Slow Down: Back to School Means Sharing the Road

Things get a little hectic on the roads during the school year: buses are everywhere, children on bikes are hurrying to get to school before the bell rings, and hurried parents are trying to drop off their kids before work.

It’s never more important for drivers to slow down and pay attention than when kids are present – especially before and after school.

As more and more students gear up for heading back to school, Fort Bend ISD Police would like to remind all to slow down in school zones. We want everyone to reach their destinations safely.

Here are some tips for in and around school zones:

• NO distractions. Research shows that taking your eyes off the road for two seconds doubles your chances of having an accident.
• Stay alert. Don’t rush into and out of driveways. Expect pedestrians on the sidewalk, especially around schools and in neighborhoods.
• Watch for bikes. Children on bicycles are unpredictable.
• Brake for buses. Red flashing lights means the bus is loading or unloading.
• Watch for crossing guards. Rain or shine they help students cross busy intersections.

Protect New Teen Drivers

Accidents involving teenage drivers spike as the new school year begins, especially during arrival and dismissal times. Talk to your teenager if he or she will be driving to school, and help them understand why it is important to follow all traffic rules without distractions. Cell phone use during driving is especially dangerous.

Sharing the road safely with child pedestrians

All drivers need to recognize the special safety needs of pedestrians, especially those who are children. Elderly, disabled, and younger students are among the most frequent victims in auto-pedestrian accidents. Generally, pedestrians have the right-of-way at all intersections; however, regardless of the rules of the road or right-of-way, you as a driver are obligated to exercise great care and extreme caution to avoid striking pedestrians.

Let’s all work together to make this a safe and successful school year!

Chief David Rider
Follow me on Twitter: @FBISDChiefRider

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What Went Right

On Monday your children arrived ready to learn, greeted by warm smiles and enthusiastic FBISD staff members. Some of our younger students seemed shy and timid, as some of their parents gathered for the Boo Hoo Breakfast. Some of our older students appeared a bit reluctant to say goodbye to their summer breaks, while their moms and dads raced to celebrate the new year over breakfast with friends. Our schools were filled with excitement as more than 73,000 students began a new school year at one of our 75 campuses.

District administrators visited each campus Monday to witness the flurry of activity, and offer assistance and encouragement to students, teachers, and parents. We know that the first day can be hectic, but I could not be more appreciative of the way our entire community joined together to make the first day of school run as smoothly as possible. We know that things are far from perfect on the first day of school – but as I reflected on the day, I found many reasons to celebrate.

As has become our tradition in FBISD, I want to share my gratitude and a few thoughts about What Went Right on the first day of school.

  • Our technology staff began the deployment of 34,925 new student email accounts. This is in addition to the 9,906 employee email accounts that were migrated to a new platform this summer.
  • Our technology staff also deployed 4,850 new teacher laptops that will help our teachers provide a more engaging classroom environment and be able to perform their work in a more efficient way.
  • Our child nutrition employees served 34,247 meals to students on the first day of school, providing necessary nourishment to our students. Our students cannot learn if they are hungry, and these employees serve more than 8 million meals each year, ensuring stomachs are kept full.
  • Our Fort Bend ISD Police Department covered our entire District with extra patrols to ensure student safety on and off campus. Our police department includes 54 sworn officers, and most of them are School Resource Officers, assigned to campuses to build relationships with students and keep them safe. We also have more than 100 crossing guards to assist our walkers each morning and afternoon.
  • Our dedicated transportation department staff members began the day bright and early to drive 36,000 students to school, and then transported them back home at the end of the day. It takes more than 350 bus drivers to drive several hundred routes every day – and they are committed to getting your students to and from their campuses safely.
  • Madden Elementary School Principal Pamela Brown and her staff members welcomed more than 800 students into our District’s 46th elementary school in the Aliana Community. Brown and her staff put in countless hours to get the new school ready for its students, and that work paid off yesterday.
  • Students entered clean buildings across our 75 campuses, thanks to our maintenance and facilities staff members who provided custodial and maintenance services to more than 11.5 million square feet of building space in preparation for the return of our students.
  • Our more than 10,000 employees started the school year with renewed enthusiasm, ready to inspire and equip our students to pursue futures beyond what they can imagine. The first day of school is always an exciting time for our teachers, and they are already hard at work to make sure that all of their students reach their full potential. We also witnessed the professionalism and commitment of our office workers, who answered parent phone calls and guided them to the information they needed.

I share all of this to thank you for your partnership with our District, and your support and patience as we work out the glitches that occur during the beginning of the year. We are committed to making your FBISD experience exceptional.

I know that my list is short, and that there are many other positive stories to share about the first day of school. Please share your first day of school experience with me on Twitter by using the hashtag #FBISDWWR (What Went Right!). We are looking forward to a great year!

Sincerely,

Charles Dupre

@superdupre

For more information about Fort Bend ISD, you can always visit www.fortbendisd.com. Thank you for choosing Fort Bend ISD!

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FBISD New Attendance Policy 2015-16

It is extremely important that all of our students be present and engaged in their learning in order for them to achieve and grow. It is our hope that Fort Bend ISD’s new attendance procedures will convey the importance of daily attendance while also supporting students and their families.

What changed for students?

You may be aware that the 84th Texas Legislature passed House Bill 2398, which changed the state’s attendance laws and created a new civil process governing truancy proceedings. This means student truancy proceedings will be moved to a civil court, rather than a criminal court. However, it is important to understand that parents who contribute to nonattendance can still be subject to criminal prosecution, as that part of the law remained intact.

Our District has worked hard to implement measures to keep students in class and out of the court process altogether. As required by law, a truancy referral will be sent to the court after a student reaches 10 or more unexcused absences in a six-month period, and only after other interventions at the campus and District levels have been attempted. Though we will continue to use computers to track student attendance and trigger some actions when a student reaches a certain number of absences, we will also be adding staffing at our high schools to ensure accuracy and provide more personal interactions with our families.

Please note the new attendance procedures for 2015-2016 below:
• Upon any student absence, an automated phone call will go to the parent/guardian the same day.

• Upon the student’s return, he or she will have five school days to provide a note of excuse for any absence to the school’s attendance clerk. Details about excusable absences can be found in the student handbook.

• Upon the third unexcused absence in a four-week period or the fifth total unexcused absence, a truancy warning letter will be mailed to the parent at the home address on record with the school, and Truancy Prevention Measures will be implemented by the campus assistant principal. Campus staff will have discretion on how they can reach out and provide services, counseling, and other interventions to students and their families, prior to a student’s 10th unexcused absence and referral to the court.

• Upon the fifth total unexcused absence, a Truancy Diversion Program (TDP) Letter will be sent to the parent/guardian. In addition, an automated phone call will go to the parent/guardian the week prior to the scheduled TDP meeting. During the TDP, parents and students will sign a Student Attendance Contract.

• Following an invitation to TDP, the parent/guardian and student will meet with the campus assistant principal and any relevant staff to develop a Truancy Action Plan. This provides another opportunity for staff to assist students and their families, inquiring about reasons for their absences, and connecting them to services that may be available.

• If a student accrues ten unexcused absences in a six-month period, whether the student/parent has attended TDP or not, a truancy referral will be sent to the appropriate authority, unless the student is eligible for one of the four exceptions under the law. If truancy is the result of pregnancy, foster care, homelessness, or if the student is his or her household’s primary income earner, a referral will not be made. Truancy prevention and support services will continue to be offered at the campus level. To learn more, go to fortbendisd.com.

Attendance Works
FBISD will share additional information about its attendance procedures as we begin the 2015-2016 school year. As we implement these new practices, we will also be launching an awareness campaign this fall to educate students, parents, staff, and community members about the importance of attendance. Perhaps, even more importantly, we will continue to explore ways that we can partner with the community to increase student engagement, connecting students to their learning so that they want to attend school.

 

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Welcome Back!

first day of school pto today clip art lantern lane pto

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See you Monday!

Dear Parents,
The final weekend of summer break is here, and I could not be more excited about the beginning of the new school year!

Before the weekend begins, I want to take a moment to welcome back each student who is beginning a new year with us, and introduce myself to those of you who have children entering Fort Bend ISD for the very first time. We know you have a choice in where your children go to school, and we are honored that you have chosen Fort Bend ISD. We are dedicated to serving you and your family in an exemplary way. And we wanted to partner with you in providing students with the education and tools they need to achieve life-long success.

Fort Bend ISD exists to inspire and equip all students to pursue futures beyond what they can imagine. I remind you of this today because I want you to understand that we are committed to supporting every student in our District, no matter what school they attend, or where they live. During the past two weeks, I have been blessed to meet with virtually every one of FBISD’s more than 10,000 employees and speak to them about how we must strive to open doors of opportunities for students by building positive, supportive relationships, while setting high standards for academic achievement and demanding their best work each day. As educators, we are keenly aware that we will also be able to improve student attendance and discipline through the relationships we form with our students. We know we have the ability to change the trajectory of a student’s life by meeting them where they are and guiding them toward fulfilling their full potential. I am proud to share that I have witnessed firsthand the pride and energy our staff has brought to the new school year.

We begin the 2015-2016 school year with new feeder patterns and attendance boundaries approved by the Board of Trustees in January. In a growing District such as ours, these changes will allow us to balance enrollment and prepare for future growth, but of equal importance the changes also mean that our students will enter elementary and middle school with peer groups that will join them as they progress through their educational journey in FBISD.

I am also thrilled that we have expanded the number of career pathways available at each one of our high schools, more than doubling the number of pathways at a few of our campuses. House Bill 5, approved during the 83rd Legislative session, sets the groundwork for college and career planning and gives students the ability to choose the endorsements they can seek while in high school. Now in our second year of implementation, Fort Bend ISD is giving our students even more choices and opportunities to learn and grow. I am happy to share that for the 2015-2016 school year, we have added 32 Career and Technical Education teaching positions at the high school level to support the implementation of our expanded career pathways. We are investing in our students and their future and moving forward on even more improvements to our CTE programs, as approved in the 2014 Bond Program.

In closing, I want to wish your students a successful school year, filled with experiences beyond what they can imagine. We appreciate your continued support, and we are eager and ready to see you Monday morning. It’s time to set those alarm clocks and make sure our students get the rest they need before the first day of school. Don’t be late!

Sincerely,
Charles Dupre

For more information about Fort Bend ISD, you can always visit www.fortbendisd.com. Thank you for choosing Fort Bend ISD!

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Meet the Teacher Night 6:30pm

welcome pto today clip artWelcome to Meet the Teacher night at Lantern Lane Elementary School! The event starts at 6:30pm. This is your and your student’s chance to meet their teacher for the 2015-16 school year. Students will find out where their classroom is located and make some new friends. They will get a chance to socialize with old friends too!

Parents – take this opportunity to sign up as a Room Parent!

Please bring any school supplies you have with you to Meet the Teacher night. That makes it easier on your child(ren) on the first day of school.

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Register today for 2015-16 FBISD School Meal Programs

Parents/guardians may make payments on existing student meal accounts online at any time and they may apply for meal benefits online beginning Monday, August 10, 2015

NOTE: Beginning with the 2015-2016 school year, printed Free and Reduced Meals Applications will not be sent home with students.

FORT BEND ISD – To help provide students with the nutrition they need to be successful in school, Fort Bend ISD’s Child Nutrition Department offers breakfast and lunch meals to students each school day. Students may purchase breakfast for $1.25 (elementary and secondary) and lunch for $2.25 (elementary) and $2.50 (secondary). Children who qualify for the Reduced Price School Meal program may buy breakfast for 30 cents and lunch for 40 cents.

The Child Nutrition Department has partnered with Heartland School Solutions to give parents and guardians the ability to apply for meal benefits online. Beginning Monday, August 10, families may complete online applications from any computer with internet access. As a convenience to families, computers will be available at most FBISD campuses. (Please check with your student’s campus for details.) Computers are also available at the Child Nutrition Department (555 Julie Rivers Drive, Sugar Land, 77478) Monday through Friday, 9:00 a.m. to 11:00 a.m. or 1:30 p.m. to 3:30 p.m. Printed applications may be obtained from your student’s campus or the Child Nutrition Department upon request, and should be completed and returned to the Child Nutrition Department. Families are asked to complete only one application per household.

The Child Nutrition Department is also excited about the continued use of the Point of Sale computer system in all FBISD school cafeterias during the 2015-2016 school year. The computer system allows every FBISD student and employee to have a Personal Account Identification Number (PIN number) consisting of six digits. Money can be placed on the account and as meals or A La Carte items are purchased, the system will debit the account. No cash transactions are needed as long as money remains in the account. All students, regardless of their meal status (Paid, Reduced Price or Free), will have a PIN number that will be activated at their campus.

Payments on Accounts

All FBISD cafeteria managers will be available to accept payments to individual student accounts on Monday, August 17-19, from 7:30 a.m. to 1:30 p.m.; and Friday, August 21, from 7:30 a.m. to 1:30 p.m. Students who accompany their parents/guardians may also visit with the cafeteria manager and verify their PIN numbers. New students should visit their school’s registrar to obtain their PIN number. All students will receive their Personal Identification Number from their printed student locator card/class schedule when school begins. The number will remain theirs throughout their stay in FBISD and will not change.

As with the previous school year, families will also have the option of pre-paying for their student’s meal account online through RevTrak. This convenient service allows parents/guardians to place money on their student’s account any time of the day or night. The student ID number is required for all transactions. There is also a small convenience fee each time a payment is made online. Access to this service can be obtained from any computer with internet access.

For more detailed information regarding the Free and Reduced Price School Meals program, visit the FBISD Child Nutrition Department website or call (281) 634-1855.

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Updated LLE School Website

Check out the newly updated Lantern Lane website! Fort Bend ISD has been hard at work updating and making the official district schools pages more user friendly and useful.

Lantern Lane’s official school website has a calendar with upcoming events and dates listed on it. ALL of the teacher’s web pages and email addresses are also found there. Each teacher will use their page during the school for homework assignments, classroom details, and other stuff your student will need to know.

Information about school clubs and library can also be found on the LLE website.

 

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FBISD Budget and Tax Rate

Straight Talk about the 2015-16 Fort Bend ISD Budget and Tax Rate
Fort Bend ISD is committed to our District’s mission to inspire and equip all students to pursue futures beyond what they can imagine. Everything we do as a District is done to fulfill this mission in a way that demonstrates conservative fiscal management and sound stewardship of taxpayer money. In sum, our obligations are to the students of Fort Bend ISD, as well as taxpayers. We must balance all of our responsibilities, with an eye on our students’ ? and our District’s ? future.

Fort Bend ISD is widely known for its outstanding financial management. We take our responsibility seriously to provide transparent, accurate and timely information to our community. During the budget approval process, the District heard some questions and concerns raised about our 2015-16 budget and tax rate and how an increase in property values affects funding for the District’s budget.

To that end, we are sending you a link to some Budget Questions and Answers that provide an overview of the components of our 2015-16 Budget to further explain and address the issues we are hearing.
We are also producing an information video about the 2015-16 budget and tax rate to help answer any additional questions. We expect to share the video with you in early August.
For information currently available about the 2015-16 budget and tax rate, please visit the District’s Budget webpage on the Fort Bend ISD website to view a more detailed PowerPoint presentation. The new budget video will be shared in early August on the District’s Budget webpage.

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Annual FBISD Parent Organization Meeting

Very Important

Annual Parent Organization Meeting is scheduled for Saturday, August 8th from 9:00am – 12:30pm at the FBISD Annex Main Auditorium (3119 Sweetwater Blvd, Sugar Land, TX 77479). 

The meeting will give participants an opportunity to review the latest guidelines and hear from and ask questions of the following speakers:

  • FBISD Police Officers on Parent Organization/Theft Prevention in School
  • FBISD Strategic Partnerships Coordinator on Criminal Background Checks and Reporting Volunteer Hours
  • FBISD Director and Assistant Director of Child Nutrition on Request for Food Sales or Food Services
  • Texas Comptroller’s representative on Sales Tax Compliance
  • Certified Public Accountant on 501(c)(3) Requirements and IRS Tax Filings
  • Insurance Agent on Liability Insurance Coverage
  • School Health Advisory Council (SHAC) District Coordinator

 

Again, this year the District will not offer a group liability insurance plan.  Each booster club/parent organization will have to purchase their insurance on their own and work directly with the insurance agency for payment and information. For additional information regarding insurance renewal, please feel free to contact Serenity Lemond at 281.634.2812.

 

  • As your new officers are elected this year, please be reminded that the Parent Organization/Booster Club Information Sheet must be completed when new officers are elected and sent to the Internal Audit Department

 

  • Each year Parent Organizations/Booster Clubs are required to submit a written report of audited actual revenues and expenditures for that school year with the Review Committee Report, renewed liability insurance, and 2015-2016 Officer List to the School Principal and to the District’s Business & Finance Department by a stated date.  The reports are due on or before September 1, 2015.  Please see the Parent Organization/Booster Club Guidelines Book for instructions for the financial report format and Review Committee Report.

 

If there are any questions, please do not hesitate to contact me, Serenity Lemond, at 281.634.2812.

 

Please share this information with your parent support organizations to ensure that they are aware of these items. 

 

 

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