Welcome back EPISD family!

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Dear EPISD family,

Welcome back to the 2017-18 school year! I hope everyone had a restful and re-energizing summer and is ready to work hard toward academic and personal success.

This school year will be one the best yet for EPISD!  Our teachers have been back for a week, going through a series of trainings and workshops. Many also took personal time this summer to attend professional development opportunities. I am convinced that we have the best-prepared teachers in Texas!

There are many exciting new improvements this year. Many of our middle-school students and freshmen are already enjoying their new MacBook Air laptops that were purchased with 2016 Bond funds and distributed earlier this month as part of the PowerUp initiative.  Now, all 6th-12th-grade students at EPISD have a personal laptop or device. Our next goal is to get devices into the hands of all elementary-school students.

All laptops are programmed with free Microsoft Office 365, which includes Word, Excel and even a terabyte of cloud storage space. Parents, you also have access to this software. It’s another great resource provided to our EPISD students and families!

The District continues its expansion of the popular New Tech Network, which brings project-based learning to different campuses.  These programs allow students to learn using a hands-on approach to education, and the results have been amazing.  EPISD now has the largest network of New Tech schools in Texas and 2nd largest in the United States!

Our latest addition is the country’s first single-gender New Tech program at the Young Women’s STEAM Preparatory and Research Academy, which opens this year with 6th and 7th grade students.  The young women who make up the inaugural cohort of students have been busy this summer learning more about how their school will work and developing traditions that I am sure will last a lifetime. 

Andress High School this year introduces the International Baccalaureate curriculum.  For years, students from across the county have flocked to Coronado High for its intense and renowned IB academics.  We are now excited that Andress will give even more students the option of enrolling in this challenging and effective program.

The summer also kick-started Bond 2016 projects. In addition to the new laptops, you’ll see new turf at the high school football fields, new playgrounds at some elementary campuses and new buses on our school routes. School project committees are meeting regularly to begin design discussions for campus construction. I want to once again thank the voters of EPISD to supporting the bond and allowing us to modernize our schools to the benefit of our children and employees. Check out the website at episd.org for project updates.

Welcome back! We are so happy to see you again.  Let’s make this year the best year in EPISD history so far!

New teacher orientation sparks energy, inspiration

I spent the morning today with 100 of EPISD’s newest teachers. It’s been more than 20 years s

I spent the morning today with 100 of EPISD’s newest teachers. It’s been more than 20 years since I was in their shoes, but I still share their eagerness and excitement for the first day of school.

This group of educators — some new to the profession ad some new to our District — had great questions for me. I am excited to know they are joining our ranks.

I know our students are in excellent hands.

During my conversation with them, we spoke about many issues impacting new teachers. One subject that stood out was creativity in the classroom. I see myself as an outside-the-box thinker and I encouraged them to do the same as they plan their lessons. EPISD is the type of district that will give teachers the freedom to be creative in their classrooms.

Positive vibes are contagious. I hope the passion I witnessed today continues throughout the year.

I wish all teachers at EPISD good luck on the first day of school. Have a wonderful school year.

#DiscoverEPISD #IamEPISD