Welcome to a brand new school year. We hope you had a fun and relaxing summer.
My name is Dr.Margaret Stroud and I am pleased to serve as interim superintendent for The Varnett Public School. I am excited about welcoming you and your children to our very accomplished charter school. I look forward to a fun and productive school year and we have some exciting changes headed your way.
In being out front with new and improved ways of learning, Varnett is replacing math and science textbooks with web-based, interactive instruction for kindergarten through 5th grade students. Kindergarten, first and second graders will be equipped with Kindle Fire tablets and third, fourth and fifth graders will be using netbooks in the classrooms.
These tools open up a seemingly infinite number of possibilities for teaching and learning in both English and Spanish. The web-based materials will include everything that can be found in textbooks, plus enhancements such as interactive instruction, animation, apps for supplemental learning, instructional links and much more. Teachers, on the other hand, will be able to access stored lesson plans, daily teaching guidelines, educational resources by grade level and flexible instruction that meets the needs of individual students. The web-based curriculum will mirror the Texas Essential Knowledge and Skills standards for what students should know and be able to do. It also is in line with the Stanford 10 testing for kindergarten through second grade students and the State of Texas Assessments of Academic Readiness (STAAR) testing requirements for third through fifth graders.
Not to be outdone, our PreK students this year will be working with Kindles for the first time. We want to assure you that we are committed to keeping up with the latest technological advances (we already use interactive Promethean boards and tables) to enhance the flexibility of student learning in a rapidly changing environment.
On another important subject, please note that the English and Spanish versions of the Parent Handbook this year will be available only on line. Go to the home page of our website, varnett.org, click on “About Us” and scroll down to access these documents, as well as the Employee Handbook and the Crisis Management Procedures Handbook.
We encourage you to thoroughly read the handbooks because they contain crucial information on matters that affect you and your children. For example, school begins PROMPTLY at 8 a.m. The front doors will be closed between 8 a.m. and 8:30 a.m. to allow students and staff to conduct morning announcements, pledges and other important activities. Students will not be released between 2 p.m. and 3 p.m. No parents will be allowed to pick up their children during this time period unless they are called by the school because of an emergency situation involving your children. All students must be picked up from school no later than 3:15 p.m. Monday through Friday. If you arrive at our campus after 3:15 p.m. and you have not spoken to a campus director, your child may be taken to the nearest police station and a report may be filed with the Texas Department of Child Protective Service.
Varnett is committed to ensuring the safety of each and every child.
We look forward to meeting you through our open houses and parent meetings within the next few weeks. Thank you for making The Varnett School your school of choice.
Dr.Margaret Stroud, Interim Superintendent