HPISD School Board Reviews State Performance Report

Highland Park ISD students improved their scores on last year’s annual state assessment and are qualifying for gifted and special education services in increasing numbers, the District’s Board of Trustees heard during a Jan. 9 work session on the 2022-23 Texas Academic Performance Report (TAPR).

Board members asked during the meeting about the reasons for a decline in the percentage of 2022 graduates who met the state standard for College, Career, or Military Readiness (CCMR). The percentage of graduates who met CCMR fell to 88.9% in 2022 from 91.5% in 2021.

Jennifer Collins, assistant superintendent for education services, said there have recently been shifts in accountability metrics and the numbers used to determine CCMR are complex. The district will look at them on a student-by-student level and determine how to best design strategies to help students meet CCMR.

Some colleges might ask students without that designation to take remedial courses, she explained. “We’re really focusing our energy right now on the upcoming graduates … What are some strategies we might put into place that would allow them to meet CCMR before they walk across the stage at graduation.”

Third-through eighth-graders improved their scores last year on the STAAR, the annual assessment that measures the achievement of Texas students. 80% of Highland Park students met or exceeded grade-level performance expectations in 2023, as opposed to 72% in 2022. Just 39% of students statewide and 43% of students in Region 10, which includes Dallas County and its neighbors, met performance expectations last year.

The proportion of students in the district’s gifted and talented program rose last year from 15.4% to 16.4%. The number of special education students increased from 10.8% to 12.2%, and students with 504 Plans increased from 15.8% to 16.1%.

Collins told the board that the district anticipates the number of special education students to grow under the 2023 dyslexia law, which will reclassify some students with 504 Plans as eligible for special education services.

“It may necessitate a couple of additional staffing positions,” she said after the meeting. “But we don’t anticipate huge changes.”

Board member Maryjane Bonfield said the board will study the data, determine the district’s priorities, and set goals for improvement. “We want our students’ scores to go up every year, in every subject, in every grade.”

A public hearing on the report is scheduled for 5 p.m. Jan. 16 at the William P. Clements Jr. Leadership Center, 6900 Douglas Avenue. Click HERE to view copies of district and campus reports, and HERE to see the slideshow presented to the board on Jan. 9.

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