LTISD’s Hudson Bend Middle School named a Texas School to Watch

The staff at Hudson Bend Middle School celebrates the recertification as a Texas School to Watch. (Courtesy Marco Alvarado)
The staff at Hudson Bend Middle School celebrates the recertification as a Texas School to Watch. (Courtesy Marco Alvarado)

The staff at Hudson Bend Middle School celebrates the recertification as a Texas School to Watch. (Courtesy Marco Alvarado)

Lake Travis ISD’s Hudson Bend Middle School has earned recognition as a Texas School to Watch, according to a Jan. 27 press release from Marco Alvarado, the district’s director of communications.

The Schools to Watch program was developed in 1999, aiming to identify the middle schools across the country who were displaying academic excellence and a commitment to helping all students achieve, the release said.

The designation is by the National Forum to Accelerate Middle-Grades Reform along with the Texas Association of Secondary School Principals and is based on various criteria. Hudson Bend Middle School first earned this designation in 2014, receiving recertification in 2017, according to the release.

The recognition holds for a three-year period, and in order to earn recertification, schools need to meet a number of goals. LTISD submitted an application prior to being evaluated by state teams, which conducted interviews of administrators, teachers, students and parents, the release said. Data including suspension rates, student work and the quality of lessons were also assessed.

“This unique designation is a reflection of our school’s commitment to academic growth and achievement,” Tom Payne, Hudson Bend Middle School principal, said in the release. “The most telling part of the process was the observance of our school climate where students value the relationships they build with the staff, as well as the staff’s focus on making sure no student falls between the cracks.”

According to the release, Hudson Bend Middle School will be recognized June 26 at the National Schools to Watch Conference in Washington, D.C.

By Amy Rae Dadamo
Amy Rae Dadamo is the reporter for Lake Travis-Westlake, where her work focuses on city government and education. Originally from New Jersey, Amy Rae relocated to Austin after graduating from Ramapo College of New Jersey in May 2019.


A rise in COVID-19 cases has Travis County back in stage 4. (Courtesy Adobe Stock)
Austin reverts to Stage 4 guidelines with rising delta variant cases

As delta variant COVID -19 cases are sending more young people to local ICUs, The Austin-Travis County Health Authority has moved the area back to guidelines that require masks indoors.

The Reserve at Lake Austin is a senior living community under construction off City Park Road in Northwest Austin. (Courtesy Solera Senior Living)
Northwest Austin senior living community looks to January 2022 opening

New complex to have 120 living units and an outdoor memory garden.

Lakeway City Council voted July 19 to amend its budget and accept a grant to restore Liebelt Cabin. (Brian Rash/Community Impact Newspaper)
Restoration of Liebelt Cabin has new source of funding

Grant will reimburse city for repairs made to the historic Liebelt Cabin.

Leander Marketplace PUD would be located at the northeast corner of Hero Way and US 183. (Screenshot courtesy city of Leander)
Leander eyes development with restaurants, retail; Bin Drop opens in New Braunfels and more top Central Texas news

Read the top business and community news from the past week from the Central Texas area.

Dozens of Austin residents spoke virtually and in person July 22 to share their thoughts on the city's proposed fiscal year 2021-22 budget. (Ben Thompson/Community Impact Newspaper)
Police funding again takes center stage in public hearing on Austin's proposed FY 2021-22 budget

Dozens of city residents calling into or appearing at City Hall on July 22 shared their thoughts about policing and the city's spending plan.

student learning
Leander ISD's virtual learning program exceeds capacity after recent interest

The program waitlist began July 21 with 101 applicants in its first day.

Mortgage purchase applications are down year over year, but the Austin housing market remains hot. (Benton Graham/Community Impact Newspaper)
Austin housing market still hot but showing signs of slowing down

Experts say that a decrease in mortgage purchase applications points to “a reversion back to norm” in the Austin housing market.

Peter Lake (left), chair of the Public Utility Commission of Texas, and Brad Jones, interim president and CEO of the Electric Reliability Council of Texas, provided an update on state regulators' electric grid redesign efforts in Austin on July 22. (Ben Thompson/Community Impact Newspaper)
Regulators: Texas electric grid prepared for potentially record-breaking demand next week; 'once-in-a-generation reforms' underway

The heads of the agencies in charge of the Texas electric grid met in Austin on July 22 to provide updates on their grid reform efforts.

The Lake Travis ISD board of trustees reviewed plans for distributing federal COVID-19 relief during a July 21 meeting. (Amy Rae Dadamo/Community Impact Newspaper)
Lake Travis ISD to spend $3M in federal aid to meet students’ academic, emotional needs

Among the stakeholder input, students’ social and emotional health emerged as the top priority for the funding.

Todd Dodge, Westlake High School athletic director and head football coach, announced his retirement the morning of July 22. (Courtesy Westlake Nation)
Todd Dodge, Westlake High School football coach, announces retirement

Dodge—a three-time National High School Coach of the Year recipient—will officially retire from the district at the conclusion of the 2021 football season.

My Steel Magnolia boutique opened in July. (Courtesy West Austin Chamber of Commerce)
Boutique My Steel Magnolia opens in July

My Steel Magnolia is now open in Austin's Four Points region. The boutique offers a variety of apparel, accessory and decor options.