|Trinity Standard - Local News
Copyright 2011 - Polk County Publishing Company
TISD showing improvement
Trinity Standard -
TRINITY – While more work remains, Trinity schools are showing improvement in both overall student attendance and state test scores, the Trinity School Board was told Monday. During the board meeting, Superintendent Dave Plymale presented his annual “State of the District” report. In his report, Plymale outlined strategies being used to improve student test scores . He noted that the district is working to develop a local curriculum and is continuing to monitor the quality of classroom instruction. One change expected after the first of the year will be the use of Kindle electronic readers is high school English/language arts classes. The use of the hand-held devices is the first by a school in this region and will serve as a pilot project for a more extensive program planned for the future. “Most of all, we are continue to have high expectations for our students,” Plymale told the board. In his report, he noted the overall enrollment for the district is down by 26 students from last year. The current count as of Monday was 1,175, which was down from the 1,201 record one-year earlier. While enrollment was down, he noted attendance rates were up across the board. District-wide, a rate of 96.23 percent had been recorded so far this year, compared to 95.56 during the same period last year. He also noted that the district’s scores on the 2011 Texas Assessment of Knowledge and Skills (TAKS) test also were up district wide from 2010. The reading scores climbed from a 79 percent passing rate in 2010 up to 83 percent in 2011 while the math scores jumped from 55 percent passing to a 72 percent passing. The science passing rate rose from 56 percent to 67 percent and the social studies scores rose from 85 percent in 2010 to 93 percent in 2011. He noted that while the overall scores were up, low scores in some test areas among African-American students fell below state minimums, prompting the state to assign an unacceptable rating to the school system. Plymale those sub-standard scores will be an area the district will target for improvement under the new State of Texas Assessment of Academic Readiness (STAAR) test which replaces TAKS this spring. Looking forward, Plymale noted that in 2012, the district will review its five-year strategic plan; host a career fair at Trinity High School in January; host the area robotics competition; and host an April luncheon to thank local business and community leaders for their support. In other business Monday, the board received a report from Curriculum Director Steve Brownlee regarding local preparations being made for the new STAAR exam. Brownlee noted that the new test will test students knowledge in depth. “The new STAAR test is now about answering a question,” he said. “The STAAR test is about answering a question, about another question, about another question until you finally get to the question they are really asking,” he said. He also noted that with the change in tests, the state also will be changing its school rating system. Gone are the old exemplary, recognized, acceptable and unacceptable ratings. Under STAAR there will be three ratings – advanced, satisfactory and unsatisfactory. During the meeting, the board voted to purchase the Trevor Romain Bullying Program at a cost of $8,700. The pre-kindergarten through eighth grade program is ties in English/language arts classes and is designed to help improve reading skills while presenting students with information about the effects and dangers of bullying. Plymale noted that under a new state law, school districts are required to have an anti-bullying program in place by the 2012-13 school year.