The days between the end of a school year and the start of the next are a time of celebration, contemplation, preparation and anticipation for those of us blessed to be in the business of educating children.
It was wonderful to be a part of the graduation ceremonies for the TEAM School and Cleburne High School Classes of 2019 and seeing these students cross the stage to receive their diplomas. We encourage our graduates to stay in touch with their teachers and campuses as they move on to college and career, and keep us informed of their progress and achievements.
Our CHS graduates, collectively, were awarded more than $1.2 million in scholarships–many funded locally by businesses, churches, civic groups, often in memory of individuals who made a difference. TEAM School has also been endowed with a new local scholarship that will provide recipients with two years of study at Hill College, resulting in an Associate’s Degree. These scholarships say so much about our community and its support and regard for our students in furthering their educations.
While this is summer break for our teachers, you will find many devoting their time to professional study and development resulting in new and effective classroom strategies for our scholars. Our school board remains active throughout the summer in workshop sessions and regular meetings, with Trustees doing their part to prepare our district for the start of another school year.
At the June 17 board meeting, Trustees approved the 2019-20 budget, which includes a three percent raise from the midpoint for all employees—teachers to transportation, custodians to classroom assistants. The new starting salary for first-time teachers is $52,000, making CISD very competitive with area districts. This latest initiative approved by the board reflects a 19 percent cumulative increase in salaries for CISD teachers and staff over the past six budget cycles.
Construction continues at the high school, in the remodeling of the former campus, which will now serve as a Career and Technical Education and Fine Arts facility, with the TEAM School housed on the second floor. Progress on the construction of a new entrance and foyer for the Don Smith Performing Arts Center can be monitored by motorists as they pass by the north side of the building. A brick tower has been built adjacent to the band marching pad to provide directors with a safe and stable bird’s eye view of Golden Pride members as they drill to perfect their marching skills and routines.
A major project included in the Cleburne High School construction package approved by voters in Bond 2016 will be completed in August as we open the Jeff D. Cody Arena. Towering over the campus, the Arena will seat 2,700 as the home of Cleburne volleyball, girls and boys basketball and numerous school, district and community activities and special events.
The first of our back to school activities will take place on July 25 from 7 a.m. to 7 p.m. as we host open enrollment for students new to CISD, Pre-K to grade 12. This will be taking place at the high school and we will have representatives from every campus in attendance to register incoming students. This will also be a great opportunity for parents needing computer access to complete the online student information forms required at the start of every school year. Our Transportation, Child Nutrition and Athletic Departments will also have staff available to assist parents with the necessary paperwork for students participating in these programs.
Information to help students and parents be ready for “back to school” can be found on our website, www.c-isd.com and district social media. Speaking of our website, watch for a new look and improved access and navigation around the site in July!
As we look back on all that was achieved in 2018-19, and await the many successes coming in 2019-20, what comes to my mind—and heart—is it’s a great day, and time, to be a Cleburne Yellow Jacket.