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December 19, 2019
Our campuses have been filled with the sights and sounds of the holidays and our students have been busy supporting the community this holiday season!
Message from the School Board President:

Dear

It truly is the most wonderful time of the year in Belton ISD with all the sights and sounds of the holidays!

Those sounds included the ringing of bells and excited cheers as the Belton Educational Enrichment Foundation (BEEF) surprised campus administrators, teachers and paraprofessionals across the district delivering grants for an educational wish list of items to enhance learning opportunities for students and staff. BEEF awarded $74,825 in grants to elementary, middle and high school educators for resources such as virtual reality systems, physical education equipment, classroom libraries and immersive learning games.

Each grant demonstrates the continued commitment of our community to promote literacy and creativity in our classrooms, along with their support for the incredible staff that serve our students each day. We are so grateful for BEEF and those who support their mission!
  
A supportive and engaged community makes our public schools stronger, and as the Board continues its process of identifying the district’s next Superintendent, the feedback gathered from both the community focus groups and the online community survey last month has been at the forefront of our conversations.

The Board is both pleased and impressed by the experienced, diverse pool of more than 40 candidates that applied to be the next Superintendent here in Belton ISD. Following the Board’s review this week of all applicants, we will be extending invitations to six candidates for first round interviews in January. There will be a second round of interviews and then we hope to announce a finalist(s) on January 27th.

We are blessed to live, work and raise our families in a community that recognizes the value of strong public schools. From the BEEF grant awards to the crowds of proud family members that have attended the many impressive holiday performances across the district, the impact of an engaged and invested community can be seen further strengthening our schools.
 
On behalf of your school board, we wish you a holiday season that sparkles with love, laughter and goodwill, and a blessed new year ahead that is filled with joy. Have a Merry Christmas, and we look forward to seeing you in 2020.

Sincerely,

Suzanne M. McDonald
President, Board of Trustees
The Belton Educational Enrichment Foundation (BEEF) awarded over $74,000 in grants for innovative instructional projects and to paraprofessionals for continuing education. It was an exciting morning as BEEF traveled from campus to campus to surprise recipients with awards. 
BOARD COMMITTEE REPORTS
Facilities: The facilities committee met on December 18 to continue discussion regarding developer land requests and lighting at the BHS baseball field, and to receive an update on the capital improvements list. The committee also discussed the purchase of vaping sensors and additional improvements identified for Southwest Elementary School. The group began its strategic planning for facilities/land. The committee's next meeting will be January 15.

Policy: This committee will meet next on January 13 for final review of the Texas Association of School Boards' Policy Update 114 and the Board's Standard Operating Procedures. The committee will also take a look at the Student Code of Conduct, expulsion/JJAEP assignments and safety and security procedures.
For more information on the Belton ISD Superintendent Search Process timeline, visit the district website here.
CURRICULUM & INSTRUCTION
We celebrated the top 5% sophomores, juniors and seniors at the Belton High School Academic Awards Banquet. Seniors had the opportunity to acknowledge a teacher who had the greatest impact on their success. It was a wonderful night to honor the commitment each student has made to achieve academic excellence, as well as celebrate with the families and teachers who have supported them.
STUDENT SERVICES
As a part of our continued efforts to raise awareness and address safety and health concerns facing our students, Dr. Battershell sent this letter to all secondary parents this week regarding vaping and THC. Please take time to educate yourself on this important issue.
COMMUNICATIONS
Belton ISD will be partnering with other Bell County public and private entities to encourage participation in the 2020 Census. Without an accurate count, Texas stands to lose more than $43 billion per year in funds that impact our schools. Stay tuned for more information in the new year. 
Congratulations to these Tiger football athletes who signed to play at the collegiate level this week! Elijah Washington will play for Blinn Junior College and Logan Smith has signed to play at the University of Texas at Austin.
Superintendent Snippets :

  • It was a joy to participate in BEEF grants for 11 of our paraprofessionals who received $1,000 each toward their continuing education. As a part of the surprise, these paraprofessionals were invited to meet with me under the guise of a "focus group". Needless to say, the conversation and insight they shared with me was so meaningful that I have scheduled a second meeting with them to continue our discussion on how to grow our paraprofessionals.
  • District administrators visited all campuses to distribute a small appreciation gift. Thank you to the PTSO and PTA groups, local businesses and many others who have shared holiday treats and gifts with our campuses and their staff.
  • When we return in the new year, we will host a second Leadership Lunch on January 8 to discuss the 2020 Census and homelessness in our area. Thank you to Bell County Judge David Blackburn and Central Counties Services for helping to lead these important conversations.

Christmas is a time for celebration but it is also a time to remember that Jesus was born in the most humble of surroundings and yet his life changed the world. We don’t have to grow up or live in wealth to change the world. Our task each day is to make our world a little better. Grace to you as you change the world,

Robin Battershell, Ed.D.
Interim Superintendent, Belton ISD
Don't miss out upcoming musical! The Belton High School Fine Arts Department will present "Into the Woods" on Friday, February 7 and Saturday, February 8 at 7:00 p.m. and Sunday, February 9 at 2:00 p.m. at the BHS Performing Arts Center. More information and tickets are available now at the Theatre Department's web page .