SHISD Mid-Week Message
Weekly Superintendent's Message for Spring Hill ISD
Working Together is What Makes Democracy Work
This past Saturday morning at Spring Hill ISD, State Representative Jay Dean joined area superintendents from Spring Hill, Longview, Pine Tree, Union Grove, Ore City, New Diana, Pittsburg, Gilmer, and White Oak to discuss the current session. School Board member Mr. Borens joined us as well. As districts that serve the children of the greater Longview area, we can all agree that strong public schools are vital to the future growth and economic health of East Texas. We wanted Rep. Dean to hear our concerns with measures we feel hurt all public schools, including the current school finance system, A-F accountability system, and lack of funding for PreK. We also expressed concerns over TRS Care and TRS ActiveCare. We realize that state revenue is down and budgets have to be cut. Thank you to Rep. Dean and his staff for taking valuable time to meet with us and listen to our concerns. We are proud of the work he is doing for the public schools in East Texas.
- Mr. Snell, Coach Mercer, and Coach Stewart - I hope this email finds you well. I wanted to reach out and say THANK YOU for working so quickly to get HUDL set up for the volleyball program at Spring Hill. We were able to get Avery’s film made and quickly started sending it out. Avery has committed to playing college volleyball at Seminole State College in Oklahoma. We will have her official signing on February 15th at 11 AM at the high school, and cordially request your attendance for this event if your schedule will allow. Thanks so much for all you do for our kids! - Amy Morton
- Thank you to Ms. Whittington and her students who put on a never- experienced before lunch for us! I cannot remember such a well organized and thoughtful gesture! We have such a great group of kids and teachers that go above and beyond to make our school great! - Mr. Lind
- Renee Chapman, recently lost her father, Arthur Deaton, please keep the family in your thoughts and prayers.
- Carol Procell is still recovering from surgery and is home after another brief stint in the hospital.
- Tammy Bohannon fell in the parking lot after completing a bus run and was banged up pretty good. She will be home recovering for a week.
- Elbert Malone is still battling cancer and could use some prayers.
Gov. Abbott's State of the State Address
Last Tuesday, Governor Abbott who had been relatively quiet leading into the session, gave his “State of the State” address. While he outlined several emergency items, none were specifically education related. He did mention several education issues and his goals for resolving them. His speech began with him saying how fantastic Texas public schools are. He announced that Texas has more public high schools ranked in the top 100 than any other state. He cited that we have the 4th highest graduation rate, the 2nd highest among Hispanic and African American students, and that Texas has the highest graduation rate for economically disadvantaged students. He also pointed out that the #1 public high school in the country is in Dallas ISD. However, later in his speech, he expressed his strong support for school choice and said that there are already 30 states with school choice and Texas needs to join that list.
Governor Abbott also talked about Texas having some of the best teachers in America, but that we lead the nation in teacher-student sexual assault. There are several bills that have been filed to address this issue and it is clearly a priority for the Governor. He said “We have a duty and the ability to do something about this and these teachers should lose their license and go to jail.” He also stressed his support for making real consequences for administrators who turn a blind eye and pass these teachers along to other schools. We will keep you posted as these bills make their way to hearings.
The Governor also discussed Pre-K and admonished the House and Senate for not spending enough on Pre-K last session. He encouraged them to spend more for high quality Pre-K and said to do it right or not at all. He also said that we need to do more to support public schools:
1. Increased connectivity to the internet
2. Reading and math academies
3. Charters need to be funded
4. Teachers need tools to help kids succeed
5. Update schools and systems that were built for the 1800s
6. School finance…NOW
Governor Abbott said that we are in urgent need of a new school finance system. He doesn’t want to fund “schools” but rather “children” to get the best possible education and he wants to empower parents to choose the school that best fits their child’s needs. This exemplifies the fear that many of us have had that the Senate is approaching funding specifically to enable a system friendly to vouchers.
Kilgore College Art Symposium
Students from the Advanced Placement Art Program participated on Friday the 3rd, at the Kilgore College Art Symposium. Senior students from art programs in the surrounding area competed for 10 scholarships offered by Kilgore College for 5 positions worth $800, 3 for $1000, 1 for $1600 and 1 for $2000.
Kev'ron Madden won a $1000 scholarship and received a new portfolio. Jenny Kim won 2nd place for $1600 and also received a new portfolio. This year was extremely difficult as it seems competition gets tougher with time. Other seniors participating from Spring Hill were Olivia Ferguson and Quinlan Balderrama.
Spring Hill Primary and Intermediate Teachers Team-Up For Student Success
Ms. Turner and Ms. Doron planned a great day of vertical alignment instructional planning for second and third grade ELA/Math teachers. The principals and teachers reviewed student data to identify state standards (TEKS) proving to be difficult for students. The teachers studied the TEKS, discussed instructional strategies used by the grade levels, and made plans to address the state standards.
Thank you to Ms. Turner, Ms. Doron, and all second and third grade ELA/Math teachers for working together to insure the academic success for Spring Hill Primary and Intermediate students! - Penny Fleet
SH Robotics Team and Mrs. Bass
STEM Lab: Project Based Learning
The Writing Academy
Spring Hill ISD ELA teachers and students from grades 4, 7, 9, and 10 attended revising, expository, and persuasive writing camps presented by The Writing Academy on January 31 – February 2, 2017. The Writing Academy provides interactive student camps designed to strengthen students’ revising and writing skills.
Thank you to the ELA teachers and students who spent their energy, time, and attention to participating in the writing camps. SHISD is committed to providing teachers and students the resources needed to be successful in all academic areas. ~ Penny Fleet
Presenter Carole Helmle stated, “Thank you for having the Writing Academy come to your district. Your teachers at all grade levels seem to be doing a great job preparing students to be strong writers. All of the students were engaged and enthusiastic about learning! I truly believe that when these fundamentals and strategies are supported in the classroom, students will far exceed expectations.”
District of Innovation
Potential benefits of becoming a District of Innovation include:
- Local control: Districts decide which flexibilities best suit their local needs.
- Customization: Districts can create an innovation plan for a level of school (e.g., only high schools), grade level, or a single campus.
- Autonomy: Districts must submit a District of Innovation plan to the commissioner of education, but approval is not required.
- Flexibility: Districts will have the flexibility to implement practices similar to charter schools, including exemptions from mandates such as: school start calendar, 90% attendance rule, class-size ratios, site-based decision-making processes, certain student discipline provisions, use of planning and preparation periods, teacher appraisal requirements
JV Tennis Tournament Results
In Boys Doubles B: Matthew Moncrief and Ayden Rabalais played against really tough opponents but lost in the quarterfinals of the consolation draw to Kilgore.
In Boys Doubles A: Tyler Chapman and Jacob Hill made it to the finals of the consolation tournament! These boys were making a comeback from being down 2-6 but ultimately lost 5-8 against Whitehouse!
In Boys Singles A: Alston Massey battled his way to the finals of the consolation tournament where he beat a Kilgore player 8-5 when being down 2-4 early in the match!
These boys never gave up and showed what it means to be a Spring Hill Panther!