A year of continued growth, continued success
NISD named "Largest Recognized School District in Texas!"
As unprecedented enrollment growth showed no signs of slowing down, Northside continued to garner achievements and accolades in 2006. Northside moved from the sixth to fifth largest school district in the state with a total enrollment of 81,811 students. And, when the Texas Education Agency announced accountability ratings, Northside became the largest district in the state to earn a Recognized rating. Considering the great diversity and challenges NISD faces, this singular accomplishment is huge.
New schools and facilities are investments in community
In 2006, Northside opened four new elementary schools—Fisher, Mead, Murnin and Wanke—all named for beloved and long-time educators in the District. The state-of-the-art Northside Natatorium, the District's second aquatics facility, also opened in the Dub Farris Athletic Complex on Loop 1604, and Gustafson Stadium, located in the Hardin Athletic Complex on Loop 410, was rededicated after a massive renovation.
Next multi-million dollar bond issue takes shape
To keep up with the deluge of new students, preparations for School Bond 2007 took shape. A Citizens' Bond Committee was appointed to study the needs of the District—now growing by roughly 4,000 students a year—and to make a recommendation to the Board of Trustees for a May 2007 bond election. The School Board is expected to take action in January 2007.
Northside leaders honored at state level
Northside leaders and educators continued to make a statewide impact in 2006. Superintendent John Folks was named the Region 20 Superintendent of the Year by an Education Service Center selection committee. He went on to be named one of five finalists in the state for Superintendent of the Year in the annual competition sponsored by the Texas Association of School Boards.
In addition, Erika Foerster at Jones Middle School was named Middle School Principal of the Year, and Rob Fields at Stevens High School was named High School Assistant Principal of the Year by the Texas Association of Secondary School Principals.
One of the top highlights of the year came at the Texas Association of School Boards/Texas Association of School Administrators annual convention in Houston. Because longtime Northside Trustee Katie Reed was the outgoing TASB president, Northside had the opportunity to showcase itself with a 30-minute "spectacular" performed in front of thousands of school trustees and administrators from across the state. About 220 fine arts students from across the District interwove song, dance, music and the spoken word to tell the story of Northside. The high-energy, fast-paced production featured the six Pillars of Characters, the foundation of Northside's character building curriculum.
Business Careers HS becomes first wireless high school
Business Careers High School became the first high school in Bexar County to fully implement a school-wide computing initiative by putting a laptop computer in the hands of every student and teacher—and developing a curriculum to support the technology.
Other accomplishments included the launch of Inside Northside Radio, which joined Inside Northside Video Magazine and Inside Northside Weekly as yet another means to communicate with students, employees, parents and residents of the District.
NISD approves biggest property tax cut in Bexar County
Statewide, the funding of public education took center stage when the Texas Legislature, meeting in a special session, passed House Bill 1, a sweeping law that issued mandates on property taxes, curriculum and employee salaries. The law required all Texas school districts to lower property tax rates, but because of rising property appraisals, many homeowners across the state did not see a significant reduction in property taxes in 2006.
However, the Northside Board of Trustees was able to approve the largest property tax rate decrease among San Antonio area districts. Northside trustees also approved a 5 percent raise for all teachers, counselors, librarians and nurses in addition to the $2,000 pay raise funded by the state through House Bill 1.
Four years of math and science is law
The law also required all high school students, starting with ninth graders in the 2007-08 school year, to graduate with four credits of math and four credits of science. In addition, House Bill 1 earmarked funding for a "high school allotment" to help school districts improve graduation rates, increase participation in Advanced Placement courses and increase college readiness.