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La Porte ISD one of 12 Texas districts recognized for groundbreaking programs

Bragging Rights, which calls for nominations and is published every December, recognizes school districts that have implemented programs that are bettering the lives of students, schools and communities.

“We are very appreciative of this statewide recognition of the unbounded vision that the
La Porte ISD school community has for its children,” said Lloyd W. Graham, LPISD superintendent of schools. The planetarium is located in the new facilities of La Porte High School made possible by community support of the 2014 bond program.

La Porte ISD’s original planetarium was built in 1964 and was only the second such facility for a high school in Texas.  When La Porte ISD implemented the $260 million bond program, the district considered the limitations of the 50-year-old planetarium and decided to create a state-of-the-art facility adjacent to the new science, technology, engineering and math (STEM) classroom building on the La Porte High School campus. The facility continues to be one of only 13 school planetariums in the state.

The learning opportunities provided by the planetarium are not just limited to the subject of astronomy; in fact, the possibilities are endless. For example, other science teachers might use the planetarium for a discussion of the physics of space travel, while math teachers can illustrate time and distance calculations. Social studies teachers might also use the planetarium for lessons on Native American astronomy or ancient world exploration using celestial navigation.

Many former La Porte ISD students fondly remember field trips to the old planetarium when they were in elementary school.  Learning opportunities for elementary and junior high students will continue to be provided, as will offerings for the community.

In addition to La Porte ISD, districts recognized in the 2017-18 Bragging Rights include the following:

  • Abilene ISD, Revolution Strings
  • Beeville ISD, Computer-Science-For-All
  • Elgin ISD, Farm-to-School
  • Fruitvale ISD, More Than a Diploma
  • Granbury ISD, Eagle’s Nest
  • Hawkins ISD, Globe Project
  • Kemp ISD, Jacket Radio
  • La Porte ISD, New Planetarium
  • Mount Pleasant ISD, Tiger Share Fair
  • Nederland ISD, Electrician Apprenticeship
  • Pharr-San Juan-Alamo ISD, Nursing Career Pathway
  • Southwest ISD, Anti-Harassment, Anti-Bullying

“Nearly 200 nominations for school district programs across Texas poured in this year, and each one deserves to be noticed,” says Texas School Business Editorial Director Dacia Rivers. “It’s our hope that the 12 districts we chose inspire others to follow in their footsteps. The mission of Texas School Business is to share the good news happening in Texas public schools, and there’s never a shortage of news-worthy school programs for us to cover.”

For 43 years, Texas School Business has served as the news magazine for public education in Texas. Since 2014, it has been produced by the Texas Association of School Administrators (www.tasanet.org). To read the 11th Annual Bragging Rights issue online, visit www.texasschoolbusiness.com.