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 22, 2017|
Good morning! I’d like to begin with some great news. Last week we announced that Jones MS won a grant from USAA to do a deep dive into science, technology, engineering and math (STEM) learning on the campus over the next three years. As you know, we offer lots of courses and after-school opportunities around STEM. However, the training that Jones staff will get will enable us to really expand STEM throughout the MS curriculum. With the Jay Science and Engineering Academy in the feeder pattern, I see some great opportunities for NISD kids on the horizon. Thanks to Principal Michella Wheat and her staff for their hard work in the Jones community and thanks to USAA for their generous donation. Along the lines of great news, the first ever JROTC Fitness Challenge Championship was held this past weekend and Brennan HS was named the National Champions. Congratulations Brennan JROTC!
Also last week, several NISD schools attended the annual Communities In Schools (CIS) luncheon. CIS is an organization that puts at-risk students and families in touch with a caring adult housed in our building. This program has proven across the nation, and in NISD, to improve academic performance, increase attendance and positively impact graduation rate. We are blessed to have CIS in this community and our Board’s support in funding this very successful program.
I got to stop by one day of the annual Mentathlon event for our 7th grade gifted and talented students. These really bright students compete in cross-school teams to solve a variety of mental challenges. I’ll just say that the kids solved a whole lot more of the puzzles than I did J Thanks to all of our GT teachers and volunteers for a great event!
Last weekend, Construction Careers Academy had its annual Parade of Homes. This year students showcased tiny homes with an international theme. 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 fairly 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:
We recently honored those who have been with Northside for a milestone number of years as well as retirees. The 20, 30, 35, 40, 45 and, yes, one 50 year pin recipients have a total of 6,300 years of service to NISD. The retirees add another 5,100 years of service to NISD kids. What an honor it was to recognize these long-serving employees. As we often get to say, in Northside, it’s not about programs, it’s about people.
On Thursday of this week, May 25, from 5:30-8 p.m. we will hold the Kelly Smith Expo of Engaged Learning at the Sports Gym. This annual event started as a way to showcase the effective use of technology, but has been transformed into a way for teachers and students to show off highly engaging projects and lessons of any kind. This is one of my favorite events of the year – to see hundreds of our kids so excited about what they are learning. For anyone interested in engagement in the classroom this is a ‘must see’ event!
Finally, I hope you have a good Memorial Day weekend. There are still many Americans for whom Memorial Day is particularly poignant. One of my favorite quotes about the meaning of the holiday is by John F. Kennedy. He said, “Let every nation know, whether it wishes us well or ill, that we shall pay any price, bear any burden, meet any hardship, support any friend, oppose any foe to assure the survival and the success of liberty.” Those who preserve this liberty on our behalf (whether they died in the service of these values or are a family member who lost a loved one) deserve our supreme gratitude.
Have a great week!