Sunday, May 27, 2018

Dear Senior Class of 2018

Special Note - This is my graduation speech to the senior class of 2018. This group is very special to me as they have done so much to help our district learn, grow and excel. I congratulate them for their accomplishments thus far and can’t wait to see all they accomplish in the future. 


Good morning. As the superintendent of Blue Ridge Independent School District, I'd like to welcome you to the 2018 Blue Ridge High School Graduation ceremony. Graduates, today we celebrate you, for you have achieved a great milestone, and in doing that, it is very important that we recognize those who have helped you on your journey.


First we need to thank our board of trustees for establishing the vision for you to receive the very best education that will lead you to a prosperous future.  Board members, will you please stand so we can thank you for your leadership.


Graduates, you are almost to the finish line, but you didn’t get there alone.  There are some very special people that you must thank. First, let’s honor our parents. They have done so much to raise you, clothe you, feed you and instill in you the values of character, respect, hard work and responsibility.  Without them you would not be here today. If you are a parent of a Blue Ridge graduate, will you please stand to be recognized.


For 13 years of your life, you have spent the majority of your life in a school, and educators have helped you along your journey by giving you the knowledge and skills that will prepare you to be successful adults, but even more they have taught you the values of kindness, service, and leadership.  If you are a teacher or staff member at Blue Ridge ISD, will you please stand to be recognized.


Last, there is one reason and one reason only that we are here today.  We live in the best nation in the world where each and everyone of us has the freedom to pursue life, liberty and the pursuit of happiness.  The greatness of our nation and the future of our prosperity is guaranteed each and every day by the brave men and women who sacrifice their lives to defend and protect our way of life.  If you are a veteran or active member of the US Military, will you please stand to be recognized.


Graduates, you are an amazing group of men and women.  You have accomplished so many things that have made Blue Ridge a wonderful school in so many ways, and we sincerely appreciate you for all that you have done.  Now a new chapter is about to commence. This new chapter is called “The Real World”, and I must warn you that it will not be as easy as you think, but this chapter is no different than the challenges that Blue Ridge Tigers before you have experienced.


In 1943, seventy-five years ago,  Blue Ridge ISD Superintendent M.W. Fagg delivered a similar message to the seniors of 1943.  His message can be found in a yearbook donated by Mr. Billy John Dickson that is now on display at our administration building.  In 1943, the United States was in the middle of World War 2, and during that time there was a tremendous amount of uncertainty about the future of America and the world that those 1943 graduates would inherit. His letter reads as follows:


To the students of 1943, this year marks off another rung of the ladder that you are climbing to success.  You have the best wishes from all who have been associated with you this year. I sincerely wish for you the greatest of all the pleasant things that life has to offer.  You have had to leave off some of your extra-curricular activities, but you have taken the sacrifice splendidly just as all American boys and girls should do.


Neither you nor I can definitely say as to what you have to face in the future with our world situation.  But I’m sure you can handle the situation as capably as did our forefathers, and make this America, that we all love, a brighter and stronger place in which to reside.


Graduates, this time capsule message from 75 years ago still rings true today in 2018.  While we are not in the middle a World War, you are walking into a world that is ever-changing and here’s the main idea.  You are now inheriting this country. I challenge you to love our country, love your community, build a family and love them with everything you’ve got.  I challenge you to make our world a better place, but more importantly, I challenge you to not fall into the trap of being a skeptic, a cynic or someone who always complains.  This world has enough whiners, but what this world needs is more winners. You are winners, and you were built by your wonderful family and by this great district to continue your journey a winner.  Now all you have to do is go out there and make it happen. Graduates of 2018, I wish you the best of luck and may God bless you, the graduating class of 2018.

Thursday, May 24, 2018

June Announcements

The +10 Mindset
This school year has been a great one.  We are so proud of our students and all that they have accomplished.  We are extremely appreciative of our teachers, administrators and staff who went above and beyond to make this a great year for our kids.  Finally we are thankful for our parents who are trusted partners in each child's educational process.  Together the team from everyone makes Blue Ridge a destination district.

As another year comes to a close, I know that everyone is thinking about going different directions and heading off on vacation.  I have those same thoughts myself, but I would like to invite everyone to a big event on June 4 at 6 p.m. 

The Blue Ridge Alliance will be hosting a joint meeting on Monday, June 4 at 6 p.m. at the BRISD administration building with the school, City of Blue Ridge and the Chamber of Commerce, and we invite everyone to come.  We will be talking about the following information:
  • Updates from the City, Chamber and School
  • Planning for next fall's Blue Ridge Fall Festival in October
  • Strengthening our Community to protect our children and our schools.
This meeting will not only celebrate the great things happening but also how we can make our community safer and better for everyone.  The meeting hopes to gather ways that we can get our kids more connected in civic activities, involved in churches, and making sure they don't fall prey to the dangers that kids can often encounter during the summer.  I hope that you can join us.



Upcoming Events

  • Mon, May 28 - Memorial Day (BRISD Closed)
  • Tue, May 29 - BRISD Staff Development Day
  • Wed, May 30 - Region 10 Staff Development Day
  • Thu, May 31 - BRISD Curriculum Training Day for Staff
  • June 4 - Summer Office Hours Begin (M - Th from 7:00 - 5:00 p.m.)
  • Mon, June 4 - Blue Ridge Alliance Meeting at 6 p.m. at BRISD Admin Building
  • Mon, June 18 - BRISD Board Meeting
  • Mon, July 16 - BRISD Board Meeting
  • Thu, Aug 16 - Meet the Teacher
  • Mon, Aug 20 - 1st Day of 2018-2019 School Year

Calendars
District Calendar
Elementary School Calendar
Middle School Calendar
High School Calendar
Blue Ridge Community Calendar



Thank you to our End of Year Donors
Thank you so much to our end of year donors for all that was donated to celebrate our teachers and staff.  Check out our district Facebook or Twitter page to see how much was given to honor them for their hard work.


         






Your Input Matters
If you have a question, suggestion, or comment, please leave a comment below. Comments are not published immediately. Please do not leave negative comments about individual people. If you have a negative comment, please email the principal, superintendent or call 972-752-5554.

Wednesday, May 16, 2018

Week of May 21

The +10 Mindset
Saul Valdez won the Impact Award
for his entry in the Strike Out Straws
category. He won $500!
The final week of the 2017-2018 year is here.  Can you believe it?  It seems like we just started
school a few weeks ago and now it's already over.  I guess time does fly when you're having fun.

As we end another year, I'd like to personally say thank you to our parents for doing such a great job raising and supporting your children so that they can reach their full potential in school.  It is you who laid the foundation for your children to achieve great things this year.

Next, I would like to thank every teacher, paraprofessional, office staff, maintenance staff, food service, bus driver, counselor, principal and central office member for your hard work.  It was your team work and commitment to excellence that inspired our students to believe in themselves and reach for goals that were higher than they had ever achieved.

Skylar Gerner wins Bronze in High Jump and
6th in the Triple Jump at UIL State Track
Students, I would like to express my most sincere appreciation for all that you have done this year.  All of the accolades that we achieved this year, both in and out of the classroom, could not have happened without your grit, determination, and passion for growth.  Each and every one of you are an inspiration to us all.

Finally, none of this could truly happen without our fantastic board of trustees.  They have charted a course for our district to accomplish great things in such a short amount of time, and they have provided the support, the resources, and the encouragement to ensure that Blue Ridge ISD reaches its goals.  We are blessed to have such a fine group of men and women who aspire for excellence in every educator and ultimately every student.

In closing, I thank you for partnering with us this year.  If you have time, I encourage you to look back over my weekly posts from this year and see just how much we have accomplished.  Blue Ridge is a special place.  It is a district not only growing in enrollment.  We are growing in our performance, our commitment and our excellence.  Thank you for being a part of our team.


Blue Ridge makes UIL Track History
This year has been a banner year for UIL Track.  Both the boys and girls were district runners-up and several athletes advanced to the area and regional meets.  We had a record 4 students advance to the state track meet in Austin.  We are excited to report that all 4 students placed at the track meet which the first time in school history that 2 or more students placed at the track meet.

Congratulations to Skylar Gerner who won the Bronze in High Jump and 6th place in Triple JumpMarlaina Morgan placed 5th in Pole Vault, and Jacob Stroup placed 5th in the 110M Hurdles.   Blue Ridge athletes were coached by Andrew Carlson and Terra Mathers.  Congratulations students and coaches, and thank you for making Blue Ridge a huge success in track this year.
Senior Trip 2018


End of Year Staff Celebration
Special thanks go out to all of the businesses and individuals who have donated to support our teachers and staff at our End of Year Staff Celebration on Friday, May 25, 2018.






Upcoming Events

  • Sun, May 20 - Senior Baccalaureate at FBC at 2 p.m.
    Marlaina Morgan wins 5th in
    Pole Vault at UIL State Track
  • Mon, May 21 - BRISD Board Meeting
  • Tue, May 22 - Academic Awards Night at 6:30 p.m.
  • Thu, May 24 - Kindergarten Graduation at 6 p.m.
  • Thu, May 24 - 8th Grade Promotion Ceremony at 7 p.m.
  • Fri, May 25 - Last Day of School (Early Release and End of Year Staff Luncheon)
  • Sat, May 26 - Graduation at 11 a.m.
  • Mon, May 28 - Memorial Day (BRISD Closed)
  • Tue, May 29 - BRISD Staff Development Day
  • Wed, May 30 - Region 10 Staff Development Day
  • Thu, May 31 - BRISD Curriculum Training Day for Staff
  • June 4 - Summer Office Hours Begin (M - Th from 7:00 - 5:00 p.m.)
  • Thu, Aug 16 - Meet the Teacher
  • Mon, Aug 20 - 1st Day of 2018-2019 School Year

Calendars
Jacob Stroup won 5th in the 110M Hurdles
at UIL State Track Meet
District Calendar
Elementary School Calendar
Middle School Calendar
High School Calendar
Blue Ridge Community Calendar


Your Input Matters
If you have a question, suggestion, or comment, please leave a comment below. Comments are not published immediately. Please do not leave negative comments about individual people. If you have a negative comment, please email the principal, superintendent or call 972-752-5554.

Wednesday, May 9, 2018

Week of May 14

The +10 Mindset
Teacher Appreciation Week was fantastic.
Thank you to all who made it great!!!
Next week our students in grades 3-8 will take their STAAR test. While this test is a snapshot of your
child’s performance, it is important that you remind your child that their score does not define them as individuals. At Blue Ridge ISD, our goal is growth, and we will use the results to figure out better ways to serve your children next year.

I would like to thank all of our teachers, administrators, counselors, and staff for their hard work in preparing our kids for success. I would also like to thank our parents for their partnership in helping our kids reach their goals, and finally, I wish our kids the best of luck and encourage them to be confident next week to show how much they’ve grown this year.   Together we are a strong team, and we will ensure that every student fulfills our motto:  Learn, Grow, Excel. 




Blue Ridge Competes at UIL State 
Thank you to Denise Avery donated who a
new grill for our
End of Year Staff Celebration
Next week, we will have several students at the UIL State Tennis Tournament and Track Meet. GoodJacob Stroman, Nolan Henderson, Ellery Martin and Shelby Gerner at the Tennis Tournament. These students are coached by Greg Morrison. Also good luck to Skylar Gerner, Marlaina Morgan, and Jacob Stroup who will compete at the UIL State Track Meet. Thank you to all of our coaches for helping these athletes excel.
luck to


End of Year Staff Celebration
Special thanks go out to all of the businesses and individuals who have donated to support our teachers and staff at our End of Year Staff Celebration on Friday, May 25, 2018.





Upcoming Events
  • Kindergarten is learning about the
    parts of a plant.
    Mon, May 14 - STAAR 3-8 Math (Including 5 & 8 retest)
  • Tue, May 15 - STAAR 3-8 Reading (Including 5 & 8 retest)
  • Tue, May 15 - FFA Banquet
  • Wed, May 16 - STAAR 5 & 8 Science
  • Wed, May 16 - TSI Testing at Collin College for 10th - 12th grades
  • Thu, May 17 - STAAR 8 Social Studies
  • Mon, May 21 - BRISD Board Meeting
  • Tue, May 22 - Academic Awards Night
  • Thu, May 24 - Kindergarten Graduation at 6 p.m.
  • Thu, May 24 - 8th Grade Promotion
  • Fri, May 25 - Last Day of School (Early Release)
  • Sat, May 26 - Graduation at 11 a.m.
  • Mon, May 28 - Memorial Day (BRISD Closed)
  • Tue, May 29 - BRISD Staff Development Day
  • Wed, May 30 - Region 10 Staff Development Day
  • Thu, May 31 - BRISD Curriculum Training Day for Staff




Calendars
BRMS teachers worked hard to make special plans for
reviewing the kids for STAAR week.

District Calendar
Elementary School Calendar
Middle School Calendar
High School Calendar
Blue Ridge Community Calendar


Your Input Matters
If you have a question, suggestion, or comment, please leave a comment below. Comments are not published immediately. Please do not leave negative comments about individual people. If you have a negative comment, please email the principal, superintendent or call 972-752-5554.

Wednesday, May 2, 2018

Week of May 7

The +10 Mindset 5 & 8 STAAR Success
BRMS held a Flexible Learning Day last week to allow
students to choose their path of learning for the day.

This year our 5th and 8th graders saw huge increases in reading and math.  We are so proud of our students for their hard work in learning and our 5th and 8th grade teachers for the countless hours of hard work and determination they put in to help our students reach their goals.

Below is a table that shows how much the students grew from their previous performance as 4th and 7th graders at the "Approaches" (passing) standard, "Meets" (college-ready) standard, and the "Masters" (advanced) standard.






Tested Area at Standard
17-18
Percentage of  4th or 7th
graders at standard
18-19
Percentage of  5th or 8th
graders at standard

Growth
5th Reading Approaches
71%
80%
+9
5th Reading Meets
38%
46%
+8
5th Reading Masters
27%
25%
-2
5th Math Approaches
71%
95%
+24
5th Math Meets
27%
63%
+36
5th Math Masters
9%
28%
+19
8th Reading Approaches
72%
76%
+4
8th Reading Meets
38%
58%
+20
8th Reading Masters
17%
33%
+16
8th Math Approaches
73%
90%
+17
8th Math Meets
44%
73%
+29
8th Math Masters
14%
30%
+16


Wink selected for TEA State Policy Committee

Marlaina Morgan is the Regional Champ in Pole Vault and
is headed to stats.  So proud of her.
The Texas Education Agency Commissioner Mike Morath invited me to serve on his Policy Committee on Public Education Information (PCPEI).  This exclusive group of school superintendents and Education Service Center leaders personally selected by the Commissioner meets four times per year to give input on policies that directly impact Texas public schools.  It is a tremendous honor to represent Blue Ridge ISD as well as Texas public schools.







End of Year Staff Celebration
Special thanks go out to all of the businesses and individuals who have donated to support our teachers and staff at our End of Year Staff Celebration on Friday, May 25, 2018.








Upcoming Events

  • Fri, May 4 - #GenTxDay
    Jacob Stroup advanced to the STATE
    Track Meet in 110M Hurdles
  • Week of May 7 - STAAR EOC Testing at BRHS:  Tue - Alg 1, Wed - Bio, Thu - US History
  • Week of May 7 - Teacher Appreciation Week
  • Mon, May 7 - Special Olympics Banquet
  • Tue, May 8 - Athletics Banquet at 6:30 p.m.
  • Mon, May 14 - STAAR 3-8 Math (Including 5 & 8 retest)
  • Tue, May 15 - STAAR 3-8 Reading (Including 5 & 8 retest)
  • Tue, May 15 - FFA Banquet
  • Wed, May 16 - STAAR 5 & 8 Science
  • Wed, May 16 - TSI Testing at Collin College for 10th - 12th grades
  • Thu, May 17 - STAAR 8 Social Studies
  • Mon, May 21 - BRISD Board Meeting
  • Tue, May 22 - Academic Awards Night
  • Thu, May 24 - Kindergarten Graduation at 6 p.m.
  • Thu, May 24 - 8th Grade Promotion
  • Fri, May 25 - Last Day of School (Early Release)
  • Sat, May 26 - Graduation at 11 a.m.
  • Mon, May 28 - Memorial Day (BRISD Closed)
  • Tue, May 29 - BRISD Staff Development Day

Skylar Gerner is headed to state as the Triple Jump champ
and High Jump Runner Up.



Calendars
District Calendar
Elementary School Calendar
Middle School Calendar
State Rep. Justin Holland visited Blue Ridge Elementary
on Thursday, April 26.
High School Calendar
Blue Ridge Community Calendar





Your Input Matters
If you have a question, suggestion, or comment, please leave a comment below. Comments are not published immediately. Please do not leave negative comments about individual people. If you have a negative comment, please email the principal, superintendent or call 972-752-5554.

Tuesday, April 24, 2018

Week of April 30

The +10 Mindset - Finding your "Kick"
Congrats to Jared Stroman, Nolan Henderson,
Coach Greg Morrison, Ellery Martin, and
Shelby Gerner
for advancing to the state
tournament in tennis.

The final month of school is here.  The finish line is in sight, and the final push is here.  In track terms this is where runners must find their "kick" or last bit of energy to run faster and harder in order to ensure a win in the race.

In May it is very easy to look forward to summer and slow down the pace as we move closer to the end of school, but that is not what the best schools do.  In fact they do the exact opposite.  They push harder.  They run faster, and they study harder in order to ensure that they reach their goal, Excellence in Every Student.

This month, we will be pushing hard to reach our goals in academics, athletics, and attendance, but we will also be celebrating even harder.  If you look at the calendar for each campus, you will see lots of assemblies, banquets, and trips.  At Blue Ridge ISD we will be kicking it into high gear as we run faster and harder to the finish line.  I hope you will join us.




End of Year Teacher Appreciation
Congrats to Nolan Henderson for making the finals at
EarthXFilm Festival

On the last day of school, we will continue our tradition of thanking our employees for their hard work this year.  The board of trustees will be providing us with a fantastic lunch, and we will be thanking our teachers and staff in grand style.  Below is a list of businesses and individuals who have donated prizes to reward our teachers and staff for their hard work this year.  If you would like to be a part of group of donors, please contact Shawn Harris at 972-752-5554.


Upcoming Events

Great job to Zoey Bell for organizing our
very first Craft Fair last Saturday
  • Fri, Apr 27 - BB vs Celeste HOME (SENIOR NIGHT)
  • Fri, Apr 27 - End of 6 Weeks Grading Period
  • Tue, May 1 - BRHS Band Concert
  • Thu, May 3 - Beta Night at Frisco Roughriders
  • Thu, May 3 - Band Banquet
  • Fri, May 4 - #GenTxDay
  • Week of May 7 - STAAR EOC Testing at BRHS:  Tue - Alg 1, Wed - Bio, Thu - US History
  • Week of May 7 - Teacher Appreciation Week
  • Mon, May 7 - Special Olympics Banquet
  • Tue, May 8 - Athletics Banquet at 6:30 p.m.
  • Mon, May 14 - STAAR 3-8 Math (Including 5 & 8 retest)
  • Tue, May 15 - STAAR 3-8 Reading (Including 5 & 8 retest)
  • Tue, May 15 - FFA Banquet
  • Wed, May 16 - STAAR 5 & 8 Science
  • Wed, May 16 - TSI Testing at Collin College for 10th - 12th grades
  • Thu, May 17 - STAAR 8 Social Studies
  • Mon, May 21 - BRISD Board Meeting
    Sign up for our New
    Anonymous Alerts App
  • Tue, May 22 - Academic Awards Night
  • Thu, May 24 - Kindergarten Graduation at 6 p.m.
  • Thu, May 24 - 8th Grade Promotion
  • Fri, May 25 - Last Day of School (Early Release)



Calendars
District Calendar
Elementary School Calendar
Middle School Calendar
High School Calendar
Blue Ridge Community Calendar




Your Input Matters
If you have a question, suggestion, or comment, please leave a comment below. Comments are not published immediately. Please do not leave negative comments about individual people. If you have a negative comment, please email the principal, superintendent or call 972-752-5554.

Thursday, April 19, 2018

Week of April 23

The +10 Mindset
Our BRHS Girls Area Track Qualifiers
Academic and athletic competition is a very important part of our mission at Blue Ridge ISD, and this year has been an extremely successful for both academic and athletic competition.  This week, I would like to highlight our success in UIL Track and UIL Academics.

In UIL Academics, BRES won the district championship, BRMS won the district runner-up and BRHS won the district runner-up as well.  For all campuses total team points increased tremendously with BRMS almost doubling their overall point total from last year.  As we head into 3A competition, I am so proud of the work our students and staff have done to be highly successful in academic competition.

In track our HS & MS campuses earned nothing less than District Runner Up success.  Here is a breakdown of our track success:

  • HS Varsity Boys - District Runner Up
    Our BRHS Boys Area Track Qualifiers
  • HS Varsity Girls - District Runner Up
  • HS JV Boys - District Champions
  • HS JV Girls - District Champions
  • MS 8th Boys - District Runner Up
  • MS 8th Girls - District Champions
  • MS 7th Boys - District Champions
  • MS 7th Girls - District Champions
We are extremely proud of our kids and coaches for finishing their last year in 2A competition by finishing 1st or 2nd at the district level, and we look forward to continued success in 3A competition.


At the April Board Meeting
The Board recognized our Teachers of the Year:
Roma Morgan - BRMS, Melissa Stiney & Laura
Larsen
- BRES, Not Pictured Derek Gourley - BRHS
At the Monday, April 16 board meeting, the board recognized our teachers of the year and our Area Qualifier track athletes.  The board heard an information report by Pogue Construction on the Construction Manager At-Risk process.  The board also approved updates to the Emergency Operations Plan and Extended Teacher Contracts.  Finally the board approved summer school plans and an additional position for dyslexia for the 2018-2019 school year.

The board discussed giving all staff a minimum 2% raise for the 2018-2019 school year.  This information will be finalized as the budget process continues to be developed in May.  In order to be competitive and to reward our teachers for their hard work, the Blue Ridge ISD Board of Trustees has made it a priority to improve compensation for the district's employees.  At the May board meeting more plans will be shared to increase compensation for all employees.


Anonymous Alerts
Blue Ridge ISD has partnered with Anonymous Alerts so that students and parents can anonymously report threats, illegal drugs, vapes, bullying, cyberbullying or anything that could be of concern to the district.  Please check out the video below to learn more.  

You can download the app directly to your phone. (see icon to the right) and get into BRISD's group with the username as blueridgeisd and password as blueridgeisd.  

If you have questions, please contact your campus principal or Melissa Stiney, our new Director of Instructional Technology.



Upcoming Events

  • Fri, Apr 20 - SB at Trenton
  • Fri, Apr 20 - BB vs Ector HOME
  • Sat, Apr 21 - Mother/Son Date Night at BRES
  • Tue, Apr 24 - BB at Bland
  • Fri, Apr 27 - BB vs Celeste HOME (SENIOR NIGHT)
  • Fri, Apr 27 - End of 6 Weeks Grading Period
  • Thu, May 3 - Beta Night at Frisco Roughriders
  • Thu, May 3 - Band Banquet
  • Week of May 7 - STAAR EOC Testing at BRHS
  • Week of May 7 - Teacher Appreciation Week
  • Mon, May 7 - Special Olympics Banquet
  • Tue, May 8 - Athletics Banquet at 6:30 p.m.
  • Week of May 14 - STAAR Testing at BRMS & BRES


Calendars

District Calendar
Elementary School Calendar
Middle School Calendar
High School Calendar
Blue Ridge Community Calendar



Additional Information

Your Input Matters
If you have a question, suggestion, or comment, please leave a comment below. Comments are not published immediately. Please do not leave negative comments about individual people. If you have a negative comment, please email the principal, superintendent or call 972-752-5554.