2020 State of the District

2020 State of the District
Posted on 11/02/2020
Superintendent Cara Cooke delivers the State of the District address.

At the Aransas Pass State of the District address at the Civic Center Thursday afternoon, Superintendent Cara Cooke highlighted some of the obstacles and successes the school district has had this school year. 

“The opportunity to give the State of the District here at the Chamber luncheon each year is a time for us to share with our business leaders, community leaders, all that is going on within the District. We try to push out that information every way that we can, but it is good to have time to sit together and share where we have been and where we are going because it is important we do this together and support one another. So with me being able to share this information with them, we can continue our partnerships,” said Cooke.

Those who attended heard the Superintendent share the hurdles the district has overcome.

“Being able to share with them the behind-the-scenes on what our teachers and staff on what they had to go through in order to continue offering education to our students, I think it was good for them to hear that and know the struggle is real, and our staff is rising to the occasion,” said Cooke.

Thousands of students are logging on to virtual learning programs this school year, but some districts, like Aransas Pass, have been dealing with Chromebook backorder notifications.

“Our Chromebooks are in queue now, and they should be here within a couple of weeks, and we will be rolling them out. This will enable our teachers to be able to take great activities and ideas that they have been preparing to that level now that everyone will have the right access. Also, it provides our students with something they can be proud of and not many districts have been able to provide that, and we are thankful that we will be able to do that,” said Cooke.

Cooke also talked about the importance of keeping everybody safe and having all students back on campus.

“So we are going to be looking at January 19, the first day of the second semester, that we need all our students to return to our campuses, and we will continue to implement our safety protocols and cleaning protocols that we have been using and have been working well. We will continue to do that to keep everyone safe. So we can begin the process of finding where our students really are and moving them forward. Of course, we will still offer virtual as needed for students that are having to be quarantined, have COVID symptoms, and if parents have some real medical concerns that COVID could cause issues with, then we will meet with them and work together to see the best circumstance to ensure safety for all, and that will be on a very limited basis,” said Cooke .

Another topic Cooke addressed was the STAAR test and how it should be used, regardless if a student goes to school in person or remotely.

“We as educators are all for giving the test because we need to see where we are; we need a baseline, and that's what this needs to be handled, as a baseline test to see where these kids are now after coming through this horrific crisis that has put us in this educational crisis. So let's be fair to the process, and let's look at it as a baseline and then we, as educators, I can tell you we are more worried about this than anyone, and we will then be able to take that information and continue to move our students forward. To put a label of an A-F on any district in this state is unfair. It does nothing but cause more mental stress for everyone. So I am pleading with anyone to reach out to anyone that will listen to them, and let's quit playing political games and do what is best for the students and the teachers in the state of Texas,” said Cooke.

Cooke recognized her staff repeatedly for going above and beyond for APISD students despite everything the year has thrown at them.

“I couldn't do it without this staff. They have done it without grumbling, fussing; they have gone in there and done it. I know it has been hard, and we have tried to protect them the best way we can. They just make it happen, and I am so proud of this staff and so thankful to be working alongside each and every one of them,” said Cooke.

Despite all the positive growth and change, Cooke emphasized that the District still has much work to do.

 

Story by: Roland Rodriguez

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