The Texas Education Agency delivered all the report cards to the school districts across the state of Texas on Thursday just as the school year has started for many of them or is about to begin.
In Guadalupe County, Seguin ISD took a “C” overall, Navarro ISD brought in an “A,” and Marion ISD garnered a “B” for the 2018-2019 official accountability ratings.
Seguin took “Cs” in overall performance, student achievement and school progress while making a “D” in closing the gaps.
In overall performance, the district got a 73 out of 100, 76 out of 100 in student achievement, 76 out of 100 in school progress and 61 out of 100 in closing the gaps.
“I think for me it was expected. I did expect an implementation dip this year. Obviously, I’m disappointed in the fact that we have two ‘F’ campuses, but I am encouraged with the leadership at those campuses that we will see progress,” Seguin ISD Superintendent Matthew Gutierrez said. “I’m encouraged that with the work that’s outlined in our strategic plan ... Last year was about setting the foundation and this year is about digging into the work.”
Overall, Seguin ISD took the same letter grade as last year’s ratings but dropped down a point from 73 to 72.
Among all the schools in Seguin ISD, both Jim Barnes and Briesemeister middle schools received “F” ratings while Patlan, Rodriguez and Vogel elementary schools all earned “Ds”.
The Texas Education Agency identified all five campuses for “targeted support and improvement.”
Three campuses each earned a distinction designation. Seguin High School was recognized for English language arts/reading, while McQueeney received one for post secondary readiness and Koennecke for mathematics.
Going into the new school year, Gutierrez said the district wants to help the teachers “dig deep down into the standards to teach our students.”
“We’ve built capacity in our instructional coaches who are now facilitating that learning … helping teachers under those standards, prioritize those standards and analyze those standards so they can better teach them,” Gutierrez said. “That alone is a big factor. When teachers understand the curriculum they’re supposed to teach, our students are going to be learning in a much better way.”
Since making a change is a process, Gutierrez encourages the community to remain patient.
“It’s important for people to remember that we just completed the first year of our strategic plan and we’re going to continue with that work as we start this year’s school year,” he said. “I’m confident if we continue with that plan that we will see significant progress.”
Koennecke Elementary, McQueeney Elementary and Ball Early Childhood Center all grabbed “Bs,” while Weinert Elementary, Jefferson Elementary, Mercer Blumberg Learning Center and Seguin High School all took “Cs.”
Gutierrez still saw some “bright spots” among the ratings, the superintendent said.
“One of which is very significant is the high school. They jumped up seven points and that’s a huge undertaking for a high school that serves 2,000 kids,” he said. “In addition to Seguin High School, we also had Weinert Elementary that made some gains as well.”
Navarro ISD met all four standards by earning “As” in overall performance, student achievement, school progress and a “B” in closing the gaps.
The district earned 93 out of 100 in overall performance, 92 out of 100 in student achievement, 90 out of 100 in school progress and 88 out of 100 in closing the gap.
All four of its campuses also met standards with Navarro Elementary, Navarro Junior High and Navarro High School all earning “As” and Navarro Intermediate School grabbing a “B.”
“We’re very pleased. We’re very happy with this year’s overall rating for the district and three of our four campuses also received ‘A’ ratings,” Navarro ISD Superintendent Dee Carter said. “This is the first year for campuses to receive an actual, official rating. Last year they just got a ‘what if’ rating. I think our staff is very pleased and excited at the elementary school, junior high and the high school — all of which received As.”
However, that doesn’t mean Navarro is stopping there.
“The teachers are very much in the midst of planning for this year and working on strategies we’re going to use to try to be sure that every child is able to succeed as well as possible,” Carter said.
In distinctions, Navarro Elementary earned the academic achievement in mathematics and top 25% comparative closing the gaps while the Junior High campus also took comparative academic growth, postsecondary readiness and comparative closing the gaps. Navarro High School received academic achievement in mathematics, academic achievement in English language arts/reading and top 25%: comparative closing the gaps.
Navarro Junior High plans to work on science, math, English language arts/reading in hopes of earning academic distinctions in those areas next year, Carter said.
“They’ll be working very hard to raise the number of children who score at the mastering level and of course make sure every child meets the grade-level expectations,” she said. “We have some very clear goals. The high school will be working quite a bit on their college and career readiness.”
This year, Marion ISD made a “B” in overall district performance, student achievement and school progress and a “C” in closing the gaps.
In overall performance, Marion got an 82 out of 100, 88 out of 100 in student achievement, 81 out of 100 in school progress and 79 out of 100 in closing the gaps.
Norma Krueger Elementary and Karrer Elementary both took “Cs” and Marion Middle School and Marion High School received “Bs.”
“We’re pleased that it’s a very strong ‘B.’ It shows a lot of growth in some areas, but of course, we’re always strategizing to be the very best we can be,” Marion ISD Superintendent Kelly Lindholm said. “We, of course, are not going to be satisfied with a top rating of an ‘A’ or of course our solid ‘B.’”
The “B” rating indicates “they’re doing things well in Marion ISD,” however, the district will always find ways to improve itself, Lindholm said.
“We didn’t sit around and wait for ratings to come out from the state to evaluate our programming and evaluate what we’re doing with our students,” she said. “That process starts every summer and begins with an analysis of our data from the previous years that we’ve been able to do on our own.”
Over the summer, Marion ISD started planning where it needed to improve and strengthen such as at the elementary level, Lindholm said.
“We have a lot of teachers in here for in-service this week where those plans have been shared,” she said. “The teachers are very visibly working together in making plans for some of the changes that we want to implement this year that we think are going to strengthen what we have.”
The district racked up seven distinctions in total with Marion Middle School taking academic achievement in both science and social studies, and post-secondary readiness. Marion High School grabbed academic achievement in both science and mathematics, top 25%: cooperative academic growth and post-secondary readiness.
Southwest Prep Seguin
The Southwest Preparatory Seguin Campus, which is a part of the Southwest Preparatory School system in San Antonio, received an “F” — not meeting any of the four standards of overall performance, school progress or closing the gaps.
The school made a 55 out of 100 in overall performance, 45 out of 100 in student achievement, 54 out of 100 in school progress and 56 out of 100 in closing the gaps.
“Obviously, I’m disappointed. We want the very best for our students in Seguin as we do on all of our campuses,” Southwest Prep Superintendent Sherry Head said. ‘We just completed our three years of operation and the first two years we did very well on accountability.”
During the Spring semester, Southwest Prep began to notice the issues that needed to be addresses, Head said.
“We want to look particularly at the domain three, closing the gap, so we’ll be spending some more time in that area,” she said. “We have recently brought in a new principal and we’ve looked at our finances to be able to utilize some grant funding because we’re going to bring in a couple of coaches for our campuses in need.”
Seguin campus met standards last year by overall making an 89 out of 100. This year’s grade was a 34-point drop. No distinctions were earned this year.
The Seguin campus wants to be the best it can be, Head said.
“We had a little bit of a struggle this year, but we will not stay there,” she said.