We are approaching a crucial time of the year when students will take the all-important STAAR and Stanford 10 tests that will determine the immediate future of our students.
The STAAR (State of Texas Assessments of Academic Readiness) for third-through-fifth graders and Stanford for kindergarten-through-second graders will be administered in April and we ask you to take advantage of all the resources available to help your children succeed. STAAR will be administered April 1-2 and April 22-23 and Stanford on April 14-17.
It is crucial for students to do their homework and for parents to review their work. It’s important for parents to ask their children what they learned at school every day. It also is important for students to show up on time for school, to not leave early and for them to attend the remaining tutorials on Saturday and after school.
Our teachers are going full speed in focusing on the mastery of academic skills with the assurance that our students in the end will be successful on the assessment test and in acquiring knowledge for the next grade.
We have busy days ahead in other areas as well. The Houston Livestock Show and Rodeo is upon us and we thank the parents who have signed up or intend to sign up to be chaperones. Because of space considerations, parent or guardian participation will be limited to one per family and each adult will be responsible for chaperoning two students. Parents must obtain their badges BEFORE the day students attend the rodeo. We are looking forward to experiencing exciting times and learning opportunities at this annual event.
I want to thank you for attending our recent parent meeting. I was very pleased with the strong turnout and I enjoyed our discussion about school issues. The meeting reflected the passion you have for your children’s education. One key issue for some parents is the cost of school uniforms. (Varnett receives no money whatsoever from the sale of uniforms.) At the meeting, several parents volunteered to participate in a school uniform exchange program to help defray some of the costs. If you would like to participate, a signup sheet is available at the front desk for all parents who want to sell or donate their children’s school uniform. More information will be available once a date has been determined.
We have had tremendous parental engagement in the past few weeks. Students did outstanding work in building their “Dream Homes,” which demonstrated skills in math, geometrics and creativity. During Black History Month, they also produced outstanding work in making posters honoring ground-breaking African Americans – past and present – who have made invaluable contributions to our way of life. In both projects, the work did not stop there. Many students stood before their classmates and gave presentations on what they learned. Thanks to the parents who helped with these projects.
Thanks also goes to parents who attended our Black History Month lunch and to the fathers who shared breakfast with their children in our cafeteria. Our parent engagement is outstanding. We look forward to your participation in our districtwide Black History Program on Friday, Feb. 28, at the Southwest Campus. Varnett greatly values the celebration of diversity and we look forward to our next major event, Cinco de Mayo. And finally, our librarian, Ms. Jackson, reported that our recent week-long book fair was a huge success, with students buying books and other items at discounted prices.
Please remember we have two make-up days because inclement weather in January forced us to cancel classes. They will be Good Friday, April 18 and Memorial Day, May 26.
We have many challenges ahead and I know we will succeed with flying colors. Keep up the good work.
Dr. M. Annette Cluff
Superintendent/Southwest Campus Director