Superintendent's Message, 9.28.2017

Superintendent's Message, 9.28.2017

I’ve mentioned before that my work as Superintendent of District 96 often takes me into our schools and classrooms. Those “live action” experiences are always informative, enjoyable points of reference for me. I particularly like hearing directly from our students as we sit side by side discussing the main character’s motivation, exploring number relationships, building our Spanish vocabulary, and–with admittedly much less to contribute on my part!–learning to play the trumpet.

So I’m not surprised to hear that professionals visiting our schools and newcomers to the community just registering their students cannot contain their enthusiasm for what they find. I’m excited, too! Dedicated teachers and focused students–prepared and eager to learn–create awesome outcomes working together. This, in short, is District 96.

Our reputation for being laser-focused on our students’ academic and social/emotional growth continues to grow well beyond the 20 square miles that comprise our District. In fact, since 2007 the U.S. Department of Education has awarded District 96 schools with distinguished Blue Ribbon recognition six times.

I’m thrilled to inform you that we have reason to celebrate again: The U.S. Secretary of Education announced earlier today that Prairie Elementary School has earned a 2017 United States Department of Education Blue Ribbon!

Schools receive USDE Blue Ribbon recognition for significant improvement in closing the achievement gap or–in the case for Prairie School–because students achieve very high learning standards. A Blue Ribbon is recognition of hard work and commitment. It honors students and the adults at home encouraging them. It honors challenging children and equipping them to succeed. It honors teachers who mentor one another; support staff, faculty, and administrators passionate about helping all kids; and a Board of Education with vision and tenacity.

Later this fall Prairie students, teachers and faculty, District administrators, and community members will celebrate this 2017 Blue Ribbon with a festive assembly honoring all who contributed to earning this recognition. I’m looking forward to it!

At this time, our opportunity to celebrate as a school district is something to cherish, indeed. With so many suffering the effects on their homes, schools, and businesses of hurricanes, flood, earthquake, or fire, I feel compelled to recognize another outstanding aspect of District 96…. The compassionate, thoughtful families who comprise our community make our star shine even brighter. Your donations of food, water, new clothing, and new school supplies to aid the Houston Independent School District are extremely generous and your giving to this and many other causes you choose demonstrates clearly for your children what your family values. Our collection ends tomorrow (Fri., Sept. 29) at 3 p.m. and your donations will immediately be on their way to those in need.

In celebration and appreciation!
– Superintendent Julie Schmidt