News



August 28 – First Day of School

Welcome to another wonderful school year! It’s so hard to believe we’re getting ready for 2017-2018 to begin. It’s our hope that all our Southwest Schools families had a safe summer and are ready to begin an exciting school year.  The teachers and staff are looking forward to seeing everyone again and are eager to meet our new families in the community.

We’ll see you on the 28th!




New Career and Technology Center

Southwest Schools is pleased to announce the expansion of Southwest Middle School and Southwest High School with the addition of the new Career and Technology Center to serve the District’s secondary students.

The STEAM facility, located within the Middle School and High School complex, will introduce more than 17,500 square feet of space for math, science, fine arts, and technology courses. Features will include flexible and collaborative spaces, state-of-the-art computer systems, industrial learning equipment, a performance hall, and more.

Known for its safe, innovative and intimate campuses, Southwest Schools will be able to accommodate an additional 60 high school and 110 middle school students from across the Houston area. “We planned this expansion as part of Southwest Schools strategic plan to provide more space for innovative teaching and learning, with a focus on enhancing 21st Century career and college readiness”, says Dr. Brenda Arteaga, Superintendent.

The Center that was designed by local Houston architect, Kay Macias, is being constructed by Longevity Realty Partners (LRP) and is scheduled to open for the 2017-2018 school year.

For enrollment information, to learn more about Southwest Schools or to become a community partner, please visit www.swschools.org

 




Now Enrolling for the 2017-2018 School Year

Welcome New Students!

Enrollment applications are now being accepted at all Southwest Schools campuses for the 2017-2018 school year. Click here to apply.

About Southwest Schools

Southwest Schools is a premier school district open to students in the Greater Houston Area. Small, safe campuses provide the perfect setting to help kids Pre-K through 12th grade learn, grow and prepare for their futures!




Introducing New Phoenix School Principals

It is with great pride and excitement that we introduce Ms. Marian Kennedy and Ms. Grace Marshall as the newly appointed Co-Principals of Southwest Phoenix School.

Both principals are experienced leaders and dedicated to ensuring that our students and staff have the best learning environment possible.

We are looking forward to a successful school year under the leadership of our new principals.

Marian Kennedy
Marian Kennedy
Grace Marshall Photo
Grace Marshall



Generous Grant from Chevron for Project Lead the Way

 

Chevron LogoWe are pleased to announce that Southwest Schools has been awarded a grant from Chevron to expand the Project Lead The Way (PLTW) program across our District.   The grant will focus on the implementation of three programs: LAUNCH for elementary; GATEWAY for middle school; and ENGINEERING for high school.

PLTW is a nonprofit organization that provides a transformative learning experience for K-12 students and teachers across the U.S.  Among other significant findings, independent research studies reveal that PLTW students outperform their peers in school, are better prepared for post-secondary studies, and are more likely to consider careers as scientists, technology experts, engineers, mathematicians, healthcare providers, and researchers compared to their non-PLTW peers.

STEM education is key to keeping the U.S. competitive. Project Lead The Way offers students and educators world-class curricula and teacher training to help kids obtain the in-demand, transferable skills they need to excel. Chevron is proud to partner with Project Lead The Way to help provide access to engineering curriculum to 100,000 students across the U.S.

Visit http://www.swschools.org/programs/project-lead-the-way-2/  to learn more.




Phoenix School Teacher Spotlighted on “Donors Choose”

Ms. Millanee Reed, K-5th grade teacher at the Phoenix School (Southwest Schools) was recognized by DonorsChoose.org as one of eight inspiring projects.                                                                                                                                                               (Get the full story here… https://www.donorschoose.org/project/class-needs-a-bearded-dragon-home-and-su/1786785/)

The project, funded in full by individual donors, will provide a home and accessories for the class pet – a bearded dragon named Spike.

would like to start off with a GIANT Thanks! It is extremely difficult to share how much of an impact your donation made to my classroom and in turn to my students. This year we have had an addition to our classroom, a bearded dragon named Spike. My students and I are crazy about our class pet. 


We would like you to know that Spike loves the additional accessories we were able to get due to your direct funding. He loves his heated rock, while he is not able to tell us this, we can see because he is hardly ever off of it. This rock has become an integral part of his continued development. He has grown so much in the last month or so.

As for the other supplies, my students have really taken to being creative with STEAM-Science, Technology, Engineering, Art and Math. As you can see in the photos submitted, they are budding artists and scientists.

The impact of your gifts has had an overall tremendous effect on how we approach our Science activities and their abilities to change their thinking from this is hard to I think I can try this another way!

With gratitude,
Ms. Reed

A response by DonorsChoose.org staff sums up the efforts made by Ms. Reed, “Your wonderful request showcases the amazing things happening in classrooms across the country, and will certainly help fellow teachers create their own projects.”

Spike

For periodic updates, photos and videos, follow Reed the Bearded Dragon on Instagram




Congratulations Shawn Ceppi 2016 Phoenix School Teacher of the Year

Please join me in congratulating Shawn Ceppi, 2016 Phoenix School Teacher of the Year. From here Ms. Ceppi will represent the Phoenix campus in competing for District Teacher of the Year. Congratulations!

Ms. Ceppi - 2016 Teacher of the Year (left) Brett Schriewer - Principal (right)
Ms. Ceppi – 2016 Teacher of the year (left)
Brett Schriewer – Principal (right)
Phoenix School Faculty & Staff
Phoenix School Faculty & Staff



Phoenix Schools NEW Program is a Hit!

 

Archway’s Board of Directors kicked off a new and exciting Career and Mentoring Program at the beginning of 2015-2016 school year. Once a month speakers from around the Houston area visit the Phoenix School and share their experience in education, career path, the love their job, and many other interesting facts.  Students break out into small groups and have the opportunity to hear from a variety of speakers such as an attorney, oil rig supervisor, photographer, landscaper, restaurant owner, sports pro, corporate image consultant, drug/alcohol counselor, HPD Sargent, CEO, music producer, interior designer, tattoo artist, accountant, human resources professional, inspiration speaker, chemist and many more.

Our students are truly enjoying this program, we are working to make Career and Mentoring Program a regular part of our schedule to give our students a monthly connection to career goals and aspirations.




Annual Cupid’s Strike Bowling Bash Fundraiser to be Held February 2016 

We are shining our bowling balls and buffing our bowling shoes in preparation for Southwest Schools 4th Annual “Cupid’s Strike Bowling Bash” Sunday, February 21, 2016 from 1:00-4:00 PM at Palace Lanes (4191 Bellaire Blvd. Houston TX, 77025).

Last year, we raised over $10,000, with all proceeds going directly to student scholarships. This year, our goal is to raise $15,000 which includes payment of students’ college application fees as wells as traditional scholarships

As a Sponsor, you will have a lifelong impact on the education of children and the lives of their families.  Sponsorship is tax deductible and includes two hours of bowling, food, raffles and more! We invite you to join us and support our efforts to continue providing scholarships to deserving students.

On behalf of our students, I thank you for what you’ve already done for them.  And I thank you in advance for your continued support.   If you have any questions, please call Marcus Brewer at 713-784-6345. Looking forward to seeing you at the bowling alley.  (click here to learn more and to register) 

 

Angela Murphy                                              

Board Member/Event Chair

 

Dr. Spyros Catechis

Founder/CEO & Event Co-Chair




School Starts August 24th – We’re Excited for A New Year!

 

All Southwest Schools campuses officially begin the 2015-2016 school year on August 24th.  While our teachers and staff are busy getting the classrooms ready, there are a few things you can do to help your child prepare to transition back to a school schedule.

 

  • Bedtime Routine: Going back to school means an end to staying up late. To help your child transition back to waking up early, try going to bed one hour earlier every night and waking up earlier…start this routine several weeks before school starts, not the night before.

The National Sleep Foundation provides guidelines for the amount of sleep children should get at different ages. They suggest kids between the ages of 3 and 5 get 10 to 13 hours of sleep a night; ages 6 to 13 need 9 to 11 hours of sleep; and teens 14 and older should get 8 to 10 hours of sleep a night.

  • Annual Checkup (Dental and Eye exams too)  Annual checkups should be done by a pediatrician before the start of each new school year to ensure that your child’s medical records and vaccinations are up to date. (You might need to provide this information to the school.)
  • Nutrition and Mealtime:  The majority of kids spend the summer eating differently, with less rules and more tasty treats, now’s the time to change that. Summertime snacks should not go in the brown bag. Before the new school year starts, get your child back into the habit of eating three regular meals a day: breakfast, lunch and dinner. It’s also good to check with your child’s school to find out about lunch options and meal schedules before the start of the new school year.

Starting the new school year can be a time of great excitement… and anxiety. Help calm your child’s fears (and your own) with these teacher-approved tips.

  • Meet the teacher: For kids, one of the biggest back-to-school fears is “Will I like my new teacher?” Breaking the ice early on is one of the best ways to calm everyone’s fears. Take advantage of your school’s open house or back-to-school bash. Some teachers welcome phone calls or e-mails — another great opportunity to get to know each other before the year begins. If personal contact with the teacher isn’t possible, try locating the teacher’s picture on a school website or in a yearbook, so your child can put a name with a face.
  • Take a tour: If your school hosts an open house, be sure to go. Familiarizing your child with his/her school and classroom will help avoid first day jitters. Together you can meet her teacher, find her desk, or explore the cafeteria and playground.
  • Shop for supplies: Get a copy of the class supply list and take a special shopping trip with your child. Having the right tools will help his/her feel prepared. While keeping basic needs in mind, allow for a couple of splurges like a cool notebook or a favorite-colored pen. These simple pleasures make going back to school a lot more fun.
  • Ease into the routine: Switching from a summer to a school schedule can be stressful to everyone in the household. Avoid first-day-of-school mayhem by practicing your routine a few days in advance. Set the alarm clock, go through your morning rituals, and get in the car or to the bus stop on time. Routines help children feel comfortable, and establishing a solid school routine will make the first day of school go much smoother.

 




Southwest Schools District Meets Standard of Texas Education Agency

Southwest Schools is pleased to announce that the District (and all schools therein) earned “Met Standard” rating for the state for the 2014-2015 school year.

 

The Texas Education Agency (TEA) established the standards to encompass four primary criteria:

  • Index 1: Student Achievement—Based on the percentage of test scores at or above the satisfactory level. (All students)
  • Index 2: Student Progress—A weighted composite based on the percentage of test scores that met or exceeded progress measures on reading, writing and math. Growth is evaluated by subject and by student group. 
(All students; student groups by race/ethnicity; English language learners; special education)
  • Index 3: Closing Performance Gaps—Based on improving academic achievement of economically disadvantaged students and the two lowest performing ethnic groups at each campus or district. (All economically disadvantaged students; student groups by race/ethnicity)
  • Index 4: Postsecondary Readiness—Based on high school completion rates and the percentage of students graduating on the Recommended or Distinguished plans. This measure only applies to districts and high school campuses. 
(All students; student groups by race/ethnicity; English language learners; special education)
  • According to TEA Commissioner of Education, Michael Williams, “Under the new accountability system, these designations recognize outstanding work at the campus level that would not be acknowledged in previous years.”



Southwest Schools Receives Charter School FIRST Rating

Southwest Schools is pleased to announce the accomplishment of Charter School First Rating.

 

The purpose of the financial accountability rating system, known as the School Financial Integrity Rating System of Texas (FIRST), is to ensure that open-enrollment charter schools are held accountable for the quality of their financial management practices and that they improve those practices.




Southwest Schools Hosts Career Day

On May 13th, Southwest Students and the Middle School/High School and at various Phoenix school campuses were treated to a morning of interacting with business professionals and entrepreneurs from the Houston area.  Students enjoyed interactive presentations on careers such as marketing, law enforcement, energy, culinary arts, multimedia and more.

The morning presentations were followed by an Entrepreneurship Table Talk in which students ate lunch with a variety of entrepreneurs and small business owners, allowing them to engage in informal question and answer discussions.

The goal of the day was to expose Southwest students to a variety of career possibilities and to encourage their own long-term career thought processes. Southwest Schools would like to extend special thanks to all of the professionals who attended.

To learn more about the Career Day initiative or if you are interested in participating, please contact Marcus Brewer, Director of Community Relations, mbrewer@swschools.org




Virtual Field Trip with President Obama

The students of the Phoenix school had a reading experience like no other!  President Obama visited Anacostia public library in Washington, D.C. to participate in a “virtual field trip” with students across the country about the importance of reading and preparing for higher education. President  Obama spoke about his favorite books growing up; Hardy Boys mysteries, The Lord of The Rings and The Great Gatsby.

 

sws

 

 




Phoenix Campus Teach of the Year

Teacher of the Year is a top honor. This teacher shows excellence in classroom education and does an outstanding job being an example to inspire their students and colleagues. Congratulations to Elizabeth Richards on receiving Teacher of the Year honors at the Phoenix School for 2014-2015 school year.

Elizabeth Richards, Teacher of the Year & Brett Schriewer, Principal
Elizabeth Richards, Teacher of the Year & Brett Schriewer, Principal



Focused on the STAAR

April is the month for STAAR Testing (State of Texas Assessments of Academic Readiness) which is a standardized assessment tool utilized by schools in the state of Texas. The STAAR test aims to measure the knowledge and skills of students specifically in the four main subject areas: English, Science, Mathematics, and Social Studies.

Students at Southwest Schools will be taking the STAAR test on the following dates;

March 30th-April 1st

April 20th-22nd

May 4th-8th and May 12th

 

A few tips and tricks for taking the STAAR test!

  1. Get a good night’s sleep
  2. Eat a healthy breakfast (limit sugar, eat protein…it’s brain food)
  3. Take your time
  4. Use the strategies your teachers have taught you
  5. Always, always remember to try your absolute best


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