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.

April 13, 2015     

Good morning!  I want to start today’s message with several congratulations.  On January 31, approximately 800 of our co-workers formed 150 teams and began the Healthy Wage Weight Loss Challenge.  To date the participants have lost a combined total of almost 6,000 pounds!  The Challenge is set to end soon, so if you know a participant please encourage their efforts.

Recently, several of our high school bowling clubs participated in state-level competition - once again with great results.  The O’Connor boys’ team placed second in the state and the Taft girls are state champions!  In addition, we have several individual winners including Aaron Loera from Brennan HS who won 2nd place and Charlie Reid of O'Connor HS who won an individual state championship.  Congratulations to our NISD bowlers!

Brandeis high school successfully hosted the district level Academic UIL meet recently.  The overall results put Marshall and Stevens HS tied for 3rd, Brandeis in 2nd and the district winner was John Jay.  Congratulations to all of these students and their sponsors/coaches.  I know how much commitment it takes to be successful in UIL competition.

Congratulations to the Brandeis boys’ soccer team who advanced to the regional final.  While it didn’t end as they would have liked – they had a great season.  NISD athletics continues to excel!

We also recently hosted a press conference at our Swim Center to help a large group of community partners highlight a collaboration that will bring swim lessons to many who can’t afford them.  I was amazed to find out the percentage of children who did not know how to swim.  In Northside, we gave over 5,500 swim lessons last year and we are happy to join the other partners in the Viva Swim initiative.

A couple of weeks ago I was able to attend the Council of PTAs annual Reflections Awards.  The awards highlight student products in the categories of dance choreography, film production, literature, 

music composition, photography and visual arts.  I told the group how proud I am of the over 75,000 NISD students who participate each year in the arts in our schools.  I am also very thankful that we work in a district which, in spite of budget concerns, continues to emphasize arts education for our students.  Thanks to the NISD Fine Arts Department and our Council of PTAs for working to teach and recognize outstanding NISD artists!

I read the other day an article complaining, yet again, that the cost of education continues to rise, but that the results are not rising as fast.  I’ve talked about both aspects of that myth in the past, but want to give you another statistic on the cost to educate a child.  I went to the TEA website so I could get an unbiased source and found our total expenditures for the current school year and divided that figure by the number of students enrolled and by the seven hours per day that we offer direct instruction.  What I found was that, in NISD, it costs $6.55 per student per hour to be educated. 

However, that number excludes the things we do outside of that seven hours per day.  In other words, it ignores the value of transporting students or feeding them a meal(s).  It also assumes that our students are not involved in tutoring or anything else they choose to do outside of the regular school day like co- or extra-curricular activities.  That only drives cost per hour down even further.

In Northside and in districts all across our state we are providing children the opportunity for a bright future.  We inspire lifelong learning.  We allow for the continuation of our democracy – all at a cost of less than $7 per hour per child.  That sounds like a great value to me!

Finally, I want to advertise one more time the Save Texas Schools rally in Austin on Saturday, April 18.  This will be a great opportunity for educators to speak out about their priorities and concerns.  Information about the rally and Save Texas Schools can be found at: http://savetxschools.org/

 Have a great week!