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IISD Will Host Fulbright Exchange Administrator

Irving ISD has been selected as one of seven sites in the United States to host an exchange administrator from Jordan, Ms. Nawal Ibdah. She will be visiting Irving ISD Sept. 15-18 and will be visiting Highland Park ISD Sept. 22-26. The Jordanian administrators are interested in interacting with school staff and students, learning about teaching and administration in America. They also look forward to observing the use of technologies and media in American education.

The Fulbright Program was established in 1946 under legislation introduced by former Senator J. William Fulbright of Arkansas. It was designed to increase mutual understanding between the people of the United States and the people of other countries. It is administered by the Bureau of Educational and Cultural Affairs of the U.S. Department of State. The program awards approximately 4,500 new grants annually. Currently, the Fulbright Program operates in over 140 countries worldwide.

Participants are chosen for their leadership potential with the opportunity to observe each other’s political, economic, educational and cultural institutions.

Davis, Nimitz Create Audio Book Partnership

Nimitz drama students are helping second graders at Davis improve their reading skills. Julie Lewis, a second grade teacher at Davis, has teamed up with Debi Hall, drama teacher at Nimitz, to create audio books for struggling young readers. Fourth-year drama students are making the recordings of some second grade favorites for the struggling readers to practice their reading at home or when volunteers aren’t available to help them.

The young readers listen to the tape first, then read along with the tape, and then gain enough confidence to read without the tape, Lewis said.

"My goal this year is not only to have them read fluently, but to have them read with expression," Lewis said. "And I hope that it will help not only our second graders but also family members who might listen and practice during homework time."

Drama students are using the exercise to practice vocal skills and reading with tone and inflection.

Lewis’ husband, Michael Lewis, is a math teacher at Nimitz and has agreed to shuttle books and tapes between home and school for the project.

If the program works well, it may be used by other second grade classes, Lewis said.

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9-11 Anniversary

Several IISD classrooms will commemorate the second anniversary of the September 11 terrorist attacks this week. Below is a list of online resources for parents and teachers dealing with discussing grief and terrorism with children.
The Smithsonian Institute
Teacher Vision
One School's 9-11 Tribute
ConnectForKids.org
PBS
University of Illinois
Education World
 

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District Offering Healthier School Foods

The USDA recently released a policy change which severely limits access to certain "junk foods" in schools. The new policy essentially bans specified "junk foods" from all elementary schools during the school day.  Middle schools, meanwhile, are prohibited from allowing students to have access to the same foods during meal times.

For more information check
Irving ISD Food Services Website.

In keeping with the nationwide push toward healthier school food, the IISD Food Service Department has made numerous menu improvements this year. The new menus will feature several new entrées, including beef tamales in corn husks, popcorn-style chicken, Belgian-style waffle sticks, a gradual transition to turkey sausage patties (replacing pork), popcorn-style shrimp, whole wheat dinner rolls, high-fiber Graham-style crackers, baked/low-fat chips, and multi-grain granola breakfast bars.

As important as what is being added is what is being cut. French fries will be cut by 20 percent from the number of times they were served in 2002-2003. The department is cutting back on simple carbohydrates (mostly high-sugar items) and loading up on complex carbohydrates.  Snack cake varieties have been cut by more than 20 percent.  Chips and snacks will be increasingly replaced with baked or low-fat products.  Brown rice will occasionally replace white rice on the menu. Fresh fruit will continue to be featured regularly. Fruit juice servings will be 50 percent larger than those served last year, and will be available in new flavors. Finally, whole wheat bread products, such as buns for grilled chicken sandwiches, will be offered on a regular basis.

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Sign Language Classes Resume

The Regional School for the Deaf, located at Britain, will again host a sign language class this fall. The course is open to the public. Registration is $20 per person, but the course is free to parents and family of deaf students. The class will meet for 12 weeks in the Britain cafeteria from 6:30 to 8:30 p.m. on Tuesday evenings beginning September 16.

For more information on the class, contact Cyndi Stinson at 972-554-3896.

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Centennial Opportunities

Irving teachers will have a final chance to take part in the Irving Centennial historical tour this fall. On Saturday, September 27 and Saturday, October 4, the Education/Schools Committee of the Irving Centennial Celebration Task Force will host an overview of Irving history for local educators. The program, identical to the one offered this Spring, will begin with a video about the city’s history. Then, teachers will board a bus to visit notable locations that have played key roles in the city’s development. Lunch will be served after the bus tour. For more information or to register for the tour, visit the Teacher page on the IISD website.

The Centennial Celebration Education Committee is also organizing a speakers’ bureau in celebration of the city’s 100th birthday. Speakers are available to visit any Irving classroom and share interesting accounts about the history of Irving. To arrange a speaker, call Tammy Hanson at 972-721-7600 or email thanson@ci.irving.tx.us.

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Kunstadt Revisits Coaching Glory Days

Irving ISD trustee Mike Kunstadt was honored recently by the members of the Corpus Christi basketball teams he coached from 1968 to 1975. Kunstadt attended a reunion of the Carroll High School teams during the Labor Day weekend along with about 50 of his former players. Kunstadt’s tenure at Carroll included a 1973 team that he coached to the state semifinals.

Kunstadt spent 26 years in Texas education as a teacher/coach, teaching business, health and physical education, and serving as head basketball coach. The last 15 years of this career were with Irving ISD. Kunstadt is the founder and owner of Great American Sports, Inc., a high school basketball showcase and scouting service. He has been a trustee since 1993.

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Wednesday, September 10, 2003

Calendar Highlights

October 2003

13 Student/Teacher Holiday
16 Parent Conference Day/Student Early Dismissal

November 2003

26-28 Student/Teacher Holidays

December 2003

22-26 Student/Teacher Holidays
29-31 Student/Teacher Holidays

January 2004

1-2 Student/Teacher Holidays
14-15 Student Early Dismissal
15 First Semester Ends
16 Staff Development/Student Holiday
19 Student/Teacher Holiday
20 Second Semester Begins

February 2004

16 Student/Teacher Holiday

March 2004

15-19 Student/Teacher Holidays

April 2004

9 Student/Teacher Holiday (Weather Day If Needed)
12 Student/Teacher Holiday (Weather Day If Needed)

May 2004

31 Student/Teacher Holiday

June 2004

2-3 Student Early Dismissal
3 Second Semester Ends
4 Staff Development
5 Graduation (Tentative)

   

2003-2004 School Calendar

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Song and Dance

From left, Kaitlyn Tilly, Amy Bellows, and Catherine Marks perform in Irving High's rendition of Fiddler on the Roof. The musical, directed by Ocie Robinson, ran August 28 through 30 in Irving High's newly remodeled auditorium.

 

Backpack Support

Office Depot donated 50 backpacks to Austin students last week. Students were chosen based on need. At left, Office Depot store manager Tammy Salter presents a backpack to eighth-grader Emanuel Rivera.

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