Lubbock, TX (KCBD) - In lieu of the results expected on Friday, Lubbock ISD released a statement saying officials anticipate Estacado High School will be rated "unacceptable" when the ratings are released by the Texas Education Agency (TEA), but the rating is not due to academic performance.
The TEA ratings are also based on completion rates, a measure of how many students graduate four years after beginning ninth grade or re-enroll for a fifth year. The data on which the rates are based lags a year behind; therefore, the EHS rating is a result of too many students who entered ninth grade in 2005-06 but did not graduate by 2008-09.
Dr. Karen Garza, LISD superintendent said, "It is a real disappointment to have this label on Estacado High School after the outstanding academic gains made this year. I am pleased with the academic progress that came as a result of the hard work of the campus faculty, administration and the district-wide support teams." Garza added, "We are held accountable for keeping students in school and we have a plan in place which includes going to their homes or workplaces and making sure we get them re-enrolled in school."
In the case of Estacado, in one student group there were eight students too many that did not graduate in the four years allowed or re-enroll for a fifth year. In addition to the general perception of a student who drops out of school, the rules count students as "non-completers" who have completed coursework, but have not passed all portions of the TAKS exit test. School districts are expected to find those students and get them re-enrolled in school until they have successfully passed the exit exam. In Texas, students must pass the exit TAKS test in order to receive a diploma, regardless of their grades in coursework. Students receiving GED certificates are also counted against the school's completion rate.
Students who move out-of-state, are home-schooled or attend private school and cannot be documented by the school are also considered as "non-completers." Additionally, students who are incarcerated are considered "non-completers" and count against the school completion rate.
In August, the district will unveil a comprehensive, district-wide program to find and re-enroll students who drop out of school. The plan includes a community "Walk for Success" in mid-September when teams of community members and administrators will go to the homes of students who have not shown up for the start of school and work to get them back in school. Social service resources will be available to help meet the needs of students and remove barriers to completing school.
LISD was notified this week of preliminary acceptance of a federal grant proposal for Estacado. Among the items included in the grant proposal is funding for drop-out prevention strategies.
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