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Frisco ISD has been honored for its efforts to encourage students to download popular and educational eBooks and audiobooks.

OverDrive, a leading national distributor of digital library content, recently awarded the District with its Digital Library Champion Excellent eBook Educator award. 

Students and staff have free access to eBooks and audiobooks anytime, anywhere, on their eReading device.

To get started, simply visit http://friscoisd.lib.overdrive.com or download the free OverDrive app. Student identification number is required.

During a month-long push in February, FISD schools boosted digital library checkouts 375 percent, thanks to a wide variety of displays, promotional videos, community events, contests and classroom presentations.

Schools tailored promotion efforts to their campus featuring different mascots, school specific incentives and more.

Frisco ISD has offered the service since 2011.

“The District continues to experience higher check out rates and more students signing on to the program,” said Lone Star High School Librarian Ann Terry, who oversees the District’s partnership with OverDrive. “We are constantly adding new titles to our collection to address the demand as well.”

Terry has been invited to present information regarding FISD's experience with OverDrive at the American Association of School Librarians (AASL) National Convention next month in Hartford, Connecticut. 

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Frisco Mayor Maher Maso recognized two Frisco ISD middle schools for their honors from the Texas Music Educators Association (TMEA).

Maso proclaimed September 30 as “Clark Middle School Symphonic Band Day” and “Fowler Middle School String Orchestra Day” in the City of Frisco.

 

The Clark Symphonic Band was selected as the 2014 Texas Middle School 2C Honor Band, the first time that a Frisco ISD middle or high school band has won the prestigious award.

The Fowler String Orchestra was honored as the 2014 Texas Middle School Honor Orchestra, just one year after the full orchestra, including members of the symphonic band and symphonic orchestra, was named the 2013 Texas Middle School Honor Full Orchestra.

They are the highest honors that a middle school band or orchestra can achieve in the state of Texas.

In issuing his formal proclamations, Maso encouraged all citizens to congratulate students and teachers for their dedication, determination and outstanding accomplishments.

Both the Clark Symphonic Band and Fowler String Orchestra will play in February 2014 at the TMEA Convention in San Antonio.

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The Frisco Independent School District is among the top ten Best Places to Work in Dallas-Fort Worth, according to rankings published by the Dallas Business Journal

The annual competition recognizes companies in three categories: small, medium and large. Frisco ISD was honored in the large companies category.

Superintendent of Schools Dr. Jeremy Lyon accepted a plaque on behalf of the District at an awards ceremony on September 26.

All winners were highlighted in the September 27 issue of the Dallas Business Journal.

A total of 57 companies were selected for the list after an extensive selection process.

Employees from each company were surveyed by independent research firm Quantum Workplace, with results matched against national standards.

Frisco ISD can now analyze the results of that survey to better understand the District’s strengths and weaknesses.

“We’re honored to have been selected as one of the Best Places to Work, but even great organizations can find room for improvement,” Lyon said. “Our employees have provided valuable feedback that we can use to identify areas of improvement and resources available to address them.”

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ProStart culinary arts students at the Frisco ISD Career and Technical Education Center hosted "Waffles for Wishes," a fundraiser for Make-a-Wish North Texas on Wednesday, September 25. 

The charity grants the wishes of children with life-threatening medical conditions to enrich the human experience with hope, strength and joy.

The event raised more than $3,500 to help grant a wish for a Frisco ISD student.  

Students prepared and served made-to-order omelets, fresh waffles and more to guests in attendance. A silent auction featured products and services donated by local businesses.

Three families who have benefited from the Make-a-Wish Foundation also spoke about the impact of the organization on their families.

Austin Rice, a seventh grader at Pioneer Heritage Middle School, had his wish granted in May when he traveled to Alaska with his family.

He and his mother Dawn said it was wonderful to spend quality time together and not worry about Austin’s genetic disorder, which caused an abnormal blood vessel connection to erupt in his brain last year. 

Jeanie Colmenares, mother of one of the culinary arts students, spoke about losing her son Caleb to leukemia. Make-a-Wish granted his wish to meet professional wrestler John Cena in July 2010.

“That was the last birthday that we celebrated with him,” she said. “Now looking back, we have those memories to cherish.”

Rebecca Dixon, sister of CTE secretary Sondra Hall, described her family’s trip to Disney World. Rebecca’s daughter Violet was diagnosed with cystic fibrosis at 15 months old and has endured daily treatments and numerous hospital visits ever since.

“We worried about not one single thing,” Dixon said. “For seven days, it was not about cystic fibrosis. It was about being together as a family."

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Acker Special Programs Center

Former employees and students of Frisco ISD's first stand-alone elementary school, Acker Elementary, are encouraged to attend an Open House on Sunday, October 13 from 2 to 4 p.m.

Walk the halls of the school, visit with friends, watch a video, and look at scrapbooks as we celebrate 50 years of education at Acker.

Acker Elementary was named for early pioneer Z.T. Acker – a school teacher from Alabama who came to Texas to farm in the 1800s. Mr. Acker taught his children prior to the formation of the Frisco Independent School District. Education was a priority to Mr. Acker and he insisted each of his seven children attend at least one year of college. One of his daughters, Mattie, became a teacher and later donated 11 acres of land on which Acker sits to honor her father’s love of education.

In 1963, shortly before President John F. Kennedy was assassinated, teachers and students began moving into the brand new Z.T. Acker Elementary School, located at 7159 Hickory Street in Frisco. The late Bert Isbell was principal of the school.

Today, Acker Special Programs Center is the home to the KEYS and RISE programs for students in kindergarten through eighth grade.

The KEYS (Keeping Every Youth Successful) program assists elementary and middle school students who will benefit from a safe, alternative learning environment.

RISE (Reaching Individual Success in Education) is a program for elementary and middle school students who have academic needs and desire a smaller, innovative instructional environment. Staff members believe interventions taken through the RISE program can benefit students by focusing on the remediation of missing skills and the prevention of academic frustration, which can help ensure future success for students in their academic careers.

After 50 years, Acker is still a school dedicated to helping students achieve their educational goals and do their best. 

Current Principal Shawn Perry and the staff at Acker Special Programs Center would like to invite the Frisco ISD community to help celebrate 50 years of innovation and learning at Acker.

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About 200 Frisco ISD students involved in the Independent Study and Mentorship (ISM) Program will meet with local business professionals on Friday, October 11.

The professionals will volunteer their time to conduct mock interviews, evaluate student resumes and help students build networking skills.

The annual event will be held from 8:30 a.m. to noon at the FISD Administration Building and Career and Technical Education Center, 5515 Ohio Drive and 9889 Wade Boulevard.

ISM is a challenging course elective designed to help prepare Frisco ISD juniors and seniors for success in college and career.

The Business Symposium is their first opportunity to interact with business professionals, ask questions and learn from their experiences.

Following the Symposium, ISM students interview community members who work in a chosen career field and then select a mentor to gain real world experience. The goal is for each student to explore a particular interest and discover his or her passion.

Over the course of the school year, students focus on original idea generation and product design, improving oral presentation skills, intense research, resume writing, business etiquette, working independently and goal setting.

The course culminates in May when students individually present their original product creation and what they have learned from their ISM experience. The hope is that students know more specifically what they would like to study at the university level.

Gifted and high-achieving high school students must first apply and interview to participate in the ISM program.

 

Volunteers Still Needed

  • Are you interested in helping out with the ISM Business Symposium? Free lunch is provided to participating volunteers. Please contact Frisco ISD Gifted and Talented Coordinator Julie Martin at martinju@friscoisd.org or 469-633-6839 by Friday, September 27.