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.
|June 3, 2019|
Good morning! I was able to attend the 7th grade Gifted and Talented Mentathlon event a couple of weeks ago. Thanks to our GT teachers for putting on this really stimulating experience for our kids. I have to say that some of the challenges were a bit over my head () I really appreciate the level of rigor I see in classrooms and other venues all around Northside; for all of our kids. Thank you!
As you know, the legislature has recently adjourned. We have been spending quite a bit of time trying to understand what was passed. HB 3 includes a component that provides for a mandatory pay increase for some employees. That increase for teachers has been advertised with some large numbers. It is becoming more clear to me that those numbers could only be generated by giving the raise to a very small group of employees. As we have done in years past, we will make every attempt to give a broad based general increase. We really believe that every group of employees deserves recognition with regard to compensation. I wish I could tell you now what that increase will look like, but we need to study the law more and get guidance from state agencies before we are ready to advertise that. We will put out information over the summer as decision are made.
As you read summaries of the session in the coming days, please keep in mind that educators, both retired and active, are a large and powerful voting block. We must vote in 2020 when we will again have the opportunity to elect people who understand and care about public schools. Both parties will be particularly focused on the 2020 elections as those in power in the 2021 legislative session will lead redistricting efforts after the 2020 census.
As I look back on the school year it has been one filled with the pride of accomplishment for NISD students and staff. I’ll share many examples of our success at convocations in August, but just to give a few, this year’s graduating class earned a combined $194 million in college scholarships! This year we were named one of the best places to work as well as
one of the best places for music education in the entire nation. We have a teacher who was named one of the top veteran educators in our state. We have one of the narrowest achievement gaps with regard to race and ethnicity for any large district in the country. We keep on making progress on many fronts and continue to enjoy the support of our community. This continued success and the positive reputation it contributes to is key to why NISD is considered a leader across Texas. Further, I believe that our trajectory continues to point upward. We have not yet reached our full potential and as long as we are willing to be reflective about our practice and look for opportunities we will continue to improve.
Looking forward to next year, we will continue to focus on holding ourselves accountable for high standards in all areas – including those that aren’t represented in the state’s accountability system. I look forward to more enrichment in our elementary grades – both during and outside of the school day.
I’m also excite about our continued progress in educating the whole child. From support systems like Northside Threads and partnerships with the Food Bank to proactive interventions like Young Gentlemen/Young Ladies organizations, we are doing the right work for sure.
Personally, it has been my honor and pleasure to serve as your superintendent for another year and I look forward to many more years with Northside. I want to thank all of you for your work and advocacy on behalf of our organization and our very important clients – our children. I hope that the coming months allow you to slow down a little and enjoy the things that make you the happiest. For those who work through the summer – thank you. Keeping our buildings safe and clean is year around work. This will be the last issue of Woods’ Weekly for the school year –have a great week and enjoy your summer!