Spring Forums Give Voice
Posted by Xavier De La Torre at 3/13/2012 7:00:00 AM
Spring 2012 Public Forums
I would first like to thank the parents, employees and other members of the community who were able to join us at the recent Public Forums held throughout the District. These events are specifically designed to collect feedback and our community’s perspective on ideas or proposals being considered. With this information, we have the opportunity to adapt and adjust or move forward as planned.
In this round of meetings, we learned a lot about our community’s current view of the District. I believe that our community is generally satisfied with the leadership and student-centered focus that the Board of Trustees, the administration, and the teachers and staff in our schools demonstrate daily.
However, I would like to see increased participation at these community events. We must continue to explore ways to improve community engagement, specifically in anticipation of the critical need to help parents understand all of the implications tied to Texas’ new STAAR/EOC accountability system. I invite all parents to be actively engaged in their children’s education.
It was a pleasure meeting the parents and community members who attended our Public Forums. Here are highlights of the items discussed at the forums:
· The 2012-13 School Calendar was well received and enthusiastically supported by all parties in attendance.
· The update on Bond 2011 and our “Promises Made, Promises Kept” campaign was also well received. Our community seems to be positively supporting our decisions and progress to date. And, our stakeholders seem to understand and support our strategic decision to move forward quickly in an effort to capitalize on the favorable pricing generated by the weak economy.
· Those in attendance were also excited and supportive of the Capital Improvements Projects initiative. Thank you to those individuals who have shown their enthusiasm for this initiative.
· Our principals have clearly done an outstanding job of laying the groundwork for our migration from the current block schedule to the traditional schedule. Their hard work certainly will help facilitate the transition to the new schedule.
· Information around the STAAR/EOC system was certainly something that alarmed most individuals in attendance. It was very evident that most parents do not fully understand the implications associated with the new accountability system and especially the 15 percent requirement. However, we shared information and assured parents that our faculty, staff and administration are available to answer questions and discuss concerns. We will also seek additional opportunities to share this critical information with impacted students and their parents.
· The boundary line adjustment and the reconstitution of three PK-8 schools next fall was discussed at the Public Forum held at El Dorado High School. The topic raised some valid concerns surrounding the impact to parents and a significant investment by the District needed to address the primary concern of pedestrian safety.
‘The Hambric Plan’
With strong opinions on both sides of the issue displayed by parents and impacted faculties, and the associated costs to the District, we are recommending that the boundary adjustments and grade reconfiguration of Jane A. Hambric, Bill Sybert, and Paso Del Norte schools not be pursued at this time. We do plan to continue with the remaining elements of the plan, including the slight adjustment to the Dr. Sue Shook/Loma Verde boundaries.
With the enthusiasm and support shown for the other items discussed, we will continue to move forward as planned.
Thank you, SISD community
I also want to take this opportunity to thank all the teachers, support staff, their families, and the community for having embraced my family and for having entrusted me to lead the Socorro Independent School District on your behalf. Leaving this great place will be difficult and I will miss you all.
Serving as the superintendent of schools for the District over the past three years truly has been the most rewarding and fulfilling experience of my professional career. With everyone’s help, we have accomplished so much over the past three years.
I am grateful to the Board of Trustees who consistently provided extraordinary leadership, counsel, and support during my tenure. They are a dedicated and caring group of individuals who should serve as a model for other governance teams. I will miss the unparalleled support and expertise that I received from my Cabinet and District Leadership Team. I am genuinely convinced that the Socorro Independent School District has the greatest principals and teachers in Texas.