CCISD trustees call for bond election

February 16th, 2017

The Clear Creek Independent School District Board of Trustees has called for a $487 million bond election on Saturday, May 6 to address growth, safety, aging facilities and program expansions.

If approved by voters, the bond program would allow the district to build new schools or permanently increase the capacity of existing schools due to overcrowding, rebuild or renovate schools between 40 and 50 years old, repair or replace elementary playgrounds, purchase new school buses, and expand the district’s science magnet for intermediate students to a second location.

The proposed bond would equate to a $0.035 tax rate increase or a $5.47 per month increase for a homeowner of a median home valued at $223,635.

“Thank you to everyone who served on the committee and gave much of their time and effort to bring this proposal forward to the community,” said Dr. Laura DuPont, board president. “The committee incorporated public input and presented a plan to accommodate enrollment growth and maintain schools for the next five years as we asked them to.”

The unanimous vote on Monday capped a community-driven effort to analyze and prioritize the school district’s $1.2 billion in facility and capital needs. Prior to taking action, the school board further reduced the CCISD Facility Advisory Committee’s $494 million recommendation to $487 million.

“Clear Creek ISD is a destination for families in search of a quality education,” said Dr. Greg Smith, Superintendent of Schools. “I thank those who have been actively involved in this process.”

Contents of the school bond package were prioritized by a 30-member facility committee consisting of parents, local citizens, business leaders and educators. Over the course of several months, the Citizens Facility Advisory Committee studied a district-wide facility assessment, enrollment projections, and district financial information as well as toured schools. The committee used this information and input from the public to finalize its recommendation.

The proposed bond will touch the majority of CCISD facilities in some capacity. It will address:

Enrollment growth: $72.9 million

Clear Creek ISD’s student enrollment is at nearly 42,000 students in 2016. Third-party projections have the district growing an additional 2,100 students by 2021. Currently, ten elementary schools and four intermediate schools are at, or over, instructional capacity.

  • Build the district’s 27th elementary school along Highway 96 in League City
  • Remove portables and replace them with permanent additions at Stewart Elementary, Creekside Intermediate and Clear Lake Intermediate

Aging Schools: $333.4 Million

Six schools in the district are more than 50 years old and two are more than 40 years old. This bond proposal would allow for two school rebuilds and significant renovations and technology upgrades to six. Forty schools and CCISD facilities would receive priority repairs.

  • Rebuild of League City Elementary (‘60) and Clear View High School (‘39)
  • Major renovations and site improvements to elementary schools — Clear Lake City (’65), Ed White (’65), Ross (‘65), Whitcomb (‘67), Hall (’79), and Landolt (’79)
  • Major renovations and site improvements at Main Bus Transportation Center (’69)
  • Thirty-nine CCISD schools and facilities would receive priority repairs

Safety upgrades: $20.8 Million

The bond proposal would address playground safety, upgrade security cameras and replace school buses that are between 15-25 years old.

  • Replace 75 school buses with more than 200,000 miles
  • Fund an elementary playground replacement and repair program
  • Replace analog with digital surveillance cameras and intrusion detection equipment
  • Reconfigure areas of Armand Bayou Elementary

Student Programs: $23.1 Million

Every year, 200 intermediate school students are turned away from the district’s science magnet program at Seabrook Intermediate due to space limitations. This bond would allow the district to open a second site. The bond proposal would also include additions and equipment replacements for certain programs.

  • Science labs and classrooms at Brookside Intermediate for a second science magnet
  • Fine Arts expansions and renovations at Clear Creek High, and at Clear Creek, League City and Space Center Intermediate campuses.
  • Music instrument replacement and equipment for fine arts and athletics

Technology: $31.8 Million

The following improvements are proposed to maintain the district’s technology systems:

  • Upgrade network and server equipment
  • Replace teacher computers and student computer labs
  • Purchase and install ceiling mounted projectors for classrooms
  • Replace district telephone system

The $487 million referendum includes 1 percent for project management and bond issuance costs, CCISD said. Visit www.ccisd.net/bond2017 for more information.

High school art students advance to state competition

February 16th, 2017

The Visual and Performing Arts Department in Clear Creek ISD announced that 31 students have received “superior” rating awards at both the regional and area Visual Art Scholastic Event for their artwork, and will be advancing to the State VASE Competition.

Two students from Clear Falls High School, Jessie Chen and Kari Langford, each have two pieces of art advancing.

VASE is the only art event of its kind for academically eligible high school students in grades 9-12 throughout Texas. Students have the opportunity to bring artwork created at school to their regional event where they are interviewed by a certified juror who evaluates their work and tests their understanding of the art processes involved.

“VASE is a unique experience for our students because it is the only competition offered that allows the students direct interaction with the judges and immediate feedback,” says Nina Makepeace, an art teacher at Clear Falls High School. “The students have to not only create a quality work of art, but also justify their artistic decisions in an interview. This is an extremely valuable experience for a young artist.”

Jurors assess each work of art for originality of concept, technical expertise, understanding of the Texas Essential Knowledge and Skills for visual art, and the interpretation of the students stated intent. Artists who receive a “superior” rating at region are juried again at the area competition. Area medalists advance to the state competition.

CCISD’s area medalists will compete at the State VASE Competition on April 28-29 in San Antonio, Texas. The complete list of qualifying students is below:

Student, School

Nathan Peterson, Clear Brook High School

Anzulie Sosa, Clear Brook High School

Elena Michnovicz, Clear Brook High School

Azam Syed, Clear Brook High School

Gabriela Sanchez, Clear Brook High School

Gianna Scillieri, Clear Brook High School

Angelina Yoon, Clear Creek High School

Jasmine Christensen, Clear Creek High School

Dominic Nguyen, Clear Creek High School

Kristal L. Dillehay, Clear Creek High School

Timothy Brazzel, Clear Creek High School

Jake Gonzales, Clear Creek High School

Ieva Paslavska, Clear Creek High School

Jessie Chen, Clear Falls High School

Kelly Putnam, Clear Falls High School

Nallely Garza, Clear Falls High School

Kari Langford Clear Falls High School

Kyra Morphis, Clear Falls High School

Caroline Upchurch, Clear Horizons High School

Matthew Roberts, Clear Horizons High School

Ellie W. Salim, Clear Lake High School

Jessica Levy, Clear Springs High School

Eriane Austria, Clear Springs High School

Shayla Bowen, Clear Springs High School

Juliana Bozeman, Clear Springs High School

Summer Elliott, Clear Springs High School

Morgan Grice, Clear Springs High School

Sanjida Lura, Clear Springs High School

Han Vu, Clear Springs High School

Emily Albritton, Clear Springs High School

Alyssa Fontanilla, Clear Springs High School

CCISD spotlights Brook junior Syamantak Payra

December 1st, 2016

Syamantak Payra and Kavita Selva were honored at the Clear Creek ISD Board of Trustees meeting for their recent wins at the International Science Fair in Phoenix, Ariz. Payra also showed off his most recent achievement, a low-cost electronically-aided knee brace that allows an individual with a weakened leg to walk more naturally and won him the Young Scientist Award at the fair. Payra attends Clear Brook High and Selva is a student at Clear Lake High.

Syamantak Payra and Kavita Selva were honored at the Clear Creek ISD Board of Trustees meeting for their recent wins at the International Science Fair in Phoenix, Ariz. Payra also showed off his most recent achievement, a low-cost electronically-aided knee brace that allows an individual with a weakened leg to walk more naturally and won him the Young Scientist Award at the fair. Payra attends Clear Brook High and Selva is a student at Clear Lake High.

By Mary Alys Cherry

Clear Creek ISD honored one of its brightest young students at the monthly school board meeting, leaving the audience in awe as Clear Brook High junior Syamantak Payra showcased the prize-winning device he invented for a fraction of what similar devices can cost patients.

The low-cost electronically aided device, a knee brace that allows someone with a weakened leg to walk more naturally by actively bending the knee, won him the Intel Young Scientist Award and a $50,000 prize at the International Science Fair in Phoenix, Ariz.

The award is one of a number of his achievements. He had perfect scores on both his SAT and ACT tests for starters –- one of only two CCISD students to attain this accomplishment in recent years. The other was Patrick Pan, a summa cum laude Clear Lake High 2014 graduate.

And, he’s such a good speller that he not only won the Texas Spelling Bee, he was a semi-finalist in the National Spelling Bee in 2013 and runnerup in 2014. The son of Pramatha Payra and Sanjukta Ghose of Friendswood, he is also a gifted musician and writer and almost always wears a big smile.

In describing the device, Payra said it “alleviates problems faced by knee-ankle-foot-Orthoses wearers, restoring a natural, comfortable, safe walking gait – increasing mobility, decreasing pain and greatly improving quality of life.”

More than 6 million people in the U.S. alone who lack leg muscle function due to illnesses like multiple sclerosis, spinal injury or polio need special devices to help them walk. But because normal walking requires knee-bending, conventional Knee-Ankle-Foot-Orthoses devices can cause health problems such as gait deviations, hip/back pain, joint/muscle damage and the use of excess energy.

For years, there has been no commercially available Knee-Ankle-Foot-Orthoses device that assists in walking by actively bending the knee, until now.

The devices that have been available typically don’t bend at the knee. They’re also expensive, often costing up to $100,000 and patients often need several weeks of training to use them properly.

Syamantak’s solution is both inexpensive and easy to use, CCISD explained. He started with an off-the-shelf brace that only costs about $2,000. To this he added a motor-driven actuator. (That component looks a lot like the shock absorber on a car.) Its motor moves a piston in and out, which flexes the knee. A small computer that clips to the user’s belt or slips into a pocket controls that motor. That computer, in turn, receives signals from a sensor that reports the position of the opposite leg.

Together, all of the parts in Syamantak’s system will add only about $500 to the cost of the starting brace. Plus, the new system can be used with less than an hour of training, the Indian American teen notes. He designed the software in the system’s computer to learn how the patient walks, he explained. That means that the more someone uses it, the better it performs.

Community pleased with CCISD

September 1st, 2016

By Mary Alys Cherry

The Clear Creek School District got a resounding vote of confidence from the Bay Area community in its latest survey of parents, students and staff members with 89 percent saying they have a positive impression of the school district and 88 percent giving the district a grade of  A or B.

As for leadership on local campuses, 88 percent of the parents, 84 percent of the students and 91 percent of the staff expressed satisfaction.

Breaking that down, 83 percent of the parents gave CCISD a grade of either A or B, as did 75 percent of the students and 92 percent of the staff.

When those polled were questioned about the biggest challenge facing the school district, CCISD said “the community ranked testing and regulations as the top challenges, followed by overcrowded schools.” This contrasts with CCISD’s 2014 survey when school funding and parental involvement got top ranking.

Preparedness
Most parents seemed pleased about their children’s academic performance and preparedness with 88 percent saying they feel their children will do well in the next grade level, while 83 percent think their children are receiving instruction that is appropriate for his or her abilities and 72 percent think the level of homework difficulty is appropriate.
Student answers were similar with 88 percent saying they feel prepared to do well at the next grade level, 83 agreeing that they are receiving instruction appropriate for their abilities and 84 percent saying they get the support they need to be successful. Some 93 percent of the staff said they believe their campus does a great job of challenging students to their full potential. This compares with 87 percent in 2014.

Communication
The community’s satisfaction with CCISD’s communications rose from 89 to 91 percent between 2014 and 2016, the survey shows. Meanwhile, “80 percent of the parents think their children receive meaningful feedback from teachers, compared with 63 percent in 2014,” CCISD said, adding that “81 percent of students also agree that they receive helpful feedback about their work. Ninety-two percent of the staff says they communicate frequently with most parents of students.”

Technology
Most all seem pleased with the student tablets/laptops, which 84 percent of the teachers say they use in their instruction and 81 percent of the students agree their teachers effectively integrate technology into their teaching.
“The ability to use Microsoft Office applications and the ability to create projects were the two highest responses from students, staff and parents when asked which skills students are better at when using a district-issued laptop or tablet,” CCISD said. Eighty-five percent of the staff and 68 percent of students polled believe student learning is enhanced because of the Latitude-2-Learn program.”

Community results are based from a 2016 Baselice & Associates Phone Survey with a 4.9 percent (+) or (-) margin of error, the district said. “The parent, student and employee results are based from email surveys. The 2016 email survey respondents included 3,038 parents, 18,320 students and 2,270 staff.” To view all four surveys, visit www.ccisd.net/communications. For more information, contact the Office of Communications at 281-284-0020 or by email at information@ccisd.net

Citizen of the Year nominations sought

July 22nd, 2016

CCISD_LOGO_HORIZONTAL_COLORThe success of a school district and its students does not lie solely in the hands of great teachers and administrators, but also in the steadfast support of its community. In the Clear Creek Independent School District, dedicated community members volunteer their time and efforts by contributing to the quality of life for our schools and the growing number of students within the District. Each year the District’s Board of Trustees asks stakeholders to nominate community members who champion CCISD and are deserving of a very special award.

The Clear Creek ISD Board of Trustees is now seeking nominations for the 2016 Citizen of the Year. The award is given each year to honor an outstanding community member for their support of CCISD programs and activities. Former recipients include Harv Hartman, Robert Davee, David Braun, Dr. James O’Malley, Gib Larson, and Lucien Q. Junkin. The Board of Trustees established an endowment fund which the Citizen of the Year will have the opportunity to designate to a CCISD academic program or classroom activity in his or her name.

The recipient will be announced at the Clear Creek Education Foundation's Annual Awards Gala on Saturday, November 5, 2016, at South Shore Harbour Resort & Conference Center in League City. Recipients eligible for this award must meet the following requirements:

  • Demonstrated a commitment to Clear Creek ISD through volunteer efforts.
  • Contributed significantly in ways that have benefited the entirety of Clear Creek ISD.
  • Maintained a reputation across the Clear Creek ISD community as an individual with high standards and dedication to excellence in public education.
  • Voluntarily served the district and its students and patrons over an extended period of time.

All nominations must be submitted no later than August 5 to be considered for the 2016 award. Nomination forms are available online on the foundation’s website and the district website. Nominations can be emailed to kahanson@clearcreekeducationfoundation.org , or to:

Clear Creek Education Foundation

COTY Selection Committee

P.O. Box 1631 League City, TX 77574