Floresville Independent School District

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Focusing on What's Right About Kids

Wikipedia defines hope as the state which promotes the desire of positive outcomes related to events and circumstances in one's life or in the world at large. Gallup has identified hope as driving attendance, credits earned, and GPA of high school students. Gallup’s data that suggests that hope is a more robust predictor of college success than high school GPA, SAT, and ACT scores.

One of the FISD strategies to increase hope in our students and staff is our Strengths initiative as we Power UP with our Strengths.  All FISD staff, as well as all 6th-12th grade students, take the StrengthsFinder, an online personal assessment which outlines the user's strengths and encourages them to build on their natural talents, rather than focus on their weaknesses.

This week we met with the 80/20 Foundation (the charitable organization that provided a grant to FISD to support the Strengths initiative) and representatives from a school district in San Antonio that is interested in leveraging their students’ and staff’s Strengths as well.  During the visit, we heard from a panel of FHS students and teachers to learn more about the benefit of our Strengths initiative and how we can improve current strategies and activities.

One student commented that the StrengthsFinder assessment was “scary accurate”.  Everyone, students and teachers, agreed with that comment.  All students and teachers commented that it is beneficial knowing their strengths. One of our teachers commented that knowing her strengths and those of her colleagues makes for a more productive work environment, while another commented that he has changed some of his teaching strategies as a result of knowing his strengths.

The students also had some great feedback about how knowing their strengths has helped them.  One of our students commented, “Who doesn’t like to be told they are good at something”.  Another student shared that she sought a leadership position in an organization after seeing that her strengths could help that group. Students gave specific examples of how knowing their strengths has, in a sense, given them permission to use their strengths, making them feel more confident. As a district whose mission is to build character, knowledge and confidence, that specific comment is music to our ears.

Focusing on Strengths, what is right with staff and students is one more way we are preparing our students for a prosperous life.

Learning from our students...

Last Friday, after a hard-fought victory against Brackenridge, Tiger Varsity Football Running Back Gilbert Ortiz was interviewed by the San Antonio Express News.  He commented, “To me, it just shows how strong of a team we are, how we came together after a tough loss to Highlands. It shows that if we all stick together, anything is possible.” 

 

We can all learn much from Gilbert’s statement, which, in the big picture, has little to do with football and much more to do with life in general.  Strong, successful organizations and teams do exactly what Gilbert described.  Whether it be a fortune 500 company, a school district, a grade level of teachers, or a group of students in the band or football team, anything is possible when a group of people are committed, focused, work hard,  and can bounce back when things don’t work out the first time.  At FISD, we call this… Crossing the Line

 

Graham Weston, co-founder and chairperson of Rackspace and contributor to our Strengths initiative has said, “Everyone wants to be a valued member, on a winning team, on an inspiring mission.”  Our FISD Mission is indeed an inspiring one: Preparing our Students for a Prosperous Life.  If we keep Gilbert’s comment in mind, our mission is possible when FISD staff, parents, students and community work together. 

 

Preparing to prepare your kids!

Back-to-school staff development focused on our FISD mission statement: At Floresville ISD, we strive to develop confident leaders and productive citizens with character and knowledge in preparation for a prosperous life. The discussion involved all FISD employees and revolved around how each team member plays a critical role in ensuring that we are preparing our students for a prosperous life. This challenging, but crucial mission, will be achieved as we work together and support each other, to support our students.
 
The first week of the 2013-2014 school year has come to an end and FISD is off to a GREAT start.  This past week, our staff began to build relationships that will help to develop our students into confident leaders and productive citizens with character and knowledge.
 
Our most important instructional asset at FISD is our teachers, who educate, nurture and build character in our students day in and day out.  Their commitment, hard work, focus, and resiliency in preparing for a successful 2013-2014 school year is very much appreciated. 
 
And, last but not least, thanks to our parents and community for your patience as we made it through the first week challenges, most of which included long lines! We look forward to partnering with you as we work together to prepare our students for a prosperous life.