Boyd High School Principal Scott Nedrow has a plan.
Working with administrators, teachers, students and experts from the Texas Education Agency (TEA) Nedrow, along with Assistant Superintendent Barbara Stice, recently unveiled an improvement plan to boost standardized test scores at the high school campus.
“Due to our STAAR scores last year at the high school, it’s been identified as a school that requires improvement,” said Superintendent Ted West. “Part of that process is a targeted improvement plan.”
Instability at the top hasn’t helped the situation.
“We’ve had six high school principals in the past six years,” West, who filled the post himself for one of those years, said. “Having some stability there is crucial to success. Mr. Nedrow is now providing that and holding everybody accountable.”
The high school is keying in on three areas of need in an effort to improve scores on next year’s STAAR exams.
“Campus staff needs to implement writing programs across the curriculum,” Nedrow said. “We had problem scores in that area.
“Our second need is that data will drive instruction. We have to focus on areas that our kids are struggling on.”
The third need, he said, is to implement “best practices” instruction strategies and planning.
“It’s going to take dynamic teaching with rigor and questions involving higher-order thinking,” he said.
Stice said the school has to focus on the tests if they’re going to be successful.
“The fact is, the STAAR assessment has changed how instruction is given in the classroom as far as TEKS (Texas Essential Knowledge and Skills),” Stice said. “Our teachers have to know what is required and how to focus on preparing students to take the STAAR tests.”
Nedrow is confident the scores will improve.
“We all know our high school has to get better, and we’re going to achieve that,” he said.
West said the “No. 1 goal is to get off that list.” But he also intends to use the improvement plan to improve test scores across the district.
“If we achieve all these goals and go beyond them in the first year, we will still continue to use the plan,” West said.
The district will see if what they learn at the high school can be applied to other campuses – even those already scoring well above the state standard.
“We don’t like being in this situation, but we are going to make the best of it,” West said. “We are going to do whatever it takes to make our students successful.”