High school students in Cleburne and Rio Vista have the option to change districts in the 2013-14 school year. Both districts’ high schools are on the Public Education Grant list released by the Texas Education Agency.
Rio Vista High School and Cleburne High School are on the list because of “academically unacceptable” ratings for their Texas Assessments of Knowledge and Skills scores in 2010-11. New ratings were not given this school year, so schools remain on the PEG list through the TAKS-to-State of Texas Assessment of Academic Readiness transition.
The STAAR accountability system is still being developed, despite the first STAAR tests being taken in spring 2012.
“We were put on the list for two years when our high school was academically unacceptable,” Rio Vista ISD Superintendent Tim Wright said. “Two years ago our high school was academically unacceptable at the level of 10th grade math.
“Last year they didn’t move the ratings any. When we didn’t get any new ratings, we can’t improve.”
Wright said although RVISD lost some students after last year’s PEG list release, the district is working to improve its test scores.
Cleburne ISD spokesperson Lisa Magers said that CISD is working on its parent notification letter, which must be released by Feb. 1.
CISD Director of Secondary Curriculum Chris Jackson said CISD is on the list because of low math scores on the 2010-11 TAKS. He said this is the second of three years CHS will be on the list, regardless of academic gains.
“It is important to note that CHS had marked gains in 2012,” Jackson said in an email. “CHS met the federally required Adequate Yearly Progress in 2012 with TAKS score increases of 9 percentage points from 2011 to 2012 in math.”
Local districts that aren’t on the PEG list might collect students from either RVISD or CISD when the new school year starts, said Joshua ISD Superintendent Fran Marek.
However, not all students will be accepted.
“What we have in our board policy is just because you have a PEG transfer letter doesn’t mean that you are automatically going to be accepted,” she said. “We look at last year’s final report card and you have to be passing everything. We also look at the most recent state assessment, attendance — which must be 90 percent or greater — and we do not accept any disciplinary alternative education students.”
JISD does not charge transfer students an enrollment fee and hasn’t for several years, Marek said. Nearby Godley ISD, however, charges $500 a semester, said Superintendent Rich Dear.
“With regard to transfer students, I can tell you that we don’t have an ‘open’ transfer policy,” Dear said.
Dear said potential students must show proof of good grades, good attendance and minimal disciplinary issues before being considered. After meeting specific criteria, transfers must still interview at their prospective campus and with Dear before being approved.
“Once approved they must maintain good grades, attendance and behavior, or we reserve the right to revoke the transfer,” Dear said.
According to the TEA, no district is required to accept a PEG list transfer student, but must follow the same policy as for non-PEG transfers. Students who are entering the ninth grade in either district are also eligible to request a transfer.
Parents and students should also carefully consider transfer pros and cons if a student is involved in UIL activities, as the TEA does not govern UIL rules. Students must go through a process to re-establish eligibility once transferred.