Tuesday, September 13, 2016

Message from the Superintendent September 13, 2016

September 13, 2016

Message from the Superintendent

At the board meeting last night, the trustees took a bold step forward in support of all of our “at-will” employees. By unanimous vote, the Board of Trustees approved a $1,000.00 pay raise for all at-will employees in the school district.  We appreciate our school trustees and thank them for their service and support.

The Board of Trustees also created and adopted a new TISD vision statement and a new mission statement for the district.  This process included setting the district’s goals for the current school year.  

The new vision statement affirms:
“We believe every child is valued, and students are our future. We believe community members and educators team together for greatest student success. We believe trustees serve students, parents, faculty, and community members.”

The mission statement affirms:
“To create a school environment that encourages all students to develop to their fullest potential.”

The district goals for 2016-2017 are:

  1. To improve student academic performance,
  2. To increase certifications of high school students,
  3. To purchase technology for student use in classrooms, and
  4. To provide board trustee training.

Mrs. Selina Garcia, principal at Blessing Elementary School, shared with me that the Blessing campus is off to the best start she has ever seen since joining the district.  The staff is unified around a clear vision.  Eight teachers and staff members volunteered to serve on the Campus Improvement Team.  Mrs. Garcia shared that her teachers and staff members joined together on projects for the campus.  For example, all grade level math teachers decided on a Math Wall award program whereby each student has their name on an ice cream cone.  As each student masters facts in addition, subtraction, multiplication, and division, a scoop of ice cream is added to their ice cream cone.  Each grade level determined what was appropriate for their own grade level students, making the activity .age appropriate.  The cut-outs and ideas were then given to other teachers and aides who made all the copies, cut everything out, and laminated the projects.  The Blessing teachers also worked together in planning for the six-weeks. As one person shared an idea, the rest of the teaching team took that idea and improved upon it -- making a good idea even better.  As I visited the campus last week, I just happened to be there at the 10:00 A.M. mark when the entire campus took a “brain break.  ”The teachers and students stopped what they were doing and danced in the classroom. Research clearly shows that a brief period of physical activity stimulates the brain.  Fabulous.

Mrs. Murry at Markham Elementary shared with me that the Accelerated Reader program is already off to an excellent start.  Students are testing on a website called Epic the AR program at Markham is completely online.  This increases students’ use of technology on a regular basis.  In addition, using technology regularly supports the “digital world” in which our students feel comfortable.   In addition, every classroom has at least four Ipads with more on the way.   Mrs. Murry and her staff are  excited about technology use on the Markham campus.

Mr. Talbert and Mrs. Kubecka, administrators at the high school/ junior high  are excited about the new course offerings such as the robotics program for high school and junior high school students.  The students involved in the robotics classes are using technology in analyzing data and robotic schematics.  Gary Jones, high school agriculture teacher has become NCCER certified and will be offering NCCER Safety Core training and certification for high school students this year.  This certification is a professional safety certification which students can immediately use upon graduation to find jobs in local plants. The high school and junior high campuses have retooled and refocused a much stronger academic vision for the use of technology in classrooms.  

This school year has obviously started off extremely well.  I cannot wait to see what the future holds for our students.

For the kids,
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Andrew Seigrist

Superintendent of Schools