Kenneth Pearce (left), the new principal at Royse City High School, spoke with RCISD superintendent Kevin Worthy (middle) and others during a meet-and-greet reception last week at RCHS.

The Royse City Independent School District and eight of its nine campuses earned “met standard” ratings in the 2014 state accountability system ratings released by the Texas Education Agency.

Three Royse City schools earned “distinction designations,” a new feature of the 2014 accountability system ratings. Herndon Intermediate School earned five, Fort Elementary School two and Royse City High School one.

Only Scott Elementary School received a “needs improvement” rating in the report released Friday by the TEA and discussed Monday night during a regular meeting of the Royse City Independent School District’s Board of Trustees.

This is the second consecutive year Scott Elementary School has received a “needs improvement” rating. Last year, both Scott and Fort Elementary School were on the list.

Scott made the list this year because of its score in Performance Index No. 2. That index covers student progress, which measures year-to-year student progress by subject and student group.

Julia Robinson, assistant superintendent of curriculum and instruction, told board members that the index measured growth from grade to grade.

“One of our issues in our elementary schools, if you look at Index 2 across all those reports I gave you, you’re going to notice that we’re pretty close to that green line in most cases,” she told board members. “It’s because we have growth from third to fourth, but that’s it. That’s the only grade we have.”

That was the biggest challenge involving schools that get only one year of growth.

The 2014 state accountability system ratings for more than 1,200 school districts and charters, along with more than 8,500 campuses, revealed that 90 percent of school districts and charters across Texas have achieved the rating of “met standard.”

“Texans should be pleased to see the vast majority of districts, charters and campuses are meeting the standards set in the second year of the state accountability system,” said Commissioner of Education Michael Williams. “While the 2014 numbers are strong, the work continues in districts across our state to meet and exceed increasing state standards and the expectations of their local communities.”

The 2014 ratings are based on a system that uses various indicators to provide greater detail on the performance of a district or charter and individual campuses throughout the state.

The performance index framework includes the following four areas:

• Student Achievement – Provides a snapshot of performance across all subjects.

• Student Progress – Measures year-to-year student progress by subject and student group.

• Closing Performance Gaps – Tracks advanced academic achievement of economically disadvantaged students and the lowest performing racial/ethnic student groups.

• Postsecondary Readiness – Emphasizes the importance of earning a high school diploma that provides students with the foundation necessary for success in college, the workforce, job training programs, or the military.

“Met standard” ratings are assigned to districts and campuses that meet the target on all indexes for which it has performance data.

“Improvement required” is assigned to districts, campuses, charter operators and alternative education campuses that miss the target on one or more performance indexes.

Royse City ISD’s H.H. Browning Alternative Learning Center received a “met alternative standard” rating. That rating is assigned to charter operators and alternative education campuses evaluated under alternative education accountability provisions and meet modified targets on all performance indexes for which they have performance data.

Campuses that received an accountability rating of “met standard” were also eligible for distinction designations. Distinction designations are awarded to campuses based on achievement in several performance indicators relative to a group of 40 campuses of similar type, size, and student demographics.

Distinction designations could be earned by campuses in the following areas:

• Academic Achievement in Reading/English Language Arts;

• Academic Achievement in Mathematics;

• Academic Achievement in Science;

• Academic Achievement in Social Studies;

• Top 25 Percent: Student Progress;

• Top 25 Percent: Closing Performance Gaps; and

•Postsecondary Readiness.

“Earning a distinction is not easy,” said Commissioner Williams. “Any school earning one or more distinctions should be recognized in its community for the outstanding work taking place on that campus.”

Herndon Intermediate School earned five of the distinction designations for which it was eligible – academic achievement in reading/English language arts, academic achievement in mathematics, top 25 percent in student progress, top 25 percent in closing performance gaps and postsecondary readiness.

“Harry Herndon has a lot to be proud of,” Robinson said. “It is a very, very high achieving school. Wonderful.”

Fort Elementary School was on the “needs improvement” list last year and earned two distinction designations this year – top 25 percent in closing performance gaps and postsecondary readiness.

“We are very proud of Fort Elementary and how hard they have worked,” Robinson said.

The high school’s distinction designation was in postsecondary readiness.

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