WICHITA FALLS (KFDX/KJTL) — With only months remaining before a possible ruling of closing Kirby Middle School, or a state take-over of the Wichita Falls school district, trustees Tuesday got a not exactly rosy update on steps taken to avoid that turn of events.
Kirby has been on the ‘Improvement Required’ rating, and this year is the deadline for measured improvement. From bringing in Engage 2 Learn, to asking for volunteers and tutors, efforts are in progress to bring up reading and math scores at Kirby, where many sixth graders are rated as reading at third-grade levels.
But Superintendent Donny Lee said more has to be done if the school wants to remain open, and more help is desperately needed.
“In the ED center on floor three, we have all the specialists so that is a person that’s designed to enhance reading capacity. They’re called reading specialists, and we have math specialists. They have been pulled from the third floor of this building and put into Kirby and now they’re classroom teachers,” Lee said.
Dr. Lee said they won’t know the fate of Kirby until STAAR test results come in August or early September, and if those scores don’t improve enough, closure or takeover by the state looms.
If Kirby does have to be shut down, Dr. Lee said they will be given a one-year planning period in order to figure out where the students will be transferred. The second option would be for the state to replace the entire board of trustees with a board of managers.