Weekly Message
A weekly message from Dr. Lloyd Verstuyft, SWISD Superintendent of Schools

Recent Posts
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Dear SWISD Family, I’d like to start off today’s message by sharing some exciting news. SWISD was selected for an MOA visit in 2017. It was a different type of onsite visit that focused on CTE, Special Education, gender and English Language Students. Our selection for the visit did not mean that anything was wrong, and as a district we embraced this as a positive experience. Last week we received the results from our visit, which state that we met full compliance in all 17 areas. What was even more impressive than those results were the comments TEA members had as they were wrapping up their visit. They said, “We have visited many districts over the past few years from small to large and Southwest ISD should be proud of your program and your people, as it is one of the best programs we've seen.” The results and comments are outstanding, and I would like to thank Brandon Crisp, Frances Barcenez, Eliza Battles, Velia Terrazas, Rob Robinson, Luis Gonzalez, and many more, who helped spearhead efforts to ensure a successful visit. And, of course our teachers and students who were the focus of our visit. This week Oct. 23-29 is Red Ribbon Week. I encourage everyone to participate in the campus activities in honor of the week, and to take some time to talk to our students about the importance of staying drug free. A big congratulations to both SWHS and SWLHS band programs for their collective Division I ratings in UIL competition this past weekend. Southwest High School is also celebrating Homecoming this week, and I ask the Dragon community to show their support by attending Meet the Dragons/Homecoming Pep Rally on Wednesday, Oct. 25 at 7 p.m. at SW Stadium, and the Homecoming Game on Friday, Oct. 27 at 7:30 p.m. Last week, SW Legacy held their Pink Out football game at Titan Stadium, and it was a grand success. As Superintendent, it’s an honor to see all of the Titan and Dragon Spirit throughout the district, and I would like to thank each and every one of you who always show your SWISD pride.
Posted by rcampos  On Feb 09, 2018 at 9:00 AM 54 Comments
  
Dear SWISD Family, Here at Southwest ISD, we encourage every student to pursue the career of their dreams, and it is our responsibility to help assist them in attaining that dream. This week, our district is participating in an annual event that’s focus is to open our student’s eyes to the many opportunities before them. On Thursday, Oct. 19, all SWISD 8th grade students will attend the College and Career Readiness Fair held at the University of the Incarnate Word. H.E.B, Rackspace and Toyota will be just a few of the companies that our students will be able to get a firsthand look at. By helping students find their interests early on in their education, we can better help them choose the pathway they want to pursue in high school. I would like to thank each and every one of you for the constant inspiration and encouragement that you provide for the students of Southwest, and I ask that you continue to remind them that no dream is too big to accomplish. I would also like to thank all 18 of our campuses for the great attention we have given to attendance data. It’s been inspiring to walk onto many campuses and see attendance numbers proudly showcased. Thank you for your dedication to be present every day, and for using all of the available tools that our PEIMS Department continues to provide. By being present every day, not only are you helping to better yourself, but you are helping to set a great example for our students. Let’s continue to inspire and encourage this week. Never forget that our students are our future.
Posted by rcampos  On Feb 09, 2018 at 8:59 AM 61 Comments
  
Dear SWISD Family, I’d like to start off this message with a sentiment of appreciation. Today, October 2, 2017, is National Custodial Workers Day, and I would like to thank all custodians on every campus and throughout every part of SWISD for all of their hard work. It’s likely that every one of us interacts with a custodian at least once each day, and I want to encourage you to take time to personally thank them for what they do. Thank them not just today, but every time they help you and our students. All of us are a part of SWISD, and we must never forget that together we can make a difference. One way Southwest ISD has continued to make a difference every school year is by participating in the United Way Campaign. During last year’s campaign, we were able to raise more than $40,000 and had 60% of our staff participate. Every year we strive to reach 100% participation as a district, and this year is no different. I ask that each and every one of you find the generosity in your heart to donate what you can. Every dollar helps make a difference in our community and in our students’ lives. This year’s campaign runs through November 3, 2017, and we ask that you please contact your campus/department UW Coordinator if you have any questions. I would also like to recognize Spicewood Park Elementary for their success in their partnership with SAReads. SPE is participating in a pilot program that helps provide resources for all of their teachers to implement science-based reading instruction in all of their K-5th grade classrooms. I want to commend SPE for taking initiative and being the first campus in SWISD to implement this type of instruction in their classrooms that all SWISD elementary campuses will also be embedding in their school culture in the future. In addition, please keep the folks impacted at the Las Vegas tragedy in your thoughts and prayers. Everyone have a great first week of October, and thank you for all that you do for our students. Lloyd Verstuyft, Ed. D.
Posted by rcampos  On Feb 09, 2018 at 8:58 AM 58 Comments
  
Dear SWISD Family, Welcome to the beginning of our fifth week together. By now, the newness is starting to fade to the background, and the school year is taking shape. The celebrations of last year are now dully recognized and tucked away in our memory as we start to build the outcomes for this 2017-2018 school year. Every school year stands on its own merit, including this year. School systems, such as SWISD, stand the test of times because they believe and participate in continuous improvement practices – always looking at data, pushing and pulling and showcasing exceptional classroom environments. What has made SWISD a powerful school system in SA is the ability to change and always working for our students. We continuously work for more on-time graduates, more students matriculating to college, more National Merit contenders, and more students taking the path of rigor. Students and families will chose rigor (and more) if they feel they are in an environment that is conducive to setting high standards and then working at every corner to achieve the student outcomes we and our parents desire for our students. Last week, I mentioned that there is a difference between customer service and hospitality. Customer service is what we do for people – those little things that go a long way: answering the phone with a human voice and smile, listening to a concern from a parent, addressing a short coming a student may be having. On the other hand, hospitality is that environment we create by doing the little things but also considering how we make our students, parents, community and colleagues feel. Concentrating on customer service is important, but understanding hospitality is essential to where we will go this year. During your next parent phone call, meeting, or verbal exchange with a colleague keep in mind the importance of how others feel about their interaction with SWISD. Appreciate that each of us are a part of creating the next generation, and remember that how people feel internally and externally about our school district is so important. Hospitality, making everyone valued in SWISD. It’s the best way we can go to the next level, and it’s a building block for our future, together. Have a great week.   Lloyd Verstuyft, Ed. D.
Posted by rcampos  On Feb 09, 2018 at 8:57 AM 70 Comments
  
Dear SWISD Family, Today marks the start of our fourth week in the 2017-18 school year. This school year has started off at a rapid pace, and it’s been amazing to see how much we’ve already accomplished in such a short amount of time. I’d like to congratulate Southwest Legacy High School for winning a segment on KSAT 12’s SA Live show through the Go Public Cool Schools contest. The three campuses that participated in the contest last week were Bob Hope Elementary, Sky Harbour Elementary and Southwest Legacy High School. The contest highlighted SWISD’s focus on providing opportunities for students to explore STEM on our campuses. Voters had the chance to show their support for the Bob Hope Aviation Club, the Sky Harbour Robotics Team, or the Southwest Legacy High School SWET Team. Although all three schools couldn’t win the segment on SA Live, all three are helping to provide our students with opportunities in STEM, and all three are winners here at Southwest. It was an honor for our district to be able to participate in a contest in partnership with Go Public. This contest’s focus is to show the city of San Antonio all of the great things happening in our public schools. Our students require a system that goes above and beyond. Thank you for being a collective group of phenomenal adults that continuously goes above and beyond.   Next week’s Monday Message will address the difference between "customer service" and "hospitality". Customer service is something we do for our customers. Hospitality is how we make our customers feel. Please take some time to reflect on the difference between customer service and hospitality. Be part of creating a hospitality environment wherever you reside within SWISD. More to come on this topic....have a tremendous week!   Lloyd Verstuyft, Ed. D.
Posted by rcampos  On Feb 09, 2018 at 8:56 AM
  
Dear SWISD Family, As we begin our third week of the school year, it is important to remember the significance of this day. At 8:45 a.m. on September 11, 2001, 16 years ago, our lives changed forever. In many respects, we have become a stronger Nation since that unfortunate day/event. In other respects, we still have much work to do. I am proud to work in an educational system that gets it. Collectively, we understand the importance of positively contributing to a better Nation by creating great and powerful outcomes for the students and families we serve. If we get our grid in the world correct – we contribute a better world. And, we are getting our grid correct and growing stronger each year. Please take a moment today to remember the lives of those who perished on 9/11/2001 and for all of our heroes since. Our greatest support can be found in the next generation that we help to create.   A big thank you to all, for your flexibility and persistence, as we get this school year off the ground, again. As mentioned at our convocation, we should be very proud for the number of 100% DISTINCTION Campuses at SWISD. We definitely lead the city and county in this category, and it is a new point of pride that continues to tell the Southwest story. Another big thank you to SW Legacy Culinary Art teacher, Chef Nicole McCluskey and her two students Robert and Christian. I had the privilege to serve on their team in a Go Public Top Chef Cook Off event this past weekend, where we (they) won the most creative dish. The day was insightful and I learned so much from our teacher and students – they represented us well beyond expectation.   I had an opportunity to listen to a message from a person I have always admired about the three most important things in life. It is a simple message, but one that if we could embrace would also contribute to a better community and better world. His advice was simple, live life by three main rules, 1) Be kind, 2) Be kinder and 3) Be mindful.   Have a great week at SWISD! Lloyd Verstuyft, Ed. D.
Posted by rcampos  On Sep 12, 2017 at 11:50 AM
  
Welcome Back SWISD Teachers and Staff!   We’re excited about the prospects of beginning this new 2017-18 school year. This time of year is always exciting for teachers, parents, students and our community.   I’d like to welcome our 121 new teachers to our Southwest ISD Family. A big thanks to the Human Resources staff and our campus Principals for doing a great job hiring new staff members for our district. Teachers are our greatest resource - the most important aspect in the education of our children.   We also have additions and changes in school leadership.  Please take some time to read the “New Faces, New Places” section below so that we can all be informed and updated on our new campus leadership.   We are equally excited to say that today is the first day of school for our newest high school, Southwest Legacy High School- Home of the Titans. This day has been a long time in the making, and it’s incredible to see a vision and the hard work of so many, become a reality. SWLHS will serve approximately 1,200 ninth through eleventh grade students and will add a senior class in the 2018-2019 school year. If you see a Titan teacher or staff member wish them well on their inaugural year.   In other construction news, SWHS Phase I construction on the CTE building will be completed as well as the new security entrance ensuring all SWISD campuses have a secure main entrance. We will continue our progress in creating state of the art learning facilities throughout all of SWISD.   A big congratulations to SWISD for yet another 100% MET Standard on the STAAR/EOC state exams. For the third straight year, you all have shown San Antonio and Texas that we are on a positive trajectory in academia.   Southwest ISD will focus on a number of new initiatives for the 2017-2018 school year. Paramount among these will be to continue to improve the achievement levels of all students attending our schools. The three R’s - Rigor (high expectations), Relevance (why education is important to the students) and Relationships (each student counts, each student has value) will aid us in our focus on building futures.   In the weeks to come, all SWISD staff will continue to learn much more about our District Plan called Every Child, Every Day. This plan will continue to address the important aspects of our journey with our six main goals. The efforts to put this plan together were led by Senior Staff members and culminated into an eight page internal document and a four page community document. You may click here to access that work. I ask you to keep in mind that you are the key element to the success of SWISD. It is through your actions and hard work that SWISD will be able to achieve our six goals.   Your Board of Trustees, Superintendent and Senior Staff Members are very proud to work with such a great group of caring educators and staff.   We will have a great year, and, We ARE Southwest! Lloyd Verstuyft, Ed. D.
Posted by rcampos  On Aug 29, 2017 at 9:27 AM 122 Comments
  
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