“We are on our way, and we have the momentum.” – Dr. Marcelo Cavazos
Before the school bells ring to signal the beginning of a new school year, the Chamber and State of the District attendees got to hear from Superintendent Dr. Marcelo Cavazos about all the amazing things happening at Arlington ISD and what the future of the district will look like.
One of the biggest takeaways from the State of the District Luncheon is that Dr. Cavazos is one witty guy. He had jokes after jokes and did not spare a single soul including Arlington Mayor Jim Ross and City Manager Trey Yelverton. Even some of our bigger business owners who have worked closely with AISD got zinged a few times.
This year’s topic was titled “Powered by Possibilities.” Dr. Cavazos spoke on all the wonderful possibilities that have already happened within the district and what possibilities they are looking towards to continue showcasing student’s talents and fuel our future workforce.
Superintendent Cavazos announced at the Luncheon that AISD’s possibility to better STAAR test scores throughout all schools has become a reality. AISD now has almost all A, B or C ranked schools throughout the district. These rankings are based on the STAAR scores.
They achieved this through three key areas:
1.Small Group Instruction
AISD has created a learning environment that is not only more conducive to students but to teachers, as well. By having smaller groups in classrooms, it allows students to get more one-on-one time and teachers to become more connected with their student’s educational needs.
2. Summer School
Summer school is no longer created for making up hours or trying to get a passing grade.
AISD has transformed summer school to be fun and help accelerate student education. They even offer Camp Innovation, where kids can be their most creative selves and become innovators and entrepreneurs from a young age.
After the past three years, students have faced challenges learning from home. Through tutoring, AISD has been able to reduce the gap that was created during the years of virtual learning.
Dr. Cavazos said, “When we get to the other side of this Pandemic, we want to be together. We want to be a family.” This was the goal that was presented to AISD as they tried to maneuver their way through uncharted territory. The district did everything they could to stay informed with ever-changing CDC guidelines, lockdowns, and the many safety restrictions they were facing.
Even though AISD is still dealing with the health crisis, they have always made sure that their top priority was the safety of the students.
Since students are AISD’s top priority, Cavazos had to mention some of the amazing successes that have come out of the programs they provide.
- 4 recent AISD grads are heading to Ivy League colleges.
- 8 recent AISD grads are going to Tarrant County College.
- AISD had a team (Divas & a Dude) compete in Destination Innovation in which they placed 10th
- AISD has student taste testers to improve lunch menus.
- Intro to Culinary Arts course came up with new lunch menu options by using the ingredients that AISD already used in the cafeteria.
- Preston Nguyen, AISD grad and Culinary Arts Practicum Student, won the 2021 World Food Championship.
As you can tell whether it is in or out of the classroom, AISD is creating future innovators, entrepreneurs, and risk-takers. “What they are learning in and out of the classroom is that they can make a difference,” said Dr. Cavazos. This is a great lesson to be taught and we are very excited to see these students grow and help continue to make a difference in the Arlington community.
One of the main concerns as the new school year begins is safety. AISD is taking all precautions to ensure that the district is creating the safest environment possible for all students. To ease parent’s worries, AISD has created a safety page on their website where a security tracker will keep all parents up to date on lockdowns, or other safety issues that might arise.
As AISD looks toward new safety measures, they are also looked toward an even brighter future for the district. Starting this fall, Pre-K is free for all 4-year-olds and will bring an “All STEM Ahead” focus to the Pre-K classrooms.
Some of the other programs that will be coming to the district include:
- Lamar High School will now offer the P-Tech Cybersecurity and business pathway.
- A new teacher leadership program called ASPIRE will help grow teacher’s leadership within the classroom or help them begin their journey into school administration.
- New teacher training
On top of all the new programs, AISD is continuing to grow with a new elementary and multiple junior highs being built. There are also quite a few renovations happening to older schools. Lastly, if you are wondering, yes, the internet is getting upgraded!
We will leave you with Dr. Cavazos’ final remarks.
“We are powered by possibilities and so are you.”