Memorial Intermediate School has taken corrective action during the first few weeks of school to overcome the unacceptable rating the campus received this year, according to a presentation by Memorial principal Dr. Matthew Kralevich.
The Campus Intervention Team, as outlined by the Texas Education Agency for schools receiving an Unacceptable rating, has been put into place, with Maria Dalia Rodriguez, a 35-year plus veteran of Robstown ISD selected as the campus’ external facilitator. She is a retired principal and has several years of experience teaching students at the intermediate grade level.
Once the Campus Improvement Plan is approved by TEA later this fall, Rodriguez will be making periodic visits to the campus to monitor how the plan is being implemented, and send reports back to TEA, Dr. Kralevich and AISD superintendent Henry Herrera.
AISD Elementary Education Director Mary Jan Jenkins is the campus’ internal facilitator. Since this summer, she has been working closely with Kralevich and others at Memorial to assist in the transition to an acceptably rated campus.
CIT is also comprised of Memorial counselor Monica Saenz, AISD Special Education Director Thelma Gallimore, fifth-grade science teachers Patricia Garcia and Grace Salinas and fifth-grade reading/language arts teacher Liza Estrada.
By Oct. 20, the team will have its focus data analysis in place, with the CIT evaluation and Campus Improvement Plan. The first CIT Progress Report is due to the state by Nov. 30.
As part of the action taken so far, teachers have begun compiling information for an at-risk tracker, to monitor the improvements and changes in those students who are in the at-risk category.
An A.M. Science Focus period, conducted for fifth-grade students during the first 15 minutes of every morning places emphasis on science information and science vocabulary in accordance with Texas Essential Knowledge and Skills. Fifth-grade science performance was a sticking point on the Texas Assessment of Knowledge and Skills (TAKS) that led to the unacceptable rating, school officials said.
At the same time, sixth-grade students are receiving instruction through an A.M. social skills period, which is coordinated through the counselor’s office.
Kralevich said during the first two weeks of school this year, there were 42 instances where students had to be sent from class to the office for some type of disruptive behavior. During the same two-week period last year, 72 students were sent to the office, he says, showing the social skills period is having positive results.
Kralevich has also taken a proactive approach by meeting with science teachers and having them review their lesson plans with others in a science roundtable type setting, to make sure their lessons are being presented in the most effective manner possible.
School Board member Ciro Zamora said Kralevich is doing a good job. Trustee Lee Ramon said he was also impressed with the activity so far.
“This is good. I know your staff, your team is going to do well this year,” Ramon said.
“I know it’s going to be tough, but there is going to be light at the end of the tunnel,” Kralevich said.
Herrera was also optimistic about Kralevich’s improvements.
“Every little item leads to something else. You have to keep thinking, what can I do better?” Herrera said. “I have all the confidence in the world with whatever tweaking you do, you will find a way.”