It is an exciting time in Fort Bend ISD as we begin what is sure to be a landmark year in this district’s history of excellence. Personally, I am thrilled to be “back home” among so many outstanding, hard-working team members and a community that demonstrates exemplary support of public education.
Despite the district’s continued growth, we will not be opening any new schools this year. Instead, we will be engaging the FBISD community in the development of a strategic plan and facilities master plan designed to provide a roadmap for planning our educational programs and facilities improvements for the foreseeable future.
We expect the strategic and facilities master plan to be finalized in early 2014. Immediately following the completion of these two plans, we will convene an elementary school boundary committee to help us determine school boundaries that will enable us to use each of our schools in a way that is most efficient and effective.
Early in the summer, we launched the Your Voice Matters listening tour to let our community know that their voices will be heard and that we will be responsive to stakeholder feedback. Since that time, we have heard from more than 300 students, parents, staff, and community members who shared their perspectives on many, many topics. The things we learn from stakeholders will be used to shape our procedures and practices as we identify ways to provide a high level of service in all areas.
Last week, we welcomed more than 600 new teachers at the New Teacher Orientation, and this week all staff will be back to work, fully engaged in preparing for the new school year. This week on Tuesday, when I met with the entire staff at the FBISD Convocation, my remarks focused on the district’s new Core Beliefs & Commitments and our theme for the 2013-14 school year.
At last week’s Board meeting, the Board of Trustees approved our Core Beliefs & Commitments that will be the foundation of the district’s mission, vision, and goals to be established during the upcoming strategic planning process. You can read our Core Beliefs & Commitments by going to fortbendisd.com and clicking on “About Us.”
Our theme for the school year is also designed to support our Core Beliefs & Commitments. The theme is Learning for Life because we take seriously our mandate to prepare students for life today and in the future – that means we teach each student the academic, character, and life skills required to pursue whatever future they choose. To me, Learning for Life also means that we are a learning organization – that we engage in the continuous improvement of our processes, procedures, and practices. As adults, we are learners, too, and are committed to personally improving our practices to enable us to best serve the needs of each student.
When the new school year begins, we will welcome more than 70,000 students who will be served by approximately 9,000 employees – and you can be sure that each one cares about the students in this community and understands the impact we have on this community through the work we do each day. The students we are educating today are the community of tomorrow – our neighbors, workforce, and community leaders. We want to serve in partnership with you to make sure we fulfill your expectations.
Continue to keep in touch with us through the Your Voice Matters website, and through the numerous community forums that will take place this year – or simply give us a call or send an email. We want to hear from you.
In closing, please remember that keeping our students and staff safe is our top priority. To that end, be mindful that on Monday our students will again be traveling to school on foot, in cars, and on buses. Please observe all traffic signs and be observant of students who may cross your path.
Thank you for trusting us with our community’s most valuable resources – your children. We appreciate your support of our District and your investment in your children’s future. And thank you for partnering with us to making Fort Bend ISD a community in which we are all joined in the business of Learning for Life.