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Trinity Standard - Local News
Stories Added - June 2009
Copyright 2008 - Polk County Publishing Company

TIS now in line for ‘recognized’ rating
Trinity Standard - June 2009

TRINITY – Based on preliminary test results released Monday night, Trinity Intermediate School (TIS) is now expected to earn a “recognized” campus rating for its achievements on state mandated tests.
In addition, Lansberry Elementary School (LES) narrowly missed earning the recognized rating but, along with both Trinity High School (THS) and Trinity Middle School (TMS), is now expected to earn the “academically acceptable” status from the Texas Education Agency.
The Trinity Independent School District (TISD) as a whole also is expected to receive an academically acceptable rating.
Dr. Rowan Ljungdahl, TISD’s director of special programs, presented the preliminary results of the Texas Assessment of Knowledge and Skills (TAKS) tests to the board Monday night.
Under the state’s accountability system, each campus and district across Texas must meet certain minimum standards on the TAKS test. Those that fall below the minimum are rated as “academically unacceptable” and are required to immediately address the low scores or face penalties from the state.
In addition, schools whose students excel on the TAKS tests can earn higher ratings of “recognized” or “exemplary.”
Although all tests are not given at each grade level, the minimum passing rates for the various subjects tested by TAKS are 70 percent in reading/English language arts, writing and social studies; 55 percent in math; and 50 percent in science.
These minimum standards have been gradually increased each year and the math and science minimums are expected to be increased next year.
“Our projections are based on preliminary numbers,” Superintendent Dr. Bobby Rice told the school board Monday night. “We won’t get the official results until later this summer, but unless we’ve made a serious error in our calculations, these are the results we should receive.”
Rice explained the preliminary figures were based on individual test results provided by the state and then compiled by local personnel.
“Believe me when I say we have been checking and re-checking our numbers to avoid making an error,” he added.
Ljungdahl told the board that in order to qualify for the recognized rating, the TIS campus earned at least a 75 percent passing rate on all of the TAKS exams. She noted that 88 percent of the fifth and sixth graders passed the reading exam; 77 percent passed the math test and 79 passed the writing section.
The recognized rating now expected for TIS is the first rating the campus has ever earned. TIS was created by the school district last summer, taking the fifth grade from Lansberry and the sixth grade from the middle school.
TIS Principal Vanessa Franklin expressed her pride in the students and campus faculty for their hard work during the past year and for their academic achievements that allowed them to earn the recognized status.
To earn an exemplary rating, a 90 percent passing rate on all tests is required.
The campus with the lowest scores on the recent TAKS was TMS, where overall science scores as well as science scores among the economically disadvantaged sub-group actually fell below state minimums.
The overall passing rate among the seventh and eighth graders was only 47 percent on the science test. The overall passing rate in the economically disadvantaged sub-group was 45 percent.
While both were below the state minimum of 50 percent, Ljungdahl  told the board the campus had earned two “exemptions” that could be used to offset those two scores. She noted that the exemptions could only be used in cases where low scores were within five points of the minimum and in this case, both qualified.

Playground equipment
In other business, the school board accepted a proposal from Playgrounds Today of Goodrich to purchase for new playground equipment for both the elementary and intermediate school campuses.
The cost of $101,899.98 also will include repairs to existing equipment at the elementary. At present, there is no equipment at TIS.
Included in the purchase are “big units” for both campuses, new swing sets for both campuses, two sandboxes at the elementary and a climbing wall for the elementary.
Rice said he was recommending Playgrounds Today’s proposal even through it was about $2,000 higher than a proposal submitted by Recreational Sales of Keller.
“We’ve worked with Playgrounds Today before and having them close by should allow them to handle any warranty problems that may come up,” he said.
Although members of the board expressed some concern for the cost of the equipment, they agreed that the young children needed it.

Other business
During the meeting, the school board also:
• Agreed to install lights at the THS softball field using state bids submitted through the Texas Buyboard. Rice said the turnkey cost would be between $70,000 and $80,000.
• Received a Career and Technology Education report from TallyJo Stout outlining plans for the coming school years. One program discussed Monday night was a “Ready, Set, Teach” effort designed to allow high school students to become certified teachers’ aides by having them work in elementary school classrooms.
Board member Steve Tyler said he hopes the program also will help inspire the high school students to go onto college to become teachers. “…and hopefully we can recruit them to work for us when they’re done,” he added.
• Received a report from Athletic Director Chuck Langston concerning the upcoming school year and the summer off-season training. Langston told the board that no longer would athletic talent alone be used to determine if a player makes a team or not.
“Some of the best players I’ve had were not necessary the most talented, but they gave 100 percent and worked hard. That is what we’re looking for here,” he said.
Langston, who was hired earlier this year, said players will have to be trustworthy, put forth an effort, be enthusiastic, know their assignments and maintain a positive attitude.
He also outlined is discipline program that he and other coaches will be enforcing to ensure student athletes maintain their focus on both academics and athletics.
“We’ve been picked by Texas Football (Magazine) to finish last,” he told the school board. “I’ve never finished last in my life and I don’t intend to start now.”
• Received a report from Special Education Director Terry Marino.
• Renewed the student athletic insurance policy with Brazos Valley Insurance through the 2012-13 school year. The policy covers athletes, cheerleaders, dance team members and band members.
• Awarded bids for bread, milk, juice and groceries for the coming school year.
• Agreed to seek proposals for repair work to the Alternative Education Program (AEP) building which was damaged by fire earlier this year.





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