Wichita Falls ISD details plan to stop Kirby takeover, shutdown

Published: Nov. 1, 2022 at 6:21 PM CDT
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WICHITA FALLS, Texas (KAUZ) - “Kirby Middle School is worth saving,” Wichita Falls ISD Superintendent Dr. Donny Lee said. “We know that if we do not get out in year five, their academic lives here at Kirby is over as far as we know it, so this was all hands on deck, a five-alarm fire. We have to do something now and what we’ve tried in years past hasn’t worked.”

Lee was talking about the academic situation at Kirby Middle School. After a pause the last two years due to COVID, another failing grade this academic year from the state would make that five in a row for Kirby.

If that happens, it could impact the entire Wichita Falls ISD. That’s why the district’s “failure is not an option” plan is now in full swing.

“The only way to show meaningful growth is by outstanding teaching, that’s it,” Lee said. “Programs don’t work. You can program it to death, but at the end of the day, you have to have the best people in front of your most needing and challenging students.”

Eight new teachers are now in place at Kirby to help with the plan to improve STAAR test results. Four of them are specialists that were serving the entire district but now they are back in the classroom.

If Kirby doesn’t get a passing grade, the state has two options - shut down Kirby Middle School or the Texas Education Agency takes over the entire district.

We’ll take a deeper dive into how that would work, the district’s all-hands-on-deck approach, and how even community members are working to make this a success, later this week on News Channel 6.