WAXAHACHIE

The Waxahachie ISD Board of Trustees is hard at work to implement a five-year plan to improve student success in the classroom.

Tuesday marked the third workshop with Region 10 consultant, John Spies, who has worked intimately with trustees on the establishment of SMART goals.

Spies explained SMART goals should be systemic or straightforward, measurable, attainable, results-focused and time-bound. When creating a goal, the board was suggested to consider the impact on students, impact on staff, impact on programs, impact on the budget, to keep it simple, quality vs. quantity and to have one target.

These goals correspond with the accountability report card administered by the Texas Education Agency, where WISD earned a total rating of a “B.” The board discussed several aspects of the letter grade and broke down the overall student outcome goals into four sub-goals.

WISD Communications Director Jenny Bridges explained the extent of the goals and informed the Daily Light that the board has not officially adopted these goals. She explained they would most likely be an action item on the November regular session agenda.

The drafted sub-goals are based on improvements of the variety of sections within the A—F Accountability report card. When measuring student outcomes, WISD earned an 82. The board has drafted a goal that would increase that number to 92 over a five-year period.

The first sub-goal is for academic growth, which measures reading and math and is expected to increase from 73 to 90 by 2023. The second sub-goal is for the graduation rate on the report card to increase from 65 to 90 by 2023, as well.

“That’s not your graduation percentage,” Bridges clarified. “Our graduation percentage is 90.3 percent. That means that [students] from ninth grade to 12th grade, 90.3 percent of students who started in ninth grade graduated.”

The third sub-goal is for the college career and readiness report to increase from 83 to 94 by 2023. This category incorporates the number of students who achieve a particular score on the ACT and SAT exams, complete dual-credit courses and earn career certifications.

“Now when you look at that information, it can be a little bit misleading because kids do not count twice in categories,” Bridges disclosed.

The fourth sub-goal touches on the social studies testing area where the district scored a 75. Through the drafted board goals, that number would increase to 85 by 2023.

Bridges mentioned social studies proved to be a tough subject for the district as it did not score higher than the state average. She also stated that students are not tested by the state in this subject until their eighth-grade year.

Currently, WISD brought in Region 10 Educational Services to conduct an audit on the social studies curriculum.

Bridges described the current board of trustees as “forward-thinking and visionary” when considering the expected growth. The drafted board goals include more specific targets and will incorporate a monitoring calendar to keep themselves accountable to review the progress.

After the board goals are officially adopted, the group will then work on revisions on the district improvement plan and then campus improvement plans to read as SMART goals.

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Ashley Ford | @aford_news | 469-517-1450