Katy ISD State of the District Celebrates Continued Excellence, Tremendous Growth and a Bright Future

Katy ISD State of the District Celebrates Continued Excellence, Tremendous Growth and a Bright Future

October 20 2023

The 2023 State of the District address proved to be a resounding celebration as Katy ISD continues to set a standard of excellence in education. For the third consecutive year, Katy ISD was recognized as the #1 School District in the Greater Houston Area by Niche. Superintendent of Schools, Dr. Ken Gregorski attributed this achievement to the collective efforts of Katy ISD students, teachers and staff, and the strong partnership that exists with the community.  

“This year’s theme, ‘Inspiring Excellence: Learners into Leaders,’ speaks to the awesome responsibility our educators take on every day to deliver knowledge, skills and mentorship to students throughout our schools who will be leaders of tomorrow,” said Dr. Ken Gregorski. “Through academics, extracurricular experiences and community service, emerging leaders across our classrooms are being driven by the excellence their teachers, principals, support staff, or even campus namesakes and volunteers, have sparked in them,” he added.  

Guided by the district’s Strategic Plan, Katy ISD is positioned for long-term success and continuous student improvement and growth. Dr. Gregorski outlined the eight goals that work synergistically and safeguard the educational system that has been built in Katy ISD, which include:  

  1. Personalized Learning 
  2. Enhanced Operational Systems 
  3. Meaningful Student Assessments 
  4. Robust Digital Infrastructure 
  5. Teacher Recruitment and Retention 
  6. Advocacy for Adequate School Finance 
  7. Strategic Partnerships 
  8. Student and Staff Well-being  

Katy ISD brings in the best of the best when it comes to its educators. Attracting and retaining world-class educators is high priority for the Board and administration. To nurture these aspiring educators, the district is set to launch the Alternative Certification Program, or ACP, designed to “grow-our-own” certified teachers. This program, which is expected to be approved by the Texas Education Agency (TEA) this school year, will provide a nontraditional pathway for degreed professionals to transition into Katy ISD teaching positions. This program, along with the Katy Leadership Pipeline that provides professional development, growth and training opportunities for administrative staff, and a prioritized compensation plan that exceeds the market median for classroom teachers, bolsters the district’s commitment to recruit, train and retain the very best educators for its students.  

Creating safer schools and communities for all Katy ISD children, staff and residents is of the utmost importance. The district continues to build partnerships around emergency response protocols and interagency relationships to provide safe learning and teaching environments for students and staff. Furthermore, the district’s safety protocols meet and exceed the recommendations outlined by the TEA and the Texas School Safety Center, including recent legislation from the state that requires an armed officer on each campus. From drills and mandatory training to the layered measures of security that exist across the district, Katy ISD has led the way in prioritizing school safety in its growing district.  

Katy ISD is home to over 95,000 students and 12,000 employees. To manage this growth, the district is going out for 2023 Bond in this November’s election cycle. The Katy ISD Bond includes four Propositions that address specific needs such as new schools, safety and security upgrades, classroom and campus technology (including a one-to-one student device ratio for grades three through twelve), renovations to campuses, component replacements for existing districtwide natatoriums, and repairs to campus athletic facilities and Rhodes Stadium. “The four bond propositions total $840.6 million dollars and represent a zero-tax rate increase,” said Dr. Gregorski. “You should also know that Katy ISD property taxes will decrease by 18.5 cents this coming year due to the property tax relief bill passed by the Texas Legislature,” he added.  

Despite the challenges that exist at the legislative level with securing adequate funding for public schools, Katy ISD remains an A+ school district because of what its teachers and staff deliver to the kids in its classrooms every day. With massive increases in utility and operational expenses, the Basic Allotment that funds every public-school child in Texas has remained stagnant since 2019. With $4 billion dollars that remain unspent that could directly support public education, these dollars would enable school districts like Katy to keep up with rising costs while continuing to raise the bar for student achievement, attract and retain high-quality educators, provide safe learning environments, and further bolster the economic engine of the community.

With a storied history, Katy ISD continues to excel in multiple areas that were highlighted by Dr. Gregorski throughout the State of the District address, including its:  

  • TEA 'A' rating. 
  • Financial Integrity Rating System of Texas (FIRST)  'Superior Achievement' recognition (20 consecutive years). 
  • Forbes List of America's Best Employers in Texas title (fourth time in the last five years).  
  • Eight (8) Katy ISD high schools among the top 17% in the United States, according to U.S. News and World Report.  
  • “Best Communities for Music Education” award from the National Association of Music Merchants (named for 21 years).  
  • 179 student-athletes and 203 fines arts students who signed collegiate letters of intent last school year. 

In his closing remarks, Dr. Gregorski stated, “Katy ISD schools provide a world of excellence, and it is truly amazing what we have built here together for our children, families and community.” In keeping with this year’s theme, “Together, we will continue to inspire excellence, shaping not just learners, but the leaders who will light the path for generations to come,” he added.

Source: Katy ISD

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