Tomorrow, over 75,000 students will enter classrooms and hallways in Fort Bend ISD. They will be filled with hope and renewed aspirations, ready to continue their educational journey designed to inspire them and equip them for futures beyond what they can imagine.
Our teachers, administrators and other staff members are dedicated to their success, and they, too, are excited for another year of teaching and learning. They have spent the past few weeks revisiting our Board-adopted guiding documents, including our Mission, Vision, Core Beliefs and Commitments, and Profile of a Graduate, all of which outline our work and our commitment to the community: the “why” what we do. And of equal importance, we have worked to empower our teachers to bring the fun and joy of learning into their classrooms each day: the “how” of what we do.
Those of you who have students returning to FBISD have heard me reference the Profile of a Graduate. It was developed with community collaboration during the last school year and adopted by the Board of Trustees in January. This profile defines the skills and attributes that a Fort Bend ISD graduate should possess upon graduation from an FBISD school – the things we want them to know and be able to do. In addition to having a rigorous academic foundation and strong character, we are striving to ensure our graduates are equipped with skills for life, servant leaders, effective communicators, critical thinkers, compassionate citizens, collaborative team members, and life-long learners.
Today, as I think ahead to our work together, the importance of these attributes are weighing heavily on my heart due to recent events in our nation. Our children are seeing images that show polarization and division, so it is more important than ever that they see us model unity. As one collaborative community, we are united in our commitment to education, to providing a safe and supportive learning environment for our students, and to their growth as future professionals and community leaders.
Over the last few weeks, I have witnessed acts of unity firsthand, especially among the students and staff members of Marshall and Willowridge High Schools, and community members who support them. As you may know, due to an extensive mold remediation process that continues at WHS, their approximately 1,460 students and staff members will begin the school year at Marshall High School. It is a challenging and unique situation, but I have been inspired by the way our students, staff and community members have responded and come together to offer support, financial assistance, and for the WHS students and staff, a warm welcome. It is not often that you see friendly rivals standing together and cheering each other on. We are seeing that right now. Moreover, it would not be possible without unwavering support from our collaborative community that includes the school, parents, leaders of our faith communities, elected officials and countless other members of our community working together. It takes all of us, and I am thankful for this partnership each day.
As we begin the school year, I ask you to join us in ensuring a safe and supportive learning environment by speaking to your child about the importance of character and respect for others – even when they have differing viewpoints. We are blessed to live in a nation where we can stand together, even when differences exist. We are fortunate to live in one of the most diverse communities in the nation. That means each day, we have the ability to pave the way for future generations and become a model for the rest of our state and nation.
As I begin my fifth year as superintendent of Fort Bend ISD, I want you to know that I feel exceptionally blessed to work in a community that values education, and that is filled with people who are willing to step up and help support our students. I am confident that is going to be an outstanding school year! And, on behalf of the entire team in Fort Bend ISD, I want you to know that we look forward to welcoming your students tomorrow, and to working with them – and with you – during the year ahead!