• Message from the Superintendent

  • Back to School

    Posted by Dr. Mark Henry on 8/18/2022 12:00:00 PM

    Dear CFISD Community,

    We are excited to kick off the 2022-2023 school year, and our facilities, operations and maintenance teams have been working hard to prepare all campuses for welcoming back students on Monday, Aug 22.

    A new year comes with positive news from the Texas Education Agency: CFISD has been named an A-rated district—the largest one in the state with this top designation! The academic success we achieved during the 2021-2022 school year throughout a difficult couple of pandemic years is truly outstanding, and I am proud of everyone for keeping the focus on students.

    We appreciate those of you who participated in a community survey last spring, the results of which we recently received. We have learned that student discipline has risen to the top of concerns for staff and the community, and that one of the most important characteristics for students is respect. Undoubtedly, many campus issues are preventable when there is mutual respect in place. We approach this year maintaining high expectations for student conduct, and ask teachers and parents to work together for the betterment of students. As parents remind their children to respect their teachers, I am reminding our staff to respect students. Together, we can set a great example that respect is essential for us to have a successful school year.

    Safety and security are equally important precursors to that success. In June, I shared a letter detailing the layered approach to school safety that we have been working on for more than a decade. Since then, we have made even more improvements to better protect our students and staff. We will continue to review our Safety & Security Action Plan throughout the year, modifying and enhancing as necessary while uniformly training all staff.

    As more vehicles including school buses are on the roadways this month, I ask that you please show patience with the increased traffic as we make sure students are delivered safely to and from school. Similarly, I ask for your courtesy to our school staff as they institute back-to-school procedures for campus visitors.

    There is so much for us to celebrate in 2022-2023. Water polo is officially a UIL sport for the first time, and we will have many competitive teams vying for statewide accolades. We are opening our 57th elementary school, McGown Elementary, in the Bridgeland community. In the spring, we will open a new administration building and a Visual & Performing Arts Center—a world-class facility that will allow our talented fine arts and visual arts participants to shine even brighter.

    Thank you for your continued support of CFISD as we all work to bring out the best in nearly 118,000 students and counting.

    Comments (-1)
  • Safety & Security

    Posted by Dr. Mark Henry, Ed.D. on 6/14/2022

    Dear CFISD Community,

    The last several weeks have been difficult for many throughout our state. Our hearts remain with those impacted by the May 24 tragedy at Robb Elementary School in Uvalde CISD, and we join the Tomball and Cypress communities in mourning the members of the Collins family who lost their lives on June 2. 

    Following the Uvalde tragedy, Texas Gov. Greg Abbott called for special legislative committees to be convened to prevent future school shootings. The governor requested for recommendations to be made in five key areas—school safety, mental health, social media, police training and firearm safety. This summer, we will be reviewing all of our safety and security measures in order to see if we are doing the best possible job of protecting students and staff. However, I wanted to take some time to summarize how CFISD has previously made efforts in each of these components.

    School safety
    In 2011, CFISD formed its own law enforcement agency to enhance safety and security throughout the district.

    • The department, which recently celebrated its 10th anniversary, has expanded to more than 100 fully commissioned, well-trained officers and has added four K-9s that specialize in narcotics and gunpowder / explosives detection.
    • The current assignment of officers is two per high school, one per middle school and zoned support for elementary schools.
    • During its June 13 meeting, the CFISD Board of Trustees approved a budget that included funding for six additional police officers to help expand districtwide patrol coverage.
    • The CFISD police department (CFPD)’s upgraded telecommunication systems allow the department to maintain close communication with neighboring law enforcement agencies in the event of an emergency.
    • The CFPD monitors and patrols the district 365 days a year. In addition, CFISD police dispatch can be reached 24/7 at 281-897-4337.

    In 2017, we expanded the office of emergency management (OEM) to complement the CFPD.

    • This department conducts districtwide security audits to ensure all campuses are adequately prepared for emergencies.
    • In 2018-2019, we worked with an outside consultant (True North Consulting) to prepare for safety recommendations for the 2019 bond program.
    • The CFISD OEM implemented Navigate 360 technology to house all campus floorplans and emergency operation plans (EOP) for quick access in facilitating a coordinated emergency response with other emergency response agencies and track emergency drills and training. The EOP also outlines Traumatic Injury Response Protocol.

    The 2014 bond program dedicated $55 million to safety and security upgrades including:

    • secured vestibules at all campuses;
    • bullet-resistant glass at front entrances;
    • additional security cameras;
    • lockdown panic buttons;
    • card reader access locks; and
    • security intrusion panels.

    The 2019 bond program dedicated $207.6 million to even more safety and security enhancements, including:

    • segmentation of open-concept floor plans in elementary schools;
    • fencing around portable buildings and playgrounds;
    • classroom phones;
    • impact-resistant glass on doors and high-traffic areas;
    • secure vestibule enhancements;
    • replacement of classroom door hardware;
    • addition of door prop alarms; and
    • additional lockdown buttons and card reader access locks.

    We have made significant progress on these projects; for example, classroom phones have all been installed and campus fencing is scheduled for completion by the end of the year. Major renovation projects including security upgrades are being completed in seven phases, and the third phase is currently under construction.

    In 2018-2019, we implemented a clear backpack policy for all secondary students as well as a clear bag policy for visitors to Pridgeon and Cy-Fair FCU stadiums.

    All campuses have implemented procedures for limiting entry points for faculty, students and visitors before and during the instructional day as well as between main and portable buildings. Their specific procedures are updated annually within the campus emergency operations plan and submitted for review to CFPD and the OEM.

    The CFISD Safety and Security Committee was expanded in 2018 to help plan for heightened security protocols while remaining in close communication with district and campus leaders, as well as district and local law enforcement agencies and first responders. The committee meets regularly throughout the year.

    Mental health
    Through collaborations and partnerships among three different departments—guidance and counseling, psychological services and CFPD—the district mental health intervention team (MHIT) was formed in 2018-2019.

    • The MHIT is comprised of four licensed professional counselors, two licensed psychologists and two mental health police officers.
    • This unique and creative team was established for the purpose of developing a more proactive, targeted, and safe approach to dealing with mental health issues in our district.

    We know that positive relationships are key in deterring potential situations, and our counselors work to maintain these with students throughout our campuses.

    • Our Board of Trustees approved an additional elementary counselor allocation beginning in the 2020-2021 school year.
    • Currently, CFISD has allocated 288 counseling positions. Depending on enrollment, each elementary school has 2-3 counselors, each middle school has 3-4 counselors and each high school has 8-9 counselors.
    • Other initiatives include Positive Behavior Intervention Support (PBIS) methodology and campus mentoring programs.

    All campus staff are required to complete mental health assessment training. CFISD elementary and secondary counselors are trained on completing threat assessment interviews using information compiled from recognized national curriculum.

    Social media
    Besides being available to respond in the time of a crisis, CFPD officers provide many proactive measures, such as:

    • investigating all potential threats;
    • monitoring social media through a collaboration with the Fusion Center;
    • fielding Cy-Fair Tipline reports;
    • making home visits;
    • mentoring students; and
    • providing classroom presentations.

    Campus administrators, CFPD and our student services department routinely investigate social media tips and threats, and our students are continually reminded that if they see something, say something!

    Police training
    The CFPD routinely undergoes annual training and professional development for all officers and command staff, adapting to the latest state and local law enforcement standards.

    • CFPD officers have attended “Advanced Law Enforcement Rapid Response Training (ALERRT)” and have also completed the state-mandated “TCOLE Active Shooter Response For School-Based Law Enforcement (#2195) Training,” and many officers will complete the trainings this summer.
    • In addition, officers train yearly for “Use of Force/Active Shooter” incidents and often use campuses. This summer, officers will attend an active shooter response refresher course.
    • In the summer of 2021, the OEM held “Active Incident Training” for CFPD officers.
    • The OEM also conducted a “Reunification Functional Exercise” for a CFISD campus in the spring of 2022. This functional exercise is planned for all CFISD campuses.
    • All CFPD officers will join health services staff in becoming certified in “Stop the Bleed” training, and will train campus staff during August professional development week to prepare for bleeding emergencies.
    • All officers are trained in ALERRT’s “Civilian Response to Active Shooter Events,” or CRASE, and will provide the training to all campus staff in August.

    Firearm safety
    In addition to the CFPD’s regular internal training on firearm safety, the district posts signage outside of every campus reminding the public that firearms are not permitted on CFISD property. Campuses received updated signage the last week of school that will be displayed in time for the 2022-2023 school year.

    As we have demonstrated over the last decade, CFISD will continue to review and evaluate and determine further safety and security enhancements and/or modifications that are needed moving forward.

    We are determined to keep our schools the safest possible environments for students and staff.

    Sincerely,

    Mark Henry, Ed.D.
    Superintendent of schools

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  • A Successful 2021-2022

    Posted by Dr. Mark Henry on 5/26/2022 12:00:00 PM

    Dear CFISD Community,

    The 2021-2022 school year was another one for the books. Our students, staff and community bounced back from a topsy-turvy two years with one of our strongest finishes yet.

    On Saturday, we will conclude 12 graduation ceremonies at the Berry Center—all back indoors for the first time since 2019. By the time we are done, nearly 9,000 graduating seniors will walk the stage. This includes 195 College Academy graduates, who simultaneously earned associate’s degrees along with their high school diplomas. Way to go, grads!

    picture of HS grads throwing caps

    Graduations were the exclamation mark on a school year of incredible successes. 

    Three high school marching bands—Bridgeland, Cypress Woods and Jersey Village—qualified for the UIL State Marching Contest in November.

    marching band students

    The 28th annual CFISD Livestock Show and Sale generated more than $450,000 for student projects in February, and was held in our newly renovated CFISD Exhibit Center.

    livestock show winner

    Our athletics programs produced multiple state champions! At the state swim meet in February, Cypress Creek High School senior swimmer Hayden Miller won the 200 freestyle and 500 freestyle events; Bridgeland junior Emma Kinsey won the 100 breaststroke; and Cypress Woods High School junior Benjamin Scholl won the 50 freestyle. At the state track meet in May, Cypress Woods senior Eugene Liger won the 300 hurdles. 

    Cypress Creek High School senior swimmer Hayden Miller won the 200 freestyle and 500 freestyle

    The ninth annual Superintendent’s Fun Run came back to the Berry Center in April, raising a record amount of $125,000 for the Cy-Fair Educational Foundation. It was perfect weather and an awesome day!

     

    fun run check $125,000

    Other events we had been missing—like the Dance ShowOffs, AFJROTC Pass in Review, Cy-Hoops Invitational  and more—also returned in-person again, reminding us about what we appreciate from the normal routine of the school year. 

    AFJROTC Pass in Review

    We recognized more than 350 National Merit Scholars or College Board Recognition Scholars at a ceremony at the Berry Center in April. 

    national merit scholar

    We know that the tone of the end of the year is not all celebratory for our neighbors across the state. We can hug our loved ones a little longer and count our blessings in light of the tragic loss experienced in the community of Uvalde this week. 

    With each new achievement and passing school year, I grow more grateful than ever to live in a community where quality public education is supported and celebrated. Enjoy your summer, and we will see you back next fall as CFISD keeps Bringing Out the Best in 2022-2023.

    Please take a minute to watch this video showing some of the highlights from the past school year.

    Sincerely,

    Mark Henry, Ed.D.
    Superintendent of schools

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  • Uvalde Tragedy

    Posted by Dr. Mark Henry on 5/24/2022

    Dear CFISD Community,

    As news of another heartbreaking act of violence on a school campus unfolds, I extend my sincerest sympathy to the community of Uvalde, Texas, dealing with this tragedy.

    We want our schools to be the safest places our students and staff can be. CFISD continually reviews emergency procedures and protocols. We will remain on high alert with greater visibility of CFISD police officers and administrators for the next two days. We encourage students to report any suspicious behaviors to a staff member or to the CFISD Tipline.

    Several of our schools have already distributed resources to parents and guardians who are deciding how to share this news with their children. Our guidance and counseling department has provided some articles that should provide guidance:

    NASP - Talking to Children About Violence 

    APA - How much news coverage is OK for children 

    NCTSN - Tips For Parents On Media Coverage 


    Sincerely,

    Mark Henry, Ed.D.
    Superintendent of Schools

    Comments (-1)
  • Campus Safety

    Posted by Dr. Mark Henry on 2/11/2022 12:30:00 PM

    Dear CFISD Community,

    The recent safety violations that have occurred both on and off our campuses are extremely disappointing. I want to reassure you that we are taking these actions very seriously.

    Our campuses must be the safest places in our community for students, staff and visitors. We will not tolerate anyone compromising the safe environment of our campuses, and will address violations to the greatest extent possible.

    We continue to encourage students, staff and community members to inform administrators, campus police officers or police dispatchers if they see or hear suspicious or illegal activity. The CFISD Tipline is accessible at the top of every district and campus webpage. The CFISD Police Dispatch can be reached 24/7 at 281-897-4337.

    Thank you for helping us maintain and reinforce a safe and secure environment in our schools and in our community.

    Sincerely,

    Mark Henry, Ed.D.
    Superintendent of Schools

    Comments (-1)
  • Thank You, Counselors!

    Posted by Dr. Mark Henry on 2/7/2022 5:30:00 PM

    Dear CFISD Community,

    I hope you will join me this week in honoring an essential group of CFISD employees—our school counselors. Celebrated during the first full week of February, National School Counseling Week highlights the tremendous impact school counselors have in helping students achieve academic success while planning for a career.

    Throughout a challenging two-year academic stretch, our counselors have been a tremendous support for CFISD students and staff. In CFISD, we are fortunate to have:

    • 108 high school counselors;
    • 59 middle school counselors;
    • 114 elementary counselors;
    • 1 elementary itinerant counselor;
    • 4 mental health intervention counselors;
    • 1 substance use intervention counselor; and
    • 19 youth service specialists (social workers).

    Our guidance and counseling department also offers wellness counseling services for all employees. The Mental Health Intervention Team, a cooperative between the CFISD police department and guidance and counseling department, has been a life-changing addition for many students since forming in the 2018-2019 school year.

    The 2022 National School Counseling Week theme is School Counseling: Better Together. There is no doubt that public schools are more cohesive and restorative due to the result of the work of our counselors. Please join me in recognizing all their efforts this week!

    Thank you school counselors for helping all students succeed.

    Sincerely,

    Mark Henry, Ed.D.
    Superintendent of Schools

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  • Registration now open!

    Posted by CFISD Communication on 1/24/2022 12:00:00 PM

    Superintendent's Fun Run - Run to Fund the Future - April 9, 2022 at the Berry  Center

    Dear CFISD Community,

    I invite you all to join me for the ninth annual Superintendent’s Fun Run on April 9, 2022! Registration for the highly anticipated community event, which features a 5K run and 1-mile family-friendly course, a fun-filled kids zone, student performances, vendors, and food trucks is now open. The event will take place at the Berry Center, with the 5K winding through Towne Lake and Lone Star College—CyFair, and the 1-mile course will take participants through Cy-Fair FCU Stadium.

    Proceeds from the Superintendent’s Fun Run benefit the Cy-Fair Educational Foundation (CFEF), which awards student scholarships and staff development grants, directly benefitting our CFISD community. Because of the generosity of our parents, students, staff, business partners, and community members, we have contributed more than $635,000 to the CFEF in the last eight years, and I hope you will join us for another successful event!

    Please enjoy this brief video and encourage your friends, family and colleagues to register!

     

     


     

    Estimados miembros de la comunidad de CFISD:

    ¡Los invito a acompañarme para el noveno evento anual ‘Superintendent’s Fun Run’ el 9 de abril de 2022! Ya abrió la Inscripción para el tan esperado evento comunitario, en el que habrá una carrera de 5K y un curso de 1 milla para familias, una zona divertida para niños, actuaciones estudiantiles, vendedores y camiones de comida. El evento se llevará a cabo en el Berry Center, con la carrera de 5K serpenteando por Towne Lake y Lone Star College—CyFair y el curso de 1 milla que llevará a los participantes por el Cy-Fair FCU Stadium.

    Las ingresos del evento ‘Superintendent’s Fun Run’ benefician a la Fundación Educativa Cy-Fair (CFEF), que otorga becas para estudiantes y subvenciones para el desarrollo profesional del personal, beneficiando directamente a nuestra comunidad de CFISD. Gracias a la generosidad de nuestros padres, estudiantes, personal, socios empresariales y miembros de la comunidad, en los últimos ocho años hemos contribuido más de $635,000 a la CFEF. ¡Espero que se unan a nosotros para otro exitoso evento!

    ¡Disfruten este breve video y animen a sus familiares, amigos y colegas a inscribirse para el evento!

     

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  • Strength through diversity

    Posted by Dr. Mark Henry on 1/13/2022 5:00:00 PM

    “The function of education is to teach one to think intensively and to think critically. Intelligence plus character—that is the goal of true education.”

    Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr.

    Dear CFISD Community,

    Nearly 11 years ago when I arrived in CFISD, one of my goals that was adopted by the Board of Trustees was to recruit educators and staff that reflected a changing community. I am proud to say that CFISD has continued that effort. We have been able to recruit, retain and promote an outstanding team that not only reflects the community, but has achieved success recognized by the nation and state.

    CFISD is more committed than ever to continue to recruit educators who reflect our district’s demographics.

    We now have leadership teams at the district and campus level that more reflect our community. That has opened up access to professionals from all different backgrounds.

    Our minority educators have added great value to our district. Research tells us that visibility of a diverse workforce helps all students succeed to higher levels.

    It is our goal for students to be inspired by this diverse group of leaders and teachers. Our commitment is to value and promote all deserving educators. CFISD has shown that a large diverse district can succeed in academics, athletics and fine arts when all employees, students and parents are valued.

    On Monday, we will observe the Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. holiday. Dr. King routinely expressed a vision of opportunity for all Americans that we carry forward with Cypress-Fairbanks ISD students.

    I know that, with the continued support of our outstanding community, CFISD will remain a destination for all.

     

    Sincerely,

    Mark Henry, Ed.D.
    Superintendent of Schools

    Comments (-1)
  • Enjoy the break!

    Posted by Mark Henry, Ed.D. on 12/16/2021 12:00:00 PM

    Dec. 16, 2021


    Dear CFISD community,
    As we count down the days until semester break, I want to express my gratitude for everyone’s extraordinary efforts to promote student success while dealing with an ongoing challenging situation. I am continually grateful to be part of a community that supports its employees, and employees who rally around students to give them as normal of an educational experience as possible.

    Earlier this week, I watched the news coverage of a tornado that struck western Kentucky and the devastating loss of life that took place. My heart was broken for the Mayfield, Ky., community, and I began to reflect on how thankful and grateful I am. It is easy to get caught up into day-to-day problems, but if we think about our blessings, we usually come out on the plus side.

    Our CFISD students continue to be a blessing to others. It has made me so proud to see student groups participating in the act of holiday giving, whether it is donating to an organization such as Toys for Tots or singing carols to senior citizens at a retirement home. Let’s celebrate our young people who understand the meaning of the season!

    group of students collecting toys for Toys for Tots.

    students caroling at a retirement home

    I hope you enjoy your break and get some rest and recovery from the fall semester to take with you into the spring. Please enjoy a brief video that reminds us why we do what we do as a school district. Let’s be prepared to bring out our best in 2022.

     

     

    Sincerely,

    Mark Henry, Ed.D.
    Superintendent of schools

    Comments (-1)
  • Happy Thanksgiving!

    Posted by Mark Henry, Ed.D. on 11/19/2021 3:00:00 PM

    Nov. 19, 2021

    Dear CFISD community,

    As the Thanksgiving break approaches, I am reflective of all that I have to be thankful for. Family, friends, faith and good health are all near the top of the list, but right behind those blessings is this incredible school district. I am grateful to serve as your superintendent, where I have had a front-row seat for so much growth and achievement over the last 11 years.

    I am proud of what we have already accomplished in the 2021-2022 school year. Students and staff have responded tremendously to so many changes to their routines over the last couple of years, yet still continue to perform at a high level. Parents have also been instrumental to student success, and we have been happy to welcome you back for many more on-campus activities. Thank you all for your patience through a challenging time.

    At the beginning of this school year, I gave our district leaders and staff a three-word challenge, Check Your Corners, which served as a reminder to check on students, colleagues and families who may need additional help. We also want to make sure we take a personal inventory of how we can improve ourselves. Three months into the school year, I have been so pleased with everyone’s additional efforts to make our campuses and district stronger. Although the work isn’t complete, I want to thank all of our staff for giving a little extra, on purpose (that’s lagniappe!) to help CFISD achieve its full potential.  

    This next week, I encourage you to take some “you” time. Surround yourself with those you love, eat and be merry, rest your mind and body and count your blessings. Enjoy your Thanksgiving break, and I look forward to welcoming you back on Nov. 29 as we finish the semester strong.

     

    Sincerely,

    Mark Henry, Ed.D.
    Superintendent of schools

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