Katy ISD highlights accomplishments and opportunities

By R. Hans Miller, News Editor
Posted 8/31/21

Katy ISD is ramping up into the school year and made several announcements in the last week to let parents know about district accomplishments and programs to help students. The district has received …

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Katy ISD highlights accomplishments and opportunities

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Katy ISD is ramping up into the school year and made several announcements in the last week to let parents know about district accomplishments and programs to help students. The district has received recognition on multiple fronts for academics and as an employer and announced screenings and achievements for academic excellence as well as the continuation of programs to ensure students that attend classes virtually receive proper nutrition.

Feeding learning

KISD will continue its grab-and-go meals program for students enrolled in the Katy Virtual Academy. The online learning platform was offered to students from kindergarten to sixth grade whose parents elected to keep them virtual during the pandemic as a precaution.

Each Tuesday, parents can visit Morton Ranch or Cinco Ranch high school from 4:30-6:30 p.m. to obtain meals for their children, according to a KISD announcement. Parents should bring an ID, report card or birth certificate for each child set to receive a meal and there is no cost to children enrolled in KVA.

Capstone recipients

The district announced that 91 students have received the Advanced Placement Capstone Diploma, while seven more earned the AP Seminar and Research Certificate for the 2020-21 school year.

AP Capstone is a College Board diploma program based on two yearlong AP courses, AP Seminar and AP Research. The courses are project-based and require students to develop critical thinking, research, collaboration, time management and presentation skills, according to a KISD press release.

To receive the AP Capstone Diploma, students must earn scores of three or higher in AP Seminar, AP Research, and on four additional AP Exams. Over 2,000 schools participated in the AP Capstone program worldwide during the 2020-21 school year, which lead to approximately 11,900 students earning the AP Capstone Diploma and 7,700 earned the AP Seminar and Research Certificate. 

Gifted and Talented

Parents of kindergarten students wishing for their learner to be screened for Challenge, KISD’s gifted and talented program. Guardians should have received information detailing how to refer their children to the program the week of Aug. 23. Information may also be found at the KISD GT and Advanced Academics website at https://bit.ly/3kFebK5.

“The State of Texas defines a gifted and talented student as a child or youth who performs or shows the potential for performing at a remarkably high level of accomplishment when compared to others of the same age, experience or environment,” said Katy ISD Director of Gifted, Talented and Advanced Academic Studies Joan Otten.

Referrals are due by Oct. 1 and the program will begin the week of Feb. 28 which will include Challenge Program students participating in a gifted and talented classroom for one hour per week.

Fifth-grade students may also apply for the program at the secondary school level. Programs are available for English, mathematics, science and social studies. Applications for middle school students are due by Sept. 22 and are available through the Challenge Program website at https://bit.ly/3yvO5hB. Parents will be notified via U.S. mail if their child has been accepted into the program in January 2022.

Forbes recognition

The district announced Aug. 27 that it had once again earned a spot on the Forbes List of Best Employers in Texas, coming in at number 8 on the list. KISD was the only school district in a list that included NASA, Dell and Southwest Airlines.

“From our teachers, administrators, operations and support staff, every member of the Katy ISD family strives daily to provide supportive and unparalleled learning experiences to the more than 87,000 students we serve,” said KISD Superintendent Ken Gregorski.

Forbes developed the list in cooperation with Statista, a research company. The list is part of Forbes’ third annual America’s Best Employers by State listing. About 80,000 Americans were surveyed from Oct. 2020 to June 2021 to obtain the ranking.

Amazon supply drop

KISD instructors again had the opportunity to utilize $200 in Amazon credit to purchase supplies for their classrooms through the Katy Instructional Teacher Supply Budget. Through this special budget, teachers were able to get classroom items that they might otherwise have had to purchase themselves.

“These funds are intended to assist teachers with purchasing those few extra items they would love to have in their classrooms that may further supplement a learning experience they have planned for their students,” Gregorski said.

Teachers were able to start logging in the week of Aug. 30 via a KISD Amazon link to select the items they want for their classrooms. This is in addition to basic instructional supplies already provided by KISD.

“Our educators have always gone above and beyond for our learners, especially during these past 18 months. We hope they will enjoy this opportunity to purchase some additional items for their classrooms,” said Gregorski.  

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