School matters: imagine | Education

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It is easy for us to get carried away by the present, to project what we would like to see for the future, while forgetting everything that has already happened in the past. Sometimes we all need to breathe and reflect on all that has gotten us to where we are today. Without these achievements our present would be totally different. Imagine what that can look like.

Imagine, three years ago, the district and community abandoned the Children’s Learning Institute’s Early Years Center (ECC) to FW Gross and our Head Start partnership with BCFS. Our pre-K programs would continue to be limited, students and families would have fewer options, and our community’s programs would be loosely aligned or even managed by other districts. Now imagine the bright future these children have ahead of them thanks to a strong early childhood foundation.

Imagine a few years ago, when our students had dual credit and Advanced Placement (AP) opportunities up to high school with a Career and Technology Education (CTE) option, and we thought it was ‘was great. Since then, we’ve added Pathways in Technology Early College (P-TECH) Healthcare, P-TECH Education & Training, P-TECH Computer Science, Texas Science, Technology, Engineering and Math (T-STEM) and more. With new opportunities to discover their genius, more and more students are graduating with college admission letters, industry certifications, or military enlistment plans, and our overall performance is growing. improves in almost all areas.

Just take a moment to imagine what the district might look like if we could go back three or four years ago and decide that we didn’t want to sue large school systems (SGS). The items mentioned above, our ECC, Head Start, and the new P-TECH options, would not be available to our students today. Without pursuing SGS, the door to our new two-way bilingual program at Crain Elementary might never have been opened. Our science, technology, engineering, and math (STEM) program at Smith STEM Academy may not have had the support it needed to thrive.

Instead, in 2021 alone, VISD’s Office of Innovation wrote down and received a total of $ 8.3 million in grants. These opportunities for VISD students have been made available free of charge to local taxpayers and are an investment in the future of our children and our community.

Imagine for a moment what our schools could look like if we didn’t make the effort to invest in our children’s future, and if we didn’t benefit from someone making a similar investment in our own education. They say it takes a village to raise a child, and we are all trying to help raise over 13,000 children.

We know that opportunities like these initially seem to come with a lot of costs, but we don’t look at them that way. We view every opportunity as an investment for the students who attend our schools. We see the potential impacts on their education for years to come. We see the future of our children and the future of our community.

We could think of the costs associated with redesigning our ECC and Head Start programs. One might think of the costs associated with P-TECH. We could think of the costs associated with the decision to sue SGS. But looking at all of this as a cost assumes that once we’ve paid for it, it has depreciation value.

This is not true for education.

These are not costs, they are investments. Education is an investment that delivers all the gains, no losses, because learning never stops. The education of our children has an overall positive impact on our community for decades to come.

VISD has exclusively used state grants as an investment in our future so our local taxpayers don’t have to think about the costs of opportunities like these.

We want the best for every student who walks through these doors on each of our campuses. From the moment they are 3 years old until the moment we see them walk through this scene with their hat and dress at 17/18 years old, we want to be able to say that we have given them every chance to succeed when they leave our district. . We want to be able to say that we have invested in every child.

As a community, we ask you to decide for yourselves. Is the continuous improvement of our students’ training a worthwhile investment? We know our answer, we just need yours.

Early voting in bond elections ends Friday. Election day is November 2.

Tammy Sestak is the Assistant Superintendent of Curriculum, Training and Accountability for Victoria ISD.


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