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Charles Butt Foundation selects Crandall ISD leader for Harvard Institutes
Courtnie Nix

– Cohort includes more than 85 school leaders from across Texas 

 

AUSTIN, TX (May 9, 2022) – Amy McAfee, Principal at Crandall Middle School, is among the 85 school leaders from across Texas selected as the 2022 cohort of educators to attend summer institutes at the Principals’ Center at the Harvard Graduate School of Education sponsored by the Charles Butt Foundation, a non-profit pursuing a more equitable and prosperous future for all Texans through education and community partnerships

Due to COVID-19 restrictions, this will be the first summer that the Charles Butt Foundation is able to send educators to participate in the Harvard program since the summer of 2019. Of the 85 educators, 45 were selected in 2020 but were not able to attend the program due to COVID restrictions. The other 40 educators represent the newest cohort selected in 2022.

Attendees, including individual principals as well as campus teams, will participate in one of two weeklong workshops on leadership development, coaching, or school turnaround led by Harvard faculty and other national and international experts. Each program is designed to inspire, challenge, and empower school leaders to bring lasting impact to their campuses and communities, the entire state of Texas, and beyond.

“I am honored for the opportunity to attend the Harvard Institute this summer,” said Amy McAfee. “It is exciting to represent Crandall ISD and to be one of the leaders selected to spearhead the effort in school improvement.”

With these new cohorts, the Charles Butt Foundation will have paid for more than 1,400 educators to attend training at Harvard through the Raising School Leaders program, an initiative designed to develop stronger school leaders who will enhance the quality of education across Texas. The Charles Butt Foundation covers all expenses for the attendees including tuition, travel, hotel, and other discretionary costs for a total investment of more than $10 million since the program’s inception.

“Great teachers, along with strong school and district leaders, represent the most significant influencers of academic achievement and supportive culture,” said Tim Miller, Director of Leadership Development at the Charles Butt Foundation. “Our alumni often report that their Harvard experience is the best professional development they have ever experienced and that they return to their campuses energized, inspired, and empowered to make meaningful change that benefits all students.”

For every participant in the Harvard Institutes, the Charles Butt Foundation covers all expenses for the attendees including tuition, travel, and hotel – investing on average about $9,200 per attendee, for a total of about $1 million in sponsorships for 2019, and more than $9 million since the program’s inception.

Following the Harvard Institutes, attendees remain a part of the program’s statewide network of school leaders and are empowered to work together to create change at the campus and district levels. Alumni are sponsored to attend the organization’s annual leadership symposium and receive continuous support and professional development.

A list of all attendees from across Texas can be found here.

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 ABOUT THE CHARLES BUTT FOUNDATION

The Charles Butt Foundation is pursuing a more equitable and prosperous future for all Texans through education and community partnerships. The Foundation is working toward a future in which all Texas children and families live in vibrant communities supported by a world-class education system. To learn more, visit CharlesButtFdn.org.

Connect with us on Facebook: /CharlesButtFdn
Connect with us on Twitter: @CharlesButtFdn
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Two Pirates qualify for Nationals, two more earn gold at future educator’s conference
Courtnie Nix

Crandall High School’s chapter of the Texas Association of Future Educators (TAFE) competed in the 38th annual Teach Tomorrow Summit on March 3-5 at the Hilton Anatole in Dallas. Seniors Kaitlyn Roberts and Madison Lene advanced to nationals while Seniors Karmyn Bass and Hailey Golden earned gold at the event, attended by more than 2,000 students.

The Texas Association of Future Educators or TAFE (pronounced "taffy") is a co-curricular statewide non-profit student organization created to allow young men and women an opportunity to explore the teaching profession. The organization was created to provide high school and middle school students in Texas with the necessary knowledge to make informed decisions about pursuing careers in education.

“TAFE has been a great organization for our students to participate in,” said Leslie Harrell, high school teacher and Ready, Set, Teach lead. “Students get to learn about careers in education and develop their character, service and leadership skills needed for becoming effective educators.”

For three days, students had the opportunity to hear from keynote speakers and attend discussion group sessions presented by other TAFE Chapters with new ideas and strategies.

“I’m so proud of the work these students have put into this,” Harrell said. “These four ladies have represented Crandall High School well and will do great things in the future of education.”

Winning students and their awards are:

National Qualifier:

  • Kaitlyn Roberts: Children's Literature
  • Madison Lene: Interactive Bulletin Board

Gold Placing:

  • Karmyn Bass: Teacher Created Materials
  • Hailey Golden: Interactive Bulletin Board
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Trustees approve 2022-23 school calendar
Courtnie Nix

Crandall ISD's 2022-23 CISD school calendar was approved by the Board of Trustees at its March 7 meeting. The adopted calendar calls for school to start on Tuesday, Aug. 16 and to end the school year on Thursday, May 25.

The calendar was developed by a committee comprised of district administrators, principals, a staff survey, new UIL realignment considerations and Region 10 ESC.

A survey was shared with parents, teachers and staff to gather feedback on four options. Almost 55 percent of the 400 responses voted for calendar B, which was recommended to the board.

The calendar includes:

  • Mini Fall Break Sept. 30-Oct. 3
  • Thanksgiving Break Nov. 21-25
  • Winter Break Dec. 17-Jan. 2
  • Spring Break March 13-17

The calendar also built-in two bad weather days by banking instructional minutes. There are no bad weather days listed on next year’s calendar.

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Crandall ISD elementary students compete in 2022 Battle of the Books Championship
Courtnie Nix

Each year, Crandall ISD hosts its Battle of the Books—a literacy competition for students in grades 3-6. Students from each elementary campus gather in teams of six. In the fall, teams receive copies of books to read for the competition.

Students can read all the books themselves or divide them among teammates and become experts for their specific books.

During the spring semester, teams compete in preliminary battles to determine which groups will advance to the finals. There are two divisions: grades 3-4 and grades 5-6. Teams can be a single grade level or a combination of both grades.

“Battle of the Books is a simple and fun way to encourage students to read,” said Marnie Cushing, middle school librarian and Battle of the Books lead. “Students have fun while gaining new knowledge and competing with peers.”

The competition consists of five rounds of five questions each. At the end of the fifth round, the team with the most points wins. In the case of a tie at the end of Round 5, a “sudden death” round of additional questions is asked until one of the tied teams misses a question.

“It builds teamwork,” Cushing said. “Students learn valuable skills such as cooperation, collaboration, and communication. They may make new friendships and build a cohesiveness that can help them become more connected to the Pirate culture.”

More than 202 elementary students competed in this year’s Battle of the Books. The 2022 Championship winners are:

Grades 3-4:

  • 1st place: Martin Elementary
  • 2nd place: Walker Elementary
  • 3rd place: Noble-Reed Elementary

Grades 5-6:

  • 1st place: Walker Elementary
  • 2nd place: Noble-Reed Elementary
  • 3rd place: Wilson Elementary
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Fine Arts CHS students claim 70 First Division medals at Region 3 UIL contest
Courtnie Nix

Members of the Crandall High School band competed at the Region 3 UIL Solo and Ensemble competition this past Saturday, Feb. 26. Almost 120 students claimed individual awards at the event, hosted by Garland ISD.

Students prepared a solo or an ensemble--which includes mastery of the music and having the entire solo memorized, without sheet music--to perform for a judge. Ratings of 1-5 were awarded, with one being the best rating.

CISD had the following results:

  • 70 First Division Medals (Superior)
  • 38 Students received a Second Division rating (Excellent)
  • 9 Students received a rating of Third Division (Good) 
  • JV Jazz First Division (2nd Year in a row) 
  • Varsity Jazz Band received their 13th Consecutive UIL Jazz First Division 

Twenty-seven students advanced compete at the state competition hosted in Austin during late May.

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