Category: Carter Update

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RedWolves Earn #GenGeo Certificates

RedWolves Earn #GenGeo Certificates


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Four Carter students earned a certificate after completing the #GenGeo Storytelling for Impact: Photography course over the summer break.

The online course through National Geographic introduces students to the power of storytelling through photography. This course is a primer and introduction to Photo Journalism.

 Samantha Cabrera, Mariana Castillo, Lizzet Lugo, and Jesus Menchaca have earned the opportunity to create content for the student’s school publications in various mediums. These students work as an extension of the Red Gold News. They share their skills by producing YouTube video episodes that bring attention to mental wellbeing and other teens’ topics of interest.

“Photographs have power. A photographic story can change the way viewers think, feel, and act,” says National Geographic’s program website. “They can bring viewers to new places, introduce them to new people, and create empathy for the planet and those who live on it,”

 The online program is free for students and can be found via the program website. There are multiple programs and courses students can engage in and build up their creative skills with.

 “I think that it is important that our students have as many opportunities as possible. It is about giving them access to knowledge and tools. Let them explore and watch them create,” said Ivan Silva, dual enrollment and journalism teacher.

 Through the school publications, Carters provides students with a platform and an outlet to amplify their voice. Through the Red Gold News, the school currently runs a school news website, Instagram, Twitter, Facebook, Podcast, and YouTube channel.


Students working on the computer.


STAAR is a test Texas students have to take. Last year and this year, the STAAR will be online.

STARR, State of Texas Assessments of Academic Readiness, is an end-of-course test given by the state that determines if you are ready to continue to the next grade level. The STAAR test has evolved from paper-based to an online version that many schools opted into due to the pandemic.

TEA, Texas Education Agency, which oversees public schools in Texas, has plans to make all future STARR testing online beginning in 2022.

“I don’t like the STAAR being online because I like writing on my tests with strategies I know work for me, and I can’t do that online,” junior Ruby Hernandez said.

Hernandez later lets us know that she has never failed a STAAR test in the past, so it seems that strategies have helped her.

“I don’t really like taking the STAAR online because my eyes get really tired and dry over time. Since technology implementation has just risen due to covid-19, I’m personally still getting used to the idea of technology revolving around us. I am more used to having everything on paper because I have done most of my school year experience. Having the STAAR on paper is better than having it online, in my opinion,” junior Melissa Villanueva said.

Students now have to come up with alternative ways to get used to the STAAR online and prepare for these yearly exams.

“This year, to prepare for STAAR, I am just paying attention in my classes, keeping my grades up, and a couple of weeks before the exams, I work on study guides,” Ramiro Rodriguez said.

That’s just one student. All students have different ways of preparing for big tests.

“I am trying my best to get the most information out of all my classes so that I have a chance to pass the STAAR. I ask questions when I need clarification and take note of what I’m learning,” Adamaris Ochoa said.

Students working on computer.
Students working on the computer.
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Education and TAFE students at Jimmy Carter Early College High School are inspired and taking action as they return to on-campus instruction.

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 Education and TAFE students at Jimmy Carter Early College High School are inspired and taking action as they return to on-campus instruction. There is no time to waste.

 In September, senior Luis Aguilar, who serves as the Texas Association of Future Educators Area 1 Secretary, represented the school as Area 1 Officers gathered at Texas A & M University International in Laredo to plan for the Fall Conference, in which students will compete for an opportunity to advance to State and National levels in a variety of events which showcase skills which will help them in their teaching careers. 

“As the Area Secretary, there has been plenty of debate whether the area one conference would be hosted virtually or in-person,” Aguilar said. “Recently, our state director, Donita Garza, passed away from Covid-19. This was a game-changer when we first heard the news, and it gave us area officers to make this year’s conference virtual due to the risk of Covid-19.”

Aguilar’s position allows him to organize the area, composed of school districts from Laredo to Brownsville and up to Corpus Christi.  TAFE is a state-recognized CTO created to enable young men and women an opportunity to explore the teaching profession. The organization was created in 1984 to provide the best and brightest high school and middle school students in Texas with the necessary knowledge to make informed decisions about pursuing careers in education.

“In our school chapter, we still plan to do all the traditional events such appreciation, service, and fundraising projects. We are encouraging the student body to join our program to explore the teaching profession, especially to those who are undecided in what career they want to pursue,” Aguilar said.




This visit was also an excellent opportunity for the officers to explore the campus and meet with faculty in the Education Department. 

 The opportunity that we allow members is to use many valuable skills such as communication, collaboration, creativity, and critical thinking.



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Jimmy Carter ECHS opts for PRIDE as a school-wide Carter Core Values program and integrates Carter Connect, a mentoring program for all students.

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Jimmy Carter ECHS opts for PRIDE as a school-wide Carter Core Values program and integrates Carter Connect, a mentoring program for all students.

 As the school continues to grow and refine its message for students, community, and personnel, a shift in focus towards internal motivation and the core of what moves students was the apt choice for the campus. Carter initiated a campus-wide core values program integrated into the first-period advisory and Path to College Success curriculum. RedWolves have PRIDE ties together the values of perseverance, respect, integrity, discipline, and excellence, which build on the district mission and PBIS rules of being safe, responsible, and respectful.

This program rolled out this academic year as students returned to in-person instruction. Students have been away from the classroom for almost two years.

“It seems like a year or two is nothing, but to our kids, being out of the classroom and disconnected from the community and campus was rough. They lost the practice of engaging with others and how to interact in a classroom. PRIDE is helping the school reintegrate core values that we all feel are important to our community,” dual enrollment instructor Ivan Silva said.

The core values program came about through teacher input and feedback from the last several years in which the campus discussed what the students needed to work on and build on to leverage their academic pursuits in the near future. JCECHS took on how we get our students to take ownership of their learning and actions.

“The values are what the Carter family should display at all times. We have perseverance. We have respect. We have integrity. We have discipline. We are excellence.” Ms. Yesenia Torres said.

Additionally, the campus has also started a mentoring program called Carter Connect. Every student has been paired with an adult on campus who will serve as a mentor when the student is at Carter. For freshmen students, that means that they will have the opportunity to build a solid and committed relationship with an adult mentor over the next four years.

“Carter Connect has been a great way to make connections in an informal way that is more conducive to building relationships,” Mr. Agustin Arias said. “It makes it easier for teachers to be school teachers and not just classroom teachers.”

Carter Connect will foster relationship building, small group dialogue and allow students to discuss things they are concerned about with one person they can reach out to outside of the traditional curriculum conversations.

“It is beneficial especially for seniors who have questions about what to study and get opinions from an adult to talk about the future and careers. It is good to have solid and mature advice from an adult,” senior Patricia Puente said.

Carter students are engaging in conversations about their values and what it means to live them. The program rollout included a booklet and graphics that define each value and provide examples of the values in activities related to student life. Each of the values is closely integrated into PBIS rules. The idea was to add something that would be accessible to students and teachers. Students bring so much knowledge and experience from home, but teachers are tasked with making the connections to the real world that bring value to the students’ lives.

“The program is something that is needed,” senior Carlos Montes said.

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Jimmy Carter Early College High School has won a College Success Award – Gold

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JCECHS has received’s inaugural College Success Award – Gold!

As a recipient of the College Success Award in 2021, 2020, and 2019, Carter received the first-ever College Success Award – Gold distinction for a multi-year track record of preparing students to enroll and succeed in college. Carter is among 1,770 high schools in 26 states to receive the Gold Award.

“I feel like we have accomplished a lot and just proving that most Hispanics who come from low incomes and higher incomes can come together and graduate and be successful,” sophomore Mariana Alanis said.

The school’s community at Carter works at coming together and offering opportunities to all students to bridge the gap between high school and college coursework. Although the school is unlike a comprehensive school and its primary focus is academics, Carter faculty and staff make it a primary objective to create unique experiences that students will remember and make them experience high school as a right of passage that they have fond feelings for.

“I like that we include everyone at the campus. Not many schools do that. They just focus on a specific part of the group. I know my sister does not participate in many things, and they don’t include her in stuff. I like that our school is inclusive of everyone and that everyone feels welcome and free to be who they are,” Sophomore Class Vice-President Valeria Segovia said.

In its fourth year, the College Success Award program evaluates public schools based on data that show how well our school prepares students to succeed after graduation, including whether they enroll in college, are ready for college-level coursework, and persist into their second year.

“It’s good that the school continually pushes the idea of success. The point is that it is for our benefit and future. Jimmy Carter does a good job of reminding us what we need to do and to be ready for our future,” senior Oscar Vargas said.

Carter is set to continue its commitment to school with PRIDE: Perseverance, Respect, Integrity, Discipline, and Excellence to ensure that all students are prepared for their success today and tomorrow.

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