New Braunfels Herald Zeitung (Newspaper) - September 10, 1995, New Braunfels, Texas
Herald-Zeltung □ Sunday, September 10 ,1995 O 9 AEducationSurvey defines expectations for NBISD
(This is the second in a series of articles reporting the survey results of New Braunfels ISD households.)
A school district strives to reflect the goals, aspirations and needs of its community. To assess NBISD’s success in accomplishing that task, the district surveyed parents of district students last spring.
In addition to learning information about parents and how they felt about the schools, the district asked them to ranked five educational goals from a list of 11 in order of importance. This list is the resulting ranking:
1) Develop skills in reading, writing, speaking and listening (82.3%)
2) Gain a general education (math, science, social studies, English (70.5%)
3) Develop a desire for learning, now and in the future (66.3%)
4) Develop pride in work and a feeling of self-worth (56.1%)
5) Learn how to examine and use information (47.4%)
6) Develop good character and self-respect (45.3%)
7) Learn to respect and get along with people with whom we work and live (45.2%)
8) Develop vocational skills in a specific trade (19.5%)
9) Learn how to be a good citizen (18.1%)
10) Appreciate culture and beauty in the world (15.6%)
11) Understand and practice democratic ideas and ideals (9.6%)
Parents were also polled in the area of communication. Overall, the results were good.
When asked how frequently they had contact last year with school personnel, 74.8 percent of parents said they had quite frequent to occasional contact with leachers, with 15.7 percent having seldom contact with teachers and 5.7 percent never talking with teachers.
Counselors were contacted “quite frequently” 6.4 percent, “occasionally” 18.6 percent, “seldom” 20.3 percent, and “never” 47.1 percent.
School principals were contacted a little more often with 8.6 percent marking “quite frequently,” 26.4 percent with occasional contact, 23.3 percent marking “seldom," and 35 percent with “never.”
Central office administrators rarely heard from parents, with 64.9 percent marking never, while 13.3 percent indicated they had seldom contact. Another 9.6 percent occasionally met with administrators and 3.7 percent had frequent contact.
The numbers for the central office secretaries were similar: quite frequently, 4.5 percent; occasionally, 11.6 percent; seldom, 16.9 percent; and never, 58.8 percent.
Building secretaries heard from parents a little more often: quite frequently, 6.8 percent; occasionally, 15.6 percent; seldom. 11.4 percent; and never, 57.3 percent.
Board members are frequently contacted by almost three percent of parents, occasionally by 7.3 percent, seldom by 6.7 percent and never by 74.2 percent.
“These numbers are good,” said Charles Bradberry, NBISD’s superintendent of schools. “It means that the primary contact for parents is where it should be, with the
Community Forums to discuss district strategic planning goals for 21st century
teacher and at the campus level.”
Bradberry was also pleased to see that 89 percent of parents felt they were welcome to visit their children’s classrooms. Only 7.6 did not feel that way.
Also significant was the fact that 73.2 percent of parents believed there was an adult at school with whom their child could talk freely. Just 6.7 percent said “no” while 17.1 percent did not know.
When asked if they had a problem or concern with school recently, almost three-fourths said “no.” Of the 25.1 percent who had a concern, 19.3 percent went to take their concern to a school staff member. Another 86. percent did not share their concern, with 46.5 saying it was not applicable to do so.
The problem or concern was dealt with fairly and effectively to the school tty anc* Parenl s mutual satisfaction 10.6 per-
bpirf CCnt °* thc t'me' A *'U*e more t,ian one
ll 35>CI) percent said it was solved to their satisfaction
only, with 9.6 percent feeling it was solved to the school’s satisfaction but not to theirs. The majority, 47. 8 percent, felt the question did not apply.
Parents were also asked how they thought school off!- * dais would respond to a concern. More than half, almost 55 percent, thought officials would understand the problem and do what they could about it. The next largest group, 22.7 percent, did not know or had no opinion. A smaller . percent, 10.4 , believed officials would listen but try to. avoid doing anything. Only 1.6 percent thought they would ; be ignored, while another 2.8 percent thought they might I be made to feel as if they should not have complained.
A resounding 87.1 percent felt they receive adequate -information about their schools. Less than IO percent, 8.8, yt disagreed. ;>
Of the newspapers listed, thc following arc read on regular basis: New Braunfels Hcrald-Zeitung, 70.7 percent; the Canyon Lake Times-Guardian, 19.7 percent; and the San Antonio Express news, 2 percent.
For the 51 percent of parents who wished to have more information on the schools, these four topics were of primary interest: special programs (special education, gifted/ -talented), 37.4 percent; student achievement, 36.1 percent; curriculum. 29.3 percent; and policies pertaining to students, 22.4 percent. Of less interest were school finances (9.5 percent) and building projects and land acquisitions (8.2 percent).
Parents were then given 16 sources for school information and asked to check their primary sources. The administration and school board were glad to see that the top three sources, “my children,” “teacher/principal,” and “school newsletter,” were all directly sc hot) I-re I ated. They were followed closely by the newspaper as a source. Other frequent sources included friends and neighbors, the radio, PTA groups, school employees, and the district newsletter/ annual report. Scoring in single digits were other children, the office of public information services, board members and board meetings, community groups, and the superintendent.
Goodwin Primary dedicates ‘magic’ garden
Goodwin Primary School has dedicated a special garden on the school grounds to Margaret Brazle.
“For several years we have wanted to make that area of the school more useful to students,” Margaret Brazle, Goodwin Primary pre-first grade teacher, said.
“One of the major objectives of having the garden is to help our children learn about wildlife, how to take care of wildlife, and what it takes to keep wildlife on our planet,” Brazle said.
The area will eventually become an outdoor area for the study of plants and wildlife, an ecological learning center. A compost pile is planned for the future.
“Margaret worked with Texas Paries and Wildlife to find out what was needed so the area could be classified as a wildlife habitat
“She then planned and designed the garden and brought many plants from her home,” Marlene Moore, Goodwin principal, said.
There are pear trees, ferns, shrimp plants, and “monkey” grass around a collection of picnic tables built by
CISD photo by Don Claik
Pictured is Goodwin Primary’s Margaret Brazle in the school's uMagic Garden."
students at Smithson Valley High School.
“The area is ‘animal friendly’ and we don’t use pesticides. The children have gotten great joy out of bringing frogs, toads, and lizards from home to live in the garden.” Brazle said.
Goodwin Primary’s faculty chose the name, “Margaret’s Magic Garden," according to Moore.
Most of the labor for constructing
the garden this summer was provided by at-risk students sponsored through the Job Training Partnership Act.
“Margaret believes in the harmony of nature and children. We saw the very positive affect of the garden on those young people and believed that Margaret’s dream of having a garden that would provide a ‘magical’ experience for children had come already come true," Moore said.
SVHS diez y seis concert features World-class soprano Beatriz Aznar
SVHS will feature Betfriz Aznv in ^conceit lo be held et 3 pjn., September 14,1995, in the achoo! common*.
- Aznar is an internationally acclaimed soprano vocalist of traditional open and Spanish zarzulelas.
-. The public is invited to attend this Qotyfrnding cultural event. Then is no charge for admission.
The conceit is presented by El Club
de Espanol and is part of die school's
diez y seis celebration of Mexican Independence Day.
Aznar’s performance will include works from Spain, Argentina, Venezuela, Mexico, and Germany.
A native of Mexico, she began her musical studies at the age of seven, later entering the Opera Academy of the National Institute of Fine arts in Mexico City.
She also qxnt time in Italy and
Spain perfecting her vocal style and learning the art of zarzulea.
Aznar has performed leading roles in many opens and operettas.
Her concerts include appearances in The Netherlands, Brazil, Venezuela. Italy, Spain, and various locations in the United States.
Aznar will be accompanied by SandraFvker. Parker hasbeen on the SVHS faculty for 16 years.
Corder plans more Lone Star family events
Lone Star Primary’s new principal has a main goal for the 1995-96 school year: to make each child at her school fe*l important.
• Merry Corder said, “I want to know them and have them know me.” To that end, she has set herself the task of learning the names of each first and second grader on her campus.
Other goals include continuing to offer students and parents a quality school. “We have a very well-run school. It is a credit to the staff and to Marilyn Buckner (the school’s former principal)...This year we will focus on the direction of the curriculum and increase the number of parents who come to school.” Corder wants all of Lone Star’s parents to visit the school and volunteer in some way. She believes every parent has a skill that can be shared and she invites them to be a part of the school community.
Not only would she like to see parents become more involved with the school, she would like the school to help parents be more involved with their children ’ s education. To that end, Lone Star Parents will see more family nights, math nights and other get-togethers offered this year. “I want parents to know that at Lone Star, we are’concerned and interested about their children and their education. ’’
Coming from Carl Schurz Elementary where she taught fourth and fifth graders for the last six years, she sees many similarities between elementary and primary students. “There are still the same concerns with students - concents of them doing well and getting a good start of the school year. I’m still working to see that the individualized needs of students are being met, it’s jusl on a much grander scale!”
Another similarity she has found is
NBISD photo by LESLIE KRIEWALDT
Lone Star Principal Merry Corder sits with students Jamie Carberry; Inocenio Hernandez, Jr.; Victoria Soliz; and David Saldania.
that “I worked with a great group at Carl Schurz and I have a great staff here. Everybody is very concerned with children.”
Leaving the classroom to serve in a campus leadership position, Corder said the Lone Star staff has been very helpful and nurturing. “I hope the tables will turn and I can nurture them.” She looks forward to getting to know the Lone Star staff and feels her recent experience as a teacher is a plus because it gives her an understanding of what being in a classroom is like and increases her ability to respond to teachers’ concerns and ideas.
She earned a bachelor of science degree in agriculture as a park administration major at Texas Tech Univer
sity. After working in the Parks Division of Texas Parks and Wildlife, she earned her paralegal certification from Southwest Texas State University and worked in the State Comptroller’s Office. However it was a stint as a substitute teacher that led to her career in education, 13 years total thus far. Corder said, “I realized that’s where I belonged.” Once she knew that, she earned her teaching certification from Southwest Texas State University, where she also received her master’s degree in Education and earned her administrative certification.
“It was a necessary life experience,” she said of her career path. “It just confirmed I was going in the right direction, to educating children.”
Upcoming NBISD events
A Monday, Sept ll: New Braunfels Middle School PTA meeting and “Meet the Teacher” evening at 7. ti Monday, Sept ll: Lamar Primary PTA meeting and “Meet the Teacher” night at 7.
* Tuesday, Sept. 12: Memorial Elementary PTA meeting and “Meet the Teacher” night at 7. ti Monday, Sept 18: Lone Star Primary “Meet the Teacher” evening from 6:30-8. Classrooms will be open for
visitors from 7-8 after a meeting at 6:30. ti Monday, Sept 18: Memorial Primary PTA meeting and “Meet the Teacher” night at 7:30. ti Tuesday, Sept 19: Parenting discussion at Carl Schurz Elementary at 7 p.m. ti Friday, Sept 22: End of I st Six-Weeks Grading Period/ Elementary early release for parent conferences, ti Friday, Sept 29: Comal County Fair Holiday
The CISD will hold two Community Forums lo provide information about the district’s strategic planning efforts for education and obtain community input for the plan.
The first meeting is scheduled for 6:30 p.m., Wednesday, September 13,1995, in the Canyon High School library.
The second meeting, the Hill Coun-
^ CISD photo by Don Clwk
Dr. Francis Stetson, long-range planning consultant, provides guidance to Board members, administrators, and campus principals during a strategic planning goal assessment meeting.
try Community Forum, will beat 6:30 p.m., September 20, 1995, in the Smithson Valley High School library.
CISD patrons are invited to attend these community meetings.
Dr. Frances Stetson, of Stetson and Associates, will facilitate the meetings. Stetson is a strategic planning consultant retained by the district to help develop long-range educational goals and objectives.
The CISD is conducting these long-range planning activities to assure that the services provided to students match the priorities of our communities and keep pace with the rapid growth the district is experiencing.
The district began formulating a long-range strategic (dan in 1994.
Since that time, Dr. Stetson has facilitated planning sessions with members of the Board of Trustees, administrators, campus principals, and parents.
These groups developed nine draft goals to provide a framework for the district’s long-range planning. Specific objectives were then created for each goal.
Strategies will be developed to implement goals at campus and central administrative office levels.
This strategic plan should be completed in January, 1996.
SVHS band seniors take charge
CISD photo by Don Clark
Pictured are the 1995-96 SVHS band seniors (L R) front row, Shannon Marriott, Annie Gonzalez, Laurie Gonzales, Raquel Gamez, Bret Rosen, Alyson Backhaus, Kona Mayfield; second row, Stephanie Hubble, Wade Holder, Amy Bauemfeind, Joey Guyer, Rick Simmons, Susan Jani, Steven Engel, and Chris Cook. Students are wearing their senior band jackets.