Two elementary schools were hit by the terrifying tornado in Moore, Oklahoma, on Monday. At one of those schools, seven students were killed by the twister. NewsWest 9 spoke with the Ector County ISD about whether or not they are ready if and when a twister strikes our area. Children who went to class Monday morning at Plaza Towers Elementary School went to learn math and science. But at the end of the day, they learned something more valuable, survival. Seven students perished when that deadly twister ripped through Moore, Oklahoma. It left several others crawling out of the rubble bloodied and bruised. "We do have processes and plans in place when in case something like what has happened in Oklahoma were to happen here," Mark Rowden, ECISD Chief of Police, said. Rowden says those emergency plans are tested at least annually to make sure Ector County schools are safe whenever such a weather event occurs. "Our schools conduct a minimum number of tornado drills, our severe weather drills, every year. That way the students are aware of what to do, yes they do have specific procedures that they follow," Rowden said. "They have specific things that they do, areas within the school that they're taken that have been deemed the safest in the event of a severe weather event. " New schools are set to be built after a school bond was approved recently. It's still in planning stages and NewsWest 9 asked Rowden if he knew if any of the new buildings would be built to withstand tornadoes or even include bunkers. "Those things are considered in the design. I'll be honest with you we haven't gotten that far along in the design of the buildings to this point. But yes, its always safety in every way is a consideration in the construction of a new school," Rowden said. Right now, the school district has an emergency alert system to notify parents minute by minute when an emergency crisis arises. "That's one of the reasons why we have those cooperatives between the governmental entities is simply because the fact if one fails, or say for instance, our administration building was to be hit, then we have another way communicating to the public. Another thing is we would use the news media," Rowden said. Back in Moore, the school superintendent, Susan Pierce, said teachers and administrators put their well rehearsed crisis plan into action as the tornado approached. But she says there are limits to what people can do in the face of such a powerful storm.
Ector County ISD Convocation, August 17, 2017, Odessa High School Band Drum Line Cadence Entrance
Ector County ISD Convocation, August 17, 2017, Permian High School's Black Magic perform "Sing" (Pentatonix arrangement)
Nancy Surber, Athletic Director for Ector County ISD (Odessa, TX), discusses their use of Neptune GameTime.
Luz and Gloria from Ector County ISD are crossing their fingers that they get to work with Project ELL.
Ector County ISD Convocation, August 17, 2017, Permian High School Black Magic performs "Hallelujah"
ODESSA, TEXAS/MAY 1, 2018 - THE ECTOR COUNTY INDEPENDENT SCHOOL DISTRICT BOARD OF TRUSTEE HELD A SPECIAL MEETING MONDAY EVENING, APRIL 30TH,TO DISCUSS AND TO VOTE ON ECTOR MIDDLE SCHOOL BECOMING A CHARTER SCHOOL. DURING THE APRIL 12TH MEETING, THE CHARTER SCHOOL PROGRAM THAT WAS PRESENTED TO THE ECISD SCHOOL BOARD NO LONGER INCLUDED TEXAS TECH. THE TEXAS EDUCATION AGENCY INFORMED ECISD AND TEXAS TECH THAT THE MEMORADUM OF UNDERSTANDING APPROVED LAST WEEK WOULD NOT MEET STATUTORY REQUIREMENT OF THIS NEW LEGISLATION. TEXAS TECH DID NOT HAVE ENOUGH TIME TO MEET ALL OF IT’S OBLIGATIONS FOR APPROVING THE CONTRACT BEFORE APRIL 30TH DEADLINE. (ROBERT BLEISCH, DIRECTOR OF SAFETY NET DOMAIN AT TEXAS TECH UNIVERSITY) “THE GENERAL COUNCIL AT TEXAS TECH GOT INVOLVED. AND AT THAT POINT, THEY KIND OF FELT THAT THEY NEEDED TO REVIEW A LOT OF THINGS, AND SO, THAT KIND OF SLOWED THINGS DOWN FOR US A LITTLE BIT.” “ONCE THEY KIND OF GOT A SENCE OF WHAT THE PROJECT WAS, I BELIEVE THEY FELT MORE COMFORTABLE WITH IT, AND AT THAT POINT THERE WAS SORT OF AN AGREEMENT BETWEEN TEXAS TECH AND ECTOR ISD ON AN M.O.U. SO WE MOVED FORWARD WITH AN MOU THAT STILL NEEDED TO BE REVIEWED ON THE TECH SIDE BY THE PRESIDENT AND THE CHANCELOR. ON FRIDAY AT 4:45(PM) WE GOT A CALL SAYING THAT THE M.O.U. WAS NOT GOING TO WORK.” DUE TO THIS SET BACK ROBERT BLEISCH CREATED A 501 ENTITY-KNOWN AS ECTOR MIDDLE SCHOOL COLLEGE PREP SUCCESS ACADEMY TO BE ABLE TO CONTINUE WITH THE PROGRAM TO BRING EDUCATIONAL SERVICES TO THE STUDENTS AT ECTOR MIDDLE SCHOOL. (ROBERT BLEISCH, DIRECTOR OF SAFETY NET DOMAIN AT TEXAS TECH UNIVERSITY) ‘’IT’S NOT THAT UNIQUE TO HAVE A 501 ENTITY RUN THE SCHOOL. IT WAS A CONVERSATION TEXAS TECH GENERAL COUNCIL WAS HAVING AT THE VERY BEGINNING.” THE BOARD VOTED 7-0 TO IMPLEMENT A CHARTER PARTNERSHIP WITH ROBERT BLEISCH AND THE INDEPENDENT NON-PROFIT ORGANIZATION HE IS FORMING KNOWN AS ECTOR MIDDLE SCHOOL COLLEGE PREP SUCCESS ACADEMY. (CAROL GREGG, ECISD SCHOOL BOARD PRESIDENT) “I’M REALLY EXCITED ABOUT THE ASPECTS OF THE PROGRAM, THEIR ENVOLVEMENT WITH THE COMMUNITY, THEIR ENVOLVEMENT WITH THE KIDS. THEIR AH, THEIR NEW PROGRAM AS FAR AS DISCIPLIN AND STRUCTURE.” ECTOR MIDDLE SCHOOL HAS HAD ISSUES WITH LOW TEST SCORES. THE TEA ADVISED ECISD THAT A CHANGE WAS NEEDED TO KEEP ECTOR MIDDLE SCHOOL IN COMPLIANCE WITH SCHOLASTIC REQUIREMENTS. (CAROL GREGG, ECISD SCHOOL BOARD PRESIDENT) “THEY’VE BEEN IN ACCOUNTABILITY NEEDING IMPROVEMENT FOR FIVE YEARS, AND SO, THE STATE SAID, ‘YOU KNOW, YOU GOTTA DO SOMETHING DIFFERENT THERE, YOU GOTTA MAKE A CHANGE, AND THIS IS THE CHANGE WE’RE GONNA MAKE.” FOR DRB MEDIA COMMUNICATIONS DIGITAL NEWS, DANNY BARRERA
Big2 News Sunrise Edition version of Texas Music Educators Association funding of 15 grants for elementary music programs in ECISD.
Ector County ISD Convocation, August 17, 2017, Permian High School JROTC Color Guard and Black Magic/Choir Directors sing Star-Spangled Banner.