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.

October 15, 2018  

Good morning!  It is with great pleasure and pride that I inform you that Northside had a sweep of the annual ESC-20 Bilingual Teacher of the Year, ESL Teacher of the Year, and Administrator of the Year.  All three winners are from NISD!  Each honoree will be recognized at the upcoming 2018 ESC-20 World Language Conference.  Thanks not only to these talented folks, but to everyone who works with bilingual and ESL students in Northside!  The winners are:  

Bilingual Teacher of the Year

Katherine Bolanos from Cole Elementary School

ESL Teacher of the Year

Kristin Bunjes from Pat Neff Middle School

Administrator of the Year

Principal Lou Medina from Stinson Middle School

Thanks to the almost 4,000 donors who participated in the Northside Education Foundation (NEF) Pledge Drive and contributed just over $195,000!  A special thanks to the campus and department campaign ambassadors.  The Foundation will use these funds to award grants back to you.  Click here for photos of NEF's recent Prize Patrol.  For NEF grant application information, click here.

You may have seen an article in the Express News last week that talked about a meeting some of our Board members and I had with NEISD leaders and the editorial board.  We went to ask for the paper to help us start a community conversation about the pace of charter school expansion and how it is impacting the ability of school districts, that serve the vast majority of San Antonio kids, to serve those students and families well.  We tried to be clear that the purpose of the meeting was not to bash the work of charters or to talk about how we are superior, but rather to lay out an economic argument about how

this issue is negatively impacting the majority of Bexar County students.

What happens when charters are allowed to expand rapidly, as has been going on in Bexar County for many years, is the majority of the students they attract come from school districts.  This is to be expected given that the vast majority of students are in neighborhood schools to begin with.  When students leave ISD schools in uneven numbers and across grades and wide areas of geography, school districts lose revenue immediately, but expenses don’t decline.  For instance, if we have four third grade classrooms in a particular school and we lose six students, we still need four third grade teachers.  We also are still going to need custodians to clean the building, bus drivers to run routes, the nurse, etc.  I could go on and on with examples, but you get my point.

What is going on in our state and city/county is that we are running two parallel systems of public education.  We are building new seats for public schools at a pace that is much greater than the actual growth of school-aged students.  Having more buildings and staff to educate the same number of students does not seem to be a financially efficient way to operate.  The article can be found at: https://www.expressnews.com/Northside-North-East-ISD

Finally, the month of October is designated National Principals Month to celebrate the work of these committed campus leaders.  We all know that talented teachers most directly impact student success.  However, I know all of us agree that high quality, hard working administrators make the environment for great classroom experiences possible.  From facility management to instructional leadership; from evaluating staff to counseling troubled students our principals do it all.  To do the job well requires the willingness to advocate for teachers and students while holding everyone associated with the campus to high expectations.  Thanks to our principals for your work!

Have a great week!