The Palestine Herald, Palestine, Texas

August 14, 2013

Westwood ISD Superintendent pleased with academic accountability rating

By CHERIL VERNON
Palestine Herald-Press

PALESTINE — The Westwood Independent School District Superintendent Dr. Ed Lyman told school board members he was pleased with the “Met Standard” rating the school district received when the Texas Education Agency released its State of Texas Assessments of Academic Readiness (STAAR) academic accountability ratings last week.

Districts, campuses and charters receive one of three ratings under the new accountability system: Met Standard, Met Alternative Standard or Improvement Required. All of Westwood ISD campuses received a “Met Standard” rating.

“We did exceed standards in every index,” Lyman said during the WISD Board of Trustees meeting Monday, noting that the index rating scores were hard to translate at this point.

As part of their goals for the next year, Lyman said the district will break down the data and analyze it and improve in areas that are needed, particularly in the “closing performance gaps” index.

“We don’t want to just be good enough for Westwood ISD children, we want to be the best,” Lyman said.

Here is the rating breakdown for Westwood ISD schools:

WESTWOOD ISD (overall as district)

• Rating: Met Standard

• Student Achievement, Index 1: 73 points, with target of 50.

• Student progress, Index 2: 28 points, with target of 21.

• Closing performance gaps, Index 3: 68 points, with target of 55.

• Postsecondary readiness, Index 4: 87 points, with target of 75.



WESTWOOD ELEMENTARY

• Rating: Met Standard

• Student Achievement, Index 1: 65 points, with target of 50.

• Student progress, Index 2: 33 points, with target of 30.

• Closing performance gaps, Index 3: 63 points, with target of 55.

• Postsecondary readiness, Index 4: Not applicable, index applies only to high schools.



WESTWOOD JUNIOR HIGH SCHOOL

• Rating: Met Standard

• Student Achievement, Index 1: 75 points, with target of 50.

• Student progress, Index 2: 34 points, with target of 29.

• Closing performance gaps, Index 3: 74 points, with target of 55.

• Postsecondary readiness, Index 4: Not applicable, index applies only to high schools.



WESTWOOD HIGH SCHOOL

• Rating: Met Standard

• Distinctions: Achievement in Math (top quartile)

• Student Achievement, Index 1: 78 points, with target of 50.

• Student progress, Index 2: 19 points, with target of 17.

• Closing performance gaps, Index 3: 73 points, with target of 55.

• Postsecondary readiness, Index 4: 87 points, with target of 75.



Budget Talk

After discussing information related to the 2013-14 proposed $1,560,500 deficit budget during Monday’s meeting, WISD school board members accepted administration recommendations, which included salary adjustments.

Some of the changes included bumping auxiliary worker pay up 50 cents to $8 an hour and increasing a stipend for up to $5,000 for agriculture teachers due to summer activities. Board president Theresa Bambeck and member Joni Barone cast opposing votes.

A public hearing to discuss WISD’s 2013-14 proposed budget will be held at 6:30 p.m. Monday, Aug. 19 in the WISD administration office. A special called board meeting will follow in which the school board will adopt the budget and tax rate and approve the 2012-13 final budget amendments.

Because the school district is completing several construction projects during the fall semester, the district will spend a portion of its designated fund balance and the 2013-14 expenses will be significantly more than the 2013-14 revenues.

WISD Superintendent Dr. Ed Lyman said at the July meeting the $1.5 million difference in revenues/expenditures in the proposed budget will be taken out of the fund balance, which is currently setting around $10 million, set aside for facility upgrades and the 1:1 Technology Initiative for students.

In addition, WISD’s proposed budget will give a raise to teachers, make a Step 22 for teachers and offer a 3 percent raise to other designated school personnel.

Another reason for the proposed salaries increase is because of the rising cost of employee health insurance. Those on the Active Care 1 plan will see a 9 percent increase. The Active Care 2 plan is going up 15 percent and the Active Care 3 plan is going up 25 percent.

Other factors in the budget include the decreased amount of property taxes to be collected, going from $436,899,390 for the 2012-13 year to $427,304,430 for the 2013-14 school year.

While state funding is expected to be about $397,000 higher for the 2013-14 school year, the district is down 96 students, which also affects funding.



In other business, the board:

• APPROVED the consent agenda, which included the minutes of the July 23 regular board meeting, July tax report, 2013-14 teacher appraisal calendar and fund-raisers.

• HIRED under “fast track”: Elementary, Roy Dalton; Junior High School,  Barbara Bolestridge, art; and Anthony DeGrate, physical education/coach.

• ADOPTED the Code of Conduct and acknowledged changes to the student and employee handbooks, including changes to the jury duty compensation in the employee handbook. In the student handbook, one of the changes was to allow any solid non-neon color collared polo to be worn by students.

• AUTHORIZED the district to go out for outside bids for the concession stand at the softball field and tennis courts as part of architectural plans for fall improvements

• HEARD Federal Program Report on Title programs.

• APPOINTED Dr. Carolyn Booker as the delegate to the Texas Association of School Board legislative council. Dr. Don Rice will be the alternate delegate.