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Superintendent
Grateful, Thankful, and Wishing You a Happy Holiday Season
11/14/2018

We’re already in the third six weeks of school, and the holiday season is fast approaching. While we’re all looking forward to a few days off, please remember that your children’s school attendance is important. Please encourage them to attend school every day possible unless they are ill. It’s often difficult to make up the work for the days they miss, and research tells us that poor attendance begins with habit patterns sometimes formed in the first few years of formal schooling.

 

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Goose Creek CISD recently welcomed participants at the National Career Academy Coalition (NCAC) Conference to tour our academies and visit classes. Four of the seven academy tour options for those attending the Region 4 conference were in our district, including Stuart Career Tech High School, Robert E. Lee High School STEM Academy, Ross S. Sterling High School Health Science Academy and Goose Creek Memorial High School Global Business Academy. More than 200 guests from all over the nation, including Hawaii, toured our schools. As our academies work toward becoming Model Academies for NCAC, we are confident that they are doing an exceptional job of preparing our students for college and careers, and we are proud that they are receiving this national recognition.

 

It is an exciting time in which we are wrapping up one bond and preparing another. I’m so proud of how the 2013 Bond was executed, fulfilling a commitment to our community. Our projected growth continues to show an increasing student population, pressing us to develop a new bond. The process includes help from the community in defining our needs moving forward. If you have served on one of these committees, THANK YOU! If you have not and wish to, please contact us so that we can get you involved in the excitement of planning for the future.

 

When I pause to reflect about what I’m thankful for, which I always do this time of year, many things come to mind. As I make my way around the district each week, I am grateful to all our Goose Creek CISD employees who make such a difference in the lives of our students every day. I appreciate the Goose Creek CISD Education Foundation for supporting our students and teachers as well as our business and industry partners for working with us to provide mentoring and funding for programs. The Partners In Education program through the Baytown Chamber of Commerce is a valuable resource for our schools, and I’m pleased that we have had the opportunity to work together for more than 30 years.

 

As I always say, I’m proud to be the leader of this excellent school district, and I’m pleased to live in this wonderful community where we feel safe and supported by our law enforcement and first responders who do a remarkable job every day. I’m grateful to be able to work with such dynamic and focused teachers and leaders. Of course, I am thankful for my family and friends. I’m also thankful that I’ve completed my doctorate after several long years – and I’m sure my family is, too. I hope you, too, will take time to breathe in and breathe out, reflecting upon all that we have to be thankful for each day.

 

From my family to yours, have a wonderful holiday season!


Smooth Start–Busy Year Ahead
10/08/2018

As we move through the second six weeks of school, I’m grateful that this year began so smoothly. Last year, as you remember, Hurricane Harvey hit our area before we could start school, and some people are still dealing with the devastation. That time in our lives, while it was challenging, will be remembered for the generous support and encouragement offered by others in our community as well as from across the nation. The mantra “Neighbors Helping Neighbors” will live with me forever.

 

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Beyond the uninvited weather phenomenon, our district persevered many other administrative changes. Last year was tumultuous with regards to more changes than are customary in a single school year. This year, although we expect growth to continue, we look forward to focusing on refinement of what we do well rather than implementing more programmatic change.

 

I’m proud that all schools in our district received an accountability rating of Met Standard, the highest rating granted by the Texas Education Agency for 2018 for the State of Texas Assessments of Academic Readiness (STAAR). In addition, our campuses earned 26 distinction designations. Thanks to our students and staff throughout the district for their hard work and effort, and congratulations to Alamo Elementary for earning all six distinction designations, the most any campus can receive.

 

Our Citizens Bond Planning Committee, comprised of 69 volunteers from the community and district, has started meeting to help make decisions about the future of our district regarding facilities and programs to further empower our students as they receive the quality education expected by the Goose Creek community. Information about financial data, demographics, needs for new construction and renovations, technology gaps and more will be provided by internal and external professionals to prepare the committee, with help from a neutral facilitator, to make difficult decisions leading to a bond package that will serve the community, the district and our students. This is a complex process, and we thank these committee members for donating their time and talents to serving our district.

 

Many people are aware that Goose Creek has instituted alternatives to the traditional high school track, including IMPACT Early College High School and Stuart Career Tech High School, including the school-within-a-school academy programs at the high schools. Research has shown that students learn best in smaller learning environments and feel a more personal connection when they are engaged in decisions about their academic futures. Goose Creek CISD will continue to explore these options in lieu of perpetual rezoning.

 

All through the year, our schools display the talent and hard work of our students at open houses, programs and sporting events. We hope you will attend some of these events and activities and that you will stay involved with your child’s education. I visit our schools frequently, and I am always pleased to see the great things that are going on throughout our district. The school/community relationship is important to the success of our students, and I hope you will continue to be a part of it.

 


A Positive Start to Our 100th Anniversary
08/14/2018

The start of the 2018-2019 school year is drawing near. We already see teachers working in their classrooms, administrators planning for the year, new teachers attending training academies and football coaches running two-a-day practices in anticipation of the upcoming school year. Some of you are probably even trying to fit in some shopping trips for back-to-school clothes and supplies for you and your children. We all know that successful educators spend a great deal of time before school starts, after hours and on weekends preparing to help our students excel, and I appreciate all of you for your dedication to your chosen career. Thank you for choosing Goose Creek CISD!

 

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I also want to thank my Goose Creek CISD family and the community for the support and encouragement I have received not only during the past few weeks, but also during my entire tenure as superintendent. I am proud to serve this school district, and I know that together we will move forward, continuing to Engage, Inspire and Empower our students.

 

This is an exciting time in the history of Goose Creek CISD – the 100th anniversary! With help from a committee of school district and community members, we are making plans to commemorate this milestone. We’ll keep you posted as to how you can participate as we honor the rich history of this district and the traditions that have continued through the years.

 

We soon will have the opportunity to honor a Baytown legend as the press box at Stallworth Stadium is officially named the Jim Finley Press Box – Stallworth Stadium. Finley is a former managing editor of The Baytown Sun, and he covered the first game ever played at Stallworth Stadium Friday, September 11, 1970, when Robert E. Lee High School defeated Spring Branch 27-3. A regular in the press box, he worked 22 games in 2016 and still assists with statistics for The Baytown Sun and Houston Chronicle. The dedication will take place before a football game at Stallworth Stadium this fall.

 

We have invested boundless energy into building a positive culture at all campuses and throughout Goose Creek CISD. One way we have accomplished this is by pursuing excellence in all that we do. Another way is through focusing to improve on everything we do each and every day. Finally, beyond any socioeconomic constraints a family may have, most often the greatest limitation is the lack of understanding of how a quality education may positively impact a student’s life as an adult. We believe that our teachers serve as the vessels of opportunity that will transport students to their future success. Our obligation as a service to this community is to educate all students in partnership with parents, family and our business community.

 

We hope you have had some rest and are energized for the school year ahead. We’ve turned a page in Goose Creek CISD, and you’ll be writing the first chapter of the next 100 years.

 


Reflecting On the School Year
05/31/2018

We’re at the close of the 2017-2018 school year, and it has been a difficult year in some ways. We are all heartbroken about the recent tragedy in Santa Fe, which is so close to us. Our thoughts and prayers go out to the families and to the entire school district that suffered such a loss. We admire their courage to finish the year, and we support their efforts to stand strong together as they work through the healing process.

 

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Our district started school late this year due to the Hurricane Harvey, which devastated so much of our area. Many of those affected by Harvey have moved back into their homes, although some are still working toward that goal. During this difficult time, we saw the community work together to rescue those trapped in their homes, assist families in removing their personal belongings, help with demolition, set up donation drives, and feed families and volunteers. The spirit of giving was all around us and served as proof that we live in a community where people care about each other.

 

Once school got underway, we have seen our students excel in academics, fine arts, sports, robotics, MCJROTC and in many other areas, showing their resilience. Nearly 1,500 seniors will walk across the stage to accept their diplomas this year. Our students have been offered more than $11,130,000 in scholarships, and more keep rolling in. We are fortunate that they are graduating from one of our excellent Goose Creek CISD high schools, prepared for college and/or a career. A third of our IMPACT Early College High School seniors received their associate degrees even before they were awarded their high school diplomas, and several more are within six hours of completion.

 

Our new Stuart Career Tech High School, also an early college high school, opened in the fall with a freshman class and four academies – Advanced Automotive, Environmental Conservation, Culinary Arts and Manufacturing and Industrial Maintenance. SCTHS provides an educational program which allows students the opportunity to apply academic skills in a vocational setting.

 

Finally, I’d like to thank everyone who supported our 2018 Bond, especially the Citizens Facilities Planning Committee. These volunteers spent many hours assessing and prioritizing the needs of our district. This work will be utilized moving forward as the district growth continues to challenge our ability to serve our community.

 

I hope you will have the opportunity to spend time with family and friends, relax and rejuvenate or even catch up on a few projects this summer. Thank you for all that you do every day for our students, our schools and our community. I look forward to hearing about your summer break next fall. Aloha!

 

 


Ending the Year With Assessments and Bond Proposal
04/10/2018
We are heading toward our last six weeks of school, and it is the busiest time for everyone. Amidst the extracurricular activities and programs, we have STAAR assessments. I know that students and staff have been preparing for testing season all year, so it’s time for everyone to take a deep breath, relax and show what you know.

 

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I’m sure you are aware that the community will have an opportunity to vote on Goose Creek CISD’s 2018 Bond in an election May 5th at the Goose Creek Administration Building. Early voting begins April 23rd at various campuses. Please check our website at www.gccisd.net for voting locations and times. Some of the major projects include two new elementary schools to address growth on the north side of the district as well as a replacement school for the aging San Jacinto Elementary that would provide a 21st Century learning environment for our students in compliance with ADA standards. Junior School #6 is also a proposed construction project, which would alleviate overcrowding at our junior schools.

 

Through a demographic study by Population and Survey Analysts (PASA), it was determined that our district would add approximately 8,000 homes and 3,000 students in the next decade, so passing this 2018 Bond would help us prepare for the expected growth in addition to the growth we are already experiencing. We thank our Citizens Facilities Planning Committee, comprised of community members for their time and effort in identifying needs throughout our district and making recommendations to our Board of Trustees. There are many other items on the bond referendum, including safety and security; technology; transportation; mechanical, electrical and plumbing as well as other construction projects. For more information, please visit our website.

 

Proposition One of the 2018 Bond includes all bond projects except a multipurpose center, which is the only item in Proposition Two The multipurpose center would be used for graduations, convocations, proms, basketball tournaments, dance/cheer competitions, robotics competitions, trade shows, banquets, large meeting and district office space. Please remember that the tax increase for homeowners for this $437,405 million bond would be approximately $120 per year or $10 per month based on a taxable home valued at $100,000. Senior citizens would experience no tax increase.

 

I encourage you to read the information you will receive about the 2018 Bond in the next few weeks so that you can make an informed decision when you vote, either at an early voting location or at the Goose Creek CISD Administration Building May 5th.

 

Thanks for your continued support of Goose Creek CISD. If you have not had a chance to visit some of our campuses, I hope you will do so. I am excited about the good things going on all over our district every day, and I am proud to be the superintendent of this ever-growing, innovative school district.

 


Proposed Bond Full of Projects to Benefit GCCISD Students
02/15/2018

The spring semester is going full steam ahead. It's hard to believe that we will soon be taking a week-long (and well-deserved) break. Hang in there: Spring Break is just around the corner.

 

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As you may be aware, the GCCISD Board of Trustees has called for a bond election on Saturday, May 5. Early voting runs Monday, April 23 - Tuesday, May 1. You can access voting times and locations on our district website at gccisd.net.

 

With voter approval, the district will be able to complete much-needed projects, including a new junior school, two new elementary schools and a replacement, a home for our special education department, new school buses and more. We also will be able to invest in our extracurricular programs with a robotics practice arena, replace instruments and theater lighting for our students in our fine arts programs, and add new turf to practice fields as well as an athletic field house. Further, a successful bond will enable us to upgrade technology throughout the district to enhance learning opportunities for students at all levels, and make significant repairs to district infrastructure that has reached the end of its life cycle.

 

There are a number of projects in the bond proposal. The majority of these projects were assessed, debated and decided on by a committee of citizen volunteers who were very deliberate in understanding the district needs and prioritizing the projects. I want to thank these community volunteers who served on our Citizens Facilities Planning Committee for their hard work in evaluating the needs of the students and staff of GCCISD with fidelity. The committee included community members, parents and industry representatives, and they gave generously of their time.

 

After hearing the Committee's recommendations, the Board agreed with most of the scope of the proposal, and made some additional adjustments based on current and projected student needs, as well as predicted student growth in the coming years.

 

At a meeting on Feb. 13, the Board of Trustees called for a bond in the amount of $457,405,000. Proposition 1, totaling $376,905,000, includes the new elementary and junior schools, a building for our special education and curriculum and instruction departments, a practice facility for our robotics students, the second phase of the Stuart Career Tech High School, an athletic field house, new band equipment and theatrical lighting systems, upgrades to the natatorium, the replacement of San Jacinto Elementary and more. For a full list of Proposition 1 projects, please visit our website at gccisd.net.

 

Proposition 2, totaling $60,500,000, would fund a multi-purpose center. Here we would hold graduation and convocation; host sports, dance, cheer and robotics tournaments; and hold staff development, award ceremonies and prom. There isn't another facility like the proposed multipurpose center anywhere in our immediate area, and as the gateway to Houston from the East, it's projected that we could potentially rent the facility on a regular basis to pay down the project debt.

 

The district is in the process of developing presentations and materials about the bond proposal that will help voters make an informed decision regarding the election. These materials will be available soon. I hope that you'll take time to learn about and understand the projects included in the bond election and how they can benefit student learning in GCCISD.

 

We're looking forward to the remainder of the spring semester. It's going to go fast, but our focus will remain on engaging, inspiring and empowering the students of GCCISD in our collective effort to offer the best quality education that the children of our community so deserve.


Thank Our Board Members
01/29/2018

Welcome to 2018! I hope your year and the second semester of school are both off to a good start despite a few days of chilly weather. In case you haven't heard, we will not make up the two days we missed, since we have additional time built into our instructional calendar.

 

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January is School Board Recognition Month, so I want to take this opportunity to thank these seven men and women who generously serve our district and our community. The theme this year is "Helping Kids Soar to Success," and our Board certainly does that! Pete Pape, Agustin Loredo III, Jessica Woods, Howard Sampson, Ricky Clem, Ben Pape and Al Richard spend many hours making decisions in the best interest of our students and schools as well as attending school district events and activities. The time and effort they devote to our district is a gift, and we thank them for caring about our students and our schools. We'd also like to thank all our schools for sending posters, in keeping with the theme, to decorate the Board Room in honor of our GCCISD Board members.

 

Thank you to those of you who took the time to express your opinions at our recent public forums about rezoning vs. a consolidated school. It is important for the Board of Trustees as well as district administrators to hear from our community. When hosting such forums, it is common to hear varying viewpoints from the community, which is healthy. Ultimately, the Board of Trustees, comprised of elected officials who represent their constituents, has the final say as members vote upon action items that they feel will move the school district forward.

 

When change occurs, it is not always favorable to all who may be impacted. In education, we have learned to adapt to federal and state mandates that do not always make sense to us. If I have learned anything from these experiences, it is that meeting these challenges in life head-on is often what builds our character and enables us to overcome all obstacles.

 

Switching gears, I had the opportunity to meet with the Superintendent's Campus Connection recently. It is truly a privilege to meet with these dynamic teachers, representing their campuses, to be able to get a pulse on the district. Our theme this year is "Creative Ways to Improve the Instructional Focus," and these teacher leaders bring experience, knowledge and creativity to the table as we share ideas about improving instruction. Please seek out your campus representative to learn more about our exciting campaign toward school improvement.

 

I challenge you to charge into the new year with a rejuvenated sense of purpose to provide the best education possible for the community we serve.

 

 


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