently completed our first Parent Meeting where we celebrated the number of parents that participated in learning the College Chant. Bright Beginnings Academic Center believes that every student deserves the opportunity to be educated in a way that prepares them for college or career.

During the month of October, the Bright Beginnings Campus completes standardized and progress monitoring assessments for all students. The assessment data is utilized to improve children’s development and kindergarten readiness. The use of a single assessment for the child’s learning may render unreliable results. Classroom teachers conference with parents of all students and review assessment data results in order to complete an individualized learning plan for each student to reach their full potential during their prekindergarten year. When assessments are used for learning, then students benefit from the assessment learning process.

There is a large consensus that investing in high-quality prekindergarten education yields benefits for children, schools, and communities. The stands are clear from the election candidates; prekindergarten is a significant early learning foundation that will make a significant difference in the educational success of its participants.

Kathleen Crooks

Brownfield High School

We all know the purpose of setting goals and the hard work it takes to achieve success. At Brownfield High School two of our goals are “Every Senior will be enrolled in a post-secondary educational institution before high school graduation” and “there is no excuse not to do something after high school” There are several factors that directly impact a person’s ability to achieve these goals - factors such as confidence, internal motivation, and hard work. At Brownfield High School we are not only working on these traits - we are seeing success. I have only been a part of the Brownfield community for a short period of time and the successes and opportunities I see here are amazing. Brownfield High School students have the opportunity to graduate with job required certificates in Cosmetology, Welding, or Pharmacy Tech. Students can take college level courses such as AP or dual credit and receive college hours. Brownfield High School offers extracurricular activities such as Student Council, National Honor Society, Spanish Club, Athletics, Theater, Band, Choir, and FFA. The students in these groups do not just participate but exceed. The band was distinguished at UIL receiving a 1, Volleyball just won Bi-District, Football took second in district, Theater put on a student directed Dinner Theater for the community, Cross country took several students to regionals, and there are groups competing every week. Seniors this year have visited a variety of college campuses and have been accepted to schools across this state and others such as Mary Hardin Baylor, Angelo State, New Mexico Junior College, and South Plains College and it’s only November. We are working hard to ensure our students have a plan after high school and the skills needed to achieve them. The accomplishments and opportunities already seen this year are just the beginning. The more we succeed the more opportunities will present themselves and we will achieve our goals of having every student enrolled in a post-secondary educational institution, and everyone with a plan when they graduate.

Benjamin Taylor
Assistant Principal
Brownfield High School

What a great time to be a Brownfield Cub!

What a great time to be a Brownfield Cub! My name is Gerardo “Jerry” Estrada and I am the new assistant principal at Brownfield Middle School. I have taught Math and coached Baseball, Football, and P.E. over the last 10 years at Frenship, Lubbock Estacado, and Plainview. My wife, Amy, is the new Special Education Coordinator for the Four County Shared Services Agreement (FCSSA). My oldest son, Nicholas, attends the second grade at Oak Grove, my daughter, Mylee attends kindergarten at Colonial Heights, and my youngest son Reese attends a local daycare. We bought a home in Brownfield and moved into the community in July. The community, the schools, and the people have proven to us time and time again that Brownfield is the place to be and we couldn’t be prouder to call ourselves Cubs.

I shamefully recall a personal story that I often share with students in my office. I tell it knowing that any possible lesson from the story, will never out-weigh the damage it infused. I tell it hoping my mistakes will present an opportunity for students to examine their own behavior, and hopefully trigger a change in their behavior, or at least encourage them to see how their actions can affect others.

So why move to Brownfield? What is so great about it anyways? For most of you, just like it was for us, Brownfield has great jobs. It’s growing and there are good jobs to be had out there. The next thing that most people think about when they move to a new community is what are the schools like? The schools in Brownfield are thriving. If you’ve kept up with Cub Corner over the current school year, you know that athletics is on the rise. Volleyball, Football, Cross Country, Tennis…it doesn’t matter what sport, they are all winning. Extracurricular activities like Band are also experiencing success. More importantly, Academics are now the focus and are also on the rise. For the first time in five years, all schools in Brownfield ISD met standard.

The good news is that BISD’s future is bright. Brownfield Middle School just took 70+ students to UIL competition and brought home numerous medals. The 8th grade football team won the district championship outright with a perfect district record. We have kids that participate in numerous activities from volleyball, student council, band, cheerleading, choir and the list goes on. In my transition, to my new job in a new community, that has been the most redeeming quality. We have great kids! Our kids are courteous, respectful, and hard working. Just the other day, we got a letter from a handicapped Shallowater resident who told us how, three of our students had helped her with directions and then escorted her to the gym to make sure she found it.

As the old saying goes, it takes a village to raise a child. In the middle school’s case, that village consists of parents, teachers, administrators and other staff, like our S.T.A.R. instructors, custodial, paraprofessionals and cafeteria staff. We have a great system in place and we are seeing great results. Our discipline referrals have fallen by almost 20 % from this point last year. We wouldn’t have the kids we have at the middle school if weren’t for the parents and their support. I talk to parents on a constant basis, and almost without fail, our parents are supportive. There are differences, but they are far and few between. One of the reasons for that is we have some of the best teachers in the area. Our school board has faithfully approved competitive salary schedules for teachers and it has allowed us to attract some of the best teachers in the area. From the moment our students step foot on our campus they are greeted by cafeteria ladies, paraprofessionals, custodial staff, and even two former marines that serve as our S.T.A.R instructors, who talk to them, laugh with them, and most importantly show them that they care.

Brownfield ISD is on the rise. There are great systems and personnel in place for every campus, including the Middle School. There are great reasons to be invested into our community and our schools. People often ask me about my new job, Brownfield, and the people of Brownfield and all I can say is good things. So my challenge to you, as you read this is to sell who and what we are. Brownfield Cubs!

Gerardo Estrada
Assistant Principal
Brownfield Middle School

Oak Grove Elementary

We're a few days past our Thanksgiving feasts and celebrations, and the sentiment of the holiday is still on my mind. At this time of year we all are thankful for our families and our time together, but this year I started thinking about how thankful (and fortunate) I am to be in the position of an educator. I've always said that one of the best parts of being in education is the fact that there are never two days that are the same. We get to go to work and be a part of something new each and every day. A few things that I am thankful (and again, fortunate) to be a part of:

The sparkle in the eyes of a 2nd grader who walks up to us every morning with a wonderful smile, and waits in front of us until we say "Good Morning." No matter how cold, windy, or rainy it is, nothing beats greeting our kids every morning. Our students come to school ready to learn. It's a great feeling when we can tell by their smiles and their greetings that they are glad to be at our school.

The chance to help a student. It may be a band-aid that is needed for a "terrible" paper cut, or a zip tie needed to help hold up those jeans that are just a little too big - either one is a small chance that I get to help one of our kids. I'm thankful that they know we are glad to put a band-aid on all of the little "owies" that occur during the school day, and I get to help make their day a little bit easier.

The daily ritual of birthday pencils. Who would have thought that letting a student pick out a birthday pencil would be so rewarding? But when our kids get to hear their name called over the PA and then come get a birthday pencil on their special day, I am thankful that sometimes I get to be the one that hands them that pencil. I'm thankful that I get to wish them a happy birthday. I'm thankful that I get to be a small part of their special day.

The excitement of a Slush Monkey coupon. Every Wednesday we have our No Excuses University College Trivia day. We ask our students a trivia question during announcements, watch their excited faces as they try their best not to run down the halls, and listen to all of those who have answers to the question. The student with the correct answer (given in a complete sentence, of course) is given a coupon for a Slush Monkey. I am thankful that I get to hear our students learn each week about another college and celebrate with them with a slushie.

The pride of a student sharing success. We do our best at Oak Grove to build relationships with our students, and part of that is helping them recognize and celebrate the successes, big or small, in their classrooms. I am thankful that I get to sit with a young student and watch him proudly count all of the stickers he has earned on his chart. I am thankful that I work with teachers that care so much that they take time to recognize small steps in improvement that in turn, create big rewards in the confidence and actions of their students.

The satisfaction of bus duty. Our students work hard all day, every day. We have very high expectations at Oak Grove and our students continue to meet them. Not only do they work hard throughout the regular school day, but many work during after school tutorials. I'm thankful for teachers that are willing and committed to do what it takes to help our students succeed - even after 3:30. I'm thankful for parents that allow us to keep their children even longer than the dismissal bell because they also want what's best for their kids and are supportive of the efforts of our teachers. I'm thankful for, even at 4:45 in the afternoon, the smiles on the faces of students when they come down the hall and head out to their bus. After a long day of work, our Mighty Oaks are still smiling and, I think, secretly laughing at me because I can never remember what bus they are supposed to get on! Did I mention I'm thankful for bus drivers that can tell me in a heartbeat what route goes to nearly any address in town?

The representation of Oak Grove students at other locations. After spending months preparing, our students participated in UIL Academic competition. If you've never been to an elementary UIL meet, you're missing a lot of action! Between director's meetings, two separate bus arrival times, events scheduled throughout the day, contest grading and judging, and a concession stand, all of our UIL competitors were on the move for most of the day. I am thankful that even though we were out of the normal structure of our campus and classrooms, our students represented Oak Grove and Brownfield in a way that would make each and every one of their parents proud. I'm thankful (and proud) that our students were polite, well - behaved, and showed gracious sportsmanship in each of their events.

I am thankful for many aspects of my job. As an educator, I get to be a part of all of the amazing things the young people in our community are doing. I am fortunate to get to greet, help, celebrate, encourage, and support these students. I am thankful that I work with teachers, custodians, cafeteria personnel, bus drivers, and other administrators that care about our students. I am thankful that I am a part of Oak Grove and Brownfield ISD.

Susan Brisendine
Assistant Principal
Oak Grove Elementary

Brownfield Athletics Fall of 2014

As the Athletic Director here at Brownfield the last four years, I have seen many great things and accomplishments in the program such as: the numbers of young ladies and men participating, to building a strong tradition in our athletic program, to building a very driven and strong moral program for our young men and women, to a program on the South Plains that is highly thought of by the surrounding communities. We have put a well-developed program out there that is building strong traditions and is something we hope the community is happy to go support and be excited to say they are a Brownfield Cub. The Brownfield athletic program is a program that our kids here at Brownfield grow up in and look forward to being a Cub or Lady Cub. That is a special thing that I believe we have set into place here in our West Texas Town of Brownfield. We are in the business of turning our young men and women into successful individuals when they graduate from Brownfield High School and to be able to be a success in our world today. We want our student athletes to feel they can make a difference and they can win and be successful in all they do. We anticipate they will become great leaders for our society in the future.

In the fall of 2014 we had a very successful Cross Country team. Our Lady Cubs qualified three for the regional cross country meet in Lubbock. Ivory Gonzales who finished 17th in the meet, Tori Castro who finished 25th and Jasmine Fields who finished 27th where they ran their fastest times of year. These young ladies were very close to running at the state meet. The Boys Cross Country team finished third in district and qualified for the regional meet in Lubbock. The team consisted of Jon Gonzales, Miguel Guerrero, Alfredo Lozano, Alex Martinez, and Nicholas Salazar. Miguel and Alfredo were our top two finishers at regional finishing 25th and 28th which is just a few spots out of qualifying for state. Our Cross Country program is led by Coach Amy Villasenor.

In the fall of 2014 our Lady Cub Volleyball program made some noise of its own. The Lady Cubs made the playoffs in 2014 for the 2nd year in a row. The team was led by Coach Charity Welps and it was very exciting to watch. This program is one that has continued our great tradition here at Brownfield. Our Lady Cubs were Area finalists and Bi-District Champions in the fall of 2014. Furthermore, the Bi-District win was our first playoff win in more than a decade.

In the fall of 2014 our Cub Football program earned its third trip to the playoffs and won a Bi-District Championship and were Area finalists. The football program was a very exciting football team and a team that was extremely fun to watch. Our football team is one that was passionate and played with heart and soul each week. Our football program here at Brownfield has expectations and tradition and is one that our community can be proud and excited about watching. It is our goal here at Brownfield to put your children in a very strong support system to help our children succeed. I believe our young men on the team, as we go into the future, will be something you will want to be a part of here at Cub Nation.

As I summarize the fall sports I would like everybody to know we have two great basketball programs with the Lady Cubs and our Running Cubs competing as I write this article. The Lady Cubs are competing well and will be in the hunt for a District title and our Running Cubs will be defending a District title from a year ago. It is an exciting time in Cub Nation for our athletic programs. If you have some time or you are looking for something to do, find time to come watch these great young women and men compete. We would appreciate all support and thank you for all the support you bring to our athletic programs here in Cub Nation. One last thing, we are all in this together, so keep building that great tradition that characterizes our Cubs and Lady Cubs!

Bryan Welps
Athletic Director
Brownfield ISD

Great Things Happening at BISD!

Congratulations to Aaron Aguirre, THSCA 2nd Team Academic All-State!

CONGRATULATIONS to the Runnin' Cubs for beating Bushland and winning the Dimmitt Tournament! WAY TO GO CHAMPIONS!

Brownfield High School Senior Mallorie Ellis has been named to the Texas Girls Coaches Association 3A All-State Team! Congratulations Mallorie!

Brownfield FFA had 11 kids and 13 pigs compete at the Christmas Cash Classic Show in Levelland. There were over 300 pigs and exhibitors. Kaitlyn Garza, Maria Rojas and Brooke Lamb placed 3rd. Jericho Garcia and Kelvin Gamez placed 4th. Congratulations Cubs!

Middle school S.T.E.M. students competed in the West Texas B.E.S.T. (Boosting, Engineering,Science, Technology) competition. At this contest schools are given five weeks to design, build, and program a robot to solve several given task. At the contest, teams have three minutes for each round and middle schools and high schools compete together against each other. BMS finished 12th out of 23 schools through the region. This included three area high schools that we beat. Students were, Kirtis Hogue, Elaina Stoker, Allllyssa Martinez, Cassidy Cooper, Chris Correa, Brody Yates, and Arlie Millican. Thank you for your continued support of our students here at BMS. Shelby Smith

CONGRATULATIONS to the Brownfield High School SPIRIT OF THE PLAINS BAND for receiving all I's at the UIL Marching contest! So proud of Mr. Balderas and his staff and students. Thank you as well to the parents who provide assistance. Dr. Monroe

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 Manny Scott

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