So that simple “Nothing……ZERO”

The numbers we use today are called Arabic, but in fact they began life in India as early as 500 A.D.

The first recorded zero appeared in Mesopotamia around 3 B.C. The Mayans invented it independently circa 4 A.D. It was later devised in India in the mid-fifth century, spread to Cambodia near the end of the seventh century, and into China and the Islamic countries at the end of the eighth.

Indians devised a system that could cope with vast numbers. They developed a different symbol for every number from 1 to 9. The symbols are very close to what we use today. In the Christian world, they were using the Roman numeral system (I,II,III,IV,V,VI,VII,VIII,IX,X,etc.). Adding and subtracting using the Roman numeral system was very difficult.

A symbol was discovered in a temple in Gwalior, India. It is considered the holy grail of numbers. It is the symbol for the number ZERO. A new revolutionary idea since the days the Sumerians invented the counting system. Now it is not the first time it was written, but the first recorded time it was used for a distinct purpose.

While the Romans and the Christian world used numbers to record their conquest and how many dead bodies there were after a war, the Indians used numbers to advance commerce and banking.

Indian astronomers also excelled beyond the Christian world. They were able to work out that the earth spins on its own axis and that the earth moves about the sun. Over in Europe, Copernicus would not figure this out until a thousand years later. Indian scientists were also able to calculate the earth’s diameter to within one percent of its actual measurement. All of this was possible because of the symbol zero and the other nine digits.

Mathematicians were in an Enlighten period throughout the Islamic world. New formulas and equations were being derived and new methods of calculations were being explored. Mathematics exploded in the Islamic world.

Zero found its way to Europe through the Moorish conquest of Spain and was further developed by Italian mathematician Fibonacci who used it to do equations without an abacus, then the most prevalent tool for doing arithmetic. This development was highly popular among merchants who used Fibonacci’s equations involving zero to balance their books.

In the year 1201, Fibonacci wrote a book called “The Book of Calculations” after witnessing how the symbol zero and the digits one through nine were used in the market places on the shores of Northern Africa. Because of how money was being handled in these market places and the ease at which calculations were done, the era of the Roman numerals died a slow death. Well not exactly slow, but by the 16th century, the Indian figures, now commonly called Arabic numerals, finally triumphed.

Today we use the ten digits: 1,2,3,4,5,6,7,8,9, and zero without ever thinking of where they came from…, but now you know.


Information was gathered from the following sites:

By Jessie Szalay, Live Science Contributor | September 18, 2017 12:29pm ET:

1 The Story of Numbers (0 and 1) Indian Numerals or Arabic?


TNT Program at the SOC

Students had an amazing opportunity on Dec. 12th & 13th as they explored possible careers in technology during Teamwork & Technology Day at the SOC.  This was made possible by the ‘Grant for Great Ideas-Frisco Education Foundation’.  For two days students put on their creative hats while they “played” with a variety of hands-on activities that exposed them to new technology & careers.  Vendors who participated included Nokia, the Movie Institute, Microsoft, iCode, and several others.  Some of the activities included creating a movie, writing computer programs, programming autonomous vehicles, building race cars, and racing one another!





C.A.R.E Center

This year the SOC has introduced the Curriculum, Academic, and Restorative Education (C.A.R.E.) Center.  When students need help with social-emotional learning (SEL) skills, they visit the C.A.R.E. Center to work with Mrs. Luce.  SEL skills are the skills students need to be successful in class and in life.

For more information on SEL, please see the presentation below.

We are also using mindfulness in the C.A.R.E. Center. For more information about mindfulness, please see the presentation below.

A Day in the Arts

In November, our students had an opportunity to participate in a program called A Day in the Arts Part 2 on our campus. Last year, the students volunteered to participate in A Day in the Arts which was funded by the Grant for Great ideas in collaboration with Frisco Education Foundation. We had lots of supplies leftover and the students enjoyed the program last year, we wanted to offer a second strand to students this semester. One River Art Studio in Frisco donated their time, instructors, and easels which allowed our students to explore oil painting and free artistic expression! What an amazing day for talented artists!


Encouraging, Empowering and Educating

At the Student Opportunity Center, our mission statement is Encouraging, Empowering, and Educating students for success.

Encouraging and motivating students to succeed is one of the things we do best at the SOC. The teachers are extraordinary at building relationships with their students, and helping them plan for and achieve their goals.

Empowering our students to take initiative and responsibility is a value that we strive to instill in our students to help them gain confidence and leadership skills. A perfect example of this, is when students initiate and facilitate a community building circle without teacher intervention.

Educating our students to achieve high school graduation and prepare them for life beyond, is the number one goal at the SOC. The teachers are phenomenal at working with different learning styles, and knowing what each student needs in order to succeed. 


Making Snowflakes

During SMART (Student Movement And Relaxation Time) Period here at the SOC, the students are asked to choose an activity they enjoy to clear their mind after lunch before beginning 4th period. One of the activities offered is Art. On this particular day, student Kendall Shaw, was showing another student, Rabia Basra, how to make a 3D snowflake. The students enjoy having this time to complete assignments, play basketball, or just sit and relax with their


Year Up Program

On October 31, 2017, Marvin Blakely, Recruitment Director for Year Up, came to our campus to present to the Student Services Department at the Student Opportunity Center.  Year Up is a program that was created by a former Wall Street broker by the name of Gerald Chertavian who initially was a Big Brother and later sold his company and created the Year Up Program.  The program was established in Boston in 2000 and was established from a book written by Gerald Chertavian.  The goal of the program was to meet the untapped potential and provide resources for a population of underrepresented adults ranging from the ages of 18-24.

The program, which is a year in length, is broken into two phases.  Phase I, the students are enrolled in the business development phase of the program where they are earning 18 credit hours all taught by El Centro professors on their main campus in Dallas.  The students are required to dress for success daily, which includes training in soft skills ranging from writing a resume, understanding the importance of time management, and how to send professional emails. During the Phase I sessions, the students also participate in Feedback Friday by participating in sharing feedback among one another as well as receiving feedback from colleagues.  Phase I students receive a stipend of $200 and free public transportation passes to attend school.

Phase II is the second semester of the program where the students are placed in an internship program.  According to the recruitment director, during this phase the students are building their professional muscle working with corporations. After the end of Phase II the students will graduate from the program and will be hired (pending how successful they were for the duration of their internship), and have the opportunity to earn $22/hr or $50,000-$60,000 per year.

Mr. Marvin Blakely will return to the SOC to speak with another group of our SOC students, and we strongly encourage our students who are eligible to apply if they are capable of getting back and forth to the El Centro campus daily.

In addition to the professors on campus, the Year Up program also provides the students with “high expectations and high support.” The El Centro staff in the Year Up program are also mentors for the students and there are two Social Workers on staff to also assist with personal struggles and as a resource for the students in need.

For more information about the Year-Up program, please refer to the links below. (Year Up Overview)—60 Minutes (Personal Story)


Frisco Family Tutorials

Frisco High School is offering after school tutoring for middle and high school students in our district!  The Frisco Family Tutoring Program originally started in 2010 at the Stonebrook Apartments. The main goals of the tutoring program are to help students be successful in school and also to increase family participation. We currently host the program at Frisco High School to be able to meet the needs of our students.
While the program is geared toward assisting English Language Learners, it also aims to benefit the community as a whole.  Many teachers have already volunteered to help with the tutorials, and we have also enlisted the assistance of FISD National Honor Society students to serve as peer tutors. High school tutors will gain valuable service hours while providing a beneficial service to their peers and to younger students in the community. We provide our students with a snack during each session. We also provide small incentives (school supplies or other such items) in the form of a raffle. We try to find businesses and organizations to support us with donations.
Another component of our program will be parent outreach. We are planning to host small presentations for parents, perhaps one a month.  We want to encourage parents to learn how they can help their students become more successful in school.  Our district strives to engage all of our parents because we know that we have to build a network of support for our students if they are to be successful.
We would like to extend you an invitation to help us sustain this program by volunteering one Wednesday a month from 4:20 – 6:15 pm at Frisco High School. We need at least two teachers to cover the tutorials every week. Please contact Elma Montenegro ( or Alma Juarez (, program coordinators, for more information.

A bit of Halloween at the SOC

At the end of a long month Halloween brings a welcome break from normal for a few students and staff members.  No masks are allowed but some students and faculty still manage to make the day a special occasion.  Some traditional costumes appear — a witch, a Spiderman.  This year we even had a dinosaur.DinasaurSometimes life can be very stressful.  It is good to see positive ways to relieve a bit of that stress.  Go out today and Smile.  It can be contagious.