Wednesday, June 22, 2016

Give your Input on State Testing

Below is a letter from the state of Texas seeking statewide input on the state's assessments (STAAR) and accountability system.  Your input as well as concerns are needed to help the Texas Commission on Next Generation Assessments and Accountability make recommendations for statutory and meaningful change to the current system.  

You have a voice, and it is being sought.  If you want to see a testing and accountability system that is focused on students and learnng, your opportunity is here.  I highly encourage you to share your thoughts that will ultimately impact our children and all children in the great state of Texas.

State Board of Education seeks public input 
about assessments and accountability
AUSTIN - The State Board of Education (SBOE) is issuing a survey in English and Spanish to seek public input about the state’s current assessment and accountability programs and gather suggestions for future program development. The survey will be open online to all Texans through June 30.
From October 2015 to March 2016, SBOE members held nine Community Conversations meetings around the state, meeting with more than 500 citizens to gather comments about the state’s student assessment and accountability systems. The online survey addresses the issues raised during the community meetings and allows for additional input from educators, parents, business people and students.
"Our constituents often talk to board members about testing and school ratings issues," said SBOE Chair Donna Bahorich. "I felt it was also important for board members to have in-depth discussions to learn what educators, parents, business people and others want from these two high profile programs. I believe our findings will be useful in shaping the next generation systems."
The information gathered from the survey and the Community Conversations will be compiled into a report and presented to the SBOE for its consideration at its July 19-22 meeting. Once adopted, the report will be provided to legislative leaders and the Texas Commission on Next Generation Assessments and Accountability.
The 15-member commission, created by the Texas Legislature, is to make recommendations for statutory changes to the state’s assessment and accountability systems. The commission report is to be submitted to the governor and legislature by Sept. 1.
The survey is available in English at and in Spanish at Bahorich encourages Texans to share the link to the surveys to encourage widespread participation.
For more information about the Texas Commission on Next Generation Assessments and Accountability, please visit

Thursday, June 9, 2016

Week of June 13

Week at a Glance
  • June 20 - BRISD School Board Meeting at 6 p.m.
  • June 21 - 5 & 8 STAAR Math Retest
  • June 22 - 5 & 8 STAAR Reading Retest
  • Athletic camps Monday through Thursday mornings
  • Summer office hours are Monday through Thursday from 7 a.m. - 5 p.m.
  • Monday, July 4 - BRISD closed in observance of July 4
  • July 11 - 14 - STAAR EOC retesting at BRHS

Blue Ridge Excellence
There are so many great things about Blue Ridge to celebrate.  Over the summer, we will celebrate  the successes of Blue Ridge ISD in an effort to tell our story of excellence and our pursuit of it.  If you have an idea about what makes Blue Ridge a great place for kids, staff and the community, please drop a comment below.

This week we celebrate Blue Ridge Athletics.  Athletic Director Kevin Wiggins and his entire coaching staff have done a great job leading our students to excellence in EVERY sport.  Here are just a few highlights of our athletic program.

  • 1 State Qualifier Boys Cross Country
  • Volleyball Bi-District Champions
  • Football Co-District and Bi-District Champions
  • Boys Basketball - District, Bi-District Champions, Area Champions
  • Girls Powerlifting - 1 National Champion, 1 State Runner Up, 1 State Qualifier
  • Boys Powerlifting - 2 Regional Qualifiers 
  • Tennis - Boys District Champions, Girls District Runner Up, 8 Regional Qualifiers, 1 Boys State Qualifier
  • Golf - Boys District Champions, Girls District Runner Up
  • Boys Track -  District Champions, Area Champions, 12 Regional Qualifiers, 2 State Qualifiers in Track
  • Girls Track - District Runner Up, Area Champions, 12 Regional Qualifiers
  • Softball - Qualified for Playoffs
  • Baseball - Qualified for Playoffs

We are proud of the work that the Blue Ridge Tigers have done in 2015-2016, and we are excited about the possibilities for the future accolades of our student athletes in 2016-2017.

This week, Coach Wiggins took students to learn with the Dallas Cowboys.  Check out the links and pics from the Blue Ridge Athletics Twitter page (CLICK HERE) below of our Blue Ridge Tigers learning with the Cowboys.


Friday, June 3, 2016

Week of June 6

The Bridge to Excellence
Teachers have been working hard to wrap up the year, but not in the way you would think.  This week they worked hard on preparing for next year with 2 great days of professional learning.  On Tuesday, Christi Brown with Kagan taught BRISD teachers new strategies that promote high student engagement and better performance in learning, and on Wednesday, I had the opportunity to lead training with the teachers on how we can make excellence our goal in every facet of our school.  I am very proud of the caliber of teachers we have in Blue Ridge and their deep desire to be their very best for the students and families in it.  Growth is definitely the goal at Blue Ridge ISD.

Budget & Finance
This summer, the BRISD business office will be preparing the 2016-2017 budget.  Based on this year's enrollment, we are preparing a budget based on an enrollment of 690 - 699 students which is roughly the same enrollment as last year.  We will also maintain the same staffing in an effort keep the same expenditure budget as last year.  With the supreme court's ruling on school finance being constitutional, we will not see any financial relief from the state, but we will also not see massive cuts in Blue Ridge like many school districts across the state will see.  There is action in the legislature right now as Joe Straus has called for the legislature to act.  We will keep you posted on how this will impact school finance and Blue Ridge ISD.

Summer Learning
Summer is here, but that doesn't mean learning should stop.  Over the summer, did you know that kids regress and actual return to school lower academically than 3 months earlier when they finished the year?  It is critical that we all view summer as a different kind of learning, exploratory and recreational.  Taking your kids places and exposing them to historical markers, museums, shows, new places and reading will help them maintain their present level of performance.  To help you, our elementary library will have a summer reading program (see below).  Additionally, our athletic programs will have several camps to get your students active.  No matter what you do or where you go this summer, always remember that learning never stops and the experiences you give your children will ensure that their learning never stops.