ISD Fort Bend Director Dr. Christie Whitbeck looks back on the first two months on the job

FORT BEND COUNTY, Texas (KTRK) – Fort Bend Independent School District Superintendent has only been on the job for about two months, but she’s already faced major challenges. COVID-19, staff shortages and a tense political environment forced her to start operations.

Dr Christie Whitbeck said: “In all my time in this job, never have I found it so difficult for educators.

Whitbeck calls public education her life’s work but said the problems educators are facing today present challenges she hasn’t experienced before.

“We’re dealing with structure and students who don’t actually go to school. They need to be reminded of what structure looks like, which can sometimes lead to discipline, which can be stressful for the students. teachers,” she said.

COVID has impacted education in every way. As omicron variation is increasing, the district will end the virtual learning option. It’s a decision that Whitbeck said is supported by low infection rates among campuses and parents.

“We surveyed families and most of them wanted to come back,” she said.

To help close the learning gap, Whitbeck said she plans to continue using tutoring and after-school programs at school. She will need more teachers for that plan to work. Currently, there are about 120 vacancies in a county with more than 12,000 employees. Whitbeck said higher salaries and more support could help fill those roles.

“We need to look at what we’re doing at each school to support our teachers and see how we can support ourselves. That’s what I’m exploring and I’m working on. with that every day when I’m here,” she said.

Since day one, Whitbeck says she’s led by listening, and there are a lot of polarized opinions about what and how students should learn right now. Whitbeck said it’s part of her job to address culture, climate and facilitate compromise.

“I hate to see dissent. I want to see the board working together, the community working together, and all I can do is control me and know that’s it. is how I would lead,” Whitbeck said.

She’s navigating her first two months as a team builder and solution seeker while looking ahead. The goal for the future is to create more connections with local colleges to better prepare students for post-secondary success.

Copyright © 2021 KTRK-TV. Copyright Registered. ISD Fort Bend Director Dr. Christie Whitbeck looks back on the first two months on the job

Dais Johnston

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