Luling ENews - September 2019
It is hard to believe that the summer break is over and school has started! We were so excited to welcome the students back and start the year off strong!
Campus and district administrators have been intentional in their work to hire, prepare, and plan for the new school year. It is exciting to know that the Board, administrators, teachers, staff and community are truly dedicated to the success of every child. This year, we will be relentless in our pursuit of continual improvement by providing engaging and rigorous instruction with the true grit that all Luling ISD staff members have. We know that no one can learn at their highest levels if they do not feel safe, secure, and respected. We will be committed to working tirelessly to ensure that our students are learning at elevated levels because they are respected, challenged, supported, and cared for.
Last spring, the district worked through a process to create a five year strategic plan. Thirty-two people, including staff, students, parents, and community members, worked for 608 hours to create this comprehensive plan that will direct our efforts for the next five years. The Board approved the plan in April, and we are beginning the implementation process. The four strands that we will focus on, and you will hear more about during the year, are:
- Culture of High Expectations
- High Quality Curriculum and Instruction
- Staff Recruitment and Retention
- Internal and External Communication
The district theme this year is RELENTLESS, and I have no doubt that we will make great things happen in our district. Our entire team of staff is motivated and eager to begin what promises to be an incredible school year!
Primary is INTENTIONAL with learning this year. Teachers and students read, write, and problem-solve in math to teach expectations at school. Students learning routines and classroom expectations begins with practice. Consistent routines and expectations helps everyone learn to be safe, respectful, and responsible.
Beginning every morning with a book, a story, and a writing task before class starts creates a foundation of literacy. Students are loving their new books! The rooms are bursting with excitement! New books, new materials, new ways of learning. It all begins with our students!
Exploring learning through problem solving helps our mathematicians and scientists learn in a variety of ways. Thinking about numbers and different ways to sort and organize begins in PreK and develops in Kindergarten and First Grade. Each class begins their math instruction with a morning calendar. Students participate in learning about the weather, place value, a number line, and more during this engaging activity. Daily lessons are designed for continuous development of skills throughout the day. Students are thinking, sharing, reading, and writing to learn in all subjects.
Shanklin students are excited to learn with GRIT. Students expanded their thinking through annotating their NEW reading materials. New standards promote comparing books of a similar theme and discovering the Author’s Purpose while deepening our comprehension of what was read. Teachers guide learning, students read together and highlight in their new books! Every child has a collection of stories to take home at the end of the year!
Math also started off strong. Students couldn’t wait to get to their materials and push themselves to learn more, higher and faster than ever before. Using Writing to Learn from WICOR, an AVID strategy, our budding mathematicians are writing their number stories, writing about math strategies, creating their math goals, and creating anchor charts of their own.
Writing Workshop is in full swing. Students are editing and revising their essays while teachers are conferencing to guide writing. Students organized their ideas using a variety of graphic organizers and then began writing. Students are engaged in becoming authors!
The AVID (Advancement Via Individual Determination) program provides support to prepare
our students to be college ready and prepared for the future. This year, AVID is schoolwide at
Gerdes Junior High with 48 sixth graders, 60 seventh graders, and 39 eighth graders
participating. Shanklin Elementary fifth graders and Luling High School ninth through twelfth
graders are also in year one of incorporating the AVID program and will be using the AVID
strategies of Writing, Inquiry, Collaboration, Organization, and Reading (WICOR) to prepare
them for learning rigorous college curriculum in the future.
The next AVID event will be Saturday, October 5th, at the AT&T Center in San Antonio to celebrate the 10th Annual AVID Celebration at the San Antonio Spurs vs Orlando Magic basketball game. The event will highlight the importance of pursuing careers through educational opportunities by bringing together students, area colleges, and positive role models who will share their stories and provide a unique learning opportunity.
AVID classes at Gerdes JH are learning organizational strategies to prepare for learning this school year!
2019 BOND UPDATE
The school board approved the schematic design for the new elementary at the August Board Meeting. The schematic design is the layout of the school (square feet, number of classrooms, location of common areas, etc.).
Next is the Design Development stage. A Bond Oversight Committee will be formed to provide feedback and direction as we move forward. Construction will begin Spring of 2020 on both campuses.
The district began discussing the following needs last Fall:
-Expand the track to 7 lanes in order to host track meets
-Lay a new track to fix the holes and uneven surface
-Purchase and install a new pressbox - current pressbox has holes in the floor and is structurally unsafe
-Purchase new bleachers for the home side - current bleachers are not compliant with ADA code, have gaps between rows that are wider than current safety standards allow, rusted and sharp metal parts.
The Board approved the district to move forward with securing a contract to complete the needed renovations. The request to turf the football field during all of this work, was also approved.
Bond funds will not be used for the stadium renovations.