By Chris Edwards
WOODVILLE – The Woodville ISD Board of Trustees had its first regular meeting of the new school year on Monday night.
WISD Superintendent Lisa Meysembourg, during her standing report to the board of district goings on, told them that the 2023-24 school year is off to “such a smooth start,” and said that, overall, “this is the most positive start to a school year that I have seen in I don’t know how long.”
During her report, she mentioned that enrollment, overall, is still down about 45 students from where it was at this time last year, however, as of Monday, the enrollment figures showed an increase of 40 students, up from the 1,158 reported on day one.
The first item on Monday’s agenda was a campus-by-campus report on the district’s STAAR test results. Woodville High School principal Lara Robinson said that overall, the scores for her campus were all in the 80s and 90s, except for one, which was a 74, and still above the state average. “We were above the state average in three of of five subjects, and above the regional average in three of the five subjects,” she said.
Robinson noted an increase in the past two years of the scores, overall. One area Robinson said that WHS looks to improve in the future is in the mastery of subjects. She thanked her instructional team and said the goal this year is to maximize instructional time.
“STAAR is just one measure of student success,” Robinson said. “We’re going to focus on making on strong, positive relationships,” she added.
Woodville Middle School principal Gina Kenner Greaff said, in her STAAR report, that her campus improved, percentage-wise, in its scores, in all areas, except for three: seventh-grade reading; eighth-grade reading and eighth-grade science.
Greaff said there have been some staff changes, which will hopefully help bring scores up. “Our scores in seventh grade were anywhere where I would be happy about those, but they did make an increase from the previous year,” she said, noting a 15% increase in reading scores and a 6% increase in math.
Woodville Intermediate principal Allison Mosley reported that her campus showed, overall, a more consistent trend, regionally and statewide, regarding reading scores; moreso than the math scores.
“Students have been able to show positive gains as a result of the focus that we’ve had on early literacy…our third through fifth graders have been able to improve in the area of reading,” she said.
Overall, although math scores on her campus were low, she said that fourth grade math scores demonstrated growth. “These students improved their passing rate by 10% from their third-grade year and also surpassed the region,” she said.
ESSER review shared
Another presentation the WISD Board got a review of Monday night concerned the district’s use of its ESSER (Elementary and Secondary School Emergency Relief) funds.
Ashley Weatherford, WISD Director of Curriculum, spoke about the funds, and the timelines for each respective allotment. The federally allocated funds came about through COVID-19 relief, to the tune of $190 billion in aid to states and school districts, in order to help address educational issues that arose from the pandemic.
Weatherford said that the ESSER I funding, which covered supplies, ended last September. Round II, which covers retention for educators, including incentives and bonuses, will end at the end of this September, and Round III, which funds instructional coaching and other measures, including security communications and a new communications network, will end in 2024.
Meysembourg noted that the more than $1.5 million awarded to WISD in the ESSER II funding went completely to the faculty and staff of WISD in the form of bonuses “because they have been so dedicated and devoted to Woodville ISD,” she said.