WICHITA FALLS (KFDX/KJTL) – One Wichita Falls school is on thin ice this year.
Kirby middle school has this year to turn its testing performance around before the Texas education agency comes in and possibly takes over the school.
Principal, Alston Calliste, feels confident that this year is the year those results are going to make all the difference, but that volunteers will help seal the deal.
Kirby middle school is in jeopardy after four consecutive years of underperformance in academic ratings.
“Kids do not prioritize education, I think they don’t know how because it was not drilled into them, that ‘hey, education is the way out it’s the way out of everything,” Calliste said.
This fifth year is their deadline, part of the improvement required rating is bringing in engage 2 learn, tutors, and volunteers.
“I’ve been out of the classroom for seven years, working in a curriculum role, but I’ve been in classrooms throughout that entire time, middle school full-time is new to me, but the teachers and staff have been so gracious to help me learn the ropes, and to be honest, it has been very fulfilling and rewarding to be back in a classroom with students, watching them,” Rassmussen said.
Testing season has officially begun, and Rassmussen said the hard work the school has done this year is already starting to show.
“I went into several testing rooms and students were working hard, they were quiet, teachers were encouraging, and we are really excited about that progress, that’s going to show on that assessment,” Rassmussen said.
Calliste said teachers who have stepped in like Rassmussen are what’s helped Kirby’s progress, but still need more from the community.
“Show them and let them know how important it is to dig deep into their education,” Calliste said.
Reading and math scores are what need the most progress, as many sixth graders are currently rated at 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, they lack the fundamentals of reading and if you can’t read, it makes you fall behind in almost every subject because you need to read to understand what you are doing,”Calliste said.
A school still working on the bright future they hope to secure by the end of this year with the help from our community.
Calliste said if you are wanting to volunteer, all you have to do is either come in person or call Kirby Middle School and one of the administrators will help you along with that process.