Dr. Blaine's Blog

 

Congratulations on making it to the end of the first semester! We have had a great year so far, and I want to thank our students, families, staff, and community for the ongoing support and partnership for the benefit of Every Child – we truly are stronger together.

At the beginning of the school year, I wrote to you about our ongoing commitment to T-2-4 for Every Child, and we have been hard at work delivering on that. I also introduced you to our new Core Characteristics of a T-2-4 Ready Graduate, which define our aspiration for who we want our students to become.

This first semester has shown us a multitude of examples in which our students are demonstrating these Core Characteristics, and I’m so proud to share with you just a few examples:

Academically Prepared: Last June, third grade students from the Spring Branch Academic Institute (SBAI), competed in the Math League’s national virtual competition. Andrew Lau, now a fourth grader at SBAI, won first place in the Third Grade Division. Andrew is described as having ethical leadership, a sense of responsibility and discipline, and a kind heart…all qualities that are valued in SBISD! Read more: https://bit.ly/3rSq98n

Ethical & Service-minded: At Spring Woods High School, the saying “All Means All” is practiced daily and is what the third annual United Football Game in November encompassed. Cheering students looked on as Spring Branch ISD life skills students starred as athletes on the football field. Spring Woods varsity football players took leadership roles as coaches and mentors, calling the plays and giving guidance. Watch highlights of the Unified game here: https://bit.ly/3GwdDQg

Empathetic & Self-aware: In October, we ran a story that featured Memorial High School student Carolyn Branca, who after overcoming personal challenges with dyslexia, founded a club called Dyslexia-NOW as a place where students could support one another and share tips and tricks for learning strategies and self-advocating when help is needed. Read more:https://bit.ly/30coE9V

Persistent & Adaptable: The Wilchester Elementary community has excitedly been following the progress of fifth grader Grace Schneider, who demonstrated confidence and courageousness while competing in the third season of American Ninja Warrior Junior. In last week’s grand finale, Grace proudly took home a bronze medal! Read more about her journey: https://bit.ly/3oFChYH

Resourceful Problem-solver: This fall, Guthrie Center architectural design program students Neena Lester and Amelia Nuzzo participated in a design competition centered around students’ interpretation of what “shelter” means to them and their solutions to it. With six weeks to design and present their architectural interpretations, and out of 98 entries, Neena earned the People’s Choice Award and Amelia was a top five finalist. Read more:https://bit.ly/3GvYJJS

Communicator & Collaborator: A group of 78 students from Northbrook, Memorial, Spring Woods, and Stratford high schools, as well as The Guthrie Center, Spring Branch Academic Institute and Westchester Academy are working together to plan a first-of-its-kind event on April 23 - Spring Branch ISD Super Saturday: Unity Within the Community. These students are tasked with putting their minds together to form a 75th Anniversary celebration event that is geared towards the entire community, from students to parents to community members. I can’t wait to see what they come up with! Read more: https://bit.ly/31RjCk3

I am so excited to see all the amazing things our students will achieve in the second half of the year!

As we head out on this well-deserved holiday break, take some time to relax and celebrate with loved ones. We are grateful for the strong first half of the school year our students and staff made possible through their hard work. We look forward to welcoming our students back on Tuesday, Jan. 4.

From my family to yours, happy holidays!

 

At this time of year, I am reminded of how much we have to be thankful for in Spring Branch ISD. Over the past few weeks, I have had the opportunity to walk the halls at many of our schools and facilities, and it’s been nothing less than inspiring! 

Our students demonstrate that learning and growing never goes out of style. The level of talent, determination and grit in our students was evident as I got to visit with aspiring journalists, budding architects, published authors, student engineers, and accomplished athletes this fall. Thank you, students, for reminding us why we do the work we do each day.

Our families have played a key part in the success of students by continuing to support them in the classroom and at home. Thank you for your engagement and partnership as we continue to help Every Child move closer to achieving T-2-4 success.

Our teachers, staff, and administrators showed us that dedication and hard work pay off when they had a strong start to the year and remained focused on what matters most…our kids. Thank you for reminding us why the work of educators remains vital for the future.

Our Board of Trustees has continued to lead with focus and clarity to ensure that together, we are doing what is best for Every Child. Thank you for your Collaborative Spirit and passion for maintaining an educational environment where students have the supports and resources needed to help them achieve their dreams.

Our community partners and volunteers show up year after year with the gift of time and incredible support. Their service and partnership benefit countless students, staff, and families in many ways. Thank you for making a difference and showing us what being ethical and service-minded looks like in action.

THANK YOU to every member of the Spring Branch ISD family for making our district amazing – for 75 years and counting! I am beyond thankful to serve as your Superintendent.

I hope you enjoy a wonderful, safe, and restful holiday. We look forward to welcoming everyone back on Monday, Nov. 30!

As we wrap up the first nine weeks of the school year, and look forward to the second nine weeks, I’d like to share my immense pride in our students, and the entire Spring Branch ISD system, for getting off to such a strong start!

Now that the school year is well underway, I wanted to share some information on the very important work the district is continuing to do to ensure T-2-4 success for Every Child.

It’s not new work...it’s strategic work

As you may know, our T-2-4 goal is that every SBISD graduate will attain a technical certificate, military training, or a two-year or four-year degree. Simply put, T-2-4 is what we want our students to achieve. So, what is our aspiration for who we want our students to become? We call those our Core Characteristics. 

Our Core Characteristics of a T-2-4 Ready Graduate define the academic and social-emotional traits we commit to developing in our students as they move through our system. They ensure we achieve our goal of Spring Branch T-2-4 for Every Child.

There are six Core Characteristics: Academically Prepared, Ethical & Service Minded, Empathetic & Self-aware, Persistent & Adaptable, Resourceful Problem-solver, Communicator & Collaborator.

Take a moment to learn more about them and why they are important:

This school year, we will be focused on awareness and articulation of the Core Characteristics. Simply put, we aim for everyone - parents, partners, staff, and students - to be able to know them, see them, name them, and celebrate our students when they seem them in action. We also want to be able to clearly articulate and define how these characteristics develop in a child at each grade level, pre-K to 12. We look forward to sharing more with you as this work develops. In the meantime, learn more about the Core Characteristics of a T-2-4 Ready Graduate at www.springbranchisd.com/core.

The SBISD Grade-Level Guides are another important resource. These were developed by our Academics team to enhance our students’ academic experience and give you the tools to support their learning at home.

In these, you will find strategies based on the Texas Essential Knowledge and Skills (TEKS) and SBISD priority standards to help you help your child meet his or her learning goals. These guides provide clear and consistent expectations for what SBISD students should be learning as we strive to prepare Every Child for his/her T-2-4 goals. 

They also include an overview of key priority standards your child will learn in each curriculum content area, ideas for activities to help your child learn, and topics of discussion for talking to your child’s teacher about his or her academic progress.

Explore the grade-level guides here.

Celebrating 75 years of Inspiring Minds and Shaping Lives

2021 marks the 75th anniversary of Spring Branch ISD! While our community and district have grown and changed considerably since 1946, our commitment to children, families, and the community remains the same: to Inspire Minds and Shape Lives.

We invite you to join us in our 75th anniversary celebration. We’ll be commemorating this milestone with opportunities to bring together our students, staff, alumni, families, and friends. We know many Spring Branch ISD alumni live and work in our “small town in the big city” and we want to hear from you! 

Submit your stories and photos to sbisd75@springbranchisd.com for a chance to be featured on our special anniversary website and social media this year.

We all play a role in the ongoing success of Spring Branch ISD. Thank you for being our most important partner in your child’s educational experience.

Sincerely,

Jennifer Blaine, Ed.D.
Superintendent of Schools

 

It was a GREAT first week of a new school year for SBISD!

On Monday, I visited several of our schools and got a firsthand look at the excitement among  our students and staff. There were happy reunions of friends at Spring Woods High School. Students’ eyes lit up as they walked the brand-new halls of the rebuilt Hunters Creek Elementary and Landrum Middle schools for the first time.

At Westwood Elementary, lunch time got loud as friends told each other what they did over summer. During dismissal at Rummel Creek Elementary, students were happily rushing to tell their families all about their first day. Go behind-the-scenes with me as I traveled the district on the first day:

With the first week successfully behind us, our next days and weeks of school will be focused on a STRONG START for our students. Here are some reminders:

  • The Strong Start Learning Plan is in place to ensure students stay on track and academically successful during the 2021-2022 school year. 
  • Please familiarize yourself with our Strong Start Health & Safety Plan. In Spring Branch ISD, masks or face coverings remain optional but strongly recommended. The district will continue to update our website and inform families of any changes to the plan. 
  • In partnership with the City of Houston and Harris County health departments, we will host COVID-19 vaccination clinics at five schools on Saturday, Aug. 21 for students ages 12 and up. The clinics will be held at Hollibrook, Spring Branch, Pine Shadows and Meadow Wood elementary schools and Northbrook Middle School from 9 a.m. to 1 p.m., for students ages 12 and up from across the district to receive their first dose of the vaccine. Students will need to return to the same campuses on Sept. 11 to receive the second dose. See additional info here.
  • Our 11,000+ SBISD volunteers enhance the educational experience of both students and staff. As you look for ways to support SBISD this year, don’t forget to register to volunteer online at volunteer.springbranchisd.com.

The beginning of the school year is an exciting time full of opportunity and learning. We remain committed to our T-2-4 goal for Every Child; a goal we can only achieve by working together. Our new Core Characteristics of a T-2-4 Ready Graduate define our aspiration for who we want our students to become. We look forward to focusing on these core characteristics as we build partnerships with our families to inspire minds and shape lives!

 Thank you for your patience, trust, and support. Together, we will make this year a fantastic one!

 

 

We are excited to welcome our students back for the first day of school next week, on Aug. 16.

The safety of our students and staff remains our very highest priority. The district is monitoring the spread of viruses and other infectious diseases and will adjust mitigation procedures as needed. We continue to consult with our local medical advisors and with the Texas Education Agency and are monitoring the situation closely.

Spring Branch ISD has developed a Health and Safety plan for the new school year.  Please read the details of the plan here on the front page of our website: https://www.springbranchisd.com/.

Here are some important things to remember regarding our health and safety protocols for this year:

  • Masks are optional for students and staff. The governor of Texas and the Texas Education Agency have ordered school districts not to mandate masks in schools this year. While masks are optional, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention recommends masks be worn indoors by all individuals age 2 and older. We strongly urge parents to make the best decision for their children regarding masks at school. Every child will be respected and fully supported in our schools.
  • If a child tests positive for COVID-19, the school will conduct a case review and notify the parents or guardians of any student determined to have had close contact with that COVID-19 positive student.
  • We will continue to publish on our website a dashboard showing the number of COVID-19 positive students and staff at every Spring Branch ISD school.
  • Hand sanitizers or hand washing stations will be readily available in the classroom, common areas and where food is served.
  • We will continue the use of hospital-grade disinfectants to clean all flat surfaces and high touch areas.
  • Social distancing will be encouraged wherever possible.
  • Individuals with a confirmed positive COVID-19 test will isolate at home for 10 days. Students required to isolate at home will be provided an opportunity for online learning during that time.
  • Each day individuals are expected to self-screen for symptoms of COVID-19 and other viruses and infectious disease. 

We look forward to a great school year!