What you missed from this week’s Fort Bend ISD meeting

Fort Bend ISD held its monthly board of trustees agenda workshop at Thurgood Marshall High School in Missouri City Monday, as part of the district’s listening tour. The workshop also included updates on FBISD’s accountability rating and efforts to improve district schools that failed to meet State of Texas Assessments of Academic Readiness standards.

Trustees and district staff led round table discussions about topics including curriculum and college readiness, fine arts and extra curricular activities, technology, school finance and business, special education, athletics, school boundaries and facilities.

Board President Kristin Tassin said the district would provide answers to commonly asked questions online and via the district’s Skyward system.

Accountability update

As a district, FBISD met the standard for student achievement, student progress, closing achievement gaps and postsecondary readiness for the 2015-16 school year, Director of Accountability Megan Evans said.

Eighty-two percent of all students were considered satisfactory in all STAAR test subjects for the 2015-16 academic year, while 66 percent of all students met or exceeded progress levels for math and reading tests, Evans said. Regarding student achievement, Evans said the district would try to improve upon the 75 percent of students who were satisfactory in writing.

“That’s certainly something we are addressing at the district level, planning for that, looking at a possible curriculum rewrite” she said.

Improving Briargate and Ridgemont elementary schools                   

Because of their Improvement Required ratings by the state for the 2015-16 school year, Briargate and Ridgemont elementary schools are required to create Texas Accountability Intervention System plans.

FBISD Chief Academic Officer Phillys Hill said the plans are designed to address the root cause of each school’s low performance: a lack of rigorous Tier 1 instruction methods and teach capacity to meet students’ needs.

Hill said that although the state’s target pass rate for all test subjects is 60 percent, FBISD set some of the achievement goals for the 2016-17 academic year below 60 percent passing.

“We don’t want to promise more than we think we can realistically deliver to [the Texas Education Agency],” Hill said.

Briargate ES and Ridgemont ES are also implementing a restructured classroom system this school year called Educators Dedicated to Growing Excellence, or EDGE. Hill said the restructuring caused by the EDGE program made it difficult to create realistic achievement goals for the year.

“We have restaffed these schools, we have new leaders, we have new instructional models, we have new interventions,” she said. “And it’s difficult to say when we talk about [specific, measurable, attainable, realistic and time-driven] goals what is attainable, what is realistic.”