New Year, New Goals and Time to Show Appreciation
Obrien Photo The second semester is underway! A new year is always a time for reflection, but it is also a time to set new goals and to focus on the tasks ahead with renewed vigor. I hope that 2016 is off to a good start for you and your families.

January is School Board Recognition Month, and this year’s theme is “Super-Heroes for Schools.” I want to take the opportunity to thank the Goose Creek CISD Board members for the super-heroic roles they play in ensuring that our district runs smoothly and that we are focused on student success. These seven dedicated individuals generously donate their time and effort in the schools as well as throughout the community. Thank you, Jenice Coffey, Al Richard, Pete Pape, Jessica Woods, GiGi Cockrell, Agustin Loredo, III and Howard Sampson, for being Super-Heroes for Goose Creek CISD! If you see any Board members this month or anytime during the year, please take a moment to thank them for their service to our district and to our community.

I’d also like to thank our 28 campuses for the creative posters they sent showing their appreciation to our Board members. Kudos to Horace Mann Junior School Theater Arts students for helping with the video showing the humor in a Board meeting run by students and to Goose Creek Memorial High School Construction Tech and Construction Management students as well as Stuart Career Center Culinary Arts students for assisting us in honoring the GCCISD Board of Trustees.

With the new year, we have focused even more on safety as our number one priority on our campuses. Campus safety drills were conducted on several campuses, but all campuses were prepared for them. In the midst of the three-day drills, an evacuation was necessary, but Goose Creek schools passed all evaluations with flying colors. In addition to security drills, 2013 Bond updates are underway to increase safety at campuses that did not have parameter fencing and entry vestibules. Upgrades also include adding an American Disabilities Act (ADA) compliant entryway at Robert E. Lee High School.

Spring is a busy time of year, especially for sporting events. We have 12 sports going on simultaneously as well as other extracurricular activities. We wish our athletes, UIL participants, and others involved in competitions well as they proudly represent Goose Creek CISD. 

Our students and faculties are also preparing for upcoming testing. I want to make sure you are informed about the legislation our state policymakers have passed through House Bill 2804 regarding campuses receiving a report card letter grade A– F. This legislation will not go into effect until next school year; however, it is important to note that these letter grades may not be an accurate depiction of the academic success on our campuses.  

The report card will address multiple domains, including the usual attendance, standardized assessment, college readiness, and graduation indicators, but it will also include district-selected indicators of successful programs, such as Fine Arts, community and parental involvement, workforce development and digital learning environment. With such a broad scope of evaluative measures in place, it will be a great opportunity to allow each campus to shine with its individual strengths.  

While I endorse accountability for the academics of all campuses, it is only fair to notify the public that our target for success is ever-changing. Therefore, I strongly encourage you to visit your child’s campus to get a true picture of the learning taking place there. All of our campus principals would be glad to take you on a campus tour to see the wonderful things going on in Goose Creek schools. 

As I approach my one-year anniversary as Superintendent of Schools in February, I’d like to again thank the students, staff and community for their support. Furthermore, I’d like to continue soliciting your input about what we’re doing right and what may need improvement as we aspire to be a premier school district in the Greater Houston Region as well as in the state of Texas.