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Superintendent's column: Exciting changes coming to Victoria schools

By BY ROBERT JAKLICH
July 20, 2013 at 2:20 a.m.

Robert Jaklich

It has been said that in the winds of change we can find our true direction. In regards to the Victoria Independent School District, this is definitely the case. We have experienced much change in this past year, and we are extremely excited as to what the future holds. As a school district, we will continue to work collaboratively to embrace change, and we will view change as a process and not an event. Zig Ziglar once stated: "What you get by achieving your goals is not as important as what you become by achieving your goals."

Some of the changes and new initiatives this year include a seven-period day bell schedule for all high school students and staff. This new schedule will allow for more consistency in our schools, the opportunity to build stronger student-staff relationships and help to close the achievement gap in learning.

By incorporating a new pre-K curriculum called Developmental Learning Materials (DLM), we will be able to increase literacy and numeracy skills among our pre-K students. We are also increasing the amount of daily instruction time for all elementary, middle and high school students. This will allow for a more aligned curriculum that includes additional career and technology courses and develops more diverse and robust business partnership opportunities.

Our eighth-grade students will continue to utilize the ReadiStepCollege Readiness Assessment to assist them with advanced placement course selections and career pathway opportunities. A redesign of the teacher facilitator position to an instructional coach position provides the opportunity to assist our teachers in the context of curriculum standards and affords our teachers specific staff development through the professional learning communities model.

In terms of staff and personnel, we have restructured our Human Resources Department to strengthen our commitment to recruit, retain and support a quality workforce. We have also redesigned our Curriculum, Instruction and Accountability Division, focusing on the fidelity of implementing resources, higher order strategies and lesson plan designs.

As we begin the implementation of these new strategies, programs and schedules, we will never lose sight of our commitment to quality. This begins with a quality learning environment, quality instruction and quality resources for all students and staff. We have been working diligently to prepare for this upcoming school year, and we are extremely proud of our students, staff and Board of Trustees for taking the risk of being great. Their efforts continue to make us the extraordinary school district we aspire to be and remind us daily that the greatest risk in life is never taking one.

Robert Jaklich is the superintendent for the Victoria Independent School District. Contact him at 361-788-9202 or through the VISD website, visd.com.

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