School Year Outlook

Hear that sound? Its kids across Texoma groaning at calendar, knowing there are but a few days left of summer break. It is first, only to the buzz of activity going on inside classrooms as teachers prepare to welcome them back. The noise is interrupted only by administrators who are scratching their heads, working to make heads or tails of the new STAAR test.

Let's start at the top. Administrators across Texoma tell Newschannel 6 they are worried about the State of Texas Assessments of Academic Readiness or STAAR Test. The new exam replaces the TAKS Test as a way to measure students. The problem, superintendents tell us, is they do not yet have the sample question pool for the test.

Adding to the concern of the STAAR is the continuing fallout from the state budget shortfall. Many districts are starting this year with significantly less staff than they had last year. One exception to that is in Iowa Park.

Stevi Richter is a kindergarten teacher, who has spent the last few days preparing her class for her fifth year of teaching. There's a lot to do. "Every time you get something done, something else comes along that you need to do. Its never ending," she said.

She's grateful to be returning, knowing many colleagues at other districts were not as lucky. "I do feel really blessed to still have a job and still have my same classroom and grade. No moving around. I do feel very lucky and fortunate," she said.

Still, there's a lot of work to be done. The first bell of the 2011-2012 school year rings Monday morning.

Paul Harrop, Newschannel 6