On the eve of the 2022-2023 school year, teachers, staff, administrators, students, teachers, and other community members gathered at Planet Ford Stadium to celebrate some very big news: the official rating from the Texas Education Agency, which gave Spring ISD a “B” rating for the first time since 2013.
It’s a moment nearly a decade in the making, a fact not lost on Superintendent Dr. Lupita Hinjosa.
“Our teachers, our staff, our parents believe that we can do it. They believe in Spring ISD. They believe that we are on the right track,” Dr. Hinojosa said. “ We have amazing students, we have amazing teachers. To accomplish this – to move the district from a C to a B – means we have a united, committed district all focused on our students.”
The celebration – which kicked off with performances from a Dekaney saxophone quartet and the Dekaney Diamonds dance team – was pulled together as a way to commemorate the achievement of Spring ISD and its schools.
Over the weekend, TEA released its annual accountability ratings for the 2021-2022 school year. Spring ISD improved its overall score from a “C” to a “B.”
More than half of its campuses earned an “A” or “B” rating. Six campuses earned the highest-possible distinction – an “A” rating. An additional 22 campuses earned a “B” rating, a 133 percent increase from the number of schools that reached an “A” or “B” rating in 2019. No schools were “F”-rated campuses.
This accomplishment, in spite of an ongoing global pandemic and a national teacher shortage, is one that district leaders are celebrating as a districtwide effort.
“This is a testament to our superintendent, to our senior leadership, and our board,” Dr. Matthew Parriseau, Chief of Innovation, said. “It’s also a testament to our principals, who have kept morale high on our campuses. They’ve kept the first thing as the first thing: student achievement.”
The upward trajectory of Spring ISD schools is full of success stories, from schools across the district. That includes Lewis Elementary, which in 2015 was rated as a failing school under the TEA and this year earned an “A.” The school also accomplished this while also having the highest number of emerging bilingual students in the district.
Principal Grace Leal, last year’s Elementary Teacher of the Year for Spring ISD, has been there through it all, having seen the school go from failing to its current status as an “A” campus.
“We are so excited, we are so ecstatic,” Leal said. “Our teachers have been committed to this since day one. They knew what it was going to take, the hard work they had ahead of them. But we’ve been blessed with parents knowing that we need their partnership to make this work. But, of course, now the hard work has really begun. Because now we have to maintain this excellence.”
For Dr. Hinojosa, this celebration sends a simple message to the students, staff, and parents of Spring ISD.
“This is the work that we will continue to do, day in and day out. To show our community, to show the state that it doesn’t matter your ZIP code, it doesn’t matter your ethnicity,” Hinojosa said. “What matters is having a great education. And that’s what we’re doing here in Spring, providing an excellent, equitable education so that all students may have success.”