Mr. Magadance's Blog


Community Update for February 19

posted Feb 19, 2017, 3:14 PM by Steven Magadance

Dear ISA Families


I just spent several hours on campus this afternoon with ISA families, students, and alumni remembering the life and work of Mr. Brad Dehart.  The outpouring of sentiment and support from the ISA community has been nothing short of spectacular and extremely welcome.  I have known Brad for almost 15 years as a colleague and a friend.  I will miss him dearly.  Thank you to everyone for your thoughts and prayers for Brad and his family.  Please stayed tuned as the community develops plans to honor Brad’s memory.  


Our grieving as individuals and as a community will be a process requiring support that looks different for all of us.  We will have a team of counselors on campus on Monday, February 20, and Tuesday, February 21, in the ISA Flex room (S103).  If any student feels like they are unable to be in class during the day on Tuesday they can report to the ISA Flex space to meet or speak to someone for support.  We will continue to work to support our students in the most appropriate ways possible during this difficult time.  ISA parents who visited with us asked for suggestions about how families might also support each other.  Please find some ideas attached about how to have these conversations with your students provided by the Children’s Bereavement Center.


Brad might be more than a little embarrassed and grumpy if we did not remember that ISA and its community of learners are blazing trails on the road of learning.  We are cultivating the 21st Century literacy skills that will prepare our students to navigate our increasingly global society with empathy and grace.  With Brad’s passion for our mission in mind, our staff will work with our amazing students to balance our charge to continue working and learning together with our efforts to remember and honor our friend and teacher.  


This past Friday, February 17, marked the end of the 6 weeks progress report period.  Student will receive a progress report this Friday, February 24.


ISA counselors, Necol Harness and Stacey Feldman, asked me to send a reminder that registration for Advanced Placement (AP) exams is now open for ISA students who will be taking AP exams in early May.  In order to take an AP exam, students must register through the NEISD Parent & Student Portal.  Although the actual cost of an AP exam is $92, students attending an NEISD school will pay only $25 per test because of district support.  Additionally, if a student qualifies for the Free and Reduced Lunch Program, the fee is lowered to $10 per test.  The online registration runs through 4:30 p.m. on March 10, 2017.  However, we highly recommend and ask students to register early!  Once the deadline passes, we will be unable to add additional students.  The online registration accepts Visa and MasterCard; students may also bring cash, a money order, or a cashier’s check to the ISA counseling office to register.  If you have any questions, you may email Stacey Feldman at sfeldm@neisd.net.  The complete AP testing schedule can be found HERE , at this URL: https://goo.gl/P1zd5z, and on the ISA Calendar.


Looking ahead, we are planning to hold the final Report Card Pick-up Night of the school year on Thursday, March 23.  Also on this evening, ISA freshmen will present Make-A-Difference, ISA sophomores will hold the Advocacy Fair, and ISA seniors will present their policy recommendations to the community!  Additionally, the ISA Amigos will also hold their annual silent auction fundraiser.  All proceeds for this fundraiser will go toward the Amigos’ support of the ISA Travel Experiences.  The Amigos are still looking for donations to the silent auction this evening.  If you are interested in making a donation or know of an institution that might be, the Amigos have create a Signup Genius linked HERE or at this URL: https://goo.gl/nyIBWg or contact Susanna Meriwether at (210) 383-7000.  For a list of items that have already been donated please see the document attached to this update.


Sincerely,


Steve Magadance


Community Update for February 12

posted Feb 12, 2017, 11:32 AM by Steven Magadance

Dear ISA Families,


Our ISA Senior Class arrived home safely on Friday evening after their week long travel experience to Washington, D.C.  During a week of professional visits that included briefings with congressional representatives, international embassies, and other governmental and non-governmental agencies, our seniors gathered data relevant to their research interests aligned with the SA2020 and SA Tomorrow initiatives.  The seniors asked incredible questions and made multiple connections between their meetings and group debriefs that will inform their policy recommendation presentations in March!  Our seniors also made time to take in the sites, visiting monuments and museums in our nation’s Capitol.  They represented ISA extremely well during our visit and were complimented many times over.  Thank you to the ISA senior team, the teacher chaperones, and the parent chaperones for all of your efforts in making this trip possible!


On Saturday, ISA art students participated in the Visual Art Scholastic Event - where students had the opportunity to display their artwork to a judge and be interviewed.  ISA had 44 entries - 38 of which medaled with the superior regional rating of 4.  Eleven entries received a perfect score of 60, and 4 students are advancing to the State VASE competition.  

ISA art students also received results from the Scholastic Art Contest this week.  ISA students received 2 gold keys, 1 silver key, and 3 honorable mentions.  The students who received keys will have their work exhibited at Say Si in March. Gold key artwork will be advancing to the national contest in New York City.  We would like to extend a thank you to ISA art teacher, Andrea Puentes, for her support in preparing our students for these exhibitions!


We would like to share one final Dual Credit reminder for ISA sophomores and juniors.  The deadline to complete the online registration at ApplyTexas, one of the first steps in the process, is tomorrow Monday, February 13.  Mrs. Harness will be holding a lunchtime workshop tomorrow during 4th period in S101 to assist students with the registration process.  Additionally, Mrs. Harness will also be holding a lunchtime workshop on Wednesday, February 15, to assist students in completing the application process for a CIEE Global Navigators Internship.


Monday, February 13 also marks the opening of Advanced Placement Exam Registration!  ISA Counselor, Mrs. Stacey Feldman wanted to share these important details regarding AP Exams:


  • Registration window is February 13th - March 10 at 4:30 p.m., registrations beyond March 10 will not be accepted,

  • Students should self-register via the Exam Registration link on Parent Portal

  • Students can pay online with a credit card or, once registered, can make their payment by bringing cash or check to Mrs. Harness or Mrs. Feldman (tests will only be ordered if payment is fulfilled by March 10 deadline),

  • Cost is $25 per exam ($10 per exam for students receiving free or reduced lunch*).

  • AP test dates are available here or at this URL: https://goo.gl/mBOiK8


*If a student is eligible to receive free or reduced lunch and an application has not yet been submitted, please do so as soon as possible here or https://goo.gl/Sv5sCv


If you have questions about eligibility for the free or reduced lunch program, guidelines and FAQs are available here or https://goo.gl/JEH7NC


This week on Thursday, February 16, the ISA Junior Class will be presenting their “Night of Social Justice” from 6 p.m. to 8 p.m. in the ISA First Floor Hallway.  The entire ISA Community is invited to this event that highlights the juniors’ months of research and work on several topics related to Social Justice.  The Junior Team also invites families to sign up to bring either a finger food or plastic/paperware products for sharing amongst the community during the evening!  Interested families can signup here or with this URL: https://goo.gl/3Av1uo.  If any families are able to help set up or monitor the refreshments table throughout the evening, please contact Mrs. Lynette Guillory at guillory2623@sbcglobal.net.

As we plan for next year, we are pleased to announce that registration for Summer PE Camp is now open!  Students are asked to complete the registration linked above or this URL: https://goo.gl/rhHlZ6 that is posted in the ISA Bulletin.  Space is limited for this very popular summer program, so we encourage students to register as soon as possible and to drop off payment in the ISA office or pay online at the link in the registration form to guarantee a seat.


Finally, classes will be shortened this Friday, February 17, to provide professional development time for teachers and staff.  All buses serving the LEE/ISA/NESA/STEM campus, including our shuttle buses to NEISD home campuses, will run immediately following the end of the school day at 2:05 p.m.  The following Monday, February 20, is also a professional development day for teachers and student holiday.  We look forward to welcoming students back on Tuesday, February 21.

Have a fantastic week!

Sincerely,

Steve Magadance


Community Update for February 5

posted Feb 5, 2017, 10:16 AM by Steven Magadance

Dear ISA Families,


Today, ISA seniors and their teachers are busy preparing for their week-long travel experience to Washington, D.C., and tomorrow’s early morning departure.  After the seniors arrive in D.C., they will likely be on the Washington Mall, seeing their first glimpse of our nation’s Capitol, monuments, and/or exploring one of the Smithsonian museums.  I am excited to be traveling with the seniors for four days this week, and I am looking forward to accompanying the groups on several of their embassy visits and meetings with the non-profit organizations that students scheduled.  It looks like we may have some rain Tuesday, but the end of the week looks beautiful!  The senior team asked me to remind parents to coach your children in packing layers and remember we will be meeting at the airport!


We have a few Dual Credit reminders for ISA sophomores and juniors.  While students are still able to sign-up for dual credit classes next year, the deadline to complete the online registration at ApplyTexas, one of the first steps in the process, is this Monday, February 13.  After completing all of the steps of the online registration process outlined in the ApplyTexas Handbook, students should see ISA counselor, Mrs. Necol Harness, to receive additional paperwork to complete the process.  If students do not already have an ApplyTexas Handbook it is attached to this update.  The ApplyTexas registration is one of many steps required to complete the Dual Credit enrollment process.  A copy of this year’s Dual Credit Academic Handbook is also attached to this update and includes these additional steps.  Students who are new to Dual Credit or wish to qualify for other Dual Credit courses need to take the TSI exam.  The exam costs $20 for the entire test and $7 for individual sections.  Upcoming test dates are listed below:


  • Tuesday, February 14 at 4:15 p.m.

  • Tuesday, February 28 at 4:15 p.m.

  • Tuesday, March 21 at 4:15 p.m.

  • Tuesday, March 28 at 4:15 p.m.

  • Saturday, March 25 at 9:00 a.m.

  • Tuesday, June 6 at 10:00 a.m. - Calculus BC only

If you have questions please contact ISA counselor, Mrs. Necol Harness at nharne@neisd.net.


Last Tuesday, invitations to apply for membership in ISA’s National Honor Society chapter were distributed to qualifying ISA sophomores and juniors.  Please encourage your student to apply if they received an invitation.  NHS sponsors, Mrs. Laurie Smith and Ms. Bonnie Brawner, also wanted to share important information about the NHS application process:

  • Receiving the invitation to apply is not the same thing as being accepted for membership; the application is a vital next step.

  • All qualifying students received an email with the electronic application, but if online access is an issue, students can pick up a paper application from Mrs. Smith in S102.

  • Completed applications are due by 4:30 pm on Wednesday, February 15!

  • Late applications will not be accepted.

  • Students will be notified of their acceptance status by letter the last week in February or first week in March.

  • NHS induction is scheduled Tuesday, April 18 in the evening.

This week, we celebrate our two ISA counselors, Mrs. Necol Harness and Mrs. Stacey Feldman, in honor of National School Counseling Week for their unique contributions and dedication to our school.  On behalf of the ISA community, we send our thanks and appreciation to Mrs. Harness and Mrs. Feldman for the compassion and expertise that they contribute to ISA!  


As we celebrate our counselors this week, they are still working to gather course selection cards for the 2017-2018 school year.  If your student has not turned their course selection cards in please remind them to do so this week!


Looking ahead, NEISD has asked campuses to share important information about upcoming STAAR EOC exams.  Our 9th, 10th, and 11th graders will take these exams in March and/or May.  Information letters with testing dates and the EOC exams is attached to this update and linked here.


Have a wonderful week!


Sincerely,

Steve Magadance


Community Update for January 29

posted Jan 29, 2017, 10:16 AM by Steven Magadance

Dear ISA Families,


This past Friday was an exciting day at ISA.  Afterschool, ISA teachers sat down to call students who were selected in our lottery to join the ISA Class of 2021!  The tradition of calling our newest students goes back to the school’s earliest years and continues to be a special time for faculty and the ISA community.


There are several events happening at ISA this week!  The deadline for the 2016-2017 Global Navigator Scholarship is Wednesday, February 1.  This year ISA has $25,000 in scholarship awards earmarked for applicants.  Students may see ISA counselor, Mrs. Necol Harness with questions.  


This year ISA is coordinating a Relay for Life team!  In order to raise awareness and funds for the event, the team is holding a fundraiser at Embassy Miniature Golf on Thursday, February 2, from 6:00 p.m. to 9:00 p.m.  Come enjoy live music, an open mic, miniature golf, and lots of family fun.  Tickets can be purchased for $10 prior to the event or for $12 at the door.


The Lee campus band is holding a flapjack fundraiser on Saturday, February 11, from 8:00 a.m. to 10:00 a.m. at Applebee’s (97 Loop 410 N.E.) near North Star Mall.  Tickets are $7 and can be purchased from any band member.  Please consider supporting our fabulous band program!


ISA counselors, Mrs. Necol Harness and Mrs. Stacey Feldman, have begun to visit 10th and 11th grade classrooms to discuss the course selection process.  Students will select courses for next year using the NEISD online Individual Graduation Plan dashboard.  Instructions for accessing the IGP are linked here or by using this URL:https://goo.gl/ngxycE.  


One exciting development for next year is happening in mathematics!  As ISA continues to explore our interdisciplinary, project-based approach to learning we are recommending that our rising seniors consider choosing a statistics based math course.  Students will have the option to choose Advanced Placement and general statistics as seniors.  Students will also continue to have access to two Advanced Placement calculus courses through our partnership with Lee High School.  As we move in this new direction we have considered many factors that we believe will help continue to build our students’ global competence:

  • Statistics offers increased flexibility for project based learning,

  • Statistics aligns more naturally with the learning goals designed into the senior travel experience to Washington, D.C., and supports the research students will do,

  • Understanding statistics is a requirement for a wider variety of college majors,

  • Students considering a STEM major in college would be better prepared to understand science and scientific evidence with more preparation in statistics,

  • The new SAT now includes more statistics and probability on the test (29% of Math Section)

  • Statistical reasoning and probability are more naturally applicable to daily living and future learning.


Our final travel experience for the year is next week.  ISA seniors depart for Washington, D.C., Monday, February 6!  The senior team asked me to remind families that a parent or guardian must bring medications required during the trip to ISA Internship Coordinator, Mrs. Beth Coleman, by Friday, February 3.  Please remember:


  • All medications, both prescription and over-the-counter medications, must be checked-in to teachers.  The teachers carry and may provide four over-the-counter medications (Acetaminophen, Ibuprofen, Benadryl, Imodium AD) to your student if you have given permission on the medication form.


  • Only FDA approved over-the-counter medications and prescription drugs will be administered.  Students may not carry and teachers cannot distribute non-FDA approved items (vitamins, homeopathic remedies).  If your student relies on a non-FDA approved remedy, we can only carry and dispense these if there is a doctor’s order on file with the Lee nurse’s office.


  • If paperwork, including a doctor’s order, is on file with our school nurse Rebecca Joplin students may self-carry the following medications: asthma inhalers, epipens, hormonal treatments, glucagon kits, and diabetic supplies.  We can still accept these medications at our trip check-in without the paperwork on file; however, students will not be able to self-carry.


Finally, students will receive progress reports this week for the first three weeks of the 3rd quarter grading period.  Progress reports will be distributed on Friday, February 3.


Sincerely,

Steve Magadance


Community Update for January 22

posted Jan 22, 2017, 1:59 PM by Steven Magadance

Dear ISA Families,


The secretariat of MUNSA XXI: Cultivate asked me to extend one more thank you to our community and to share the success of this year’s humanitarian effort.  MUNSA XXI selected CARE as this year’s non-profit beneficiary.  CARE works in over 94 countries serving 80 million people to strike at the roots of poverty by improving food security, providing access to clean water, and increasing access to education.  Thereby addressing their mission to save lives, defeat poverty, achieve social justice, and provide hope.  This year’s fundraising efforts surpassed the goal of raising $5,000.  Thank you to everyone who supported the humanitarian effort for MUNSA XXI!

Early Tuesday morning this last week and early this morning, ISA said farewell to our guests from Takayama, Japan, and Gwangju, South Korea.  The last two weeks have been full of rich cultural experiences and exchange.  Thank you to our exchange coordinators Mr. Luke Freeman, Mr. Kyle Anderson, and Mrs. Necol Harness for your tireless efforts organizing and scheduling the exchange experience.  ISA would also like to thank the families who willing hosted our exchange students for their homestays.  The success of ISA’s international partnerships would not be possible without your efforts and your hospitality!


This weekend the ISA Astronomy Club travelled to H.E.B. Foundation CamISA Astronomy 2017.jpgp for their annual Star Party!  Each evening presented participants with fantastic views of celestial objects that included constellations--both familiar and new--star clusters, nebulae, planets, views of the outer-edge of the Milky Way galaxy and the moon!  Students also had the opportunity to build spectrometers, simulate impact cratering, estimate relative distance, and compete in a truss construction battle; as well as, hike, play, and work at teams to manage meals.  This experience is completing its 7th year and has become a highlight for members of the Astronomy Club.  Thank you to club sponsor Mr. Nick Polito, ISA chemistry teacher Ms. Bonnie Brawner, and all the parent chaperones who help organize this trip!


ISA counselor, Necol Harness visited classrooms and met with parents in recent weeks to share information about the 2017-2018 school year, including dual credit opportunities.  Dual Credit courses allow the student to earn college credit while simultaneously completing high school courses through NEISD’s partnership with Alamo Community Colleges.  During the 2017-2018 school-year, ISA will offer two dual credit courses (AP United States History and AP English IV) to all junior and senior students who qualify and complete the application process.  


Students who are interested in taking Dual Credit classes will need to qualify by completing the applicable paperwork and taking the TSI exam.  The TSI exam is required to qualify for Dual Credit and is also used by universities as a placement exam.  The exam fee is $20 for the entire test or $7 for each individual section. Payments must be made to Mrs. Harness no later than the Wednesday before the exam date. Additional information will be posted in the daily bulletin later this week.


The time needed to test varies from student to student. We have scheduled five testing dates:  

    • Tuesday, January 31 at 4:15 p.m.

    • Tuesday, February 14 at 4:15 p.m.

    • Tuesday, February 28 at 4:15 p.m.

    • Tuesday, March 21 at 4:15 p.m.

    • Tuesday, March 28 at 4:15 p.m.

    • Saturday, March 25 at 9:00 a.m.

    • Tuesday, June 6 at 10:00 a.m. - Calculus BC only


As the January 25, 2017, deadline to submit the ISA Freshman Application quickly approaches, we are wrapping up recruiting season with two final events tomorrow.  On Monday, January 23, ISA will have its final shadowing day.  Then, in the evening, ISA will host our Parent Informational Meeting Night at 6:00 p.m. in the ISA Flex Room (S102/S103) in the new science building.  This event is for parents and families of current 8th grade students interested in joining ISA in the fall of 2017.  If you have friends or family who are interested in ISA and were unable to attend a shadowing date, please encourage them to attend this informational meeting.  Also, remember that the freshman application (Class of 2021) is due Wednesday, January 25.  Although siblings of current ISA students are granted automatic admission, they must submit an application by the deadline as well.  Students may access the 2017-2018 Freshman Lottery Enrollment Form here or on the ISA web page at www.neisd.net/isa.


Finally, many senior families attended last week’s report card pick up night to learn important details related to the upcoming travel experience to Washington, D.C.  The presentation from the meeting is linked here.  If you have any questions about this travel experience please contact ISA teacher, Mrs. Melanie Anderson at mander21@neisd.net


Sincerely,

Steve Magadance


Community Update for January 15

posted Jan 15, 2017, 6:56 AM by Steven Magadance

Dear ISA Families,


Even though Monday, January 16, is a school holiday, we have plenty happening on campus and around San Antonio!


Today, along with several ISA families, we welcome 18 students and their teachers from ISA’s sister school in Gwangju, South Korea!  Students will experience a homestay with ISA families and participate in cultural exchange events during their visit.  On Tuesday, January 17, we will hold a welcome ceremony for our guests during advisory at 10:30 a.m. in the Lee Auditorium.  ISA Families are welcome to attend the event in order to help give our friends an official welcome to ISA and San Antonio.


On Monday, the ISA Interact Club will participate in the 30th Annual MLK March.  Anyone who is interested in walking with us can meet at Freeman Coliseum Parking Lot 1 at 9:00 a.m. VIA buses will provide a free shuttle to and from the march, and we will return to Freeman Coliseum by 1:00 p.m.  The first 50 people to find the ISA group at Freeman Coliseum will receive a free 2017 ISA scarf.  Students and families are asked to Sign up here or https://goo.gl/XZkcQf to help us plan for the day.

Our next school-wide ISA event for families is the second Report Card Pick-Up Night of the year on Thursday, January 19!  Join our teams to celebrate the first semester and preview upcoming class events for the second semester.  Team meetings will begin at 6:00 p.m. and be held in the following locations:


    • PERC - Senior Team - located next to the cafeteria

    • S102 EngWHAP - Sophomore Team

    • Lee Library MPR - Freshmen Team

    • Sergiovanni Community Room - Junior Team


This evening is especially important for senior families as our students and teachers make final preparations for the senior travel experience to Washington, D.C.  The ISA Amigos will also be selling ISA Spirit Items this evening for families still interested in making a purchase before seniors leave for D.C.


Thursday also marks the opening night for Allied Campus Theater’s presentation of Shrek the Musical in the Lee Auditorium!  Based on the animated motion picture and the book by William Steig, Shrek promises fun and laughter for all.  Tickets for the show are $10 and showtimes for January 19, 20, and 21 are 7:30 p.m.  There is also a matinee performance at 2:30 p.m. on Sunday, January 22.  Allied Campus Theater is one of our strongest community wide organizations and features performances from Lee, ISA, and STEM students.  Please consider supporting this whole community presentation!


Looking ahead, ISA will hold a parent information night for families of students interested in applying for the 9th grade class of 2017-2018, January 23, at 6:00 p.m. in the ISA Flex Room.  This session is a great way for prospective families to learn about ISA.  The deadline to apply for the incoming class of 9th graders is January 25, 2017 at 4:30 p.m.  Although siblings of current students are granted automatic admission, all students, including siblings, who are interested in attending ISA must submit the 2017-2018 Freshman Lottery Enrollment Form by the January 25 deadline as well!


Finally, the Lee/ISA/NESA/STEM Chinese Culture Club was featured this week on the district website!  We are pleased to continue to support this opportunity for Mandarin Chinese instruction and cultural exchange on campus for our students.  Also, the Texas Education Agency has made the ISA School Report Card for 2015-2016 available to our community.  Information about the report card in English and Spanish is linked here and attached to this update.  The report card itself is linked here or with this URL: https://goo.gl/akyPB5.  Hardcopies of the report card are also available upon request!


Have a great week!


Sincerely,

Steve Magadance


Community Update for January 8

posted Jan 8, 2017, 7:10 AM by Steven Magadance

Dear ISA Families,


Welcome back to the first full week of the second semester!

Last Wednesday through Friday MUNSA XXI: Cultivate took place at Trinity University.  Over 900 student delegates from across the U. S. and Mexico participated in spirited debate during the three day conference.

Once again, the ISA Amigos provided food and drinks for our guest sponsors during the event, and Trinity University’s facilities provided a beautiful, professional backdrop for the delegates’ experience at MUNSA.

More than 400 ISA students participated as press corps, delegates, co-chairs, secretaries, peacekeepers, and runners to help make MUNSA XXI a successful conference.  Additionally, ten senior members of the MUNSA XXI Secretariat led the event from initial planning stages to the closing ceremony.  The Secretariat have spent countless hours over the last six months preparing for MUNSA along with Mr. Luke Freeman and Ms. Andrea Puentes, the MUN sponsors.  Thank you to all who played a role in another amazing year for Model United Nations San Antonio!


Yesterday, along with several ISA families, we welcomed to San Antonio 23 students and their teachers from ISA’s sister school Takayama Nishi High School in Takayama, Japan!  Students will experience a homestay with ISA families and participate in cultural exchange events during their visit.  On Tuesday, January 10, we will hold a welcome ceremony for our guests during advisory at 10:30 am in the Lee Auditorium.  ISA Families are welcome to attend the event in order to help give our friends an official welcome to ISA and San Antonio.

Looking ahead, NEISD magnet schools will wrap up the final Magnet Monday on January 9, at Krueger Middle School.  The event begins at 6:00 p.m. and is open to families interested in NEISD’s collection of magnet schools.  On Tuesday, January 10, at 6:00 p.m. we will hold a meeting for families who are hosting a student from our sister school in Gwangju, South Korea.  On Thursday, January 12, the ISA Amigos will hold their monthly meeting at 6:00 p.m. in the Sergiovanni Room.  Also on Thursday, ISA families interested in learning more about Dual Credit, PSAT scores, and the ISA Internship program are invited to attend sessions on these topics on the first floor of the ISA building beginning at 6:00 p.m.  


Finally, I wanted send a quick reminder that the first floor hallway will continue to be closed during 4th period lunch.  Students will still be able to attend lunch tutoring in ISA classrooms and ISA clubs will still gather during scheduled lunch meetings.


As we prepare for our upcoming visit from South Korea, we are still in need of host families for two male students.  If you are interested in hosting one of these young men please contact ISA counselor Necol Harness at (210) 356-0925 or nharne@neisd.net.


We are also happy to introduce two new faces to the ISA community this semester:


  • Ernest Paz joins the leadership team while Mrs. Woodard is on leave this semester.  Mr. Paz has extensive experience in NEISD and at Lee High School where he served as the facilities and construction assistant principal.  Welcome back, Mr. Paz!

  • Charles Castill0 joins our community as the ISA liaison to the Lee High School Special Services department, and he will work to continue to foster individualized learning plans for our students in and outside the classroom.  Mr. Castillo previously served the Judson ISD at Metzger Middle School.  Welcome, Mr. Castillo!


Have a great week!

Steve Magadance


Community Update for December 18

posted Dec 18, 2016, 7:31 AM by Steven Magadance

Dear ISA Families,


During the short week students will complete their remaining semester exams!  Below is the list of exams that will be administered this week:

  • Monday, December 19: 2nd and 5th Period Exams

  • Tuesday, December 20: 3rd and 8th Period Exams

  • Wednesday, December 21: 1st and 7th Period Exams


Students will still follow a modified bell schedule on Monday that includes all of their classes.  Tuesday, December 20 and Wednesday, December 21 are early release days on high school campuses.  School will dismiss at 1:30 p.m. on these days.  All school buses, including ISA shuttles to NEISD home campuses, will run immediately following the end of the school day at 1:30 p.m. on Tuesday and Wednesday.  Students are welcome to stay after school until 5:00 p.m. on Tuesday, December 20 to study and/or use our computer lab to prepare for their last two finals on Wednesday.


ISA Counselor, Mrs. Necol Harness, asked me include the South Korean Hosting Application one more time.  We are still seeking families willing to host four boys from our partner school in Gwangju, South Korea.  If your family is willing to host a student from January 15 to January 22, 2017, please complete the hosting form!  Families who are hosting a student from South Korea are asked to attend an exchange hosting meeting on Tuesday, January 10, 2017, at 6:00 p.m. in the Sergiovanni Community Room.  We cannot express enough thanks to all the families committed to opening their homes for our ISA exchange experiences!


This last week the ISA hallways were filled with conversations about finals, plans for the winter break, seasons greetings, and MUNSA preparation!  The secretariat and staff would like to remind our community that MUNSA XXI: Cultivate--hosted at Trinity University--begins on Wednesday, January 4, 2017, at 7:30 p.m. in Trinity’s Laurie Auditorium.  ISA sophomores participate as delegates to the conference on January 4 through 6, ISA freshmen participate as members of the press corps on January 5, and ISA juniors and seniors staff the conference as committee chairs, secretaries, peacekeepers, and numerous other positions the ensure smooth operations.  We are extremely proud of our students for their preparation and hard work and we look forward to a fantastic conference in January!


Recent concerns for the safety of ISA students and teachers have resulted in a decision to change the way we do lunch at ISA.  Effective January 5, 2017, the first floor hallway in the ISA building will be closed during 4th period lunch.  Students will continue to have access to their teachers in ISA classrooms for academic support.  Clubs and organizations will also still be able to meet in classrooms during regularly scheduled times.  Exceptions will be made in cases of inclement weather and as other needs arise.  We appreciate your understanding the need for this change.


Finally, this is the last weekly update for the 1st semester.  The next update will be sent out on Sunday, January 8, 2017!  This year has been marked with many new experiences, new staff, and new conversations.  I have enjoyed meeting new faces and reconnecting with familiar ones.  I am continually reminded that ISA is successful because of the support of all of our stakeholders and the warm and cool feedback we get from the community serve to make us a better place for teacher and learning.  In the spirit of reflection and renewal, we are interested in your feedback here or by pasting this URL into your browser: https://goo.gl/FZKoNI.  I look forward to reviewing and sharing our learning from your feedback!


Enjoy family and friends during this holiday season, and have a great week!


Sincerely,


Steve Magadance


Community Update for December 11

posted Dec 11, 2016, 6:42 AM by Steven Magadance

Dear ISA Families,


Greetings from Kunming, China!  This weekend, I am attending the 11th Confucius Institute Conference.  As a member of the Confucius Classrooms Network, ISA is linked with schools in the United States and internationally that offer students the opportunity to learn about Chinese culture and language.  With the support of the network and our partnership with the Asia Society, we have worked to support cultural exchange travel and hosting opportunities for our students.  This spring ISA will travel to Wuxi, China for an exchange visit and we are excited to continue to offer opportunities for students to travel internationally!


Looking ahead to January 2017, we will welcome exchange guests from Japan and South Korea on January 7 and January 15, respectively.  ISA families who are hosting a student from Japan are asked to attend a Japanese exchange hosting meeting on Thursday, December 15, at 6:00 p.m. in the Sergiovanni Community Room.  Families who are hosting a student from South Korea are asked to attend a Korean exchange hosting meeting on Tuesday, January 10, 2017, at 6:00 p.m. in the Sergiovanni Community Room.  Thank you to all of the families who have agreed to host a student from ISA’s sister schools!  Your commitment to our exchange programs is the foundation for their success!


This week students and teachers will wrap up the 2nd quarter grading period and prepare for first semester exams!  Semester exams begin on Friday, December 16, and continue through Wednesday, December 21.  Below is a list of the exams that will be given on each day this week and next:

  • Friday, December 16: 4th and 6th Period Exams

  • Monday, December 19: 2nd and 5th Period Exams

  • Tuesday, December 20: 3rd and 8th Period Exams

  • Wednesday, December 21: 1st and 7th Period Exams


Although students take one or two exams per day, other class periods will be meeting each day on Friday and Monday.  Tuesday, December 20 and Wednesday, December 21 are early release days on high school campuses.  School will dismiss at 1:30 p.m. on these days.  On Tuesday and Wednesday all school buses, including ISA shuttles to NEISD home campuses, will run immediately following the end of the school day at 1:30 p.m.  Students are welcome to stay after school until 5:00 p.m. on Tuesday, December 20 to study and/or use our computer lab to prepare for their last two finals on Wednesday.


We are also excitedly preparing for MUNSA XXI: Cultivate hosted at Trinity University!  MUNSA leadership will be visiting Trinity University on Monday and Tuesday this week to complete final preparations before the winter break!  MUNSA opening ceremonies take place on Wednesday, January 4, 2017, at 7:30 p.m. in Trinity’s Laurie Auditorium.  The opening ceremonies will include a welcome from our gracious host, a keynote speaker, commentary about the purpose and vision for the conference, and the official motion to begin the conversation!  


This will be the penultimate weekly community update for the first semester!  The first update for the new calendar year will be Sunday, January 8, 2017!


Sincerely,


Steve Magadance


Community Update for December 4

posted Dec 4, 2016, 11:26 AM by Steven Magadance

Dear ISA Families,


Semester exam exemption forms were distributed this week.  Students who meet the grade and attendance requirements outlined in the exemption guidelines may exempt up to three semester exams.  Students must also acquire the appropriate teacher signatures, a parent/guardian signature, and submit the signed exemption form by 4:30 p.m. on Wednesday, December 7.


With only nine more days before semester exams begin, teachers will begin to prepare our students for semester exams.  Information about reviews and the format and content of specific semester exams will be forthcoming. We encourage students to review the semester exam schedule linked from the ISA Daily Bulletin and posted on the ISA calendar and to speak with teachers if they need further assistance about how to prepare.  Please remind students that their teachers are here to support them and to help them manage the stress associated with this busy time of the year.


The ISA Amigos asked me to send a request for volunteers to help prepare for MUNSA XXI: Cultivate.  Each year the Amigos prepare hospitality for teacher sponsors who attend MUNSA.  If you are interested in helping please follow this link or paste this URL: https://goo.gl/VLRmo2 into your browser.  If you are interested in more information about this opportunity as well as other ways the ISA Amigos support ISA students, and new ISA spirit items you are invited to attend the ISA Amigos’ monthly meeting on Thursday, December 8, at 6:00 p.m., in the Sergiovanni Room.  


We are seeking several additional host brothers and sisters for our South Korean exchange students visiting in January.  Although the South Korean students do not arrive until after winter break, we plan to finalize host families prior to the break. We still need five families willing to host boys from South Korea.  If you are interested in hosting, please complete the South Korean Hosting Application as soon as possible.


Looking to the end of this week, the sophomore team teachers are hosting a December 10 Saturday School from 9:00 a.m. – 1:00 p.m. in the EngWHAP classroom (S102). This Saturday School is for any students who are not passing one of their core classes by Friday, December 9.  If your student might be in this category, please encourage them to turn in missing or make-up work before Friday to avoid Saturday school.  They should see their teachers for this week’s tutoring schedules or for more information.


Finally, as the holiday season approaches we want to remind everyone that ISA will host MUNSA XXI: Cultivate at Trinity University on January 4 - 6, 2017.  Not only is MUNSA the largest student run event of its kind, January 4 is the day before North East ISD students and staff return from the winter holiday.  Knowing that a majority of ISA students take part in some aspect of MUNSA, please mark your family calendars now to accommodate this early return.


Sincerely,


Steve Magadance

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