FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
Friday, November 20, 2015
Lancaster ISD Hosts School District Trustees from Across the State
Lancaster, TX/Lancaster ISD - On Thursday, November 19, 35 school district trustees from throughout the state of Texas travelled to Lancaster ISD to participate in a Leadership Texas Association of School Boards (TASB) session.
The members of the 2016 Leadership TASB class are participating in a yearlong education leadership study program designed to take experienced school board members to a new level of service and leadership by exposing them to a variety of district issues, people, activities, and communities.
For session two of the Leadership TASB program, trustees arrived in Dallas for site visits to two local school districts. Lancaster ISD, a suburban public school district located in Lancaster, Texas on the southern border of Dallas, was the first of two stops on the educational tour.
Lancaster ISD Board President and Leadership TASB Master Trustee and Executive Board Member Ty G. Jones was glad that his district was selected to be a part of the session two visit.
"I believe it is important for district trustees to share what’s occurring in their home district with others trustees because we are able to provide evidence that certain systems, when implemented, can positively impact the success of the students we serve," he said. "We are also able to share the obstacles we faced so that others do not have to experience those and we can help to increase the efficiency and effectiveness of other Boards."
For part of the visit, the trustees toured the district’s George Washington Carver 6th Grade STEM Learning Center and had an opportunity to visit the 21st Century Learning Lab, an AVID classroom, the Pitsco Lab as well as test out the campus’ flight simulators.
Manor ISD School Board President Marlin Thomas said that he enjoyed visiting the campus.
"Seeing how engaged the students are and the way they responded to questions let me know that they were truly engaged," he said. "That was so attractive to me as a trustee and I want to learn more about how that is achieved in Lancaster."
While in Lancaster ISD, the trustees also had an opportunity to learn about the district’s notable transformation story.
"To come to Lancaster is a privilege," Cypress-Fairbanks ISD School Board Vice President Tom Jackson said. "You have done what’s actually considered the impossible throughout the United States. You have addressed the most challenging set of opportunities and you have said, ‘yes we can, yes we will,’ but more than that…you have done it."
Lancaster ISD is one of the largest predominantly African American districts in the state and for four consecutive years, more than 95% of its students graduated with a diploma and a letter of acceptance to a college, university, trade school or the military. The district celebrates the fact that it has the highest graduation rate of the Best Southwest cities and one of the highest in the Dallas/Fort Worth area. One hundred percent of the district’s schools met standard on the most recent state assessment and several campuses received multiple distinctions from the Texas Education Agency.
During the visit, the district highlighted its K-12 STEM Education program which was the first in the state to provide STEM Educational experiences to every student in the district in grades K-12. Each elementary campus is STEM-focused with an emphasis on Health Science Technology, Engineering, Information Systems & Software Design or Global Arts Communications & Entrepreneurship.
Rebecca Birch, Del Valle ISD School Board President said this was a valuable visit for her.
"I think it’s important to see what other districts are able to do and even if they have more resources, there’s always something you could find that you could do or borrow from [them]," she said. "It’s important with the limited resources that some school districts have to not recreate the wheel but be able to borrow and get other ideas."
Lancaster ISD Superintendent Dr. Michael McFarland said that he was proud to showcase his district during this visit.
"In Lancaster ISD, we are defying the statistics about ethnicity, economics and student performance," he said. "We have raised the expectations for our students, teachers and leaders and they are responding."
In addition to hearing from the Superintendent of Schools, the trustees met and heard presentations from members of the District Leadership Team.
Boyd ISD School Board President Ernest Partin enjoyed meeting members of the leadership team.
"There was so much hospitality and attention to detail," he said. "We can take so much of what we learned back to our district to implement as well."
KP George, Fort Bend ISD Trustee, echoed similar sentiments.
"This district is doing a lot of things that I really want to do," he said.
Other Leadership TASB sessions are scheduled for Corpus Christi, February 25-27; Amarillo, March 31-April 2; and Forth Worth, June 30-July 2. Each session has a unique theme that builds on the previous session and features nationally recognized experts in the fields of leadership development and education. Teams also work throughout the year on extended learning assignments between meetings.
Please click HERE to view a video of the LTASB Site Visit.
The Lancaster Independent School District serves more than 7,000 pre-kindergarten through grade 12 students in 11 schools. Our vision is that all students achieve self-sustaining success and leave a lasting legacy. And our mission, in collaboration with parents and communities, is to ignite learning that translates into sustainable success for all students in an ever-changing society. ________________________________________________________________________________________________________
422 S. Centre Ave. ● Lancaster, TX 75146 ● (972) 218-1400