Several Bloomington school district campuses met state standards in the 2018 Accountability Ratings despite Hurricane Harvey.
“I feel like we made a lot of progress,” said Superintendent Abbie Barnett. “This is a district where no excuses are allowed ... Kids still have to be taught.”
Overall, BISD was labeled “Not Rated,” because it qualified for a hurricane provision from the state that waived its rating.
Last year, the district’s projected rating was an F, Barnett said. This year, the district’s rating would have been a C.
“That’s not where we’ve always been, but it’s a starting point to go higher,” he said. “To have the hurricane the way it affected the whole community, push through and still end up falling in a C range, I just cannot compliment the community, the kids and the staff enough.”
Among the criteria that qualified a district for the waiver, Barnett said it met several, including the number of instructional days that were missed because of the hurricane and the number of students and teachers who were displaced by the storm.
Throughout the school year, classes were conducted in the band hall, gymnasium, libraries and its FEMA dome, he said.
The hurricane would not hinder the district’s success, Barnett said.
“It was a very tough time, but we refused to let anyone see it like that,” he said. “Everyone stayed focused and worked through this thing together.”
In addition to work in all areas in the new year, the district will work to further align its instruction, Barnett said.
Another area of focus is staff and teacher turnover.
However, the district has much to celebrate at the moment, he said.
Bloomington Junior High received a distinction designation in the ratings for its academic achievement in English Language Arts and Reading.
The district plans to schedule home football games this season, Barnett said.
Bobcat Stadium will be fixed during the next week and a half to include a new scoreboard, redone press box and install new lights.
The district was awarded a $544,804 grant from Rebuild Texas Fund to replace its track and field equipment, purchase new marching band uniforms and build a new roof for its agriculture building after the football season, he said.
The district’s achievement and progress is an example of hard work, Barnett said.
The district has all its facilities ready for the upcoming school year and is looking forward to its progress to come.
“You can make it happen,” he said. “If you believe and keep pushing, you can make it happen.”
Nursery Elementary School earned five of the six distinction designations in the 2018 Accountability Ratings.
The campus earned distinctions for its academic achievement in mathematics and English Language Arts and Reading, academic growth, postsecondary readiness and closing achievement gaps.
Overall, the Nursery school district and its campus met state standards, said Superintendent and Principal Chris Ulcak.
In the new school year, Ulcak plans to work more with individual students, he said.
The campus’ size creates a family atmosphere where teachers know their students, he said.
Ulcak said he is excited about the increase in enrollment. About 125 students are enrolled, which is up about 10 percent, he said.
In addition, the district is evolving by adding after-school care this year.
“Our teachers did great; our kids did great; it’s a community effort,” Ulcak said. “It takes a village to raise a child and our village here did a pretty good job.”