Dear Gonzales ISD School and community family,
School, with all of the wonderful activity of students laughing, reading, writing, discussing, participating and a myriad of other activities, is underway. We have had a great beginning. Our student population is growing. Additional highlights include many things among welcoming new administrators, teachers and staff, adding Cosmetology to the curriculum, and showcasing our new community supported “Little Free Libraries” to be announced soon.
Together with the support of the Gonzales Noon Lion’s Club and the Community Health Centers of South Central Texas Inc., what will become an annual screening for diabetes took place at East Avenue Primary.
Additionally, we extend a huge THANK YOU to all of you as the community supported a Tax Ratification Election to assist the district in performing a tax swap. Your support for the students and staff of Gonzales ISD will bring more dollars to the operating budget for the current year. This effort will positively affect the fund balance that suffered during the ebb and flow of what many of you recall, Chapter 41.
GPA, NA and GJHS have collaborated with over 30 dads with 16 volunteers during the month of September alone to bring the Watch Dads of Great Students (Dogs) Program to reality. The Watch Dog Program is one of many great additions to GISD fully funded through grant awards provided by the Gonzales ISD Education Foundation. To add to Watch Dogs keeping an eye out on safety our local responders are spending quality time in our schools. We thank all first responders for supporting this great district, walking halls and having lunch with us at campus.
Along with the incredible positives, we are bouncing back from the report on accountability.
Why did our district receive a failing score on the recent preliminary accountability report? Our score failed due to lack of oversight. The failure stemmed from not training the essential people that enter data with new information and the effects of the accountability score connection. The new system uses data from academic performance reporting along with data separate from state academic testing, that affects academic performance credit. We failed to enter additional data on College, Career, and Military Readiness (CCMR) that had a direct effect on overall scores in all domains. I have made an appeal to the Commissioner of Education for reconsideration of our score with omitted data included.
Specifically, I have appealed all indicators including the GISD and GHS performance indicator in the area of CCMR, and the overall GISD and GHS rating affected by the CCMR rating, which had a causal effect on the Student Achievement indicator, and a subsequent effect on Relative Performance and Closing Gaps scoring. While this performance reflects 2018 students’ results of state testing, the CCMR summary does not. The CCMR data came from graduates of 2017. On this section, the state looks at data from one year behind like finance and graduation data. The difficulty at this time is gathering the documentation on students that have been out in the workforce, technical schools or college for over a year. We have sufficient documentation to receive an anticipated C and that score could have been higher. We have some courses at GHS that transfer beautifully under the Commissioner of Education’s Industry Based Standards leading to Certifications had we entered titles according to this list. In the end, we may receive an approval and we may not. While this is a reality, we cannot overlook the amazing work on campuses.
The faculty, staff and students had a great year maintaining and increasing scores on two campuses. Two of our campuses excelled in that work. GJHS not only maintained but also excelled in all domains for the second year running. NA Intermediate surpassed the standard in every domain moving scores from the previous year up by as many as 9-14 points in each domain. GHS met all standards with the exception of the CCMR relative to coding omissions.
GE did miss the standard by 1-2 points in each category. Early learners continue to be a focus for our district. We have implemented a new Reading Curriculum supporting strength in resource attainment for teachers. Additionally, this community has always supported GISD and continues to reach out to collaborate as mentors to assist young learners in strengthening reading. Further, we are investigating the topic of how to get books in hands of all preschool children in order to develop an awareness of the written word and the beauty of reading with children from birth. Our new Little Free Libraries provide a means to assist with that effort.
As Superintendent of Schools, I thank and appreciate you. GISD is strong in tradition and committed to the best for our students, faculty, staff, and community. Together, we will continue to drive instruction in directions that take us further to our goal of Excellence for All.
Superintendent of Schools