The main topic of discussion at the Red Oak ISD Board of Trustees meeting was the curriculum plan for primary and secondary campuses. The board also heard updates on the expansion of the fine arts program and a recap on school safety week.
Patrick Torres, Assistant Superintendent of Curriculum and Instruction, provided an update on the progress the curriculum-and-instruction team made over the summer and has already begun to implement.
Focus areas for the 2018-19 school year are on the implementation of best practices for the professional learning community, support for learners of all backgrounds and abilities, improvement with literacy instruction to promote student achievement in reading and writing and the creation and phase-in of a curriculum management plan.
Torres explained the special education department has added additional behavioral and diagnostic staff and the district has expanded the high school co-teach. He noted, "for example that’s taking a certified English teacher with a certified special education teacher and then really working together planning, instructing and assessing the student."
Also highlighted was the implementation of the dual language program, Gomez and Gomez model, which is more of a “one-way dual language model that has proven to be more effective,” Torres said.
The district also embedded bilingual and ESL chair training to ensure campuses are provided the support they need.
Advanced academics will focus on intentional programmatic leadership and widen college-ready participation. The goal is to increase the number of students taking the AP tests and classes. Torres suggested that all eighth and ninth graders utilize the PSAT to find nontraditional academic talent and to open doors earlier for AP courses.
“We have to do our very best to support our students with special needs, our English learners as well as our students achieving at a high level and making sure they don’t have a ceiling,” Torres concluded.
Two leaders of the C&I Team, Garry Gorman, executive director of elementary learning; and Rachel Jones, executive director of secondary learning, presented on literacy focus.
The C&I Team is focused on the early learners and expanding programs to more lower grade levels. Pre-K through second grade will test three times a year to calculate progress. In the third- through fifth-grade content is focused on training and preparing for the new TEKS test.
Jones presented for secondary learners and explained that sixth, seventh and eighth graders will utilize the Lead4Ward English Language Arts, Reading Academy and diagnostic screening, which focuses on the reading and writing as a process. High school students will apply the Lead4Ward ELAR Academy, diagnostic testing with regular writing samples.
The C&I Team created a curriculum management plan for teachers across the district that includes four components. Jones presented the teaching and learning model that described outcomes desired in every classroom at every grade level across the district.
The heart of the model is the four core actions for student learning: standards-based decision, differentiation, engagement and collaboration. Another layer, student actions, surrounds the core actions and a final layer incorporates teacher actions that support student actions.
Gorman shared the district has a head start on creating the district and campus improvement plans, whereas last year the primary focus was on the Four Talons.
The district and campus teams will be updated three times a year on these goals and objectives, and the plans will be updated. Improvement plans for each campus and the district are located on the website under the “District” tab.
Rob Meyers, Red Oak High School Director of Fine Arts, presented recent accomplishments and data emphasizing the benefits of fine arts.
Meyers reviewed enrollment data of the past five years, which displayed a high increase in 2017-18 in art classes in high school students, an increase in marching band members and choir with a 20-25 percent increase from last year. Meyers explained that dance and theatre involvement has grown as well.
Meyers relayed recent achievements, which included recognition by the national competition, Mark of Excellence, who awarded the middle and high school Red Oak High School Wind Ensemble Red Oak Middle School Honors Band.
“For the first time in Red Oak’s history, both the middle school and high school have both been honored as national winners in AA as well as 5A,” Meyers elaborated.
The theatre students are putting on a show to benefit Shoes for Orphan Souls on Thursday at 7 p.m.
Red Oak ISD Police Chief Kevin Denney provided insight on safety week and the progress of the district police department.
Officers with the department earned certification in the Standard Response Protocol over the summer in Colorado and reported back to the district department.
Officers also trained the entire district staff the week before school started on the protocol. The department had the opportunity to train first responders in Red Oak and Glenn Heights on how the district operates in crisis to a medical emergency. This enhanced the security profile with first responders. The communication was reciprocated on both ends, which improved relationships and an understanding.
“All campuses did their drill exceptionally well, and I would like to shout out to all of the principals," Denney boasted. "They are terrific on how they run their drill with professionalism. We only found a few small issues […] and were pretty much fixed the same day.”
The board closed the regular meeting at 8:27 p.m. and entered closed session. The board reconvened at 12:08 p.m. and unanimously approved Beth Trimble as the executive director of communications for ROISD. The meeting concluded at 12:11 p.m.
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Ashley Ford | @aford_news | 469-517-1450