School district earns top financial rating

By Messenger Staff | Published Wednesday, October 31, 2012

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Alvord ISD earned 67 points out of a possible 70 and received the “Superior Achievement” rating on the Financial Integrity Rating System of Texas (FIRST) evaluation.

FIRST is an instrument used by the Texas Education Agency to evaluate how school districts are managing their finances in every area. Its purpose is to ensure that districts are held accountable for the quality of their financial management practices and achieve improved performance in the management of their financial resources.

The system is designed to encourage Texas public schools to manage their financial resources better in order to provide the maximum allocation possible for direct instructional purposes. The system is designed to reveal the quality of local management and decision-making processes that impact the allocation of financial resources in Texas public schools.

All eight Wise County school districts received the superior rating.

The Alvord ISD board learned of the rating at their meeting last Thursday. The rating was one of only five regular agenda items due for the board’s consideration.

They also voted to approve TASB Policy Update 95 on final reading, nominated AISD board member Kevin Wood as a vacancy on the board of directors of TASB Region XI, and authorized five people to be authorized signers, if needed, for Worker’s Compensation payments.


Alvord High School has received the 2012 College Readiness Award from the Texas ACT Council, it was announced last week.

The award is based on the school’s increasing the number of students taking the ACT, a standard college admissions test, and those students significantly increasing their scores over the past five years.

Only 170 high schools in Texas – about 9 percent – earned this designation according to Karen L. Pennell, Assistant Vice-President and ACT Southwest Regional Manager.

“The Texas ACT Council wanted to recognize those Texas high schools that have made significant strides in increasing the college and career readiness of their graduates as demonstrated by their ACT score increases over the past five years,” she said. “These outstanding high schools should be proud of their faculty, staff and students.”

The Texas ACT Council is made up of secondary and post-secondary educators who advise ACT Inc. on the utilization of ACT programs and services in Texas schools and colleges.

“I am extremely proud that Alvord High School has received this significant honor,” Superintendent Bill Branum said. “Faculty, staff, students and parents can all take great pride in their accomplishments over the past five years. I believe we have the best of the best, and this award certainly makes it true.

“It will be one of our goals to win this award again after the next five-year span.”

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