Keller ISD trustees approved a continued targeted improvement plan at their Oct. 25 meeting to address student academic growth after two elementary schools were found in need of improvement by the Texas Education Agency in spring 2019.

North Riverside and Parkview elementary schools each received an overall rating of D from the state that year.

The agency's rating is determined by three factors: Student Achievement, which looks at how much students know and can do in tested subjects; School Progress, which measures how much better students are doing compared to peers in similar schools or compared to the previous year; and Closing the Gaps, which measures how well students of different races, income levels and special education statuses are performing.

Both campuses were rated F for their academic growth, which is part of the School Progress score. Parkview Elementary received a rating of F for its closing the gaps score.

The District Improvement Plan was introduced two years ago when Keller ISD received its rating from TEA, according to Jennifer Price, executive director of curriculum and instruction. The improvement plan is revised every year, Price said.

“The state has not given us new ratings since 2019, so we have to keep having the hearing until the campuses can get ... a better letter grade,” she said.

The plan focuses on four main strategic goals: increasing student achievement in reading and math; fostering excellence in student, parent and community relationships; fostering excellence in the district’s processes and systems; and fostering employee excellence and organizational improvement.

As a result of the pandemic and remote learning, Price told the board it is hard to quantify how far behind students are.

“Our focus is early literacy and math,” Price said. “When we looked at our state results from the spring, that’s where we saw and are seeing [the falling behind]. When you think about a second-grader, they’ve not had a normal year. ... We’re seeing data like that that we haven’t seen before.”

According to the TEA, 8.5% of campuses received a D rating in 2019. Overall for the district, KISD scored a B in spring 2019.

Since state assessments were canceled in 2020 and no accountability letter grades were issued in spring 2020 or spring 2021, the scores from spring 2019 are being used for planning purposes. Plans for improvements will be submitted to the Campus Educational Improvement Committee at each school.

“You’re trying to catch up, and you can go too fast. I recognize it’s not necessarily a plan to make sure we’re all back to top-level immediately,” trustee Chris Rood said. “There are a lot of pieces that get missed if you rush through that.”