Targeted improvement plans have been implemented by San Marcos CISD for the schools in the district that received the lowest grades from the Texas Education Agency in its accountability ratings.

The improvement plan will apply to Travis Elementary School, which received a letter grade of an F, as well as Goodnight and Miller middle schools, which both received a D. It will also include Bowie, De Zavala, Hernandez and Mendez elementary schools, as these earned D's in one of the three subject domains that make up the TEA ratings, according to SMCISD Deputy Superintendent Monica Ruiz-Mills.

This was the first year that the TEA assigned letter grades to individual campuses in addition to school districts.

The plan has four cycles of 90 days each. During each cycle, teachers will shape the students’ curriculum with three areas of focus: curriculum and assessments aligned to Texas Essential Knowledge and Skills—a state standard of what students should know and be able to do—with a yearlong scope and sequence; objective-driven daily lesson plans with formative assessments; and data-driven instruction.

The areas of focus will help teachers identify areas of misconception in lesson plans. Students will also take assessments at the end of each unit taught, according to Ruiz-Mills.

Additional tools have also been provided for teachers in the district to further their training and better students’ performance. There will be progress submissions throughout the year to TEA from Travis Elementary and Goodnight and Miller middle schools, updating student data based on the success of these cycles, Ruiz-Mills said.

“Teachers are looking at the curriculum; they’re making lesson plans; they’re determining what are the misconceptions of [a] particular lesson—where will students possibly have gaps, how [teachers] will differentiate based on the data received [from] common assessment[s],” Ruiz-Mills said.

The plan was drafted by the district coordinator of school improvement as well as campus leaders at Travis, Goodnight and Miller and presented to TEA. After recommendations from TEA were made, the plan was approved.