We have just completed a successful year at the Varnett Public School and I want to thank you again for entrusting us with your precious children. Without you, we would not be here.
In my first year as superintendent, I had the pleasure of meeting many of you. I made frequent visits to the classrooms, observed our teachers and had extensive conversations and meetings with the campus directors. I came away convinced that your children are in good hands.
However, there is always room for improvement. I have spent the last several weeks working on a management and teacher restructuring plan and it is nearly completed.
The board of directors and I are committed to hiring the best teachers for your children as we look toward the 2015-16 school year. We have also established a new and more concise mission statement that focuses on providing a rigorous academic program which meets the needs of our diverse population.
The four principles of our core beliefs are high student achievement, safety, respect and common decency. The mission is based on the belief that:
- School choice motivates excellence.
- The overall achievement level must be improved.
- There can be no achievement gap between socio-economic groups and/or children of ethnic diversity.
- Recruitment and retention of highly effective teachers are the keys to excellence and increasing student achievement.
- Meaningful parental engagement must be increased.
- All students, staff and parents must be treated with common decency.
Preliminary results show that our children performed well on the STAAR tests this past school year. We want to build on that success for all students. The time to start is now.
I recently announced an initiative that calls for students to read six books during the summer. The Scholastic books were provided by the district and include a journal for your children to make notes on what they read. After classes resume on August 24, students and their teachers will discuss the journals. We encourage you to remind and help your children to read, even if it means simply asking them what they have learned.
Research shows that students lose an edge in reading and comprehension during the summer if they do not practice the lessons they learned throughout the school year. Ensuring that our students can read and comprehend is very important to me and will be emphasized throughout the school year.
Uniforms and Bus Signup
As we move forward, I would like to point out some important dates before school starts. Parents buying school uniforms from Charter Uniforms will receive an extra 10 percent discount if they make the purchase on July 11 or July 18, from 3 p.m. to 6 p.m. Charter Uniforms is located at 10606 Hempstead Ave., Suite 122, Houston, TX 77092. The website is www.charteruniforms.com. Those who order online will receive free shipping.
Secondly, school bus signup will be held at each campus on August 17-21 from 9 a.m. to 1 p.m. and from 2:15 p.m. to 4:15 p.m. Signup is on a first-come, first-serve basis, including for those students who rode the bus this past school year.
I am also pleased to report that East and Northeast campuses will undergo significant renovations to expand their capacity. In addition, the Northeast Campus will be equipped with a full-service kitchen, a larger cafeteria, a multi-purpose room, plus an improved playground area.
Finally, the use of technology for our children will be a key component in the schools, building on the improvements we made this past year.
I want to thank the new Board of Directors for its support and active interest in our district and staff. I also want to thank our teachers for their commitment in providing your children the best education possible.
Please check our website for developments. Also, you are welcome to "like" our Facebook page and follow us on Twitter.
Dr. Margaret Stroud, Interim Superintendent