The Board conducted its Work Study on December 10 and Regular Board Meeting on December 17. During the Work Study, the Board heard a presentation from the Math and Language Arts departments, as well as a quarterly update regarding the Bilingual/ESL programs.
Ms. Alicia Autry, Coordinator of Elementary Math, and Mr. Gary Loney, Coordinator of Secondary Math, updated the board on the rising state standards and efforts being made to ensure our students meet and exceed those standards. Students of the district exceeded, as a whole, the state standards but performance gaps still exist with our Economically Disadvantaged and ELL (“English Language Learners”) students. The Math department is working closely with the Bilingual/ESL department to close those gaps.
Ms. Lynda Swanner, Coordinator of Elementary ELAR, and Ms. Andrea Coachman, Coordinator of Secondary ELAR, updated the Board on efforts at the Elementary and Secondary levels to increase the rigor of the writing curriculum and expand the number of genres covered. The McKinney Academic Vocabulary (MAV Words) program has been expanded from the High Schools to include the Middle Schools. As a whole, the students of the district scored well above the state average on the STAAR exams.
Ms. Judith Coffman, Director of Bilingual/ESL Programs updated the board on the further analysis of the previous academic scores of students in the Bilingual/ESL programs. Information previously presented to the Board indicated the achievement gap among these students was widening. An in depth analysis of the data revealed that the lower scores resulted from a portion of the student population who had one or more of the following factors: (1) they were new to the district; (2) they were coming into the district at a higher grade level (i.e. not lower elementary); or (3) they had attended multiple schools during their elementary years. The data also showed that 75% of the student population that had been in the program had successfully exited. The success of the 75% who had exited was not being recognized in the overall scores of the program. English Language Learners (ELL) make up 10.2% or 2,517 of the student population of MISD and 87% of the ELL students are considered Economically Disadvantaged. The intent of the district is to move to a One-Way Dual Language Model (50/50) on a district wide basis.
On December 17, the Board conducted its regular Board meeting. At that meeting, Dr. Kennedy, Superintendent, provided the Board of Trustees with an initial draft of the High School Rezoning Map. Members of the Board discussed the proposed map and made several inquiries of the Administration. The Open Forum (public comment) portion of the meeting was delayed until after the presentation of the map so comments on rezoning could be made after the speakers had seen the Draft Map.
The Draft Map was made available to the public on the district website (www.mckinneyisd.net) on December 18 along with the ability for the public to comment. For additional information on the proposed rezoning please see the district website at www.mckinneyisd.net.
A Telephone Town Hall meeting will be held on Tuesday, Jan. 14 at 7 p.m. The district will place a call to all parents/guardians in the district via the automated calling system. If you would like to participate in the meeting using a telephone number that is not currently in the automated calling system, please send that number to Cody Cunningham at firstname.lastname@example.org. If you are not able to participate in the Telephone Town Hall and you still have a question or would like to make a comment, please use the comment form set up on the district website at www.mckinneyisd.net.
The final map will be approved during the Regular Board meeting on January 28.
Other Agenda items included approval of the selection of Balfour Beatty Construction as the Construction Manager at Risk for additions and renovations for Dowell Middle School and approval of a contract with SHW Group, Inc. for the design and construction administration of renovations to Valley Creek Elementary.
The Board will conduct its next Work Study meeting on Tuesday, Jan. 21 and its Regular meeting on January 28.
MISD Board of Trustees
Curtis Rippee – President
Amy Dankel– Vice President
Bobby Amick – Secretary
Story submitted by Curtis Rippee