Welcome from Keith McBurnett
Welcome to Burnet CISD. Located in the Hill Country, Burnet CISD is spread out over 700 square miles and serves 3,100 students in 6 campuses. Burnet CISD has a rich history of excellence in academics and extracurricular activities, and is committed to CRAFTING the FUTURE. That future is as unique as each of our students. For some that means preparing them for college or a trade school, while others it means preparing them to earn a certification or enter the workforce with demonstrable skills. Our students are excelling inside the classroom and outside the classroom. I am proud to be the superintendent of Burnet CISD and to be a member of this wonderful community. You will find that there is a real sense of care and community within the District. If I can be of assistance to you, please feel free to contact me.
In order to keep District stakeholders informed, I write a newspaper article twice a month and post it on the District's website. You will find the three most recent articles below.
October 25, 2017
This week we are celebrating Green Ribbon Week in which Burnet CISD and the community focuses on the prevention of drug use within our community. One of the ways that we celebrate is by having students dress up in different types of themes like crazy sock day or camp day. These are fun activities for our students with a serious purpose. I remember the crazy mornings in my home trying to get my boys dressed in their crazy socks, but I want to challenge our parents to use these theme days as natural conversation starters to talk to their children about the dangers of drug abuse and to set clear rules for them about not using drugs.
The conversations don’t have to be long or complicated and parents don’t have to be an expert in order to share information or ask questions. Some conversation starters for parents include:
• Talk to your kids about what the drug trends were when you were in high school. Make it personal, talk about friends or family members who used drugs.
• Ask your kids to tell you about a friend or someone they know who has experimented with drugs and the consequences they faced.
• Tell your kids what your family’s position is on alcohol and smoking pot.
• Ask your kids what they think is the biggest issue facing teens today. Ask how you can help them to better face this issue.
In addition, in cooperation with Join the Journey, each time a middle school or high school student participates in a Green Ribbon activity they will be entered in a drawing to attend the “Drugs: Cost & Consequences/Opening Eyes to the Damage Drugs Cause” exhibit at the Texas Museum of Science and Technology. This exhibit is from the Drug Enforcement Administration Museum and began a national tour in 2002. The exhibit has an in-depth look at drug production and trafficking and then presents an overview of the science of addiction and some of the tragic costs and consequences of drugs in our society-costs to the environment, costs to the body and brain, costs to communities, costs to health, and costs to children. A limited number of students will be able to attend, but this would be a great exhibit for families to attend together. More information can be found at http://www.drugexhibit.org/.
Last week I had the privilege of attending a field trip to New York City as part of the Thompson Executive Leadership Institute. I was awarded a scholarship to participate in the 25th annual Superintendent Academy along with 24 other superintendents from Texas, Oklahoma, Louisiana and Alabama. During my time in New York City I attended leadership development sessions at Columbia University and visited several New York City schools. There is an old adage that says, “History doesn’t repeat itself, but it rhymes.” After spending time visiting New York City schools it became clear to me that schools system in Texas and New York are different, but they rhyme. During my visit I witnessed outstanding teachers and students; I saw innovative programs and observed a school system with more than 1.1 million students and 1,700 public schools that is addressing many challenges. During my visit, I was also constantly aware of the fact that I was in one of the greatest cities in world.
With that said, I can safely say that schools in Burnet CISD compete well with schools in New York City. Our class sizes are better, our attendance and graduation rates are better and we offer programs that match and surpass the programs I witnessed. In addition to teaching and learning, our extracurricular offerings far surpass NYC Schools. Every school district has its strengths and challenges and it was a wonderful learning experience for me, but I was very happy to me back home in Burnet.
Finally, the next step of the District’s Strategic Planning process will take place this week. The Strategic Planning Steering Committee met in September to create the foundation for the BCISD Strategic Plan. Over the next two days Action Planning Team will develop action steps to accomplish the strategic goals. The full plan will be finalized in November and the Board of Trustees will consider the plan for approval in January. The District will then begin implementing the plan in the spring.
October 4, 2017
When I first arrived in Burnet CISD, a major element of my entry plan was about listening, learning and seeking feedback from district stakeholders. To that end, I met with every campus and department and held forums to meet with the public. During these meetings, I asked the same three questions to help guide the conversations:
•What is getting in the way of all students being successful?
•What do you need to help all students learn?
•What do you expect of me as superintendent?
The feedback I received was invaluable as I worked with the Board of Trustees and the administration to chart a course of meeting the expectations of stakeholders. Many of our actions as a District the past five years have been guided by that feedback including providing additional planning time for teachers, expanding CTE offerings, adding elementary counselors, adding school resource officers, renovating our facilities, adding behavior staff and many more.
As I enter my sixth year in Burnet CISD, it is important for me to again engage our stakeholders to make sure as a District; we are working on the right things. In September, the Strategic Planning Steering Committee, comprised of 40 members representing staff, students, parents and community members, met to develop the foundation for a three-year strategic plan. The work included developing a new vision statement, mission statement and goals based on four areas identified by the Board of Trustees as priorities (Academic Achievement, Culture & Climate, Educator Quality and Family & Community Engagement). Later in October, the Action Planning Committees will be adding specific actions toward accomplishing the goals. A draft of the final plan will presented to the Board of Trustees in January for approval, but I wanted to provide our community a sneak peak of the foundational elements of the plan:
Vision- Burnet Consolidated ISD will craft an inspiring future for each student that embodies spirit, pride, and honor.
Mission- Burnet Consolidated ISD, in partnership with the community, prepares all students for a successful future in an ever-changing world. We provide diverse opportunities and a quality education that values academics, extra-curricular activities, innovation, and mutual respect.
Goal 1- Burnet Consolidated ISD will implement a comprehensive, challenging course of study that addresses the individual and diverse needs of learners while preparing all students with the knowledge and skills necessary to be successful in an ever-changing world.
Goal 2- Burnet Consolidated ISD will implement a safe and positive culture of spirit, pride, and honor for all staff and students.
Goal 3-Burnet Consolidated ISD will recruit, retain, and support quality educators.
Goal 4- Burnet Consolidated ISD will build a collaborative relationship that actively engages our district, families, and communities.
Finally, next week I will be hosting Coffee and Tea with the Superintendent to provide updates about Burnet CISD. I hope that you can join me for a cup of coffee on October 12 at 8:00 a.m. at the Parent Resource Center located next to the Central Office at 208 East Brier. I look forward to sharing information and answering questions.
September 15, 2017
In school, there is the written curriculum and the unwritten curriculum. The written curriculum is things like reading, math, social studies and science. We have specific skills and knowledge that we are required to teach as part of the written curriculum. The unwritten curriculum is things like leadership, responsibility and accountability. There aren’t specific skills and knowledge that we are required to teach about these things, but we all want our students to develop these skills.
I want to share with you two great examples of our students acting as leaders. This summer, the Burnet High School FFA decided that they wanted to raise money in order to purchase 40 fully stocked backpacks to provide to Burnet CISD elementary students. No one told them to do it, but rather our FFA students took the initiative to make this special project happen. At the District’s back to school convocation, representatives from the FFA shared with our staff about their backpack project and then drew a school’s name out of a basket surprising RJ Richey Elementary with 40 fully stocked backpacks.
Just a few weeks later, when I arrived at my office the Monday after Hurricane Harvey, I was overwhelmed by the number of students that expressed their desire to help with the relief efforts. Because of their input, the District immediately began a coordinated effort to collect funds to support the hurricane relief efforts. After just eight days of collecting money at each campus, the BCISD staff and students raised $1,300. This week we will be sending a $1,040 check to the American Red Cross and a $260 check to an AVID school in the impacted area.
The examples of the backpacks and the hurricane relief donations represent lessons that are not measured on any standardized state assessment. Reading and math are clearly important, but so are life lessons that are not a part of any written curriculum. You can add these two examples to the long list of why I love being a part of Burnet CISD and this community.
Homecoming Week is scheduled for the week of September 25 in Burnet CISD and that means mums, pep rallies, parades, bonfire and football. It is also a time to welcome back our alumni. I hope that our alumni and community will join us in celebrating Homecoming by attending the Homecoming Parade on Thursday, September 28 at 6:30 p.m. on the square followed by the bonfire at 7:30 p.m. in the field just west of Burnet High School. On Friday, please join us for the pep rally at the BHS gymnasium beginning at 3:00 p.m. Of course you have to wrap up your Homecoming Week by coming out Friday evening and watching the Burnet Bulldogs take on the Llano Yellow Jacket. Kickoff will be at 7:30 p.m.
Finally, we are preparing to honor the fifth set of inductees to the Burnet CISD Hall of Honor, but we need your help. Nominations are being accepted for the Hall of Honor and can be submitted electronically by going to www.burnetcisd.net and selecting the Hall of Honor link. In February, we will honor four individuals in the following categories: Distinguished Burnet High School Graduate, Distinguished Burnet High School Athlete, Distinguished Former School Board Member and Distinguished Former Employee. We are looking for nominations of individuals that have not only brought great honor to themselves, but they have also brought great honor to Burnet CISD.