Superintendent's Message

Welcome to Burnet CISD. Located in the Hill Country, Burnet CISD is spread out over 700 square miles and serves 3,200 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.
 
To find out more about Keith McBurnett, click HERE.
 
September 26, 2022
How is it already the second six weeks grading period?! The good news is that we should start to feel the cooler weather of fall soon (Maybe). The not so good news is that we sometimes start to feel the impact of the “fall wall” during this six-weeks grading period. The luster of the new school year has worn off, while discipline issues, emails, and phone calls are growing. As I shared with you during convocation, I want to encourage you to find ways to take care of yourself first, and then support those around you. Although there is no one solution toward addressing the “fall wall,” recognizing that it is on the horizon and is a normal phenomenon in education, can make it a little easier to manage.
 
Many of you have heard me share the following story before, but it is worth repeating. In 1962, President John F. Kennedy visited NASA for the first time. During his tour of the facility, he met a custodian who was carrying a broom down the hallway. The President then casually asked the custodian what he did for NASA, and the janitor replied, “I’m helping put a man on the moon.”
 
It is clear from this interaction that the NASA custodian knew the purpose of his work. Similar to the NASA custodian, our custodians keep our buildings clean so that teachers don’t have to worry about spending their time on trashcans, bathrooms, or hallways. Instead, they can keep their focus on CRAFTING the FUTURE with our students. It really does take all of us working together and doing our part to educate our students. This Friday, September 30, Burnet CISD will observe Custodian Appreciation Day. One way to make their jobs easier is to have students pick up trash off the floor after each class period and at the end of the day. Please join me in providing that assistance and recognizing the outstanding contributions of our custodians.
 
Finally, I want to provide a brief update from our discussion about managing the locking of all interior doors. Based on stakeholder feedback, we are in the process of getting pricing for adding additional prox card readers for specific doors at campuses, including at all libraries. In addition, we have ordered a sample wireless doorbell with a light that we will be piloting to support areas like band halls, gyms, choir rooms, and dance rooms. As we finalize the fencing of playgrounds at RJ Richey Elementary and Shady Grove Elementary, we will be adding crash bars to selected gates to facilitate the evacuation of playgrounds if needed. Based on the bids we will receive, we are still on track to hopefully approve a vendor at the November Board Meeting that will add prox card access to all interior doors across the District. As a reminder, this project likely won't be completed until August 2023.  
     
I hope everyone has a great week ahead! You were born to shine!
 
 
September 19, 2022
Good evening! Happy Start with Hello Week as we raise awareness about Sandy Hook Promise's mission to educate and empower youth and adults to prevent violence in schools, homes and communities by reducing social isolation and boosting empathy and belonging. 
 
It is hard to believe, but the first six weeks grading period wraps up on Friday. As a reminder, Monday, September 26 is a student holiday and professional development day for staff. All classes will resume a normal schedule on Tuesday, September 27.   
 
The Board of Trustees met this evening for their regular August Board Meeting. Included below are the most notable information and action items.
The pledges to the flags were led by the following RJ Richey Elementary students: Blu Marshall, Landry Davis, Aubree Guenter, Skyla Davis, and Remi Grace Evans.
The meeting kicked off with recognizing students of the month at Burnet High School and Quest High School.
 
Burnet High School Students of the Month for September are Brett Nelson and Jennifer Suarez. These students were selected from the Math department.
 
The Quest High School Student of the Month for August/September is Ava Viergutz.
 
The Burnet CISD Board of Trustees has created an annual award to be given to any Burnet CISD staff member or board member who exemplifies Spirit, Pride, and Honor through their actions, words, and volunteerism. The honoree, through the way they live their life, will demonstrate to others what it means to make Spirit, Pride, and Honor come to life.
  
The inaugural recipient of the award is Board President Andy Feild, and from this day forward the award will be named the, “Andy Feild Spirit, Pride, and Honor Award of Distinction.”
 
Andy Feild is the epitome of Spirit, Pride, and Honor. As a Burnet High School student, Andy was selected by the faculty as the 1965-1966 Best All Around Male Student. Participation in extra-curricular activities along with his scholastic achievement were some of the factors considered when the faculty selected him. Andy served as a captain on the football team and as the president of the FFA. He was also in the cast of the One Act Play. Fast forward to 1997 when Andy began serving on the Burnet CISD Board of Trustees. Andy has served on the Board for 25 years, and has served as President of the Board since 2005. Burnet CISD is the District it is today because of Andy’s life-long commitment to the District and to Spirit, Pride, and Honor.
 
CFO Clay Goehring provided the District financial reports, including the 2021 Bond Financial Report. 
 
Chris Collins with Claycomb Associates, Architects and Calen Shearer with Satterfield & Pontikes Construction, Inc. provided a report to the Board of Trustees regarding the status of projects as part of the 2021 Bond Program. The monthly 2021 Bond Program Updates can be found HERE.
  
The Board approved the 2022-2023 Superintendent Evaluation Instrument that will be used to conduct the annual summative evaluation. At the September 6 Special Board Meeting, the Board conducted the 2021-2022 superintendent summative evaluation. Following the evaluation, the Board approved a contract extension of one year to June 30, 2026, and a 2.5% pay increase. 
 
The Board approved a series of vendors for work and or products based on bids submitted as part of advertised requests for proposals. The approvals include:
•    A vendor to provide district-wide concrete paving and block work for the 22-23 fiscal year
•    A vendor to provide district-wide painting work for the 22-23 fiscal year
•    A vendor to provide district-wide flooring work for the 22-23 fiscal year
•    Purchase of Burnet High School Stage Curtain
 
Finally, we are preparing to honor the tenth 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 clicking HERE. 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.
 
 
September 6, 2022
I saw this quote sometime last year, and it has really stuck with me: “Too many people think the grass is greener somewhere else, but the grass is green where you water it.” I know I wake up every morning choosing to be in Burnet CISD, and making it a goal to water the grass HERE each day. That is what continuous improvement is all about.
 
To that end, I want to invite you to participate in the newly formed Burnet CISD Employee Superintendent Advisory Committee. The ESAC is an elected representative advisory group that will work with the Superintendent and on behalf of the campus or department the individual represents. ESAC will meet once a month with the Superintendent to present information and make recommendations regarding issues of importance to Burnet CISD. The mission of the ESAC is to provide a forum for communicating ideas and information between employees and the Superintendent.
 
More specifically, the ESAC will:
·       Act in an advisory capacity on issues of concern to all staff,
·       Work to improve general communication amongst staff,
·       Gather input from staff and make recommendations on guidelines/procedures, and
·       Provide a safe place for staff to express concerns and share ideas.
 
The ESAC is not a complaint session, but a way to find solutions to common issues. Each member will be challenged to have at least one possible idea of how to resolve an issue, if they present an issue.
 
Regular ESAC monthly meetings will be held on the dates specified below in the Board Room, beginning at 3:30 p.m. unless otherwise notified.
 
·       No meeting in September
·       October 10, 2022
·       November 28, 2022
·       No meeting in December
·       January 3, 2023
·       February 20, 2023
·       March 20, 2023
·       April 10, 2023
·       No meeting in May
 
The ESAC will have 20 formal members, with a mixture of non-exempt staff (hourly) and exempt staff. Representatives should be full time employees and have worked for Burnet CISD for at least one year. The representatives will serve for two years. Administrators are not considered for ESAC.
 
Campus and Department Representatives
·       Burnet High School (1 Exempt Staff Member, 1 Non-Exempt Staff Member)
·       Quest High School (1 Exempt Staff Member, 1 Non-Exempt Staff Member)
·       Burnet Middle School (1 Exempt Staff Member, 1 Non-Exempt Staff Member)
·       Bertram Elementary (1 Exempt Staff Member, 1 Non-Exempt Staff Member)
·       RJ Richey Elementary (1 Exempt Staff Member, 1 Non-Exempt Staff Member)
·       Shady Grove Elementary (1 Exempt Staff Member, 1 Non-Exempt Staff Member)
·       Transportation Department (2 Staff Members)
·       Facilities and Operations Department (2 Staff Members)
·       Food Service Department (2 Staff Members)
·       Central Office (1 Exempt Staff Member, 1 Non-Exempt Staff Member)
 
In the month of September, each campus and department listed will accept nominations for the ESAC. If there are more than one nomination for each position, then the campus or department will hold elections to select the representatives. If you are interested in serving on the ESAC, please let your Principal or Director know. Individuals are permitted to self-nominate or nominate someone they feel would be a good representative for their campus or department. All nominations and elections will be finalized by September 30, and elected representatives will be communicated further details about upcoming meetings.
 
Thank you for your consideration in serving on the ESAC, and helping to water the grass in Burnet CISD!
 
I hope everyone has a fabulous rest of the week. Go Bulldogs and Lady Dawgs during this Homecoming Week!
 
 
August 29, 2022
Good evening! I am writing to you a little later in the day than normal because I wanted to include a recap of the August Board Meeting which was held this evening.
 
The Board Meeting in August always has a strong focus on budget and tax rate with the new fiscal year beginning on September 1 of each year. The August Meeting kicked off with a Budget and Proposed Tax Rate Hearing being presented by CFO Clay Goehring.
 
In six different, but inter-connected actions, the Board approved a $45.8 million budget for the 2022-2023 school year, and a tax rate of $1.0596 to support the budget, which is 1.74 cents lower than the 2021-2022 tax rate. This approval represents the 7th year in a row of the Board voting to lower the tax rate. Between 2015 and 2022, the Board of Trustees has lowered the tax rate by over 27 cents, resulting in the lowest tax rate in the District's history and also ranking Burnet CISD as the second-lowest tax rate among area school districts. The overall budget increased because of the 3% pay increase and a multi-million dollar increase to the Recapture paid to the State.
 
The Board also approved budget amendments and the assignment of fund balance to close out the current fiscal year on August 31.
 
In a step to prepare the District for the future, the Board approved paying off early $2.75 million in bonds. This action is called a defeasance and it provides interest cost savings as well as increases capacity and flexibility for the District to address future facility needs. The District’s last defeasance was in 2020.
 
Mr. Goehring provided the District financial reports, including the 2021 Bond Financial Report.
 
Chris Collins with Claycomb Associates, Architects and Calen Shearer with Satterfield & Pontikes Construction, Inc. provided a report to the Board of Trustees regarding the status of projects as part of the 2021 Bond Program. As a reminder, specific Bond Program Updates are published each month and can be found at the 2021 Bond link located at www.burnetcisd.net.
 
The Board approved the District Goals along with District and Campus Improvement Plans for the 2022-2023 school year. The goals include:
 
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, the Board approved revisions to Local Policy DC providing the Superintendent with hiring authority for all contractual personnel except for the following positions which the Board retains final authority: Superintendent, Assistant Superintendent, Principals, and any Director in a position for which State Board for Educator Certification (SBEC) is required. This will help to ensure that recruitment and hiring efforts are not delayed for critical teaching vacancies due to the Board meeting monthly.
 
On a more personal note related to the Board Meeting, President Andy Feild was not able to attend the meeting because he is undergoing treatment for a recent cancer diagnosis. Please keep Andy and his family in your prayers. Also, Vice President Angela Moore was not able to attend the meeting because her mother passed away on Sunday. Please keep Angela and her family in your prayers.
 
The Board will meet next on Tuesday, September 6 to conduct the Superintendent’s Annual Summative Evaluation.
 
Our enrollment has continued to increase and is at 3,275 students as of Friday. Even with the increase, the student enrollment is lagging behind demographic projections that were utilized to estimate revenue and to staff classrooms.  The District staffed on a "Fast" growth model (3,450 students) and projected revenue on the "Moderate" growth model (3,317 students). Since the District's funding is based on enrollment, the smaller, actual enrollment (42 fewer students) causes a reduction in revenue of $400,000 from what the District budgeted. We will continue to monitor enrollment closely and look for savings as we live the 2022-2023 school year and budget.
 
As a reminder, Monday, September 5 is a staff and student holiday. I hope everyone enjoys the three-day weekend! Tuesday, September 6 is a professional development day. The morning will be spent in professional development sessions, while the afternoon will be spent addressing professional work needs to include one or more of the following: review of rostered students’ accommodations, collaborative planning for upcoming instructional units, parent communication, and grade refinement and entry.
 
It is earlier than normal, but Homecoming Week will take place next week. The Homecoming Parade will take place on Thursday, September 8 at 6:00 p.m. on the Historic Square. Of course, you have to wrap up your Homecoming Week by coming out Friday and watching the Burnet Lady Dawgs take on Johnson City at 4:30 p.m. and the Burnet Bulldogs take on the Brownwood Lions at 7:30 p.m. The bonfire traditionally held during Homecoming Week will take place on Thursday, October 27 before Senior Night on Friday, October 28.
 
Finally, next week is National Substitute Appreciation Week. We are thankful for those individuals that fill the critical role of substitutes! I hope everyone has a wonderful rest of the week!
 
 
August 22, 2022
Good morning! I hope everyone had a wonderful weekend, and you were able to catch up on some rest. As you know, there is no kind of tired like the first week of school tired, but a slightly shorter week did help a little. Thank you to all of our staff for making the first week of school a success!
 
Our enrollment has improved since the first day of school, and as of Friday it was at 3,240 students. That still puts us behind our projected and planned enrollment, but we will continue to monitor enrollment for the typical growth that takes place between now and the snapshot date in October. 
 
The Board will meet next week on Monday, August 29 for its Regular August Board Meeting. A big focus of this meeting will be on approving the District’s budget and tax rate for the upcoming school year. The Board will also be approving District Goals and District/Campus Improvement Plans.
 
FYI- Friday is Women's Independence Day to commemorate the ratification in 1920 of the Nineteenth Amendment to the United States Constitution, which guaranteed women the right to vote.
 
Thank you for everyone’s help in making sure doors and gates are closed and locked throughout the school day. This is just one part of our comprehensive school safety and security plan. I received notification late last week that Region 13 has been charged by TEA with conducting 574 School Safety “Intruder Detection Audits” between September 1st and May 30th. The Texas School Safety Center will determine the schedule for the audits. It has been shared with me that prior to the audit, a coordinator will speak directly to me about the process. School districts will be given a 10-day window for the audit, but not told which campuses will be checked. Some of the details of audit include:
 
  • On the day of the visit, you can expect the inspector to be in “everyday attire.”
  • Once the person arrives on the designated campus, he or she will check three (3) exterior doors to attempt entry.
  • If the “intruder” can get in, he or she will then observe or try a few classroom doors if you have an all doors locked policy.
  • If the “intruder” is stopped, he or she will identify as a safety inspector and will have a Region 13 ID badge plus a matching ID.
  • He or she will then proceed directly to your school office and ask to meet with the campus contact.
  • If the intruder is not able to get in through exterior doors, he or she will enter the campus as a visitor.
  • The contact will then be asked to show the campus weekly door sweep records. This indicator will receive a “yes” or “no” – they either have it or they don’t.
  • If the campus does not “pass” a corrective action plan will likely be required. No further details on that are currently available.
 
The day before the first day of school I posted the following on Facebook and wanted to make sure you had seen it:
 
Today, we pray for teachers. There is a national shortage of teachers, and more teachers are leaving the profession than what university preparation programs are able to produce. Teachers have a very challenging job, and I know that they show up every day wanting to make a difference in the lives of young people, doing their best job possible. As an organization, we sometimes make mistakes or miss the mark, but we are committed to addressing concerns or issues proactively. If you have a question or concern, please reach out to the appropriate teacher, principal or other campus administrator directly so that the question or concern can be addressed. 

Our theme this year is, “You Were Born to Shine,” and my challenge to staff is to be the light for each other and for our students, and their parents. During a time in which it has become too easy to get on social media and criticize or attack, I want to encourage us all to do what Wayne W. Dyer encourages, and that is, “See the light in others and treat them as if that is all you see.” The light shines brightly in our teachers!

If the forecast holds up, it looks like we are in for some rain and cooler weather this week. I hope everyone has a wonderful week!
 
 
August 15, 2022
Good morning! It is about to get real, real. Students will report back to school this Wednesday, and if you are like me, even though this will be my 29th first day of school as an educator, I still get nervous and excited. I want to thank everyone for all of their hard work in preparation for the first day of school. The first day of school is always a little hectic as parents and students learn new routines. In order to assist with the hectic nature of the first few days of school, Central Office staff have been assigned to campuses to help with arrival, lunch, and dismissal. There is a lot to get done, but as you know, our main focus the first few days of school is to build relationships and procedures.
 
Today, the Texas Education Agency has released A-F ratings for campuses and districts, and I want to share with you the press release that will be going out later this morning:

Today the Texas Education Agency has released A-F ratings for campuses and districts, and Burnet CISD received an overall rating of letter grade B. The A-F Accountability system is built largely upon the State of Texas Assessments of Academic Readiness (STAAR) student performance data. However, high schools and district ratings also include measures of College, Career, and Military Readiness and Graduation Rate.
 
Due to COVID-19, the last time that districts and campuses were rated with A-F labels was following the 2018-2019 school year. Below are the ratings side-by-side pre- and post-pandemic.
Ratings
Both RJ Richey and Bertram Elementary were identified for Targeted Support and Improvement with the State. Bertram Elementary was not rated for 2022 because the campus score was 2 points away from a “C” rating, and Senate Bill 1365 requires a “Not Rated” designation for domain or overall scores below a 70. Of note, Burnet Middle School has now accomplished the first year of a required two consecutive years of satisfactory ratings needed to exit Comprehensive Support and Improvement status, which involves heavy oversight and requirements from the School Improvement division of the State.

Regardless of the broad letter-grades assigned today, BCISD had already been analyzing needs and next steps based on the student data files that were issued earlier this summer.  According to Assistant Superintendent of Curriculum and Instruction Dr. Rachel Jones, “The BCISD staff has been training, planning, and preparing for the school year knowing that we all have work to do. Last year we overcame many obstacles to keep our schools open, our classrooms staffed, and our students learning. This year we are looking forward to a renewed emphasis on a supportive environment of high academic expectations.” 

Superintendent Keith McBurnett echoed, “Our teachers and staff stand ready to welcome students to a fresh start with a focus on learning. Our mission to prepare all students for their futures will be accomplished when we all remain focused on removing barriers to student learning and promoting achievement.”  
 
Ratings and data tables for BCISD and all public schools statewide are now available at TXschools.gov.
 
One of the data points that we will be reviewing on the first day of school will be student enrollment. Based on pre-registration numbers, we are currently running behind our projected enrollment. With the state school finance system being based on student enrollment and attendance, that could negatively impact our budget for the upcoming school year. I’ll keep you posted, but if you know a family that has not registered for school yet, please encourage them to do so.
 
I appreciated the opportunity to participate in the 7 Habits training this past week. Some Habits seem very common-sense, but it was nice to have the time to deeply reflect on the first three Habits and internalize them. I participated in a book study of the 7 Habits many years ago, but I never felt like I deeply understood them like I do after the training last week. I encourage you to commit to spending time before our next training in “detecting” and drafting your mission in life.
7 Habits 
I hope you will have the chance to join us tonight for Meet the Bulldogs. This is an opportunity for our student athletes participating in fall sports to be introduced to the community. The event will take place at the Burnet High School Gym. A hotdog meal will be provided at 6:00 p.m. in the Foyer and the program will begin at 6:30 p.m.
 
On Tuesday, the Board of Trustees will meet for its annual Team Building Session. During our discussion, we will review the Board Operating Procedures and discuss goals for the upcoming school year that will help to inform the strategic planning process later in the fall.
I wanted to make sure you saw this Back to School Offer for Burnet CISD staff from Spring Cleaners: 
Cleaner's Ad
Thank you for choosing to make a difference in the lives of students, and thank you for choosing Burnet CISD. Here is to a great 2022-2023 school year! You were born to shine!