Schools underperforming; Puig Plans for Improvements

By HEATHER CATHLEEN COX

Staff Writer
Reporter@sbnewspaper.com

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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Permanent link to this article: https://www.sbnewspaper.com/2015/01/09/schools-underperforming-puig-plans-for-improvements/

22 comments

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  1. Will I guess we can thank Anna Cruz for spending $1 million dollars on an instructional program which includes hiring an additional 13 specialist and an additional administrator at $110k per year to head the program and educate our teachers.. When are gonna open our eyes and realize she’s using her political power to gain leverage at her job. This women needs to not be re-elected and elect public servants who want the best for the children of San Benito.. Trust me, this is not the last time you will hear the mess Anna Cruz has caused our district.. Vote smart, Anna Cruz out-2015!!!

    • Perfect on January 17, 2015 at 5:13 pm
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    SBEducator: what you said is so true. They spend all this money for professional development but the money needs to be for qualified people to work with our students. This group of self serving board members need an attitude adjustment. Who among them has a child attending SBCISD? And for the ones that do, how many times have you had a conversation with those teachers without thinking YOU are better than them? Each of those board members were elected by the voters;however some voters have no clue what is happening at our schools.

    • SBEducator on January 17, 2015 at 11:56 am
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    They blame everything on the teachers. The teachers don’t know how to teach properly. The teachers need to attend more trainings. Instead of spending all this money on professional development, they should look into using that money to work more with the students. Administrators always say there is not enough money for more tutoring. Some students need more time to master a concept and when there is no money to allow for tutoring then that child is being failed by the district. There is no money should never be an excuse. We also have the problem of overcrowded classrooms. Just because the district is given waivers to allow it doesn’t mean that they should do it. When you put to many students in a classroom problems start occurring. Student teacher ratios have existed for a reason but just to save money they crowd more students in one classroom, instead of creating two. Teachers have no control over how many students they are given. The district decides this. Parents need to become advocates for their children. They do not have any idea of things that are occurring within the district. In the long run it is the students education that suffers. I apologize for any grammatical errors I may have made. I am on my phone and the screen is small.

    • James on January 16, 2015 at 3:35 pm
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    I grew up in an era where PARENTS were held responsible for their child’s education, behavior, and their ultimate success or failure. It was a GIVEN that the school and educators were doing their part. I still believe that. Were there bad teachers in my day…you bet. I had a History teacher that smoked and read the paper every day. It was handout after handout. We sat quietly and read and completed the work. Yes, it was what you would call a “self-taught” classroom. However, we still learned despite the educator. It was a time when your mother made you a sandwich for lunch and put it in a paper sack. In today’s sad world, the parents seemingly want someone else to raise their children. For crying out loud; most of the parents in SB don’t even work. And don’t give me this crap that there are no jobs. That’s bull and another excuse. It’s the PARENTS that are failing their children and the schools.

    • Sam on January 16, 2015 at 12:36 pm
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    At truthandwhatever… No where in the comments did it referred to teachers…read it again. It was about administrators. While you are talking about teachers, some of them need to go back to school and learn how to interact with students and parents. And ALL ADMINISTRATORS NEED TO BE HELD ACCOUNTABLE! All those teachers who left to our neibhbor to the north, please come back. You are terribly missed.

  2. @ Selena
    I totally agree with your comment! I clearly remember a certain board member who considers himself a band advocate during his reelection bid, but after he gets elected he forgets all about the band. He too concerned about brown nosing the new super to help his compadres and BFF’S in the school district. As a band parent I’ve realized this guy is a total goof and a waste of a political seat on our school board.. Vote smart people!!!

    • Janie on January 14, 2015 at 7:00 pm
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    At Parent: so very true a re your words. But please don’t Forget YLIANA she NEEDS TO GO TOO. Vote smarter San Benito

    • Juan on January 14, 2015 at 3:41 pm
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    If this Gilbert Galvan is the same one that was mayor of San Benito awhile back,and got caught using the San Benito fire department to fill his private swimming pool,he should never even been allowed to be a principal.Who would have been the person to appoint Gilbert to his position,let me guess.
    Stop worrying about your raises,your socials,your benefits,the board and all this other stuff,start worrying about the students and their lack of an elementary education,its starting to show,stupidity breeds poverty.

  3. I agree with your comments and it appear no one can think at central office. What their good at is promoting ” Board Appreciation ” and asking all principles to make poster oars that they support the board.. Really, we all know that was a joke! In addition, we all know Ana Cruz and Fatima Huerta have done nothing but waste tax payer dollars for their convenience! On another note, Gilbert Galvan should take care of his campus instead to promoting ” Board Appreciation”, that’s all his good for. Welcome to San Benito, where the school board is clueless and is acceptable!!! May time to swipe up the trash.. Ana Cruz and BFF Fatima Huerta must Go!!!!’

    • Connie on January 13, 2015 at 8:02 pm
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    The district probably bought a Go Pro from the store down the street! I’m with the other commentator, too many pictures. How about pictures of our shining students of SBCISD? How about pictures of our great teachers interacting with students? Can’t anybody think at that administration office.

      • Selena on January 14, 2015 at 11:21 pm
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      i agree, I don’t think our award winning band received half the attention the new supt…..has anyone noticed our outstanding choir is also worthy of photo recognition. Also, why is our new supt. always holding a drinking container when our children are not allowed to have food or drink in the classroom. Lead by example….

    • Jenny on January 13, 2015 at 12:29 pm
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    @selena: administrator wearing jeans? Good grief… Get a clue mr/ms administrator and buy some regular pants. Jeans have no place at school.
    No wonder our precious children do not respect some administrators.
    While we are talking, I continually see security guards at SBHS standing together during bus duty after school.
    Come on…. Talking and talking to each other and not watching the students nor the buses.
    So…. Let us hope some wonderful district administrator is reading all these comments.
    Welcome to San Benito, a town with more than one traffic light

      • truthandjusticeforall on January 16, 2015 at 11:17 am
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      I will not address the policy of no jeans at school, that is not the issue. The real issue is, does a teacher who wears jeans to work any less of a teacher? Judge a person not on appearance but on the message they deliver in the classroom. Some of these very same students who do manage to get into college will see many professors dressed in a manner that more resembles the manner in which the students are dressed. Some may even see other students dressed more professionally than the professors. Still, appearance does not diminish the message.

    • Selena on January 12, 2015 at 9:24 pm
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    just recently a dress code was enforced excluding the daily use of jeans. Yet, I have seen an administrator at lunch and at his campus wearing jeans. Why the double standard? Shouldn’t it be straight across the district? At some campuses teachers wear jeans and even shorts, why can’t we all wear jeans also.

    • Selena on January 12, 2015 at 9:17 pm
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    How do we know for sure if the superintendent is residing in San Benito? Does he have a selfie stick taking pics of himself too. lol

  4. @ better choice
    I totally agree that the board president is a total Hippocratic. First, he stated in the SB news that we are over staffed and that they where going to reevaluate it. Than he turns around and votes to bring in the Ana Cruz program at approximately 1million dollars with an additional 13 new positions because apparently our staff is not qualified. That’s a total joke and insulting to us tax payers and educators. We have not received a raise but yet they continue to spend money foolishly for the board members benefit. We all know Ana scored some major brownie points when she voted for her own program and got it to pass. Good job Ana Cruz your learned from the best Orlando Cruz. Ana must go 2015!!!!!

    • Sylvia on January 11, 2015 at 4:07 pm
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    @Better 2015: This district will NEVER move forward with people who do just what the board wants them to do.
    You don’t have to go back to far from Supt. JOE D. Gonzalez to know that idea.
    Ana Cruz and Fatima Huera are not alone… don’t forget puppet master/Insurance debacle writer/former female board president Ms.Rodrigurez-Gonzalez… she too must go too!
    While we are discussing the new supt…. did the district hire a personal photographer to accompany him on his visits?.. sure are A LOT of PICTURES…. give it a rest.. your actions will speak for themselves new superintendent.

  5. @james
    I hear our frustration but remember Dr.Puig is addressing all the issues that have been plaguing our district your years. I think it’s great that Dr.Puig is transparent with these issues that have been kept secret and not exposed. The true colors of Limon’s lack of leadership will be exposed and we the tax payers need to be informed. Don’t blame Dr.Puig, blame Limon and the school board who allowed him to perform at a sub par level and got payed for it at the expense of our children’s education. Now, you need to elect school board members who do not micro manage and hold the super accountable for doing his job. Right now, the newly elected board plus Ana Cruz are a joke and new to go. For now Ana Cruz must and Fatima Huerta must go!!!!

    • James on January 10, 2015 at 1:19 pm
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    Another full of crap superintendent who is going to save a food-stamp dependent, drug-riddled town. The best thing to do is just FLUSH!

    • Henry on January 10, 2015 at 12:41 pm
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    People don’t like change but change is needed.

    • Better Choice on January 9, 2015 at 10:04 pm
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    Strongly suggest that the new superintendent and that board president chose their words carefully.
    Please, please elect some positive individuals who can think for themselves.

      • GoSpursGo on January 10, 2015 at 8:50 pm
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      Any word on potential candidates for upcoming elections or those up for re election?

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