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Klein News
Klein ISD Education Foundation recognizes donors for contributions
Mar 30 2016 - 02:32:00 pm

“Choosing to Make a Difference,” the motto of the Klein ISD Education Foundation (KEF), reaches more than students, teachers, and staff. It is a community-wide motto that instills a sense of pride, trust, and a glimpse of the future. Recently, the Klein ISD Education Foundation recognized those who make these differences possible. With 210 attendees, the Choosing to Make a Difference luncheon honored the community and employee donors who have increased the fundraising efforts of the KEF by $250,631 in the last 12 months.

Guest speaker, Mr. Riney Jordan, shared why he believes the community is vital to a child’s future and how community partners can HELP (Hear, Encourage, Love and Prepare) public schools as they educate our next generation of productive citizens. 
“Riney Jordan was the most inspirational and motivational speaker I have heard in a long time,” Bobbie Drown, co-founder of Campus Kids, LLC said. “He was funny, and so sincere in his message, and made us cry and of course, he was given a standing ovation at the conclusion of his speech.”
The luncheon was a way to showcase the benefits students receive from the donations and grants. It was also an opportunity to discuss plans for the Foundation.

The Foundation is celebrating 16 years of giving back to the students and staff of the Klein ISD.  Since 2001, KEF has awarded 317 educator grants totaling $1,367,347.  The grants are funded by proceeds from the A.K. Buddy Brown Klein Golf Classic. This year will mark the 15th anniversary of the golf tournament.
"It was very meaningful for me to be there,” guest Mark Helm said. “I believe our children's educational experience is guided by teachers who want to make a difference and will do so.”
A special thank you is extended to PBK Architects for sponsoring the guest speaker. Event sponsors also included Campus Kids, LLC, InvesTex Credit Union, Jones/Carter, Loving Houston, Ms. Pegi Ivancevich, Thomas Helm, Dr. Jim Cain, H-E-B, and Element by Westin.
“On behalf of the Klein ISD Education Foundation board of directors, we thank all who Choose to Make a Difference for the students and staff of the Klein ISD,” Cindy Doyle, director for the Klein ISD Education Foundation said. 

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Klein Schools Named to Texas Honor Roll
Mar 24 2016 - 11:01:00 am

Klein ISD announced today that the following schools have been selected by Educational Results Partnership (ERP) and the Institute for Productivity in Education (IPE)  among 713 public schools in Texas  to receive the title of 2015 Honor Roll School: Blackshear and Brill Elementary and Doerre Intermediate.


The Honor Roll is part of a national effort to identify higher-performing schools, highlighting successful practices that have improved outcomes for students. Schools receiving this distinction have demonstrated consistent high levels of student academic achievement, improvement in achievement levels over time, and reduction in achievement gaps among student populations


“This is a huge accomplishment of the collaborative effort of all teachers, staff, and the hard-working students,” said former Brill principal Dayna Hernandez.


“The American education system has a secret. Many schools are doing well … the Honor Roll proves it. Students are achieving at higher levels than anyone admits and more students than ever are succeeding when given the opportunity,” said Jim Lanich, ERP President and CEO.  “All schools, no matter what zip code they are in, can achieve this kind of success. Leadership from the business community is critical to ensuring successes for all students.”


Honor Roll schools with higher performance in Science, Technology, Engineering, and Math (STEM) are recognized with a an additional STEM designation. Congratulations to our schools with the following designations:


Blackshear Elementary – STAR school

Brill Elementary – STAR and STEM school

Doerre Intermediate – Honor Roll school

AAUW awards three grants to Klein ISD
Mar 22 2016 - 04:02:00 pm

On Saturday, March 5, 2016, the American Association of University Women (AAUW) North Harris County hosted its Outstanding Women Awards Luncheon. Grants were awarded to programs designed to advance educational and professional opportunities. Three of the 2015-16 grant recipients are from Klein ISD. Grace England Early Childhood and Pre-Kindergarten Center received a grant for the SPELL Program – Students Preparing Educational Life Learning, Epps Island Elementary School received the grant for a Makerspaces: Legos in Education program; and the Klein ISD Science Department was awarded a grant for “Girls In STEM: An Event for Klein ISD." The AAUW is one of the world’s largest funding sources for graduate women. This year, $3.7 million in support of research projects and programs promoting education and equality for women and girls.

Fujitsu America donates computers to STEAM Express
Mar 22 2016 - 03:57:00 pm

After being contacted by Bill Nebeker, coordinator of the STEAM Express with a need for additional equipment, Fujitsu America donated 11 additional Lifebooks to the STEAM Express on March 7.

"This is a very innovative way to help students learn,” Patrick Ragan, Chief Executive for Fujitsu said.  “I never had the opportunity to engage in something like this as a kid, so it is really fantastic.”

Fujitsu America originally donated 10 laptops when the STEAM Express originated in December 2014.

“Over the year that we were out servicing students and community members we realized that having more laptops and more tablets would be beneficial to learning,” Bill Nebeker, STEAM Express Coordinator said.  

Since the STEAM Express interior cannot be manipulated or rearranged, the laptops will provide students and community members with additional learning tools.

“These laptops are going to be used for labs, field labs having to do with geology, and even some space exploration,” Nebeker said.

The STEAM Express has opened its doors to over 27,000 Klein students and community members this year.

Kindergarten Roundup Coming in April
Mar 09 2016 - 11:32:00 am
Elementary schools in the Klein ISD are preparing for the annual Kindergarten Roundup for the 2016-17 school year. The Roundup is a pre-registration opportunity for students entering kindergarten. The Roundup is scheduled for Tuesday, April 26, 2016, at all elementary schools. Parents must register their children at the school within their attendance zone. To see your attendance zone, click here

Parents must present the student’s proof of identity (birth certificate preferred) and a complete immunization health record from a licensed physician at the time of registration. It is also required to show proof of residence in the Klein ISD, which can include a lease agreement, electric, water or gas bill with the parent's name and address (telephone bills cannot be accepted). 

Listed below are the times each campus will host its event. Parents may contact their child's campus for further information.

Bridging for Tomorrow Hosts Healthy Family Fun Fest
Mar 09 2016 - 11:31:00 am
Bridging for Tomorrow has teamed up with Klein Forest High School and invited the community to their inaugural Healthy Family Fun Fest on Saturday, April 9, 2016, from 8 – 11 a.m. The event will feature free fitness fun, games, health screenings, food, prizes and a 5K Family Walk/Run. The race begins promptly at 8 a.m. with the Kids Fun Run taking place immediately following. Register for the Family Walk/Run by clicking here and for more information about the event, click here. 
Students Surpass Goal to Provide Meals to Children
Mar 09 2016 - 11:30:00 am

Frank Elementary students participated in their annual service project by supporting The Children's Hunger Fund, an organization that provides meals and food packs to children worldwide.

Students received boxes called coin packs and were challenged to earn seven quarters, which would provide a week's worth of meals for a hungry child. Students found creative ways to earn quarters including home chores, baking and selling cookies, and helping neighbors. 

Students surpassed their goal of providing 4,550 meals by earning enough quarters to provide 17,300 meals to children in need. Way to go!

Communications Team Continues its Track Record of Success at Annual Public Relations Conference
Mar 09 2016 - 08:37:00 am
“The communications team understands the importance of telling the Klein ISD story in a manner that resonates with the community,” expressed Judy Rimato, Klein ISD associate superintendent of communications and planning.

This year the department of nine earned one Platinum Merit Certificate, two Crystal Merit Certificates, 14 gold stars, one silver, and one bronze star, out of 16 entries, at the Texas School Public Relations Association (TSPRA) 54th annual conference held in Horseshoe Bay, TX.

“I have such a great team and am so proud of the Klein ISD communications and planning (CaP) department,” Rimato said. “Each person is exceptionally talented, dedicated and creative, so it was no surprise that we received the amount of awards we did.”

This year, 1,159 entries were received. For the first 44 categories, the entries are divided into three divisions based on the number of students the district, foundation or organization serves - under 10,000 students; 10,000 to 30,000 students; and over 30,000 students. Independent judges, not affiliated with TSPRA, evaluate and score each entry based on its merit. Bronze, silver, and gold stars are awarded based on set criteria. Judges review their highest scoring Gold Star winners and select a best of category for each division in each of the 44 categories.

Cindy Doyle, director of the Klein ISD Education Foundation and community relations, received one of the night’s revered awards, the Platinum Certificate of Merit for the Science, Technology, Engineering, Arts and Math (STEAM) Express mobile classroom.

 “We were proud to show how the KEF, with drive, determination and a lot of help from friends, business partners, and the district, took an idea and made it a reality for the students of the Klein ISD,” stated Doyle. “This story would not have been possible without the help, direction and dedication of the Klein ISD communications team who are superstars in our book!”

Kate Hope, multimedia specialist, is particularly excited about one gold star award which included the entire community working together.

“Paint the Community with Peace Week is so important to our district and our community,” Hope said. “To be awarded a gold medal for our efforts, planning and participation on this project is truly humbling. We know it’s one-of-a-kind.”

During the conference, Klein ISD staff took on a leadership role and presented sessions at the workshop. Justin Elbert, community relations and KEF manager, and Hope, taught courses. One class outlined resources available to professionals as it relates to the design process, social media accounts, and more. Elbert also led a session about how to effectively utilize a Remote Aerial Multimedia Platform (RAMP) within district guidelines. Denise McLean, communications manager, participated in a panel discussion about the impact of communication strategy on student performance.

“I come from a teaching background, so presenting is something I love to do,” Elbert said. “It’s always an incredible experience because TSPRA members are so encouraging and supportive. We all learn so much from each other, and the discussions that arise in the sessions are incredibly enlightening.”

Over the past three years, the Klein ISD CaP department has earned one Platinum award, one Platinum Merit Certificate, one Crystal award, two Crystal Merit certificates, and 28 gold awards. McLean believes the best is yet to come for the department.

“We are continuously researching, collaborating, and experimenting on how to serve our community,” said McLean. “This means meeting our public on whatever communication channel they use the most. With this group of creatives and a sincere desire to communicate effectively, the possibilities are limitless.”
Klein Oak Teacher Receives Award for Use of Curriculum
Mar 03 2016 - 09:53:00 am

Klein Oak Career and Technical Education (CTE) teacher, Allanda Nichols was honored with the inaugural ChildBuilders School Champion Award. ChildBuilders provides programs and services to the community that promote positive mental health in children. ChildBuilders and Klein ISD have been community partners for over 20 years. For the past six years, as an interpersonal studies teacher, Nichols had intergraded the ChildBuilders Love U2 curriculum into her classroom. ChildBuilders staff periodically visit classrooms to ensure that their curriculum is being projected correctly. It was through these observations that the ChildBuilders staff recommended Nichols for the award. The annual award luncheon was held at the River Oaks Country Club and hosted by Ernie Manouse on Feb. 4, 2016. The keynote speaker was Matt Sandusky, the abused and adopted son of former Penn State University assistant football coach Jerry Sandusky. Over three hundred community leaders, activists, local and national business representatives attended the event.

Destination Imagination Teams Compete
Mar 03 2016 - 09:50:00 am
On Saturday, Feb. 27, 2016, 58 Klein ISD Destination Imagination (DI) teams competed in the regional tournament. Seventeen of those teams will advance to the state competition in April. DI is a problem solving educational organization that strives to promote creativity in young people. It encourages and fosters the development of 21st-century skills including creativity, problem-solving, critical thinking, and collaboration to influence the development of a positive self-image and to prepare students to apply problem-solving skills to life decisions. Click here for a photo album. Congratulations to the following teams:

Topping Out Ceremony for HS #5
Mar 03 2016 - 09:48:00 am

On Friday, Feb. 26, Satterfield & Pontikes Construction held a topping out ceremony for High School #5 to celebrate reaching the highest point of the structure. A long-time construction tradition, a topping out ceremony celebrates the achievements of the architects, the construction teams and the builders. High School #5 will open in Aug. 2017.

“The project has gone very well," said John Marshall, Vice President of Satterfield & Pontikes.  "For us, it set a new benchmark for a strong collaborative process. The planning and the partnership has made it exceptional. The evidence lies in what you see on site. It is a well-organized, well-run job, that is tracking better against its timeline and better against its budget. The district set the tone as far as expectations with the team, and everyone has done a great job fulling those rolls. We are very pleased with the opportunity and even though we have a ways to go, we aren’t taking our foot off the gas.” 


Here are some interesting statistics shared at the Topping Out Ceremony:


  • Nearly 8 miles of site utilities run underground HS #5
  • 30,000 cubic yards of concrete have been poured
  • 24,000 linear feet of piers have been drilled and placed – that’s 4.5 miles
  • 1.2 million pounds of reinforcing steel have been tied
  • 4,000 tons or 8 million pounds of structural steel and decking have been fabricated and erected
  • Over 200,000 man hours have been worked on HS # 5 with zero lost time accidents
Klein Intermediate Special Services Teacher Earns Award
Mar 03 2016 - 09:15:00 am
Congratulations to Klein ISD Special Services teacher Debborah Ligon on her selection as a recipient of the 2016 TRiO Achiever’s Award from the Texas Association of Special Student Services Programs! The TRiO Program series helps Americans overcome class and social barriers to achieve higher education.  Recently, the Texas Association of Special Student Services Programs named its 2016 award recipients who have completed the requirements of a TRiO program resulting in the completion of a baccalaureate or terminal degree from an accredited institution of higher education. The recipient is also identified as a person of high stature in their profession and has made significant civic, community or professional contributions.
Klein Oak Golfer Sets Campus and District Record
Mar 01 2016 - 10:18:00 am

Klein Oak sophomore, Amelia McKee, recently broke a campus and district golf record by scoring a 65 at the Gleannloch Farms golf tournament, but that’s not the only reason she is amazing.


McKee has been playing golf since she was seven years old. She began at Hearthstone Country Club in Houston in the shadows of her dad and grandfather. Both men told her she was too little to play with them and that she would just slow them down. After begging her dad to let her play one round with them, he agreed but only if she could hit her driver from the 100-yard marker on the range.


“What he didn’t realize was that because of that challenge, he would spend the next five months watching me hit hundreds of golf balls until I could consistently hit 100-yards,” said McKee. “And six months after picking up my first club, I played, and won, my first tournament.”


Since then McKee has played golf in five countries including the United States, United Arab Emirates, Oman, India, and Egypt. She has played in 93 tournaments and has 45 first-place finishes. 


In 2009, McKee moved to Dubai to begin competing as a junior Olympian. At the time, there was not a girls division, so she competed with the boys. While competing in the Junior National Championships, she was in the lead with Rayhan Thomas, who was trailing her by one or two shots. She recalls that upon hearing about a girl possibly winning the title, the tournament director scrambled to create a girls division. She says she walked away a champion because they now have a girls division and McKee feels like she made a difference.


She also recalls having the opportunity to give her first on-camera, live interview.


“Warming up on the driving range next to the shoot were some of the greatest golfers of our generation including Lee Westwood, Rory McIlroy, and Ernie Els,” she said. “I played with Jean-Francois Lucquin and Richard Green, those are all memories I hope never to forget.”


McKee admits that Texas is her home, and she is happy to be back surrounded by her family. She has learned a lot about acceptance and culture from her traveling experiences, and she believes that this opportunity to play golf helped to mold her into the person she is today.


“Golf has taught me how to win, graciously. And it has taught me how to lose, sometimes not as graciously,” said McKee. “It has taught me patience and it has taught me sportsmanship, but most importantly it has taught me how not to give up.”


She recalls one of her toughest tournaments was at the age of 13 competing in the 18-year-old division. After a rainout, three-hour delay, and fighting 35 mile-per-hour winds, she wanted to give up. Going home may have been easier, but she wouldn’t have learned anything. She learned not to give up when things get tough in golf, and that carries with her throughout everything else she does.


Being in a new school was an adjustment for McKee but she says her transition to attending Klein Oak was easy and that she has been nothing but herself. And to those looking to pursue a dream, she says not to let anyone tell you that your dreams are too big or that you can’t do something because of your gender.


“If you can’t find a place to fit in, then find me,” she says.


Golf has brought McKee many opportunities and direction, and she spends a lot of her time and energy giving back. She has spent time as a player, coach, and chapter junior advisor with The First Tee Central Coast in California and mentored two days a week. Her involvement, leadership, and influence in this program have prompted chapter expansion back to Houston. Her community involvement also includes fundraising for The First Tee, fundraising and awareness efforts for both Autism and Downs Syndrome, and involvement with local organizations including her church youth group.


About four years ago, McKee started wearing one long sock and one short sock every time she played golf. She does this to honor her cousin and a close family friend, both who have Downs Syndrome. She says she does this to stand out and to show not only them but everyone that being unusual and different isn’t a bad thing.


“Just because you do not look or act like everyone else, does not mean that you aren’t capable of great things,” she said. “I have realized that I can learn from everyone, including those with disabilities. I have never experienced anyone like these two young ladies and their ability to love unconditionally. I wish more people were like them.”

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