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.

August 19, 2019  

Good morning and welcome back to the 2019-20 school year! I hope that you had a wonderful summer. Whether you worked during most of it or not, I sincerely hope you got in some fun. It has been a busy, productive summer in Northside. By the time school begins next week we will have hired almost 600 teachers and filled many other important positions. In addition, we are wrapping up tens of millions of dollars in construction projects.

If you are new to NISD, we welcome you. As you will hear and read in the coming weeks, we are a large system, but we strive to counter that fact with how we treat each other, our students and their parents. We believe that this is a great place to live, work and go to school and that is why Northside is considered the destination district for so many.

Each year in this first edition of Woods’ Weekly, I report on our progress on the coming year’s budget. I am proud of the operating budget we are able to recommend as it adds teachers to accommodate growth (especially in Pre-K) and other staff to do essential work. The budget also improves our compensation package by an average of over four percent. This will happen, along with dozens of construction and renovation projects at our schools without a tax increase – for the ninth year in a row. Many thanks to our Board for their consideration and support and for the work of our Business & Finance Department!

Regarding the construction budget, as the year begins we will continue the new school and renovation work that was promised in Bond 2018. I look forward to seeing work on security lobbies at our elementary schools, the start of our next middle and high school as well as the new law and medical service magnet school, our first ever middle school magnet program and dozens of other projects that will enhance the experience of our employees and the learning environment for our students.

Right at the end of the last school year, the Texas legislature adjourned after completing significant work that impacts schools. I’ll have much more to


say about the session, but there is no doubt that the passage of House Bill 3 (HB 3) will have broad and long-lasting impacts on all Texas public schools. As you probably know, HB 3 mandated some increases in compensation for school employees. We leveraged those funds to afford the largest pay increase we have been able to provide our employees in many years.  The bill also mandates tax relief and, in fact, the property tax rate in NISD will drop by seven cents in the 2019-20 school year.

At convocations this week I have the pleasure to give several examples of stories that illustrate what we are about in Northside. All of us are witness to great stories that illustrate the hash tag #NISDLegends. Think of the people you have worked with who were legendary for their impact on students and their community. More importantly, who will consider you a legend this year?

Throughout the year we will underscore positive impacts for NISD students and families such as saving our families millions of dollars in college costs, having PTAs recognized for national excellence and constantly expanding access to and success in our various advanced course offerings. We will highlight achievement in academics and extracurricular activities and how we are closing the gaps for students who struggle. We will showcase the generosity and caring of our students and staff. We will show how NISD students leave our schools ready for college, career and military service. We will demonstrate strong financial performance.

Proudly, we will show NISD teachers who are state

award winners and certainly qualify as #NISDLegends. However, the best evidence that demonstrates what we are about is the willingness and capacity to constantly improve. This is a hallmark of any great organization and we all have to strive to be better tomorrow than we are today in everything we do. In Northside, continuous improvement is a non-negotiable.

These are just some of the many, many reasons I am honored to be a part of Northside ISD. We will talk about more of those reasons throughout the year.

Have a great start to the school year!