NZ schools looking to improve scores

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NORTH ZULCH — North Zulch schools receive the Improvement Required status from the Texas Education Agency, but the district took steps this summer to help bridge the gap.

Superintendent Alan Andrus addressed the issue by saying, “The bad news is that we will be an IR district, but the good news is that we have already prepared and planned to improve student academic achievement.”

Last week, TEA released their official accountability reports, and gave NZISD the IR designation.

State documents, found on the school district’s website, showed that North Zulch schools met or exceed standards in 3 out of 4 indexes.

However, regarding closing performance gaps, is the one area that NZISD fell just short of the required standards.

According to the TEA’s website, this section measures the STARR test pass/fail rates of “all economically disadvantaged students and the two lowest performing racial/ethnic groups.”

Andrus said he ran preliminary test scores this June when he joined the district, and saw that NZISD is lacking in the performance gap index. He decided to take proactive steps to improve the school before the official results were released.

Andrus said he wants to assure all parents that their children are in good hands.

“Our staff has been working extremely hard over the summer through professional development to ensure our students receive a great education,” he said.

This past summer, NZISD had various faculty members attend seminars on ways to improve STARR test scores. The district also ordered software to help students who are having difficulties in a subject. The staff researched different products, and found the most proven computer programs at helping students grasp the material.

Along with those enhancements, teacher’s schedules will now include Professional Learning Community time. PLC is an allotted time for teachers to work with each other to discuss student development. This will help the faculty identify struggling students, and the measures need to correct the problem.

The district also implemented Response To Intervention, which will allow teachers and staff to pull a student from class and provide one-on-one tutoring for those that cannot afford after school educational help.

Andrus said he believes in North Zulch’s staff, faculty and student body, and knows if they all work together they can bring NZISD back into good standing with the TEA.

“We’re aiming to have scores boosted to acceptable levels this school year,” he said.

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