Congratulations. We have reached the end of another school year – and it’s been quite a year. We smoothly inaugurated the first EOC and STAAR testing, we’ve continued to grow our Gold School Programs and Schools of Choice, and we launched a District-wide campaign to grow our Parent Portal (increasing participation to almost 19,000 parents.)
We’ve also looked unflinchingly at staffing and scheduling to make changes that work for our students.
But, as you know, our work doesn’t stop with the conclusion of the traditional school calendar. In fact, over the next days and weeks, we’ll be working hard to get ready for fall.
This has been a tough year as the District has met the challenge of the state funding crisis. Last week I talked about the layoffs. We are assisting those who have been laid-off to find employment through counseling, through consultation with the Texas Workforce Commission and by inviting those
employees to attend our annual Senior Hiring Fair on June 7.
It’s unfortunate that we find ourselves in this budget crisis, but we feel good about the fact that we have been able to save classroom teacher jobs. More importantly, we’ve been able to do what’s right for kids. That’s our mission. And, our “singleness of purpose” has defined all of our actions as we meet this challenge, with focus and our eye on the ball.
We have implemented staffing ratios on every campus and identified teachers who will be reassigned to schools where they are most needed and can be effective in raising the academic success of our children. Part of that strategy may include breaking down class sizes so teachers may provide intensive instruction in our most challenged areas. Another way in which they will be utilized is in making sure quality learning continues even when a regular teacher is absent.
We hope to eventually place all of these teachers in permanent positions through attrition and identifying job openings that match their expertise.
I’m looking forward to next year with great anticipation. Here is a preview of what to expect:
- We’ll maintain our vigilance in monitoring the budget and wisely using every penny to support classroom learning.
- We’ll continue the great work that has begun using scheduling and staffing ratios to make sure there is equity on all of our campuses.
- Over the next few months, we’ll implement any needed changes that are found through our curriculum audit, fine-tuning our Curriculum Frameworks.
- And, simultaneously, we will launch our Learning Networks and our Community Network to ensure our campuses have everything they need when they need it.
As we end this school year, I want to emphasize how much I appreciate how hard our teachers have worked. In fact, I want to applaud everyone who works here – and their commitment to the success of our kids.
I believe we are on the right path – and I am grateful for all of you who are accompanying us on this journey. Have a great summer!
Walter D. Dansby
Fort Worth ISD Superintendent