Education Briefs

Elementary school hosts author Oct. 28

Education Briefs Lake Travis|Westlake Local author J. Jaye Smith reads to students at Cedar Creek Elementary School on Oct. 28.[/caption]

As part of  the Austin Reads Aloud with BookSpring Day program, Eanes ISD’s Cedar Creek Elementary School hosted “Batty About Texas” author J. Jaye Smith on Oct. 28. 

The citywide event featured a read-aloud visit by 41 area celebrities to 45 local schools in celebration of literacy program BookSpring donating 1 million books to Austin children,  BookSpring Executive Director Emily Cicchini said.

Concordia University Texas names new athletic director

Concordia University Texas appointed Ronda Seagraves Nov. 2 as the school’s athletic director. She follows Men’s Head Basketball Coach Stan Bonewitz, who served as the program’s interim director.

Education Briefs Lake Travis|Westlake Ronda Seagraves was appointed athletic director at Concordia University Texas Nov. 2.[/caption]

“I see great growth potential and promise in Concordia’s competitive sports programs,” Seagraves said.

Student-athletes honored
The American Southwest Conference named 16 Concordia student-athletes to its all-conference team Nov. 11. The awards are selected by the league’s head coaches for soccer and volleyball honorees, with cross country honorees chosen from conference finishes.

The Tornadoes receiving ASC’s awards include seven men’s soccer team members, three women’s soccer team members, three volleyball team members and two cross country team members. Additionally, volleyball squad setter Nacole Miller was selected as the ASC West Newcomer of the Year.

Middle school gives back to community

While many local families were making plans for Thanksgiving, Hudson Bend Middle School students in Lake Travis ISD spent the Friday before the holiday helping their community. 

Education Briefs Lake Travis|Westlake Firefighter Ross Murdoch (left) and Hudson Bend Middle School students clean a truck.[/caption]

On Nov. 20, more than 1,100 of the school’s students volunteered with local organizations by preparing materials for animal rescue group All Things Wild, beautifying a garden at Bee Cave Elementary School, making cards and playing piano at assisted living center The Harbor at Lakeway, washing fire trucks for Lake Travis Fire Rescue, beautifying parks and wildlands, writing letters for service group LTLove, maintaining sports fields for the Lake Travis Youth
Association and assisting in schools.

“Being selected as a 2014 Texas Schools to Watch, students and teachers at Hudson Bend Middle School have always done great things in the classroom,” Principal Mark Robinson said. “We also know the success of our school would not be possible without the support of parents, families and the great people of the Lake Travis community. The Day of Service is our way of giving back to this great community that supports all we do here in Lake Travis ISD.”

West Austin school to add kindergarten

Program will form first K-12 Episcopal school in CenTex

Students, parents and faculty at St. Andrew’s Episcopal School celebrated the ground breaking of the school’s new kindergarten building Nov. 5 at the Lower and Middle School campus, 1112 W. 31st St., Austin. The school, which maintains its Upper School campus in Southwest Austin, 5901 Southwest Parkway, will house its new 48-student kindergarten program in a former Daughters of Charity residence at the intersection of Bailey Lane and Wabash Avenue in Austin.

Education Briefs Lake Travis|Westlake St. Andrew’s Episcopal School is preparing to add a kindergarten class for its 2016-17 academic year. A renovated facility will house the new program.[/caption]

The $3.5 million renovation project is set to be complete by August and will establish the school as the first and only K-12 Episcopal school in Central Texas, Lower School Division head Kama Bruce said. Capital campaign program funds will be used for the building renovations, furnishings, and as an endowment for the operation and maintenance of the facility.

“From a developmental and educational standpoint, our job is to build a strong relationship between [students] and learning,” Bruce said. “When I build a class of students, I’m building a learning culture. At a younger age, [children] are much more curious and excited. It is truly an ideal age to [begin teaching], and we haven’t had that in the past.”

He said the kindergarten program will allow the school to access a greater pool of students, including children who have previously started and maintained their education at a school with a kindergarten program. The broader range of kindergarten students will create a more diverse learning culture, he said.

Eleanor Hall, the name given to the kindergarten building, will include 5,000 square feet of indoor space, including a Makerspace classroom for innovation, play areas, music classrooms, a chapel and special reading/academic areas. The grounds will add an exploration space and gardens.

School adds business incubator course

Westlake High School students will be offered a choice of 10 new courses for the 2016-17 school year, including a business incubator selection. The Eanes ISD school board approved the new course offerings at its Nov. 17 meeting. 

The business incubator course will focus on helping students learn the principles necessary to begin and operate a business and will serve students seeking authentic entrepreneurship experiences, EISD Superintendent Tom Leonard said.

“This to me is a very exciting time,” said Jennifer Salas, EISD board of trustees vice president. “[Students] can enter a class and explore a passion they didn’t know they had.”

The course will primarily be available to high school juniors and seniors, with sophomores given consideration after upperclassmen have been placed, Leonard said.

Program costs will be provided through private donations with no required student fees proposed, he said.

The business incubator course will get students excited about entrepreneurship and the future, Salas said.


Bee Cave council candidates attended an election forum April 15 that was sponsored by the Bee Cave Chamber of Commerce and moderated by Phyllis Campos, general manager of the Lake Travis-Westlake edition of Community Impact Newspaper. (Greg Perliski/Community Impact Newspaper)
Affordable housing, transportation challenges emerge as recurring issues at Bee Cave forum

A Q&A session highlighted candidate views on the challenges around housing and transportation for service workers in Bee Cave.

The program, which began this week in San Marcos, gives Amazon and Whole Foods employees and contractors direct access to COVID-19 vaccinations. (Courtesy Amazon)
Amazon begins rollout of statewide vaccination clinics for employees

The program, which began this week in San Marcos, gives Amazon and Whole Foods employees and contractors direct access to COVID-19 vaccinations.

Austin FC supporters celebrate the official announcement of the team in January 2019. (Amy Denney/Community Impact Newspaper)
How, where to watch historic first Austin FC match April 17

Check out this list of breweries, pubs and restaurants around Central Texas that are hosting watch parties for April 17's inaugural Austin FC game.

Z'Tejas' chorizo dumplings are served on the Arboretum location's porch. (Iain Oldman/Community Impact Newspaper)
Z'Tejas to open in Avery Ranch; butcher, deli to open in Dripping Springs and more Central Texas news

Read the latest business and community news from the Central Texas area.

A group of West Lake Hills doctors are proposing the development of a medical office building on Bee Caves Road. (Amy Rae Dadamo/Community Impact Newspaper)
Plans for 54-foot-tall medical building on Bee Caves Road stall at City Council

The proposal came before West Lake Hills city council during the April 14 meeting and was met with concerns from nearby residents, business owners and council members— ultimately causing the developers to withdraw their application.

West Lake Hills City Council denied a request to subdivide a property on Westlake Drive into eight lots. (Courtesy West Lake Hills City Council)
Proposed 8-home subdivision on Westlake Drive rejected by City Council

A proposal for an eight-home subdivision on Westlake Drive received a unanimous denial from the West Lake Hills City Council during an April 14 meeting due to noncompliance to the city’s code.

Photo of a sign that says "Travis County"
Travis County establishes new emergency rental assistance program for 2021

The program will provide $10.7 million in aid to county residents struggling to pay rent due to the pandemic.

Eanes ISD trustees met April 13 to discuss a resolution regarding the distribution of federal COVID-19 aid for public schools. (Amy Rae Dadamo/Community Impact Newspaper)
Eanes ISD drafts resolution urging Texas officials to allocate federal COVID-19 funds to school districts

During an April 13 special meeting, the Eanes ISD board of trustees reviewed a drafted resolution regarding the status of federal Elementary and Secondary School Emergency Relief funds.

Plank Seafood Provisions opened inside The Domain in late March. (Courtesy Richard Casteel)
Seafood spot opens in The Domain; All Star Liquor now serving Georgetown and more Central Texas news

Read the latest business and community news from the Central Texas area.

Federal funding is set aside for public schools to address effects of the pandemic. (Courtesy Adobe Stock)
Why Texas has not yet distributed $18 billion in federal funds intended for public schools

As budget decisions loom for school districts across Texas, state leaders are holding on to federal funds intended for public schools to use in addressing the effects of the COVID-19 pandemic.

Bee Cave City Council approved April 13 constructing trails to connect the Ladera neighborhood in west Bee Cave with commercial areas at RM 620 and Ladera Boulevard. (Courtesy city of Bee Cave)
Next phase of Bee Cave hike and bike trails receives council approval

At its April 13 meeting, Bee Cave council members also approved funding a regional emergency management coordinator.

The Electric Reliability Council of Texas said power outages are not expected April 13, while requesting energy conservation. (Iain Oldman/Community Impact Newspaper)
UPDATE: ERCOT call for energy conservation ends April 13 without need for power outages

An ERCOT official said "tight" supply and demand conditions arose on the state's electric grid April 13 due to forecasting issues amid planned, seasonal maintenance outages by some power generators.