Five Waco Independent School District campuses are on notice from the state: Improve your academic performance or risk being closed.
In addition, the Texas Education Agency said the school board could be replaced with state appointees, due to the schools continually failing to meet state testing standards.
Every school gets one of two ratings: Met Standard, or Improvement Required. There are six Waco ISD campuses that are rated improvement required, but only five face the upcoming deadline.
Brook Avenue Elementary, JH Hines Elementary, Alta Vista Elementary, GW Carver Middle School, and Indian Spring Middle School have been rated as improvement required. The Texas Education Agency rates each school based on the State of Texas Assessments of Academic Readiness test. They also rate student progress, how well the performance gaps are closed, and post secondary readiness.
If the schools do not improve by August of 2018, the education commissioner will be forced to close the campus or replace the district's board. Officials at Waco ISD said they are more than confident each school can be taken off the list. The district plans to hold a series of community meetings to get the parents and teachers involved with what can be done to help each student succeed.
"We believe that if decisions are going to be made about the future of Waco schools they should be made here in Waco, and not by state officials in Austin," Kyle DeBeer, Waco ISD Communications Director said. "Our parents, our teachers, our community members know our students best. They know our schools best. As a community we are best positioned to make those decisions."
The sixth school that is rated as improvement required is Crestview Elementary School. The school has been on the list for three years. Waco ISD says the academic work happening now and the STAAR test this spring will determine how the school is rated by the Texas Education Agency next August.
The Waco ISD community meetings will start at 6 p.m. The first will be October 23 at the Waco ISD Conference Center, 115 S. Fifth St. The second meeting will be October 30 at the City of Waco Multi-Purpose Facility, 1020 Elm St. The third meting will be November 6, at the Cen-Tex Hispanic Chamber of Commerce, 915 La Salle Ave.