WPISD Education Foundation gets green light

The Wills Point ISD Board of Trustees held their regular monthly meeting on Monday night, taking a giant leap forward in the district’s effort to establish an education foundation while also reviewing reports on the district’s STAAR test results and awarding a fuel bid for the 2017-’18 school year.

Board business opened with a series of administrative items, including a brief update from Assistant Superintendent for Instruction and Accountability Barbie McMath regarding the district’s preliminary STAAR report.

McMath explained that the most recent STAAR test had been changed from the one administered in previous years, with the total number of questions being lowered while the total weight given each answer having increased. “This is a standardized assessment...It means that the test is designed to fit on a bell curve. In order for a question to make it to the test, 50 percent of the kids field tested have to get the question wrong...It's not a do you know the answer to this question or not.”

"I would say that we're seeing increases across the board in mathematics for the most part. We are not where we want to be yet, obviously, and we know that. At the same time, I definitely feel like we are heading in the right direction. That's why we came to the board with instructional coaches. That's why we are looking at doing some changes with our curriculum and our scope and sequence. That's also why we've geared our professional development in a very specific manner to really attack reading and writing,” continued McMath. “You've heard me talk in our last board meeting about our writing pilot so I think we'll begin to see those steady increases in those areas that we specifically want to target.”

Following a consent agenda that included the approval of minutes from the June 12 board meeting and various financial reports, business shifted towards a series of action items centered on the establishment of a WPISD Education Foundation.

The potential establishment of an education foundation was first broached to the board at the district’s June meeting with Superintendent Scott Caloss explaining, “This is something we would like to pursue for this district. The purpose of doing this is two-fold. First of all, it will help with PR for our school district and community. I think it will help to bring people together in supporting our school district. Second, it establishes funds that can be used in several different ways. It can be used for teacher grants, for things they need to teach their classes or it could be used for our students, for things like dual credit…This could help fund things like that. I think it is a no brainer to move forward and try to establish one of these for our district.”

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