Now that Bandera Independent School District students have headed out the doors for summer, people might think things get quiet and slow in the district.
Between the last bell ringing of the 2018-19 school year and the first bell ringing of the 2019-20 school year, a whole lot activity will take place, officials said.
In a recent interview with the Bandera Bulletin, Superintendent Dr. Jerry Hollingsworth outlined some of things that will happen while students are out on summer break.
“In June, we will switch to a new and improved BISD website that will include the district’s new logo and a lot of new features,” he said, explaining that the new logo is part of the district’s efforts to create a clear and consistent brand that is known throughout the community.
“When you say Coca-Cola, you instantly know their logo and their brand. We’re looking to create that same type of recognition for Bandera ISD,” the superintendent said.
Hollingsworth said the district did its research in the development of the new brand.
Officials believe the brand will be a more professional-looking one than the district’s old image, which is depicted on letterhead, business cards and other professional documents along with information developed as part of the district’s athletic and extracurricular activities.
In addition, each BISD campus will have a logo that is specific to that campus but consistent with our district’s brand, Hollingsworth said.
He said the new website is “very cool and user friendly. For instance, when viewing the daily events in the district, parents will be able to click on the campuses their children attend and get specific information for those schools.”
Other improved features include a cleaner, easier-to-navigate format, a one-stop shop for the day’s social media posts and a separate and distinct webpage for each campus.
Also this month, BISD will roll out its new Core Values and Vision report.
“Our core values will guide our decisions and our work on a daily basis,” Hollingsworth said.
“One thing that was really clear when we talked to students, parents, teachers and staff is that is we really value choice in learning in the Bandera community. That has major implications for how we do our work,” the superintendent said.
Choice is emphasized in the district, Hollingsworth said, through things like giving learners options and teaching concepts through the arts, leadership and business programs and the science, technology, engineering and mathematics, or STEM, disciplines.
Teachers are a critical component of the learning process, and BISD is pushing for better ways to support district instructors, especially with improved technology.
Hollingsworth said the district is starting a second cohort of digital classroom teachers before the upcoming school year.
Those 30-plus digital teachers will implement the use of Chromebook laptops in their daily lessons. Eventually, those teachers will be available to help other teachers implement digital tools in their classrooms, the education chief said.
“A lot of school districts get technology and just throw it at teachers hoping it will be used. We know that teachers need support in implementing that technology, and we are addressing that,” he said.
The most visible change at BISD over the summer may be the arrival of 13, new school buses.
The district acquired the new buses through a municipal lease program. Plans are in place to sell 13 of the district’s oldest buses, including two buses that date back to 1991 and 1992.
“The new buses have air conditioning, seat belts, GPS so we can know where each bus is and a four-way-camera system that will enhance student safety,” Hollingsworth said.
The buses are being manufactured over the summer in Oklahoma City.
“We expect to have all buses in operation by September and hope to buy two new buses per year moving forward,” Hollingsworth noted.