Marlin ISD campuses to change names, as part of TEA requirement - KXXV Central Texas News Now


Marlin ISD campuses to change names, as part of TEA requirement


Two Marlin ISD campuses will have another chance to improve school performance with a reconfiguration or a fresh start that will begin this upcoming school district.

For seven consecutive years, Marlin ISD Elementary School has received ratings below state accountability standards. Marlin ISD Middle School has received academically unacceptable standards requiring improvement for the past three years.

The Texas Education Agency required several changes from Marlin ISD Elementary and Middle School, including changing the names of the two campuses. They will now be called Marlin Primary Academy and Marlin Junior Academy.

The Commissioner on Education gave Marlin ISD the opportunity to undergo reconfiguration process after the campuses followed an improvement plan required by TEA.

Dr. Michael Seabolt who is the new superintendent for Marlin ISD said he is familiar with the name changes due to configuration. However, he has never participated in the process of a name change at other district.   

"I was a little surprised because it's the same kids, the same building. TEA does acknowledge that fundamental changes have to happen. It can’t be just a name change, that’s just a starting spot,” said Dr. Seabolt.

He said TEA told the school board the name change is not enough to improve the district. However, it is required in the reconfiguration process.

“[They’re] getting a new start but at the same time, [they’re] are going to refocus or academics for [their] students,” said TEA Spokeswoman DeEtta Culbertson.

Dr. Seabolt said this is almost like having a new school with more state oversight.

“There will be some monitoring requirements and reporting requirements that you wouldn't have in a brand new campus that you just freshly built,” said Dr. Seabolt.  “It's a unique situation because there is a reset, but they're still watching, still monitoring."

The makeup of the schools will also change this fall. The Elementary Academy will cover students Pre-K through 4th grade and the Junior Academy will serve as campus from 5th through 8th grade.

TEA also requires additional staff at both campuses. At Marlin Elementary Academy, reading, math specialists and interventionist were hired.  The campuses will also continue to follow the campus improvement plan and the must report monthly to the TEA.

Despite the fresh start, the TEA will take into account their previous record, if the campuses don't improve.

“That history can be a factor on what next steps might have to be taken,” said Culbertson.

Dr. Seabolt also anticipates implementing other improvement plans, including having consistent reading programs from Kindergarten through 8th grade, support intervention program and common assessments in regards to learning.

He said this is what he has spent his time doing when he arrived to the school district a few weeks ago. 

“I've been focusing on the teaching, the learning and what to do with children that don't learn that,” said Seabolt.

The Marlin ISD School Board approved the new campus names last week.

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