College Station ISD welcomes students back with new strategic plan

CSISD administrators are focused on student success this academic year.
Published: Aug. 17, 2021 at 2:46 PM CDT
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COLLEGE STATION, Texas (KBTX) - According to College Station ISD Superintendent Mike Martindale, a little over 14,000 students were in class today for the district’s first day of school. Student success will be a focus for this new academic year as the district has a new strategic plan in place.

For Molley Perry, CSISD Chief Administrative Officer, the strategic plan sets a goal for how the district will progress.

“We have grown a lot in College Station ISD over the last decade and the development of this plan is really a time to pause and think about the future of the district as we really want to make sure everyone is moving in the same direction,” said Perry. “It provides us focus and a clear purpose across all of our campuses.”

The strategic plan is something that Martindale is really looking forward to for this school year.

“We have a strategic plan in place that I’m really excited about, and we’ll focus our work as a district towards student success,” said Martindale.

According to Martindale, student success is his top goal for the academic year.

“I think my number one goal right now is student success,” said Martindale. “It’s all about what our students are able to accomplish, how they feel about coming to school, that engagement with teachers. It’s about what we can do to support our kids to excel at whatever they may choose to excel at. I believe that is the secret and that’s what we are about.”

Helping ensure student success are programs that started over the summer with new accelerated learning programs to help students catch up who fell behind because of the pandemic.

“This summer we more than doubled our offerings for accelerated instruction in summer school,” said Tiffany Parkerson, CSISD Executive Director of Secondary Education. “The elementary school program was entirely new for us. We had not done that before. Then we also in past years would’ve only served our intermediate and middle school grade levels. This year we served students in five through eight as well as expanding our high school course offerings beyond our end-of-course exam tested subjects to more core classes as well as some electives.”

On the faculty side, teachers have to spend some hours in the classroom, too, further working on their skills to be better in the classroom.

“Teachers have to get a lot of continuing education units every year,” said Jeff Mann, CSISD Director of Instruction. “It’s an average of 30 [hours] per year. It’s 150 over a five-year period. It’s our commitment to them as a district is to provide lots of choice and opportunity for them to do just that.”

Keeping all this in mind, like any first day, family members at A&M Consolidated still have some jitters.

“I was way more nervous than he was because we are new to the district, so it’s his first day at a new school, but we are really excited and optimistic,” said parent, Amanda Hand.

For Paul Obizi his nervousness was placed in another area.

“We are a little bit nervous about COVID,” said Obizi. “I don’t know how the school year is going to go. You know with the mask mandates have been lifted by the Governor, so we don’t know how it’s going to look like in the school.”

“The COVID variant is rising right now [and] we don’t know what’s going to happen,” said Obizi.

It’s a similar feeling Ashley Calhoun has for her niece and nephew.

“I’m glad, but I hope the kids stay safe, use sanitizer, and be free of COVID,” said Calhoun.

To help keep students safe the district is encouraging masks, self-assessments before school, and will continue with extra cleaning.

Click here to learn more about CSISD’s COVID protocols.

However, even with these measures and a focus on student success Obizi believes COVID will pose a potential challenge.

“I think they are very prepared waiting for them to come back again. The challenge again is the COVID. The delta variant. Nobody knows what’s it going to do,” said Obizi.

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