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District always focuses on offering quality

By BY ROBERT JAKLICH
Nov. 9, 2013 at 5:09 a.m.

Robert Jaklich

It has truly been an amazing start to the 2013-14 school year. The successes and accomplishments we have experienced to date are a direct result of the tremendous efforts of our students, staff, parents, community and Board of Trustees. In the Victoria ISD, our students are our most important resource and the "core value" of every decision we make. Helen Keller, when asked what it was like to not see, replied, "The only thing worse than not being able to see is being able to see but have no vision." It is obvious through the efforts and collaboration of all our VISD family members, our vision is clear, and we are definitely on the right road to success.

In our quest for excellence in education, we must continue to review and redefine strategies that will enable us to reach new heights and maintain our focus on "Every Child, Every Classroom, Every Day." Our conversations must continuously involve quality: a quality learning environment, quality instruction and quality opportunities for students and staff to excel.

A wonderful example of our commitment to quality can be found in the restructuring of our instructional day. We have added two additional hours of instruction per week, which provides 4,375 minutes of additional instruction time per year. In the high schools, we moved from an A-B block schedule, in which students met every other day, classes were 90 minutes in length and attendance was at 91.4 percent. The current seven-period day bell schedule has allowed for more consistency in our schools, the opportunity to build stronger student-staff relationships and to close the achievement gap in learning. We are already experiencing positive gains in these areas as well as a 2 percent increase in attendance at both Victoria East and Victoria West high schools.

In the Victoria ISD, we believe the goal of formal education is not simply to ensure that students are taught but to ensure that they learn. This simple shift from a focus on teaching to a focus on learning has had a profound impact in our schools. On Nov. 13, I have the distinct privilege of representing the Victoria ISD and presenting to the Chamber of Commerce the "State of the VISD Schools." The presentation will be held on the UHV campus in the multi-purpose room, and we hope you can attend and hear all about the exceptional opportunities and endless possibilities that await our students.

Florence Scovel Shinn once stated, "Every great work, every big accomplishment, has been brought into manifestation through holding on to the vision." On behalf of our Board of Trustees and the entire VISD, thank you for your "vision" to see things as they should be and for reminding us all the "Victoria ISD is too great for small dreams."

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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