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WATCH or READ: Checking In with Charles (10/21/2020)

 

Fort Bend ISD is continuing to keep our Board and our community updated on the District’s response to COVID, and our commitment to providing a robust instructional program under the current circumstances. While each one of our board meetings includes important conversations about our educational program, we also take time to recognize and celebrate the accomplishments of our students and staff.

During the October business meeting, held Monday, our Board of Trustees honored several groups – including the Dulles High School orchestra for being awarded second place in the American Prize: Ernst Bacon Memorial Award. We also recognized five Fort Bend ISD orchestras for receiving national recognition as winners in the 2020 Mark of Excellence Project.

The Dulles High School Student Council was honored for receiving several 2019-20 awards from the Texas Association of Student Councils, and the Fort Bend ISD Communications Department earned several awards in the 2020 National School Public Relations Association Awards.

Board members also honored a Clements High School teacher for being chosen as the Region 4 Secondary Teacher of the Year, and they recognized fellow trustee, Jim Rice, who was recently named President of the Texas Association of School Boards. By participating in TASB, our Board Members are serving students not only in Fort Bend ISD but also the state of Texas, and we can all agree that the important role of public education has never been more apparent than it is now.

During Monday’s meeting, we shared a comprehensive update on our efforts to support student achievement while running dual learning models, including research-based system strategies to support student achievement such as curriculum design, formative assessment, academic interventions, monitoring protocols, and social emotional supports.

Earlier this week, I shared a written message with our FBISD community about the journey that has brought us here, and we continued that discussion Monday. We know that there is not one right solution to navigate through this pandemic, and there have been a variety of approaches deployed in the state and nation.

In Fort Bend ISD, we have a solid directional system in our Board-adopted strategic framework – our mission, vision, and profile of a graduate. In our presentation to the Board, we shared an update on this work including our plans to work with our campus administrators and teachers to monitor student progress; especially, because the data that we have used in the past may not be available.

We will continue to carefully monitor student growth so that we can adjust our curriculum as needed, and we are also carefully reviewing our efforts to support our students’ social and emotional needs including mental health supports that are more critical than ever.

We invite you to watch the full presentation online so that you can better understand exactly what we are facing, and how we are working together with our Board to ensure we are delivering a high-quality education while supporting our staff and students’ health and well-being.

You can also learn more about the Board’s legislative priorities in advance of the 87th Legislative Session, which focus on providing our students more school choice opportunities encompassing the many things we have learned about virtual learning during our response to COVID. Despite challenges, many students have benefited and thrived from the online learning experience. A few key changes to the State’s school funding system would enable FBISD to design more full-time or part-time virtual learning experiences to benefit our students. Education is not a one size fits all endeavor, and it should not be funded as such.

Before I go, I want to invite you to visit the Fort Bend ISD website to learn more about the District’s acceptance into the 2020-21 incubator path of the Microsoft Showcase School Program. This acceptance will begin a multi-year journey that could result in a new first of its kind stem program in Fort Bend ISD.

We are proud to be innovators in Fort Bend ISD and look forward to partnering with Microsoft and our community as we plan toward the future.

In closing, I want to thank you again for your continued support. This fall has been unlike any other, and I know our students, staff and parents are looking forward to the upcoming school holiday on October 30. We are calling it a Work-Free Weekend because we know that a three-day weekend has never been more important to our staff, or well-deserved.

Until then, we continue to put our best foot forward each day. We are doing everything we can to support our students and staff, and we can’t do it without you.