District earns A’s across both campuses


Carol Cox

The City has issued a proclamation designating September 9-13 Archer City ISD Appreciation week for the outstanding ratings.

Emily Strenski, Editor-in-chief

For the second year in a row, Archer City has been rated a Straight-A district for the 2018-19 school year.

“When I found out, I was at a training session,” high school principal Mandy Stafford said. “I was just sitting there, and they handed me the report. Happy tears were my first reaction.”

Last year, the district overall received a total score of a 92 for the 2017-18 school year. The district’s report card for the 2018-19 school year shows an improvement from the 92 to a 94 overall.

“I feel blessed to have A’s at both campuses and for the district as a whole,” Superintendent C.D. Knobloch said. “Having As two years consecutive is tough, and improving our score can prove to be even tougher, so I’m proud that we were able to do so.”

The Texas Education Agency sets the standard goals for schools to meet in three unanimous areas: student achievement, school progress and closing the gaps.

“A big part of our score is how our students perform,” high school counselor Leslie Graham said. “STAAR testing and College, Career and Military Readiness (CCMR) are also big contributors to our total score.”

CCMR falls under student achievement, along with the STAAR scores. Overall, the student achievement score was the best coming in at a 95, and the CCMR score was a 97.

“Our CCMR score is calculated by dividing the number of CCMR grads by our total grads,” Mrs. Graham said. “By these stats, it’s obvious that our students perform well under the push for rigorous academics.”

The other scores that contributed to the district’s 94 overall are a 94 in school progress and a 93 in closing the gaps.

School progress measures how students perform over time, as well as comparing the growth to other schools in the district. The elementary school received a 91 in this area, as well as a 91 in student achievement, which contributed to the school’s 90 overall grade.

“It honestly feels like we won a ball game,” elementary principal Amy Huseman said. “Being the school that received A’s at both campuses and for the district feels like winning a state championship.”

In the closing-the-gaps area, the district overall received a 93. The high school earned a 90 in this category, while the elementary scored an 89.

“This near-perfect rating is accredited to the hard work done by our students and faculty,” Mrs. Huseman said. “We get lots of support from our parents and community members.”

For the high school, the student achievement score was a 95, earning a 92 in school progress.

“I really feel like we have the best students in the world,” Mrs. Stafford said. “I’m so proud to be a part of this team. I couldn’t do any of this honestly without my teachers.”

In order to continue this ranking in the future, the district has made a few changes to how they run the schools.

“We’ve added a kind of RTI period in the schedule called HS Enrichment,” Mrs. Stafford said. “We’re going to focus on students who are struggling and help them better themselves. We’ve also updated our cell phone policy. I feel that learning will go smoother without that kind of distraction.”

Following the high school’s lead, the elementary has also implicated a system similar to the enrichment period.

“We’ve put students into smaller groups to get a better understanding of students’ strengths and weaknesses,” elementary counselor Vicky Lopez said. “We want to encourage those strengths and strengthen their weaknesses.”

To improve their score and keep the streak going, the district must show improvement in the three areas.

“We want to keep earning A’s for years to come,” Mr. Knobloch said. “So we’re going to meet students where they are and then help them improve throughout the year.”

One outcome to the score  is that the number of transfer students has increased across both campuses.

Being the school that received A’s at both campuses and for the district feels like winning a state championship.

— Elementary principal Amy Huseman

“We’ve had to add another pre-K teacher and a another kindergarten teacher,” Mrs. Lopez said. “Students are coming from Wichita Falls, Holliday, Henrietta, all over. It’s definitely a great motivator for us to keep the streak alive.”

Another positive effect, according to Mrs. Graham, is that these kind of scores look great when advertising for the school.

“This can only bring people in,” she said. “It showcases just how well our teachers perform and really help students improve.”

Agreeing with Mrs. Graham, Mrs. Stafford views the advertising benefits as an invitation to try something new.

“I want to make commercials for our schools and for our district,” she said. “We’re already taking in more transfers, but I want to spread our scores further. I think this would be a great way of doing it.”

Mrs. Huseman said that she couldn’t have managed it without the unity of her teachers and faculty.

“The teachers and staff do nothing but support our students,” Mrs. Huseman said. “Anyone can see the benefit because of that. It’s a total team effort each and every day of the school year.”