Campuses earn state distinctions, recognition

Longview ISD schools earned 37 total distinctions on accountability ratings, according to the Texas Education Agency. An increase from the 30 distinctions earned a year ago.

Campuses earn state distinctions, recognition

Mon Aug 14, 2017


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Longview ISD schools earned 37 total distinctions on accountability ratings, according to the Texas Education Agency. An increase from the 30 distinctions earned a year ago.

Board members were given a presentation on the TEA report from Latitia Wilson, LISD Director of Research, Planning, and Accountability during Monday night's regular meeting.

Longview High and Foster Middle earned a perfect 7-out-of-7 possible distinctions, with Hudson PEP and Ned E. Williams both earning a perfect 6-out-of-6 elementary distinctions.

"Overall our district is trending upward, we're seeing measureable growth," Wilson told trustees. "We are glad to see the gains we've made this past year, but we are not where we want to be. There is still a long way to go, and we believe we can get there."

LHS Principal James Brewer praised the support his campus receives from the administration and school board, "and the kind of leadership that makes this kind of accomplishment possible."

"It's rewarding to see the results, but at the same time it's a challenge. It's like a football team that wins a championship, you get to enjoy it for a moment but then you have to get back to work," he said. "I am so proud of our people — our students and staff — and I want them to celebrate this achievement, but then get ready to get back to work."

Foster Principal John York expressed great pride in his students "earning seven out of seven academic distinction designations,"

"Our school motto is 'Success and Nothing Less,' and our students and staff rose to this challenge," he said. "I also want to thank our wonderful parents and community for their support of our school."

Hudson PEP Elementary Principal Sue Wilson said her campus emphasizes developing and maintaining positive relationships with the children and parents in order to help students reach their maximum potential. 

"Our goal for the 2016-27 School Year was to earn the six distinctions on the STAAR test. The teachers at Hudson PEP worked diligently every day to provide relevant, hands-on learning for our students," she said. "I am so proud of the Hudson PEP team, our students and our fabulous parents who worked together to achieve our goal."

Ned E. Williams Principal Dr. Cynthia Wise said "this was a team effort from all stakeholders including our parents."

"I feel so blessed to be the leader of such a remarkable group of people," she said. "This success tells us that our children are able to critically think and problem solve. As instructional leaders and teachers, we feel obligated to do this for our children."

Wise said that the campus theme last year "Accept the Challenge!"

"I challenged my teachers to seek out new and innovative ways to reach ALL children and they did it," she said. "Now we can we can feel the exhilaration of victory."

Distinctions are awarded to schools based on achievement in performance indicators relative to a group of 40 campuses of similar type, size and student demographics.

The state accountability rating system was implemented in 2013 to assess districts, campuses and charter schools. Schools receive one of three ratings — met standard, met alternate standard or improvement required.

Schools must meet the target for areas such as student achievement, student progress, closing performance gaps across all ethnic populations and income levels and post-secondary readiness. Campuses listed as met standard are those that met criteria for either student achievement or student progress, as well as meeting criteria for closing performance gaps and post-secondary readiness.

Student achievement is a snapshot of performance across all subjects, while student progress measures year-to-year progress. Closing performance gaps emphasizes academic achievements of economically disadvantaged students and the two lowest-performing racial/ethnic student groups.

Post-secondary readiness focuses on the importance of earning a high school diploma and providing students with the foundation for success in college, job training programs, the workforce or the military.

In addition to rating districts and individual campus on whether they are meeting standards, the accountability system also hands out distinctions to schools that excel in the areas of English language arts/reading, mathematics, science, social studies, top 25 percent student progress, top 25 percent closing and performance gaps.

Horace Williams, Assistant Superintendent of Campus Accountability, told board members that, while these results represent quantifiable improvement, "Longview ISD has higher expectations, and we're going to continue to work hard to raise the standard."

"Our teachers have worked hard, our students have worked hard," he said. "As a district we're working not just harder but smarter."

Superintendent Dr. James Wilcox said this continued upward academic momentum, "illustrates just how special Longview ISD is, both in our students and staff."

"To look at a school district of our size, our socio-economic diversity, and the challenges facing public schools, and see the progress our students and staff are making year-in and year-out ... it's really remarkable," he said.

Board president Dr. Mark Camp and vice president Dr. Troy Simmons echoed this sentiment.

"I'm so proud of what our district has done, is doing, and will continue to do," Simmons added.

Trustees meet each month in the boardroom of the LISD Education Support Center, 1301 E. Young St. The next regular meeting is tentatively scheduled for 7 p.m. Sept. 18, 2017.