October 21, 2015
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TISD Board of Trustees Approve $1.1 Million Technology Infusion; Review Tax Roll and Hears Student Academic Report for 2014-15 School Year
Texarkana, TX – A $1.1 million technology infusion was the big action of the evening for the Texarkana Independent School District Board of Trustees during their Tuesday, October 20, 2015 regular session. Other topics included Bowie Central Appraisal District Tax Roll and Student Academic Report for the 2014-15 school year.
With unanimous approval, TISD will move forward with a $1.1 million technology infusion which will allow for the purchase of new classroom technology and hand-held technology for students. Additionally, it will be used to replace aging technology across the district. Funds for the infusion will include $500,000 from state instructional materials allotment which allows for the purchases of textbooks and technology; $500,000 from general fund balance and $100,000 from non-payroll savings. With the approval of the technology infusion upgrades, TISD will move forward in accepting bids, ordering equipment and installation. It is anticipated that all upgrades will be in place by January 2016.
In other business, Trustees approved the Bowie Central Appraisal District 2015 Tax Roll for TISD in the amount of $26,268,798 which includes the $1.5 million Interest & Sinking Funds increase of .08Ȼ due to the passing of the November 2014 bond election.
Under report items, Wes Kirkham, Executive Director for Instructional Services shared that TISD received 21 Academic Distinction Designations for the preliminary 2015 Accountability Ratings. Texas High School had six; Nash Elementary, Wake Village Elementary and Morriss Elementary each had four distinctions; Spring Lake Park Elementary had two distinctions and the TISD Virtual Academy received one distinction.
In the area of college readiness, TISD continues to see gains in the number of students taking the Scholastic Aptitude Test (SAT). According to Kirkham, “the SAT district average score of 1041 exceeded the state average (946) by 95 points.” American College Test (ACT) continues to be the test of choice for TISD students, and the district average score remains on par with the state average of 20.5. Since the start of the College & Career Readiness Department at Texas High School in 2005, there has been a 49% increase in the number of students taking the ACT test.
TISD’s Advanced Placement (AP) Program offers 22 courses for a minimum of 66 college semester hours of credit. Since 2005, student enrollment in the AP program has increased by 105% with a 280% increase in students scoring “3” or higher. For the 2014-15 school year, 213 students scored “3” or higher and 32 had a score of “5.” Also, since 2005, TISD has had 212 Advanced Placement Scholars with 49 being named during the 2014-15 school year.
The AP Program allows high school students the opportunity to enroll in college semester hours of credit while in high school. Enrollment in the Advanced Placement Program provides an academic background that will better prepare students for college and the award of college credit hours during the high school years.
For Dual Credit (DC), TISD offers 65 high school courses in collaboration with Texarkana College, Texas A&M University - Texarkana and Southern Arkansas University. These courses provide the opportunity for 195 academic college semester hours of credit. All academic courses required to earn an Associate Degree are taught on the Texas High School campus. The DC program consists of 1060 course enrollments, an increase of 962 course enrollments from 2005.
The Dual Credit program allows students the opportunity to enroll in college-level courses and to earn high school as well as college credit for the completed coursework. The program provides a continuum of learning from high school to college for those students who choose to pursue a post-secondary degree or certificate after high school graduation. This continuum increases opportunities for students to progress through their programs of study at an accelerated pace. The advanced curriculum provides a background for students that will sharpen their academic preparedness for college. At the same time, the program expands the options available for college-bound students.
The final aspect of the Student Academic Report focused on the three state graduation programs that Texas students may choose from. For the Texas High School 2015 graduating class, 35%, or a total of 153 students, attained the Distinguished Achievement Program level. This ranking is the highest diploma a student can earn in Texas. It requires advanced school work that reflects college or professional-level skills and a combination of four advanced measures – “3” or above on an Advanced Placement (AP) exam, Research Project, Commended Scholar or higher on Preliminary Scholastic Assessment Test (PSAT) and 3.0 or higher grade for college credit courses.
Graduates achieving the Recommended Program level equated to 47%, or 205 students. This level of diploma is for those students who earn 26 course credits, including four credits each of Math, Science, Social Studies and English Language Arts. Recommended Program level graduates must not only pass their classes but also complete passing standards for the Exit Level state assessments.
Texas High School had 82%, or a total of 358 students, named Texas Scholars. This achievement level must be a graduate who has completed the Distinguished Achievement Program or the Recommended High School Program and who has completed at least two college credit courses while in high school.