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As the holidays approach, I often reflect on the many things I’m thankful for, including the strong support and passion that our community has for Rockwall ISD schools, teachers and students.

Our community’s commitment to public education extends back to the mid-1880’s when a new railroad line was announced to come through Rockwall. Our forefathers knew the railway would bring more people to the area and built a new larger school to accommodate that growth. They understood that great schools anchor thriving communities – a sentiment still shared 130 years later.

Today, our community is again experiencing rapid growth with our Rockwall ISD student enrollment topping 15,000 for the first time in our history. Because of our tradition of academic excellence, our district is a destination district for families and teachers. In fact, we’ve added more than 300 additional students since last year.

To keep our schools among the best in Texas, I am working with our Board of Trustees on a long-range plan for addressing the growth in our student population and enhancing the educational opportunities we offer. We’ll continue to share more information with you as we prepare our district for the future.

One of the ways we enjoy sharing and listening is by welcoming community members to various programs we host.

We recently invited senior citizens in our community to join us for the inaugural meeting of the Silver Hawks and Silver Jacket Club and were overwhelmed by the positive response. I met many grandparents and alumni who are excited about the chance to be involved in our schools and continue our tradition of academic excellence. Our Silver Hawks and Silver Jackets will be invited to monthly meetings, bus tours of our campuses and receive free admission to athletic and fine arts events. If you or someone you know would like to be a part of the Silver Hawks and Silver Jackets Club visit our website for more information.

On December 9, we’ll host our final community ambassador meeting of the semester. This group of community members helps us spread the word about the many great things happening in Rockwall ISD. This program is open to anyone in our community who wants to help promote Rockwall ISD and public education. If you’re interested in joining our ambassador program just visit our website for additional information.

We’ve also been thrilled by the support of our community for our athletic teams in the playoffs. Both the Rockwall and Rockwall-Heath football teams will continue their playoff runs this weekend. Rockwall-Heath plays Wylie on Friday night at Plano ISD’s Clark Stadium at 7:30 p.m. Rockwall will have a rematch of their 2013 second round playoff game versus Dallas Jesuit on Saturday at Wylie ISD’s Stadium at 1 p.m. I hope you can come out to support our teams this weekend but if not you can always listen to the game live online at rockwallisd.com.

Our Fine Arts programs also has a full slate of holiday programs which you can see on our fine arts calendar on our website. I encourage you to include one of these performances in your holiday plans. Our students are amazing performers and passionate artists and you won’t be disappointed.

With the holidays comes the increased chance of winter weather. I want to share with you a new two-hour delayed start option that we’ll consider if inclement weather hits our area. We would use this option when a delay in starting school would enable our students and staff to arrive safely and then complete the school day. If we decide to use this option, we would communicate to you in the same way we would for a school closing. For more information on our two hour delayed start, please visit our website.

Thank you again for the support you’ve shown our students, teachers and district. Exemplary schools anchor great communities. They increase property values, lower crime rates, attract businesses and foster civic pride.

Our schools success is built on a foundation of community support and relationships. Together we are growing a district and community known for our Common Purpose and United Effort.

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