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MCISD assesses improvement plans for district accountability ratings

After being rated a B by TEA, the Mission Consolidated Independent School District is hoping to facilitate further growth and improve scores district-wide.

The Texas Education Agency recently released accountability ratings for districts across the state. Districts are scored on student achievement, school progress and closing the gaps, and are given grades for these three categories.

MCISDlogoThey are then given an overall letter grade. MCISD received an 89.2 score, just missing the 89.5 that would give them an A.

“It’s actually a very high B, and at this time what we’re trying to do is to appeal to go for that A, because there’s some potential there,” said Francisca Sanchez, MCISD Executive Director of Elementary Education.

Superintendent Carol Perez said they had looked into appealing, but they were told that as of right now there are no grounds for appeal.

“We did look at 21 assessments,” Perez said. “But we were not able to find any of the children that had passed an alternate assessment. We are still very proud of the fact that it is an 89.2.”

When presented to the board of trustees during a Curriculum Committee meeting held Wednesday, Sanchez and Perez spoke about how the district hopes to improve the score for next year.

Region One also released unofficial averages of how districts fared compared to the state and Region One.

“Mission CISD surpassed the state average and the Region One average for each one of the three domains and overall,” Sanchez said. “We’re very proud of this work, and it’s very evident that the district did well.”

According to Sanchez, MCISD has shown growth in each of the three categories rated by TEA. The overall score went from an average of 85 to 89.

“For 2018, there were 58 distinctions available [in addition to the three main domains rated], we earned 44 percent of those, which is up from last year at 39 percent,” Sanchez said.

When asked about how the district intends to improve and how it improved from last year, Sanchez said it is a continuous effort.

“We actually started getting on this before the year ended back in May or June, as we were getting preliminary information and meeting with the principals for the end of the year in identifying the areas in need,” Sanchez said. “We put various plans in place with each individual principal.”

Technically, eight MCISD campuses scored in the A level by TEA standards, though the agency doesn’t rank individual schools. Sanchez said the campus principals who got that A will be teaming up and mentoring other principals who did not score as high overall.

“They’re sharing and they’re meeting with them,” Sanchez said. “We have a buddy system where they’re sharing information and just coaching each other. We also do coaching on our end.”

Sanchez added that Mission CISD is also looking at the potential of bringing an outside source into the district in order to provide further support for struggling campuses. Perez said they also quickly purchased an Accountability Connect service from lead4ward, which aims to help districts further understand state accountability systems, focus improvement planning and fulfill improvement requirements.

“The district has received professional development on strategies, on data, but now once a month we are going to be having those [Accountability Connect] webinars,” Perez said. “As a matter of fact, we just had our first one this week where we were able to invite all principals and all central office staff.”

Perez said that the webinars can be recorded so sessions can be held with assistant principals, academic coaches and deans of instruction.

“It’s not only about the curriculum, it’s also about knowing how to play the numbers game,” Perez said. “We’ve got to know what the numbers tell us.”

“Now, it’s about growth,” Perez added. “Even those A and B campuses, they’re going to have to work extra hard, because it’s about growth. It’s taking it to the next level, it’s not only maintaining but going higher.”

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