Trustees eye goals, progress on IR campuses

Ector County Independent School District Board of Trustees discussed goals for student outcomes, the board self-evaluation and measures for growth and progress Tuesday.

Trustees discussed Student Outcome Goal 1 and Goal Progress Measure 1-1. The school board’s Outcome Goal 1 is to have no IR schools by the start of the 2019-20 school year and the Goal Progress Measure 1-1 is to have no six-year IR campuses by the end of this year.

Annette Macias, director of accountability, assessment and school improvement, reviewed data for the eight schools currently rated improvement required under state accountability standards.

Since September the elementary schools have seen growth in most third through fifth grade areas.

In a summary of the standards-based assessment that was given earlier this month Noel and Pease showed growth. Downing Elementary and Bonham Middle School were holding steady, and Zavala, Blackshear and Goliad elementary schools, and Ector Middle School lagged behind the targets, the board recap said.

The district will administer another assessment in February, continuing to measure growth and identify struggles before the STAAR is given later in the spring.

On another item:

  • Trustees discussed Constraint 1 and Constraint Progress Measure 1-1. Constraint 1, which the school board created during the fall semester, says the superintendent shall not allow a campus to remain in IR status for more than four years without a restart plan.

Constraint Progress Measure 1-1 states the superintendent will have restart plans developed for Ector Middle School, Zavala and Noel elementary schools this month.

All three schools are in their fifth year of IR status.

The STEM Academies at Ector and Zavala in partnership with the University of Texas of the Permian Basin are one option, but officials are considering other ideas, as well.

Board president Carol Gregg said deadlines are approaching to enter agreements with potential partners.

Gregg wanted to meet next week to discuss different options for restart plans for the three campuses. She said she would like to let UTPB know one way of the other.

On a separate item, board members discussed their self-evaluation with Texas Education Agency Deputy Commissioner of Governance A.J. Crabill via Skype and Region 18 Leadership Consultant Larry Lee in person.

In public comments, parents Heather Hall and Christine Mendoza spoke about conditions at Cavazos and Blackshear elementary schools. Crowe and Gregg said both would be contacted to get their concerns on a future board agenda.

Hall said she has third-graders at Cavazos and one son whose teacher has been out for numerous days. She added that the classes have been split. She said she’s been told there is a shortage of substitute teachers.

She said one of her twins has been sitting on the floor for the past two and a half weeks, which is not a great learning environment. Hall said she knows several parents throughout the community whose kids are going through the same thing.

Hall added that she knows several people who want to substitute teach, but can’t get approved.

ECISD Public Information Officer Mike Adkins said the district had 367 active substitutes in 2016-17 and 50 were hired for full-time work.

For 2017-18, Adkins said ECISD has 384 active subs and 75 have been hired full time.

He added that there is another sub training session scheduled for the end of January and he believes there are 25 to 30 people signed up for it.

Adkins said he doesn’t know what’s happening at Cavazos and this was the first time he had heard of it.

Mendoza, a single mother of five, has three children at Blackshear Elementary Magnet. She said she had to pull them out of Hays STEAM Academy. STEAM stands for science, technology, engineering, art and math.

Mendoza wondered why standards at Blackshear for organization and classroom management aren’t the same as at Hays.

“Hays is right in the flats, but the way they run that school you would think they were on the northeast side. The barrio is not getting into Hays. The standards are high. The academics, somebody is looking at them. It’s very structured,” Mendoza said.