The half way point in the 2015-2016 School Year

As the 2015-2016 Borden County ISD school year reaches the halfway point, the following quote by Zig Ziglar seems appropriate, “Success is the doing, not the getting; in the trying, not the triumph. Success is a personal standard, reaching for the highest that is in us, becoming all that we can be.”

The first part of this school year has been a success. Academically and athletically, the success of each and every student is a direct reflection on the standard set by our school district, school board and administration. It’s a standard of doing, of trying and of committing oneself to pursuing excellence.

This is easy to say, easy to write but even harder to do. Success happens by hard work. It is not given to our students and staff. It is a result of effort and determination. We are very fortunate and blessed by the inspirational efforts of our students, staff, administration and parents.

Be proud – We are BC!

A young motivational speaker shared the following 20 things that we should say more often to each other. Although meant as fun, it’s a reminder of simplicity we can add to our daily routines.

20 Things We Should Say More Often

  1. Thank you.
  1. Excuse me.
  1. Here’s a surprise corndog I bought you because you’re my friend.
  1. I’m sorry.
  1. I forgive you.
  1. You can do it!
  1. I have barbecue sauce on my shirt too.
  1. Please.
  1. Everything is going to be okay.
  1. Aw! You got me a corndog too? You shouldn’t have.
  1. I don’t know.
  1. You’re so awesome… I named my dog after you. That might not be a compliment.
  1. You’re so awesome… I named my boat after you. Not everyone has a boat.
  1. You’re so awesome… I legally changed my name to yours. Maybe not, it may come across as creepy.
  1. Just tell people they’re AWESOME and mean it!
  1. Hello, person that I’ve never met before! Here’s a high-five!
  1. My favorite college or pro sports team is not always the best sports team.
  1. Say Nothing. Be silent.
  1. Pfffffffffttt – it doesn’t mean anything but it sounds funny.
  1. I disagree with you, but I still like you as a person.
  1. Aaaaaa! – because every now and then, it’s okay to have a friend scream for no reason.
  1. Life is tough, but so are you.
  1. Say Something nice.

Here’s to a great 2016!

The 2015-2016 School Year

The 2015-2016 school year is upon us.

The kids are wondering where the summer has gone? No worries – we’ve prepared to enthuse and engage the students in the classroom

Borden County ISD recently received great news from the Texas Education Agency that in the 2014-2015 school year, the school district achieved ALL seven distinctions in the accountability ratings. Only three (3) school districts in Texas received the seven distinctions!

This is a great affirmation of the work put in by the students, parents, teachers, staff, Administration and School Board at Borden County.

What do we expect this upcoming school year?

“Write it on your heart that every day is the best day in the year.” In this quote, Ralph Waldo Emerson clearly points out that our goal and expectation should be that every day is the best day of the year. And —- so too will this be our daily goal and expectation, that each day will be the best day in the year.

We expect and have planned for a fantastic school year using each and every day as our stair step to reach school district goals.

We encourage parents to become an education enthusiast. Encourage your kids with love, kindness, excitement and support about going back to school. Studies show that when kids see how much you value education, they’re more likely to get excited about school.

This week consider sitting down with your child and talking about expectations for the school year. Set goals together. Throughout the year revisit those goals and see how they are coming along. Encourage when encouragement is needed. Equally as important….celebrate when a goal is reached.

We are very excited about this school year and look forward to educating our students. We will continue with high goals, standards and expectations for all students. We too will encourage and celebrate achievements. Together – we will be successful! Let’s have a great year!

We are BC!

Where are you sitting?

Summer is here…. and the opportunity for our students to grow while at home should not be lost. The classroom is replaced by the environment of your home but the opportunity for growth in learning doesn’t have to stop. The summer months are equally as critical as the months spent in the classroom.

Steve Goodier wrote the following, “Children need to learn to be respectful towards others and set high standards for themselves. They will need love and encouragement, so that they might be filled with love and goodness.”

Pierre de Coubertin stated the following in 1896, “The important thing in life is not the triumph but the struggle.”

There will be triumphs, struggles and disappointments. Research suggests that children held accountable and supported by adults may be the single most important aspect of how and why children succeed in school and life. We must view parents and teachers as partners in education.

Amanda Kraus is the Executive Director and Founder of ROW New York. ROW New York is the only program of its kind, teaching young people in under-resourced communities the sport of competitive rowing—and through it, the values of teamwork, tenacity, and commitment to self and others. Paired with intensive academic tutoring, the rowing programs have given thousands of teens the motivation and skills to excel both on the water and in the classroom. The following is an excerpt from her column in the Huffington Post entitled, “Where are you sitting?”.

“Where are you sitting today at lunch? Do me a favor, stand up and move. Sit with someone you don’t know, introduce yourself, and eat your lunch!
Coach Burns’ voice bellowed across the crowded high school cafeteria. There wasn’t anyone who didn’t admire and respect Coach Burns. He was 6’4” tall, the football and track coach, the gym teacher, a father, a large and kind man and we were all used to his directives — authoritative, but not preachy.

I joined the track team as a freshman and was glad to see that Coach Burns was the head coach. He had an energy and positivity that enveloped the entire team and I knew I was lucky to be around him. Coach Burns would bound out to the track on cold March days when it was raining and announce, “What a beautiful day! BEAUTIFUL DAY!” We would listen, but appear to ignore him (as teenagers do so well) since he didn’t entirely make sense to us. Cold. Raining. We are running circles on a snowy track. What is beautiful about this day? “We are out here, we are together. We are working hard. It’s a great day!” It literally took a couple of years for me to understand what was beautiful about those dreary days.

I am forever grateful to Coach Burns for pointing out that to be alive, to be with people you like and admire, and to have the good health…..THAT is a beautiful day.

Coach Burns was never afraid to walk up to a table in the cafeteria and tell us that we should all get up and move and sit with new people. He announced one day at track practice that if we ever, ever, EVER saw someone sitting alone in the cafeteria at lunch we were to go over and say, “Hey, can I sit with you?”

Coach Burns’ approach to students has stayed in my mind since I graduated from high school. I didn’t have the words to tell him how much he taught me, not about running, but about our responsibility to one another, not just to our closest friends, but to strangers in our communities. We as adults, as teachers, administrators, coaches, as parents, we should all take a page from Coach Burns’ book, and lead by example around the kids in our lives and create our own expectations of them to sit at new tables, to not be afraid. I guarantee it will do more than some posters on the walls.”

Somehow, the excerpt seemed fitting as we head into the summer months.

Something for all of us to think about……have a fantastic summer.

May God keep you and your family safe and sound.

See you in the hallways in August.

The importance of struggles, disappointments, triumphs and successes.

No one kid is alike—if you have more than one child, you know this firsthand. Some kids love school and everything about it—challenging homework assignments, after-school activities, and even taking tests. Others may struggle with schoolwork, while some are capable of earning higher grades but just don’t like school itself.

You have probably heard some variation of “But when will I ever use this?” from your kids, most likely while helping them with a particularly difficult homework assignment. And your child may be right—it’s very possible that mastering long division by hand isn’t a necessary life skill—but you know how valuable it is for your child to put in a reasonable effort, care about grades, and understand the importance of learning and participating.

In 2002 Steve Goodier wrote the following, “Each student needs experience as well as instruction. Each student needs to know how to solve problems of various kinds. They need to grow in character as well as knowledge. They need to understand that making mistakes is part of life and what’s important is how we learn from them so they are not made again. They need self-assurance as well as the ability to listen well and work with others. Students need to understand and appreciate the past, yet feel optimistic about the future. Each student needs to know the value of lifelong learning in order to keep a curious and active mind. They need to grow in understanding of others and become a student of the spirit. They need to learn to be respectful towards others and set high standards for themselves. They will need love and encouragement, so that they might be filled with love and goodness.”

Although written in 2002, Mr. Goodier pointed out different facets that have always been a part of Borden County ISD. We expect the best from our students each and every day. We hold each child accountable and provide direction and instruction as needed. We temper this expectation with love and kindness and equally praise them when they reach goals and are successful.

Pierre de Coubertin (considered the father of the modern Olympic Games) stated the following in 1896, “The important thing in life is not the triumph but the struggle.”

Whether in academics or athletics, children need to be encouraged to participate. There will be struggles, disappointments and triumphs. Allow your child the opportunity to experience struggles, disappointments, triumphs and successes. Research suggests that students held accountable (learning & social responsibility) and supported by adults (discipline & nurture) may be the single most important aspect of how and why children succeed in school and life. We must view parents and teachers as partners in education. Why? As philosopher George Santayana simply said, “A child educated only at school is an uneducated child.”

We strongly believe that one child’s future may depend upon the influence that we all can provide….and because of this, something remarkable happens. No young person is ever ordinary in our classrooms or athletics. And because of this our school district is successful. It’s always a great day to be a Lady Coyote and Coyote!

Success Is Doing

The school year is off to a fast start with the conclusion of the 3rd six weeks and first semester. Our staff and students have done an excellent job. It’s been busy and they have performed well. Much has been accomplished in each classroom and more is expected as the year continues to move forward.

The late motivational speaker Zig Ziglar once wrote “Success is the doing, not the getting; in the trying, not the triumph. Success is a personal standard, reaching for the highest that is in us, becoming all that we can be.” The success of each and every student is a direct reflection on the standard set by our staff and administration as well as supported by the parents. It’s a standard of doing, of trying and the never-ending pursuit of excellence.

This is easy to say, but even harder to do. We understand.

Within the past year, a non-profit organization released State School District Rankings for 2014. The 5th annual school rankings provide a framework in which to understand the performance of schools across Texas. These statewide rankings include public schools at all grade levels, all classifications (Class A – 6A) and use indicators measuring achievement including graduation rates, students passing TAKS exams at commended levels, college-ready testing, and advanced coursework.

Borden County received a composite score of 96.32. This ranked our school district as the number one school district in the State of Texas. A total of 953 school districts were listed in in the rankings.

This does not happen by chance. It happens by hard work from Administration, staff, students and parents that support the mission of doing, trying and making success a personal standard.

We’re making it a fantastic year. Together, we will accomplish great things.

“The reward of a thing well done, is to have done it.” – Ralph Waldo Emerson

The 2014-2015 School Year is here!

“Write it on your heart that every day is the best day in the year.”
In this quote, Ralph Waldo Emerson clearly points out that our goal and expectation should be that every day is the best day of the year.

We expect and have planned for a fantastic school year using each and every day as our stair step to reach school district goals.

We encourage parents to become an education enthusiast.
Encourage your kids with love, kindness, excitement and support about going back to school.
Studies show that when kids see how much you value education, they’re more likely to get excited about school.

This week consider sitting down with your child and talking about expectations for the school year. Set goals together.
Throughout the year revisit those goals and see how they are coming along.

Do not be afraid to hold children accountable. You can teach your children the skills they need to take responsibility in their lives now, and for their future.
With consistency and practice, your kids will learn that they are responsible for their actions and behaviors.

Encourage when encouragement is needed. Celebrate when a goal is reached.

We are very excited about this school year and look forward to educating our students.
We will continue with high goals, standards and expectations for all students.
We too will encourage and celebrate achievements.
Together – we will be successful!

Let’s have a great year!

Education Doesn’t Stop

“Upon the subject of education,” Abraham Lincoln firmly stated, “I can only say that I view it as the most important subject which we as a people may be engaged in.”

In 2002 Steve Goodier wrote the following, “Each student needs experience as well as instruction. Each student needs to know how to solve problems of various kinds. They need to grow in character as well as knowledge. They need to understand that making mistakes is part of life and what’s important is how we learn from them so they are not made again. They need self-assurance as well as the ability to listen well and work with others. Students need to understand and appreciate the past, yet feel optimistic about the future. Each student needs to know the value of lifelong learning in order to keep a curious and active mind. They need to grow in understanding of others and become a student of the spirit. They need to learn to be respectful towards others and set high standards for themselves. They will need love and encouragement, so that they might be filled with love and goodness.”

Although written in 2002, Mr. Goodier pointed out different facets that have always been a part of Borden County ISD. We expect the best from our students each and every day. We hold each child accountable and provide direction and instruction as needed. We temper this expectation with love and kindness and equally praise them when they reach goals and are successful.
Pierre de Coubertin (considered the father of the modern Olympic Games) stated the following in 1896, “The important thing in life is not the triumph but the struggle.”

There will be struggles, disappointments and triumphs. Research suggests that students held accountable (learning & social responsibility) and supported by adults (discipline & nurture) may be the single most important aspect of how and why children succeed in school and life. We must view parents and teachers as partners in education. Why? As philosopher George Santayana simply said, “A child educated only at school is an uneducated child.”

We strongly believe that one child’s future may depend upon the influence that we all can provide….and because of this, something remarkable happens. No young person is ever ordinary in our classrooms. We teach each child as if the future of the world depends on their instruction….because it does.

Have a fantastic summer.

See you in the hallways in August.

Good Luck Graduates!

Graduation day –

“Congratulations! Today is your day.

You’re off to Great Places! You’re off and away!

You have brains in your head. You have feet in your shoes.

You can steer yourself in any direction you choose. You’re on your own.

And you know what you know. You are the guy who’ll decide where to go.”

— Dr. Seuss, “Oh, the Places You’ll Go!”

Finish Strong!

It was once said that if there were no specific date attached to the end of the school year, the year would never end. This observation was made in May when the end of the year rush is fully underway and students as well as educators see the finish line near but in reality there is weeks of work still ahead.

Although the end is near we must continue to work hard. Let us keep your commitment to achieving a higher standard of learning. It is never OK to be on autopilot. A famous motivational speaker once stated, “Your either learning or you’re not learning. Either way the arrow is going up or down, the arrow never stays in the middle.”

The point being, we cannot settle for being complacent. We must continue to work until the end. It’s a slippery slope where we must keep each other accountable. We still have things to do. Study until the last day. Finish the school year strong in the classroom.

The frantic dash to June ushers in a profound sense of finality for students and educators. High school seniors are graduating and continuing on to the next challenge in their lives, while other students look forward to what awaits in their elementary, junior high or high school careers. Let us not look too far ahead without finishing what we have started.

As this school year comes off the last turn and into the final homestretch, let us not forget to finish. As we sprint toward that inevitable end, help each other forward.

Give each other a helping hand.

Get better, improve and end the school year in amazing fashion.

Work hard. Never settle.

What another amazing year of growth for our students, educators and parents.

Hold on, we’re going to make it.

Finish strong.

2014 – Be Determined

At the start of the school year, a former Baltimore Maryland student stood before Baltimore teachers and gave a passionate and inspiring speech, urging instructors to help their students move beyond a selfish mentality, to love one another.
Here’s part of what he shared:

“Everything that I am is because a couple of teachers like you saw through me and all my faults and saw the potential deep down inside that I couldn’t even see for myself. And it’s this type of teacher that’s made me into the man I am today—a man who has extreme love for people. So I tell you that you, the teacher, will make a big difference in the lives of each student. I’m living proof of it. I encourage you to pass the torch to the kids in your classroom so that they change their communities wherever they end up and change the world. I believe in you. Be determined. Don’t give up.”

This young person clearly addresses everything our school district and staff believes each and every year.
We see the potential in each and every student.
We have a high level of expectation and goals for each and every student.
We believe in each of them and are determined to see them succeed.
We will not give up.

We’re excited about the second half of this school year.
2014 holds incredible opportunities for our school district, students and staff.
With such a great start, we eagerly anticipate the finish will be one of the best ever.

It can be a hard transition from the recent break back to the structure of being a student.
Parents and guardians, please help return your child to a regular routine.
We’re ready to see them in the classroom.
There is nothing like getting a good education, it gives our children a foundation for the rest of their lives.
Together – we’ll finish this school year as one of the best ever.
Be determined.