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Austwell-Tivoli reaches exemplary status

By JR Ortega
July 30, 2010 at 2:30 a.m.


REFUGIO - Each school district in Refugio County was rated academically acceptable or higher Friday by the Texas Education Agency.

The Refugio school district has cleaned last year's academically unacceptable slate and has been ranked academically acceptable, according to the TEA 2010 accountability ratings.

The district missed the recognized ranking by a few points, superintendent Jack Gaskins said Friday.

"We're really pleased that our hard work paid off," he said.

Several changes were made to focus on the problem areas of mathematics and science, he said.

The most notable increase was among all students in science, which jumped from 66 percent to 86 percent.

Meanwhile, the Austwell-Tivoli school district ranked exemplary for the first time in Superintendent Antonio Aguirre's 12-year run.

"We're a small school. Teachers can take more time with students because there is not as many," he said.

Scores increased across the board at the high school.

However, most of the scores at the elementary school dropped but were still high enough for exemplary status.

Continual benchmarking for the tests and one-on-one teaching helped the district reach its goal, Aguirre said.

"I put it all on the teachers," he said. "They're obsessed with doing well. They take it seriously."

The Woodsboro school district and high school rate academically acceptable.

Woodsboro Elementary was ranked recognized.

Last year, the district was recognized.

This year, they barely missed being ranked a recognized district, Superintendent Steven Self said.

"We'll keep on keeping on," he said.

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