Woods' Weekly

Woods' Weekly

Woods' Weekly is written by Superintendent Brian T. Woods and is sent to Northside ISD staff every Monday to keep them updated on local and state education issues.

April 20, 2015     

Good morning!  Several people have asked me about a particular bill and its impact on teacher pay.  SB 893, as proposed, would change the way promotion decisions and compensation could be done in districts and largely leaves this to the discretion of the Commissioner.  I believe that this is in line with what the federal government wants states to do with their teacher evaluation systems.  As I’ve said before about that level of governmental involvement, this is a massive loss of local control promulgated largely by people who ran for office on the mantra of local control.  I definitely oppose this bill on that basis. 

However, the questions I have received deal with a portion of the bill that eliminates the state minimum salary schedule for teachers.  Evidently, the concern is that this would somehow lower teacher pay.  I have checked this with various consultants in Austin and none of them believe this to be the case.  So, as long as local Boards of Trustees control teacher and staff compensation, NISD will continue to have healthy teacher pay and benefits packages.

As you may know, we monitor attendance data at the district and school level literally every day.  This semester I’ve been somewhat concerned about how we compare to the last couple of years.  I know that we had more cold and flu issues this year, but the slightly lower attendance seems to have lingered into the spring.  Please use your influence with students and parents to reinforce the importance of attendance every day.  Let’s finish the year on a strong note!

Last week the NISD Museum Association held its annual retiree luncheon.  It was great to see so many friends of Northside in one place.  I told the group about where we stand with this current legislative session and asked their continued help to advocate for Northside and public education generally.  This group is a great example of a social compact at work.  These people don’t have children, or maybe even grandchildren, in school any longer, but still believe that educating the next generation is critically important to the future of our community 

and, frankly, our society.  Thanks to the NISD Museum Association for a great event!

We recently had several schools compete at the Texas Scholastic Chess Championships. Alyshea Techam, a fourth grade teacher at Bob Beard Elementary School, gave me the heads up on several NISD schools being recognized and I want to pass on my congratulations.  Within each of the grade spans, there are three different levels: Championship, Junior Varsity, and Novice.  Awards were given for:

  • High School - Championship Level John Jay HS placed 18th
  • High School - Junior Varsity Level John Jay HS placed 4th
  • Middle School - Championship Level Hector Garcia MS placed 12th and Bernal MS placed 25th
  •  Middle School - Junior Varsity Level Hector Garcia MS placed 1st
  • Elementary School - Championship Level Beard ES placed 2nd
  • Elementary School - Junior Varsity Level Langley ES placed 1st and Beard ES placed 4th
  • Elementary School - Novice Level Langley ES placed 6th
  • Primary - Championship Level (Grades K-3) Beard ES placed 17th
  • Primary - Junior Varsity Level (Grades K-3) Langley ES placed 2nd and Aue ES placed 19th
  • Primary- Kindergarten/1st Grade Championship Level Langley ES placed 30th

According to Alyshea, “Northside was the most represented district from San Antonio. . . and there were no charter or private schools that attended from San Antonio.  Go Public!  Go Northside!”  Our participation in events like these is just one more example of “going the extra mile” to provide NISD students a great overall schooling experience.

 Have a great week and Happy Fiesta!