Back to School Quiz with Dr. Klussman

September 2012

Kids from Spring Branch Independent School District returned to school this month and came up with some questions they wanted to ask Superintendent, Dr. Duncan Klussmann. Here are his A+ answers.

1. Student: Courtney

School: Frostwood Elementary

Grade: 3rd Question: When will the new Frostwood Elementary School be completed?

Student: Ashleigh School: Frostwood Elementary Grade: 5th Question: Why did you have to tear down our school?

Dr. Klussmann: Before a new bond election was held in Spring Branch several years ago, a Long Range Facilities Plan Committee reviewed and analyzed all the building needs in Spring Branch ISD. That district-wide group rated each school building by its particular level of repair and replacement need. The Long Range Facilities Plan analysis found that it would cost more to renovate and repair Frostwood than to rebuild it. That’s why the old building was taken down recently. During the next year and a half, a two-story Frostwood Elementary School will be built on Memorial Drive. This will be the 11th new elementary school built in about five years in Spring Branch ISD. We think that you’ll find this new school to be an amazing place to learn.

2. Student: Juliette

School: Wilchester Elementary

Grade: 3rd

Question: Why do third-graders have to take the STAAR Test this year? Will the STAAR test count this year?

Dr. Klussmann: For those of you with older brothers and sisters, the State of Texas required them to take a test known as the TAKS. Those initials stood for the Texas Assessment of Knowledge and Skills. The STAAR test is the newer version of the TAKS. STAAR stands for State of Texas Assessments of Academic Readiness. This new test for all students in Grades 3 through 8 is required by the State of Texas. In Grade 3, students will be tested in Reading and Math like they were with the TAKS. We believe that if you work hard in class, read as much as you can in school and for fun and pleasure at home, and learn the key math concepts, then you’ll pass the new STAAR with no trouble.


3. Student: Elizabeth

School: Bunker Hill Elementary

Grade: 3rd Question: Why do we have homework?

Dr. Klussmann: Your teacher assigns homework to increase your learning and achievement. Homework should be an opportunity to practice skills and enrich learning. It is an important part of the learning process.


4. Name: Luke

School: Memorial Drive Elementary

Grade: 3rd

Question: Is it hard to be Superintendent of Schools and to be in charge of so many schools? What is the hardest part of being Superintendent?

Dr. Klussmann: The greatest part of being Superintendent of Schools happens each May at Graduation ceremonies when thousands of SBISD students earn their diplomas. Students like you graduate every year and attend some of the finest colleges and universities in the nation, join the military, or pursue high-level technical careers. One of the hardest parts of my job is learning that not enough SBISD students are graduating with a focused plan for their futures. Our five-year plan calls for our schools to double the number of students completing a technical certificate, two-year degree or four-year degree. We are calling this ambitious goal Spring Branch T-2-4. The T-2-4 stands for technical, 2-year and 4-year degrees. We really want you to be successful in life!


5. Name: Canon

School: Spring Forest Middle School

Grade: 6th

Question: Are you married?

Name: Megan

School: Nottingham Elementary

Grade: 2nd Question: Do you have any children?

Dr. Klussmann: My wife, Marissa, and I are proud parents of three children. Cameron, our oldest, is now a junior at the University of Oklahoma. He graduated from Northbrook High School. His brother, Will, is beginning his junior year at Stratford High School. Caroline, who is our youngest, will be an eighth-grader at Spring Oaks Middle School this fall.


6. Student: Julia

School: Bunker Hill Elementary

Grade: 3rd Question: Why do we have to start school so early in the day?

Dr. Klussmann: In Spring Branch ISD, most elementary schools begin at 7:30 a.m. or 8 a.m., and a few campuses have slightly different starting times. Most middle schools begin at 8:30 a.m., and high schools start at 7:50 a.m. One of the reasons that your school begins its day at the time it does depends on bus transportation. To get more than 33,000 students bused every day to all of our elementary, middle and high schools on time, the Transportation Department must create schedules so that buses can run as smoothly and efficiently as possible. During winter months, later school starting times might result in bus students being dropped off near sunset or in the dark, which is a safety concern.


7. Student: Will

School: Bunker Hill Elementary

Grade: 5th

Question: Will every student have a laptop computer one day?

Dr. Klussmann: I’m sure that every student will have a mobile device of one kind or another one day, but we don’t know exactly when that day will be yet. In my lifetime as a student, teacher, school principal and now Superintendent of Schools, I have seen the devices used in our schools change from typewriters and overhead projectors to netbooks and ACTIVBoards like the ones that you use in your classroom. In Spring Branch ISD, we have used our bond funds wisely in just the last few years to put 7,400 netbooks, 3,700 iPads, 3,500 iPod Touches and more than 900 Macbooks and iMacs in our classrooms. When we return to school in August, each regular classroom in grades 1-12 will have four iPads and four netbooks to begin the new school year, in addition to other digital equipment.

8. Name: Jordan

School: Frostwood

Grade: 2nd

Question: What does it feel like to be the boss of all the teachers?

Dr. Klussmann: First of all, I do not think of myself as a boss. I have always thought of myself as a teacher. Spring Branch is special because of the work that our teachers do each and every day in classrooms all across our school district. It’s my job and duty to make sure that your teachers and other staff members have the type of environment to work in to do their best.

Copyright 2012 Absolutely! Focus Media


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