Spring ISD schools drafting campus improvement plans

The pandemic has required Spring ISD to approach school differently and is also making them alter their process for campus improvement as they try to prepare their students for the next grade level.

The Texas Education Agency offered districts beginning of year assessments for the first time this year, Spring ISD Chief of Innovation and Communications Tiffany Dunne-Oldfield said, which the district is using as a diagnostic tool and blueprint to see how their students can grow as they head toward the end-of-year STAAR exams.

“We are in a challenging year, but we do need to grow out students,” Dunne-Oldfield said during the Oct. 8 school board work session. “That’s why we’re using the BOY, because the BOY gives us a look at where our students are at and then we can grow them from where they came to us this year.”

The assessments were given to all grade levels with students falling into four categories: did not meet grade level, approaches grade level, meets grade level and masters grade level, separated into reading, math, writing, science and social studies, and English, algebra, biology and US history for high school. The majority of elementary students fell into did not meet grade level, with between 1 percent and 6 percent of students falling into meets or masters grade level for the various subjects.

Middle school students saw somewhat higher numbers in meets or masters grade level, with as much as 13 percent of students meeting meets or masters grade level in writing and 16 percent in reading. High school students showed even better results, with less than half of the students not meeting grade level for biology and US history. English had the highest percentage of students not meeting grade level at 64 percent, but algebra had the lowest percentages for meeting or mastering the grade level at 8 percent and 3 percent respectively.

“At the end of the day, the only way we’re going to close the gap is to make sure if you come into kindergarten, by the end, everybody is ready for 1st grade,” Dunne-Oldfield said.

The reason for the BOY assessments this year is because they had no end-of-year assessments last Spring due to the pandemic shutting down school. They had a mid-year assessment, Dunne-Oldfield said, but Spring ISD principals wanted more current data.

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