Saturday, September 26, 2009

Dyslexia Program Update

It is with great pleasure that I would like to announce the new Dyslexia program in GCISD. The program will be based on the Scottish Rite Hospital's "Take Flight" program, and details will be presented to the School Board and the public during the September Board meeting. Four GCISD teachers began the "Take Flight" / Certified Academic Language Therapist (CALT) training at Scottish Rite last month, and additional teachers will receive the training next year. If you want to hear more details about the new program, please join us in our School Board meeting on September 28th, 2009 at 7PM. You can also call the GCISD administration office for more information.

If you want to learn more about the "Take Flight" program, click the following link:

I would like to thank the GCISD administration for working with the Scottish Rite Hospital to bring arguably the best Dyslexia program in the state to our district. I would also like to thank all the parents that brought their concerns to the GCISD administration and the School Board. This is a great example of what we can accomplish for our kids if we work together. I understand that we are just starting the program, and I am sure its implementation will bring new challenges. However, I am very excited about the opportunity to identify and serve many more of our students with this condition.

Finally, I would like to thank Dr. Jeff Black (Medical Director), Mrs. Gladys Kolenovsky (Business Director) and their staff at the Scottish Rite Luke Waites Center for Dyslexia for their guidance and assistance.

Saturday, September 12, 2009

Accountability Ratings 2009 - North Texas Comparison

GCISD mission is to be "the BEST". In order to be the best, I believe it is important to compare our district performance with the top districts in the state and around the country. It is not possible to be the BEST without knowing how the best districts are performing. For that reason, I decided to compare GCISD with our peer districts here in North Texas. The goal is to identify gaps in performance (in subject areas or student subgroups) in order to know where to focus our efforts to become the BEST district in the state.

There are many factors that could be compared among school districts in order to decide which district is "the BEST". We can compare performance based on TAKS, SAT, ACT, AP, percentage of students going to College and many others. I believe it would be very interesting to compare some of these factors, so let's start with TAKS results. In late July, the TAKS scores and Accountability Ratings were published by the Texas Education Agency. The table below illustrates a summary of district-wide results, including each subject area and some of the student subgroups in GCISD and other suburban districts in North Texas.

The table indicates that GCISD scores were very strong in the areas of Reading, Writing and Social Studies, with ALL Students passing at a rate of at least 98%. In the areas of Math and Science, GCISD also had a strong performance for ALL Students (93%, 5th highest among compared districts), but we can see performance gaps in the Economically Disadvantage Students subgroup when compared with some of the other districts included in the report.

In order to be the BEST in terms of TAKS performance, GCISD needs to continue to focus in the areas of Math and Science, placing a strong emphasis on the Economically Disadvantage students. The district is already showing improvements on this student subgroup, increasing its TAKS scores by 5% in Math and 2% in Science from a year ago. As we look for ways to have a significant impact in these subject areas in the near future, GCISD is planning to perform an audit on its Math and Science curriculum, and findings will be presented to the Board this Fall.

If you are interested in getting involve as a Math or Science tutor (or in any other subject) in our district, or as a mentor for some of our kids, please contact one of our schools or send me an email to