February School News (continued)

danceFebruary School News (continued)

UIW Celebrates Fall Class of 2015
On Dec. 6, UIW President Dr. Louis J. Agnese conferred degrees to nearly 1,000 professional, doctoral, graduate and undergraduate students, making it the university’s largest fall commencement to date. The ceremony was held in the Joe and Harry Freeman Coliseum.
The UIW Fall Class of 2015 was 60 percent Hispanic. Among this group, 33 percent earning a bachelor’s degree were first-generation, and 24 percent of graduate degrees conferred were to first-generation students.The commencement address was given by Dr. Elda Martinez, director of teacher education and professor of education in the UIW Dreeben School of Education. She is also a first -generation college graduate.
A baccalaureate mass was held for all graduates Dec. 5 in the Alice P. McDermott Convocation Center on the UIW campus. Processional and recessional music for both events was performed by the San Antonio Pipes and Drums with musical direction provided by UIW Professor William Gokelman.UIW Selected as Top School in Military Advanced Education and Transitions 2016 Guide to Colleges & Universities Military Advanced Education & Transition (MAE&T) has awarded the University of the Incarnate Word the designation of a Top School in its 2016 MAE&T Guide to Colleges & Universities, measuring best practices in military and veteran education.
The guide presents results of a questionnaire of the military-supportive policies enacted at more than 600 institutions, including private, public, for-profit, not-for-profit, four-year and two-year colleges. From community colleges to state universities, online universities and nationally known centers of higher learning, MAE&T’s 2016 Guide to Colleges & Universities arms students with information about institutions that go out of their way to give back to our men and women who have served in uniform.
Now in its ninth year of publishing the Guide, MAE&T was the first publication to launch a reference tool of this type. This year, institutions were evaluated on their military culture, financial aid, flexibility, general support, on-campus support and online support services. Each school’s performance rating by category is represented by an easy-to-recognize dashboard. This enables prospective students to quickly target schools that follow best practices in military education and then put these in context with other academic or career considerations.

With input from an advisory board of educational and government experts, and criteria based on recommendations from the VA and military services, MAE&T’s Guide to Colleges and Universities provides the foundational information a prospective student would use in framing his or her educational needs.

UIW Regional Accreditation Reaffirmed for Next 10 Years
At the annual meeting of the Southern Association of Colleges and Schools Commission on Colleges (SACSCOC) in December in Houston, the commission’s board announced that the University of the Incarnate Word’s (UIW) regional accreditation is reaffirmed for the next 10 years.
UIW has successfully maintained this quality recognition since 1925. SACSCOC membership includes about 800 member institutions in 11 states across the southern U.S. from Texas to Virginia.

Every SACSCOC-accredited institution undergoes a rigorous reaffirmation review every 10 years; the institution must demonstrate compliance with about 100 separate quality standards. An important additional element of that review is a Quality Enhancement Plan, or QEP, where the institution chooses an area of student learning to improve over the next five year. UIW’s QEP, titled “Think, Learn and Share,” aims to improve undergraduate student writing. (www.uiw.edu/qep)

Born from the MacTEACH Tutoring Program, a student-run organization at MacArthur High School. MacTEACH Children’s Strings Program addresses academic and emotional needs of area NEISD at-risk students and students in general need. The MacTEACH Children’s Strings Program provides children, pre-kinder through eighth grade, the opportunity to gain the skill sets associated with learning to play a musical instrument — in this case, the violin. Under the direction of MacTEACH tutors from the school’s orchestra program, children meet weekly at the MacArthur library to gain insight into the wonders of music, a journey providing for self-esteem, thinking and listening skills, creative abilities and personal expression. It is the jumping-off point regarding the creation of the MacTEACH Peace Opus.
Under the direction of MacArthur senior Whitney Mask, more than 25 children and tutors will come together, along with members of the San Antonio Symphony, and perform the opus March 24 at MacArthur High School.
Mask had to first create staffs, notes, rests, measures, key signatures and treble clefs so the children could begin the process of randomly selecting the notes, etc.,they believe bring life to what peace sounds and feels like. The tutors then help them determine the musical process by performing the pieces created, careful not to overtake the musical direction. This process continues until a unified theme is born, one giving life to the Peace Opus. Inspired by the initiative, members of the San Antonio Symphony have joined and will play alongside the children and tutors as the opus makes its debut.
Hope for the purchase of new violins came from Joe and Susan Sammons, longtime supporters of the MacTEACH mission, providing the program with more than $4,000 for the purchase of more instruments and the repair of others. Dreaming big is just what the program entails. Combined with the creation of the opus, a mini-documentary detailing its development is the MacTEACH Waging Peace Documentary.
Beyond introducing children to the world of music, where they gain a greater sense of themselves and community, the project’s ultimate goal is to have the Peace Opus and the documentaries shared with children worldwide to inspire youth to wage peace and not war, to pick up musical instruments rather than weapons, to live inspired lives, rich in purpose and compassion.

St. David’s Episcopal Church and School is now accepting applications for the 2016-17 school year. One of the most attractive programs at St. David’s is its kindergarten. Boasting a small student-teacher ratio, a challenging curriculum, daily chapel and opportunities to grow leadership skills, St. David’s Kindergarten has been preparing its students for success in the elementary grades for over 60 years. St. David’s also offers classes for students 3-to-15 months old through its Bright Beginnings infant and toddler program and 16 months-kindergarten through its fully accredited day school. For information, call 210-824-2481.

St. David’s hosted its annual Dad’s Math Night last month. Students and their dads, father figures (or moms) met for dinner and engaging math activities to enjoy together.

St. David’s Church and School will welcome grandparents on Feb. 10 for Grandparents’ Day in conjunction with Book Fair week.

Garner‘s Quiz Bowl Club competed in their first-ever competition in November.
The club was established this school year by sixth-grade student Barrett Brown and sponsored by teacher Kenneth Kline.The students placed seventh out of 14 middle schools, with Barrett Brown finishing 27th and Gray Loxsom finishing 37th in total points out of approximately 150 students.
Club members meet weekly to hone their knowledge of history, literature, science, fine arts, current events and popular culture in order to prepare for competitive academic showdowns against other Texas middle schools.
The Garner Quiz Bowl Club expects to compete in its next competition in Temple on Feb. 13.

St. Luke’s Episcopal School has received a grant from best-selling author James Patterson to support the school’s James L. Newman Library. The school was selected from 27,924 applicants. Scholastic Reading Club will match each dollar of Patterson’s donation with “bonus points” that teachers can use to acquire books and other materials for their classrooms.
Second grade teacher Jenna Uzzell applied for the grant on behalf of the school. As part of an ongoing effort to keep books and reading a No. 1 priority in the United States, Patterson, together with Scholastic Reading Club, made a commitment to help save school libraries nationwide. This year alone, Patterson personally donated $1.75 million to school libraries.


After 18 months of rigorous work and dedication, the Automotive Technology Academy (ATA) at North East Independent School District has received accreditation by the National Automotive Technicians Education Foundation (NATEF) and the National Institute for Automotive Service Excellence (ASE). ATA’s automotive program has been accredited in the area of Automobile. The program is only the second to earn the accreditation in San Antonio and joins the 2,000 automobile, collision repair and refinish, medium/heavy truck, light/medium duty compressed natural gas (CNG) and liquefied petroleum gas (LPG) programs that are accredited in secondary and post-secondary institutions across the nation.

To achieve this coveted recognition, the school’s automotive training program underwent rigorous evaluation by NATEF. Nationally accepted standards of excellence in areas such as instruction, facilities and equipment were used.
This is great news for automotive-minded young people and their parents,” said Donald Seyfer, former NATEF chair. “Because this program increases cooperation between local education and industry leaders, it gives added assurance that ATA’s graduates will be employable entry-level technicians.” David Bailey, recently retired director of ATA, added, “During the past few months, we have worked with NATEF to make certain that our program would meet industry standards, and now we are delighted to join the ranks of the ASE-accredited training programs. Students will be assured of a quality education, and shop owners will be assured of getting quality job applicants.”

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