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Kirby Middle School Turnaround Plan OK'd for Launch

Kirby Middle School Turnaround Plan OK’d for Launch

Plan will guide middle school through 2020



Just as it takes a village to raise a child, it takes a community to build a school turnaround plan.


Director of Secondary Curriculum Debbie Dipprey listed the many contributors – teachers, administrators, parents, local and state leaders – whose wisdom she and others incorporated into the Kirby Middle School Turnaround Plan.


She, along with Kirby Principal Troy Farris, introduced the plan to board members in a 5:30 p.m. public hearing Tuesday Jan. 16 in the Education Center board room. The hearing was followed by the January board meeting, where board members approved the plan in a 6-0 vote, at 6 p.m.


The plan continues on to the desk of the Commissioner of Education for approval, and then WFISD is bound to the plan for two years, said Mrs. Dipprey.


The ultimate goal of the plan is for every Kirby student to achieve at the highest level. To do that, the plan includes instructions to help feed all critical success factors, such as a coherent curriculum, strong leadership, high teacher quality, and an effective school climate and culture.


Kirby Principal Dr. Troy Farris told board members that the plan sought to establish a global learning environment and relied heavily on the Marzano High Reliability framework to “get us where we need to go,” he said.


The Marzano High Reliability strategy is already heavily used throughout WFISD schools.


This plan will be effective, he believes, because it includes in-depth training, support and professional development for teachers, is research-based in its strategies, supplements the well-liked Capturing Kids Hearts program already adopted at the school, and monitors effective teaching and safety in every classroom.


Components of the plan include High Reliability Leadership Training, Art of Science and Teaching (ASOT) training, and a refresher course in the Capturing Kids Hearts program. It will also identify lagging and leading indicators from surveys, and use the collected survey data to develop and implement action plans. It also includes regular classroom walk-throughs to monitor teacher progress.


The Art and Science of Teaching training will feature the program’s trademark three-lesson segments, its nine design questions and 41 specific strategies.


Dr. Farris said the plan will be “good for kids.”


“What will you do to make sure it’s grabbing hold?” asked board member Bob Payton.


“Constant monitoring on my part,” said Dr. Farris.  Classroom visits will be both planned and spontaneous, he said.


Associate Superintendent Peter Griffiths said many elements of this plan were the same ones that lifted Burgess Elementary out of its Improvement Required status. The same strategies were also the ones used at Booker T. Washington Elementary to create their dramatic improvement during their second year of Improvement Required status. “We expect to see growth,” he said.


Honoring Student Athletes


The Board of Trustees honored eight Wichita Falls High School student athletes who earned Academic All-state honors for volleyball from the Texas Girls Coaches Association and The High School Coaches Association. The two organizations require a 94 average and 92 average, respectively, for all four years of high school academic work. The THSCA honored the students with one of four ranks: Elite, 1st Team, 2nd Team, and Honorable Mention.


The achieving students are:

  • Anissa Briones – Honorable Mention
  • Courtney Brown – Honorable Mention
  • Jasmine Davis – Elite
  • Ashland Hansen – 1st Team
  • Tagan Hansen – 2nd Team
  • Kori Hopkins – Honorable Mention
  • Grace Laukhuf – 2nd Team
  • Marivian Torres – Honorable Mention


Board Members Honored


January is School Board Recognition Month, a time to build awareness of the crucial role an elected board of trustees plays in the WFISD community and elsewhere.


WFISD honored its seven board members with a 5 p.m. reception Tuesday held prior to the public hearing and board meeting. Each board member received a basket of gifts and certificate of thanks as a thank-you for their volunteer service.


WFISD board members are:

  • President Dale Harvey
  • Vice President Bill Franklin
  • Secretary Elizabeth Yeager
  • Tom Bursey
  • Adam Groves
  • Bob Payton
  • Mike Rucker


Audited Financial Report approved


In a 6-0 vote, board members approved the Audited Financial Report for Fiscal Year Ended August 31, 2017.


Section 44.008 of the Texas Education Code requires school districts to have an annual, independent audit performed by a CPA firm. This year’s copy of the Annual Financial Report was prepared by Weaver and Tidwell, L.L.P. The District received an unmodified opinion from the auditors.


“We spend a considerable time with it,” said board member Bob Payton. “We feel good about it.”


Consent Agenda

In a 6-0 vote, board members approved the Consent Agenda, which included:

  • Financial reports as of Oct. 31, 2017
  • Financial reports as of Nov. 30, 2017
  • District Improvement Plan and Performance Objectives Update
  • WFISD-Initiated Localized Update FDB(LOCAL)
  • Minutes
  • Incentive Pay for Early Retirement/Resignation Notice