Numbers better for RISD

Trustees hear report, okay contracts for 3 administrators

Rockdale ISD trustees got some welcomed good news Monday when an administrator reported improvement among students whose accountability scores were factors in two campuses receiving academically unacceptable ratings two years ago.

Pam Kaufmann, assistant superintendent for instruction and administration, told board members there was a 30-percent increase for high school math students, and a 20-percent increase for junior-high science students being tracked in “interventions” between October and January.

Meeting in regular session in the Central Administration Building, trustees also gave new contracts to three administrators but for the second straight month took no action on the pact of Supt. Dr. Howell Wright.

INTERVENTIONS—In 2011, Rockdale High School and Rockdale Junior-High received “academically unacceptable” ratings in the state’s accountability rating system.

The campuses have been undertaking academic “interventions” with students in a program led by monitor Dr. Nancy Vaughan.

Kaufmann said the state requires students whose 2011 test scores didn’t meet performance goals to be tracked and assisted. She termed the recent improvements “significant.”

But it’s still a “catch 22” situation. Rockdale ISD keeps getting put on lists purporting to target low-performing schools even though those 2011 scores are now two years old and there currently is no way to get off those lists, even by improving the test scores they’ve been based on.

There were no state accountability ratings in 2012 due to the changeover from TAKS to STAAR testing.

It was recently announced there will be no accountability ratings in 2013, either.

Kaufmann also reported on the 2012 Performance-Based Monitoring Analysis System (PBMAS) scores, also terming them “significantly improved” over the past year.

CONTRACT—After an executive session, board members okayed new two-year contracts for three administrators, elementary principal Sandee Calame, athletic director Jeff Miller and Chief Financial Officer Marla Wallace.

Action on Dr. Wright’s contract had been listed as a possible agenda item. In January, the traditional month in which superintendents are evaluated and contracts are considered, trustees also took no action.

Dr. Wright’s current contract would expire June 30 but trustees are required to take action at least 30 days before contract expiration.

Lee Jenkins, board president, told The Reporter the contract will be discussed in a subsequent school board meeting.

In other business, trustees:

• Extended by one year the contract of Burleson-Milam Special Services Co- Op Director Angie Brashear.

• Hired Amber Brooks as a fourth-grade teacher for the remainder of the 2012-13 school year.

• Heard a comprehensive report from Miller on the district’s athletic program and discussed goals to get more participation from girls.

• Recognized the following Pause for Praise teachers and support personnel as introduced by campus principals:

High school—Adrian Acevedo, teacher; Christy Betchan, support staff.

Junior high—Kathryne Roddam, teacher; Linda Von Rosenberg, support staff.

Intermediate—Monthly winners not yet announced.

Elementary— Joni Crane, teacher; Torin Morgan and Linda Crane, support staff.

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