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State Gives "Pats on the Back" to 16 WFISD Schools

State Gives “Pats on the Back” to 16 WFISD Schools

Jefferson, Hirschi and Rider lead district in earning 32 academic distinctions


The Texas Education Agency keeps tabs on the progress of Texas schools by rating them “Met Standard” or “Improvement Required.”


Beyond that, the state agency bestows special state “distinctions” – or kudos – to schools that clear certain academic or achievement hurdles. In this case, they have performed favorably compared to a group of 40 campuses of similar type, size and student demographics throughout the state.


TEA released its most recent congratulatory distinctions in September as part of the state’s accountability program.


This year, Jefferson Elementary, Hirschi High School and Rider High School earned the most accolades of the district’s 22 schools. In all, the district’s schools earned a total of 32 academic distinctions


Highest performer: Jefferson

Jefferson took five of six possible distinctions.


Both Hirschi and Rider took five out of a possible seven distinctions.


Some schools earned three distinctions (Wichita Falls High School), two distinctions (McNiel Middle School, Cunningham Elementary, Fain Elementary) or one distinction (Barwise Middle, Crockett Elementary, Fowler Elementary, Franklin Elementary, Haynes Northwest Academy, West Foundation Elementary, Southern Hills Elementary, Zundy Elementary).


Top-performing Jefferson philosophy

Jefferson Principal Peter Braveboy and his team decided that if they could help every student experience academic growth, “everything else would be taken care of,” he said.


“Our main focus was growth,” he said. “We looked at those who were very close to passing and determined how to get them to passing; we looked at those who were close to the advanced level and decided how to get them to advanced. I asked teachers to take a look at every student.”


They looked at the strengths and weaknesses of every child’s academic performance. “So we could say at the end of the year, if nothing at all, even if we didn’t get them to where we wanted them to be, at least they showed some form of growth,” said Mr. Braveboy. “We saw increased percentages of students getting into the advanced level because of that. Growth was our word for the year and should be at the forefront of our minds every year.”


The specific indicators

The state applauds excellence by pinpointing achievement in several areas: English language arts/reading, math, science, social studies, achieving Top 25 percent of year-to-year student progress by subject and student group, achieving Top 25 percent in closing performance gaps among poor students and the lowest performing student groups, and showcasing post-secondary readiness.


Standardized test scores are the foundation on which such accolades rest.