EDUCATIONAL SERVICE DELIVERY
This chapter examines the Kerrville Independent School District's (KISD's) educational service delivery system in seven sections:
- A. Student Performance
- B. Instructional Resources
- C. Dropout Prevention/Alternative Education
- D. Gifted and Talented Education
- E. Special Education
- F. Bilingual/English as a Second Language Education
- G. Career and Technology Education
B. INSTRUCTIONAL RESOURCES
Instructional resources, the materials available to ensure successful learning, include fiscal and human resources as well as instructional materials and direction. Exhibit 2-13 presents the district's organization chart for the education services delivery.
Exhibit 2-13Source: KISD Department of Curriculum and Instruction, 2001-02.
KISD Education Service Delivery Organization
KISD faculty in 2001-02 includes of 317.7 teachers. Exhibit 2-14 shows percent of teachers and teacher experience for KISD, the peer districts and the state. KISD has a more experienced faculty than its peer districts and the state. On average, KISD teachers have 14.3 years of teaching experience overall and 8.6 years experience with the district (2000-01 data).
Exhibit 2-14Source: TEA, PEIMS, 2001-02.
KISD vs. Peer Districts and State
Brenham Midlothian Marble
Kerrville Levelland Aransas
Percent of Teachers 53.0% 52.6% 50.3% 49.6% 49.5% 45.6% 50.5% Beginning Teachers 5.7% 4.6% 4.0% 3.1% 4.3% 3.5% 7.8% 1-5 Years Experience 23.1% 16.2% 20.2% 15.8% 17.8% 18.7% 27.8% 6-10 Years Experience 19.6% 23.3% 19.4% 21.2% 14.6% 21.3% 18.1% 11-20 Years Experience 26.9% 31.9% 31.6% 32.1% 35.2% 36.3% 24.7% More than 20 Years Experience 24.7% 24.0% 24.8% 27.7% 28.0% 20.2% 21.6%
KISD's average is just above the state average for teachers with a bachelor or master degree. Compared to its peer districts, KISD has the second highest percentage of teachers with a master degree and the third highest percentage of teachers with doctorate degrees (Exhibit 2-15).
Exhibit 2-15Source: TEA, PEIMS, 2001-02.
KISD vs. Peer Districts and State
Degree Brenham Levelland Marble
No Degree 1.9% 0.4% 0.4% 0.2% 0.0% 0.0% 1.4% Bachelor 78.4% 78.9% 76.9% 75.6% 67.1% 79.4% 75.3% Master 18.5% 20.7% 21.6% 23.6% 32.9% 20.3% 22.8% Doctorate 1.1% 0.0% 1.1% 0.6% 0.0% 0.3% 0.5%
In 2000-01, KISD had eight teachers on permit,or 2.4 percent of its faculty. District Teaching Permits are activated by the local school district and approved by the Commissioner of Education for a degreed person who is uniquely qualified to teach a particular assignment and does not hold any type of teaching credential. A district can activate a Temporary Exemption Permit for a certified, degreed teacher who is not certified for a particular classroom assignment. This exemption cannot be renewed. Four of the six districts had teachers on permit in 2000-01.
KISD has an effective curriculum alignment and updating process. KISD curriculum alignment refers to the coordination of the written, taught and assessed curriculum; the articulation of skills and knowledge across all grade levels (K-12); and the alignment of instruction within grade levels and departments and across schools. KISD uses a curriculum vertical planning (across grade levels) team processto align and update its curriculum. The curriculum vertical planning team consists of representative members of the Graduate Profile Committee; the assistant superintendent of Curriculum and Instruction; the Curriculum Advisory Team, composed of principals and teacher representatives; and curriculum writers for each core area, including social studies and science. The curriculum writers' teams, comprised of two teachers per grade level and subject area, are K-12 master teachers. Master teachers are teachers whose classroom experience, certifications and training put them in the position of guiding instructional improvement at their school.
KISD has curriculum guides for each grade level and subject area. These guides are available in hard copy and electronically on the KISD Web site. The KISD curriculum guides contain aligned student objectives, aligned instructional strategies, aligned instructional resources and aligned assessments. KISD's curriculum alignment process began in 1998-99 with the development of the Graduate Profile, training of administrators and teachers in curriculum alignment and curriculum management and the establishment and training of the curriculum writing teams in 1999.
Curriculum writers received subject area-specific training in curriculum alignment, brain research, TAAS analysis and best instructional practices. Curriculum writers worked in 1999 and 2000 with outside experts on alignment with the Graduate Profile, ACT/SAT and PSAT objectives, national standards and TAAS objectives. The district distributed printed and electronic copies of the KISD-aligned objectives for implementation to all teachers.
KISD updates its curriculum guides regularly. The district has developed a Curriculum Planning 5-Year Schedule spanning 1998-99 to 2002-03. The document outlines curriculum-related tasks to be implemented each year and specifies criteria for curriculum updating. In 2000, the curriculum writers, who are master teachers,aligned their best instructional materials, activities and strategies to KISD curriculum objectives.
These practices have also been aligned to the Professional Development Assessment System (PDAS), the system that public schools in Texas use to assess teachers' performance and have become part of KISD's automated, Web-based program (the Kerrville Instructional Improvement Model) that administrators and teachers can access for instructional improvement ideas and resources.
In 2000, KISD implemented OASIS, an automated curriculum system for K-12, in all content areas. OASIS combines KISD's objectives, best instructional practices and resources and up-to-date information about TAAS into a single system. OASIS also aligns each KISD objective with TAAS Release Test questions, Clarifying Activities and Assessment in Math and Snapshots in Science. These guides, developed by the University of Texas/Dana Center, clarify the TEKS and indicate how they relate to curriculum and assessment. OASIS also includes clarifications from the TEA's Educator's Guide and favorite Web sites. In 2001, KISD's curriculum writers updated the best practices and resources in each core area and began the alignment of assessment, enrichment and remediation activities to each KISD objective.
The KISD curriculum writers also developed and added to OASIS weekly lesson plans for kindergarten and grade 1. These lesson plans are especially useful for new teachers and their mentor teachers. An outside consultant aligned the new TAKS objectives in the OASIS system. KISD principals developed a plan in 2001 to ensure that all KISD objectives, not just TAAS objectives, are taught. This plan ensures KISD that the instructional focus is not narrowed specifically to TAAS.
KISD has developed a long-range plan for curriculum development. The long-range plan is divided into three phases of curriculum development: plan and develop curriculum, update and implement curriculum and review and update annually. The plan identifies the content areas that will be addressed for each of the phases annually from 1999-2000 through 2005-06.
KISD has a well-planned, clearly defined and implemented process for curriculum alignment and updating.
KISD uses an innovative and cost effective staff development model involving study groups. In 2000-01, KISD implemented the study group model developed by North East ISD to use for staff development. The study group model involves small groups performing action-based research to solve a single school issue or concern and improve student academic performance. Action-based research involves teachers as researchers; it is school-based and is guided by instructional personnel researching what is going on in the classroom. Groups consist of three to five teachers or a mix of teachers and administrators. Study groups can consist of grade level teams, vertical teams, teams studying specific education books or issues/concerns teams. Staff members are asked to join a group based on their interests and needs.
The issues or problems that study groups address are closely linked to their Campus Improvement Plan and to the campus needs assessment. Study groups typically focus on campus climate, student achievement, improving homework results, designing instructional strategies, improving teacher communication with students and parents and curriculum alignment. For example, Daniels Elementary School had 16 study groups in 2001-02. These study groups addressed topics such as Curriculum for "Higher Achievers," curriculum writing aligned to OASIS, creating a vertically aligned Grade 1 writing curriculum and building literacy centers that align with TEKS. The groups met regularly and followed preset rules.
KISD has implemented both campus-based and district-wide study groups. The groups meet for a minimum of 18 hours a year and may continue for three years. Study groups foster collaboration and innovation in a relatively risk-free environment. The concept appeals to teachers who may feel that getting traditional staff development never really addresses their specific needs. The study groups contributed to the quality of instruction at KISD by researching or developing instructional materials that are added to the district curriculum. Study groups contributed a large portion of the materials in the OASIS curriculum.
KISD uses study groups as an innovative staff development strategy to improve instruction and student performance.
KISD has developed and uses a comprehensive Program Evaluation Model. The district's Leadership Committee identifies three programs a year for in-depth evaluation using the evaluation model. The seven-step Program Evaluation Model includes three evaluation phases: organization and design; information collection; and analysis and conclusion. The model details in a step-by-step fashion all activities evaluators have to perform and has associated forms and examples (Exhibit 2-16).
Exhibit 2-16Source: KISD Program Evaluation Model.
KISD Program Evaluation Process
Steps Purpose Activities Step 1 Select a steering committee and organize. Evaluation leader selects a committee, identifies a resource person, schedules committee meetings and establishes a deadline for the evaluation report. Step 2 Describe the program being evaluated. Evaluators describe the program under evaluation and where and how it has been implemented, state the goal of the program and articulate expected outcomes. Step 3 Select the focus of the evaluation. Evaluators define the purpose of the evaluation and identify specific concerns about the program that should be investigated. Step 4 Select the evaluation method. Evaluators select the methodology associated with expected outcomes, define quantitative and qualitative measures, develop a data collection schedule and specify the population from whom data will be collected. Step 5 Collect data and document results. Evaluators collect data from the target population using the specified data collection instruments. Step 6 Analyze and interpret the results. Evaluators analyze the data and document results. Evaluators describe program implementation, whether and how it varies from the original plan and document the data obtained by each evaluation methodology. Step 7 Prepare report including recommendations. Evaluators prepare a report that shows the degree to which the program met each expected outcome and support their conclusions. The report includes a cost/benefit analysis and a recommendation of whether the program should be continued as is, modified, or discontinued. The report also includes suggestions on how the program's weaknesses can be remedied and how its strengths can be perpetuated.
The evaluation committee forwards the report and recommendations to the superintendent. The superintendent reviews the report with the principals and respective directors. Before recommendations are implemented, the district checks whether the recommended changes are in compliance with pertinent federal or state laws and regulations. KISD involves the Faculty Community Advisory Council (FCAC) and the site-based decision-making committees in planning and implementing major program changes.
KISD uses a Program Evaluation Model to conduct annual in-depth evaluations and improve programs based on evaluation results and recommendations.
KISD curriculum prepares students for end-of-course exams. One measure of an effective curriculum is to examine the percent of students who pass end-of-course exams. The percent of students passing end-of-course exams can be used as a partial measure of how well the curriculum is preparing students (Exhibit 2-17).
Exhibit 2-17Source: TEA, AEIS, 2000-01.
End-Of-Course Examination Scores
Percent of Students Passing
KISD vs. Peer Districts and State
District Algebra I Biology 1 English II U.S. History Kerrville 73.5% 90.0% 73.8% 93.8% Midlothian 63.5% 89.7% 84.4% 86.1% Brenham 55.8% 83.3% 47.9% 68.1% Marble Falls 51.4% 78.3% 81.9% 90.1% Aransas County 46.4% 84.0% 84.7% 86.7% Levelland 44.1% 77.4% 58.4% 80.1% State 49.2% 79.9% 75.1% 74.3%
Compared to its peer districts, KISD ranks first in the percent of students passing Algebra I, Biology I and U.S. History end-of-course exams. The percent of KISD students who pass end-of-course exams in these areas exceeded the state average by 10 to 24 points.
KISD curriculum prepares students for end-of-course examinations.