All Students Encouraged to Engage Outside the Classroom

Sep 04, 2019

Frisco ISD is developing a Community-Based Accountability System (CBAS) with the help of community members and staff on the Long-Range Planning Committee (LRPC). Each week through October 2, the District will provide information about each of the seven CBAS pillars. A catalog of these pillars can be found on the CBAS website as they are published. 

CBAS Circle of Seven Pillars.Engaged, Well-Rounded Students

When students are actively engaged in activities outside the classroom, students feel a strong sense of community. In a District of more than 62,000 students, it is important that each child has the opportunity to engage with the students around them and build a circle of friends based on common interests.

Numerous stakeholders are currently working to define what it means to be an engaged, well-rounded student as part of the Community-Based Accountability System.

Marie Pishko is a grandparent of four Frisco ISD students and a former high school counselor and elementary director of guidance and counseling.

“There’s so much more to building our young people than STAAR test scores or ratings,” Pishko said. “By emphasizing the student experience, we can show how we are preparing students to benefit society as a whole whether in Frisco or elsewhere.”

Curtsinger Elementary Anchored for Autism Club.Frisco ISD staff design quality experiences that engage students in active learning opportunities with clear applications to the real world. When students of all ages and abilities are engaged in diverse learning experiences, they are inspired to try new things and grow into well-rounded individuals. 

Students at all campuses are provided opportunities to join in community service and a variety of clubs. Each campus has its own unique clubs and organizations based on the interests of students, staff and the community.

“Engaging students outside of the classroom at a young age is very valuable and key in their development,” Pishko said. “The educators in Frisco ISD work with these young people to have a positive experience and it is incredible to see the young people truly valued.”

The Engaged, Well-Rounded Student CBAS subcommittee analyzed student opportunities that contribute to their overall development and future well-being.  

Simply put: How do students find their people? 

Fine Arts at Frisco Community Parade 2018.Frisco ISD has 10 high schools that enroll up to approximately 2,100 students per school. Smaller high schools provide more opportunities for students to participate in academic, athletic and fine arts programs, as well as assume leadership roles in various clubs and organizations. 

“When students engage in extracurricular and competitive activities – from football, baseball, and basketball to academic decathlons, robotics, band and theater – every component of a student’s health improves,” said Stephanie Cook, managing director of guidance and counseling for Frisco ISD. 

“We’ve seen that active students have a higher graduation rate, higher grades, higher attendance rate, lower disciplinary problems, and a greater sense of belonging to the community – all of which is simply healthier,” Cook said. “They are also less likely to abuse alcohol and tobacco, and ultimately have a significantly decreased risk of suicide.”

Stafford Students 'Serve Like Sue'Through the CBAS process, the Frisco ISD community will define school accountability in a manner that reflects the diversity, talents, skills and priorities of its students. CBAS strives to recognize and celebrate the whole child, report on educational outcomes above and beyond standardized tests and provide information to schools that will drive meaningful change and improvement.

Over the next several weeks, Frisco ISD will continue to release a more in-depth explanation of each pillar along with preliminary evidence requested by the 2018-19 CBAS Committee. 

“The Engaged, Well-Rounded subcommittee recognized the power in showing students in action and wanted to include photos and stories,” said Erin Miller, chief student services officer. “I would encourage the public to follow Frisco ISD on Facebook and Twitter and the hashtags #CantTestThat, #OurFISDStory and #MyFISD to learn more about how our students are engaged daily.”

This school year, the committee will review and gather evidence in anticipation of the first official CBAS report in August of 2020.

Thanks to these outstanding volunteers who served on the Engaged, Well-Rounded Students subcommittee in 2018-19:

Community - Elishia Baxter, Jamie Heit, Heather Kremer, Marie Pishko, Khushboo Rawlley, Laura Echols-Richter, Peter Smith, April Tate, Wendy Wittenbrook

Faculty - Sarah Bedell, Soney Day, Melissa Fouche, Brittany Frideley, Shandee Goulding, Nichole Johnson, Stephanie Kinsella,  Kristy Marcantel, Cory McClendon, Cheryl McDonald, Derek McDowell, Erin Miller, Sasha Roberts, Erin Eames Trahan 

District staff and community members are encouraged to use and follow #CantTestThat on various social media platforms to follow how students in Frisco ISD are taught more than what they are tested on each spring.

Click here to learn more about the background behind the Frisco ISD CBAS initiative or go to the official CBAS website where you can find information on each of the individual pillars.

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