• Superintendent's Memo 03-22-19

    Posted by Eduardo Suarez on 3/22/2019 3:00:00 PM

    SUPERINTENDENT'S BLOG - More Community Engagement Sought

    I am happy to announce that Wayne Pruski will assume the title (and duties) of Chief Financial Officer, starting in April. Paige Meloni’s last day will be March 29, and this move will allow for a smooth transition of this very important role.

    In our continuous effort to be a lean organization, and due to the upcoming completion of the 2016 Bond, we will be able to absorb his current position for the time being. Please join me in congratulation Mr. Pruski on this move and his continued leadership for SCUC.

    Meanwhile, we continued our custom of recognizing our District Partners and Collaborators, as well as our District Advisory Committees at last night’s board meeting. We informed Trustees that SCUC is going to add two District-Level Advisory Committees, effective immediately: Special Education and Technology.

    Our one-of-a-kind community makes SCUC strong with its strong level of community engagement. Our stakeholders, whether they have children attending our schools or not, make us better by providing wisdom and guidance to help us move forward.

    Please take a look at our Staff/Stakeholder Committees below, which are making a difference in sharpening our focus to live up to our Motto, Mission, Vision and Values. See if there is one (or more) suited to your interests and strengths, consider serving on them as we continue to be a listening and learning organization:

    Community Advisory Committee

    District Improvement Committee

    Booster Club/PTC Advisory Committee

    Student Advisory Committee

    School Health Advisory Committee

    Emergency Preparedness Advisory Committee

    Combined Community Advisory Committee

    Great Conversations Team

    Campus Improvement Committees

    Staff Advisory

    School to Employment Advisory Committee

    Special Education Advisory Committee

    Technology Advisory Committee 

    If you are interested in serving, please let me know by emailing us at: feedback@scuc.txed.net

    On another note, two district employees are to be commended for exhibiting our Core Value of Character. Tina Canter, secretary to Purchasing & Warehouse, is noted for stepping up to assist when taking on the duties of a colleague for an extended stretch of time. In short, when she is called for help, Tina Canter is there to assist, whether training campus administrators, newcomers, or suppliers registering online.

    Ryan Clark, Coordinator of Safe Schools & Truancy, is honored for his character too. His dedication to keeping our students safe and supporting our students who struggle with attendance is extraordinary. Even though he was introduced to many difficult situations, he approaches each one with a smile, sincerity and composure. Ryan and Tina are the types of employees that every boss dreams of.

    Finally, please take the time to enjoy our Everyday Successes for the week.

    Thank you for your support. And remember, SCUC is a District with both Passion and Purpose!

    Dr. G

    EVERYDAY SUCCESSES

    2019 FEBRUARY BOARD BRIEFS

    SCUC ISD LEGISLATIVE AGENDA

    2018-2019 BUDGET  

    2018-2019 SCHOOL YEAR CALENDAR

    2019-2020 SCHOOL YEAR CALENDAR

    Comments (-1)
  • Superintendent's Memo 03-08-19

    Posted by Eduardo Suarez on 3/8/2019 5:00:00 PM

    SUPERINTENDENT'S BLOG - Spring Break allows all of us to rest and recharge for the stretch run of the school year

    Spring Break is upon us, and we want to wish you a safe and restful time off. You have earned it. All of the vocations involved in public education can sometimes be physically challenging. We work hard for the future of our children, whether it be as a teacher or other team member at SCUC ISD. We also acknowledge the hard work our parents and community members put in to making a difference in the lives of the students we serve. It takes all of us in this endeavor, and yet, everyone come through.

    Our students also deserve an opportunity to recharge their batteries; they know the stretch run of the school year is approaching and this respite will serve them well. Catch your breath, enjoy the time off, and regroup for the rest of the school year.

    On another note, good luck to the Steele Knights this weekend at the UIL state basketball tournament! We are a collection of cities and municipalities, but we are one community and everyone is rooting for you.

    Please take the time to enjoy our Everyday Successes for the week. (LINKED BELOW)

    Thank you for your support. And remember, SCUC is a District with both Passion and Purpose!

    Dr. G

     EVERYDAY SUCCESSES

    2019 FEBRUARY BOARD BRIEFS

    SCUC ISD LEGISLATIVE AGENDA

    2018-2019 BUDGET  

    2018-2019 SCHOOL YEAR CALENDAR

    2019-2020 SCHOOL YEAR CALENDAR

    Comments (-1)
  • Superintendent's Memo 03-01-19

    Posted by Eduardo Suarez on 3/1/2019 12:45:00 PM

    SUPERINTENDENT'S BLOG - Our fight for public education continues as state lawmakers send mixed messages

    Earlier this week, I took part in a caravan to the State Capitol to confer with state legislators about the 86th Legislative Session, currently taking place in Austin. Five SCUC Trustees joined me, along with Paige Meloni, Chief Financial Officer, and four members of our Great Conversations Team. We walked throughout the building to discuss public education in general, and the SCUC Legislative Agenda, in particular, with our representatives and their top aides.

    It’s too early to draw conclusions on what this session portends for public school finance. Both political parties are vowing to dip into the Rainy Day Fund to shore up the state’s flagging contribution over the years. However, there doesn’t seem to be consensus on how to reach that objective, and some of the chatter emanating from lawmakers may have a negative impact on public education in the long run.

    We will continue to make the trek to Austin. SCUC ISD is well known among the halls of power; some of the lawmakers love our engagement in this process, and there are a few that don’t share that sentiment. However, all of the State Senators and State Representatives respect the passion the SCUC Trustees, employees and stakeholders bring to the table! We will have more to share in the months ahead.

    On another note, we hope you will consider participating in the 11th Annual SCUC ISD Education Foundation Golf Tournament next Friday, March 8th. The money raised helps fund Innovative Teacher Grants, such as the Sports United grant at Samuel Clemens High School that has drawn raves for its commitment to inclusiveness for all students. This is just one of the many worthy grant programs the Foundation has funded in its eleven years of existence.

    Please take a moment to enjoy our Everyday Successes (LINKED BELOW).

    Finally, take a moment to inspect our Board Briefs from the most recent Trustees meeting (LINKED BELOW).

    Thank you for your support. And remember, SCUC is a District with both Passion and Purpose!

    Dr. G

    EVERYDAY SUCCESSES

    2019 FEBRUARY BOARD BRIEFS

    SCUC ISD LEGISLATIVE AGENDA

    2018-2019 BUDGET  

    2018-2019 SCHOOL YEAR CALENDAR

    2019-2020 SCHOOL YEAR CALENDAR

     

     

     

    Comments (-1)
  • Superintendent's Memo 02-22-19

    Posted by Eduardo Suarez on 2/22/2019 3:15:00 PM

    SUPERINTENDENT'S BLOG - Core Values at the heart of SCUC ISD

    One of the many great attributes to SCUC is our Core Values of Leadership, Character, Commitment, Service and Learning. These Core Values are inherent traits of this community and have been embedded in the foundation of our district long before they were verbalized and written into our Strategic Plan.

    We are going to revisit these attributes on this forum on a periodic basis, to remind us of the values that make this a one-of-a-kind community, and the people who exemplify these virtues on a daily basis.

    We begin with Leadership. There are many ways to define a leader, but it is unmistakable when you see it.   A Team One member brought Sarah Dauphinais’ name to the forefront. The Principal at Wilder Intermediate School was cited for, “…continuing to lead her staff and students to improvements year after year.”

    Ms. Dauphinais is credited for setting high expectations and for working closely with her staff in setting and achieving goals. She also is recognized for establishing key systems and procedures for her campus and staff leaders. Her innate understanding of the importance of building the capacity of her staff leaders replicates the model of, “As bottom up as possible, and as top down as necessary.”

    In the coming months, we will spotlight, and honor those within our school district who embody our Core Values, to remind us how these attributes align with every aspect of our Strategic Plan. These affirmations should prompt a feeling of pride, but more importantly, gratitude, for the wonderful men and women of strength and integrity who help us, “…empower all students to fulfill lifelong potential through inspiring learning experiences.”

    Please take a moment to enjoy our Everyday Successes (LINKED BELOW).

    Thank you for your support. And remember, SCUC is a District with both Passion and Purpose!

    Dr. G

    EVERYDAY SUCCESSES

    2019 JANUARY BOARD BRIEFS

    SCUC ISD LEGISLATIVE AGENDA

    2018-2019 BUDGET  

    2018-2019 SCHOOL YEAR CALENDAR

    2019-2020 SCHOOL YEAR CALENDAR

    Comments (-1)
  • Superintendent's Memo 02-15-19

    Posted by Eduardo Suarez on 2/15/2019 4:30:00 PM

    SUPERINTENDENT'S BLOG - Faculty Feedback helping sharpen focus on matters important to staff 

    Below, you will find our second (of three) set of Questions and Answers, submitted by our principals and directors. As a reminder, every month, I ask them to let me know what is on their mind and/or what they are hearing from their staff. This process, as well as our Campus/Department roundings, are helping me better stay in touch with the SCUC front line. I am also trying to make myself more available to front-line staff. I know that I am not a perfect leader by any stretch, but I can be a better leader by listening to the front line.

    What are the district guidelines for class sizes?

    There is a delicate balance of give and take here. Enrollment projections drive our staffing guidelines; yet, funding drives staffing. The state’s decreasing percentage of expenditures forces SCUC to consider every option when maintaining good student to teacher ratios. Oftentimes, that includes class size waivers and constant monitoring of our enrollment, which continues to trend upwards.

    What is the plan to define and refine structures of response to intervention (RTI)?

    Response to Intervention (RTI) provides targeted teaching, called intervention, to students who have not yet mastered the content or standards, as well as students who have it mastered and need extensions. We began taking a hard look at our RTI systems two years ago, with an evaluation of our academic screeners that assess levels of proficiency, intervention materials, and procedures. This year, SCUC ISD purchased new screeners for Reading, Math and Social Emotional Learning and began revisions to our RTI procedures and intervention materials. With these changes and updates, we’ve had an increased need for training and access to information, so an RTI webpage is in the works and training has been on-going, including a day of training coming up on February 18th. Additionally, our Reading, Math and RTI coordinators, as well as the Counseling and Special Services department are working collaboratively to update intervention materials for our teachers to enrich and/or extend in the areas students may need. RTI is a critical component to students’ success, and we are committed to providing teachers and other campus staff the resources and training needed to meet the needs of our learners.

    What are the short term and long term plans for Special Education to address staffing, serving and training all teachers (Special Ed and General Ed) to ensure student learning?

    When the U.S. Department of Education told state officials that Texas had failed to provide students with disabilities with a proper education, the effects were felt at every public school district, including SCUC. A state-imposed cap of 8.5 percent kept Special Education staffing artificially low, and the ruling has forced us to ask Board Trustees for a Budget Amendment (which was granted) to meeting immediate needs.

    The long-term forecast is for increased Special Ed staffing, and coordination with general education for joint training opportunities. Our new Special Education Advisory Council will be invaluable in this process, providing judgment needed to help us serve all of our students.

    Increased state funding will be a vital component to addressing all of these issues. Even the most optimistic education funding scenarios will not solve these issues overnight. It will take a systemic, disciplined and cooperative approach from our Trustees, district leaders and stakeholders to assure we provide the level of services and excellence to live up to SCUC Belief Statement one: “We believe all students have the capacity to learn and excel.

    Please take the time to enjoy our Everyday Successes for the week (LINKED BELOW).

    We have also included our Board Briefs from the January meeting (LINKED BELOW).

    Thank you for your support. And remember, SCUC is a District with both Passion and Purpose!

    Dr. G

    EVERYDAY SUCCESSES

    2019 JANUARY BOARD BRIEFS

    SCUC ISD LEGISLATIVE AGENDA

    2018-2019 BUDGET  

    2018-2019 SCHOOL YEAR CALENDAR

    2019-2020 SCHOOL YEAR CALENDAR

    Comments (-1)
  • Superintendent's Memo 02-08-19

    Posted by Eduardo Suarez on 2/8/2019 11:45:00 AM

    SUPERINTENDENT'S BLOG - CTE Month celebrates the value, achievements and accomplishments of Career & Technical Education

    February is Career and Technical Education (CTE) month. Now, more than ever, CTE provides students with the opportunity to use core academic and technical skills to help them find interests that will lead to successful career paths. It also provides students with the skills to develop all of the district’s Traits of a Graduate: Dynamic Leader, Self-Motivated, Skilled Communicator, Service Oriented and Future Ready. In fact, the high school graduation rate for CTE concentrators is about 90% – 15 percentage points higher than the national average. (Source: Advance CTE)

    The theme of CTE 2019 is, “Celebrate Today, Own Tomorrow!” We are proud of the innovation and excellence in our CTE programs, and this month-long observance helps raise awareness of the crucial role CTE plays in helping students become college and/or career and/or military ready, in preparation for high-demand, high-paying jobs.

    SCUC has a total of 6,989 students in grades 7-12 currently enrolled in at least one of our CTE programs. Through our thirteen career clusters, there 95 different CTE courses offered in our school district, taught by 65 full time instructors and assisted by many blended academic/CTE instructors. CTE courses are offered at Corbett Junior High School, Dobie Junior High School, Clemens High School and Byron P. Steele II High School

    Many of the CTE courses offered at SCUC ISD can be applied for state-wide articulated college credit through Advanced Technical Credit, with Alamo Colleges for articulated post-secondary dual credit, and/or lead to an industry-recognized certification.

    As we work and partner with our business community, our district’s CTE programs are investing in students’ lives with technology and skills that give them every chance to become successful employees and future leaders.

    Please take the time to enjoy our Everyday Successes for the week (LINKED BELOW)

    Thank you for your support. And remember, SCUC is a District with both Passion and Purpose!

    Dr. G

    EVERYDAY SUCCESSES

    2018 DECEMBER BOARD BRIEFS

    SCUC ISD LEGISLATIVE AGENDA

    2018-2019 BUDGET  

    2018-2019 SCHOOL YEAR CALENDAR

    2019-2020 SCHOOL YEAR CALENDAR

    Comments (-1)
  • Superintendent's Memo 02-01-19

    Posted by Eduardo Suarez on 2/1/2019 11:30:00 AM

    SUPERINTENDENT'S BLOG - Polling data suggests Texans want quick and effective action on the state's education issues

    Raise Your Hand Texas, a public policy organization out of Austin, released the findings of its Texas Public Education Poll recently. It surveyed citizens throughout the state, reflecting the demographics of likely voters from all political persuasions for the 2020 general election.

    The poll confirms that Texans view public education as the single most important issue for the 86th Legislative Session, currently underway in Austin. Increased school funding, better teacher pay and a reduction of high-stakes testing are the three priorities citizens want the Governor, Lt. Governor and two chambers of the Legislature to focus on.

    Results of the poll were likely leaked to those who resides in the halls of power in Austin before the results were released to the public. It is probably no coincidence that the executive and legislative branch have found commonality of purpose after reading what citizens have been clamoring for.

    Over 71% of those polled believe not enough is spent on public education; over 85% believe classroom teachers deserve higher pay. Meanwhile, nearly 79% are opposed to increases in public school funding tied to student performance on state standardized tests.

    All of the recent signs coming out of Austin are promising. However, there has been more talk than action thus far, and the serious negotiations on bills traditionally does not pick up speed until March and April. To that end, members of our School Board and our Great Conversations Team will be making monthly treks to Austin to hold our state leaders accountable.

    Now, please take the time to enjoy our Everyday Successes for the week (LINKED BELOW).

    Thank you for your support. And remember, SCUC is a District with both Passion and Purpose!

    Dr. G

    EVERYDAY SUCCESSES

    2018 DECEMBER BOARD BRIEFS

    SCUC ISD LEGISLATIVE AGENDA

    2018-2019 BUDGET  

    2018-2019 SCHOOL YEAR CALENDAR

    2019-2020 SCHOOL YEAR CALENDAR

    Comments (-1)
  • Superintendent's Memo 01-25-19

    Posted by Eduardo Suarez on 1/25/2019 12:15:00 PM

    SUPERINTENDENT'S BLOG - Positive Texas Academic Performance Report (TAPR)  a reflection of the SCUC Community

    The 2017-18 Texas Academic Performance Report (TAPR) was presented to Board Trustees earlier this week, representing the data from the 2017-18 school year, as required by law. Much of the report provides detailed information on how SCUC ISD compared in statewide standardized tests.

    Belief Statement eight of the 2018-2022 Strategic Plan is unequivocally clear on how SCUC regards these high-stakes tests: “We believe measures of success go beyond standardized testing.” However, it was difficult not to notice that our school district outperformed school districts under the Education Service Center-20 (ESC-20) umbrella, as well as statewide averages, in many of these exams. What these measurements should tell us is that we have an amazing, one-of-a-kind community, comprised of parents, teachers, support staff and stakeholders who provide an environment where we can, “…empower all students to fulfill lifelong potential through inspiring learning experiences.”

    Other Points of Pride we can glean from the TAPR report: SCUC ISD enjoys a 96.1% student completion rate, which puts SCUC in the upper echelon among school districts. Over 92% percent of our students participated in the SAT/ACT exams, a carryover from one of our 2014-2018 Strategic Plan emphases. Our employee retention rate continues to sparkle too, with nearly 92% of our employees choosing to stay at SCUC ISD, far exceeding the ESC-20 and statewide averages.

    What we can infer from the TAPR report is a healthy school district that continues to strive for continuous improvement. Our goal continues having all graduates (97% of those who start) as college and/or career and/or military ready when they receive their diplomas from one our three high schools.

    On another note, please enjoy our Everyday Successes for the week (LINKED BELOW).

    Thank you for your support. And remember, SCUC is a District with both Passion and Purpose!

    Dr. G

    EVERYDAY SUCCESSES

    2018 DECEMBER BOARD BRIEFS

    SCUC ISD LEGISLATIVE AGENDA

    2018-2019 BUDGET  

    2018-2019 SCHOOL YEAR CALENDAR

    2019-2020 SCHOOL YEAR CALENDAR

     

    Comments (-1)
  • Superintendent's Memo 01-18-19

    Posted by Eduardo Suarez on 1/18/2019 11:15:00 AM

    SUPERINTENDENT'S BLOG - Promising news from the 86th Legislative Session

    The 86th Legislative Session is underway and the early report can only be described as promising for public education. The Texas House is proposing $7 billion in new state funds for public schools; the Texas Senate is coming in with a more modest $4.3 billion injection into public education.

    Needless to say, this is not what most of the political pundits in Austin and throughout the state were expecting. Perhaps it was an attack of conscience by state lawmakers, or the sudden realization that Texans on both sides of the political aisle were demanding something be done to live up to the precepts of the Texas Constitution.

    It’s too early to read into these proposals, and future events could always change the dynamics of what is being placed on the table for legislators to consider. What’s most important is that you let your voice continue to be heard on this matter. Call, write, email or pay a visit to your State Representative or State Senator in Austin during the session, and let them know you’re watching. Thank them for this first step and continue to hold them accountable so that every student in a Texas public school will receive an equal opportunity for a great education.

    Regarding another matter, we had the opportunity to partake in the SCUC ISD Education Foundation Prize Patrol last week. Seeing the faces of the teachers selected for Innovative Teacher Grants is one of the best aspects of my job. These creative thinkers are sparking imagination and wonder among our students with these grant proposals, and we look forward to hearing about the positive impacts they will make. Our Education Foundation Board of Directors deserve a huge thanks for the wonderful work they do to raise the money and distribute the funds to the students in our school district!

    Please take the time to see our Board Briefs from our December meeting (LINKED BELOW) and our Everyday Successes (LINKED BELOW).

    Thank you for your support. And remember, SCUC is a District with both Passion and Purpose!

    Dr. G

    EVERYDAY SUCCESSES 

    2018 DECEMBER BOARD BRIEFS

    SCUC ISD LEGISLATIVE AGENDA

    2018-2019 BUDGET  

    2018-2019 SCHOOL YEAR CALENDAR

     

    Comments (-1)
  • Superintenden't's Memo 01-11-19

    Posted by Eduardo Suarez on 1/11/2019 3:45:00 PM

    SUPERINTENDENT'S BLOG - Combiined Community Advisory Committee Meeting reflects tremendous stahkeholder engagement at SCUC ISD

     

    Our annual Combined Community Advisory Committee, held last night, was a huge success. We are so thankful we have city and county leaders, community members and employees, who are laser focused on district affairs. Those in attendance were informed on the district’s Budget Update, the Demographer Report, and our 10-Year Facility Master Plan.

    Each category is different, but they are also interwoven. We discussed the budget challenges and the impact the current Legislative Session in Austin may have on it. The demographer detailed our steady growth, coupled with the dynamic rise in homebuilding and permits for plats in the 72-square miles that encompass our district. As our population and student enrollment continue to increase, we grapple with the challenges of providing new facilities and maintaining our current buildings.

    We are the caretakers of your school district. Your civic engagement and feedback will help us chart the course for SCUC, and we welcome it. If you are unable to attend our numerous advisory committee meetings or school board meetings, you can always share your input at: feedback@scuc.txed.net.

    On another note, please take the time to enjoy our Everyday Successes (LINKED BELOW)

    Thank you for your support. And remember, SCUC is a District with both Passion and Purpose!

    Dr. G

    EVERYDAY SUCCESSES 

    SCUC ISD LEGISLATIVE AGENDA

    2018 NOVEMBER BOARD BRIEFS

    2018-2019 BUDGET  

    2018-2019 SCHOOL YEAR CALENDAR

     

     

    Comments (-1)