On Monday of last week, over 6,600 bright, shining faces came to our 11 campuses in GISD.
We have an exciting year planned, and I am encouraged by what I have seen over the summer and as we begin our new school year.
We recently had a demographic study completed, and the demographer predicted we would see an increase of about 30 students this year. After the first week of school, it appears that we have increased almost 200 students!
We had the largest first day of enrollment since 2009. So, what caused the sudden increase? I honestly believe that this is clear evidence that GISD is reversing some misperceptions and gaining the trust and confidence of our community.
In my first column in the Hood County News in September of 2012, I asked, “Before you say anything negative about our kids or our schools, call one of our campuses (any of them), ask the principal if you can come in for a visit, and then you form your own opinions about our schools. Don’t go by the ‘word on the street.’ Give us a chance, come see for yourself. I think you will come away with a new perception of GISD, our students and our staff.”
After a 2012-13 school year that saw so many successes in so many areas, I believe our community knows that we will take care of their kids and give them a great education. In my opinion, we are just scratching the surface of our potential. I believe it is evident that we are doing great things in GISD and the best is yet to come. We have classes, activities, sports and clubs that allow our students to excel in whatever it is they are interested in. Go by any of our schools on just about any day or time and you will see a buzz of activity.
Through conversations with our students, staff and community, our students this year will experience true 21st century learning.
We had 70 staff members who were trained in Project Based Learning (PBL) this summer. PBL takes learning to a new level and encourages our students to think, communicate, collaborate and problem-solve as they work on different projects in their classroom. I am excited to see our first group of students experience PBL and the new learning experiences it will offer.
Through cooperation with the city of Granbury and the Granbury Police Department, we have Officer Jeff Hastings and Ben the Drug Dog who are now full-time members of our school community. They are helping to create a partnership between our students and law enforcement that encourages students to make good choices and adds to the safe and secure environment at our schools.
We have moved STARS Accelerated High School to our downtown location.
This was done to allow students easier access to the STARS campus, and also to put them in close proximity to Weatherford College. It also allows those students to take advantage of transportation opportunities that were not available before. We believe this will encourage more students to look at STARS Accelerated High School as an option.
I continue to say that we are just now scratching the surface of all the things we can do. As we begin to implement the ideas from our strategic plan, keep expectations high, and make steady and consistent improvement, we will become the school district others try to emulate.
In 2013-14, I think you will see more connections between GISD and our community and more opportunities for students in Hood County to get a world-class education in GISD.
I look forward to another successful school year, and it is a great time to be a Granbury Pirate!
Dr. Jim Largent is the superintendent of Granbury ISD. If you have topics you would like for him to address in future columns, he can be reached at [email protected]
Category: Education Archived