Do Birthday Wishes Really Come True for the EL Paso Education Initiative?
Last year was our Charter Holder’s (EPEI) sixteenth year of providing educational services to the El Paso community’s children at no charge. Within this short time our leaders have opened three high performing schools, and committed to implementing best practices in instruction, social development and community responsibility. As is the custom, we made our birthday wishes for that landmark year:
“As we enter our sixteenth year, we hope to light those celebratory candles so that our community will be drawn to the accomplishments of this small, nonprofit organization, and will join us as Advisory Board members and generous donors to the many worthwhile projects we hope to execute. For example our new robot is waiting for a name and a sponsor. Wouldn’t it be wonderful to be able to put the name for an El Paso business/donor on our student designed robot that is destined, as they have in the past, to travel to the Dallas Regionals and play its little wires out in some soon to be revealed competition?
What about our talented and enthusiastic performers who desire nothing more than to find venues where they might display their music, dance and art? Then there are our Da Vinci high school students looking for community internships that will spark their career interests and hopefully keep them in El Paso after they complete their education. How many businesses are out there that will see the light of those sixteen candles and open their hearts to them? We are hopeful and excited for the outcomes.”
Beginning our seventeenth year, we are happy to report that the community has responded. The Vick Family Foundation, for example, has continued to gift our schools with funds earmarked for arts and robotics programs. After winning nine trophies at the UA InPIRESS competition, NASA and the University of Alabama at Huntsville awarded our Da Vinci engineering juniors and seniors an invitation to present their winning payload designs to NASA headquarters in Washington DC along with a weeklong tour of the Nation’s Capitol. Another opportunity for our students to excel was provided by the prestigious St. John’s College in Santa Fe, New Mexico. Five Da Vinci tenth graders participated in one week summer seminars, reading and discussing the great works of literature, science and philosophy. Closer to home is our neighboring school district, Ft. Hancock ISD, that provided bus transportation so our student athletes could compete in the playoffs. For all these opportunities, and generosity, we are extremely grateful.
Nevertheless, as we move ahead and grow our enrollments, we continue to pursue much needed resources that most non charter public schools take for granted. Vista del Futuro and Da Vinci campuses need to build outdoor athletic fields. The land is there, but the cost of preparing the land and laying the turf cannot be done without contributions of labor, equipment and supplies. Our new theater arts class requires us to upgrade our auditorium’s sound and lighting system. Who will provide the expertise and funding? Unfortunately charter schools do not receive capital funding from the state. They must depend on the kindness of our community.
Just as youngsters promise to “eat their broccoli” in order to have their wishes granted, we at EPEI want to promise that we will continue to provide the very best instruction and school environment possible for your children. Our Board Members pledge their time and thoughtful advice and guidance; our school leaders are committed to being involved from the ground up, offering their support and direction to both faculty and staff; our teachers, those dedicated professionals, are open to gladly learn the latest strategies, as well as to gladly teach the children whose parents have exercised their right to choose the best educational environment for them. In closing, I hope I have convinced you to make your contribution. Be a part of the dream; the dream to improve our world- one school at a time!
Our mission is to work in solid partnership with the family and community in order to prepare children to accept responsibility for their own learning. We offer students a framework that encourages lifelong learning through skills building, creativity, a sense of self-worth, and ethical values necessary to survive and grow in an ever-changing, diverse, global, society.
We provide a rigorous, integrated curriculum with an Arts, Science, Technology, Engineering, and Mathematics (STEM) focus. This model allows students the necessary time to develop intellectually, socially, and artistically. Classes are small and our teachers promote a personalized learning environment that advances our core values: respect, responsibility, quality of self and work. Instruction includes:
- Phonics-Based Reading Program
- Self-Paced and Mastery-Based Instruction
- Cooperative Learning
- Enrichment Programs
- Pre AP & Advanced Placement Courses in MiddleSchool and High School
- Optional Suzuki Violin and Piano lessons
- Double Math Periods
- Robotics and Engineering
- Graphic Design and Media
- Dual High School and College Credit
- Community Service and Internships Performing Arts classes: guitar, strings, band, dance, choir
- Visual Arts
“My eight year-old daughter has been playing the violin for three years now thanks to the Suzuki Violin program that the school offers starting in Kinder. It is so rewarding to see my daughter advancing academically and musically! ” – Melodya Salaices
Supplemental Suzuki Violin Program
Several Elementary students at Vista del Futuro and Howard Burnham Elementary Schools have enrolled in an after school violin instruction program. These enrichment classes are taught in group settings several times per week. The students are provided with opportunities to perform throughout the year in the school and in the community.
Board of Directors
- Mr. Leonard Lidiak, Retired President Emeritis, State National Bank
- Mr. Carlos Kaplan, Businessman and Parent
- Mr. Eric Braham, U.S. Government Postal Employee and Parent
- Ms. Amy A. Nichols, Attorney, Kubinski & Nichols, P.C. and Parent
- Mr. Stanley Esparza, Technical Support Coordinator, TelerX and Parent
- Mr. Eric Summer, Senior Software Engineer, Exelis, Inc. and Parent
- Ms. Iris Burnham, Founder & Superintendent
- BWCSD Parent Portal or VDFCS Parent Portal
- Instructional Calendar
- Monthly Breakfast/Lunch Menus Updated
- Parent – Student Handbook
12/19: HBE International Day
12/19: Early Release
Da Vinci Schedule for Early Release:
Grade Time Gate
5th 12:00 Crusade
6th 12:05 Southwestern
7th 12:10 Crusade
8th 12:15 Southwestern
9th-12th 12:30 Southwestern
Da Vinci Recieves U.S. News & World Report Recognition
The Da Vinci School for Science and the Arts serves grades 5-12.This outstanding STEAM Academy(Emphasizing science, technology, engineering, arts and math) has been recognized by U.S. News & World Reportas one of the top high schools in the nation for the 2013-2014 School Year!
Da Vinci students share their success on Telemundo News Broadcast! To view the video click HERE!
You Should Know…
2014-2015 Enrollment Continues
The Burnham Wood Family of High Performing Schools continues to accept enrollment for the 2014-2015 School Year to all residents of El Paso County.
This year, Vista del Futuro Elementary School added a sixth grade. According to Superintendent, Iris Burnham, many parents have expressed an interest in their children attending a small, high performing 6th grade rather than sending them to a large, overwhelming middle school.
Da Vinci School for Science and the Arts serves grades five through twelve. It has been designated a Distinguished Texas STEM Academy by TEA.
Howard Burnham Elementary School was the first charter school to open in El Paso. It serves grades Kinder through fourth.
Your child can attend our schools. There is no tuition. These are public, charter schools. Give your student an opportunity to achieve in a world class learning environment. Applications are available here as well as at any of the school offices.
Save Now To Save Later – The Texas Tuition Promise Fund is designed to help families and individuals prepay for all or some future tuition and school-wide required fees at any two- or four-year Texas public college or university. If you’d like to learn more about the Texas Tuition Promise Fund or enroll, be sure to visit http://www.tuitionpromise.org There you’ll learn how the program works, find tips and tools for creating a college savings plan and even discover ways to give the gift of college Tuition Units to someone you love. The Texas Tuition Promise Fund is open to enrollment through Feb. 28, 2015.
You Should Know…
The 2015 Da Vinci Freshman and Sophomores visit Austin, TX! Check out the full artical in our Da Vinci Newsletter or Click HERE!
The 2015 Da Vinci Seniors visit the UT Marine Science Institute in Port Aransas, TX! Check out the full artical and video in our Da Vinci Newsletter or Click HERE!
Read more about our trip and view pictures in our Da Vinci Newsletter or Click Here
- Teacher to Teacher : Da Vinci
- Teacher to Teacher : Da Vinci
What is the relationship between tone and expectations? Read our Da Vinci teacher responses
- US News and World Report Recognition
- EPSMF Visits Da Vinci School
- Da Vinci Engineering featured on KTEP
- Da Vinci Students Win 9 Trophies in NASA Competition!
- You are ACCEPTED to the St. John’s Summer Academy
- Da Vinci Soccer making History!
You Should Know…
Congratulations! Texas Honors Circle Award!
For a third time, the Texas State Comptroller has recognized the Burnham Wood Charter School District with their prestigious Texas Honors Circle Award. This year the high performing Howard Burnham Elementary School has been selected as one of only 347 schools and 25 charters in Texas to be acclaimed for its high academic performance and fiscal conservatism. More info.
For more information read the article in the HBE Newsletter or click on the link above!
You Should Know…
Principal Yvonne Whitman and Supt. Iris Burnham attended the Advancement in Education Conference in Austin on Sept. 22-24 in order to learn best practices in using data to improve education. While Vista remains a high performing school, the Leaders believe there is always more to learn that will benefit the students.
7310 Bishop Flores
El Paso, TX 79912
Phone: (915) 584-9499
Fax: (915) 585-8814
785 Southwestern Dr
El Paso, Texas 79912
Phone: (915) 584-4024
Fax: (915) 581-9840
Vista del Futuro
1671 Bob Hope Dr.
El Paso, TX 79936
Phone: (915) 855-8143
Fax: (915) 855-8179