Hearne ISD showing improvement heading into school year

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HEARNE, Tex. (KBTX) - The Hearne Independent School District is showing signs of improvement as they head into a new school year. Hearne ISD Superintendent Dr. Adrain Johnson said preliminary accountability scores show improvement at their campuses.

The high school is expected to meet standard for the first time in two years. The entire district assembled Friday morning for convocation.

"Our high school is now meeting standards and our other schools are getting very close to that level as well," said Johnson.

"It doesn't matter what position you're in. In this ISD, every position is important. Every position," said Marcus Ward, Allen Samuels Chevrolet General Manager, as he addressed the hundred gathered at Hearne Elementary School's cafeteria.

Johnson had a message for parents in Hearne.

"I would tell them that right now you need to get back conditioning yourself that you’re ready to go to school. The students need to get back into a routine that they don’t say up so late and that they’re ready to go every morning and ready to get started on a successful school year," he said.

Johnson said they are working to build on momentum after the Texas Education Agency withdrew plans to take over the district.

"Yes it's a totally different climate here. You can feel it in the room and we've been feeling it as we ended the year last year on a positive note with some of the sanctions being taken off the table against the district," he said.

"So we're looking forward to having a positive year and truly focusing on student outcome, positive student outcomes and that's our goal. This year," Johnson added.

The district has improved its staff retention rate by more than half. Last year they had to fill 35 positions. Many of those were teachers. This year it's only 15.

Diana Wood is one of the district's newest teachers and will teach science.

"I came here because I have family that works here and my mother's worked for the district for a few years and absolutely loves Hearne and says all these wonderful things about it. So I was like ok I want to see what this is about," she said.

Wood is also optimistic about the direction the district is heading.

"We're about to break through and show the world what these kids can do. That it's exciting to be here and feel that and it's actually palpable in this room today," she explained.

Final results for TEA accountability scores will be released by the Agency on Tuesday. The district hopes after they improve their ratings they can become a district of innovation and extend the number of class days each year.

On Saturday, August 12th the public is invited to attend a community rally beginning at 6 o'clock at the Hearne Elementary School gym.

At convocation the district also honored longtime school board member James Taylor, who is outgoing from that leadership role after serving 14 years.