On Thursday, the University Interscholastic League released its biennial realignment configurations for all sports. While there was little change to the two football districts that Abilene High and Cooper belong to, there was a massive change in all sports except football where they each reside. The UIL left Abilene High, Cooper, and Wylie in District 4-5A in the all-sport district, moved the Lubbock schools out, and added two new schools from the Wichita Falls ISD – Legacy and Memorial high schools – after the WFISD decided to close existing high schools in Wichita Falls High School, Wichita Falls Rider, and Wichita Falls Hirschi at the end of the 2023-24 school year and merge them into two new high schools on new campuses. Click here to read more about this year’s UIL realignment.

Thursday afternoon, the Craig Middle School Student Council honored Abilene ISD Board of Trustees Vice President Cindy Earles for her “hard work and the positive effort she puts forth for the school district,” Craig sixth grade Social Studies teacher Krista Conner said. Earles was honored with an Italian lunch and a Craig swag bag for her dedication to the students of the AISD. Student council officers that attended the lunch in honor of Earles were Laila Conner (president), Mallory Meeks (vice president), Graham Ware (treasurer), Shelby Maynard (secretary), Heath Sanders (parliamentarian), and Kenlee Salyers (historian).

The Abilene High girls basketball team clinched the program’s first playoff berth since 2019 when AHS qualified for the Class 6A state playoffs. The Lady Eagles – now in their third season under head coach Brenda Andress – clinched their first berth in the Class 5A playoffs Tuesday night with Cooper’s 102-35 home loss to Lubbock Monterey. That left Cooper at 3-7 in the district, so the best the Lady Cougars can do in the league is 5-7. At 5-6 in the league after Tuesday’s road loss at Lubbock Coronado, the worst the Lady Eagles – who wrap up the regular season tonight at home against Lubbock Cooper – can finish is 5-7. AHS, however, won both games against Cooper this season, giving the Lady Eagles the tiebreaker edge. Monterey is the district champion with Lubbock Cooper in second at 8-2, followed by Wylie (6-4) and AHS (5-6).

Fine Arts Roundup: Both high school theatre departments wrapped up their musical productions last weekend at their respective auditoriums. Cooper hosted four performances of Rodgers and Hammerstein’s Cinderella and received rave reviews, as did Abilene High’s four performances of Meredith Wilson’s Music Man. Congratulations to all of those who performed, played in the orchestra, directed, or worked behind the scenes to create two outstanding theatre productions.

The AISD Impact Award honors district employees who make a positive difference at work and in the Abilene community. We need your help recognizing our teammates who give an exceptional effort to be a force for good in the lives of our students, staff, and neighbors. Anyone can nominate any AISD employee for this recognition! If you would like to nominate someone to be considered to receive an Impact Award at an upcoming Board of Trustees meeting, please fill out the nomination form at the link below. You can also use the link to learn about previous Impact Award recipients. Click here to nominate an outstanding colleague to receive the AISD Impact Award!

AISD Basketball Roundup: The Abilene High boys are closing in on a playoff berth, something it could clinch with either a win tonight against Lubbock Cooper or a loss by Lubbock Coronado in one of its final four games. At 7-2 in District 4-5A play after Tuesday’s loss at Lubbock Coronado, AHS is now in second in the district behind Lubbock Cooper (7-1). Abilene High hosts the Pirates tonight at 7:30 p.m. at Eagle Gym in a game that could eventually determine the district champion, something AHS hasn’t won since 2016. The Eagles knocked off Lubbock Cooper 57-56 in Lubbock on Jan. 9, and a series sweep would give them the advantage in the first tiebreaker – head-to-head ­– in the event of a tie. After Friday night’s game, the Eagles will not leave Abilene for their final two games as they play at Wylie next Friday (Feb. 9) and host Cooper in the regular-season finale (Feb. 13). A win tonight over Lubbock Cooper would push the Eagles back into first place in the district at 8-2, and clinch a playoff spot no matter what Coronado does in its final four games. … The Cooper boys are 9-18 overall and 2-6 in the district but still chasing a playoff spot. Cooper has four games left in district play – at Lubbock High tonight, and then home against Lubbock Coronado (Feb. 6) and Lubbock Cooper (Feb. 9) before closing the regular season at Abilene High on Feb. 13. A win in all four games – along with some help from teams throughout the district – would get the Cougars into the playoffs. … Entering tonight’s games, the District 4-5A boys basketball standings look like this: Lubbock Cooper (7-1), Abilene High (7-2), Lubbock Monterey (6-3), Wylie (5-4), Lubbock Coronado (3-5), Cooper (2-6), and Lubbock High (0-9). … The Cooper girls have two games left in their season after being eliminated from playoff contention with Tuesday night’s home loss against Lubbock Monterey. The Lady Cougars (12-18 overall and 3-7 in the district) will play at Lubbock High tonight before closing the season Tuesday (Feb. 6) at home against Lubbock Coronado. … Entering tonight’s games, all four playoff spots in District 4-5A girls’ basketball have been claimed with Lubbock Monterey (11-0) earning the district championship, followed by Lubbock Cooper (8-2), Wylie (6-4), and Abilene High (5-6). Cooper is fifth at 3-7, followed by Lubbock High at 2-8, and Lubbock Coronado at 1-9.

AISD Soccer Roundup: Abilene High continued its hot start Tuesday as the Eagles opened District 4-5A play with a 3-1 win over Wylie at Shotwell Stadium. The Eagles – 8-2-1 overall and 1-0 in district play – will be back in action tonight when they take on Cooper at 5 p.m. at Shotwell Stadium. The Eagles will be in Lubbock next Tuesday (Feb. 6) to take on Lubbock Monterey. … The Cooper boys are 3-7-1 overall and 0-1-1 in district play after a hard-fought 1-1 tie on Tuesday at Lubbock Cooper. After tonight’s game against Abilene High, the Cougars will play at Wylie at 7 p.m. next Tuesday (Feb. 6). … The Abilene High girls – the defending District 4-5A champion – haven’t found a rhythm in the early part of the season as they opened district play Tuesday with a 3-1 loss at Wylie. The Lady Eagles are now 1-4-2 overall and 0-1 in district play with tonight’s match against Cooper set for 7 p.m. at Shotwell Stadium. The Lady Eagles will host Lubbock Monterey at 5 p.m. at Shotwell Stadium next Tuesday (Feb. 6) as they try to get their season untracked. … The Cooper girls dropped an 8-0 decision to Lubbock Cooper in Tuesday night’s district-opener for both teams. The Lady Cougars are now 6-3-1 overall and 0-1 in district play heading into tonight’s match against Abilene High. The Lady Cougars will host Wylie at 7 p.m. at Shotwell Stadium next Tuesday (Feb. 6).

AISD Athletics Roundup: The softball season has started with Abilene High and Cooper having already scrimmaged three times (AHS twice and Cooper once) as they continue preparations for the 2024 season. … The Lady Eagles will scrimmage Aledo and Stephenville on Saturday (Feb. 3) and will scrimmage at Dallas Wylie on Tuesday (Feb. 6) at Frenship next Saturday (Feb. 10). The regular season begins on Feb. 12 at home against White Settlement Brewer. … Cooper will scrimmage Saturday at a site to be determined against Brownwood, Jim Ned, and Breckenridge, and will follow that with a scrimmage next Thursday at Frenship and a scrimmage day against Clyde, Cisco, and San Angelo Central at a site to be determined next Saturday (Feb. 10). The Lady Cougars will open the season Feb. 15-17 at the Carrollton Tournament of Champions. … The Cooper and Abilene High baseball teams are closing in on their season-openers and will begin scrimmaging as soon as this weekend. … Abilene High will scrimmage Saturday against Big Spring and Clyde at Blackburn Field, then at Odessa High (Feb.10), and at Copperas Cove (Feb. 16) before opening the season Feb. 22-24 at the Melissa Tournament in the DFW Metroplex. … Cooper will scrimmage at Wichita Falls Rider on Tuesday, and then wrap up the scrimmage portion of the season with three straight at home: vs. Brownwood on Feb. 9, vs. Odessa Permian on Feb. 13, and vs. Wichita Falls on Feb. 16. The Cougars will start their season Feb. 22-24 with five games against Chisholm Trail and Granbury (doubleheader on Feb. 22 at Granbury), Azle and Nacogdoches (doubleheader on Feb. 22 at Azle), and a single game against Boyd on Feb. 24 at Weatherford. … Former Abilene High softball standout Alyssa Washington is entering her senior season at the University of Texas and has been voted a team captain by her teammates. Washington started 38 games last year between third base and shortstop and could be the primary starter at second base as a senior. She was an All-Big 12 Conference Freshman Team selection in 2021, and a second team All-Big 12 Conference selection as a sophomore in 2022. The Longhorns are ranked No. 5 in the country in the USA Softball Preseason Top 25 and D1 Softball Preseason Top 25, Nov. 7 in the Softball America Preseason Top 25, and No. 8 in the USA Today / NFCA Preseason Top 25.


Monday, Feb. 19 – Student Holiday / Staff Professional Development

Tuesday, Feb. 20 – Beginning of 5th grading period

Monday, March 11-Friday, March 15 – Spring Break

Friday, March 29 – Good Friday (AISD closed)

Sunday, March 31 – Easter

Monday, April 1 – Easter holiday (AISD closed)

Friday, April 5 – End of 5th grading period (early release)

Monday, April 8 – Beginning of 6th grading period

Sunday, May 19 – Baccalaureate Services, First Baptist Church

Thursday, May 23 – End of 2023-24 school year (early release)

Friday, May 24 – Abilene High graduation ceremony, Shotwell Stadium

Saturday, May 25 – ATEMS and Cooper High School graduation, Shotwell Stadium