Thanksgiving has always been a time to stop, take stock and express gratitude for our blessings. We have quite a lot for which to be thankful.
Despite our continued state funding crisis and its $50M impact on our District, we refuse to be daunted. We are challenged to do more with fewer resources, which is resulting in ever greater efficiency. And, we’re seeing evidence that this is all being accomplished as we work together with a Singleness of Purpose.
For instance, in the first three months of the 2012-13 school year, this District recorded the lowest number of teacher absences we’ve seen in 9 years.
That’s good news for our students who depend on all of us being here every day to direct their learning.
But, that’s not all. You are also all being very mindful of our resources and you are successfully supporting energy-saving strategies. We reduced our Districts’ energy bill last year by $4.4 Million – even though we added four additional campuses. Any dollar we save in that energy bill can and will be used somewhere else.
Finally, your leadership is inspiring our parents to partner with us in new and exciting ways. Last year at this time, we only had a handful of parents using our online website for grades and attendance, Parent Portal. As of this week, there are more than 20,000 parents on the Parent Portal. We also have had a record number of parents take the Parent Survey online this year.
We are moving closer to achieving our objectives of academic achievement, effectiveness and efficiency, and parent and community involvement. But, in the
weeks and months ahead, we’re going to look at these strategic goals in new and interesting ways. You’ll be hearing much more about how our District is adopting a model of continuous improvement. We will, as we have in the past, utilize strategic
planning. But, it won’t be a once or even twice a year exercise. Instead, it will be a roadmap that we use daily to make sure we are on track in everything we do.
Next week I hope all of you are able to spend quality time with family and friends, enjoying the bounty of a Thanksgiving meal and perhaps watching a little football. And, speaking of football, it’s my pleasure to announce that the Fort Worth ISD will play a major role in the 2012 Fort Worth Armed Forces Bowl. Our JROTC students will present the colors during the annual Armed Forces Bowl luncheon. We’ll have a display set up during the pre-game festivities -- and many of our JROTC and JCC cadets will be on hand to welcome fans and distribute programs. A Fort Worth ISD JROTC drill team will perform on the field just before the two teams come out. And,
we’ll show a short video about our Gold Seal Programs of Choice and Schools of Choice on the big screen at Amon Carter Stadium during the game itself. Our participation in the Armed Forces Bowl celebration is yet another example of how we are continuing our drive toward a Singleness of Purpose – being a part of our greater community and using major events like this to tell our story.
I’m excited about what the future holds for all of us. But, I’m equally grateful that I’m blessed to work alongside such dedicated colleagues. Your commitment to your students and to the District inspires me. Thank you.
Have a wonderful Thanksgiving.
Fort Worth ISD Superintendent