GoodNews: Texas School for the Deaf Ranger to Ranger - November 18, 2020


Welcome to Good News!
Highlighting Achievements and Successes at
the Texas School for the Deaf.

Volume 5, Issue 2
every votes counts
In honor of the November election, there were lots of lessons and discussions in ECE/Elementary classrooms regarding the importance of voting. Multiple classes held their own mock elections, not all of which pertained to voting for Biden or Trump. To make the concept more relevant and applicable to our younger students, some classes voted for their favorite type of cookie, while others voted for their preferred activity.

In a discussion about voting amongst his 2nd graders, teacher Joshua Arledge discussed the importance of representing others' opinions and that it's okay to disagree. It was a great way to weave important SEL skills into the lesson.
All students had an opportunity to cast their ballots for the 5th grade Student Council representatives who were vying for their votes. 3rd grade teacher, Adam Membrey shared, "The recent Student Council election allowed our students to get a real, relevant taste of voting. They enjoyed watching the videos of each candidate, telling me about their experiences and interactions with each, and making an informed voting decision. Against the backdrop of a national election, this gave them a great preview into democracy and decisions they will have a chance to participate in."

In an unrelated unit about rocks, kindergarten teacher Rebecca Washington's students enjoyed a fun activity where they got to paint rocks. One of her students, Cayden, was obviously impacted by their other lessons about voting. Perhaps his decoration is symbolic, "VOTING ROCKS!"
In another related election story, TSD elementary student Avalyn recites a poem titled "Brown Girl Brown Girl" by Leslé Honoré celebrating Vice President-elect Kamala Harris, the first female and woman of color vice president. The video has gone viral in social media.
Student Life hosted its 2nd Annual Trail-o-ween on October 28th.

Residential students and staff decorated the outside of their dorms.

Students got to dress up in their favorite Halloween costumes, enjoyed outdoor games at the Deaf Smith Center, and received yummy treats donated by several TSD parents and staff. 

More photos can be viewed HERE.
Middle School Mathletes Advance to the Final Round at National Math Competition
Five TSD middle school students participated in the NTID/RIT Virtual Math Competition Lite qualifying round. The competition involved students completing an online test of 30 math problems within 45 minutes. Of approximately 100 deaf / hard-of-hearing participants from across the nation, NTID chose the top 21 scores to go on to the Final Round. Two of those selected were Jasmine (8th Grade) and Sean (7th Grade). 

Way to go, Mathletes! 

Connecting for Future Success
High School students have been learning life skills through a creative CTE course called Making Connections. 

The class emphasizes basic principles of success, skills in social-emotional learning, and self-advocacy that can help students transition more effectively from TSD into life after graduation. Teacher Mary Beth Harris said teaching this class was particularly poignant during the pandemic where all of us are faced with transitions and challenges. She comments, "Life is full of transitions, they never stop, and we always need a plan... Life is definitely a journey." And speaking of transitions, we will miss Mary Beth who is retiring from TSD at the end of December and leaving us this month.

We wish these students and their dedicated teacher the best as they take their next steps.

Julian, a Junior in our high school department, placed in the top 16 in two Trivia Cup competitions.

The virtual competitions, hosted by Gallaudet, featured 50 questions about the designated topics with over 50 players competing each week.

Julian placed in the top sixteen and advanced to the finals in both Science & Technology and Language & Literature.

Great job Julian in representing TSD and our Academic Bowl team!
TSD parent and Elementary STEM teacher, Nikki Beaver, knew that it was time to think outside the box and find a creative way to bring more joy in the midst of the pandemic. 

Inspired by a friend of hers in Georgia, Nikki quickly got to work, seeking donations of new recess toys and money to be used towards purchasing equipment.  Nikki shared, “I was concerned about getting enough items for everybody to be able to have something to play with.  I asked the community, and by surprise, we were able to get quite a lot of donations.  We received enough to fund 6 classrooms.  Each classroom was given a recess kit that consisted of various types of balls, jump ropes, a Skip It, bubbles, sidewalk chalk, a hula hoop, ball scoops, cones, rings, and frisbees.”  

All of the materials can be cleaned after each use, and Nikki was thrilled to introduce them to the students and staff via a video message she shared.  Later, 3rd grader Annabella came up to Nikki and exclaimed, “I saw your video and am really excited to get to play with all the things in the recess kits!”  

It has been such a joy getting to see the students have a blast with these new toys during recess. We are beyond grateful for Nikki’s work on this project and the support we received from families, friends, and others not affiliated with TSD who just wanted to do something nice to surprise our students.  The community really stepped up, with people as far away as Michigan collectively contributing over $600 towards this initiative.

TSD Rangers 2020 District Champions

Congratulations to TSD's first-ever 6-man football team for winning their first-ever (Div 1 - District 5) district championship. They have been working hard preparing for the state playoffs which begins this Friday at our field. 

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