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PISD board adopts district improvement plan

PISD_Sign2The Paris Independent School District board of trustees approved the district’s improvement plan this week.

“We start with a comprehensive needs assessment throughout the district,” Deann Lee, director of state and federal programs, told the school board Monday. “Then goals and objectives are established, then plans are made.”

Those plans drive the budget. The district’s improvement plan is similar to the campus plans administrators presented to the school board in late 2013.

“They’re all mutually supportive. They complement each other,” Lee said. “This is just a roadmap with checkpoints.”

This year’s revision was more comprehensive than in the past because of local and state changes, such as a new superintendent and new state accountability system. Many of the changes were to make the terminology more general than specific. For example, Lee said, the STAAR test is rarely mentioned by name.

“They change the assessment name so often, we just call it the state assessment,” she said.

The 37-page plan includes safeguards to address student subgroups that fall in testing scores. In most cases, the district has found that drops in economically disadvantaged scores mirror a drop in African-American students’ results, Lee said. The way the plan is written and implemented, both should see improvements, as well.

Education financial improvements statewide are helping improve things, she said, as is increased community support.

Part of that support comes in the form of local businesses who donate time, money and resources to efforts at various campuses. Trustees Jenny Wilson and Dr. Bert Strom said they would like to see the board write thank-you letters to each.

“We want to encourage that,” Strom said.

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