July 20, 2021: Family & Staff Update

Posted by Melinda Brasher on 7/20/2021

 

It’s hard to imagine that we’re halfway through July. We’ve been busy planning for the new year ahead and look forward to seeing you all back on campus in just 30 days!  (Yes, the countdown is on!) So let me bring you up to speed on some things we’ve been working on to help you prepare for the year ahead. 

Back to School + Safety Plan

During last night’s board meeting, we presented a draft of the Back to School Plan for the 2021-22 school year.  That draft is available to view on our website, and we invite you to share feedback through August 4. The plan outlines our protocols for safe and healthy schools and shares additional resources for families. We’ve received a few inquiries regarding mask use this fall. As of June 1, schools are required to comply with the governor’s executive orders regarding the wearing of masks. As such, masks are optional for all students and staff.  

As a reminder, GISD will return to fully in-person instruction for students in all grade levels. 

Campuses are preparing now for your return, and that includes opportunities to meet teachers, pick up schedules and tour campuses.  Those events vary by campus so please be on the lookout for information from your campus. 

School supply lists are posted on our website and available on TeacherLists.com for easy ordering and delivery direct to you. If you would like to donate supplies to help families in GISD or would like assistance with obtaining school supplies, our partners with the Georgetown Area Junior Forum are prepared to help. You’ll find more information on our Back to School Hub. 

Update on Assessment

The end of any school year brings quite a bit of assessment and feedback data to our district, and our teams are hard at work studying the information we’ve received. We know that COVID has had an impact on students and adults in a number of ways, but these reports also show some encouraging progress measures including:

  • Strong evidence of growth in reading and math according to the MAP data (for students in grades K-8)
  • Narrowing the gap between the District and the State STAAR/EOC performance in 17 out of 19 tests
  • Positive perceptions among students and staff of their experiences during what we know was a difficult year, according to our annual climate survey

We are really proud of the work our staff, students, and families did during a very difficult period of time for school and home! Of course, we know that we have areas for growth, too, and we are digging in on the areas we’re seeing where we can improve academically and in our support for students, staff, and families. 

We’re committed to being what our students and staff deserve, and we’ll continue our analysis and reflection to set priorities, celebrate successes, refine our work, and personalize instruction to meet each and every student’s needs. 

Citizens Advisory Committee Bond Recommendation

The Citizens Advisory Committee (CAC) made a presentation to the board last evening recommending that the board call for a bond election this fall. In this link you will see the Goals Charges and Parameters of the Committee as it is the critical first step towards the Boards consideration in calling a Bond election.  The CAC recommendation includes 21 projects that would address new facilities to accommodate for growth and capacity, updates to aging and evolving facilities, new technology, renovations to the Performing Arts Center, tennis courts and the construction of a swim facility with efforts to partner with the YMCA.  With the culmination of the CAC work, the Board of Trustees will now work with district staff as it considers calling a Bond election.  The Board of Trustees will consider the committee’s recommendation over the next few weeks. If they decide to call for a bond election, they must do so by mid August for the projects to be placed on the November ballot. We’ll keep you informed of this work along the way. 

I do want to share a public thank you to the men and women who served on the CAC and the leadership team who presented to the board last evening. I am inspired by the passion of these individuals for securing the future for all students in GISD. 

As a reminder, our facilities are operating on summer hours Monday through Thursday through July 30. We resume a normal schedule starting August 2. If you need assistance with enrollment, please connect with your campus registrar. If you have other questions, I encourage you to connect with us via Let’s Talk.

As we enter into a new school year, I want you to know how excited I am to see everyone back on campuses this fall. We’re preparing for a school year that I am sure will be our best yet!  Until then, please enjoy the rest of your summer.  I am so incredibly thankful for the privilege of serving our incredible community.

Fred Brent
Georgetown ISD Superintendent