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Superintendents gather to discuss academic achievement

Leaders from school districts all around the Permian Basin gathered to share ideas on how to improve education in the area.

MIDLAND, Texas — Students falling behind. It's been a big concern all over the country in light of the pandemic, and the leaders of all the school districts in Permian Basin are trying to do something about it.

The superintendents got together to figure out how best to improve academic achievement, but they know that students have been set back academically.

"We know that our kids have a lot of unfinished learning and many of our kids have been virtual for over a year and we’ve had kids that have been missing from school for over a year and just the learning that did occur wasn’t optimized and we’re gonna use this money to help our students recover some of that learning," Dr. Scott Muri, ECISD superintendent, said.

Muri and the other superintendents such as Dr. Angelica Ramsey with MISD believe that collaboration will lead to some solutions.

"We need to work together on our solutions. So we need to stop being silos and work together because if there’s one thing that we learned during COVID is that we’re better together and that we can find solutions if we’re collaborative and in partnership," Ramsey said.

Each leader shared with others what ideas have worked for them in their district and what hasn't.

"One was a mentoring program. It was from a smaller school district in the Permian Basin that assigns adults advocates to students and they plan their instructional day to ensure that at least twice a week the adults and the students interact to talk about not only academic achievement but also just how they're feeling," Ramsey said.

One of the biggest topics discussed involves getting quality teachers to the Permian Basin.

"A lot of the conversation today was about talent. Many districts in the Permian Basin struggle with having enough talent whether through teacher vacancies or other opportunities. We simply have a shortage of quality people to serve in school districts and that was a common conversation today," Muri said.

Muri is hoping that the conversation that began with the other leaders of the school districts in the Permian Basin are a sign of things to come.

"We use the concept of collective greatness. Together, when great minds come into the same place and we elevate our thinking. We may have had good thoughts as individuals, but this opportunity allows us to take those good thoughts and make them great thoughts," Muri said.