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District ends year with lots of good changes

By BY ROBERT JAKLICH
June 1, 2013 at 1:01 a.m.

Robert Jaklich

It has truly been an outstanding year in the Victoria ISD. It has been said, "In the winds of change, we can find our true direction." In regards to the Victoria Independent School District, this certainly holds true today.

Ten months ago, we began a mission that every employee would serve as a "change agent" and "difference maker" in the lives of our students. We have clearly accomplished this goal. We have aligned our systems to build relationships on trust and focused on every student's unique potential. By committing our resources and our expertise to "every child, every classroom, every day," we have been able to make the impossible possible.

We have expanded our Principal PLCs (Professional Learning Communities) to include our high school, middle school, elementary school and assistant principals to meet both collectively and individually. We have implemented weekly walkthroughs at every campus and, to date, more than 6,500 classroom walkthroughs have been formally documented in the Eduphoria tracking system. We increased our after-school Homework Center hours, added free SAT Prep Courses in our Homework Center and provided transportation home to students who participated in this extended hours program.

We have covered the cost of every student's Advanced Placement Exam, and we have paid for 1,543 freshman, sophomore and junior students to take the PSAT exam. Furthermore, each student taking the PSAT exam received an individualized evaluation of their results called "AP Potential." This information assists our students with selecting the Advanced Placement courses that align with their strengths. We also are extremely proud to announce that more than 2,200 students completed their Texas Performance Standards Project.

In the area of personnel, 100 percent of our teaching staff has met the NCLB Highly Qualified status, and we have created a 7 Priorities Plan for recruiting, retaining and developing a talented and diverse work force. For the first time in many years, the VISD's Bilingual/ESL Program did not have any exceptions or a need to apply for a waiver to meet the state's accountability requirements.

The area of student and staff safety is one of high priority in our school district. We have invested in more than $250,000 worth of safety and security measures across all areas of our school district. We have created an exceptional school resource officer partnership with our Sheriff's Office, and through this partnership, we are able to support our students, staff, parents and community in a manner they so richly deserve.

It has been an extreme honor to serve as your superintendent of schools. Colin Powell once stated: "If you are going to achieve excellence in big things, you develop the habit in little matters. Excellence is not an exception, it is a prevailing attitude." On behalf of our board of trustees and the entire Victoria ISD, thank you for your supportive attitude and for believing the VISD is too great for small dreams. Have a wonderful summer.

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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