TEA directors visit Princeton ISD
Representatives from the Texas Education Agency recently visited Princeton ISD because it is an A-rated district with a Transitional and Early Exit Bilingual Program.
TEA's Director of English Learner Support, Barbara Kennedy, and the ESL Program Director, Carlene Thomas, made campus visits to observe bilingual classrooms.
"TEA wanted to come in and take a look at our program because of the success our students are exhibiting," Superintendent Philip Anthony said. "Because we are an exemplary district, they wanted to see how we are running our program to help students achieve a high level of success."
According to Deputy Superintendent Dr. Jackie Hendricks, TEA chose Princeton ISD since it has an accountability rating of “A.”
Princeton’s bilingual education at the elementary level breaks down the program with different grade level services.
For Pre-K through first grade, students are in a self-contained classroom with a bilingual teacher. For second and third grade, students are self-contained for a half day, then spend the rest of the day in general education classes with a bilingual teacher who comes in to assist. For fourth and fifth grade, students rotate through general education classes all day, with a bilingual teacher who comes in to assist. Sixth grade prepares students for more mainstream education by rotating them through departments, except ELAR where they have a bilingual teacher.
For secondary students, the district utilizes a pull-out program, which includes:
- ESL students grouped together for English/Language Arts/Reading with a certified ESL teacher
- Students with English speaking peers for the rest of their classes with individualized accommodations and language support as needed
- After-school tutoring with transportation provided
Following the visit, TEA officials provided feedback on what Princeton ISD is doing. Some of the noted TEA findings include:
- Positive climate - warm and welcoming, evident in student and staff interactions
- Principals, teachers and students create an incredible learning community
- Strong relationships between teachers and students
- Students actively engaged
- Teachers well prepared
- Use of visual components to aid in language acquisition
- Coordinated curriculum in place
- Effective use of technology
- Excellent efforts to integrate students with English speaking peers
“The TEA had many positive accolades to add regarding our district and students performing well above the state average,” Mr. Anthony said.