WICHITA FALLS (KFDX/KJTL) – A Wichita Falls school is on ice this year.
Kirby’s middle school needs to change its test performance this year before the Texas education agency arrives and possibly takes over the school.
The principal, Alston Calliste, is confident that this year is the year that those results will make a difference, but that volunteers will help seal the deal.
Kirby’s middle school is in jeopardy after four consecutive years of underperforming in academic assessments.
“Kids don’t prioritize education, I think they don’t know how to do it because they haven’t been taught, that ‘hey, education is the way out it’s the way out of everything,” Calliste said .
This 5th year is their deadline, part of the improvement score required is involving 2 learns, tutors and volunteers.
“I’ve been out of the classroom for seven years, working in an educational role, but I’ve been in the classroom all that time. Full-time middle school is new to me, but the teachers and staff have been so nice to help me learn the rudiments, and to be honest, it was very fulfilling and rewarding to be back in class with the students, to observe them,” Rassmussen said.
Test season has officially begun and Rassmussen said the hard work the school has put in this year is already starting to show.
“I went to several test rooms and the students were working hard, they were quiet, the teachers were encouraging, and we’re really excited about that progress, which will show in that assessment,” Rassmussen said.
Calliste said teachers who have stepped in like Rassmussen are what have helped Kirby’s progress, but they still need more from the community.
“Show them and let them know how important it is to dig deep into their education,” Calliste said.
The reading and math scores are the ones requiring the most progress, as many sixth graders are currently assessed in reading at a third grade level.
“We need retired teachers, teachers especially elementary teachers who can teach the fundamentals of reading, because most of our kids lack the fundamentals of reading and if you can’t read, you fall behind in almost every subject because you need to read to understand what you are doing,” Calliste said.
A school that is still working on the bright future which it hopes to secure by the end of this year with the help of our community.
Calliste said if you want to volunteer, all you have to do is come in person or call Kirby Middle School and one of the administrators will help you through that process.