Klein News
Klein ISD Takes Active Stance Against Cyberbullying By Hosting Seminar
Sep 29 2014 - 03:07:00 pm

Students, staff and community members from across Klein have new insight and tools to help in the fight against cyberbullying. In conjunction with Klein ISD’s Anti-Bullying Week, cyberbullying sessions were held for the community, elementary and secondary-aged students. 

Dr. Sameer Hinduja, Co-Director of the Cyberbullying Research Center, was the guest speaker at each session and provided many helpful tips about recognizing and combatting cyberbullying. Hinduja is a Professor in the School of Criminology and Criminal Justice at Florida Atlantic University and works nationally and internationally to reduce online victimization and its real-world consequences. His work at the Cyberbullying Research Center helps to provide up-to-date information about the nature, extent, causes and consequences of cyberbullying among adolescents.

“We really try to reach all stakeholders when we talk about issues related to teens and technology,” Hinduja said. “It’s critical for parents to know what cyberbullying is and to really care about this issue.”  

Community members and parents of Klein ISD students were encouraged to attend the evening event where Hinduja talked about the basics of cyberbullying and provided insight about how children are using the internet. He provided tips to parents such as: share the positives of social media with your kids, recognize when you stumble and admit when you have set the wrong example.  Hinduja also shared specific computer programs that will help monitor children’s online activities.

“At first sight I thought, what could this kid possibly teach me; a grandmother?” said Darlene Guidry, grandmother of a Klein ISD student. “However, from beginning to end, I was captivated by his presentation.”

 “Adolescents have completely embraced technology and that’s not going away,” Hinduja said. “They are going to become even more deeply immersed in these devices. We want kids to do the right thing and not be bystanders but be upstanders and to care about each other.”

Secondary students were able to discuss how they are already using social media and strategies to use these outlets positively to reach the at-risk population.

 “Students have a huge role to play. We want them to not be mean to each other but we want them to intentionally care and be kind to one another,” Hinduja said.

Elementary student sessions focused on the need to recognize the feelings of others and respect each other. Students learned that if they are more tolerant and more accepting of others, they can attend a school that is so much more productive.  

“If you want to treat people that way, and put on the web that someone is ugly, you can’t judge people. That’s just not nice,” said Klenk Elementary student Alyssa Brock.

During all sessions, students were able to work together to develop strategies to take back to their peers to help combat cyberbullying. Ideas that students came up with varied from downloading apps to show students the activity taking place to creating a PowerPoint comparing positive messages and negative messages used online.

 “I think it’s important because if we don’t prevent it, it’s just going to keep on happening and we need to stop it,” said Lemm Elementary student Daelan Fears.

Klein ISD to Host Cyberbullying Seminar
Sep 19 2014 - 03:53:00 pm

KLEIN, TX – The district will be hosting a cyberbullying seminar that is open to parents and community members. This presentation will provide a broad 

overview of the technological concerns facing adolescents. Attendees will leave the seminar equipped with strategies to sharpen their abilities to monitor their children’s Internet use and promote safe and responsible participation in cyberspace. Don’t miss this event taking place at the Klein ISD Multipurpose Center, 7500 FM 2920 Klein, TX 77379, Tuesday, Sept. 23, 2014, from 7 to 8:30 p.m. Light refreshments will be served.

Klein Collins Auto Tech Class Named as Finalist
Sep 19 2014 - 03:52:00 pm

KLEIN, TX – The Auto Tech class at Klein Collins High School has been selected as one of the top 20 finalists for the Tomorrow’s Tech 2014 School of the Year. Tomorrow’s Tech is a magazine that delivers technical information for servicing today’s vehicles to classroom instructors and students in classrooms across the country. More than 150 entrants nominated 50 different high schools, and for Klein Collins to be selected as one of the top 20 is an elite recognition. Congratulations and good luck to these students!

Klein ISD Schedules Annual College Night for October 9
Sep 19 2014 - 03:52:00 pm

KLEIN, TX - Klein ISD is set to host its annual College Night from 6-8:30 p.m. Thursday, October 9, 2014, at Champion Forest Baptist Church – 15555 Stuebner-Airline Rd., Houston, TX 77069. More than 120 college representatives from across the country will be in attendance to provide information about their schools and to answer questions for students and parents.

 

“I am excited about this event which marks the first step in our students exciting post-secondary journey,” said Elizabeth Gilleland, Klein ISD instructional officer for guidance and counseling.

 

Students and parents will have the opportunity to attend presentations on topics including financial aid and the college application process. Students do not need to bring any formal documentation with them to the event. For more information on College Night, contact your child’s counselor.

If you are unable to attend the Klein ISD College Night, click here for a listing of local district's that are also hosting college night information sessions.

State-of-the-art Simulator Stops at Klein ISD Transportation
Sep 18 2014 - 01:36:00 pm

With books and supplies in hand, the first day of school is also the first day on the bus for many students. While teachers and administrators are busy preparing, so are Klein ISD bus drivers.

 

Klein ISD has more than 150 bus drivers who are required to take six written tests, have 40 hours of hands-on-training in the school bus, pass a Texas Department of Public Safety driving test with the bus and a Defensive Driving test, become certified in the Texas Department of Transportation’s child behavior class and observe for at least one week as part of on-route training before they are allowed to drive their own school bus.

 

As part of a grant by the Texas Department of Transportation, Klein ISD bus drivers had the opportunity to take part in the Interactive School Bus Driver Mobile Unit. This mobile unit, owned by Region 6, houses the most up-to-date, state-of-the-art interactive bus driver training simulator that provides hands-on-training for drivers. One of only three mobile units in the state of Texas, Klein ISD bus drivers have the privilege to be the first to use this training at no cost to the district or taxpayers.

 

The simulator training is part of a three-day course that teaches the state laws when driving a school bus, as well as braking and evasive steering and then tests the driver’s knowledge. With the help of the simulator training, there is an average of a 38% reduction in driver error accidents which results in lower costs for the district.

 

This state-of-the-art simulator provides drivers with many scenarios to teach them responsible and proactive reactions in stressful situations. Equipped with more than 400 scenarios, the simulator can mock anything from weather conditions such as high winds or even snow, to blow outs and mechanical failures of the bus. A real seat and steering wheel help teach drivers defensive driving, evasive steering and allows them to practice their safety procedures.

 

“I can see growth in just a few days from these drivers,” said Larry Thornton, Safety Training Specialist for Region 6. “The simulator helps provide a teaching opportunity and I have even seen the simulator break bad habits that some drivers have.”

 

Although the simulator training is not mandatory by any state or local government, Klein ISD bus drivers are taking advantage of the opportunity to participate.

 

“It’s wonderful that our drivers are able to get this much additional training,” said Rhonda Cardenas, Klein ISD school bus safety specialist. “Each day I see drivers that are excited for the training.”

 

In addition to the state-required training, Klein ISD drivers also take part in small group training four times per year where they discuss current issues affecting them such as construction. Drivers also attend new driver training, grade level and age-specific training as well as special training for drivers who take students and administrators on field trips and other special outings. The transportation department is providing bus safety to students within the schools as part of their training and to parents and community members through open houses.

 

“Our drivers want to learn, they care about the kids and they know they play an important role,” Cardenas said. “They take their jobs seriously and the simulator is able to provide that big picture training that they are all hungry for.”  
Summer Study Program Takes Klein Teacher to The Bahamas
Sep 18 2014 - 08:42:00 am

For Klein Intermediate School sixth grade science teacher Shaena Ricks, the summer of 2014 was not like any other summer. Earlier in the school year, Ricks, along with Doerre Intermediate student Eduardo Gonzalez, was selected by the JASON Project to serve as Argonauts.

“Eduardo was awesome,” said Ricks. “I was glad that he was able to represent Klein ISD and exhibit how dedicated his teachers and Klein ISD are to supporting education for all students,” she added.

The six day adventure began with the educator and student Argonauts flying to the island of Eleuthera, to the Cape Eleuthera Institute (CEI). They were quickly acclimated to the military-style of living. Each morning started with physical activity at 6:30 a.m., followed by morning chores, breakfast and then a full day of research.

“Every day was jam packed with exciting and interesting activities that all centered around the marine ecology and biology of The Bahamas coral reefs,” said Ricks. “I was able to see more species of organisms in one week than most people encounter all their lives.”

Research activities for the Argonauts included helping plant lettuce and harvest tilapia in an aquaculture lab. They were also able to participate in snorkeling activities during the morning and evening so that they were able to compare the types of organisms that were present. Before the trip was over, the Argonauts captured and collected data on sea turtles, learned about sharks and lion fish and even observed a sting ray dissection and discussion.

The Argonauts not only participated in activities at the CEI, but they were also able to venture off the campus and explore the island. They visited local landmarks such as High Rock where they dove into the Atlantic Ocean and spent time wandering through caves and tunnels that twist and turn under the island.

Ricks is now eager to share with other teachers in the district about her experience by providing training in reference to the JASON curriculum and the Argonaut program.

“The best part of this experience was being part of the science, truly researching and collecting data, being in the field. It was a dream come true,” exclaimed Ricks. “My teaching is forever changed. This experience reminded me how important experiences are for my students and I have to facilitate learning that is larger than the classroom through experiences and true scientific inquiry,” she stated.

“I sincerely would like to thank Dr. Jim Cain and my wonderful principal Mr. Bob Anderson for their support in this endeavor. I want to thank Patti Low for helping me edit my application video. I would like to especially thank Sherry Lathrop for encouraging me to apply and believing in me to represent KISD. This experience changed my life and invigorated my love and passion for educating. Thank you KISD and JASON!

The JASON Argonaut program engages students and educators in hands-on, scientific field work. Those selected participate in scientific research with peers and scientists. To learn more about this program, visit http://www.jason.org/national-argonaut-program.  

Sixth Year for Klein ISD Reach Out to Dropouts Walk
Sep 12 2014 - 01:39:00 pm

Klein ISD Superintendent Dr. Jim Cain, along with staff members, administrators and counselors gathered together for the district’s annual Reach Out to Dropouts Walk on Saturday, September 6, 2014.   Klein ISD joins 17 other school districts in the Greater Houston area for the ninth annual event, which has expanded to include 24 Texas cities.

 

In the district’s sixth year to participate in the walk, 78 volunteers went door-to-door to more than 100 homes providing students and parents with information regarding high school completion options available in Klein ISD as well as encouragement. Door hangers containing campus contact information were also left for families who were unavailable.

 

Students targeted were dropouts from the 2013-14 school year and 2014 seniors who did not meet graduation requirements. In addition, home visits were made to students who have not yet returned to school this year.

 

“Because of our ongoing focused efforts, each year we visit fewer students on this day.” said Angie Mentz, high school completion specialist.

 

On-time graduation rates for the class of 2013 rose to 91.9 percent last year. The rate represents a 1.2 percent gain over the class of 2012. According to Dr. Jim Cain, Superintendent, “the Klein ISD continues to be a leader in education for the state and country by consistently graduating seniors on time that are ready for college or career.”

 

The 2nd Chance program is one of the district’s initiatives for helping students graduate. It is offered to those who may not have graduated with their class because they need credits, or have not passed the exit-level TAKS. The program is self-paced and offers a flexible schedule that includes evening hours, which provides students an option for getting a high school diploma year-round. Since the program began in October 2009, more than 542 students have earned their diplomas.

 

“At 2nd Chance we help students reach their goal of graduation which opens doors for a brighter future” stated Shelli Moore, 2nd Chance program coordinator. “We have a fantastic team of teachers who support students academically and build strong relationships through one-to-one mentoring.”

 

For information about the Klein ISD event or 2nd Chance, visit http://www.kleinisd.net/default.aspx?name=sss2nd.home or email amentz1@kleinisd.net.

Klein ISD High Schools Set to Produce Four Unique Plays during the Fall Semester
Sep 11 2014 - 10:19:00 am

High school theater arts students and teachers across the Klein ISD are planning four great plays this fall for the community. 

 

Klein High will perform Dancing at Lughnasa by dramatist Brian Friel. The play is set in Ireland's County Donegal in August 1936 in the fictional town of Ballybeg. Set in the summer of 1936, the play depicts the late summer days when love briefly seems possible for three of the Mundy sisters (Chris, Rose, and Kate) and the family welcomes home the frail elder brother, who has returned from a life as a missionary in Africa. Show dates are Sept. 18, 19, 20, 22 and 23 at 7 p.m. and a matinee performance Sept. 20 at 2 p.m. All shows will be in the new Klein High Black Box Theatre. For more information, visit http://kleindrama.com.

 

Klein Oak’s first play this season is Lend Me a Tenor, a comedy by Ken Ludwig.  On a historic night at the Cleveland Opera Company, world-famous tenor Tito Morellis is to perform in Otello. Through a series of mishaps, Tito receives a double dose of tranquilizers, causing the house manager to believe he is dead and setting off a chain reaction of slaptstick comedy and mistaken identity. Performances are set for 7 p.m. on Sept. 19, 20 and 22. Tickets cost $5 and are available for purchase online at http://kleinoaktheatre.org.

 

Klein Collins will perform, the Star Spangled Girl. This play is a 1971 American romantic by Neil Simon. The play takes place in San Francisco in the 1960s, and Andy Hobart and does everything he can to keep a struggling, two-man, radical underground newspaper, the Nitty Gritty, going. His roommate, Norman Cornell, writes the entire newspaper. One day, a perky, talkative Southern girl moves into the bungalow across from them. She has come to the big city to train for the Olympics with the best swimming coach in the country. Norman falls instantly in love with her and neglects his writing. Performances are Sept. 11, 12, 13, 15, 19 and 20 at 7 p.m. There will be two matinee performances on Sept. 13 and 20 at 2 p.m. For more information, visit, http://www.kleincollinsdrama.org.

 

Klein Forest is set to perform, The Game’s Afoot by Ken Ludwig, a farcical comedy who-done-it. Set in December of 1936, the play tells the story of Broadway star William Gillette, admired the world over for his leading role in the play Sherlock Holmes. He has invited his fellow cast-members to his Connecticut castle for a weekend of revelry. But when one of the guests is stabbed to death, the festivities in this isolated house of tricks and mirrors quickly turn dangerous. Performance dates are Oct. 23, 24 and 25. For more information, visit http://www.kleinforestdrama.org.

 

Senior gold card holders are entitled to two free tickets to all Klein ISD theatrical events. Tickets must be obtained prior to the events during normal business hours from the appropriate school office or department. It is recommended that gold card members call the school in advance to check on the availability of seats. To apply for the card, click here.

Community Invited to Converse with the Klein ISD Superintendent Over Dinner
Sep 11 2014 - 10:09:00 am
Parents and community members are invited to attend a dinner hosted by Dr. Jim Cain, Klein ISD Superintendent, from 6:30 – 8 p.m. on Thursday, Oct. 23, 2014, at Wunderlich Intermediate School (11800 Misty Valley, Houston, TX 77066). A pizza and salad dinner will be provided free of charge beginning at 6:30 p.m., followed by a district update and a question and answer session with Dr. Cain. To reserve a seat, call 832.249.4172 by Oct. 14, 2014. Free child care is available at Kids R Kids of Champions, 16722 Squyres Rd. Call 281.379.2998 and ask for Michelle Barr. Click here for additional info. 
Ten Klein ISD Students Earn National Merit Semifinalist Recognition
Sep 11 2014 - 09:59:00 am

Klein ISD had 10 students across the district named as Semifinalist in today’s National Merit Scholarship Corporation (NMSC) announcement. Nearly 16,000 Semifinalists were published in the 60th annual National Merit Scholarship Program. These academically talented high school seniors now have an opportunity to continue in the competition for some 7,600 National Merit Scholarships worth about $33 million that will be offered next spring. To learn more about the competition, click here. Congratulations to the following Klein ISD students. 

Klein H.S. Klein Oak H.S.
Claire M. Deacon Paola Moctezuma
Ashna Dhingra Edward Z. Orchowski
Noah J. Ezer         Nicolas S. Smart-Rengifo
Elizabeth M. McCue
Hunter J. Melton
Arjoon Srikanth
Nehalo Vishwanath

Klein ISD Earns Superior Achievement Financial Rating
Sep 11 2014 - 08:29:00 am

 

The Texas Education Agency (TEA) released financial accountability ratings for more than 1,200 school districts and charters schools from across the state on Sept. 5, 2014 in which Klein ISD earned a Superior Rating. The 2013-2014 ratings are based on annual financial reports provided to TEA by districts and charter schools from the 2012-2013 school year.

 

Created by the 77th Texas Legislature in 2001, the financial accountability rating system – known as the School Financial Integrity Rating System of Texas (FIRST) – is designed to encourage public schools to better manage their financial resources in order to provide the maximum allocation possible for direct instructional purposes.

 

The financial accountability system requires TEA to review the audited financial reports from all districts and charters. Based on the submitted information, one of four financial management ratings is assigned: Superior, Above Standard, Standard or Substandard. A designation of Suspended Data Quality or Undetermined can also be assigned when a district or charter fails to submit its annual financial report by the submission deadline and/or no financial data is available for review.

 

The FIRST ratings are based on 20 established financial indicators, such as operating expenditures for instruction, tax collection rates, student-teacher ratios, and long-term debt. For 2013-2014, approximately 95 percent of Texas school districts passed with a FIRST rating of Standard or above.

 

The graph below shows the overall ratings for all districts and charter schools.

 

2013-2014 RATING

DISTRICTS

%

CHARTERS

%

Superior

912

88.98%

76

37.13%

Above Standard

83

8.10%

53

26.24%

Standard

16

1.56%

31

15.35%

Substandard

12

1.17%

40

20.30%

Suspended Data Quality

2

0.20%

2

0.99%

TOTAL

1025

100.0%

202

100.0%

 

If you would like to review FIRST ratings for all districts and charter schools, https://tuna.tea.state.tx.us/first/forms/main.aspx

Klein ISD Earns State Platinum Award for Financial Transparency
Sep 04 2014 - 12:10:00 pm

KLEIN, TX – The Klein ISD is one of only 86 districts in the state to earn the Platinum Leadership Circle Award from the Texas Comptroller's Office this year. The Texas Comptroller Leadership Circle Award is given to school districts that exhibit financial transparency. The Platinum award is presented to only those districts that show exceptional financial transparency.

This is the first year Susan Combs, Texas Comptroller of Public Accounts has given out a Platinum Award. In previous years, the top award was Gold.


The Klein ISD scored 22 out of 22 possible points on the Leadership Circle rating criteria earning a perfect score this year. School districts are scored for posting budgets, annual financial reports, tax information, debt information, and searchable check registers online. 


"It is an honor to receive this award," said Dr. Jim Cain, Klein ISD Superintendent. "This award is a tangible example of the Klein ISD's ongoing commitment to transparency and the hard work of our Financial Services department."


The Klein ISD is one of only two districts in Harris County to receive a perfect score for this year's financial transparency report. Only 14 of the 1,241 school districts in the state earned a perfect score on this year's report. This is also the first year the district has turned in an application to be considered for a Leadership Circle Award.

"The Klein ISD has been financially transparent for years," said Thomas Petrek, CPA, Associate Superintendent for Financial Services. "It's an honor for us to receive this highest award from Texas Comptroller Susan Combs."


The Klein Independent School District is also a recipient of the Texas Comptroller’s 2013 Texas Honors Circle Award, which recognizes districts and campuses that achieve academic success through cost-effective operations. Award recipients achieve strong academic performance while spending relatively less compared to their fiscal peers.



For more information on the the Leadership Circle Award visit http://www.texastransparency.org/Local_Government/Leadership_Circle/.


To access the Klein ISD's Financial Transparency website visit www.kleinisd.net/financialtransparency .

Klein ISD Sets Fall Open House Schedule
Sep 04 2014 - 11:54:00 am

KLEIN, TX –  Campuses across the Klein ISD encourage parents to attend the open house events held at their child's respective campus.These meetings provide an opportunity for campus personnel and parents to share information pertinent to the school and the fall semester. The schedule is as follows:




Kaiser Elementary Receives Two Truckloads of School Supplies from St. Ignatius
Sep 02 2014 - 02:21:00 pm

KLEIN, TX
– Teachers often shell out hundreds of dollars of their own hard-earned money each year to buy the supplies they need to do their job. But this year, teachers at Kaiser Elementary hopefully won’t need to spend a dime on Kleenex, dry erase markers, paper, hand sanitizer and other essential items thanks to St. Ignatius Loyola Catholic Church.

 Members of St. Ignatius, located at 7810 Cypresswood Dr., rallied to fill two truckloads with classroom and school supplies for Kaiser’s 68 teachers, including school supplies that teachers often buy for students in need.

“When the school counselor told us that teachers were buying their own supplies, we thought there couldn’t be a better way to show our appreciation for the essential work they do to build up our society,” said Monica Hatcher, director of outreach ministry at St. Ignatius. “Our parishioners were 100 percent behind the idea of helping teachers.”

Katie Simac, school counselor at Kaiser, said the teachers were delighted to find everything they needed on the first day they returned to campus. An email went out several weeks earlier alerting them not to purchase classroom supplies.

In the 2012-13 academic year, K-12 school teachers spent an average of $485 on classroom supplies, according to a study conducted by the National School Supply and Equipment Association.

Klein ISD School Board member Paul Lanham, who volunteers at St. Ignatius, said the teacher supply drive is another example of the community-based initiatives that are indispensable to the Klein district. He said he hoped to see more of them. “We rely on community involvement to help our schools thrive and succeed,” he said.

Simac personally delivered a poster to St. Ignatius signed by Kaiser teachers expressing their gratitude.

“All I can say is wow!” Simac expressed. “Our teachers are so appreciative. It was a great way to start off our school year!”
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