Sunday, February 28, 2016

News from Mrs. Graves

Upcoming Events


Softball v Pershing @POMS, 4:30 pm

Baseball v Lanier @POMS, 4:15 pm
James & the Giant Peach, Student-Only Show $2, 4:30 pm

8th gr Panoramic Picture, 8:15 am
HISD State of the Schools Luncheon (ticketed event -  see
UIL Rehearsal Intermediate Band
Baseball v St. Vincent DePaul @POMS, 4:15 pm
Soccer v Grady @POMS, 4:30 pm
Softball @ West Briar, 4:30 pm

Flip Flop Fiesta (ticketed, adult-only event – see PTO website for more information)

HISD Regional History Fair
Pegasus Competition, College Park HS, Woodlands
POMS Track & Field Meet, Westside HS, 8:00 am

Boys’ Lacrosse v Memorial @POMS, 4:00 & 5:30 pm

Save the Date!
Keeping Your Kids Safe Online
Monday, March 7, 6:30 p.m.
Learn actual and potential on-line threats along with tricks and tools predators use to lure even the savviest child.  Hear about the consequences of cyberbullying and revealing too much.   Leave with tips on prevention and how to avoid victimization.  Real Houston area stories and cases used.

This is a parent only event provided by Crimestoppers.  Students will be participating in a similar presentation, designed specifically for their age group in the coming weeks.

Latest News on Budget

from HISD eNews
HISD proposes funding reconfiguration to ensure neediest students get resources amid budget cuts
Facing a $107 million shortfall for the 2016-2017 school year, the Houston Independent School District is proposing a reconfiguration of district funding methods to ensure the neediest students still receive appropriate resources.

The budget cuts are a result of the state’s funding formula, which requires HISD to send millions of local tax dollars back to the state — a process that is known as recapture and affects districts designated as property-wealthy. Though nearly 80 percent of HISD students come from low-income families, the district is considered property-wealthy because of rising property values throughout the city.
The reconfiguration plan calls for an increase in funding for students who are designated economically disadvantaged or at-risk, as well as those who are considered homeless or refugees. The funding would be reduced for students who are designated as gifted and talented, but schools will still get an extra $200 for every student identified as gifted and talented.
The amount of funding each campus receives from the district is based on the average daily attendance of its student population. The district currently spends $3,589 on elementary and high school students and $3,625 on middle school students. That amount is then weighted to increase funding for certain student groups.
Schools also receive an extra $112 per student, an increase that was approved by the HISD Board of Education during the 2015-2016 school year to fund salary increases. The added boost brought per-student funding up to $3,701 for elementary and high school students and $3,737 for middle school students.
Under the proposal submitted Thursday to trustees, the overall allotment for each student would decrease by $179 per student, dropping funding to $3,522 for elementary and high school students and $3,558 for middle school students. However, some of that decrease would be offset by increasing the weights for certain student groups.
The reduction to the school allocation is expected to save $40 million. The district also is proposing more than $60 million in cuts to the central office. Among those cuts are $23.3 million from central office administrative and district-wide budgets and $11 million from one-time project funding, as well as the elimination of the ASPIRE teacher bonus and tutoring and extended day programs. Elimination of ASPIRE and the centrally funded tutoring and extended day programs is expected to save almost $30 million.
“When we consider discontinuing centrally funded programs for extended school day and tutoring, we don’t do it lightly,” Deputy Superintendent and Chief Financial Officer Ken Huewitt said. “We know these are valuable services that have made a big difference for our neediest students and have gone a long way in closing the achievement gap. My hope is that, by increasing funding for at-risk students, schools still will be able to implement these best practices, as needed.”
District administrators are continuing to review central office-based contracts and departmental budgets to determine where additional reductions can be made. Additionally, a spending freeze has been proposed for HISD central administrative offices.
How will that change in the funding formula impact Pin Oak?  
We have estimated this change in funding will be a loss of approximately $330,000 to our annual budget.  We will be reviewing our discretionary spending and are hopeful we can weather this funding cut without significant changes to student opportunities.  I will be briefing the SDMC on these funding adjustments in the coming weeks.

Congratulations Thomas Raguso!
Thomas recently advanced from the HISD Spelling Bee, and will be participating in the city-wide spelling bee, hosted by and broadcast live on PBS, Channel 8 in late March.
If that wasn’t prestigious enough, Thomas has also qualified to compete in the state level competition of the National Geographic Bee on Friday, April 1!  To learn more about the National Geographic Bee, visit the State Bee Homepage, and click on Texas to access your state Bee website.
Giving Tree
Leaves and stones on the Pin Oak Giving Tree are now on sale!  Your child or your family can be part of Pin Oak history forever with an engraved leaf or stone on the Pin Oak Giving Tree at the front door of the school.  The order form is attached to the blog notification email, or can be accessed on the Pin Oak website.  It makes a great gift for your child as he or she moves into high school. Deadline is March 31st.
Promotion Standards
In order for HISD students to move to the next grade level, they must meet HISD’s promotion standards, which include classroom grades, state tests, and attendance. For more information, see
The HISD Board of Education voted to change promotion standards for grades 3, 4, 6, and 7 at the Dec. 15, 2015, board meeting due to changes in the state’s 2016 testing calendar. Because the STAAR testing dates in math and reading for those grades are now later in the school year, test results are not expected until June 15, 2016. Due to the fact that the last day of school is May 25 and summer school starts on June 1, results will be received too late to make promotion/retention decisions based on STAAR results. Because of this delay in reporting, the board voted that STAAR data will not be a promotion standard for students in grades 3, 4, 6, and 7 for the 2015-2016 school year.

Students in grades 5 and 8, however, are still required to pass the STAAR tests to be promoted. Those who fail the first administration of STAAR in March must retest in May and should plan to attend summer school until results from the state indicate that they have 
passed the retest.

Here are the 2015-2016 HISD standards for promotion. If your child does not meet the promotion standards outlined below, your school will contact you regarding opportunities for your child to receive additional instruction.
Grades 6 and 7 Promotion Standards:

 State requirement of overall yearly average of 70 or above and local requirement of an average of 70 or above in reading, other language arts, mathematics, and science or social studies.

 Students must have sufficient attendance*

Grade 8 Promotion Standards

 Students must pass STAAR (State of Texas Assessment of Academic Readiness) in reading and mathematics.

 State requirement of overall yearly average of 70 or above and local requirement of an average of 70 or above in three of four core courses: Language arts (average of reading and English), mathematics, science, social studies.

 Students must have sufficient attendance*

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