While kids preparing to head back to school may dread report card day, the two districts that serve New Braunfels had reason to be pleased with their report card from the state on Thursday.

Comal ISD gets an A

Comal Independent School District officials were pleased to see the 92 overall score it received in the Texas Education Agency’s 2018-19 accountability assessment of school districts released Thursday. 

This score placed Comal ISD among the top school districts in the state with only 257 of 1,022 districts earning an A this past year.

TEA assessments, largely based on State of Texas Assessments of Academic Readiness testing results, measured district and school performance in three domains — student achievement, school progress and closing academic performance gaps. 

“While we celebrate this score, the state accountability system is just one of many indicators we look at to gauge how we are serving our students,” said Kerry Gain, assistant superintendent of curriculum and academic services. “At Comal ISD, every student’s success comes first, and we will continue to provide every opportunity for each student to be successful.”

Each of Comal ISD’s 30 campuses received passing grades, with more than half earning an A. The district received in overall A in the state’s A-F accountability system. The district received an A in student achievement; a B in school progress and an A in closing performance gaps. 

The A-F system is also based on graduation rates, college, career and military readiness, SAT/ACT scores and college course prep completion.

The state’s accountability score is a culmination of all the daily work that goes into student performance, said Comal ISD Superintendent Andrew Kim.

“We congratulate all of our students, teachers and parents who have supported our work,” Kim said. “We celebrate our score as one indicator of the hard work we expend on a daily basis. We care more about what happens every day in our classrooms and in the hallways than any one number or letter we receive.”

This year was the first year individual campuses were graded on an A-F rating.

New Braunfels scores a B

The TEA score for New Braunfels Independent School District climbed three points this year, but officials say that number doesn’t tell the whole story.

“NBISD’s overall score increased to 91 from a score of 86 last year,” Rebecca Villarreal, NBISD’s director of communications, said. “The final rating given to NBISD this year was a B, even though the overall score is an A. This is due to a capped score of 89 for any school district that has at least one school receiving a D or F in the Closing the Gaps domain.”

According to TEA, the Closing the Gaps domain is critical in the overall district or campus evaluation.

“It ensures the lowest-performing student groups receive focused interventions,” the TEA site said. “The system evaluates the performance of 14 student groups: all students, African American, Hispanic, white, American Indian, Asian, Pacific Islander, two or more races, economically disadvantaged, current special education, former special education, current and monitored English learners, continuously enrolled, and non-continuously enrolled.”

TEA’s new system compares performances between similar districts and schools, and places increased emphasis on improving the performances of economically disadvantaged students and closing performance gaps.

“For the first year, all of the campuses were officially awarded a letter grade under the state’s news accountability system with a majority of the schools receiving an A or B,” Villarreal said. “Only one campus (Klein Road Elementary) received a C and one campus (Memorial Elementary) received a D.”

Coming Saturday: A look at distinctions for each district, campus and what comes next.

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