DATA: Round Rock ISD annual report highlights increasing student diversity, low dropout rates

pencils and pens resting on a stack of spiral notebooks fotolia stock image
Among the findings: State of Texas Assessments of Academic Readiness, or STAAR, test scores that outpace the region and the state. (Courtesy Fotolia)

Among the findings: State of Texas Assessments of Academic Readiness, or STAAR, test scores that outpace the region and the state. (Courtesy Fotolia)

Round Rock ISD staff presented an annual report to the board of trustees Jan. 16. Among the findings: an increase in students who qualify as economically disadvantaged, more than one in 10 students who are English Language Learners and State of Texas Assessments of Academic Readiness, or STAAR, test scores that outpace the region and the state.

Data within the annual report is compiled from a number of sources, including the Texas Academic Performance Report, PEIMS Financial Standard Reports, District Accreditation Status, Campus Performance Objectives, among other sources, said Cathy Malerba, RRISD executive director of assessment and evaluation.

Student demographics

Data presented Jan. 16 indicates an increasingly diverse district, with no one racial or ethnic majority. White students comprise the largest racial or ethnic group at 38.2%, followed by 30.7% Hispanic students and 17.7% Asian students.

“No single race or ethnic group comprises a majority,” Malerba said.

More than one in four RRISD students qualified as economically disadvantaged in 2019. This represents “a slight uptick” from 2018, Malerba said. In 2019, more than one in 10 RRISD students were English Language Learners, according to the presentation. RRISD students exceeded state and regional scores on the STAAR test.


RRISD averaged a 95.9% student attendance rate in 2017-18, on par with the statewide 95.4% attendance rate that year. The data is the most recently available, as state attendance data lags a year, Malerba said.

“We’re not funded by enrollment,” trustee Cory Vessa said. “We’re funded by attendance. [...] It is so important for our students to be in school and to [achieve] maximum attendance. It really has a huge impact on our ability to provide resources.”

RRISD Chief Financial Officer Kenneth Adix said the district receives approximately $46 per day per student. Increasing attendance by 1% would yield around $3.8 million, he said.

A point of pride for the district, Malerba said, is its 0.4% dropout rate. This rate is lower than the state average of 1.9% and the regional 1.3% dropout rate.

“Our dropout rate is incredibly low compared to the district and the state,” Malerba said. “That’s really something to be proud of.”

College and career readiness

RRISD outpaces the region and the state on measures that indicate a graduate is ready for college, a career and/or the military.

Staff experience, retention

Compared to 2019 statewide averages for teachers of 11.1 years of experience, RRISD teachers had nearly the same average years of experience, at 11.3 years. According to the presentation, RRISD principals averaged about a year more of experience than the state average, with 7.4 years and 6.3 years, respectively.

The district also maintains a lower teacher turnover rate, at 14.3%, than the statewide average, at 16.5%, per the presentation.

By the end of January, the full annual report will be available on the district’s website, Malerba said.
By Taylor Jackson Buchanan
Taylor Buchanan joined Community Impact Newspaper in 2018 after completing a master of journalism degree from the University of Texas. She worked as the senior reporter for Community Impact's Southwest Austin edition and is now the editor for the company's flagship Round Rock/Pflugerville/Hutto edition.


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