Celebrating the Mission

The PISD team salutes the Pleasanton Express for their constant support of all things Eagle Pride – and this opportunity to share 2014- 15 PISD celebrations.

After three graduations, I am even more inspired by the work of the 4,000 students, 600 staff members, hundreds of volunteers, and community partners who helped PISD continue its tradition of Excellence for All.

•Academically, PISD moved from challenging years of lagging performance to now three years at or above state standards with distinctions. Our public District Scorecard in October will show recognized and/or exemplary performances in all 8 key areas! Our academic UIL teams had students succeed in State competition in multiple fields. Thanks again to the Express who supported our HS newspaper. Our news team was in the top ten in State performance!

•PHS increased access so students earned a combined 400+ college credit hours this year (plus Advanced Placement) for financial and academic head starts. EVERY senior completed a college application and financial assistance package to allow for future options.

•Our graduating seniors have been awarded over $2.4 million in college/ career scholarships. Much was the generosity of our local supporters. THANKS – see our website salute!

•As a part of the new state graduation plans, Pathways of College and Career Endorsements/ Certifications have been developed so every student graduates college AND workforce ready. Pathways include Business and Technology/ Engineering, Health and Human Services (nursing, military/law, and education), and Natural Energy Resources (land and energy management, animal science, oil/gas industry, and construction fields). Students may also opt for fine arts/social science areas of study.

•Academics in PreK-High School have been strengthened through deep training for our highly qualified staff, recruitment of master educators, and reallocation of budget so teachers have competitive salary and benefit offerings. We will prioritize continued teacher support!

•Our JROTC group ranked 6th in National Competition, with 124 students enrolled (plus 25 transfers from Jourdanton/ Poteet).

•Our Police Officer Explorer teams trained in tactical methods and assisted in oversight at school events.

•With 500 students in our Ag Science/Resource Mgmnt Program, our FFA teams had multiple wins at Area and State competitions. Our Business Professionals teams won at State level, moving on to Nationals.

•With over 600 students in JH/HS Fine Arts programs, some programs grew by over 50%, with increased excellence in competitive performances. Our Mighty Eagle Band continued consistent SUPERIOR ratings.

•Every sports team advanced out of district, many moving to area/regional levels; three sports advanced to State Competition. Our cheer and dance teams competed at state levels with excellence. With 800 athletes, nearly 50% of all JH/HS students are honing athletic and team/leadership skills, with high academic performances. We proudly host an annual multicounty Special Olympics competition. Sports is a vital opportunity for the community and school to come together in healthy family engagement.

•Our buses safely drove 1,751 miles EVERY DAY (like driving to Reno, Nevada daily) without incident. We NEED bus drivers to bring our great kids to/from school safely. Apply at www.pisd.us or call us! As we replace aged out buses ($100,000 each), we try to manage increasing fuel costs (over $200,000 annually). Our bus team takes extra effort to be great stewards of both kids and vehicles.

•Cafeterias served half a million breakfasts and over 350K lunches, many to students for whom this is their main meal source. Our emphasis on Healthy Lifestyles ‘get up and move’ events, our Health Fair, our low sodium/ sugar foods go toward making our kids strong and healthy. This summer PISD will provide FREE LUNCH to any child 18 years or under.

•Custodians maintain over 600,000 sq.ft. daily, keeping aging facilities as clean and usable as possible. Our limited maintenance crews processed nearly 2,000 work orders. With utility bills being our 2nd highest expense, we always look to minimize costs through efficiency. Our outstanding skilled workers serve behind the scenes, sometimes in the middle of the night in response to emergencies, with a constant smile and positive attitudes.

•While we have lost many skilled workers/drivers to the oil field industry and related areas (restaurants, businesses), we take real joy in our overall low turnover rate in staff. We have great teams who love being a part of the PISD family. Come join us!

•Financially, we worked to maintain the lowest operating tax rate without sacrificing quality. Last year’s ‘bump year’ allowed us to keep one-time funds from the state. We focused on most urgent facility needs in safety, sanitation, technology, and instructional settings. Students and staff will return to renovated spaces with single entry security for all campuses (except high school), technology infrastructure, training facility, and restroom renovations. We hope this year allows us one more year to take care of some actual classroom computer and furniture needs and other key issues.

Next year we enter into what is called Chapter 41, or recapture. This means we no longer receive money from the state – and anticipate having to send local funds back to the state. We will have no additional funds to assist with much needed longrange facility concerns.

•Our partnership with the community exploded this year – and all are genuinely appreciated:

-The new EDUCATION FOUNDATION raised over $20,000 for student scholarships and innovative teaching grants. JOIN them! (www.pisd.us/educationfoundation).

-Volunteerism in the form of classroom support, libraries, school events, booster groups, reading partners, served 20,000+ hours!

-Our booster and fundraising efforts (often for community needs) resulted in over $100,000 in support of resources.

-Community Service hours by our students to assist in areas such as the Assisted Living facilities, cemetery maintenance, church programs, clean-up efforts, families in crisis support, recycling, resulted in 5,000+ hours of donated time to the community.

-Parents and community members served on District/Campus Improvement teams, our School Health Advisory Committee, our Career Advisory Boards, our Long-Range Planning Committee, and multiple initiatives (such as Project Graduation). THANKS!

We could spend pages highlighting the multiple ways our PISD team has succeeded– AND the multiple ways the community has provided solid support for this success. We are so very EAGLE PROUD as we close out 2013-14….. and plan for a great 2014- 15. Go to www.pisd.us for PISD good news or check out our Facebook alerts.

I hope every citizen knows we value their support and will be good stewards of their resources. You are always welcome to join the Superintendent Coffees during the school year – or come by the office if you have concerns or suggestions. THANK YOU…..you are helping create great future citizens while building special memories for the PISD youth and the communities we serve!

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