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We are 5 weeks into this school year, and it has been a terrific start. As I visit the campuses, I see just how hard all of our educators work to meet our students’ needs. Our teachers remind me of the Energizer Bunny… they keep going and going and going! Whether it means arriving early to prepare for the day, or skipping lunch so they can make copies or tutor a student, or even when they stay until “dark-thirty” to sponsor a club, grade papers, conduct parent conferences, or coach a team, our educators make a huge personal investment to help our students be successful.
Cuero ISD’s students are the best students around, but they are not unlike their counterparts in many other districts. We have students who are gifted; students who are college bound; students who are athletes, or who play in the band, or cheer, or dance, or participate in Ag and FFA; and we have students who struggle with school just like every other public school has. But it would surprise some folks to actually know how many of our students have situations that make getting an education more difficult for them. This is especially true when on paper and sometimes in the media, Cuero, Texas, seems to be thriving due to the Eagle Ford Shale oil boom.
Out of the 2,158 students Cuero ISD currently serves, approximately 50% or 1,076 are considered “economically disadvantaged” because their family’s income level qualifies them for free/reduced meals. We have 59 students who are considered “homeless.” About 87 students are limited English proficient. And over 60% of our students are labeled “at-risk” because they meet one or more of the state criteria such as being retained in a grade, not passing all of the state assessments, having failing grades in two or more core subjects, or not being proficient in English. At the beginning of this school year during our professional development training, the presenter used the term “academically fragile.” He was speaking about the students who have extra challenges and hardships to overcome in order to benefit from their educational opportunities.
Cuero ISD has a number of advantages that other schools do not have for “academically fragile” students to help meet their needs. Our Student Services Department, Social Services, and Truancy personnel provide support and assistance to students and families who have challenges that make functioning successfully in school more difficult. Not only does Cuero have kind, caring, and compassionate educators, we have specially trained individuals to provide systematic, purposeful, and intentional help to our Gobblers.
It truly does take an entire village to raise a child, and Cuero ISD’s school village is filled with people who care; people who go above and beyond; and people whose careers are dedicated to helping tomorrow’s leaders get a quality education today.
It is a GREAT day to be a Gobbler!