Meeting individual student needs

Published 6:14 am Saturday, February 17, 2018

By Rickie Harris

In my last editorials I shared West Orange –Cove’s Strategic Plan’s Mission, Vision, Beliefs, and Goals. Our Vision is “Empowering Lives Through Excellence Every Day!” Our Mission is “In partnership with our community, our mission is to transform lives through an exceptional educational experience.”

Through our strategic goals, West Orange – Cove CISD will:

  1. Promote a positive image.
  2. Maintain a quality staff.
  3. Provide opportunities to increase family involvement.
  4. Upgrade technology throughout the system.
  5. Enhance programs to meet individualized student needs.

Previously, I communicated our progress in the areas of promoting a positive image, maintaining a quality staff, updating technology, and building family involvement. Today I will share information regarding our final goal of meeting individualized student needs.

We are utilizing best practices and research proven methods to continuously improve our instructional delivery and student expectations. Campuses are incorporating curricular components into collaborative lesson planning practices. Alignment and rigor are the key focus as we move toward a growth mindset.

Specifically in regards to goal accomplishments:

  • Students are educated within the least restrictive environment.
  • Individual academic 504 and Individualized Education Plans are reviewed annually through Students Services
  • An intervention program provides tiered instructional support for our students.
  • A district-wide screening resource identifies students in need of additional academic support.
  • Core teachers, district-wide, utilize a balanced literacy approach to instruction.
  • Curriculum is aligned and includes district-wide assessment guidelines.
  • We continue to provide transportation and food services for after school activities.
  • Identified students receive additional food services through a weekend backpack program.
  • Tutorial programs are available.
  • All of campuses use a consistent approach to discipline management.

Additionally, we are extremely excited to have launched an Early College High School in partnership with Lamar State College – Orange. Twenty-five students enter the program each school year; it allows students to earn 60 college hours, an LSCO Associate’s degree, and a high school diploma during their high school career. The program is free to our students. This week, we selected our second cohort. Congratulations to these students!

Also at the High School, we are working to increase the variety of dual-credit opportunities offered to student and improving our Career and Technology Education program. This includes increasing the number of certificate opportunities available through completion of the High School Career Center courses. We are currently investigating the addition of an in-house cosmetology program.

District-wide, we are working towards individualizing student produced goals, enhancing small group instruction, and continuing to improve administrator and teacher knowledge and use of our curriculum resources. Finally, we plan to broaden teacher instructional resources through Ready, Set, Teach.

We believe in John Maxwell’s philosophy that “One is too small a number to achieve greatness.” I look forward to sharing our progress on another strategic goal in my next editorial. In the meantime, we are “Empowering Lives Through Excellence Every Day!”

Go Mustangs!

Rickie R. Harris is the Superintendent at West Orange – Cove CISD