Wylie ISD is ONE SPECIAL PLACE. Several times a day, an email, text, or a simple kind word from the families and communities we serve during this last bout of COVID has lifted our spirits and encouraged us, the Wylie Way. Our nurses, teachers, paraprofessionals, administrators, bus drivers, substitutes, maintenance workers, custodians, and student nutrition folks have been stretched to their limits. Recognizing their efforts, loving them, encouraging them, and supporting them has kept us going. We could not have done this without the help of our Wylie community. From the bottom of our hearts, THANK YOU!
In addition to our community members, our Wylie ISD family also includes our school board members. Board members in Texas are responsible for setting policies, considering school district budgets, establishing goals, and so much more. Our board has been the foundation for our school district’s success as we continue on our way to becoming one of the elite school districts in Texas and a destination district for nearly 800 new students this school year alone. These public servants have approached the overwhelming challenges of the past few years with hopefulness, integrity, positivity, responsibility, and grace. Without them, we would not be who we are today. Without them, we would not be who we want to be.
January is School Board Recognition Month in Texas. In celebration of these amazing people, we want to shine a light on their accomplishments that correspond with their seven goals. We know you will share in our gratitude for all they have done and all that we know they will continue to do.
BOARD GOAL: INSTILL COMMUNITY & ETHICAL VALUES IN OUR STUDENTS
You may have heard of the Wylie Way. These values were established by the trustees in 2011 and remain the cornerstone of what drives our school district today. Do they work?
Consider this. In 2010, Wylie ISD had 13,622 students and 3,578 office referrals. In 2019, the last “pre-COVID” year, Wylie ISD grew by more than 4,000 students and reduced discipline referrals by nearly 1,000. While our student population has continued to increase, our board members have worked hard to guide us in keeping everything together. This not only works to benefit our students, it also works to benefit our adults, too. When relationships are grown the Wylie Way, discipline numbers go down. And, when all is said and done, we are left with students and teachers who are more happy and hopeful.
BOARD GOAL: ENSURE ACADEMIC ACHIEVEMENT FOR EVERY STUDENT
Throughout the past 11 years, students in Wylie have not only grown in character, but they have also grown academically. The Texas Education Agency has classified Wylie ISD as an “A-rated” school system. There are many facets that go into making this happen, none of which could be accomplished without the guidance and support of our school board.
Wylie ISD has also raised SAT score averages by more than 100 points from 2010 to 2019. Our students outperform fellow Texas and national students, as well. Working together, we have seen our students grow at an unprecedented rate. We are so proud of them and all they have accomplished.
BOARD GOAL: SUPPORT PARTICIPATION IN EXTRACURRICULAR ACTIVITIES
Beginning in 2013, trustees surveyed parents requesting their opinions on what they would like to add regarding extracurricular activities for their children. Based on those surveys, junior high golf, junior high tennis, and 6-12 grade orchestra were added for students to enjoy. Whether it’s athletics, fine arts, cheer, AFJROTC, FFA, or career and technology competitions like robotics, there is a place for our kids to represent Wylie and increase their well-being and engagement in school. No matter the event, our kids compete, the Wylie Way.
BOARD GOAL: ATTRACT, RETAIN, AND VALUE A QUALITY STAFF
COVID has ravaged school district teaching staff across America. It has been a challenge in our own district, as well. Throughout the pandemic, our school board members have worked hard to ensure our teachers are compensated for all of their hard work. More than ever, we want our educators to “feel the love” we have for them. After all, without them, we would not be able to function.
In 2010, Wylie ISD teachers were among the lowest paid in the region. Wylie ISD teachers are now paid in the top quarter of all teachers in DFW. Wylie’s teachers make a difference. We want to do all we can to support them.
BOARD GOAL: MANAGE GROWTH IN A WAY THAT PROVIDES FUNCTIONAL EQUITY, FINANCIAL RESPONSIBILITY & ASSURANCE OF ALL STUDENT NEEDS
In the past 10 years, voters passed three bonds to accommodate enormous student growth that has been completed on time, on budget, and with exactly what was promised to the voters. Nothing more, nothing less. This was the board’s commitment to the public. In addition to effective and efficient bond management, trustees created specific bond parameters that ensured tax rates would not be raised, the best possible bond interest rate would be achieved, and “functional equity” would be provided among campuses. Through financial management, Wylie ISD trustees have improved our bond rating seven positions since 2010. This is not an easy feat, but they made it happen, the Wylie Way. In summary, Wylie ISD is now in the best financial and facility position in the history of the school district.
BOARD GOAL: PREPARE STUDENTS FOR A SUCCESSFUL LIFE BEYOND HIGH SCHOOL
Since 2011, Wylie ISD has experienced a 31% increase in the number of students seeking post-high school education. Folks, this is a statistic we generally only see in the movies. Our board set a goal to make this happen, and they have worked feverishly to see it come to fruition. I can only imagine how many more students will benefit from this work in the future. It will truly be a sight to behold.
BOARD GOAL: CELEBRATE OUR EXCELLENCE
Wylie ISD has been selected as a school district finalist for the H-E-B Excellence in Education Award. This sought-after recognition is one that makes us so very proud.
The secret of our excellence is out. We are among the fastest-growing school districts in Texas; and, many people are flocking to Wylie to see what the fuss is all about. Our finalist position is a reflection of all Wylie ISD teachers, staff members, students, and community members. As you can imagine, celebrating our excellence is easy with statistics and recognition like this.
THANK YOU SCHOOL BOARD
With a clear vision, a high standard of excellence, and a transparent set of goals to guide our schools, the Wylie ISD school board sets the standard for others to follow, the Wylie Way.
Thank you, Wylie ISD Board of Trustees. You are leading with grace, compassion, and integrity during some of the most tumultuous times we have ever seen in public education. Being a school board member is much more than showing up for a monthly meeting. You ask the tough questions, and in the same breath, you are active listeners. You champion our students and staff, and the decisions you make are always with their best interests in mind. Your commitment and dedication to this district are truly unparalleled. We thank you, and we are grateful for you.