• Early College High School Changes Lives

    Posted by Andrea Brown on 10/29/2021 12:00:00 PM

    In 2019, the trustees of Bay City Independent School District made a significant decision that literally changed the lives of ten students. That decision was to fund the implementation of an Early College High School (ECHS) program. The Bay City Education Foundation then partnered with the district by making significant financial contributions to increase the number of students to be enrolled in the program to fifteen.  This year, the foundation has increased its funding to allow twenty students to enter our second cohort for a total of 35 current freshmen and sophomores.


    Early College High School is a life-changing opportunity for incoming freshmen to begin the journey toward an Associate of Arts degree from Wharton County Junior College (WCJC). Starting in their freshman year, students take dual credit classes where they earn both high school credits and college credits. When our first cohort graduates from high school in 2024, they will have completed 20 college classes for a total of 60 college credit hours, all at no cost to their families.


    The move from junior high classes to high school coursework is challenging, but the additional rigor of enrollment in college classes is an even bigger challenge. But as sophomore ECHS student Anavie B. said, “Great success comes only from hard work.” Students understand that this journey is not a sprint, but a marathon which requires the same dedication, training  and perseverance. Their motto is “Start together, finish together.” This reminds students that they are a team and to support each other along the way.


    Additional support for these students have been put in place by the district. ECHS students are enrolled in the AVID program which provides instruction in critical reading techniques, organizational skills, higher level questioning, writing and collaboration. Twice weekly tutorials are also provided in the AVID elective.  ECHS students have a designated counselor and administrator at the high school as well as support by WCJC from a designated ECHS advisor.


    In order to be considered for the ECHS program, eighth grade students submit an application in the spring. Students are chosen through a weighted lottery system and must pass the reading and writing portions of the TSI exam before beginning college classes. The opportunity to earn college credits through dual credit classes is open to any high school student who has passed their TSI exam. However, Bay City ISD is the only district in the county to offer the ECHS program.

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  • BCHS' Career and Technology Education offers hands-on learning, certificates

    Posted by Lorraine Lopez on 10/1/2021 12:10:00 PM

    Bay City High School’s robust Career and Technical Education (CTE) program offers hands-on learning in a student’s field of interest and empowers them to fully immerse themselves through classwork, field-based experiences, and project-based learning. More importantly, we offer our students the opportunity to earn industry certifications and multiple business certificates while fulfilling high school graduation requirements.  

    We offer five endorsements and 11 programs of study that range from Business & Industry to Fine Arts to Health Science. These programs of study are extensive and are offered starting in 8th grade. 

    The CTE program at Bay City High school has something for everyone! Is your student interested in the science of hair color?  We offer a cosmetology program with the potential of earning a Texas cosmetology license. Perhaps your student is interested in a career in business. We offer 5 different Microsoft certificates that allow students to be ready for the business world. 

    Is your student interested in pursuing a career in welding?  Welding is our most popular program of study and our students have been very successful in obtaining their certification for entry-level work throughout the years. How about riding in an ambulance? We offer that opportunity through our health science program of study. 

    Our programs of study offer students the ability to potentially earn 6 different industry certifications or multiple business/industry certificates all before they graduate from high school. Below is a just a few certification opportunities our students are able to earn:

    Welding Certification 

    Cosmetology Certification

    Pharmacology Certification                                           

    Certified Nursing Assistant (CNA) Certification

    EMT-Basic Certification                                                    

    NCEER Certification

    OSHA Certificates                                                              

    Safeserv and Food Handlers Certificates

    Floral Design Certificate                                                   

    Multiple Microsoft Suite Certificates

    The goal is for every student to graduate from high school being college and career ready, and we ensure that by offering an academic or CTE route.  Our teachers are dedicated to providing valuable knowledge, training, and coaching so our students are ready for entry-level employment or prepared to pursue a college degree or advanced training.

    We know our students will have a competitive advantage in today’s new economy after completing an academic or CTE program of study at BCHS.

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  • Junior Dungeoneers prep for "Pan!"

    Posted by Victoria Rutledge on 9/24/2021 12:20:00 PM

    Second star to the right and straight on till morning! The Junior Dungeoneers are ready to fly off on to their latest journey, “Pan!,” by Craig Sodaro. 

    Our performers have worked so hard these last few weeks of school. They have overcome many obstacles, including navigating the ever-changing pandemic, a citywide power outage, and having their show dates rescheduled from October to December. I wish I could put into words how proud I am of this company.

    Our show includes a diverse group of students ranging from grades 6th through 8th with a special appearance from one of our littlest Dungeoneers in 2nd grade! “Pan!” will be the first show some of our students have ever performed in, though you wouldn't be able to tell that from the audience. Bay City ISD is full of bright stars ready to be seen, such as Peter, who is played by Ty S. Ty joined my class for the first time this year and blew me away with his audition for “Pan!” After the cast list was publicized I was made aware that he had also played the lead role of Simba in the C.A.S.T & Dungeoneer’s Summer performance of “Lion King Jr.” in 2019, directed by Magda Mirelez and Music Director Kara Cowart. 

    Brooklyn H. absolutely shines in her breakout role as Wendy Darling. Her brothers Michael (Mark W.) and John (Brock H.) -- and of course, the infamous Captain Hook (Stephen C.) -- are busy learning their lines and stylizing their characters as leads on stage for the first time! The Junior Dungeoneers are ready to explore our Neverland after being off stage since spring 2020. 

    This is my third year as the theatre director of Bay City Junior High, and the most excited I’ve been about a production in all my six years of directing theatre. My theatre classes are creating posters online as advertisements for our upcoming productions. This is an all hands on deck show and every student counts! 

    Special thanks to our parents who have been so flexible with our schedule and even offered to provide snacks for our late night rehearsals! I could not do this without them, and of cours,e my dear colleagues, Bay City High School Theatre Directors Magda Mirelez and Dr. Todd Oncken. We would like to invite our community to our sweet show about a boy who didn’t want to grow up and friendships that live on forever. 

    Sprinkle some fairy dust and join us on Thursday and Friday, December 9th and 10th at 6:30 pm and Saturday, December 11th, 2:00 pm at the Keye Ingram Auditorium. We can’t wait to see you there!

    Pan! By Craig Sodaro

    Directed by Victoria Rutledge

    Produced by special arrangement with

    Pioneer Drama Service, Inc., Denver, Colorado


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  • Tenie Holmes' Mandi Ressman tells us all about STEAM

    Posted by Mandi Ressman on 9/17/2021 12:35:00 PM

    Some of you may be wondering, “What is STEAM?” As the STEAM teacher at Tenie Holmes Elementary, I get that question all the time. STEAM is an educational approach that connects Science, Technology, Engineering, Art and Mathematics. Some may still refer to this as STEM but we add the A to integrate even more!

    STEAM integrates these core disciplines that encourage students to solve problems, be creative, think with their hands and work together. STEAM also encourages kids to experiment, make mistakes and learn from their own experiences to reach correct outcomes through the engineering design process. This process includes the following steps: defining the problem, brainstorming solutions, designing and building, testing, and improving. 


    So now you may be wondering, “Why is STEAM important to my student?"  According to the U. S. Department of Commerce, STEM occupations are growing at 24%, while other occupations are growing at only 4%. According to PriceWaterhouseCoopers, 75% of fast-growing occupations require STEM skills. For our students to prosper and grow, we need to embrace this change and equip them with the correct knowledge and skills -- the kind that STEM education can provide. Bay City ISD has done just that by adding STEAM programs for kids starting in first grade and continuing throughout their high school years. 


    Now that I have told you what STEAM is and why it is important, let’s get to the fun part: “What does my student do in STEAM class?” At Tenie Holmes, each student comes to STEAM once or twice a week. Yes, that means I teach all students in grades 3-5. How awesome is that?!

    This year STEAM is located right in the heart of our school. During the day our school is now filled with the chitter chatter of students collaborating, building, exploring and most importantly having fun! Throughout the year, students will be challenged to build and design different projects using a variety of materials such as paper, string, toothpicks, food items and other household items that get them thinking. Students have already enjoyed being challenged to build the tallest freestanding tower using only twelve pieces of paper and two feet of masking tape and creating the tallest freestanding tower using only marshmallows and toothpicks. While completing these challenges, students are not only having fun but also learning to communicate, think outside of the box and listen to others ideas. 


    I truly feel that STEAM promotes our district’s call to action: “All BCISD Learners are equipped to pursue their limitless futures in an ever-changing, global society."


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  • New Cherry Principal Tierra Pennix introduces herself and the new Fueling Brains program

    Posted by Tierra Pennix on 9/10/2021 12:25:00 PM

    Fueling Brains


    Happy Homecoming, Blackcats! My name is Tiera Pennix and I am thrilled to be the new principal at John H. Cherry Elementary. A few of you may know me as the Assistant Principal at Linnie Roberts last year, but while I’m a relative newcomer to Bay City, I am not new to elementary school leadership and have served as a Principal in the Houston area since 2015.

    I couldn’t be happier to be a part of the Blackcat Legacy in Bay City and am proud of the innovative programming we are launching at Cherry Elementary in our Pre-Kindergarten classes: Fueling Brains! While this program is in its infancy in Bay City, we believe its research-based approach is exactly what our Tiny Cats need to be successful in Pre-Kindergarten and beyond. 

    As educators and parents we know that inhibitory control (managing student behavior), working memory (recalling the things we have learned before), and cognitive flexibility (the ability to transition from one task to another, sharing, problem solving) are the core of building a strong academic foundation. Together we call these three things “executive functions,” and the Fueling Brains’ Ready, Set, Grow! program puts an emphasis on growing these aspects of brain development so that our students can achieve their highest potential.

    By now you may be asking, “What makes the Fueling Brains’ format unique?” Well, to start, our Pre-Kindergarteners have two teachers and classrooms -- one Right Brain, which focuses on learning through play and inquiry, and one Left Brain, which aligns with the logical/mathematical side of the brain. Students see both teachers for equal parts of the day and focus on different types of learning in each room. Collectively, the teachers assess students’ ability to practice inhibitory control, working memory, and cognitive flexibility skills and we track their growth in these areas which will influence their ability to access the academic instruction that will build upon this foundation.

    Remember the story of the Three Little Pigs? Imagine academic instruction without these executive functions like the pig who built his house of straw- weak due to a poor foundation. And the pig who built the house of bricks?, you guessed it- that little piggy’s academic foundation would be strong due to the emphasis of solid instruction in executive functions.

    Stay tuned as we share more about our Fueling Brains journey this year at Cherry Elementary!

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  • Principal Wendel explains what it's like to open a brand new campus

    Posted by Marissa Wendel on 9/7/2021 8:15:00 AM

    Every year, no matter what position I have been in, I always loved the beginning of the school year. I loved meeting the students and building relationships with the staff. The night before for the first day of school is always hard for me to fall asleep, because I’m too excited about the next day.

    This year was a different excitement. Our district has worked so hard to be able to build a new Linnie Roberts Campus. The hours and work everyone poured into the campus was about to pay off. From the first day I was able to bring in my leadership team to see the studs in the wall, to the final completion has been true blessing. What I didn’t know was all of the items that needed to be done. Furniture, recess equipment, murals… At one point I remember thinking who thought leaving me in charge of these big items was a good idea? But I always just chuckled and kept going. I never made decisions about the campus without the feedback from my staff. There were many last minute meetings and discussion but I always wanted their input and ideas. We are interdependent and make decisions together.  As our saying goes, I Grow, You Grow, We All Grow Together.  This was absolutely true when it came to the details of our campus.

    Moving into the campus took a lot of work from many individuals in the district. The School Board was always supportive in making decisions to make sure the campus had what was needed. Our Central Admin helped keep everyone informed of the processes. Other schools lended a hand in helping us pack up our old classrooms. Our maintenance department helped move boxes upon boxes from the old campus to the new. Our staff came as soon as possible to begin unpacking and preparing their classrooms for the students who were about to enter. The energy in the new campus as the teachers got their classrooms ready was electric.  Seeing the smiles on their faces as they moved about the campus was so emotional.  It really brought the project nearly to a close.

    The first night that our students and families were able to see the campus was at Meet the Teacher. The tears I had in my eyes was a moment for me. I was proud. I was proud for the staff. I was proud for the students. I was proud for the families. I was proud for Bay City. Seeing the smiles on their faces as everyone came through the doors was priceless. The compliments and gratitude that was shared was a feeling I will never forget. Knowing that our students and staff has a truly state of the art campus nearly left me speechless after seeing the reactions on everyone’s faces as they explored the campus. 

    The first day of school finally arrived. The hours and sleepless nights finally paid off. The faculty and staff of Linnie Roberts now have new opportunities for our students that we previously did not. The lessons that will be taught in the school will forever impact our children's education. The culture and climate of Linnie Roberts is encouraging as we continue to live out our mission and vision. Our goal is that "Every student grows everyday," and we will continue to make sure we reach that goal. 

    I think what I want everyone of Bay City ISD to know is that even though we have this new state of the art facility, the legacy of Mrs. Linnie Roberts will always continue. From the moment I met her granddaughter, Ms. Cheryl Roberts Owens, I felt a connection and loved hearing her story. We all have a story, and I’m excited to hear what the students of Linnie Roberts will have to share in the future. 

    Building this new school was truly a labor of love and one that I know will make a difference in many lives in our community.  We would not be where we are today without the support of our School Board, School District, Community and Staff. 

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  • Introducing the Blackcat Blog

    Posted by Grant McGalliard on 8/27/2021 9:30:00 AM

    Hello! My name is Grant McGalliard, and I’m the Chief Communications Officer for Bay City ISD. I want to welcome you to the first edition of the Blackcat Blog.

    As part of our comprehensive communication plan, developed in tandem with the wonderful folks at Burnam | Gray, we’re rolling out a district-wide weekly blog to keep our parents and our community up to date on all the amazing things going on in Bay City ISD. You can expect this blog to be released once a week, typically on Fridays (although you never know when a surprise edition will drop). 

    And luckily for everyone, I won’t be the one doing all the writing. 

    This blog will be written by teachers, principals, support staff, and students at all of our campuses. Each week, we’ll have a different guest writer taking us inside their campuses, writing about what they’re excited about, what they’ve accomplished, and any behind-the-scenes happenings you may find interesting. 

    With so much going on at our five campuses, sometimes it’s easy to miss hearing about the successes that happen each and every day. When our youngest students at Cherry Elementary are immersed in the new Fueling Brains “Ready Set Grow!” program, that’s a success. When Principal Wendel and her amazing staff at Linnie Roberts are able to enjoy their brand new, state of the art campus, that’s a success. At Tenie Holmes, where teachers and students are adopting the “WIN” mindset? You guessed it -- success. 

    Over at Bay City Junior High, our students have the great opportunity to earn hours and hours of high school credit to prepare themselves for the next level. They’re also able to enter career and technical programs with experience through classes that teach basic principles.

    And at the High School, dozens of students are in our Early College High School cohorts, and can graduate with a complete associates’ degree. Our Blackcat and Ladycat athletic teams are preparing for more successful seasons, and our fine arts programs are better than ever. BCHS is producing students that graduate as productive leaders of our communities.

    If there’s a topic or a story you think we should highlight on the Blackcat Blog, please let us know. You can do so by emailing gmcgalliard@baycityisd.org

    This year, BCISD is more united than perhaps ever before. Thanks to the work done largely by our teachers and campus leaders, there’s an atmosphere of support and trust everywhere you go. We’re excited to tell our stories together, too -- because success at any campus is success for all of us.

    So stick around, and be sure to catch next week’s edition of the Blackcat Blog! 

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