Our Community Works Together to Overcome Obstacles
As you know, the start of this school year was delayed by a catastrophic event - Hurricane Harvey - which affected many in our area. It has been challenging, and I appreciate all our Goose Creek employees who worked during the time we were closed to locate staff and students, provide information to the community, donate and work at our district donation centers, feed families through an extension of our Summer Meals Program and get everything up and running to start school September 11.

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In all the chaos, I saw people helping each other. Although their own homes may have been damaged, they were working to rescue families and pets as well as assist others in removing flooring, sheetrock and priceless possessions ruined by the rising floodwaters. In the midst of despair, I heard more laughter than ever before as our community came together as a family to reach out to those in need. Maybe we felt like we should laugh before we cry, but nonetheless, I heard the sound of people reaching out to one another over and over again.

Over the past couple of weeks, our area has felt an outpouring of love as volunteers arrived from across the nation and businesses, organizations and other school districts sent huge donations of food, school supplies, clothing, cleaning supplies and other necessary items to our students and their families. The selfless acts of kindness we have seen have reestablished our faith in mankind and given us a stronger resolve to move forward in the face of any obstacles.

Since we’re clearly off to an alternate beginning, we will adjust the six weeks so that teaching and testing will align with our calendar. Our district was granted a waiver for nine days from the Texas Education Agency, so we will not be required to make up days or extend school hours. We are enrolling students daily, and although we are slightly short of the membership numbers we anticipated, the trend shows that our district will reach projected growth numbers as families return to their homes. The three new elementary schools we opened in the fall of 2014, thanks to the community’s approval of the 2013 Bond, have helped us accommodate all students, but our schools are at 97 percent of their capacity at this time. Clearly, Goose Creek CISD is the place to be!

I am thankful to live in this community, and I am thankful to work for this district with employees who set their own needs aside to make sure they were ready to welcome our students to the 2017-2018 school year. My heart goes out to the many within our community who have experienced loss, whether little or much, and have been physically, financially and emotionally impacted by Harvey. Thank you for the prayers, words and deeds of kindness to assist in beginning the new school year. I believe it’s not too late to make this school year the best ever!