Lake Travis ISD works to further reduce district dropout rate via state funding

Lake Travis ISD approved funding allocated through state legislation for supplemental education programs during an Aug. 21 meeting.

Lake Travis ISD approved funding allocated through state legislation for supplemental education programs during an Aug. 21 meeting.

Student success is crucial at Lake Travis ISD, and proof of that lies in the district’s annual dropout rate, which stands at less than 1% according to Elizabeth Deterra, head of LTISD’s learning and teaching department.

Despite a dropout rate of 0.5% for the 2018-19 school year, according to the Texas Education Agency, LTISD is continuing to provide resources for students at risk of dropping out.

During an Aug. 21 meeting, the district board of trustees unanimously approved a $250,830 budget to further reduce dropout rates.

The funding is required for specific uses by House Bill 5, approved during the 83rd Texas Legislative session in June 2013, according to the TEA.

“We use and will continue to use state compensatory funds to help support our kids,” Deterra said, “whether that’s accelerated instruction or intervention for kids that are struggling.”

LTISD has a four-year graduation rate of 94.9%, which is higher than the state average of 90%, according to the TEA.

According to the district, HB 5 helps students at risk of dropping out of school by providing additional education programs for those who score low on end-of-course exams.

Supplemental resources could include summer school, student success initiative accelerated instruction, end-of-course assessment reviews, additional educational resources and extra busing for students who require instruction after school, according to Johnny W. Hill, assistant superintendent for business, financial and auxiliary services.

“This program is going to help students,” Hill said.

Deterra said end-of-course exams aid the district in identifying those students who may require additional instruction, and LTISD is focused on being proactive in reducing dropout rates by preventing students from struggling in the first place.

If LTISD notices a student struggling with learning material, teachers may adjust their teaching styles and work to fill the gaps, she said.

“We try to know our learners and what they’re coming to the table with each year so that we can be preventative rather than reactionary,” Deterra said, adding LTISD uses informative assessments to identify students at risk of struggling.
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