The Richardson ISD board of trustees is pushing to provide more summer instruction for students who need to take end-of-course exams, according to a Sept. 15 board of trustees meeting.

According to district officials, Texas law requires each school district to provide accelerated instruction for a student who fails to “reach satisfactory standards” on an end-of-course assessment. These end-of-course exams include the annual State of Texas Assessments of Academic Readiness, which test knowledge in individual grade levels. District officials said 1,133 students participated in the summer school program in 2022.

As part of the Texas Education Code, the district is required to perform an evaluation aimed to investigate the effectiveness of the end-of-course summer school program. According to RISD officials, the evaluation showed 2022 end-of-course summer school attendees as a whole gained higher scores during their summer exams compared to when it was taken during the spring.

In addition, data collected by the district showed an increase in passing rates for students who participated in these summer school classes across all STAAR end-of-course exams except English II. English I students who attended summer school had a 15% pass rate in the summer STAAR compared to a 10% pass rate for those who did not attend. The report stated 44% of Algebra I students and 51% of Biology students who attended summer school passed their summer STAAR compared to 23% and 45% who did not attend, respectively.

Superintendent Tabitha Branum said end-of-course summer school had a positive effect on participating students’ learning and helped students close the academic gap in their own STAAR performance. She said district officials are hoping to increase student participation rates for this program as several students did not attend end-of-course summer school but showed up to test.