By Geena Martinez
ODESSA - We're getting an early look inside the Texas Educations Agency's visit at the Ector County School District. They're looking into the district's Bilingual Education and English as a Second Language program.
The district fell below the mark on their performance based reviews but changes are already in the works.
A new year means new changes and that's no different for the Bilingual Education and ESL program at the Ector County school district.
In December, the TEA paid a visit to the Ector County ISD after student performance in these two areas didn't quite meet the state standards.
We're told one reason students were struggling is because some parents choose not to enroll their kids in the programs.
"Those are the students, we are finding the ones who are really under performing the most," Pilar Moreno-Recio, Director of Bilingual Education and ESL, said.
"Some parents may not necessarily understand that being bilingual is something actually very positive," Moreno-Recio said.
Right now, there are more than 5,000 bilingual and ESL students who speak a combined 18 different languages.
Moreno-Recio said the TEA gave them positive feedback on what they're doing to improve.
"They saw that the bilingual department is actually supporting teachers through professional development," she said.
They're also training faculty to identify students who can benefit from the programs.
"It is district wide," Moreno-Recio said. "We are training everybody because you never know which students end up with which teacher."
Last but not least, they're putting even more emphasis on parent involvement.
"We have three big meetings throughout the year," Moreno-Recio said. "We also have a family literacy, Latino literacy project, show them what literature is about so they can read together, parents and students. We need to make sure parents are well informed about what bilingual education and ESL is."
Improving students' performance isn't an overnight process but officials said ECISD is headed in the right direction.