Not Just Students Preparing for School's Start

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BRYAN - Back to school obviously doesn't just apply to students. Someone has to instruct them.

The teachers at Navarro Elementary School in Bryan were just some of the many school staff members who spent the day getting their classrooms ready and game-planning for the first day of classes this coming Monday.

Principal Hugo Ibarra says it's a day his team has been getting set for throughout the summer.

"The first day is critical," he said. "It's critical to capture our students' hearts, to make sure that they feel welcome, to make sure that they feel cared for."

Ibarra encouraged parents to get involved in their children's studies, and said the students should be sure to get plenty of sleep this Sunday night.

In the latest TEA ratings, Navarro picked up distinctions in math and science. All 33 of the performance and participation indicators set out by the TEA were met last school year. Ibarra says Navarro was the second-best attendance among elementary schools in Bryan, and this despite nearly 88 percent of students being categorized as economically disadvantaged.

Bryan's school district overall saw significant improvement, from five schools needing improvement a year before to two schools, and from 21 distinctions the year before to 39. Plus, Bryan Collegiate High, Bryan High and the recently-revamped Neal Elementary picked up distinctions in most categories.

College Station ISD had no individual schools that needed improvement. Plus, both of its high schools -- A&M Consol and College Station High -- received distinctions in most of the categories each was eligible in, as did Consolidated Middle School.

According to the Texas Education Agency's recent accountability ratings, out of Brazos, Burleson, Washington, Grimes, Walker, Madison, Leon and Robertson Counties, only five districts were noted as needing improvement, and a number of them missed by the slimmest of margins.