On Nov. 1, Aldine ISD held its annual State of the District/AEF (Aldine Education Foundation) Breakfast at the Hilton Houston North Hotel. This year’s event was the first for Superintendent Dr. LaTonya M. Goffney, who was named Aldine ISD Superintendent of Schools in April.
Members of Dr. Goffney’s Student Ambassador Group led the presentation and provided information on the district. The breakfast also served as the kickoff for AEF fund campaign.
AEF President Richard Cantu spoke on behalf of the Foundation.
Blanson CTE student Ariana Lopes Rodriguez opened the breakfast by leading the audience in the Pledge of Allegiance and the Pledge to the Texas flag. The colors were presented by the Davis High School ROTC.
Victory Early College High School student Carolyn Garcia introduced members of the Aldine Board of Trustees who attended the event, Dr. Goffney and members of her Executive Leadership Team. She also introduced elected officials who attended, which included State Reps Ana Hernandez and Armando Walle, and Houston City Council member Jerry Davis.
The audience was then treated to a performance by the All-District Choir, under the direction of Daryle Freeman, choir director of Davis High School.
Davis High School student Sandra Garcia introduced AEF Board members and district stakeholders, which included students, parents and grandparents, business partner, community partners, and nonprofit and education partners.
Board Vice-President Paul Shanklin delivered the invocation and after breakfast, Cantu delivered remarks on behalf of AEF.
“Each year since 2012, the Aldine Education Foundation has joined Aldine ISD at this breakfast event to celebrate the successes of the previous school year and to learn how we as a Foundation can continually increase support for bigger, future successes,” he said.
He explained the Foundation focuses its support in two major areas, scholarships for graduating AISD seniors and teaching grants to support educator excellence.
Cantu said in the fall of 2017, AEF awarded 13 teacher grants totaling $60,268. In the spring of 2018, AEF awarded $66,000 to 80 outstanding educators to thank them for their dedication to the district’s students.
Also in the spring of 2018, Cantu said AEF awarded $412,000 in competitive scholarships to 126 Aldine ISD students. AEF also informed 88 ninth through 12th graders across 11 campuses that they would receive their part of $30,000 in scholarship funding upon their graduation. Those students earned grades of 95 or higher in every class during the 2017-18 school year.
“This district needs and deserves our support,” Cantu said. “This is why the AEF Board builds assistance across this generous community. We believe in the students and staff of Aldine ISD, and we hope you will join us to support their continued successes.”
Following Cantu’s remarks, Nimitz High School student Amanda Blankson introduced a video, “All in for Aldine,” which featured Aldine ISD teachers and why those chose to teach in Aldine. Alyssa Duty, Aldine ISD’s multimedia communications specialist, produced the video.
Amanda then presented the district’s demographics from the 2017-18 school year, which were:
• Enrollment – 67,331 students
• At risk population – 73.88%
• Economically Disadvantaged population – 89.19%
• Attendance Rate – 94%
• Special Education population – 7.7%
• Gifted and Talented population – 4.4%
• Career and Technical population – 29.5%
• Bilingual population – 21.3
Eisenhower High School student Jashon Palmer provided information on accountability from the 2017-18 school year. The district was not rated due to the Texas Education Agency’s (TEA) Hurricane Harvey Provision. Sixty-eight AISD campuses did meet standards with three landing in Improvement Required and four campuses were not rated due to the Hurricane Harvey Provision.
He also shared financial information from the 2017- 18 school year, which was:
• Projected Expenditures – $607,763,574
• Expected Revenue – $594,741,434
• Estimated Deficit – $13,022,140
• Cash Reserves – $153,710,363
• Tax Rate – $1.37 per $100 valuation
Jashon also shared that 658 AISD seniors received 1,751 scholarships totaling more than $56.1 million and the district received 342 grants totaling $1,304,358.
MacArthur High School student Anthony Palacios then provided information on construction projects that were completed from the 2015 $798 million bond referendum. Projects completed during the 2017-18 school year were:
• Dr. Archie Blandon Career and Technical Education High School (current enrollment 999 students)
• Francis Elementary School (current enrollment of 815 students)
• Johnson Elementary School (current enrollment of 709 students)
• Dr. Viola M. Garcia Middle School (current enrollment of 1,169 students)
• Steve Mead Middle School (current enrollment of 1,197 students)
• Marine Jones Middle School (current enrollment of 1,259 students)
• Merlin Griggs EC/PK/ K School (current enrollment of 865 students)
• Lou Hardeman EC/ PK/K School (current enrollment of 742 students)
The new North side Transportation Center was also opened during the 2017-18 school year and the Rose Avalos Early College High School is still under construction. This is a joint venture with Lone Star College.
Aldine High School student Jaclyn Lynch and Carver High School student provided information on other projects covered by the 2015 bond referendum. Those projects were:
• Renovations of Carver High School, including a new art wing, an addition to the library and various upgrades.
• Renovations of Aldine High School, which included classroom additions, and an upgrade of the swimming pool.
• Renovations of MacArthur High School which included classroom additions and an upgrade of the swimming pool.
• Renovations of Stovall Middle School, Anderson Academy and Smith Stadium.
• During the 2017-18 school year, all intermediate schools were converted to elementary schools. In total, 10 schools were converted from intermediate to elementary schools. In addition, two schools were converted from elementary schools to EC/PK/K schools.
• Installation of GPS Tracking and Management for district’s bus fleet, district wide technology upgrades, data center upgrades and police department patrol cars were outfitted with laptops.
• District wide repairs of roofs, mechanical repairs, bathroom upgrades, interior repairs, lighting upgrades and mark board installations.
Dr. Goffney then delivered her remarks.
She lauded the students who performed during the breakfast and thanked her Student Ambassadors for their role in the event.
“We have great students and they did such an amazing job today,” she said. “We also have a board that has a great legacy. They are committed to providing a great education for our students. I am so honored to be a part of this outstanding school district.”
She also thanked the community for their commitment to the district.
“We have a strong community and strong partners in our parents,” Dr. Goffney said. “This is a good place to be and I’m excited to be a part of it.”
She then called on Representative Walle, an Aldine product and proud graduate of MacArthur High School, to speak to provide closing remarks.
“It’s a pleasure to be here,” he said. “I am a proud Aldine product and I am so proud to represent the community I grew up in. I will continue to fight in Austin for the resources our children need because I want our kids to be the best they can be.”
The Aldine High School Jazz Ensemble provided entertainment prior to the start of the breakfast.