Marlin ISD will remain accredited after reaching abatement agreement

Posted at 4:39 PM, Oct 11, 2017
and last updated 2018-03-20 21:38:59-04

A struggling school district will remain accredited after reaching an abatement agreement. 

On March 20, the district received an abatement agreement for the 2018-2019 school year. The district will keep its accreditation. 

After years of struggling with academic performance, the Texas Education Agency appointed a board of managers for the Marlin Independent School District.

The five members were sworn in back in February, making this their first full year on the job. The main focus of the board is student progression, something the district has already been making strides in.

"I'd put these kids up against any kids any day of the week and twice on Sundays because at the end of the day, they're the ones that have to do the work and they do it," said Kimberly McKnight, principal of Marlin Elementary School.

Marlin ISD staff has been noticing a change in their walls.

"We finally have happy kids again, happy kids that are learning," said McKnight. "The first year I took over, it was a lot of 'I don't want to go, I don't like school, they're always yelling at me' kind of thing and so we worked really hard to turn that around."

Alongside the new board members, Marlin ISD has been working to improve student progression by creating more structure in the classroom.

"We do constant walk-throughs in the classrooms to see what instruction looks like," said Mike Seabolt, superintendent for Marlin ISD. "We do curriculum-based assessments every three weeks to make sure kids are learning. We verify they're learning and we have interventions in case they don't learn."

Superintendent Seabolt said test scores increased last year in all but one area last year, according to state accountability standards, proving that their efforts are making a positive difference.

"It didn't just happen by accident, the teachers work at it, very hard, every day," said McKnight. "We started talking two weeks before school started about what we want our school to feel like, how we were going to talk to kids, how we were going to talk to each other."

"I can honestly say, at this point, that instruction is not a problem at Marlin ISD," said Seabolt. "Is it perfect? No. But it's getting better every day and I'm very proud of that."

Seabolt said the board of managers has also approved plans to purchase new Chromebook computers for the students to help increase their online learning opportunities. 

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