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.

May 26, 2015     

Good morning!  I hope you had a wonderful Memorial Day weekend.  As you probably saw, for some in our area the much needed rain came too quickly and caused heartache and even tragedy.  Please keep those impacted by the severe weather in your thoughts and prayers.

Recently we held our annual Solar Car races.  While it was too cloudy to run on solar cells, the battery backups were employed to great success.  Almost 1,000 students participated in this year’s races and, as usual, we have our Elementary Science folks under the leadership of Nancy Kreth as well as Board President Bobby Blount to thank for a great day of racing.  More information about the event can be found at: http://www.nisd.net/news/articles/54284

On the same day as the Solar Car event, the Construction Careers Academy had its second Parade of Homes.  This year students showcased homes made from shipping containers.  I was able to judge the homes and the quality of construction is amazing.  Even more impressive was listening to the students who had designed and built the homes talk about their work.  We are sometimes criticized for not teaching enough critical thinking.  This was an incredible example of students’ abilities to think critically and apply what they learned in the classroom to real world situations.  Thanks to Principal Phil Edge and the entire staff at CCA for their continued excellence in teaching our students about the construction industry.  If you did not see the homes, more information can be found at:

The latest edition of Lessons Magazine will soon be mailed to all addresses in NISD.  However, you can get an advance copy here: http://bit.ly/1KoNEKG  In Lessons, you'll read about the enrollment cap at Taft High School and a report on various construction projects including new schools.  Plus, you'll meet NISD's newly elected Trustees and NISD's outstanding business and community partners.  Enjoy Lessons and share the link with friends and family members.

As of last Friday, 2099 employees have taken the Health, Wellness and Insurance Survey.  I've reviewed the preliminary results and the findings are quite interesting.  All employees are encouraged to participate.  The survey will close Friday, May 29 at 5:00 p.m.  Let your opinion be known.

One of our Oasis tutors shared a note he received from a teacher recently.  The email read:  “I have exciting news for you!  Robert passed his 1st Math CDB this year with a 76!!!  I am so proud of him!  On the other Math CDB's this year he would circle answers and make up work to be done.  Today he actually showed real work and did awesome!  I want to thank you again for taking the time to care about him.  He really loves you.  His face lights up when he sees you each week.  You Rock!!!”

What a fantastic acknowledgement by one of our staff members of the help one of our students received from a volunteer.  The tutor will definitely be back next year to work with Robert.  We all know it takes an entire community caring about students to make a successful school experience.  It’s exactly experiences like this I wish some in Austin could see more often.  Thanks to our Oasis tutors and for all of the other volunteers who positively impact our students every day.  We would not be as successful as we are without them. 

I came across a YouTube video that I think explains our work well – especially this time of year.  While my 11 year old says everyone on the planet has seen this video (and he thinks it’s fake) I thought I’d take the risk and send it to you anyway.  Even if it is a fake it makes my point.  Once you watch the video https://www.youtube.com/watch=UMh you’ll recognize the challenge of keeping a lot of balls in the air at the same time.  This is a busy time, but an exciting one as well.  Starting next week, over 6,400 Northside ISD seniors will walk the stage and graduate in 12 ceremonies.  This is something for us all to be proud of – this is an accomplishment for students, families and for all of us as well.

Have a great week!