Tuesday, June 14, 2011

GECHS forms Litter Patrol

Inspired by the Keep it Clean program described by Mayor Joe Jaworski during his address to students April 23, a group of GECHS students — on their own initiative — has created the GECHS Litter Patrol.

Their duties so far have entailed cleaning the grounds and parking lot of trash and yard waste each morning before and after school once a week.

The Litter Patrol is working closely with our custodian, Ms. Jackie, to make our school as beautiful as it can be. Great job kids!

Members of the Litter Patrol include Aylin S., Guillermo Z., DeWain A., Gabby G., Maria S., Jayce H., Sedric J., and Al M.

— Ms. White

Thursday, April 7, 2011

3rd Quarter Honor Roll

Galveston Early College High School proudly announces the 3rd Quarter Honor Roll. Students were presented with certificates at last night's Family Night.

All-A Honor Roll:
7th Grade: Cameron Amieva, Shelby Devona, Ronnie Hayward, Ashley Lat-ay, Liqing Li, Bradley Worthington
6th Grade:  Alezandra Demack, Katie Fickenssen, Kallie Kastis

A/B Honor Roll: 
7th Grade:  Jordan Allen, Natalie August, Star Bean, Gabrielle Beebe, Jennifer Bjork, Isabella Chapa, Chelsea Chevez, Karina De La Rosa, Carlos Galvez, Juan Garcia,  Jared Glover, Dayanna Gomez, Azucena Henshaw, Joseph Hugger, Alondra Jimenez, Mirna Juarez Cruz, David Lyle, Gavin Mudge, Maria Perales, Arais Perdomo, Joseph Rabago, Aminta Santillana, Sara Silva, Doris Smith, Roger Velazquez, Rosa Villanueva, Joshua Washington
6th Grade:  Carsyn Beall, Blake Brewster, Alain Cruz, Brayam Deossa, Kaylin Diaz, Priscila Flores, Keyana Gilber, Makia Golliday, Veronica Gomez, Kayla Kaster, Roza Kastis, Miguel Marin, Steven Patina, Kayla Ramos, Alicea Rice, Kaitlin Stewart, Victoria Weade, Daisy Woods

To comment on this post, please visit the official GECHS blog site.


Tuesday, March 15, 2011

Early College High School Initiative Celebrates Success of its 230 Schools

The following is a press release from Jobs for the Future

BOSTON, MA (March 14, 2011) — More than 50,000 high school students nationwide can earn free college credit at early college high schools.

Between Sunday, March 20 and Saturday, March 26, these schools and their partners will hold events publicizing their impressive results as part of the third annual Early College High School Week. Organizers hope the awareness will help school districts nationwide adopt early college designs to increase graduation rates and the college readiness of students traditionally underrepresented in higher education.
“For many young people, early college high schools are opening the door to higher education and better-paying careers,” says Michael Webb, associate vice president at Jobs for the Future, the national nonprofit that manages the Early College High School Initiative. “Early college students are proving that such young people can complete high school on time and be prepared for success in college.”
Together, the 230 schools in the Early College High School Initiative boast a 92 percent graduation rate. Of those who graduate, 86 percent immediately enroll in college and 78 percent come in with free college credit—making a college degree easier and more affordable to earn.
The initiative is based on the principle that academic rigor and extensive student support, combined with the opportunity to save time and money, are powerful motivators for students to work hard and meet serious intellectual challenges. Early college high schools blend high school and college and compress the time it takes to complete a high school diploma and the first two years of college. 
During Early College High School Week, JFF will release the following publications:
  • ACCELERATING COLLEGE READINESS: Lesson’s from North Carolina’s Innovator Early Colleges
  • UNCONVENTIONAL WISDOM: A Profile of the Graduates of Early College High School
  • MAKING THE GRADE: Texas Early College High Schools Prepare Students for College
  • EARLY COLLEGE GRADUATES: Adapting, Thriving, and Leading in College
On March 24, JFF will present a free webinar for early college practitioners: Life Beyond Early College: Strategies for Success. This webinar will share ways in which early colleges help students develop non-academic skills (e.g., time management, intentionality, persistence in the face of difficult tasks/subjects) and how some early college graduates are faring in college today, based on a two-year longitudinal study.  Presenters will be Dawn Cooper, Director of College Readiness, Georgia Board of Regents; Kaitlin Kelley, Alumni Support Coordinator, University Park Campus School; and Michael Nakkula, professor, University of Pennsylvania.
Other activities scheduled for Early College High School Week include:
  • The New School Project in North Carolina will hold a conference: 2011 Many Voices, One Goal: Every North Carolina Child Graduates Ready (March 24).
  • North Carolina Governor Bev Perdue will issue a proclamation in honor of Early College High School Week.
  • The Texas High School Project is planning a formal recognition of Early College High School Week at the state capital during the current legislative session.
Activities for Early College High School Week 2011 can be followed on Facebook at http://on.fb.me/fuA98k.
Early College High School Partner Organizations
Early college schools are partnerships between school districts and colleges. Jobs for the Future leads a coalition of national organizations that provide startup and ongoing technical support, guidance, and professional development for their networks of schools. These national partners are:
For more information about the Early College High School Initiative, visitwww.earlycolleges.org.
About Jobs for the Future
JFF identifies, develops, and promotes new education and workforce strategies that help communities, states, and the nation compete in a global economy. In 200 communities in 41 states, JFF improves the pathways leading from high school to college to family-sustaining careers.

Tuesday, February 22, 2011

Choir competitors rank high at UIL

Galveston Early College High School choir students competed at a UIL Solo region competition at Angleton High School Saturday, February 19, and all came back with high accolades. Pictured above are the 14 students who competed. Twelve soloists scored a ranking of 1 and two soloists scored a ranking of 2. The choir students were recognized at assembly Monday morning and received UIL medals for their achievements. Congratulations!

To comment on this post, please visit the official GECHS blog site.


GECHS teachers receive GISD Foundation grant

The Galveston ISD Educational Foundation recently awarded Galveston Early College High School Librarian Anna Allebach and Art teacher Theresa Pacheco a $1000.00 grant for their project, “Dare To Compare Artists.” The project will support the purchase of art and art history books for the new library at the school.

The grant is one of sixteen awarded to GISD teachers as part of the Foundation's Teachers/School Site Grant program to further classroom instruction. For a list of all of this year's grant recipients, visit the GISD web site.

To comment on this post, please visit the official GECHS blog site.


Thursday, February 3, 2011

We're looking for a few good posts!

Hey, GECHS/EC parents!!

We're looking for positive, enthusiastic, well-written stories and articles to post to The Eagle Eye. And your student's talents would be greatly received!

Need something for them to do on Galveston's "Snow Day?" Have them write about their favorite class or teacher. Or what the GECHS Core Values mean to them. Or what it's like to be a middle-schooler at an Early College High School. Submissions should be at least three paragraphs long and succinct enough to keep the readers' interest. Photos are great, too. Stories must be submitted in electronic form and can be emailed to GECPTO @ gmail.com.

Encourage your student to submit a story or two. What a great way for them to share their GECHS experience in their own words!

Thanks, and get blogging, Eagles!!

All submissions are subject to return for editing. Participation is voluntary and does not affect or apply to your child's academic standing. Refusal rights apply.

To comment on this post, please visit the official GECHS blog site.


Wednesday, February 2, 2011

College Prep Student wins city-wide Spelling Bee

Congratulations to College Prep student, Majesty Otems, who won first place in the Galveston Fifth Grade Spelling Bee sponsored by the Rotary Club of Galveston on Tuesday. We are so proud of you!! A story and photos were featured on the front page of the County section of the Galveston County Daily News on February 2. Here are some photos:

Majesty Otems, a student at 5th Grade College Prep, reacts as she wins the 53rd annual city of Galveston Fifth Grade Spelling Bee. She won with the word “crisply.”
Spelling bee winners, from left, Libbie Lee Ansell, Trinity Episcopal School, second; Majesty Otems, College Prep, FIRST PLACE; and Kerrthika Muniasamy, Austin Middle School, third; hold up their medals.
Photos by Jennifer Reynolds of the Galveston County Daily News

To comment on this post, please visit the official GECHS blog site.


Monday, January 24, 2011

Micheletti speaks about bullying

As part of No Name-Calling Week January 24-28, Galveston Early College High School and College Prep students welcomed Larry Micheletti, Ph.D., to speak to all three classes about bullying.

Dr. Micheletti is Assistant Professor of Pediatrics with the Division of Adolescent and Behavioral Health Department of Pediatrics at the University of Texas Medical Branch (UTMB). He also serves as the Mental Health Director of the Galveston Teen Health Center.

No Name-Calling Week is an annual week of educational activities aimed at ending name-calling of all kinds and providing schools with the tools and inspiration to launch an on-going dialogue about ways to eliminate bullying in their communities.

To comment on this post, please visit the official GECHS blog site.

Wednesday, December 8, 2010

Band and Choir students perform at Dickens on the Strand

Under the direction of Mrs. Mary Allums, the Band and Choir students of Galveston Early College High School and College Prep performed at Dickens on the Strand on Saturday, December 4.

The performance took place on the stage of the Island ETC and featured carols of the season. Students will again perform at the Fine Arts Holiday Extravaganza, Wednesday, December 8, at 6:30 p.m., in the Scott Gym along with drama students performing A Christmas Carol.

To comment on this post, please visit the official GECHS blog site.

Thursday, November 11, 2010

Honoring Veterans

In conjunction with the City of Galveston and the Nation, Galveston Early College High School and College Prep recognized Veterans Day with a moment of silence at 11:00 this morning, the eleventh day of the eleventh month. Principal Owens asked students and teachers to pause and reflect on the sacrifice of soldiers. She gave a statement about the meaning of Veterans Day, played the moving song of Taps, then read the following poem entitled, Heros, by Jared Jenkins:

In war, there are lives risked and lives taken
Men and women giving their best to defend what they love
They defend their country
Their honor
Their people

Some call them soldiers
Others call them heroes

Our veterans have risked their lives for us
They have lived through hell and fought with honor
Many have killed
And regret doing so

For every life, there is a soul
For every soul, there is a life

For those who have died, we show great appreciation and remembrance
For those who live, along with them live the horrific memories of battle
Some, memories of defeat
Some, memories of victory

Our veterans were more than soldiers
They were, and still are heroes

To comment on this post, please visit the official GECHS blog site.

Friday, November 5, 2010

Help GECHS win Gallery Furniture's Teachers' Lounge contest

Galveston Early College High School entered the Gallery Furniture's second annual contest to win one of 20 $5,000 teachers' lounge makeovers. And you and your family and friends can help GECHS win by voting online once per day until the contest ends midnight November 14.

Participation is open to all fans/friends of the Gallery Furniture Facebook page. To become a fan/friend, all you have to do is click the like button on the Gallery Furniture Facebook page.

You are also encouraged to post more photos and tell us about your great teachers to help support your school.

The 20 winning schools will be selected out of all schools entered by obtaining the most votes during the voting period.

The 20 winning schools will be notified during the week of November 15-19, 2010. The prizes will begin being delivered in December 2010.

To comment on this blog post, please visit the official GECHS blog site.

Saturday, October 30, 2010

The Weekly Wave: GECHS Starts Running Club with Support of Fit 2 Run

Members of the GEC Running Club with their new shoes provided by Fit 2 Run

Students at Galveston Early College have started the GECHS Running Club. Leanna Pickens, Instructional Specialist/Intervention Specialist at GEC gathered 50 kids, three teachers, and six parents running in practice each Monday and Friday from 4 p.m.-5 p.m. Fit 2 Run generously sponsored the club and has gathered community members to donate and pay for $100 pairs of shoes for each student. Students received the shoes on Friday, Oct. 29

On Saturday, Oct. 30, the group will run in the D’Feet Breast Cancer Run starting at Moody Gardens. The runners each collected pledges of $25 or more to enter. Each member will be at the start line sporting “GECHS Roadrunners...running towards our future!” t -shirts, ready to run three miles.

To comment on this blog post, please go to the official GECHS site.

Monday, October 25, 2010

The Weekly Wave: GECHS Students Share Their Artwork With The World

From exhibit "O'Keeffe-inspired pastels"
by Justin7624
From the October 23, 2010 Weekly Wave:

Move over famous artists: Galveston Early College High School artists are taking over the spotlight. Theresa Pacheco, the school's Art Teacher, has teamed up with Artsonia, www.artsonia.com -- the world's largest online kid's art museum -- to display the students' artwork.

Anyone can view the school gallery online. Visitors can browse the school gallery by grade level, or by specific exhibits. Galveston Early College High School students join thousands of students from over 100 countries whose artwork is showcased on Artsonia. "This program is a wonderful way to get parents and family members more involved in Art Education," said Mrs. Pacheco.

All of Artsonia's artwork (nearly 10 million and counting!) is viewable online, and any teacher or parent can create an online art gallery for their child or school. Artsonia provides several online features such as fan clubs and personal guestbooks, as a way for families to encourage the creativity and imaginations of their young artists. In addition, family members can purchase keepsakes imprinted with the child's artwork, with Artsonia donating 15 percent of their annual product revenue back to school art programs.

To comment on this blog post, please visit the official GECHS blog site.

Friday, October 22, 2010

the-signal.com: Where students can get ahead of the class

Editor's note: The following article appeared in The Santa Clara Valley Signal October 14, 2010.

Education: Students at local high school earn college credits and diploma

Vivean Muna, 17, enrolled at Valencia High school about two years ago after moving to Valencia from Georgia.

“It was such a big school,” the Kenyan-born student said. “It was so easy for people to get lost in the crowd.”

She soon applied and was accepted to Academy of the Canyons, the William S. Hart Union High School District’s early college high school. The opportunity meant Muna had a chance to study in a small-school environment and take classes at College of the Canyons.

“I enjoy school more now,” the Academy of the Canyons senior said. “It’s so small. So you get to know everybody, and you get to know your teachers a lot more.”

A growing demand
Unlike typical Hart district high schools that have more than 2,000 students each, Academy of the Canyons has about 400 students.

The school merged with Early College High School in 2009 and is in its second year of serving students in grades 9-12, Principal Jill Shenberger said.

While many of the students come from the Hart district’s comprehensive high schools, Academy of the Canyons includes students who were once homeschooled or attended local private schools, Shenberger said.

“One size doesn’t fit all,” Shenberger said. “For some kids, they just need a different path.”

Students must go through an application and interview process to attend Academy of the Canyons. The school typically tries to seek out students who are among the first in their families to attend college, are socioeconomically disadvantaged, underrepresented on college campuses or show high potential but are considered “at-risk,” she said.

College students in high school
Students at Academy of the Canyons are able to enroll in college classes at College of the Canyons, where they can potentially earn up to 60 college credits before graduating high school, Shenberger said.

Students earn anywhere from 24 to 44 credits, which still puts them past the number of credits they need for the first year of college, she said.

It’s an experience that Muna looks forward to when she comes to school on her campus located at the Dr. Dianne G. Van Hook University Center on the COC Valencia campus.

“I at least get a taste of what it’ll be like when I go to college,” said Muna, who hopes to graduate with about 40 college credits. “Who can say that when they were in high school, they were also in college?”

She hopes to graduate high school this year, attend a university in the northeast and eventually become a doctor for the United Nations, she said.

Science teacher Michele Siner said Academy of the Canyons students graduate with four years of college experience. “I think it ensures them success in college,” Siner said.

Siner, who has spent 15 years teaching, finds that her students are unique.

“They’re driven, and they care about where they’re going in life,” she said.

The dedication shows when it comes to state testing.

For the last two years, students have earned a 100-percent pass rate on the annual high school exit exam.

The school’s Academic Performance Index score, which takes into account a number of state tests, is 930 of a maximum 1,000.

Although the school doesn’t have its own sports teams, Academy of the Canyons has several student clubs, serving interests like American Sign Language and knitting. The school’s student-government program is thriving, and students even have a yearbook class.

Students have found a way to make the school their own.

“It’s all about your individualism,” said senior Cristian Cardenas. “Being able to be who you are and not be confined by tradition.”

Thursday, October 21, 2010

Galveston Daily News: On the move to get kids running

The following was published in the Galveston County Daily News October 15, 2010

People sometimes talk about running from their past, but the local running community gets a chance to run for the future Thursday in the Harvest Moon and Margarita Fun 5k.

The event, which takes place along the Galveston seawall on a moonlit evening, benefits Kids on the Move and two initiatives to produce a new generation of runners and exercisers.

“We’re committed to helping any kids involved in a running program to get the shoes they need so they can stay active,” Kim Bachmeier, organizer of the Harvest Moon and Margarita 5K, said.
“One of the teachers at GISD’s Early College High School, Leana Pickens, has developed a training program, but among the 55 kids who are running, more than 20 can’t afford real running shoes. The run will raise money for Kids on the Move to provide running shoes to the ones in desperate need.”
The 5K begins and ends at Salsa’s Restaurant, 4604 Seawall Blvd., and travels east along the south (beach) side of the seawall to the turnaround point beyond the Flagship Pier. Walkers and younger participants can shorten the distance by turning around anywhere. “This is family friendly,” Bachmeier said. “Last year, there were many children in addition to adults, and everyone seemed to have a great time.”

The fun on the 5K course will be complemented by a post-race Mexican buffet and margaritas (adult participants receive a drink ticket at registration), door prizes and a pre-race howl at the moon. Registered participants also receive a towel and water bottle with the event’s logo. Registration opens at 5 p.m. on-site, with the race beginning at 6:30 p.m.

Bachmeier is creating other ways for runners to support and encourage children to be active.

“We’re looking for ‘Running Angels’ who will sponsor one child for one pair of running shoes,” she said. “New Balance makes it possible to do this for $49 per child.”

Kids on the Move also is developing a “Running Buddy” program to pair adult mentors with kids who want to run.

More information on the Harvest Moon and Margarita 5K is available online at www.fit2rungalveston.com.

To comment on this blog post, please visit the official GECHS blog site.

Sunday, October 17, 2010

MaineFreedomForum.com: Funding Early College High Schools

Editor's Note: The following post was written by Steve Bowen and published on MaineFreedomForum.com. The target revenue (amount the District receives from the State) per student in GISD is approximately $5,400.

In my most recent column for the Bangor Daily News, I discussed Paul LePage’s early college high school idea, describing it as the most compelling school reform idea put forward by any of Maine’s gubernatorial candidates.

A number readers who posted comments on the BDN’s website wanted to know how such a program would be paid for, with some suggesting that it might prove to be very costly.

Here’s why.

According to the Maine Department of Education, average per pupil spending by Maine’s schools is little over $11,000. Generally speaking, about 60% of that spending is instructional in nature, while 40% is devoted to non-instructional spending such as administrative, facilities, and transportation costs.

So the average Maine school spends about $6,600 providing instruction to students. At $6,600 per year, can students be provided with enough college-level courses that they could receive an Associate’s Degree in five years of high school as LePage proposes?

Well, according to the Maine Community College System, it can provide courses to students for $84 per credit hour, which amounts to $252 per three-credit course. Twenty courses, which would get you to an Associate’s Degree, would cost $5,020 per student, which is less than what the average K-12 school spends per-pupil on instruction in a single year. Spread those courses out over 2 or 3 years and they could easily be done within existing resources.

Where would the savings come from?

Making senior year matter. Any parent of a high school senior will tell you that far too much of 12th grade is simply wasted. For instance, having fulfilled most graduation requirements already, seniors often end up taking electives that are largely meaningless. The time and money being consumed by these elective courses could be redirected into college-level courses that result in transferable credit.

Cutting the number of remedial courses colleges are forced to offer.  According to a recent report in Education Week, 3 out of every 5 Community College students nationwide “need at least one remedial course.” That means that taxpayers are paying twice for the same course – once in high school and once at the college level. Early college high schools, though, have modified curriculums that begin preparing students for college-level work as early as middle school. Since students in these schools are better prepared for college-level work, the remedial courses so many students need to take today can be replaced with courses that actually move them closer to a degree.

Cutting non-instructional costs. While 40 percent of K-12 spending is non-instructional in nature, the non-instructional share of total spending at the college level is closer to 60 percent.  That was what we found, anyway, when we used federally-reported data to calculate instructional and non-instructional spending at the schools of the University of Maine and the Maine Community College System. Having college-level courses available in Maine’s high schools would cut down on the need for many of the non-instructional programs and services at the college level, and those savings could be put back into course development and support.

According to the Legislature’s Office of Fiscal and Program review, Maine’s K-12, Community College, and University systems will spend $1.3 billion taxpayer dollars this fiscal year. It simply can’t be that in all that spending, there are no places to find savings that can redirected toward an initiative as innovative and potentially transformative as this one.

For more on the early college high school concept, visit www.earlycolleges.org, which is a great source of information about early college programs across the country.

Saturday, October 16, 2010

Weekly Wave: GISD Wins Clash of the Cans vs. Texas City ISD

Students from Galveston Early College High School pass cans of food to Ball High School from their campus

Galveston Independent School District won the Clash of the Cans food drive against Texas City ISD. The results were announced at the Ball High-Texas City football game on the night of Oct. 1. Community members and students donated over 10,000 pounds of food to the cause.

The Ball High Student Council received a huge trophy as well as a $1,000 scholarship for their efforts. The trophy will travel to each of the GISD schools that participated over the next several weeks.

One of the major highlights of the food drive was the creation of a human chain consisting of students from the Galveston Early College High School and Fifth Grade College Prep programs at Scott Campus that stretched all the way to Ball High's food bank. Over 300 students participated in the event.

"We couldn’t have done it without you," said Student Council sponsor, Lisa Schweitzer. "Thank you for all of your continued support. It's great to be in a district that works together!"

To comment on this blog post, please visit the official GECHS blog site.

Friday, October 1, 2010

GECHS/EC lends a hand to support Ball's Clash of the Cans

Hand over hand, can over can, Galveston Early College High School and College Prep students delivered the food they collected to support Ball High School's Clash of the Cans food drive competition against football rival Texas City. The line of 300-plus students cast long, early morning shadows as it stretched from the entrance of the Scott Campus, through the parking lots, across the street, and to the doors of Ball High.

To comment on this blog post, please visit the official GECHS blog site.

Friday, September 24, 2010

Weekly Wave: Scott Campus Re-Opening Featured on Channel 39

The Scott family attended the re-opening of the school named after their husband, father, and grandfather

Congratulations goes to GECHS and College Prep, who not only had a great re-opening ceremony last week at Charles B. Scott campus, but they were also featured on Channel 39 in this great news piece by Marci Izard. Two GECHS students, Joseph Hugger and Isabella Chapa, the PTO president Veronica Hugger, and Mr. Scott's wife Grace were featured in the piece.

Click here to check out the Channel 39 news piece

To comment on this blog post, please visit the official GECHS blog site.

Friday, September 17, 2010

TV Coverage of Scott Re-opening

We made the news! See the Channel 39 coverage of the Re-Opening of the Scott Campus