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From The Desk of Don Jackson

Grapeland Texas, The Grapeland Messenger

Special to The Messenger

GRAPELANDHello Sandie Nation, I hope your summer break is off to a great start. We are busy tying up loose ends from this past year and assessing our strengths and weaknesses so we can continue to address them.

I am extremely excited about what HB3 could mean for our staff. The Texas Education Agency has released the new minimum salary schedule and we are presently doing the math and we’re ready to gladly “show them the money”!

Parents please be reminded about our Summer School accelerated instruction for STAAR and credit recovery. Our staff will continue to call you and notify you of the requirements for your children.

Summer breakfast and lunch will continue to be served at the HS campus each morning and noon throughout the month of June at 8:00 AM and 12:00 PM.

The move into our new elementary campus is getting closer to becoming a reality. There is much work to be done, but we WILL start our school year in our new building. We will discuss a Ribbon cutting and community walk-through soon and set the date and time to allow our community a glance at the blessing that they gave to our students and staff.

As we move out of our old Elementary building we will have a rummage sale for items that will not be utilized in the new school. Times and dates for the rummage sale will be posted soon.

I have heard various concerns about the Secondary dress code for the 2019-20 school year (Elementary dress code has not changed). Before implementing the new emphasis on improving our student’s appearance, we met with our District Educational Improvement Committee, students and our Board of Trustees to discuss the changes.

The changes are not meant to harm any child, but they certainly are a higher expectation of appearance. I don’t believe any student can step off the stage after their senior year and flip a switch to be ready for what life holds.

Our emphasis has shifted to College, Career or Military Readiness and we believe that our dress code should reflect the same emphasis. We are aware that not all people will agree with it, but we will ask our students to adhere to it.

Do we have other things to improve on? Of course we do. Do we have a strategic plan to improve? Yes, we do. The vision is on paper and we will continue to strive to make our plans become our practices.

As I have said before, I don’t mind being blamed for higher expectations and standards. Our Board of Trustees are passionate about our pursuit of excellence and I enjoy the challenges they continually ask me to tackle.

In speaking to most adults, we would testify that our greatest moments of learning were when we were pushed out of our comfort zones. As a school district, we must continue to strive for greatness in all phases of our educational system.

As superintendent of Grapeland ISD, I certainly want to make myself visible, available, accessible and approachable to our students and parents. We will always be committed to doing what is best for students and will always have open ears to the reasonable concerns of our students and stakeholders. Just give us a call or drop me an email.

In conclusion, as many of you know, I lost my mom on May 31st of this year. She was my hero because she taught me almost everything I know. I remember as a child that each winter she would line all seven of us up and give us some awful medicine called Castor Oil and Cod Liver Oil. It tasted terrible, but she said it was good for us and would keep us from getting sick. She explained to us that everything that is good for you may not seem good at the time, but it will help you down the line.

Our excitement is growing as we look toward the future of Grapeland ISD. It is my hope that the Secondary Schools revised dress code will be great medicine for our students, even though to some it doesn’t feel good. Our goal is to help prepare our students for an even brighter future.