BEST Report

  • Team Effort & Positive Relationships

    Posted by Communication Services at 3/10/2017

    These past two weeks have been wonderful for me as Superintendent of GCISD. I have had the privilege of observing some of our eleventh-grade students interact with WWII veterans for three days as part of the Gary Sinise Foundation Program: Soaring Valor. It was a beautiful example of the youngest generation learning from the Greatest Generation. I also have witnessed championship athletic performances at a middle school track meet, and I have been in classrooms with teachers who are clearly experts and pour their hearts out for our students and their families.

     

    So when I received this email, it seemed to sum up nicely what I feel about GCISD and about public education. I changed the name, but it is the sentiment that is important.

     

    I am a teacher in GCISD, but tonight I am writing as a parent.

     

    My son is in second grade. Last year we had a technologist who worked at our school for about a year. The teachers all loved her but I didn't realize the difference she made in the lives of the students until tonight.

     

    My son was on the phone with his grandma helping her with an iPad question. At the end, my mom told my son, "you're always so nice to help me with my technology." To which my 8 year old replied, "yes, I'm the family's Ms. Ramirez."

     

    Taken aback, I asked my son about it. He told me that Ms. Ramirez was the best and that he misses her. He told me that she remembered his name and always told him “Hi”. He told me that she was always helpful and always smiled at everyone.

     

    I believe that GCISD is known for its excellence in building relationships with students. Tonight it proved true. Even staff considered to be "behind the scenes" inspire students.  Ms. Ramirez's kind heart is still making a difference. As a parent, I am proud that my son attends school at such a wonderful place.

     

    I just wanted to relay a story about an exemplary employee.

     

    After reading this email, I remember thinking: “Yes - this sums up our work and what I get to witness all across our district every day.” This work is impressive and sometimes exhausting, and I know that Spring Break comes at just the right time in the semester.


    I hope you travel safely, get some rest and return recharged for the remainder of the school year.


    I am so proud to work with each employee of GCISD. It’s the team effort and positive relationships that make GCISD the BEST!

     

    BEST,
    RR

    Dr. Robin Ryan
    Dr. Robin Ryan
    GCISD Superintendent of Schools
     
    The B.E.S.T. Report is a weekly communication from our superintendent about our schools and community.
    Comments (-1)
  • We all have a part

    Posted by Communication Services at 2/10/2017

    I am so proud of what our students accomplish each and every day of the school year, but lately we have been inundated with good news from our students. Here are just a few examples:

     

    • Nine GCISD students were named to the All-State band or choir.
    • A CHHS student was named a Presidential Scholar. (She also had a perfect score on the SAT and the ACT!)
    • A CES student designed an original “challenge coin” for the Soaring Valor trip to the WWII Museum in New Orleans in March.
    • A CHHS student was named the Youth of the Year for the Colleyville Chamber of Commerce.
    • Numerous student-athletes from GHS and CHHS signed letters of intent to play a sport in college.
    • CHHS and GHS produced musicals that were filled to the brim with talent.
    • Hundreds of students are involved in basketball playoffs, band, soccer games, choir, softball, baseball, debate, swimming, one-act play, wrestling, golf, tennis and numerous other activities.

     

    The constant force behind the success of all of these students is a cadre of caring adults. Whether a teacher, coach, bus driver, facilities services, administrators, nutrition services, technologist, office staff, crossing guard, and even the person in charge of purchase orders, we all have a part in shaping the successful educational experiences for our students.

     

    Thank you for doing your part. It takes all of us to Build Excellent Schools Together!

     

    BEST,
    RR

    Dr. Robin Ryan
    Dr. Robin Ryan
    GCISD Superintendent of Schools
     
    The B.E.S.T. Report is a weekly communication from our superintendent about our schools and community.
    Comments (-1)
  • Great things happen every day in GCISD

    Posted by Communication Services at 2/3/2017

    This week has been an interesting contrast for me. I see things happening in the legislature that are potentially damaging to public schools, contrasted by things happening in GCISD that paint a beautiful picture of the excellent education our students receive in GCISD.

     

    On Monday, Senate Bill 3 (SB3) was filed officially outlining the Senate's stance on vouchers. In SB3, the vouchers are called "Education Savings Accounts" and “Tax Credit Scholarships". No matter the name, the vouchers take dollars intended for public schools and give the dollars to private schools. The problem I have with SB3 is that it does not require accountability or transparency from institutions that accept these vouchers. This seems grossly negligent and comes from state leadership who preach transparency and accountability to public schools. It doesn’t pass the common sense test. Combine the voucher bill with the A-F fiasco and we have two pieces of legislation designed to diminish public schools in Texas.

     

    Enough bad news...now for the good stuff.

     

    Great things happen every day in GCISD. Let me describe three examples of which I am very proud. On Tuesday, at TASA Midwinter, CHHS teacher Sarah Thompson gave a presentation to a packed room of superintendents and central office personnel. (Sarah admitted being a bit nervous speaking to superintendents instead of her CHHS students.) She spoke eloquently and passionately about the importance of student engagement and the strategies that teachers can implement in any classroom to build relationships and improve student engagement, no matter the topic. I was struck by how many in attendance took out their phones to take pictures of her slides. Sarah captivated the room!

     

    One hour later, Dr. Suzanne Newell spoke to another packed room on the topic of Student Voice. Suzanne represented the work of over 200 GCISD teachers who are working on the Student Voice project by gathering information from students about how to improve their instruction. The session was just before lunch, and nobody left the room to be the first in line for food! Now that is a good barometer of how well her presentation about our work was received!

     

    On Thursday, Timberline Elementary hosted a bus load of teachers from the Leader In Me conference in Dallas. TES is a spotlight school for the Leader In Me program, which is based on Steven Covey's "Seven Habits of Highly Effective People". TES students are internalizing what it means to be a good leader. I was impressed when I entered TES and a second-grader approached me assertively, looked me in the eye and with a firm handshake said "Welcome to Timberline, my name is Brittany; I am glad you are here today." Then many TES students led a bus load of visiting educators on a tour of their school. No adults were involved! Impressive!

     

    I am so proud when I think of the great things happening in our schools. Our combination of great students, student-focused staff and supportive parents is truly how we, in spite of the detrimental actions in Austin, continue to Build Excellent Schools Together.

     

    BEST,
    RR

    Dr. Robin Ryan
    Dr. Robin Ryan
    GCISD Superintendent of Schools
     
    The B.E.S.T. Report is a weekly communication from our superintendent about our schools and community.
    Comments (-1)
  • Warrior Spirit

    Posted by Communication Services at 1/20/2017

     

    Jaydan Thompson, Colleyville Heritage senior, embodied courage, joy, strength, gentleness and positivity. Jaydan courageously battled bone cancer until January 15, 2017. He was the son of GCISD teachers Chad and Sheri and the grandson of Grapevine's mayor William D. Tate and retired GCISD teacher Betty Tate.

     

    Jaydan's gentle, positive spirit would light up a room. I've seen Jaydan light up an entire gymnasium. Just his presence could light up a football stadium! When Jaydan arrived, his friends and fellow Panthers would immediately surround him with love. He had the same effect on little ones when he would don the mascot costume of Buster the Panther (or the mouse at Chuck E. Cheese). He was a natural!

     

    The Psalmist wrote: "I have bestowed strength on a warrior; I have raised up a young man from among the people." Jaydan embraced the warrior spirit in his fight against disease, and so many in our community signaled support by wearing a WARRIOR t-shirt or hat. He gained strength from us, and we gained strength from him.

     

    He had a smile as big as Texas, and through his adversity his positive attitude never wavered. We are drawn to people with a big smile and a positive attitude, and we have been drawn to Jaydan. And speaking of strength, as a father and a new grandfather myself, I cannot imagine the strength it took for his father and grandfather to speak at his service.

     

    Yesterday, as I walked alone down a long hallway at Grapevine High, a student approached me. He sadly said: "I feel really bad about the student from Colleyville." I replied: " Yes, it is terrible. Did you know him?" "No", the young man replied, "I never met him in person, but I am really upset anyway." Jaydan touched so many lives, and his humble nature impacted many all across our district.

     

    I have been so proud of our GCISD family. You have pulled together to help the Thompson family, to help our students and to help each other. Many of you have gone the extra mile to cover a class or help a colleague in some way this week. We are so blessed to live and work in a district and community that takes care of each other in good times and in bad. That's what being the BEST is all about.

     

    BEST.

    Dr. Robin Ryan
    Dr. Robin Ryan
    GCISD Superintendent of Schools
     
    The B.E.S.T. Report is a weekly communication from our superintendent about our schools and community.
    Comments (-1)
  • A-F

    Posted by Communication Services at 1/6/2017

    Across Texas, the talk this week in many education circles has been about the ​provisional A-F ratings that were released. The results were published just days prior to the legislative session in Austin. One reason for the timing is so that legislators can make any adjustments to the system if needed. And...adjustments are certainly needed!

     

    When I saw the results, a few questions came to mind:

    • Don't they know that our work in schools is complex and can't be simplified into a single "scarlet letter" grade? 
    • Don't they know that we already have too much of a testing culture in Texas and the more "high stakes" the test becomes, the more people will feel like they need to t​​e​a​ch to the test?
    • Don't they know that parents don't want more emphasis on the test?
    • Don't they know that it seems like the A-F system is designed to artificially show how schools are failing in order to make a better case for vouchers in this upcoming legislative session?

    I am not against testing, and I am not against accountability. In fact, Texas students, teachers, principals and district leaders have never been more accountable in the history of public education. But this bureaucratic intrusion into classrooms has got to stop.

     

    I hope you will make your voice heard with our legislators, so that you can shape the future of our profession. This week in the ​Fort Worth Star Telegram, our own Senator Konni Burton, whose kids attended GCISD schools and who lives in the GCISD community, was commenting about another topic and encouraged feedback from citizens in a tweet. Her quote from yesterday's editorial is as follows: “Too many think social media is the legislative process. It is not. Calling, writing, & emailing the legislators' OFFICE is." I have found our legislators to be open to feedback and to be thankful for hearing how constituents feel about the issues. So if you have an opinion, please let it be heard.

     

    We will certainly hear more about A-F and other educational issues as we move through this legislative session.

     

    The one constant through all of this is that our caring and professional staff will work hard every day just as always: doing our BEST to provide an excellent education for our students. Thank you for putting all of the noise aside and taking care of kids!

     

    BEST,
    RR

    Dr. Robin Ryan
    Dr. Robin Ryan
    GCISD Superintendent of Schools
     
    The B.E.S.T. Report is a weekly communication from our superintendent about our schools and community.
    Comments (-1)
  • Happy Holidays

    Posted by Communication Services at 12/16/2016

    Please enjoy The B.E.S.T. Report in video format this week. Hope everyone has a safe and happy holiday.

     

     

    BEST,
    RR

    Dr. Robin Ryan
    Dr. Robin Ryan
    GCISD Superintendent of Schools
     
    The B.E.S.T. Report is a weekly communication from our superintendent about our schools and community.
    Comments (-1)
  • Happy Thanksgiving

    Posted by Communication Services at 11/17/2016

    On the "Thank-you Thursday" before the Thanksgiving break, I thought I would write the B.E.S.T. Report a day early.

     

    In GCISD, we have so many things for which to be thankful. Terrific students, amazing co-workers, supportive parents and the list could go on and on. I hope we will take the time in the next two days to sincerely thank those around us, for it is the people and the culture in GCISD that sets us apart. Whether a classroom teacher or others who support our students in some way, we are fortunate to live and work in a great place.

     

    We have had a tremendous school year so far, and I thank each of you for doing your part to make this the BEST school district in America. We are a destination district because of the people in GCISD.

     

    I am blessed to be a part.

     

    Happy Thanksgiving,
    RR

    Dr. Robin Ryan
    Dr. Robin Ryan
    GCISD Superintendent of Schools
     
    The B.E.S.T. Report is a weekly communication from our superintendent about our schools and community.
    Comments (-1)
  • Veterans Day 2016

    Posted by Communication Services at 11/11/2016

    This week, all across GCISD, our students and staff are commemorating Veteran's Day. Our students are singing patriotic songs and performing in patriotic programs honoring those who have served our country in the armed forces. As one who has served, I am so proud that our district sets standards for Veteran's Day celebrations.

     

    In a week when we have experienced an election day, the results of which clearly show a country divided on which person should lead us, Veteran's Day arrived to bring us back together.

     

    When I was in the Army, I served with people from all over this country, with people of many different faiths and with people from many ethnic backgrounds. It was a great experience for this person from a small, rural Texas town.

     

    So today as I looked at the faces of our students, staff and parents in attendance at a Veteran's Day program, I saw America. I saw our students bringing us together in our efforts to honor and thank those who served our great country.

     

    Part of our Portrait of a Graduate mentions developing global citizens. Good global citizenship begins with good local citizenship. We must learn to be good local citizens, with community service, helping others and showing kindness towards all, before we can become good global citizens.

     

    Veteran's Day programs are just one way we teach citizenship and show that GCISD is the BEST!

     

    BEST,
    RR

    Dr. Robin Ryan
    Dr. Robin Ryan
    GCISD Superintendent of Schools
     
    The B.E.S.T. Report is a weekly communication from our superintendent about our schools and community.
    Comments (-1)
  • Super Fan

    Posted by Communication Services at 10/28/2016

    Last Friday night was a wonderful night for GCISD. The annual ​"​Battle of the Red Rail​"​ game was much more than a football game, and it was one of the largest community events of the year. I observed some major league tailgating, and thousands were in the stands to cheer on their favorite team.

     

    The student involvement was at its peak​ and t​he players on the field​ represented their school with pride. Band and drill team performances were top-notch​, while​ ​cheerleaders and spirit groups kept the crowd loud. The student sections were overflowing with enthusiasm. It was truly a sight to behold.

     

    I am so proud of the many good things this event represented: community support, student involvement, good sportsmanship, hard work, team effort and school pride. The players set the tone for appropriate behavior with their ​GCISD media day luncheon on Wednesday and the student leaders from both campuses were out front, modeling how to be a "super fan". Our principals, coaches and sponsors led the way and it resulted in the kind of community event of which we can all be proud. It's another example of how GCIS​D is the BEST!

     

    BEST,
    RR

    Dr. Robin Ryan
    Dr. Robin Ryan
    GCISD Superintendent of Schools
     
    The B.E.S.T. Report is a weekly communication from our superintendent about our schools and community.
    Comments (-1)
  • The New Experience

    Posted by Communication Services at 10/21/2016

    Tonight is the annual varsity football game between the Grapevine High School Mustangs and the Colleyville Heritage High School Panthers. I, like many of you, will be in attendance for tonight's game at Mustang-Panther Stadium. I look forward to seeing so many students participating in extracurricular activities. With the football teams, the bands, the drill teams, the cheer squads and spirit groups, there will be hundreds of students performing in front of thousands of community members.

     

    If you have ever been to this game, or any other event at the stadium, there is quite a long hike uphill to your seat, the concourse gets extremely congested, and sometimes the scoreboard is inoperable. But not for long.

     

    Thanks to the 1996 Tax Increment Financing, or TIF, agreement with the City of Grapevine, substantial renovations are coming to Mustang-Panther Stadium. In the Fall of 2018, fans, students, staff and community members can expect a new experience when coming to events at the stadium - improved accessibility, updated concession stands, spirit shops, restrooms, increased security, a new press box and scoreboard and more.

     

    In celebration of the football game this evening, information will become available on the GCISD website at the 7:30pm kickoff. This website will detail what a TIF is, how a TIF works, why these projects were selected and additional renderings of the proposed design. It was important that we share this information with staff ahead of tonight's game because this is going to provide tremendous opportunities for not only students but also our staff - so we're giving you early access to the website by clicking here. Mustang-Panther Stadium serves as the host site for many district-wide events, but we are limited by its current shortcomings. Beginning in the Fall of 2018, we will have a place to host special events, professional development, even booster clubs and PTA meetings!

     

    If you are able to attend this evening's game, I encourage you to walk around the stadium to look at specific renderings of the proposed design. For those of you that are unable to attend, here's a sneak peek of what you can expect in the Fall of 2018 - coming soon to Mustang-Panther Stadium: The New Experience

     

     

    BEST,
    RR

    Dr. Robin Ryan
    Dr. Robin Ryan
    GCISD Superintendent of Schools
     
    The B.E.S.T. Report is a weekly communication from our superintendent about our schools and community.
    Comments (-1)
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