Although National Attendance Awareness Month has come to an end, our District-wide effort to get children to school and engaged in their learning is not slowing down. From creating “buzz” on social media to sharing messages with parents and students, our campuses have worked hard to create awareness and promote good attendance habits that will continue to help our students throughout the rest of the year – and beyond.
Over the next year, we will continue our efforts to make students, parents and community members aware of why Attendance Counts. Any amount of time of missed instruction can add up, and an individual student’s absences can easily affect the entire class. It is my hope that we can work together – as a community – to let students know they are missing out when they miss class. Like everything we do, it will take a true partnership to spread this important message.
With that in mind, I would like to update you on two key partnerships our Board of Trustees approved this week to provide our students with a strong foundation for their future beyond Fort Bend ISD:
• The approval of an agreement with Houston Community College that outlines our ongoing commitment to provide students in the HCC service area with multiple dual credit and college prep courses. These courses will be offered free of charge to students who live in the HCC district and will allow students to receive high school and college credits at the same time.
• The approval of an agreement with Wharton County Junior College that establishes the College Connections pilot program. This voluntary program will be offered at Kempner and Ridge Point High Schools beginning this fall, and will give students the opportunity to receive free guidance through the ApplyTexas application process, and if needed, vouchers to take the Texas Success Initiative Assessment. The best part about this program is that upon completion, students will have everything they need to enroll at Wharton County Junior College next August. Even students who do not plan to attend WCJC can benefit from the chance to familiarize themselves with the college admissions process, and can use the ApplyTexas application to apply to any public university in Texas and other colleges.
Our Board of Trustees is working hard to ensure that all children are given opportunities to reach their full potential. In the last couple of weeks, our administration has provided Board members with some very informative updates in regards to College and Career Readiness, and Career and Technical Education. In both reports, staff shared significant improvements in programming and services provided to students by our hard working campus staff. Most importantly, the reports highlighted ways in which we are collaborating with our local business leaders to develop and execute well thought-out plans to ensure students prepare for futures beyond what they can imagine by offering rigorous courses that can often result in students earning job certification based on the skills they have learned. As an organization, FBISD is committed to preparing students for whatever comes next – a living wage, college coursework or, in many cases, a combination of both.
This conversation will continue in October, as the administration makes recommendations for the $59 million dollars in CTE improvements included in the 2014 Bond Program. We want our students to be both career and college ready, and staff members are working to increase access and equity to our CTE programs. We look forward to discussing this with the Board this month, and the community in November.
In closing, I want to be the first to wish all of our campus administrators a happy Principals Month. Governor Greg Abbott has proclaimed the month of October 2015 Principals Month in honor of all principals and assistant principals. These campus leaders play a critical role in our District, working directly with teachers, students, parents and other campus staff to create effective and supportive learning environments. Principals, thank you for your leadership… and for all you do for Fort Bend ISD. We appreciate you!