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Superintendent's column: Difficult situations are opportunities to grow

By BY ROBERT JAKLICH
May 23, 2014 at 12:23 a.m.

Robert Jaklich

Each and every day in the VISD, we are faced with a series of great opportunities brilliantly disguised as difficult situations. We identify these opportunities as defining moments. Defining moments form us and help inform others about who we are and what we stand for. The insight gained from embracing these moments provides us with the knowledge and expertise to make the right decisions and to move forward as a school district. Recent events related to our school district that have been featured in the media definitely fall into the category of defining moments.

As we continue to move forward as a school district, it is imperative that we continuously open the lines of communication with our parents and families. The power of any school district lies deep within its people, and in the VISD, we are committed to demonstrating professional standards of excellence at every opportunity. We want our families to share in this partnership and encourage our families to contact their respective schools, teachers and administrators at any time for any reason. If, after a conference with our campus team has taken place, our families are not satisfied with the response they receive, we invite them to give our central office administrative staff a call so that we can work together to resolve their concern.

This past Thursday, our school district was featured in both the Victoria Advocate and on KAVU. We had approximately 22 parents and community members demonstrate outside the Central Office Administration building expressing their concerns about student bullying. On behalf of our Board of Trustees and the entire VISD, we absolutely agree that bullying or any form of behavior that causes harm to a student, staff member or community member is absolutely inappropriate. In the Victoria ISD, the safety and well-being of our students and staff is our No. 1 priority. While we work each day to provide educational excellence for every child, every classroom, every day, our primary responsibility must be to keep our children safe. As parents and guardians, you have entrusted us with a priceless gift by sending your children to our schools, and we take that responsibility very seriously.

Great school districts must care as much about values as they do about victory, as much about purpose as they do about profit and as much about being effective as they do about being successful. In the VISD, we believe that every parent has a dream that their child will be happy and successful, and as a school district, we equally share in this dream.

Max De Pree once stated, "We cannot become what we need to be by remaining what we are." In the VISD, we are excited to embark upon a journey to give our students the tools to be the heroes and heroines of their own safety and security. In collaboration with DeTar Healthcare System and an amazing group of VISD employees, we will empower our students to take charge of their safety through the radKIDS National Child Safety Program. By working together, we will empower our children in teaching them how to recognize, avoid and escape violence. The radKids program is a revolutionary curriculum that meets or exceeds the core educational standards in all 50 states for elementary health and physical education. The radKIDS curriculum doesn't tell children what to do; it actually teaches them how to address the violence. This summer, Victoria ISD Physical Education teachers, PE assistants and counselors along with DeTar Healthcare System and VISD administrative staff will participate in training provided by the radKIDS organization. These champions for our children will be participating in 40 hours of training to learn how to deliver curriculum and provide empowerment tools to more than 7,000 of our elementary students in kindergarten through fifth grade.

It has been said that we should not limit our challenges but instead challenge our limits. It is clearly evident in the Victoria ISD that we have the passion, the commitment and the purpose to make a difference in the lives of our students, their families and in the lives of each other. On behalf of our Board of Trustees and the entire school district, we are committed to making your children our No. 1 priority and to never let the urgent items crowd out the important ones.

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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