Principal Reginald Bush knew it was “challenge accepted” when he was named principal at Kashmere High School, an Achieve 180 campus, prior to the start of the 2018-2019 school year.
On a typical school day at Kashmere, you can find Bush in his signature military-style fatigues, mingling with students in the halls and checking in with teachers and staff to monitor the ongoing instruction happening in classrooms.
“From the moment I stepped foot on campus, I knew that I needed to focus on supporting the teachers, building their toolkits and modeling effective practices that would quickly move the data,” Bush said. “I built the campus’ culture on the idea of ‘No Teacher Left Behind,’ and I wanted to make sure we kept the human element at the forefront of everything we did with our faculty and students.”
Kashmere High School rewrites history by earning passing grade
The Houston Independent School District earned
an overall high “B” rating by the Texas Education Agency under the state
accountability system for the 2018-2019 academic year, exiting nine campuses
from the state’s “Improvement Required” list. The district earned a grade of
According to the ratings released by TEA, 92
percent of HISD schools (250 out of 271 rated campuses) earned a passing grade.
For the first time, all HISD schools received a letter grade under the state’s
new A-F rating system, which was implemented in 2018. Fifty-seven HISD campuses
earned A’s, 78 earned B’s, 86 earned C’s and 29 earned D’s. A minimum
grade of “D” is required for a school to receive a passing rating.
“We are extremely proud of all of our
teachers, principals, school support officers, and area superintendents for
working diligently to help our students succeed,” HISD Interim Superintendent
Grenita Lathan said. “Our students demonstrated significant gains, and we are
committed to empowering them to thrive academically.”
With the end of school year around the corner, preparations for the 2019-20 school year are under way for the Achieve 180 program and will continue with principals and administration conducting planning sessions over the summer.
One of the major events that will assist school leaders is the district’s annual Professional Learning Series (PLS), which is scheduled for June 17-19 at Kingdom Builders’ Center. The event is an opportunity for district leadership and principals to begin drafting their school improvement plans, also known as SIPS.
The Houston Independent School District will host a public meeting next week to explain the annual Texas Academic Performance Report (TAPR).
The annual report, which is required by the Texas Education Agency, includes data on academics, student and staff demographics as well as comparison data from the region and the state. HISD’s research and accountability team helps gather the statistical information needed to complete the report.
The public meeting will be held at 4 p.m. on Thursday, February 14 at Hattie Mae White Education Support Center (4400 West. 18th St., 77092).
Under TEA law, every Texas school district must offer an opportunity to discuss the TAPR results with the local community. The final 2017-18 TAPR report was published on Dec. 21, 2018 and must be shared during a public hearing within 90 days of its release date.
As part of the Achieve 180 program, it takes an all-hands-on deck approach from the district to ensure a campus yields positive results. Whether it’s members from Special Education or Interventions, support is needed from nearly all district-level departments for a school to experience a complete turnaround.
Two roles in particular—Teacher Development Specialists (TDS) and Data Driven Instructional Specialists (DDIS) play a significant role in helping transform student achievement outcomes within the classroom at Achieve 180 campuses.
“it’s important that we have both a TDS and DDIS at each of our Achieve 180 campuses as they build capacity inside and outside the classroom with teachers and campus administrators,” Assistant Superintendent Felicia Adams said. Continue reading →
Under new accountability rating system, the number of schools with “Improvement Required” rating declines to lowest number since 2012
Although the Houston Independent School District received a “Not Rated” label for meeting the state’s criteria to qualify for the Hurricane Harvey waiver, the district was calculated to have earned an overall B rating under Texas’ new school accountability system, the Texas Education Agency (TEA) announced Wednesday.
According to the ratings released today by TEA, 91 percent of HISD schools (251 out of 275 rated campuses) earned a “Met Standard” rating for the 2017-2018 school year.
“I’m elated about the progress we’ve made,” Interim Superintendent Grenita Lathan said. “It shows that the allocation of additional resources for critical staffing, student supports, and wraparound services encompassed by Achieve 180 is working. Though we are excited about the news we’ve received today, we know we still have work to do.” Continue reading →
The Houston Independent School District Board of Education on Monday unanimously approved a $2 billion budget for the 2018-2019 school year.
The budget includes $17 million in increases for special education, dyslexia programs, and Achieve 180, the research-based program that will continue next school year to support underserved and underperforming schools. The budget also includes a performance review by the Texas Legislative Budget Board (LBB).
The board also voted to reduce the proposed performance review allotment from $2.5 million to $1 million, with the difference of $1.5 million being transferred immediately to the general fund reserve for operations. The total cost of the performance review to be conducted by the LBB has not yet been determined. The LBB is expected to begin working on the performance review in fall 2018 so that findings may be used by the board in the decision-making process during the next budget cycle.
As other large school districts in Texas, HISD continues to face looming budget shortfalls in the coming years due to inadequate state funding and increasing recapture payments. HISD has been designated by the state as a property-wealthy school district under the state’s school finance system, despite the fact that almost 80 percent of students are considered low-income.
Recapture requires districts that exceed a certain per-student property wealth level to send local tax dollars to the state. The 2018-19 budget has a $272.5 million recapture payment budgeted.
Houston Independent School District students showed strong gains that exceeded those made by the state in third- through eighth-grade reading and math, and on end-of-course (EOC) assessments in English I and Algebra I, according to preliminary 2018 State of Texas Assessments of Academic Readiness (STAAR) scores.
“This year, our students made significant progress on the state-mandated STAAR tests,” Interim Superintendent Grenita Lathan said. “We are excited about what these preliminary results mean for our schools labeled by the state as Improvement Required and our district’s accountability ratings. HISD is shifting course and turning schools around. We know that it is critical that we continue our commitment to strengthening the supports in place to further advance our progress in student achievement.”
Overall, the spring administration of the 2018 STAAR grades 3-8 assessment results indicate the district held steady or showed increases in the percentage of students meeting the Approaches Grade Level standard in reading, math, science, and social studies. Continue reading →
The Houston Independent School District Board of Education on Thursday voted in favor of requesting a performance review to be conducted by the Texas Legislative Budget Board (LBB).
After considering public input since the May regular board meeting, trustees voted six to three to request a performance review from the LBB and concurrently withdraw their previous approval to procure an external performance audit. The LBB will begin working on the performance review this fall. Its findings will be used by the board in time to make informed decisions during the next budget cycle.
The Board also voted by a five-vote majority against the proposed 2018-19 school year budget. State law requires the budget be approved by June 30. Continue reading →