Friday, April 24, 2009

Rigor in Learning

In an early posting, we talked about our branding positioning statement. We focused on one sentence: “We value creativity, relevance and rigor in learning.”

In that posting, we chatted about why creativity was part of C-FB ISD’s positioning statement. Creativity and innovation can be found throughout our C-FB ISD campuses and district operations.

This week, we want to talk about “relevance and rigor in learning.”
We are seeing more and more middle and high school students (grades 6- 12) take advanced courses, especially in math and science.

And, with college getting more expensive, parents are going to like this news. We have more high school students enrolling in dual credit courses. This means our students are earning college credit and high school credit by taking the same course – while in high school.

At the School Board meeting on April 23, Dr. Sheila Maher, assistant superintendent for curriculum and instruction shared statistics. As you can see, C-FB ISD is on the right track when it comes to students understanding the importance of stretching their learning.

The percentage of students enrolling in advanced courses (Advanced Placement, International Baccalaureate and dual credit) is growing annually.

2005 - 39.84%
2006 - 45%
2007 - 47%
2008 - 55%

And, taking all those advanced course work is paying off for C-FB ISD seniors. As the 2008-09 school year wraps up, you will hear wonderful success stories about the 2009 C-FB ISD Graduating Class.

Just three examples.

  • Celeste Russell - the Newman Smith student - a Gates Millennium Scholar. Celeste now has a four-year full scholarship to any university. Only 1,000 students are selected. Gates Millennium Scholar News Release

  • Newman Smith Senior Sameer Badruddin - a 2009 Dell Scholar. The scholarship, valued at $20,000, was awarded by Michael and Susan Dell.

  • R. L. Turner student Charuta Gavankar is one of 560 semifinalists in the 2009 Presidential Scholars competition. The President Scholar program established to honor the nation's most distinguished graduating high school seniors.
    2009 Presidential Semifinalist News Release

Check out the Accolades section of or visit the C-FB ISD Celebration WIKI. On these two sites, you will always find out the celebrations of students, staff, and campuses.

We know that taking these advanced courses pays off in so many other ways. In his book, The World Is Flat, Thomas L. Friedman wrote about the future. He said that if we wanted to maintain our standard of living then our country must concentrate on the right education.

Well, in Carrollton-Farmers Branch ISD, we do concentrate on the right education because we are innovative leaders in learning.

Friday, April 17, 2009

C-FB ISD Impacts Community Life

“We impact all aspects of corporate and family life in the six communities we serve.”

That sentence is from our district’s positioning statement. Many people don’t realize this, but the Carrollton-Farmers Branch School District takes in six cities – Addison, Carrollton, Coppell, Dallas, Farmers Branch, Irving.

In fact, our district takes in parts of those six cities – we don’t serve the complete cities of Carrollton and Farmers Branch. It can be very confusing to people moving into the area.

But, being a part of six cities makes the Carrollton-Farmers Branch School District very unique. It allows us the opportunity to interact with multiple communities, different community organizations, and varied businesses. Our six cities provide many connections for students and staff.

If you’re not sure about where the C-FB ISD boundaries are, check out our district map. Or, you can even check our individual school attendance zone maps.

We are really proud to be part of six cities but we are one school district – the Carrollton-Farmers Branch School District – an innovative leader in learning.

Thursday, April 9, 2009

Creativity and Innovation Are Alive In C-FB ISD

C-FB ISD is an Innovative Leader in Learning … and a key to innovation is creativity. In our branding positioning statement, we wrote, “We value creativity, relevance and rigor in learning.”

Many believe that what sets the United States apart from other countries is the creativity and innovation of our economy. We want to share from one article:

On May 2, 2008, eSchool News published an article called "Study: Creativity is important but neglected." It featured a report called "Ready to Innovate: Are Educators and Executives Aligned on the Creative Readiness of the U.S. Workforce?," released by the Conference Board and Americans for the Arts, in partnership with the American Association of School Administrators (AASA). In that report, researchers surveyed 155 superintendents and 89 business executives about creativity and innovation.In the eSchool News article, Meris Stansbury writes, "Educators and employers agree that creativity is increasingly important in U. S. workplaces. … Yet, the report suggests a disconnect exists between what survey respondents say they believe and how they act: In fact, findings indicate most high schools and employers provide creativity-conducive education and training only on an elective or ‘as needed' basis’ (2008).

Creativity and innovation can be found throughout our C-FB ISD campuses and district operations. That is, why creativity is part of our branding positioning statement.

This week, we salute two examples:

John Gordon, R. L. Turner junior. John is a student in the Academy of Media Arts and Technology or AMAT. John is a budding filmmaker. For the second year, he has a film in South by Southwest. This year’s film, Cloudburst, John wrote, directed and edited with Kristina Cobb, another R. L. Turner student. Cloudburst was also featured at the Dallas AFI.

His first film, To the Ends of the Earth, was also featured in South by Southwest.

AMAT teacher Jason Wheeler isn’t just teaching his students filmmaking at R. L. Turner. He is also a screenwriter. Jason has been collaborating with Dan F. Long Middle School teacher Bart Van Bemmel. Their short film, Butterscotch, wrapped up shooting in March and is currently at a production house. Jason and Bart hope to have Butterscotch finished in time to enter the Austin Film Festival and the Sundance Film Festival. Their goal is to use the short film to sell their feature-length script based on this short film.

Their feature length film, Swisher, still has a Hollywood director and actress attached and is currently making the rounds with producers and production companies including MGM and Paramount. Isn’t that exciting for Jason and Bart? Let’s hope they hear some positive news soon. We will keep you posted.

And, what exciting real world experiences that they can share with their students.

John has had a dream of making films since middle school. Just think – it all started here in C-FB ISD.

Creativity and innovation are alive in well in C-FB ISD.

Friday, April 3, 2009

An Innovative Leader in Learning

Carrollton-Farmers Branch Independent School District is "an innovative leader in learning. " This isour brand…This is what sets us apart from other public school districts. That's what people think about us -- people who have businesses in our community; people who work in our schools; people whose children attend our schools; people who are educators in other school districts.

From the inside, our people are innovators. They value creativity, relevance and rigor in learning.They respect and honor the diversity of our families. They impact all aspects of corporate and familylife in the six communities C-FB ISD serves. They do not compromise high expectations for themselves or their students. They live the character values of cooperation, integrity, pride, respect, responsibility, service and citizenship.

Creativity, relevance and rigor are not just found in our Fine Arts; they permeate the curriculumbecause we know that students find school work much more appealing when what they are learningrelates to today's world. That's why we now have a virtual campus … why our high schools now offeracademies in international business, media arts and technology, engineering, biomedical professions, and law and criminal justice. It is also why R. E. Good became the first public elementary school in northeast Texas to receive International Baccalaureate authorization for the Primary Years Programmae and why Ranchview High School is now offering International Baccalaureate. Las Colinas Elementary and Barbara Bush Middle Schools are working toward their authorizations as well.

Everyone who works in C-FB ISD is a valuable team member; each job in C-FB ISD is here to supportthe concept "student achievement at the highest level. " Without quality people who truly care aboutthe education and welfare of all children, C-FB ISD would not be known as an innovative leader inlearning across Texas and the nation. Our team members are known as innovators whether they arein the business, facility services, instructional or personnel division.
Our students are so fortunate because they have quality, learning-focused facilities. These buildingsare well-maintained and have tremendous technology thanks to a community who has supportedbond referendums through the years. The technology ranges from computer labs, laptops, smartboards, hand-held devices, and iPods.

Innovation goes beyond technology. Innovation means taking an appropriate risk. Innovation meansbeing a creative thinker. Innovation means being a lifelong learner.

Innovation Chant
Check out this music video featuring McCoy Elementary students. Don't miss the Innovation Chant!

Thursday, April 2, 2009

Welcome to C-FB Blogabilities

Welcome to C-FB Blogabilities. Here's a video to welcome you to our new blog.

Now watch this video about innovation in C-FB ISD.
See you next week!