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The Scoop from the Supe (11/17/2021)

Wednesday, November 17, 2021

Hello again, Fort Bend ISD Parents, Staff and Students, 

I’m back with another “Scoop from the Supe” community letter.

After much consideration, our Board voted to keep masks optional and we strongly urge students, staff, parents and visitors to wear them. In Fort Bend ISD our focus is on learning loss, and the current processes that we have in place have been successful. We will continue to monitor data daily.

Which School Calendar Do You Prefer?

The District wants feedback on which 2022-23 school calendar our community prefers. Our survey is now open. There are three options to consider. The survey closes at 11:59 p.m. on Sunday, November 28, 2021. The calendar committee will review the results of the survey, then Administration will recommend a final calendar for Board consideration in January 2022. You can tell us what you think by completing the calendar options survey.

Phase 2 of Sugar Land 95 Memorialization Project is Approved

Monday night the FBISD Board of Trustees unanimously approved the contract I told you about last week with MASS Design Group which will plan an outdoor learning space and revitalized cemetery area to further memorialize the Sugar Land 95. The $170,000 contract for the project at Bullhead Camp Cemetery at the James Reese Career and Technical Center will be funded through the 2014 bond package. The design process will include several public hearings to foster community engagement.

The Sugar Land 95 is the collective name given to persons whose remains were discovered during construction of the Reese Center in 2018. Research has concluded the individuals buried there were African American victims of the state-sanctioned convict leasing system which existed after the emancipation of slaves in the United States. Many of these men had been sentenced to unjust, lengthy prison terms and were made to work under inhumane conditions.

MASS Design is an assembly of architects, engineers, writers, and researchers representing 20 countries across the globe. Their belief that, “Design is never neutral. It either hurts or heals.” And their mission to build and advocate for architecture that promotes justice and human dignity, makes them a worthy partner to further the memorialization of the Sugar Land 95 and the education of our students and community about this solemn chapter in history. 

New Turf for Hall Stadium

I am pleased to report that Hall Stadium is getting new turf and a new track. It is much needed, especially since the facility has served as the District’s only stadium with Mercer undergoing extensive renovations. Hall Stadium is a multipurpose facility that serves more than our athletic programs. It was the site of this year’s band night in our District, UIL band competition, and numerous high school marching band rehearsals. 

The Hall Stadium improvements had been identified as a need under the 2017 Facilities Assessment and listed under the 2018 Bond Capital Plan, but due to budgetary constraints, they were not included in Phase 1 of the bond package. The District has received numerous complaints about the condition of the field and the track and emergency repairs have become repetitive and constant.

Our Facilities and Athletics departments requested that Hall Stadium be added back to the 2018 Bond package once it was determined the original budget could support the additional cost. Subsequently, our Board voted unanimously on Monday to approve the repairs with the amount not to exceed $1.2 million. The original bond package also includes turf and athletic upgrades at 25 campuses. Staff will now begin working on the design and plans for the Hall Stadium upgrades.

Fall National Signing Day

I want to extend a hearty CONGRATULATIONS! to our student-athletes who signed official letters of intent last week, declaring the colleges and universities where they will continue their education and athletic careers. Dozens of Fort Bend ISD students declared their college choice and we applaud them and their parents, coaches and teachers. Students who signed, participate in sports ranging from baseball to swimming to lacrosse -everything except football. Those student-athletes will sign their letters of intent in February.

And did you know that three of our high school teams have advanced to the State Playoffs! They are Hightower (5A) and Ridge Point (6A) high school football teams and Ridge Point’s volleyball team! They all play this Friday, November 19. Go Hurricanes! Go Panthers!

Let me also say how proud I am of our Austin and Clements high school marching bands. Both advanced to the recent UIL 6A State Marching Band Championship. They were two of four bands that advanced from the Area E marching band contest. Outstanding!

I hope you all enjoy a restful, safe break next week and have a wonderful Thanksgiving with your family and friends. I am grateful for all of you in the FBISD community.

Sincerely,

Dr. Christie Whitbeck
Fort Bend ISD Superintendent