November 15, 2017

Todd Marshall
Director of Communications,
Marketing and Development
903.794.3651 ext. 1013

TISD Board of Trustees Review Grant Presentations, Approve High School Course Guide and Hear Audit, Professional Development, Student Academic Performance and Community Based Assessment Reports

Texarkana, TX – Texarkana Independent School District Board of Trustees had a full agenda during their November 14, 2017 regular meeting. Highlights included grant presentations, audit report, Texas High School Course Guide for 2018-19, professional development programming update, student academic performance report and Community Based Assessment report.

Representatives from the Junior League of Texarkana kicked off the meeting with Teacher Take Wing grant presentations to campus teachers totaling $7,048.

The annual grants program awards area teachers for innovative in-class projects that might not otherwise be funded. Applications are accepted, reviewed, scored and ranked by a League committee and the grants are awarded to the highest scores.

This year’s TISD teacher recipients are: Nicole Ayers (Texas High School); Rene Callison (Waggoner Creek Elementary); Brandi Childs (Spring Lake Park Elementary); Michael Friesen/Shannon Bishop (Texas Middle School); Michael Ghere-Folse (Texas High School); Kay Hamilton (Dunbar Early Education Center); April McCright (Nash Elementary); Courtney Morton (Waggoner Creek Elementary); Patti O’Bannon (Nash Elementary); Jenny Pinnell (Nash Elementary); Jacquelyn Shelton (Nash Elementary); Margrette Spiropoulos (Texas Middle School); Paula Stansbury/Sandra Townley (Theron Jones Early Literacy Center); Alisha Taylor (Nash Elementary); Michelle Turner (Highland Park Elementary); Nathan Upchurch (Texas High School); Jenny Walker (Texas High School); Maygan Wall (Westlawn Elementary).

In other business, Auditors from the firm of Thomas & Thomas, LLP gave a clean opinion with no findings on the District’s accounting procedures and determined that the District continues to maintain sound financial practices.

For the 2016-17 fiscal year, TISD ended with a fund balance of $16.2 million, an increase of $337,526 over the previous year. The fund balance at the end of 2016-17 was 28% of expenditures.

Trustees also approved the Texas High School Program of Studies and Course Description Guide for 2018-19. New courses include: Computer Science III Pre-AP, AP Physics C – Mechanics, Electricity and Magnetism, Physics I DC and Practicum in Agriculture, Food & Natural Resources.

The two additional classes will be AP Seminar and AP Research which students can take starting in 11th grade. Texas High School is now one of 135 schools in Texas offering the AP Capstone program. This program equips students with the independent research, collaborative teamwork and communication skills that are increasingly valued by colleges. Students who earn scores of 3 or higher in AP Seminar and AP Research and on four additional AP Exams of their choosing receive the AP Capstone Diploma.

For Texas High School, the addition of the new courses for 2018-19 will give them a comprehensive academic curriculum that includes 511 courses of which 29 are Advanced Placements courses and 84 Dual Credit Courses. Also available are 21 certifications in career and technology courses.

An update on Professional Development (PD) opportunities shows that TISD successfully offered a back-to-school conference style Professional Development program in August with 761 attendees, 295 individual sessions and 101 presenters. Throughout the school year, PD programs focused on a balanced literacy framework are being offered along with after school learning opportunities in technology, bilingual/ESL, math, science, literacy and special education.

The Student Academic Performance Report for 2016-17 showed all campuses received the “Met Standard” rating from Texas Education Agency and earned a total 20 Distinction Designations in Academic Achievement in ELA/Reading, Mathematics, Science and Social Studies as well as the distinctions for Top 25% Student Progress, Top 25% Closing Achievement Gaps and Postsecondary Readiness.

TISD continues to see gains in the number of students taking the Scholastic Aptitude Test (SAT). The district average score of 1064 exceeds the state average (1019) by 45 points. For the American College Test (ACT), TISD student average is 20.8 slightly up from the state average of 20.7.

The Advanced Placement (AP) Program at Texas High School currently offers 26 courses for the opportunity of 78 college semester hours of credit. Additionally, there are 32 Pre-AP preparation courses offered for Texas Middle and Texas High School students. AP student enrollment is at 907 which is an increase of 280 course enrollments since 2010. Sixty percent of students are scoring at 3 or higher. For the 2016-17 school year, 30 students scored the highest possible of 5, 67 students were named AP Scholars and two students earned the designation of AP National Scholar.

In Dual Credit (DC) programming, TISD currently offers 83 high school courses in collaboration with Texarkana College, Texas A&M University and Southern Arkansas University. All but one academic course required to earn an Associate Degree is offered and taught on the Texas High School campus. Currently, three senior students are on track to receive their High School Diploma and Associate Degree in May 2018. The DC program consists of 1,229 course enrollments, an increase of 575 course enrollments from 2011.

The final section for the Student Academic Report focused on scholarships awarded and the three state graduation programs that Texas students may choose from.

The Texas High School 2017 graduating class received a total of $17,676,333 in scholarships. Twenty-four 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 57%. 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.

In the final report, Superintendent Paul Norton presented the district Community Based Assessment report.

During the Spring of 2017, TISD launched a survey for parents, employees, students and community members to address teaching & learning, student opportunities, school culture & climate and facilities & operations. The purpose was to ensure the school district was setting priorities which aligned with stakeholder’s priorities. Data collected is being used by district leadership for future decision making and strategic planning.

The completed Community Based Assessment program is available for viewing at

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