Coy Holcombe

About Coy Holcombe

Superintendent of Eustace I.S.D., Eustace TX

A – F Ratings

By now I am sure that you have heard of the new A – F rating system for public schools. There have been numerous stories from around the state regarding this new system. Overall, not too many people have a favorable view of the A – F system. I want to take just a few minutes and explore, from Eustace ISD’s point of view, why this may be the case:

First, let’s go back to the Accountability Summaries that have been released for each one of our campuses and our district as a whole. These Accountability Summary sheets were released in September 2016. They list how a district (or campus) fared with respect to the 4 indices used in our accountability system. The indices include Student Achievement, Student Progress, Closing Performance Gaps, and Postsecondary Readiness. The district and each of our campuses met all the standards associated with these indices. All of our campuses and the district had the Accountability Rating of “Met Standard.”

The Summary Sheet also lists all the Distinctions that a campus earned. At the High School level, there were 8 different Distinctions possible. Eustace High School earned all 8 Distinctions. The Distinctions included: Academic Achievement in ELA/Reading, Academic Achievement in Mathematics, Academic Achievement in Science, Academic Achievement in Social Studies, Top 25 Percent Student Progress, Top 25 Percent Closing Performance Gaps, and Postsecondary Readiness.

At the Middle School level, 7 Distinctions could be earned. Eustace Middle School earned 3 of those Distinctions: Academic Achievement in ELA/Reading, Top 25 Percent Closing Performance Gaps, and Postsecondary Readiness.

There were also 7 Distinctions possible at the Intermediate School level. Of these 7, Eustace Intermediate earned 2 Distinctions: Top 25 Percent Closing Performance Gaps and Postsecondary Readiness.  (The Primary School is paired with the Intermediate School for accountability purposes.)

Now let’s compare the A – F grade that each campus received in the different Domains (The “Domains” in the A – F system correspond to the “Indices” in the Accountability Summary Sheets. The state using different names from one system to another just makes it more confusing for people to understand.) For the High School, in Domain I, Student Performance, the letter grade assigned was a “C”. Even though the High School received every Distinction possible with respect to student achievement, the letter grade was only a “C”. As stated above, the High School earned every possible Distinction possible. Yet, the highest letter grade at the High School was a “B”. There appears to be a disconnect between the Accountability System and the A – F Ratings System.

As noted above, every campus received a Distinction for Postsecondary Readiness. Yet, in the A – F system, the district letter grade for Postsecondary Readiness is a “D”. How do you achieve a Distinction at every campus and make a “D” as a district?

One of the most perplexing grades was given to the Middle School in the area of Student Progress. The Middle School met and exceeded the Target Score in the Index, but was given an “F” in the Domain. To me an “F” represents failing. How can a school be failing in an Index in which they scored above the Target Score to earn Met Standard?

Included with the A-F grades are explanations for how each grade is calculated. Domain III offers an interesting explanation for the formula used. It states, “Based on slope-intercept form: y = mx + b.” To me, if you are having to call on the slope-intercept formula to explain anything in the A – F system, something’s not right. This is supposed to be an “easy to understand” system.

Finally, in the report given to our legislators, the Texas Education Agency has included 3 pages of “caveats” about the A – F Rating System. According to Google, a caveat is defined as “a warning or proviso of specific stipulations, conditions, or limitations.” If these ratings are supposed to be a true indication of how well our schools are doing, how can there be even one caveat, much less three pages of them?

At Eustace ISD, we are going to keep doing what is in the best interest of our students. We are not going to be defined by a number or a letter. Instead, we will continue to be defined by making decisions based on the needs of our children. If you have questions, comments, or concerns about anything, please feel free to contact me at cholcombe@eustaceisd.net. Or, if you would like, please come by and visit me in person.

 

 

 

This Week

I hope everyone had a great 3 day weekend!!

Tuesday – High School Boys and Girls District Basketball at Scurry – 4:00

Thursday – MS Girls Basketball at Kemp – 5:00; MS Boys Basketball v. Kemp – 5:00

Friday – All Region Band Concert and Clinic in Canton; High School Boys and Girls Basketball v. Edgewood – 4:00

Saturday – All Region Band Concert and Clinic in Canton

I hope everyone has a great week!

 

Update on Board Meeting, State Spirit Competition

I apologize for the lack of updates. We have had some technology issues that have required extensive repair time from our tech guys. I want to update you on a couple of things.

Board Meeting this Past Monday

This past Monday, the EISD Board of Trustees held a public hearing to review the 2015-2016 Texas Academic Performance Report. The public hearing started at 6:45 and was held in the High School library. During the hearing, the Board reviewed the TAPR’s for the district and each campus. The TAPR also contained the campus improvement plans for all campuses, a report on violent and criminal incidents, a report from the Texas Higher Education Coordinating Board on post secondary attendees, and a glossary. Following is a list of Distinctions earned at each campus:

High School – EHS earned every Distinction possible in 2015-2016
Academic Achievement in ELA/Reading
Academic Achievement in Math
Academic Achievement in Science
Academic Achievement in Social Studies
Top 25 Percent Student Progress
Top 25 Percent Closing Performance Gaps
Postsecondary Readiness

Middle School – EMS earned 3 out of 7 possible Distinctions in  2015-2016
Academic Achievement in ELA/Reading
Top 25 Percent Closing Performance Gaps
Postsecondary Readiness

Intermediate – EIS earned 2 out of 7 possible Distinctions in 2015-2016
Top 25 Percent Closing Performance Gaps
Postsecondary Readiness
(Note: Eustace Primary is paired with Eustace Intermediate for accountability purposes.)

Update on Regular Monthly Board Meeting

Following the TAPR hearing, the Eustace ISD Board of Trustees held their regular monthly meeting. The following actions were taken during the meeting:

  • School Board Recognition – All Board Members were recognized for their service to EISD. The Intermediate School provided a meal for the board, the Primary School provided desserts, the Middle School provided decorations, and the High School provided treat bags for each board member. In addition, each board member received a certificate of appreciation for the time and effort put in making sure that each student in EISD receives a world class education. Board members include:

Gary Walsh – President
Ashley McKee – Vice President
Bobby Ashton – Secretary
Cotton Walker – Member
Steven Bell – Member
Jimmy Kirkhart – Member
David Morton – Member

A special thank you to each of our board members for their devotion to providing our children with the best possible education!

  • Approved minutes from previous meetings.
  • Approved financial reports.
  • Approved the 2016 audit report.
  • Approved a resolution calling for a school board election on May 9, 2017.
  • Approved contract with the City of Eustace for the school trustee general election.
  • Accepted the resignation of Richard Gaddis.
  • Approved the employment of the following personnel: Jerry Clark as night custodian at the High School; Stacy Gilbreath as cook at the Primary cafeteria; and, Shelby Adams as principal of Eustace Primary.
  • Approved the extension of the superintendent’s contract by one year.
  • Approved the list of transfer students as presented.
  • Adjourned.

State Spirit Competition

On Wednesday, January 11, 2017, the Eustace Varsity Cheer Squad competed in the 2nd annual State Spirit Competition. During the preliminary round, squads competed in three categories: Fight Song, Band Dance, and Crowd Leading. This year, the Bulldog Cheerleaders competed in the 3A/4A Small Coed Division. The Bulldog Cheerleaders won the state championship in all three categories!! Overall, after the final round of competition, the Bulldogs finished 3rd in state and brought home the bronze medal!! Congratulations to all the students and their coaches, Melanie Tanner and Amanda Planeta, for all the hard work and long hours spent preparing for this competition. Also, I want to thank all the parents, grandparents, and other friends and relatives for all of their support this year.

Welcome Back and This Week

I hope everyone had a safe and enjoyable Christmas break! We have completed 3 of the 6 six-week periods of the 2016-2017 school year. Today is a staff workday. Tomorrow is the start of the 4th 6 weeks. Students will return at regular times tomorrow.

This Week

Monday – Staff Workday

Tuesday – Start of 4th 6 Weeks; High School Boys and Girls Basketball v. Quitman – 4:00

Thursday – Intermediate – Perfect Attendance/Right Choice Drawings; Report cards issued; Middle School Basketball – Girls at Grand Saline & Boys v. Grand Saline – 5:00

Friday – High School Boys and Girls Basketball at Grand Saline – 4:00

Saturday – Area All Region Tryouts; Cheerleading Show Off

I hope everyone has a great week!

All District Football, Merry Christmas, & Happy New Year!

Below are the All-District football honors for this year:

1st team
Cameron Rogers  RB
Dylan Hunsaker DL

2nd team
Clifton Johnson RB
JJ Hughes LB
Michael Schultz OL

Honorable mention
Alejandro Sanchez QB
Mikey Marshall OL
Kole Graham LB
Stone Wadsworth DB
Corey Strawn DB
Joey Harris DL

Congratulations to each of these players for earning a spot on the All District Team!

Today is an early out day. School will be dismissed about 2 hours early. Today is also the end of the 3rd 6 weeks. When we return in January, we will have 97 school days left in the 2016-2017 school year.

Tomorrow, the JV boys basketball team will be in a one day tournament at Rains.

Christmas Break is December 19 – January 2 for students. Staff members have a workday on January 2. Classes resume on Tuesday, January 3 at regular times.

During the break, there will be district basketball games against Alba-Golden. The games will be played on Friday, January 30. Games will be played in Eustace and are scheduled to start at 10:00 AM.

I want to take this opportunity to wish everyone a very Merry Christmas and a very Happy New Year!

Dianne Shaffer’s Reception, This Week and Board Meeting Tonight

First, I want to extend congratulations and well wishes to our Primary principal, Dianne Shaffer. Mrs. Shaffer will be retiring at the end of December. I want to thank Mrs. Shaffer for all the years that she has devoted to helping the students, staff, parents, and communities. While she will be greatly missed, we wish her well in her new adventure!!

Mrs. Shaffer receiving the Bell Award from Janice Beasley

Mrs. Shaffer receiving the Bell Award from Janice Beasley

Shaffer Family

Shaffer Family

Mrs. Shaffer at her reception.

Mrs. Shaffer at her reception.

 

This is going to be a busy week! There will be some type of event or activity everyday this week. Before we get to This Week, check out the videos on the district’s YouTube channel of the Christmas Concert from last Thursday night. All three bands should be on our channel by mid-morning.

Congratulations to the varsity girls basketball team on placing 3rd at the Cross Roads Tournament!

This Week

Monday – Primary School AR Store; MS Girls Basketball v. Alba Golden – 5:00; MS Boys Basketball at Alba Golden – 5:00; Board Hearing – 6:45; Regular Board Meeting – 7:00 PM

Tuesday – Primary School AR Store; 2nd Grade Christmas Around the World; High School Girls District Basketball v. Scurry

Wednesday – Primary School AR Store; 2nd Grade Christmas Around the World; Middle School Basketball Pictures

Thursday – Early Out – Schools will dismiss two hours early; 1st & 2nd Grade Movie and PJ Day; JV Girls Tournament at Cross Roads

Friday – Early Out – Schools will dismiss two hours early; End 3rd 6 Weeks; Intermediate – 1st Semester Drawings/Money-Aire; Primary School – Christmas Parties; High School Girls District Basketball at Edgewood; High School Boys Basketball at Winona – 5:00

Board Meeting Tonight

The Eustace ISD Board of Trustees will host a public hearing tonight at 6:45. The hearing will be to discuss whether to continue to pursue the District of Innovation designation. Everyone is invited and encouraged to attend.

At 7:00 PM, the Board of Trustees will host their regular monthly meeting. During the meeting the Board will hear the following reports:

  • RevTrak Report
  • HCAD Board of Directors Election Results
  • Indicators for A-F Academic Accountability System
  • Update on Enrollment

The Board may consider action on the following items:

  • Minutes of previous meetings.
  • Discussions with Paragon Sports.
  • Financial reports.
  • Changing date of January board meeting.
  • Appointing Advisory Committee to develop plan to pursue District of Innovation status or decline to pursue.
  • Resolution to prioritize upcoming legislation
  • Review and consider plans for press box.
  • Estimates for bus repair.
  • School Board Development Hours

The Board will enter closed session to discuss employment and staffing and student transfers. Any action taken on a closed session item will be made in open session.

I hope everyone has a great week!

 

 

 

This Week

Congratulations to the varsity girls basketball team on placing second at the Eustace Tournament this past weekend. There were lots of teams at this tournament. The tournament started on Thursday and concluded with basketball games all day Saturday. The tournament also featured a team from Australia – the Aussie Travelers. It takes a lot of work to host a tournament of this size. I want to thank everyone who helped make this tournament possible.

Lady Bulldogs

Lady Bulldogs – 2nd Place

Lady Bulldogs, Sunnyvale Lady Raiders, and the Aussie Travlers

Lady Bulldogs, Sunnyvale Lady Raiders, and the Aussie Travlers

 

The High School will be doing end of course testing throughout this week. This testing is for students that may have missed a prior test, not met the passing standard on previous tests, or may have taken a dual credit class in the summer that requires an end of course test.

Monday – MS Girls Basketball at Mineola – 5:00; MS Boys Basketball v. Mineola – 5:00

Tuesday – High School Girls Basketball at Fairfield – 5:00; High School Boys Basketball at Ferris – 5:30

Wednesday – Middle School Picture Retakes

Thursday – Primary AR Store Open; Christmas Concert – 7:00; Girls and Boys at Cross Roads Tournament

Friday – PS AR Store Open; Girls and Boys at Cross Roads Tournament

Saturday – Christmas on the Square

I hope everyone has a great week!

 

 

FFA Senior Creed and Radio Team

Congratulations to Olivia Dailey on placing first at the Area FFA Senior Creed Speaking Contest! Olivia now heads to the state competition this Friday and Saturday! On behalf of EISD, we wish Olivia a safe trip and good luck at the state competition.

Olivia Dailey

Olivia Dailey

Congratulations also go out to the FFA Radio team on placing 3rd at the Area Competition!

Welcome Back and This Week

I hope everyone had a great Thanksgiving break! As of today, there are 15 days left in the first semester. In those 15 days, there are lots of events and activities planned. Just a reminder that December 15 & 16 are both early release days.

This Week

Monday – MS Boys Basketball at Quitman – 5:00; MS Girls Basketball v. Quitman – 5:00

Tuesday – High School Girls Basketball at Kaufman – 5:00; High School Boys Basketball v. Elkhart – 5:30

Thursday – High School All-Region Band Tryouts in Kemp; High School Boys Basketball at Farmersville Tournament; Eustace Varsity and JV Girls Tournament

Friday – High School Boys Basketball at Farmersville Tournament; Eustace Varsity and JV Girls Tournament

Saturday – High School Boys Basketball at Farmersville Tournament; Eustace Varsity and JV Girls Tournament

I hope everyone has a great week!

State Cross Country Meet, Board Meeting Tonight, and This Week

For the fourth year in a row, Eustace High School has a state champion! Chanda Westbrook won the Division 3A Girls State Cross Country Championship with a time of 11:23! The win marks the first time that a Eustace athlete has won the state cross country championship! Congratulations to Chanda for this outstanding achievement!! Below are a couple of pictures of Chanda:

Chanda with her Gold Medal

Chanda with her Gold Medal

Chanda Crossing the Finish Line - State Champion!

Chanda Crossing the Finish Line – State Champion!

The girls cross country team won the Silver Medal at the state cross country meet! Over the last four years, the Lady Bulldogs have won two state titles and have placed second in state twice! Congratulations to Chanda Westbrook, Shelby White, Kara Henson, Skye Burns, Macy Penix, Reese Thorn, and Sabrina Davis on an outstanding performance at the state meet!

Lady Bulldogs - Silver Medal State Cross Country Meet

Lady Bulldogs – Silver Medal State Cross Country Meet

The boys cross country team finished in third place at the state meet! This marks the fifth year in a row that the Bulldogs have been on the medal stage! Congratulations to Ericson Gudjohnsen, Zane Arambula, Andrew Page, Dalton Page, Nick Westbrook, Michael Wong, Micah Zimmerer

I want to congratulate all the runners for a great cross country season! Special thanks to our High School cross country coaches Josh Sypert and Kenneth Henderson. Also, a special thank you to all the parents for their support and for all the early mornings that go along with cross country.

Videos of the start, finish, and medal ceremonies will be available on the Eustace ISD YouTube channel later today.

Congratulations also go out to Sydney Winn on officially signing to play basketball for Incarnate Word University. Sydney is a senior at Eustace High School. Below is a picture of her signing:

Sydney Winn signing with Incarnate Word University

Sydney Winn signing with Incarnate Word University

 

Board Meeting Tonight

Tonight, the Eustace ISD Board of Trustees will hold their regular monthly meeting. The meeting will start at 7:00 PM and be held in the High School library.

The Board will hear the following reports:

  • RevTrak Report
  • CTE Courses offered by TVCC
  • Results of Campus Meetings
  • Enrollment and Attendance Updates
  • Update on State Champions Memorial

The Board will consider action on the following agenda items:

  • Minutes from previous meetings
  • Financial report
  • Sale of Property
  • Changing date of December Board Meeting
  • Resolution for Legislature to Remove Small Schools Formula\
  • Consider purchase of baseball/softball equipment
  • Consider moving forward on District of Innovation status
  • HCAD Board of Directors ballot
  • Updating press box and ticket booths at football field
  • Updating turf at football field
  • Upgrades to pole vault pit
  • Closed Meeting – Personnel and staffing, updates to sub list, student transfers
  • Any action taken on closed meeting items will be done in open session.

This Week

Monday – All Region Jazz Clinic and Concert; MS Basketball – Boys at Kemp, Girls v. Kemp; Board Meeting – HS Library – 7:00 PM

Tuesday – 1st Grade Family Reading Night – 5:00 – 6:00; HS Girls Basketball v. Kerens – 5:00; Boys Basketball v. Fruitvale – 5:30

Thursday – JV Girls Basketball at Van Tournament; Varsity Girls at Italy Tournament

Friday –  JV Girls Basketball at Van Tournament; Varsity Girls at Italy Tournament

Saturday – MS Boys at Scurry Tournament

A reminder that November 21-25 is our Thanksgiving Holiday. Classes will resume at regular times on November 28.

I hope everyone has a great week!