Saturday, June 23, 2018
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Sharyland ISD plans for $3.8 million in capital improvement projects

Sharyland-LogoA new scoreboard for the Richard Thompson Stadium, four new buses, district-wide road maintenance and remodeling and improvements across the Sharyland High School campus are a few of the items included in a list for upcoming capital improvement projects for the district.


“Over the past three years I’ve been here we try to address as many capital projects as possible as they surface,” said Sharyland ISD Superintendent Robert O’Connor during a September 25 school board meeting.  “There’s so much that goes into building high caliber schools and the quality of facilities is one of those variables that is very critical. If you wait too long on projects like these, you could get yourself in a position where you have to go out for large bond packages to address a lot of facility needs. So in the spirit of being proactive and addressing our current needs before they become overwhelmingly cumbersome, we’re presenting this list for board approval and a financial strategy to go with it.”

Read more: Sharyland ISD plans for $3.8 million in capital improvement projects

Former Sharyland student wins skeet shooting U.S. Open

20170929 Mikaela Saenz reload Skeet

At age 14 Mission native and former Harry Shimotsu Elementary School student, Mikaela Marie Saenz, has won the National Skeet Shooting Association’s U.S. Open.


“I don’t know if she is the youngest person to ever win the Ladies Division of the open but she is in the past 15 years that I’ve been with the association,” said Stephanie Haga, an assistant to NSSA Director Gary Burley. Haga said the association was researching records to determine if Saenz is the youngest to win the Ladies Division of the open, in which all age brackets over the age of 13 participate.


Founded in 1928 and headquartered in San Antonio, NSSA is a non-profit organization owned and operated by its members, according to its website. With approximately 15,000 members and 700 affiliated member clubs, it is the largest organization in the world dedicated solely to the sport of skeet shooting.    Saenz’s parents are both Mission natives. Her father, Benjamin, graduated from Mission High School and her mother, DeAnna, is a Sharyland High grad. Her grandmother, Julie Saenz is a retired Mission and La Joya teacher and her grandfather, Jerry Saenz, owns a State Farm insurance agency in Mission.

Read more: Former Sharyland student wins skeet shooting U.S. Open

Sharyland FFA teams excel at local competitions

Sharyland-LogoA total of 64 Sharyland students from both district high schools competed in a Future Farmers of America event Tuesday where both schools placed in the top three in most of the competitions.


Sharyland High School and Pioneer High School competed in the Rio Grande Valley FFA District Land Career Development Event and Plant Identification CDE held in Mercedes. Marco Barrientes, FFA advisor for Pioneer, said his students placed first and second in several of the competitions.


The competitions included plant and land identification where teams of four had to identify types of plants and soil to determine the classifications and economic values of the plants and land, according to Barrientes.

Read more: Sharyland FFA teams excel at local competitions

Sharyland ISD earns postsecondary distinction for 4th consecutive year

Sharyland-LogoThe Texas Education Agency announced last month that only 58 school districts in 2017, including the Sharyland Independent School District, received a “Met Standard” rating for postsecondary readiness out of over 1,200 districts in the state.


The postsecondary readiness distinction – the only distinction at the district level under the state accountability system – takes into account factors such as graduation rates, ACT/SAT participation and performance, Career and Technical Education graduates, and dual-credit course completion rates, according to the TEA website. With the “met standard” rating, the district surpassed the state’s goals in student achievement, student progress, closing performance gaps and postsecondary readiness.

Read more: Sharyland ISD earns postsecondary distinction for 4th consecutive year

Sharyland ISD maintains current tax rate

Sharyland-LogoEmployees will receive a raise while the Sharyland Independent School District keeps its tax rate steady in its 2017-2018 fiscal year budget. The district has also approved three new academic academies.


Next year’s official budget, approved by the Sharyland Board of Trustees Monday, is $113,747,950. Teacher salaries will increase by $1,050 and auxiliary workers will receive 2 percent pay increases. The budget will be funded chiefly by a tax rate of $1.37 per $100 of assessed property valuation.


The budget will cover only 10 months as the next fiscal year for the school district will start in July 2018 and end in the following June.  Previously the fiscal year ran from Sept. 1 and ended Aug. 31. The fiscal year change was approved during the school board’s April meeting when trustees approved the fiscal year change that takes effect next year.

Read more: Sharyland ISD maintains current tax rate

For first time Sharyland ISD offers open enrollment – for a fee

Dr-Robert-OConnorCiting a lack of growth in the student population, the Sharyland School Board of Trustees voted to commence open enrollment so students outside the district can attend Sharyland district schools.


However, students outside the district interested in attending SISD schools must go through a strict application process and pay a $2,500 yearly fee.


“We’re one of the few districts in South Texas that doesn’t allow external transfers,” District Superintendent Robert O’Connor told the board during a presentation during an Aug. 28 school board meeting. “We’ve always been very exclusive and we’ve had kids choosing to go to other districts but we can’t, in turn recruit from other districts.”

Read more: For first time Sharyland ISD offers open enrollment – for a fee