By HEATHER CATHLEEN COX
Two schools within the San Benito Consolidated Independent School District, Miller Jordan Middle School and Frank Roberts Elementary School, were included on the 2015-2016 Texas Education Agency’s Public Education Grant (PEG) list of underperforming schools.
New SBCISD Superintendent of Schools Dr. Marc Puig, with the help of official evaluations conducted, said he has identified several “additional high-need schools within the district,” even beyond the two state-recognized, underperforming schools.
Although it’s Puig’s first official week working as superintendent, he said he plans to put “systems into place” that will hopefully profit improvements in student achievement district-wide.
One such system, said Puig, includes classroom walkthroughs, which he calls “an opportunity for administrators to walk into a classroom and get an idea of how students are…performing…and engaged” in activities.
For Puig, student achievement is a paramount goal.
Echoing the need to improve student achievement is SBCISD Board President Arnold Padilla. Padilla said that underperformance “is a concern to the trustees. This is one of the reasons we have considered… finding assistants and training to the teachers to move in a direction of bettering our schools.”
In order to bring overall student achievement to passable rates, Padilla suggested that the district “evaluate needs of the schools, find out why they are scoring low.” The board president expressed utmost confidence in Puig, when he said, “We do believe Dr. Puig will evaluate these schools and other schools in the district that are not operating (well).”
Similarly, the continued education of the district’s educators is of top priority to Puig, he said. “Who is in front of our teachers?” he posed. “Our teachers need to continue gaining knowledge and skills…they need resources available to them.”
After evaluating teachers’ performances and students’ responses — via classroom walkthroughs —Puig said the findings will be reviewed. “We can see what we are doing well…then address areas of concerns or areas of celebration.”
A variety of professional development trainings and teaching seminars are currently implemented within the district, Puig noted. To that end, Puig said he would like to implement more — locally, virtually and perhaps even out of town.
Puig said he is personally dedicated to “a lifetime of learning” that starts with himself and trickles down, making way through the district’s officials, employees, teachers, staff and students. “If we get better,” he said, “as a superintendent or (school) board, the students will improve also.”
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