MISD adopts district, campus improvement plans

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The News Photo/Russell Slaton

Four Malakoff ISD trustees are sworn in Nov. 15 after being re-elected on Nov. 6, including Jerry Spiva (standing, from left), Rick Vieregge, Jason Dalrymple and Pat Jones. Trustees selected Vieregge to remain as board president, along with returning Dalrymple as vice president, and Mike Monroe as board secretary.

MALAKOFF – Malakoff ISD trustees heard administrative and principal presentations about the school’s 2018-19 district and campus improvement plans, then voted Nov. 15 to adopt them.

The plans were developed by committees comprised of teachers and administrators, as well as two community members, two parents of students, and two members of the local business scene, said Assistant Superintendent Sybil Norris. Each of the district’s five campuses had such a committee, Norris said, along with an overall district committee with about 20 members.

Norris led off by saying MISD received an “A” on the most recent state academic accountability report card, one of only 11 districts to do so in Malakoff’s Texas Education Agency (TEA) education service region. All campuses met state academic standards, with many receiving multiple distinctions, Norris added.

“Our board and administrators have something to be proud of,” Norris said.

District growth areas included 70 being the lowest score on state accountability ratings, and the need to improve district growth from one grade level to another, especially in math. District-wide improvement plans focus on math, monitoring student progress using data throughout the year, providing identified professional development to staff, and increasing opportunities and frequency of parental involvement.

An analysis of Malakoff High School by Principal Bill Morgan pointed out the school’s standardized test strengths, including Algebra I and U.S. History, along with extracurricular activities and events, community relationships, and career and technical education (CTE) pathways of study.

Growth areas for Malakoff High School to focus on featured English I and II, monitoring subgroups, special education end-of-course exam scores, as well as attendance, Morgan said.

Strengths for Malakoff Middle School, according to Principal Quintin Watkins, were across-the-board special-education student improvement on “approaches grade level,” which means the pupils passed minimum scores on the STAAR test (State of Texas Assessments of Academic Readiness), seventh-grade math doing well on achievement and growth and seventh-grade writing with a 16-percent increase at “approaches grade level.”

Growth areas for Malakoff Middle School include showing growth from one year to the next, which Watkins said was the school’s “greatest struggle at this time,” and moving from “approaches grade level” to “meets grade level” to “masters grade level” on the STAAR test.

The middle-school i m - prove-m e n t plan includes using computer software to monitor progress and to discuss the results at monthly meetings, implementing “differentiation” strategies in all classes, and targeting specific areas of difficulty using digital reading and math intervention programs, as well as STAAR enrichment classes.

Tool Elementary School (TES) strengths, according to Principal Christal Calhoun, included the percentage of students achieving “masters grade level,” while maintaining growth in all STAAR areas, focusing on struggling readers, vocabulary and continued support each year for fourth and fifth grade individual STAAR growth.

The TES improvement plan is to “continue to meet the needs of our students, with the campus being 81.3 percent economically disadvantaged,” continuing to meet an attendance standard of at least 96 percent (Tool Elementary’s was 97.1 percent last year), continuing to receive designated distinctions for academic achievement, continuing to strive for STAAR “masters level” in third, fourth and fifth grade, and to “continue to make TES a fun and safe learning environment for all.”

Malakoff Elementary School (MES) Principal Ronny Snow’s analysis showed strengths in reading, math, science and writing, as well as his school being district UIL academic champions for two consecutive years. Growth areas related to raising fourth-grade writing “level 3” performance, and trying to ensure students maintain performance from one grade level to the next.

The MES improvement plan is to “continue doing what has put our academic scores in the top one percent of the state for 10 years running,” as well as to “continue to provide a safe learning environment for all students.”

For the Leo Orr Sr. Education Center, which houses the Malakoff Alternative Program, the campuses principal, Danielle Copeland, said her plan was to continue to maintain a learning environment while ensuring student safety and security.

Also during the Nov. 15 MISD school board meeting, Superintendent Randy Perry said the district’s enrollment stood at 1,382 students, down from a high of 1,392 pupils so far this school year. At this time last year, Perry said, the district’s enrollment was 1376 students.

Perry also announced the Malakoff ISD FIRST rating, which stands for the “Financial Integrity Rating System of Texas,” handed out by TEA. MISD scored a perfect 100, achieving “superior.” Perry congratulated the district’s business office, led by Kim Spencer.

Perry also thanked the high school Student Council for its weekly interaction at a local nursing home. Those students, sponsored by teacher Belinda Merritt, are “doing good things in the community,” Perry said.