Dear Parents and Students:
I hope you had a great summer and we want to thank you for making Varnett your school of choice for the 2013-14 school year.
In addition to my role as district superintendent, I will resume a full-time position as director of the Southwest Campus. This move will give me an opportunity to work with parents and students to develop a stronger partnership in reaching our educational goals.
Ms. Leze Bradley, the district’s registrar, will serve as my assistant and will oversee the day-to-day operations of the campus. Ms. Bradley is an experienced administrator who will be happy to meet with you and answer questions when I’m not available.
Mrs. Twilet Alexander, the former director, has accepted the assignment as director of the Northeast Campus. I want to thank her for the tremendous job she did at Southwest and I know she will bring the same level of enthusiasm and commitment to Northeast.
As we settle into the new year, I am pleased to announce that our district and each of our three campuses exceeded accountability standards in student achievement, student progress and in closing the performance gap - all based on the results of STAAR (State of Texas Assessments of Academic Readiness) tests administered to 3rd through 5th graders last school year. In addition, the Southwest and East campuses earned "distinction designations" in the areas of reading, math, science and writing.
The announcement is the latest in a series of good news that speaks to our commitment to a quality education for our children. In 2012, Varnett was named among only 28 percent of districts statewide to meet tough academic standards as defined by the federal No Child Left Behind Act. And recently, the Texas Education Agency designated Southwest PreK as a "PreK Center of Excellence" in recognition of preparing students for kindergarten and beyond. Finally, kindergartners through second grade students posted the highest Stanford test scores ever at Varnett.
I realize that many of you face an adjustment period as students transition from summer activities to the start of the school year. Gearing up for school can trigger a certain amount of anxiety so I offer these tips to our parents and students:
*It’s time for students to get back into their bedtime routine and say goodbye to late summer nights.
*Parents are encouraged to set goals and targets for learning so our students can hit the ground running.
*Encourage your children to make new friends and notify us immediately if there are any signs of bullying. Such behavior will not be tolerated at Varnett.
*Make sure your children have the required vaccinations.
*Learn as much as possible about Varnett and your child’s campus. Visit the campus, ask questions and check out our website, www.varnett.org.
*Take advantage of the supplemental education tools on our website. Look for “Educational Websites”
on Varnett’s home page.
Take note that classes start at 8 a.m. each weekday. And at the end of school, it is imperative for parents of PreK through second grade students to meet their children at the bus stop or they will be returned to the campus until someone in an official capacity picks them up.
I invite you to attend our Parent Meeting on September 4. PreK through kindergarten will be 5:30 to 6:30 p.m.; first through fifth grade will be 6:30 p.m. to 7:30 p.m., where I will discuss district policies. I will also review this year’s school calendar and discuss upcoming events in which you will be invited to participate. We greatly value and encourage parental involvement and urge you to attend this important meeting.In addition to the Parent Meeting, please mark your calendar for the following activities:
*Grandparents Day, September 6
*Parent Workshop-Curriculum, September 12
*Family Night with dinner, September 18
*Red Ribbon Month, October 1-31.
*Open House, October 2
*Fall Pictures, October 4
You may take comfort in knowing that Varnett will continue to provide and utilize the latest technology available to ensure that parents and students keep pace with the ever-evolving digital age and the demands of the marketplace. The Southwest Campus also will have a new conference room to accommodate training for parents and teachers and will add a monitor so parents can observe their children’s activities without disrupting teaching and learning in the classrooms. In addition, the conference room will be equipped with a Promethean Board similar to the ones in our classrooms for computer access and learning.
In closing, we are looking forward to an exciting and rewarding school year. We know you have choices and I thank you for entrusting Varnett with your children’s education.
Dr. M. Annette Cluff
Superintendent/Southwest Campus Director