2016-2017 School Year Off to a Great Start
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The 2016-2017 school year is off to a great start and, as always, I enjoyed watching parents say goodbye to their children on the first day of school. Pre-school and kindergarten parents were a little teary-eyed as they bravely got one last hug before leaving. Parents of older children seemed a bit more excited that the school year was finally underway. Even though my family enjoyed the summer, as parents of a high school student, we were ready for that first day. The start of a new school year is exciting, and I am proud to be the superintendent of a district that ensures that teachers have the resources they need to educate our 21st century learners.

Our Board of Trustees has called for a Tax Ratification Election (TRE) to give Goose Creek CISD voters the opportunity to restructure our current tax rate. There will be no tax increase for taxpayers. The current GCCISD tax rate is $1.43189, of which $1.04 pays for daily operations (maintenance and operations) and $0.39189 pays debt retirement (interest and sinking). Voting for the TRE will allow the district to distribute the tax rate differently by lowering the debt service fund by 13 cents ($0.39189 to $0.26289) and increasing the daily operations fund by the same 13 cents ($1.04 to $1.17). This is commonly referred to as a “Penny Swap.”

Since the formula used by the State of Texas to determine funding for our schools is based upon our daily operations tax rate, raising it by 13 cents provides an opportunity to access additional weighted state education dollars with no tax rate impact to our local community. The extra revenue will help GCCISD enhance all core curriculum, co-curricular and extra-curricular programs for all grades; improve maintenance, operations and facilities and maintain competitive salaries and benefits for our employees.

Early voting dates are August 24 through September 6, 2016, and the election is Saturday, September 10, from 7 a.m. – 7 p.m. at the Goose Creek CISD Central Administration Building. I encourage you to vote in this very important Tax Ratification Election.
The Groundbreaking Ceremony for the new Transportation Center took place at the first of August, much to the delight of our Transportation Department and especially our deserving bus drivers. The facility, located at 2102 E. Archer Road, will include about 300 parking spaces for buses, employee and visitor parking, fuel and washing stations, more bays for maintenance, a training room for employees and a CTE student classroom. We are pleased that we will have all our buses and transportation employees at the same location.

I also want to let you know that soon you will start to see a new look for Goose Creek CISD, including new colors and a new design. Our GC logo is not changing, but we will include the words Engage, Inspire and Empower, as we feel they best describe what our Goose Creek CISD faculty and staff members throughout the district do every day. We will roll out our new look, as seen in this Journal, with our website, brochures and other GCCISD materials in the near future. It’s a great way to start off a new school year!

If you had the chance to experience any part of the celebration in honor of the 50th game between Robert E. Lee High School and Ross S. Sterling High School, I’m sure you will agree that it was truly a class act. Starting with a visit from KHOU Channel 11’s Sherry Williams at a 5 a.m. pep rally aired live from Lee, the day continued with a super-spirited afternoon pep rally at both schools, tours for alumni, socials for other organizations, a reception at Stallworth for participants in the 1966 game and a documentary shown on the jumbotron highlighting the past 49 games. Before The Game at Stallworth Stadium, skydivers, thanks to our friends at Frank’s Auto Collision, delighted everyone by presenting the American flag, the Texas flag and the game ball, which I had the privilege of receiving, joined by members of the 1966 teams. It was exciting to see the former players, cheerleaders, drill team and band members enjoy this happy reunion!

I encourage you to stay involved in your child’s education and to try to attend as many school and district events as possible. There are always good things happening in Goose Creek CISD, and I look forward to seeing many of you at our upcoming 50th anniversary celebration for Ross S. Sterling High School.