BIG SPRING, TX (KWES) - Hard work and adjustments to curriculum, policy and procedure have paid off at Big Spring public schools, district officials said.
The Big Spring Independent School District met state education standards for the first time since 2010, according to the Texas Education Agency's 2015 Accountability Report released Friday morning. About 92 percent of public districts and charter schools statewide received this designation.
"We expect the improvement in our Accountability Report status will result in a change in the district's accreditation rating from 'Accredited Probation' to fully 'Accredited,'" a Big Spring ISD spokesman said in a statement to NewsWest 9.
District officials credited the improvement to teachers, staff and students, and said the "Met Standard" designation is an indicator of "the collective growth of students at all levels."
However, despite district-wide progress, Big Spring ISD's four elementary schools and intermediate school each received an "Improvement Required" status in the TEA report.
"There is still much work to be done," district officials said. "We look forward to the upcoming school year with renewed confidence."
Dolores Ortiz, 12, said she enjoyed her time as a Big Spring 6th grader during the 2014-2015 academic year and noticed the changes her teachers employed at the intermediate school.
"I actually learned something from it," she said. "I don't stop until I make the right grade now. If I had a bad grade, I would retake the test."
Ashley Saiz, 17, said she also benefited from adjustments at Big Spring High School last year. The rising junior told NewsWest 9 she appreciated the one-on-one attention she received in certain subjects.
"Algebra was really challenging... but [my teacher] was really good," said Saiz. "He would sit there and teach us how to do it step by step."
Both girls said the increased academic stimulation made their goals feel within reach. Saiz hopes to one day work as a homicide detective, while Ortiz dreams of serving in the military.