REFUGIO, Texas — A progress monitoring system was already in place at Refugio elementary school but with the pandemic, Principal Twyla Thomas knew gaps in learning would increase because students were being taught online.
Thomas said they knew they would have to tighten up their hands-on instructions in small group sessions with students using a tool they call Renaissance for STAAR math and reading.
“We’ve been using this for several years now on a consistent basis. But what we have put in place is more progress monitoring on a more regular consistent basis,” said Principal Twyla Thomas.
Principal Thomas said they have a data wall where every student has a card with their name, picture, and their scores for each six-week period. If the principal wants to see if a student is meeting those standards in reading and math.
They use a coloring system, Red means did not meet standards, yellow means approaching standards, blue means meeting standards and green means mastered.
“I can see if they are continuing to grow or if they have kind of regressed a little bit. And I can focus on those areas that they are not meeting,” said fourth-grade teacher and parent Kaleigh Silvas.
Principal Thomas said in 2019 58% of third-grade students were meeting math standards. The goal is to eventually increase this to 60%.
In reading, she said 40% of the students were meeting the standard, with a goal to increase to 45% over time. Thomas said they are not only looking to increase the number of students who approaches the standards but also meets the standards on the STAAR assessment through hands on instructions.
Thomas said they are being realistic with their goals and taking steps in getting the students to 100%
“So we are taking it a step at a time so that we can put strategies in place to make sure we are providing the appropriate and effective interventions to see this over time,” said Thomas.
For parents at home wondering what they can do to help, “Talk to the child and make sure they are not having any issues understanding the concepts that the teacher is trying to explain,” said Silvas.