Vision and Beliefs
With an enrollment of more than 7,700 students, each of our thirteen campuses is committed to the continued academic success and well-being of every student. Our 1,000 employees understand that success is a journey and not a destination. Each day, they strive to be a professional learning community by focusing on learning rather than teaching, working collaboratively as a team, and holding each other accountable for results.
Our district believes that all decisions must be consistent with our vision, mission, beliefs, and goals, data based, anchored in sound theory and practice, and focused on what is best for the short and long-term interests of all students.
Our district work is focused on the following four pillars and questions:
1. Vision: What kind of district do we want to become?
2. Mission: Why does our district exist?
3. Beliefs: What do we have to believe in, commit to, and act upon?
4. Goals: How do we get there?
Waxahachie ISD will support and empower our community of learners for success in the 21st century.
Continuing our tradition of "Excellence in Education," the mission of the Waxahachie Independent School District is to develop through a cooperative effort with the home and community, well-educated, responsible citizens who can excel in a complex world.
In the worth and dignity of each individual, both student and staff. We will constantly strive to assure the right of each student to receive the best education possible in a warm and caring atmosphere.
Every child can learn, although not always at the same speed and in the same manner, and we are dedicated to providing the best possible education for every child in this district.
Involved parents and community, a focused mission, strong instructional leadership, high expectations for students and staff, a safe and orderly environment, and effective evaluations of district progress in these areas are necessary to ensure educational growth.
Training is an essential benefit. We are committed to staff development that provides opportunities for our staff to continually grow and learn. It is critical that campus plans include the staff development and training time needed to make the transitions and changes desired.
All programs can improve, and we are committed to success for all students. We are committed to constant improvement and the effective planning for that improvement. We will provide the resources and time necessary to ensure that appropriate planning takes place. We believe that stressing quality and accountability is the one true method to achieve that end.
The function of the Board of Trustees is to set goals and expectations, and that the means to achieve these goals must be developed by the professional staff of this district with the aid and support of the community.
All decisions should be based on thorough research, all programs should be tracked, and that status reports should be provided on a regular basis.
Great school systems are built and maintained because of qualified and caring staff in all areas.
Teachers are not just responsible for dispensing information, but also for ensuring that students are actually learning and the central focus of the learning experience.
Each year, the Waxahachie ISD District Advisory Team, or DAT, identifies opportunities for improvement and charts the future course of our organization via the District Improvement Plan, or DIP. The district has selected four areas in which we will place our focus and efforts for the upcoming school year.
(1). Collaboration: "Professional Learning Communities at Work"
A Professional Learning Community, or PLC, is not a program. It is a way of thinking about learning. The use of PLCs is the best, most professionally rewarding way to improve schools, and the best place to begin is with a set of simple structures and practices that constitute a learning community. These structures and practices are:
Ensuring that Students Learn by collaborating about the right things and asking critical questions such as: What do we want each student to learn? How will we know each student has learned? How will we respond when students don’t learn? What will we do with those who have learned it? Do we believe that they can learn it?
Building a Culture of Collaboration by encouraging all faculty and staff members to work together to analyze and improve their classroom practice which in turn leads to higher levels of student achievement.
A Focus on Results by judging effectiveness on the basis of results. Faculty and staff members must establish SMART goals (S = Strategic; M = Measurable; A = Attainable; R = Results Oriented; T = Time Bound) based on data and work together to achieve those goal.
(2). Relationships: "Capturing Kids’ Hearts"
Flip Flippen, researcher and speaker, believes, "If you have a child’s heart, you have his (or her) head." His number one goal for all faculty and staff members is to build positive, productive, and personal relationships with every student that comes through each classroom door. At the very heart of our work is a deep level of commitment to the students and an attitude that says, "I am here for the kids." The one question that all faculty and staff members must continuously ask themselves: "Each day, what specifically can I do to reach the hearts of my kids to help make a difference in their lives?"
(3). Differentiation: "Instructional Strategies to Meet ALL Students’ Needs"
"Differentiation" is the flexible approach to teaching in which the teacher plans and carries out varied approaches to content, process, and product in anticipation of and in response to student differences in readiness, interests, and learning needs. The three questions to consider are: What is the teacher differentiating? How is the teacher differentiating? Why is the teacher differentiating?
(4). Community Outreach: "Engaging All Families"
Steven Constantino, educator and writer, believes, "When schools build partnerships with families that respond to their concerns and honor their contributions, they are successful in sustaining connections that are aimed at improving student achievement."
"Family engagement" is the degree to which families are engaged in their child’s academic behavior. The more educators engage families in the academic lives of their children, the more likely the students will perform at higher levels. Families feel engaged with their child’s school when they find personal meaning and relevance in their child’s educational experiences, receive positive interpersonal support from school staff on a regular and reoccurring basis, and see tangible and credible evidence that their child’s school is successful, safe, and committed to establishing relationships with parents and families.
The questions to consider are: Does our district say "welcome" to all families? Do our district communication mediums promote family engagement and involvement? Do our district events and activities promote family engagement and involvement?
"Before there can be achievement, there needs to be engagement." - Steven Constantino
For more detailed information about each goal, please review the District Improvement Plan. If you are interested in serving on the District Advisory Team, please contact Mr. Jeremy Glenn, Superintendent, at 972. 923.4631.