Students reap benefits at Bloomburg ISD

Bloomburg ISD is looking forward to an exciting new year filled with improvements to benefit their students.  Beginning this year, every student in the Bloomburg district will be able to eat breakfast and lunch for free.  
As one of only two districts in Cass County to qualify for this grant, Bloomburg will be able to offer free food to students pre- kindergarten through twelfth grade.  
The Bloomburg ISD cafeteria has worked for years with Texarkana ISD as part of an exemplary co-op which has saved the district and community thousands of dollars over the last decade, and this grant stems from that partnership. 
 Recently TXISD employees Elaine Hicks and Beth Carson came to share the good news with the BISD school board.  During the board meeting, 
Hicks and Carson explained the factors that qualified districts for this grant which will provide all children free food for the next 4 years, and they emphasized that this program would not be possible without the close partnership between TXISD and Bloomburg ISD. Superintendent, Brian Stroman, estimates the program will save parents around $700 per child per school year. 
At the board meeting, he shared why this program is so important to students at BISD. “I know there are parents in our community who don’t qualify for free lunch, but who don’t have money every day to send.  I don’t have to worry about that kid anymore – I can tell him to go eat,” Stroman said.  School board member Ricky Orr echoed Stroman’s feelings saying, “A lot of kids – the only meal they get is the one they get at school.” Studies show that students who have regular access to quality food consistently perform better in school with higher grades and fewer behavior problems. 
Bloomburg ISD is also ramping up security to ensure the safety of their students.  They have worked hard to enhance security on the BISD campus over the last few years. In addition to a top-of-the-line surveillance system and the Guardian Concealed Carry program, new exterior doors will be installed this year to prepare for IP-based access controlled entrances and further increase security for students and staff. 
They are also upgrading buses with the latest high-definition bus cameras allowing all buses to be equipped with up to four cameras.
Additionally, the school has received a grant which will provide more opportunities for students at Bloomburg High School.  This grant will allow Bloomburg to offer more courses, such as fine arts, Career and Technology and Spanish, through online programs with TXVSN. 
The grant solidifies the one-to-one initiative which will provide all students in the district with access to technology such as Chrome Books and I-Pads. “Our main focus is to build a strong one-to-one ratio for all of our students to be able to access technology and be able to learn the necessary skills to compete in the 21st century workplace,” Stroman said.  
The grant will also make it possible for the district to allocate local funds so students can continue to receive free tuition for dual credit college courses and distance learning courses allowing more students to pursue college courses while in high school. 
Stroman is excited about the upcoming year as Bloomburg works to serve their students offering more opportunity in a safe, secure environment. 
The Bloomburg ISD school board along with the administration have two major goals: to support the community and relieve the financial pressure families in the Bloomburg community feel, through programs such as the free breakfast and lunch or the free college tuition, and to give the students as much opportunity as possible to prepare them for future success.  
“Bloomburg ISD is all about the students and their families.  We know our community depends on our school, and we want to provide every possible opportunity for our students and our community,” Stroman said.

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