I hope you are doing well. We have not had the privilege of meeting but I wanted to send you a note of thanks and appreciation for the work the school district does.
Our son, Danny, is a student in pre-k at Hernandez Elementary. We have been fortunate enough to have Danny enrolled in the district PPCD program for 3 and 4 year olds for the last year and a half. He receives support for speech and physical/ occupational therapy in addition to the exceptional instruction he receives from his classroom teachers, Ms. Postert and Ms. Laws. The support he has received has truly made a difference in his life and set a strong foundation for his education career.
We had a meeting this week with Danny's special education teacher, Ms. Laws, the school principal, Ms Garza, diagnostician, Ms Rodriguez along with representatives front the district special education department Ms Hutto and Ms. Maiorano to discuss facilitating a good transition for Danny as he moves into kindergarten next year. It was clear that your staff is truly dedicated to helping each family reach the goals they have for their child. We left feeling confident that the group understands our concerns and have established a plan to assure Danny has the special education support that he will need next year.
Everybody from the ladies helping Danny out of the car in the school drop of line in the mornings, to Daniel the bus driver who drops off Danny with a smile, to his teachers, therapist, and the district special education department have been beyond helpful. We are grateful for your staff's time, dedication and enthusiasm.
John and Sofia Nelson
I attended SMCISD schools from Kindergarten through 12th grades at Crockett, Hernandez, Miller, and then SMHS. I cannot say enough about my experience in the San Marcos school system. I had so many teachers who cared deeply about teaching and many opportunities to expand my learning beyond what is typically taught in the classroom.
I would say that my best years as a student at SMCISD were in high school. I loved the balance of AP classes we were able to take - English, calculus, art, foreign languages, and sciences. Additionally, I felt very lucky to have an incredible photography art teacher who encouraged her students' creativity and gave us an outlet for expression that I would imagine most high school students don't have.
Most importantly, I learned when I got to Texas A&M that I was actually more prepared for college than most of my peers from other school districts. Specifically, the level of math education that we received at SMHS was unparalleled and really gave me confidence and an academic advantage my freshman year.
I have had many wonderful opportunities since leaving SMCISD, but I am so thankful for the preparation and encouragement I received while enrolled there.
• Attended Texas A&M University, Graduated Summa Cum Laude in 2008 with a degree in Industrial Distribution
• Worked at Marathon Oil Company in Houston, TX for 1.5 years as a Supply Chain Analyst
• Moved to Booz & Company and worked as a strategy consultant for the energy industry for 3 years (Houston, TX)
• Am currently living in Boston and pursuing my MBA full-time at Harvard Business School
Krista Johnson Milam, Class of 2004
My husband & I have been blessed with 4 boys. All of my boys have the gift of Dyslexia. We call it a gift because they are all very bright, but learn differently than other students. Some of our boys have dyslexia more severe than others. I have been so impressed with the Dyslexia program & specialist at the three schools that we are attending.
I would like to provide you with some adjectives to describe our schools & then give you examples of our experiences:
Amazing, caring, compassion, kind, above & beyond the call of duty, thinking outside the box, recognizing my child’s strengths and teaching to them.
We have accommodations for all our boys, but there is no accommodation for compassion and caring. No need to worry because our teachers at SMCISD excel in these qualities.
–Compassion and Caring
Last year my eldest was a freshman at the high school. He was taking Spanish 1. Now you can imagine that if reading, writing & spelling in our native language of English is difficult, imagine how difficult it must be in Spanish. My son is very conscientious and tries extra hard to make good grades. I received an e-mail from his Spanish teacher, Ms Yvette Velasquez, letting me know that he made a 93 on his test and that she took the time to cross check his Scantron form with his answer document from his test to make sure that he did not bubble incorrectly, as this happens a lot with students with dyslexia. This is one of those accommodations, that is not listed on the Accommodations Sheet provided by the State of Texas. She took the time to go the extra mile. –Compassion and Caring
–Going Above & Beyond
Ms. Smith, his biology teacher, would read his essays and then ask him for clarification. She did this because she knew he knew that answer, but written expression is difficult for him, so she would get additional information from him verbally to ensure that he knew the material. Now remember she has a lot of students as she teaches-7 classes. Making sure all our students learn & meeting their learning styles is an example of going above & beyond.
Our Teachers are patient. I am extremely involved and as my children say, “Bug the teachers”, yet they never seem annoyed and tolerate me. They are always willing to help and listen to my questions and suggestions. This is refreshing, as I do e-mail and “pop-in.” Mr. Dimmitt, World History, and Coach Dickson, English II, are the best as I seem to “pop-in” to see them the most. Writing is not easy for my eldest & he/”we” struggle with this arduous task. In history, Mr. Dimmitt has told him to write the answers and then if he needs clarification, he will ask him. His Health Science teacher told him the same thing and this has helped my son because he gets the practice of writing without the fear of not doing well and getting a bad grade. He knows that if a teacher needs clarification, they will ask him. This helps in several ways; he has to practice writing but this takes the pressure off of him since writing is so difficult and makes him accountable to know the material as his teacher may ask him to expound on his knowledge.
These are but a few examples of how our schools are making sure our students have mastered the concepts.
In all the schools, I feel welcome and safe. It is refreshing to be welcomed on a campus.
I am particularly impressed with our School “SUPER”intendent, Mark Eads. He has a true presence in our schools. He is at our campuses, walking the halls, seeing the students and staff so he has “his finger on the pulse.”
After the Connecticut Tragedy, our principal, Dr. Rick LaBuhn, sent an all call to the families to let us know how the Crockett staff would be handling this incident, so that it would have the least amount of impact on our students. He was so eloquent and I am still in awe at his foresight.
At Miller, I am a permanent fixture and they welcome me with open arms. The staff at Miller is always helpful. Several teachers give the students their cell phone number so the students can text or call them if they have questions, especially in math. This is helpful because Mathworks presents math in a different way than previously taught. It can be challenging and frustrating for both the student and the parent, so it is nice to be able to call or text & get help, especially if you have a conscientious student like mine.
At Miller, our principal has reached out to the community local businesses to highlight our school and students and as a way to introduce our schools to the community. It has been a very positive and beneficial experience for all involved. Wells Fargo has sent someone in to teach students about finance. Diaz Martial Arts came and gave a presentation about karate and then offered a free session to students. We have a “Wish List” Tree in the hall, which has flowers and leaves with various “wishes” teachers might I have. We had several businesses take these leaves and get the items, like a class set of highlighters, or money for costumes, etc. It has been a very positive, win-win for all.
What I like the most about our schools is that our children LIKE their teachers, enjoy learning and are having FUN. There are times when I pick up carpool and my sons can hardly wait to tell me what their teacher said to them that was so funny, or “Mom, did you know that…” This makes me smile with joy.
SMCISD is blessed with a caring staff that has the gift to encourage and engage our students. They take pride in our students learning. They like their jobs, which is evident when students want to go see them during their lunch period.
Dr. Jeff & Ellen Ault
J.K. Ault - Sophomore at SMHS
Edwin Ault - 8th grade at Miller
Tellef Ault - 5th at Crockett
Austin Ault -1st at Crockett