Springtown ISD board of trustees discussed targeted improvement plans for Springtown High School, Reno Elementary School and Goshen Creek Elementary School during Monday’s meeting.

These three schools all made Ds in at least one domain in the state’s accountability system. Schools are ranked on an A-F score overall as well as in the three domains: student achievement, school progress and closing the gaps. For elementary and middle schools, these ratings are based on student performance on the state’s standardized test, while high schools are based on test scores, graduation rates and college, career and military readiness.

SHS earned a C score overall with a D in closing the gaps. Reno Elementary also earned a C overall but Ds in closing the gaps and student achievement. Goshen Creek Elementary earned a D score overall, with Ds in school progress and closing the gaps.

Overall, the targeted improvement plans are focusing on improving student performance, SISD Director of Assessment Wesley Thomas said.

“Obviously school improvement is always the No. 1 goal, make sure our students are performing,” Thomas said. “It’s not about a score. We just want to make sure our students are performing, and we’re doing everything we can to ensure that and help that.”

The closing the gaps domain examines how well certain student groups are performing. Thomas said every campus has various student groups to focus on, such as special education students, but they are also focusing on raising the performance of all students.

“We have some very identified student groups that we’re focusing on and then we’re just really focusing on all students,” Thomas said. “If we really target that all student performance level going up, we know that domain is going to go up as well.”

Director of Elementary Curriculum and Instruction Tiffany Cano said elementary schools recently received new state standards for English/language arts, which teachers are receiving training on. Teachers at each campus are also receiving coaching from a literacy consultant. The coaches can observe and plan with teachers as well as help them develop new strategies, such as responsive teaching to help teachers respond to a student’s individual needs.

“When a teacher is conferencing with a student and sees particularly that that student is having a gap or having an issue with the skills, we’re able to pull strategies specifically responding to that student’s needs at that time,” Cano said.

New resources for reading were also adopted, which includes curriculum, scope, sequence, assessments, lessons and materials, Cano said. Elementary teachers are utilizing this. 

Cano said the focus is on reading and language arts, like at many other schools. This subject includes teaching components like phonics, fluency, comprehension and vocabulary.

“The big thing this year is we’re really trying to build the capacity of our teachers so that they’re just knowledgeable and know how to teach reading and language arts,” Cano said. “Reading and language arts, we always call it the beast.”

The targeted improvement plans were approved by the board.

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