school rating

El Campo ISD was just two points away from scoring an “A” rating for 2018-2019, but district officials are ecstatic with a “B” grade.

The Texas Education Agency released its 2019 state accountability ratings for 1,200 school districts and charter schools last week. Statewide, hundreds of districts and schools improved their overall rating from 2018, and ECISD was no exception moving up 11 points from a 77 out of 100, or “C” in 2018 to an 88 or “B.”

“This is a reflection of everyone working so hard and remaining focused on the goal that no child will go backward. Everyone will make progress, and everyone counts,” Superintendent Kelly Waters said.

It was a different story for the 2016-2017 school year, when before TEA officially rolled out the new rating system, its A-F prediction for the district was a “D,” said Dolores Trevino, assistant superintendent of curriculum.

“We were working hard because no one wants to be a ‘D’ district. Last year, we were rated a ‘C’ even though we were (Hurricane) Harvey-exempt. The story to us over the last three years is we have made improvements for all kids,” Trevino said.

ECISD also earned the distinction for post secondary readiness for the strides made at the high school after offering more career and technology courses along with certifications and licenses.

“We have never gotten a distinction as a district until this year,” Trevino said.

Districts, charters and schools are given an overall rating based on performance in three areas:

• Student achievement shows how much students know and are able to do at the end of the school year for which ECISD received a “B.”

• School progress shows how students perform over time and how that growth compares to similar schools for which ECISD received an “A.”

• Closing the gaps shows how well different groups of students within a school are performing for which ECISD received a “B.”

“What we achieved in the school progress area to get that ‘A’ we did by working with our economically disadvantaged children. That has been a focus for a few years starting with a poverty simulation we did with the teachers to understand what these kids come with and how to best work with them,” Trevino said.

“We are having our students of poverty, our English language learners and our different ethnic groups not just passing or barely passing (STAAR), but they are passing at the Meets and Masters levels. We still have work to do,” she added.

Not only did districts receive an A-F rating, but individual schools did, too. Myatt Elementary was paired with Hutchins Elementary and combined they received an “A,” Northside Elementary a “B,” the middle school a “D” and the high school a “B.”

The district started the year with a strong instructional focus on the middle school, Trevino said.

“The transition between fifth and sixth grades is huge. The last several years we’ve looked at data that has shown kids throughout the state dip in sixth grade because it’s a big change. We are working to make that dip not as big.”

A stipulation within the rating system is a district cannot receive an “A” rating if it has a “D”-rated campus.

“We can only become an ‘A’ if they are a ‘C’ or better. We are all invested in the middle school, and we always have been,” Trevino said.

“The campuses are really fine tuning intervention. Every year they’re getting better and better with how do we help the child who didn’t get it but yet not hold back the child who did. It’s a delicate dance to be able to do it effectively,” Waters said.

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