October 19, 2016
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TISD Board of Trustees Hear State Financial Report Approve Tax Roll and are Updated on Student Academic Performance
Texarkana, TX – For their October 18, 2016 regular session, Texarkana Independent School District Board of Trustees were updated on the district’s financial accountability, student academic performance and approved the tax roll for 2016.
For the 14th consecutive year, TISD has achieved the highest possible rating on the Texas Education Agency Schools FIRST (Financial Integrity Rating System of Texas). The “Superior” rating was based on the 2014-15 fiscal year and contained 15 indicators that were scored.
Schools FIRST is a financial accountability system for Texas school districts developed by the TEA in response to Senate Bill 875 of the 76th legislature in 1999. The primary goal of Schools FIRST is to achieve quality performance in the management of schools districts’ financial resources.
Members approved the final 2016 Tax Roll from the Bowie Central Appraisal District which TISD taxes will be based off of for the 2016-17 school year. This year’s total taxable value of $1.9 billion is on par with last year’s amount.
Final report of the evening was presented by Wes Kirkham, Executive Director for Instructional Services. Kirkham shared with Trustees that there are currently 22 state assessments in Math, Reading, Writing, Science and Social Studies. “Given this many assessments, TISD is leading teachers through a thorough analysis of the state-released assessments and using student performance data to make instructional decisions and to create action plans.”
TISD received 19 Distinction Designations based on the Preliminary 2016 Accountability Ratings. Morriss Elementary received six; Texas High School had five; Nash Elementary came in with three; Wake Village Elementary and Spring Lake Park Elementary received two; and Highland Park Elementary earned one.
Distinction Designations areas of excellence received include: Academic Achievement, Top 25% Student Progress, Top 25% Closing Performance Gaps and Postsecondary Readiness.
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 1080 exceeds the state average (944) by 136 points.” American College Test (ACT) continues to be the test of choice for TISD students, and the district average score (21.0) is slightly above the state average of 20.6.
TISD’s Advanced Placement (AP) Program offers 25 courses for a minimum of 60 college semester hours of credit. Additionally, there are 32 Pre-AP preparation courses offered for Texas Middle and Texas High School students. Student course enrollment in the AP program is at 967 which is an increase of 340 course enrollments since 2010. Sixty-one percent of students are scoring at “3” or higher while students scoring “5” increased by 47% over last year. Sixty-four students were named Advanced Placement scholars (31% increase over 2015) and two students earned AP National Scholar recognition.
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 their high school years.
For Dual Credit (DC), TISD offers 80 high school courses in collaboration with Texarkana College, Texas A&M University and Southern Arkansas University. These courses provide the opportunity for 240 academic college semester hours of credit. All but one academic course required to earn an Associate Degree is taught on the Texas High School campus. Currently, two senior students are on track to receive their High School Diploma and Associate Degree in May 2017. The DC program consists of 1,066 course enrollments, an increase of 412 course enrollments from 2011.
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 scholarships awarded and the three state graduation programs that Texas students may choose from.
The Texas High School 2016 graduating class received a total of $17,424,331 in scholarship offers which was up by 5% from 2015. Twenty-six percent of graduates 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 54%. 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.