HOUSTON – Dec. 16, 2019 – Two Spring ISD schools have been recognized as Gold Ribbon Schools by the Texas School Guide and Children At Risk, a Houston-based research and advocacy program that conducts research to understand trends, inequities, resources and opportunities in education.
Both Edward Roberson Middle School and Ginger McNabb Elementary School were listed in the most recent rankings, released in November, for consistently earning an A or a B from the organization while serving predominantly lower-income students. Roberson scored an ‘A’ ranking and McNabb earned a score of ‘B’.
“This is a huge honor for us,” said Roberson Principal Tracey Walker. “As principal of Roberson, I am passionate about serving all children. To be recognized with other schools in the state of Texas further solidifies all of our day-to-day hard work as a school community.”
Schools are given grades A through F based on student performance on the State of Texas Assessments of Academic Readiness, student growth or improvement on standardized tests over time, and college readiness. High-performing campuses that receive an A or B are designated Gold Ribbon Schools.
In order to be selected for the award, Children At Risk identifies hundreds of high performing schools each year that support some of the most at-risk children across Texas. High-poverty schools are considered campuses that serve more than 75 percent economically-disadvantaged students. Charter and magnet schools as designated by TEA are not eligible for the recognition.
The nonprofit interviewed principals of Gold Ribbon Schools from five school districts across the greater Houston-area to further understand Gold Ribbon schools’ success. They have created a “Blueprint for Success in High Poverty Schools” that can be used by other schools to improve their success rate. The five practices identified by successful campus leaders are:
- Set a culture of high expectations
- Communicate continuously with families
- Use data to drive instruction
- Support the whole child
- Reach outside the box for resources
“It is extremely rewarding for McNabb to be selected as a Gold Ribbon School as it further recognizes the dedication, passion, and commitment that our entire staff has in ensuring every McNabb Knight receives the best educational experience with us,” said Melissa Warford, principal at McNabb. “Staff ownership and a shared commitment to our high expectations is what drives us and makes us successful at achieving our goals. Every stakeholder at McNabb understands that they must give 100 percent everyday, and we hold each other accountable to that standard.”
Walker says she works alongside her team to ensure a culture of ‘no excuses’ and encourages staff to constantly think out of the box when it comes to educating scholars.
“For many years, we have found ways to use our resources wisely, allowing for innovative, unique ideas, programs and efforts to drive all of what we do at RMS,” said Walker. “We embrace our uniqueness, and constantly work as a whole community and team to find ways to connect and encourage school to home, community, and beyond. I would say that all of these things together create a culture of high expectations for all of my RMS students, staff, and parents alike. The Gold Ribbon status is an honor that recognizes all of these efforts combined.”
According to the Children at Risk website, the organization reviewed 2,013 public and public charter schools across the Houston area. Children at Risk then calculates school rankings and assigns A-F grades in order to analyze the current quality of public education in Houston, identify trends, and spotlight schools that are going above and beyond expectations. Houston regional rankings include schools in Brazoria, Chambers, Fort Bend, Galveston, Harris, Liberty, Montgomery, and Waller counties.