From the desk of Dr. Kirk Lewis

Updates from the Superintendent

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Sounds of Christmas

The sounds of the holiday season echo as our students perform vocal, band and orchestral concerts throughout the Pasadena ISD community. I must admit that it warms my heart to see and hear our students sing or play Christmas carols and other holiday songs. They are incredibly talented and enthusiastic. I hope you’ve had a chance to hear them at some point this month.

Christmas holds special meaning and memories for my family and me. It is a time of faith, family, friends and fellowship. Whether you celebrate Christmas, Hanukkah or simply enjoy a holiday from work, may it be as special for you as it is for us.

I invite you to listen in to conversations I recently had with students from Laura Bush Elementary School as they shared some of their thoughts about the holidays. 

From the Pasadena ISD family, we wish you and your family hope, peace and joy.

Superintendent’s Note: This message was intended to go out as last week’s blog. Given the tragedy unfolding in Connecticut, we delayed sending our Christmas message. We cannot help but feel the sadness endured in Connecticut. It is a sadness that affects us all. However, evil must not rule the day. At this time of year, we celebrate a season grounded in hope, peace and inner joy. May those gifts of goodness reign in our world today and every day. K.L.

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Incomprehensible Sadness

Little can be said today to bring any sense of understanding to the senseless act of mayhem that occurred today in Newtown, CT. My heart grieves for the parents and families of those little ones who lost their lives and for the spouses and families of the educators who were killed. Each time tragedy like this strikes, something despicable eats away at all that is good and right and wonderful in our world. With incomprehensible sadness we are left to pick up the pieces of lives shattered.

The thoughts and prayers of the entire Pasadena ISD community go out to the Newtown community in the days, weeks and months to come. It is my hope that every parent and grandparent in our own community will hug their children or grandchildren a little tighter tonight and let them feel your presence.

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Unleash the Technology

During my time in high school…more than a few years ago…we thought we were technologically literate when we learned to use the slide rule and the electric typewriter. Those technologies have gone the way of the dinosaur.

Everything evolves.  Experts now tell us we can expect new technology to last five years. That’s the time it takes for an emerging technology to pass through maturity and finally into obsolescence. The speed of change creates a challenge for teachers. We know, however that student success depends on getting our teachers to use technology as a natural part of daily instruction and to release that technology to our students as tools that prepare them for the work force and for college.

This week, members of the Pasadena ISD Board of Trustees toured several campuses to see how new technologies were being used as instructional tools in the hands of our teachers and learning tools in the hands of our students. Teachers and students from elementary through high school used iPads, Kindle Readers, Netbooks, digital document cameras and projectors, Promethean Boards and complicated software in innovative ways to teach, research, assess, explore and create. I wish everyone in our community could see the high level of teaching and extraordinary level of active student engagement taking place in our classrooms every day.

We certainly aren’t perfect yet in the use of these new technologies, but we know that technology in the hands of an amazing teacher can bring ordinary curriculum to life. We know technology placed in the hands of our students can free their creative energy to find a deeper level of academic understanding. It is all about engagement.

We’ve come a long way from slide rules and electric typewriters and our students are blazing a trail to success as a result.