Woods' Weekly

Woods' Weekly

Woods' Weekly is written by Superintendent Brian T. Woods and is sent to Northside ISD staff every Monday to keep them updated on local and state education issues.

May 30, 2017  

Good morning!  I hope you had a nice Memorial Day weekend.  The latest edition of Lessons Magazine will soon be mailed to all addresses in  NISD.  However, you can get an advance copy here:
https://nisd.net/lessons_2017-06/NISD_Lessons_June2017.html. In Lessons, you'll read about a summit offered to student leaders in athletics and the fine arts; our summer feeding program; Marshall HS JROTC national air rifle champions; a bond 2014 update; summer learning opportunities; and the Business Careers Cyber Patriot team.  Plus, you'll meet NISD's newly reelected Trustees and our outstanding business and community partners.  Enjoy Lessons and share the link with friends and family members.

As I write this on Memorial Day afternoon, the Texas House of Representatives has just adjourned for the session.  Sadly, with respect to schools, very little was accomplished this session.  A lot of time was used up talking about bathroom usage, sanctuary cities and property and business tax relief. Regardless of your opinion on those issues, precious little time was spent looking at the needs of public schools.  Thanks to the leadership in the House, there were solid discussions and proposals about reforming A-F accountability and funding – both beginning to reform the system that everyone agrees is a mess as well as adding dollars per pupil.  However, because the Senate leadership could not compromise on issues like vouchers and bathroom regulations, both of these areas of needed reform will see virtually none until at least 2019 when the legislature meets again in regular session.

It is unclear if the Governor will call a special session of the legislature.  However, I can virtually assure that if that happens it will not be around issues that most educators consider of critical importance.  As you read summaries of the session in the coming days, please keep in mind that educators are a large and powerful voting block.  We must vote in 2018 when we will again have the opportunity to elect state-level office holders.

In more positive news, as I look back on the school year it has been one filled with the pride of accomplishment for NISD students and staff.  I’ll share many examples of our success at convocations in August, but just to give one, this year’s graduating class earned a combined $127 million in college scholarships!  We keep on making progress on many fronts and continue to enjoy the support of our community.  This continued success and the positive reputation it contributes to is key to why NISD is considered a leader across Texas.  Further, I believe that our trajectory continues to point upward.  We have not yet reached our full potential and as long as we are willing to be reflective about our practice and look for opportunities we will continue to improve.

Looking forward to next year, we will continue to deal with student population growth.  We expect to have more than 106,000 students enrolled!  State testing seems always to be with us and we will strive to do well without having our sole focus be spent on standardized testing.  To that end, we will continue to speak about rigor and high expectations in every NISD classroom setting – not just those connected with a state test. 

By the time of the next issue of Woods’ Weekly we will be well on the way to planning another bond package for our patrons to consider.  Our growth continues and we anticipate needing several new schools as well as significant work to our older campuses.  It is our hope to balance the dollars dedicated to new classrooms with those for large-scale renovations.

Personally, it has been my honor and pleasure to serve as your superintendent for another year and I look forward to many more years with Northside.  I want to thank all of you for your work and advocacy on behalf of our organization and our very important clients – our children.  I hope that the coming months allow you to slow down a little and enjoy the things that make you the happiest.  For those who work through the summer – thank you.  This will be the last issue of Woods’ Weekly for the school year – have a great week and enjoy your summer!