• September 16, 2019

Board reviews improvement plans - Odessa American: News

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Posted: Tuesday, September 10, 2019 9:39 pm

Highlights of improvement plans for Ector County ISD campuses were reviewed during a board of trustees workshop.

Alicia Press, an executive director of elementary education, and Robert Cedillo, an executive director of secondary education, presented an overview of the plans Tuesday.

Press said every campus is required by state law, regardless of performance, to submit improvement plans.

Supplemental agenda information says system wide challenges include an 82 percent increase in discipline referrals from 2018-19 at the elementary schools; overall lack of customized objective-driven daily lesson plans with formative assessments and exemplar responses; and professional learning community teams struggle to implement re-teach and re-assess plans.

Both said professional learning communities are essential and regular involvement from campus leadership to guide the process.

Press said one of the root causes of that increase in discipline referrals is to instruction. If students are not engage, that’s when you start to see discipline issues arise.

At the middle schools, the material said, there is a drop in student performance from fifth to sixth grade; “ineffectual climate and culture of the campuses;” lack of structured professional learning community time; and math performance across grade levels.

At the high schools, there are the challenges of teacher quantity, capacity and retention; class sizes; and lack of structured professional learning communities.

As part of system wide strategies for elementary schools, plans are to reset Conversation, Help, Activity, Movement, Participation and Success, or CHAMPS, and Positive Behavior Interventions and Supports (PBIS); use district-created unit maps and STAAR-aligned assessments; and relay or Region 18 Education Service Center training that enforces a consistent data protocol with tools to help measure student success.

At the middle schools, add instructional minutes to sixth grade reading and math; train teachers and implement CHAMPS and Relay structures; build a content-driven daily professional learning community time; and train and implement Teach to One, a personalized model, and Imagine Math programs.

On the high school level, Region 18 consultants will collaborate with core subject teachers; CHAMPS and Relay structures; and use data-driven instruction and inquiry for professional learning community collaboration.

What’s different, the material says, is effective implementation of research-based strategies; job-embedded monitoring and coaching; aligned assessments; and extended professional learning (meetings and coaching).

Bonham Middle School, in its fourth year of being a failing campus; is the district’s top priority, the material said.

Its challenges include:

  • 13 long-term substitute teachers (six in core subjects).
  • 60 percent of the staff has four years or less of teaching experience.
  • Technology is ineffective or of poor quality
  • Rapid increase in student enrollment (860 students in 2017 to 1,100 students in 2019).
  • Lack of effective tier 1 instruction. Officials said Tier 1 instruction is the first lesson delivered by any grade level teacher in any subject. 

Goals are to:

  • Get students achieving the Meets Standard on state assessments will increase from 24 percent to 44 percent across all tested grade levels and content areas by May 2020.
  • Students achieving the Masters Standard on state assessments will increase from 9 percent to 24 percent across all tested grade levels and content areas by May 2020.
  • Students meeting growth goals will increase from 57 percent to 66 percent in reading and 58 percent to 71 percent in math by May 2020.

Strategies for Bonham:

  • Build structures where sixth, seventh and eighth-grade English language arts/Math teachers have time during the day to have professional learning communities.
  • Implement a consistent process to disaggregate data and monitor data at every tier of instruction.
  • Bonham will receive immediate support with any/all systemic technology concerns.
  • The school will develop systems to ensure that teachers receive high-quality coaching and feedback.
  • Bonham will increase instructional time in sixth and seventh grade through block scheduling.
  • Establish and monitor school-wide routines and procedures.

Superintendent Scott Muri also spoke about the impact of the Aug. 31 mass shooting in Odessa and Midland and said the response will be ongoing.

“This community has been through a trauma,” Muri said.

Muri said he drove by several of the shooting scenes, of which there were more than 15, and it brought up vivid images.

He added that the district has been working with people across the state and nation for resources.

Muri said research shows that week three can be tough after a trauma. “We’re working in conjunction with city and county officials,” he said.

He said 40 counselors from around the area were on hand in the district in the aftermath of the shooting when students returned to school.

Board member Tammy Hawkins thanked Muri and principals for stepping up and reaching out to parents and students.

“I know a lot of children that are afraid on our campuses,” board member Doyle Woodall said. “We need to do something. …”

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