MFISD trustees learn test results

Melissa Kanz/The Highlander

New board member Kevin Virdell signs his oath of office Monday night at the Marble Falls Independent School District meeting, as Krystal Dunk, superintendent secretary, looks on.

 

By Melissa Kanz

The Highlander

It wasn’t what local school officials wanted to hear as the Marble Falls Independent School District fell short of its goal, receiving a 64 percent rating on secondary readiness. 

The high school, however, did gain academic distinctions in ELA/Reading, math, science and social studies.

Superintendent Dr. Chris Allen explained there are only 25 districts, out of thousands in the state, that receive this distinction.

“Am I happy with these results, no, but I believe we are generally on the right track,” he said.

The good news is SAT scores surpassed the statewide average. 

Distinctions awarded to Marble Falls High School were Academic Achievements in ELA/Reading, Mathematics, Science, and Social Studies. Also awarded was Postsecondary Readiness.

Marble Falls Middle School was awarded Academic Achievement in Science.

In the elementary schools, Colt Elementary was awarded Academic Achievements in Mathematics and Science and Postsecondary Readiness.

Highland Lakes Elementary was awarded Academic achievement in Science, and Marble Falls Elementary was awarded Academic Achievement in ELA/Reading, Top 25 percent in Student Progress, and Postsecondary Readiness.

Spicewood Elementary received Academic Achievement in ELS/Reading, Top 25 percent in Closing Performance Gap, and Postsecondary Readiness.

The school board was also presented the MFISD Accountability Ratings, which compare MFISD students to students statewide through the State of Texas Assessments of Academic Readiness (STAAR) test.

In high school, students scored the state average in Algebra I, which is 81, Biology, which is 91, and English II, which is 66. In English I, MFISD students scored 64, where the state average is 63. In US History, students scored 92, and the state average is 94.

Middle school’s ratings are broken down by grade level; the MFISD average for sixth grade reading is at 69, where the state average is 71. Sixth grade math averages 75, where the state average is 74.

In seventh grade, MFISD averaged 64, with the state average being 72.

In seventh grade writing, the average is 71 for MFISD, and 70 for the state, and in math, the local average is 49, and the state average is 71.

“What’s going on with seventh grade math?” asked Trustee Lee Ann Johnson.

Allen  explained that some students tested at an eighth grade level.

“We can get that data to tell where the students will be,” he said at the Monday night meeting.

In eighth grade, averages were all above state level, with eighth grade reading at 87 and the statewide average at 85. MFISD eighth grade math averaged 84, with 80 as the state average, and in science, MFISD scored 79, with the state average of 76. In social studies, the MFISD is 67, and the state average is 65.

In elementary school, third graders scored 72 in both reading and math. The state average for reading is 74 and 76 in math.

Fourth graders scored 74 in reading, with a state average of 77, and MFISD scored 72 in fourth grade math, with 74 as the statewide average. In fourth grade writing, MFISD scored 65, with a state average of 69.

Fifth graders scored 80, which is the state average in reading. In math, eighth graders scored 91, with the state average at 85, and in science, they scored 73, where the state average is 75.

Currently, there are 18 Advanced Placement (AP) courses being offered, which is six more than what was offered last year. There were 447 students enrolled in the AP courses last year, which is up significantly to 595 this year. New AP courses being offered are AP Human Geography, AP World History, AP Chemistry, AP Physics 2, AP Music Theory, and AP Studio Art.

There are also five new articulation courses being offered, which included Agriculture Mechanics, Welding I and II, Construction Technology II, and Graphic Design II. Enrolled in these five courses are 200 students.

Also, there are nine dual credit courses, with 192 students enrolled, which is up from 178 last year.

According to the presentation, the average SAT score for Marble Falls High School students is 1456, while the statewide average is 1393. 

The ACT scores also show Marble Falls ahead, with the average score at 21.7, and the statewide average at 20.6.

New band uniforms where proposed, and hopefully, students in the Marble Falls High School Band will be sporting them soon.

Coming to the board for approval in October, the new wash and wear uniforms will be more versatile and cooler for students donning them in the Texas heat.

Band Director Brad Behrens showed the board members, with model Daniel Conn, how the marching uniforms will look.

With a quote from Stanbury Uniforms of $73,750, some of the costs will be offset.

“The band boosters have donated $5,000. I am using my band budget of $2,000 and the band activity fund,” he said.

Behrens added that the grand total includes more than just one uniform for each student.

“This includes the marching uniform and the concert uniform,” Behrens said.

“We tried to keep the costs down,” Behrens said, as he explained that the

The new uniforms will eliminate some of the band parent’s out-of-pocket costs.
With the new uniforms, students will need to buy an Under Armour® shirt that they can wear underneath the uniform, which will help them keep cool.

According to the band director, the current uniforms are more than eight years old, so he and the students are looking forward to the new uniforms.

“We are really excited about the new uniforms,” he said. 

Board members will vote on the new uniforms at the next school board meeting, and they are hopeful to have the new uniforms for the students to wear in the National Memorial Day Parade, which is in Washing DC on Monday, May 29, 2017.

The trustees approved this trip during the Monday night meeting.

Also approved was the trip to Indianapolis for the Marble Falls High School Landscape Team to compete in the national championship, which will be held October 18 through October 22.

Team members include high school students Avery Marshall and Holly Atkinson, and Elizabeth Lane (MFHS graduate attending Texas Tech University). FFA Teacher Sponsors are Grant Cole and Dawn Stratton.

“They are number one in the state and have qualified for nationals,” Allen said. 

Kevin Virdell was sworn in to Place 7, and was able to take part in the meeting.

Board President Rick Edward believes Virdell will be a great asset to the board.

“Growing up in the community, (Virdell) has roots here, and he cares about the community” he said.
Edwards added that Virdell’s experience is a plus, especially since the school district is basically as $40 million business.

“With his experience in business and his business background, he is an asset to our eight-member team,” he said.

Place 7 was previously held by Kelly Fox, who resigned in July, after moving out of the district.

The next MFISD School Board meeting will be October 17. 

 

 

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