Fifteen years ago the idea of “knowing every Frisco student by name and need” might not have seemed a complicated task, but how do you maintain that mission statement when you are one of the fastest growing cities in the nation? Let alone know that you have expectations by your parent base to be the very best?
Furthermore, how do attempt that mission when you have over 55 schools, 63 foreign dialects, and a student base of approximately 45,000 students, especially when you are on path to almost double that in the coming decade?
The single biggest factor driving the long-term success in Frisco is the coordination between the city and the Frisco Independent School District (FISD). Many of you might assume these are the same entity, but in fact they are have completely separate finances, mission statements and management teams. However, each of their management teams recognize their inter-dependance, and unlike other cities, embrace and foster the financial and social interactions.
This united powerhouse is able to create a higher financial efficiency by leveraging smart business deals like the Dallas Cowboys partnership and the long time membership to TERS. These strategies help minimize the outright tax spend on school related items and maximize our tax dollars and attempt to maintain a small school atmosphere.
Many of us graduated high school and then went to our first year (or two) of college and were still deciding what we wanted to be when we grew up. We changed majors a few times, frustrated our parents, and definitely over-spent the budget. Our high schools gave us a good foundation of reading, writing and history but very few chances to “try” real-world jobs. Yes, there were shop classes, a biology lab, and maybe some after-school work at a nearby grocery store, but nothing emulating our degree choices.
FISD has made a mind altering push to get that “try before you buy” done in high school. They built an industry leading Career and Technical Center that allows thousand of high school students (9-12) to try a list of real world jobs that they themselves influenced through surveys. One measurement of success is that 95% of those moving through this program go off to college!
To list a few programs:
- Advertising/Graphic Design/Animation
- Culinary Program
- Hospitality/Hotel Mgmt
- Legal Studies/Courtroom
- Network/IS creation & certification
In addition to the educational opportunities, our sports and music programs are a constant and will continue to put Frisco on the map.
Things I found Interesting:
- The percentage growth from 90-91’ to 10-11’ was over 2,527%. (2nd place is at 493%)
- We’re the 23rd largest school district in the state.
- 53% of our students are taking at least one AP class.
- There are 63 dialects attending our schools.
- FISD is a 5 Star Award Winner, meaning excellent, controlled spending.
- There are over 15,000 volunteers helping out our school system. (nice work folks!!!)
Our next opportunity to make a difference?
As many of you are aware, there is a $775M bond package coming up for vote in the coming months and it has the ability to shape the next 5-7 years of our Frisco schools. It includes money for more schools, expansion to the Technical Center, and money for improved resources. I encourage to read up on it and watch this video so you can make an educated decision for yourself and your family about the bond.