TO:             Northwest ISD Parents, Caregivers, and Staff

FROM:       Ryder Warren, Superintendent of Schools

SUBJECT:  Superintendent’s Update

I hope everyone is having a great second semester … I do know that it is crazy to think that we are already into February. I apologize for not updating you on a more regular basis this school year. That’s completely my fault, so I will do better. We have a lot of moving parts right now in the district, so I have included some items below for your review. 
I also invite you to tune in next Wednesday, February 5, for my next Facebook Live presentation. I enjoy doing those several times a year, and it provides me with outstanding feedback from the stakeholders who participate. I will begin the presentation at 6:30 PM, so feel free to join me live for the talk, but also know you can watch it from the NISD Facebook page at any time that is convenient for you. We will monitor the district’s site regularly and answer any questions that are posted.
Thank you to all of our students and staff who are working so hard right now – we are very proud of the efforts. Below is information on current district happenings. Please get back to us if you have any questions regarding these items (or anything else). Thank you for supporting our children and our schools!
NISD Named Finalist for H-E-B Excellence in Education Award
Northwest ISD has been named a finalist in the 2020 H-E-B Excellence in Education Award , which would not have been possible without you! An honor this big does not happen by chance. It takes the vision, support, and commitment of you – our students, parents, teachers, and community members. Northwest ISD and our students are blessed with great success, and I appreciate all you do to help create and support the great things happening here.
School Calendars for 2020-2021 and 2021-2022
Developed with your input, the NISD School Board approved the 2020-2021 Instructional Calendar last night (Jan. 30). The first day of school will be August 20, and you can see all of the holidays and breaks by clicking here . To help us plan ahead, the 2021-2022 Instructional Calendar was also approved, which replicates the same holiday and break schedule. The calendar committee wanted to give families and staff as much planning time as possible by asking our school board to approve calendars for the next two years, so we hope this will be beneficial for you.
Committee Recommendation for Future Schools, Facilities, and Growth Needs
Parents, community members, teachers, and other school staff members have been meeting for the last several months to assess facility needs of the district. We call this group our Long-Range Planning Committee. On Thursday night, they presented their proposal to meet the needs of our student growth and facilities. I truly thank this group for embracing the task of developing a recommendation for our school district to accommodate the addition of 5,500 students over the next four to five years.
The School Board will now review and consider the committee’s proposal that included four elementary schools, two middle schools, the expansion and renovation of Northwest High School, and many other projects for a total prospective bond proposition of $936 million. As recommended, the bond program could be approved with no increase to the tax rate. We anticipate that the Board members will consider and make a possible decision at the Board meeting on February 10. Our board members can accept the recommendation from the LRPC and call a bond referendum for the next election on May 2, 2020, or they can modify or reject the recommendation and not call an election.
One of the main topics we will discuss during the Facebook Live presentation will be the Long-Range Planning Committee’s process, recommendation, and next steps leading up to the Board’s anticipated decision on February 10. You can also click here to read more about the committee’s $936 million proposal, or click here to read more about the Long-Range Planning Committee’s process and findings.
Promoting Healthy Habits
The winter months are typically considered the cough and cold season, and with the recent concerns over the NOVEL Coronavirus in China, we understand there could be concerns in our community. Please know that we routinely monitor health trends and work cooperatively with our local health agencies. Currently, the number of cases of flu in the district is average for this time of year, and there are no confirmed cases of NOVEL Coronavirus in our state.
Even though there are no alarming health trends in our area, there are ways you can help keep our students healthy. Please remember to follow our attendance guidelines and keep your child home when they are sick. While we value your child’s learning time in the classroom, help prevent the spread of illness and ensure the health of other students by making sure your child is fever-free for 24 hours before returning to school. Please also talk to your child about healthy habits like frequent hand washing and covering your mouth when coughing.
By working together – with our parents and our local health departments – we are striving to provide a healthier environment for our children.
Thanks again for all you do to support Northwest ISD students and staff. If you see one of our school board members , please remember to thank them as well. Today marks the end of School Board Appreciation Month, but we are continuously grateful for their vision and servant leadership. They help make Northwest ISD the great district we are.
Thank you!
Ryder Warren, Superintendent of Schools
Northwest Independent School District