**Who We Are**
**Demographics || Needs Assessment || SAISD || NEISD**
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**Demographics of Districts**
San Antonio and North East Independent
School Districts are two of the ten largest school districts in
Texas. SAISD encompasses 79 square miles of the inner city of San
Antonio and serves 60,716 students on 95 campuses. NEISD spans nearly
twice the area of SAISD encompassing 140 square miles and serving
44,569 students on 52 campuses. SAISD's Sam Houston High School,
Davis Middle School, and King Middle School serve students from low
socioeconomic backgrounds and all have 100% of their students on the
free lunch program. These schools have an average of 66% students
that are at risk as defined by the Academic Excellence Indicator
System (AEIS) in Texas. NEISD's Roosevelt High School, Krueger Middle
School, and White Middle School also serve students from low
socioeconomic backgrounds . These three schools have 50% of students
that are at risk as determined by the AEIS System in Texas.
A majority of the students attending schools
serviced by the San Antonio Technology in Education Coalition arrive
the first day with several factors which put them at a distinct
disadvantage:
In the six Coalition schools, over 50% of
the population are economically disadvantaged based on the Texas
Academic Excellence Indicator System (AEIS).
Large numbers cannot read at grade level;
for example, 64% of sixth graders at Krueger Middle School enter
reading below grade level.
Mathematics scores are low. Only 17% of
students taking Algebra I in the San Antonio Technology in Education
Coalition target schools passed the state-mandated End-of-Course
Algebra I Exam in 1996.
These factors make it more important that we
change curriculum and instruction from passive activities to active
activities.
**Needs Assessment in Coalition Cluster
Schools**
Students' performance in mathematics on the
Texas Assessment of Academic Skills (TAAS) Exam was analyzed from the
sixth grade through Exit Level at each of the middle and high schools
in SAISD and NEISD. Though sixth grade students' academic performance
was considerably higher than that of the seventh and eighth grade
students, evidence indicates similar patterns of deficiencies for
each grade level in the following areas:
- Problem Solving Using Solution
Strategies
- Problem Solving Using Mathematics
Representation
- Evaluating the Reasonableness of a
Solution
- Problem Solving Using
Multiplication
- Problem Solving Using Division
- Problem Solving Using Estimation
The analysis indicates that the TAAS scores
mirror the results found in the End-of-Course Algebra I Exam data.
Middle school students perform considerably higher than their
counterparts at the high school level except in the case of King
Middle School whose scores are very low. Although 50% of the middle
school algebra students taking the End-of-Course Exam passed, less
than 10% of the high school algebra students passed the same exam.
Investigation found that the Algebra I exam has the same
questions/problems at both the middle school and high school levels.
One explanation for this difference in scores is that middle school
students in both districts take Algebra in the eighth grade if they
show an aptitude or a "liking" for mathematics; whereas, most high
school students take the algebra class because it is required for
graduation. Additionally, middle school students take algebra for one
year; high school students take algebra for 18 weeks since they
attend schools using a block schedule.
As a part of the needs assessment process,
the algebra classes in the two high schools and the four middle
schools were observed by mathematics teacher specialists for a period
of 25-45 minutes. The purpose of these "snapshot" observations was to
find the strengths and weaknesses within the classes. The following
recommendations are based on the information obtained through the
snapshots:
Traditional algebra should be taught in a
real world context in order to increase meaningfulness to
students.
- Hands-on manipulative experiences must
be increased for students to develop concepts more
concretely.
- The use of Texas Teachers Empowered for
Achievement in Mathematics (TEXTEAM) activities must be increased
to provide at least one problem solving and patterning activity
daily. (TEXTEAM is the Texas Education Agency/Statewide Systemic
Initiative in Mathematics and Science Education staff development
program designed to implement the Texas Essential Knowledge and
Skills.)
- Students should be involved in analysis
and decision-making based on the compilation of data.
**General Background: SAISD**
In the San Antonio Independent School
District, integration of technology in the classroom has begun by
utilizing funding from a variety of sources. Sam Houston High School
is designated the district magnet school for communications. At
present, Sam Houston has a video conferencing center, a television
station for in-house broadcasts, and a variety of classroom uses of
technology. Each of the five algebra teachers has one computer in
the classroom with access to the LAN, district WAN, and the Internet,
and one of the algebra teachers has a pod of ten computers. There
are aging labs at Houston dedicated to specific purposes such as
microcomputer applications and advanced industrial applications
(CAD-CAM).
Through the use of a variety of grants, both
Davis and King Middle Schools have made commitments for equipment and
software. State technology funding was used for computers for sixth
grade classrooms at both schools during the 1996-1997 school year.
Sixth grade language arts and social studies classrooms each have six
computers, but mathematics and science classrooms have only one
computer each. In addition, both Davis and King have seven computers
in the library with connection to the Internet. During the spring
and summer of 1997, Southwestern Bell and Internet Odyssey are wiring
classrooms at King Middle School to the Internet and linking every
classroom through school-wide E-mail, but Davis has no data lines
installed in its classrooms. However, there remains a great need for
additional graphing calculators for use in classrooms on all three
campuses; and, the large majority of students do not have calculators
available to them on a check-out basis. Though all three schools
have some equipment in place, much of it stands idle and
underutilized for instruction. This lack of use indicates a strong
need for staff development in ways to integrate technology into the
curriculum .
**General Background: NEISD**
Recently, the citizens passed a major bond
issue to upgrade the older schools which make up the Roosevelt
cluster (Krueger Middle School, Ed White Middle School and Roosevelt
High School). The bond implementation for 1997-1998 allows more
extensive use of technology in the classroom. At present, most
classrooms (except for the dedicated labs) at these schools support
no more than two computers in each classroom in terms of electrical
load. Very few classrooms have data lines. All three NEISD schools
in the Coalition have a variety of computer "lab" settings.
An increased emphasis on computers and other
forms of technology is anticipated for Roosevelt since it has been
designated a district magnet School for Technology and Design during
the 1997-1998 school year. The technology curriculum at Roosevelt
High School includes a wide range of computer classes. Previously,
courses have been offered that teach "about" technology, but very few
that teach "with" technology.
This year, Krueger Middle School acquired
seven new IBM-compatible computers, four of which are dedicated to
the Urban Systemic Initiative. Krueger also has a dedicated Computer
Literacy Lab, two Higher Order Thinking Skills (HOTS) Labs (for small
classes of at-risk students with "marginal" TAAS scores), a Business
Occupations Lab, an Industrial Technology Lab, and graphing
calculators. Krueger's aging multi-disciplinary computer lab
(IBM-compatible Dell's without CD-ROM/multimedia capability) focuses
on TAAS remediation with the Brooks Intellitutor program in
mathematics. Next year the Brooks "Reading and Writing in a
Supportive Environment" program will be field tested at Krueger.
This places further strain on Krueger's limited and aging computer
resources. Also next year, Krueger's Reading Department plans to
test the Accelerated Reader program.
Ed White Middle School has two aging
computer literacy labs with a total of sixty-one IBM computers and a
Business Occupations and Careers Laboratory with ten IBM PS-2
computers. There are thirty additional computers (IBM-compatible and
Macintosh) scattered in classrooms. Only one algebra teacher has a
computer in his/her classroom, and the school has three classroom
sets of graphing calculators.
As a result of the differences in the status of modernization,
funding commitments, construction in progress and electrical load
capabilities, the amount of equipment and software support will
vary from campus to campus throughout the Coalition.
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