LancasterIndependent School District

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School Board of Trustees Meeting - Thursday, Nov. 30th @ 7pm - Administration Building located at 422 S. Centre Ave Lancaster, TX

Lancaster ISD Receives State’s Highest Accountability Rating, Campuses Earn 37 Academic Distinctions from the Texas Education Agency

Lancaster, TX/Lancaster ISD
 
The Lancaster Independent School District recently received the 2017 STAAR scores from the Texas Education Agency (TEA). Based on the results, the school district and all schools received the state’s highest accountability rating of “Met Standard.”

“I am extremely proud of the collective work of the students and our team. The distinctions awarded by TEA provides us with credible evidence that setting high expectations is worth the effort,” Superintendent Dr. Mike McFarland said. “In addition, the recognition provides affirmation for the work that we have done in the past, and provides motivation for this work to continue. Our aspiration is to prove that students can learn at high levels, regardless of demographic factors, when the adults commit to taking intentional actions to ensure excellence for every student in every school.”       

The 2017 accountability scores were calculated from tests students took in December, March and May of the 2016-2017 school year. The district received a record 37 TEA Academic Distinctions—more than any school district or charter school in the Best Southwest area. Every Lancaster ISD school received an academic distinction with 90% of the campuses receiving two or more distinctions. Three of the campuses received six distinctions—the maximum number available—which indicates that the campuses are among the top comparable schools in closing achievement gaps, college readiness and advanced performance. This is the fourth year in a row that the district’s campuses have all met standard.

“The bar in Lancaster ISD has been raised and the students have risen to the new challenges of excellence,” Dr. McFarland said.

During the last few years, more than 50 school districts from across the state and country have visited Lancaster ISD to learn about its innovative practices.

“With the recent release of the current results, I anticipate more educators coming to Lancaster ISD to find out more about the excellent systems, exceptional programs and effective practices that have been critical to our transformation,” Dr. McFarland said. “Lancaster ISD is now seen as a premiere district that is one of the best at educating the students we serve.”

The superintendent credits the district’s focus on continuous improvement as being the driving factor for its recent success.

“We have an intensive campus performance monitoring system that helps us to identify areas of opportunity, measure growth in real time, and apply rapid and responsive interventions when needed,” Dr. McFarland said.

“We recognize that the responsiveness of our system is the most important element. Our systems are agile and adapt to the needs of the students and families we serve. I believe that because of this, we are able to meet the all of the diverse needs of our students in an efficient and effective manner.”

Rolling Hills Elementary Principal Rolanda McKenzie, whose campus received six academic distinctions, echoed similar sentiments.

“The distinctions were evidence of the effectiveness of the systems that have been in place for the past three years, which were constantly being refined to address the academic needs of our students and the instructional best practices of the staff,” she said. “After we celebrate these accomplishments, we will ensure that we will continue to refine our systems and implementation, creating a blueprint for long-term success not only in the areas where we have been successful, but in those areas deemed to be pertinent to 21st Century skills.”

 

Pleasant Run Elementary Assistant Principal Angela Robinson, who worked at West Main Elementary, said that focusing on each student as an individual made the difference.

“Our theme for the year was ‘Everyone Counts’—and it was truly our goal to give every student and teacher what he or she needed to be successful,” she said. “We used diagnostics to determine the deficits for every student.  After determining every student’s deficits, we created a campus-wide Tiger Camp for students that targeted their areas of opportunity.  We proceeded to place students in groups based on need.  It was awesome to see the different age levels in specified groups.  It did not matter the age, it was about the skill a student needed. So if a student needed assistance with diagraphs, diphthongs, place value, or counting a collection of coins, he or she was sent to a teacher who taught that skill.”

 

While the focus on academic excellence remained intense, the campus leaders were aware that all work and no play could have counter effects.

 

“We also planned rewards for our students for a job well done through All-STAAR parties on Fridays as an extra tool for motivation,” Robinson said. “And since we understand the important of attendance, we had a new system to motivate students to attend school. The students enjoyed the friendly competition to see which classes would have 100 percent attendance.  We provided more clubs such as Sister-to-Sister, My Brother’s Keeper, Chess, and Orchestra just to name a few which also motivated students to attend.  Attendance is crucial to the success of student learning.”

 

With the excitement of the recently-released distinctions, Lancaster ISD has much to look forward to as staff and students begin this school year.

 

“We anticipate that Lancaster ISD will continue to improve because the transformation has been one based on systemic implementation of practices that have proven to yield success over time,” Dr. McFarland said.

“Literacy and advanced academics are two areas of opportunity for us, and we have doubled down our investment in these areas while planning to maintain the intentional efforts in the others. Literacy is a foundational skill that sets students up for success throughout their academic career. Our aspiration going forward is to ensure that all students have the benefit of a solid foundation so that we can continue to expose more students to the most rigorous and advanced curriculum available.”

 

Belt Line Elementary

Academic Achievement in Mathematics

Top 25 Percent Closing Performance Gaps

Top 25 Percent in Student Progress

 

Houston Elementary

Academic Achievement in Science

Top 25 Percent Closing Performance Gaps

Top 25 Percent in Student Progress

Post-secondary Readiness

 

Lancaster Elementary

Academic Achievement in ELA/Reading

Academic Achievement in Science

Academic Achievement Mathematics

Top 25 Percent Closing Performance Gaps

Top 25 Percent in Student Progress

Post-secondary Readiness

 

Pleasant Run Elementary

Academic Achievement in ELA/Reading

Academic Achievement in Science

Top 25 Percent Closing Performance Gaps

Post-secondary Readiness

 

Rolling Hills Elementary

Academic Achievement in ELA/Reading

Academic Achievement in Science

Academic Achievement Mathematics

Top 25 Percent Closing Performance Gaps

Top 25 Percent in Student Progress

Post-secondary Readiness

 

Rosa Parks/Millbrook Elementary

Academic Achievement in Science

Top 25 Percent Closing Performance Gaps

Post-secondary Readiness

 

West Main Elementary

Academic Achievement in ELA/Reading

Academic Achievement in Science

Academic Achievement Mathematics

Top 25 Percent Closing Performance Gaps

Top 25 Percent in Student Progress

Post-secondary Readiness

 

George Washington Carver 6th Grade STEM Learning Center

Top 25 Percent Closing Performance Gaps

 

Elsie Robertson Lancaster Middle School

Top 25 Percent Closing Performance Gaps

Top 25 Percent in Student Progress

 

Lancaster High School

Academic Achievement in Science

Academic Achievement in Social Studies