One day at a time

Published 7:23 am Saturday, October 21, 2017

By Rickie Harris

As we recover from the horrible effects of Hurricane Harvey, I have to remind myself to accept one day at a time. As individuals, we long for our lives and routines to quickly return to normal after we experience unexpected turmoil and challenge. But, I have learned that returning to normal is a slow process. In West Orange – Cove CISD, each day is a step forward and brings with it a little more sunshine.

Families and students are returning to Orange and to school. They are taking actions that will also move them forward in rebuilding their lives at home. As the members of our community return, our enrollment has steadily increased. At all of our campuses, we currently have a student enrollment of 2410 students which is approximately a 50 student difference from our original spring 2017 projection for the 2017-2018 school year.

As it pertains to our facilities, we have completed the Hurricane Harvey remediation process for all of our buildings. Soon we will move into the remodeling phase for classrooms at West Orange – Stark Middle School that were flooded during the hurricane.

Additionally, we are continuing to enhance our instructional delivery district-wide. Our teachers are working collaboratively through their professional learning communities, as well as with their instructional leadership to elevate content instruction and delivery techniques. Also, our campuses are aggressively implementing the CHAMPS behavior management program. This program provides our teachers and students with a positive and proactive guide for behavior expectations throughout the entire district.

Some things do return to normal more quickly than others. For example, we have continued to implement Reader’s and Writer’s Workshops in our English Language Arts classrooms. Another example is our West Orange – Stark High School Mustang Football team. This 2017 team has continued the winning traditions established by their predecessors.

Collectively, we are moving our students forward on a path to excellence. It is a process; and, through team work, it is occurring one day at a time.

As contemporary author John Maxwell said, “One is too small a number to achieve greatness.”

Go Mustangs!


Rickie R. Harris is the Superintendent at West Orange – Cove CISD.