Wichita Falls ISD board considers engage2learn coaching program

Published: Jan. 11, 2023 at 3:17 PM CST
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WICHITA FALLS, Texas (KAUZ) - Wichita Falls ISD is looking for ways to improve student grades across the district and they may have found one.

Engage2learn has a coaching program that has proven success. If the school board votes in favor of it, the program will be implemented for teachers at Kirby Middle School in two weeks.

“We have great students, staff and teachers at Kirby,” Debbie Dipprey, WFISD executive director of school administration, said. “They all work very hard and are doing a tremendous job. This is just one more opportunity for them to learn and grow in the profession.”

Engage2learn gave a presentation to the WFISD board about a coaching program they offer which could drastically increase the grades of kids across the district.

“They would come two days a week to Kirby Middle School,” WFISD Superintendent Dr. Donny Lee said. “They would work with those teachers during their conference period to help them develop lesson plans, provide innovative strategies for lessons and give them confidence to be better teachers, coach them up and be better.”

If the program is approved, it will only be implemented at Kirby Middle School to start but could expand through the district in the future.

RELATED STORY: The future of Kirby Middle School

“The opportunity to work with them and take advantage of the program that they offer we feel will yield dividends, not only for Kirby Middle School but will pave the way for other opportunities in our district,” Dipprey said.

“The overall goal if we are backwards planning is we keep Kirby open,” Lee said. “Because Kirby is such a vital part of our community and school district, we want our hounds to be successful.”

Engage2learn presented stats from a similar sized school district that benefitted from the coaching program and explained how WFISD can obtain the same level of success.

“Abilene ISD, which is very similar in size and demographics to Wichita Falls ISD, had great gains in their programming due to the coaching provided from engage2learn,” Dipprey said. “They also tracked that programming through several years and found that not only did Abilene improve in short term but they also improved over the long term.”

“We can’t just move the problem,” Lee said. “We can’t just say Kirby fails and we move those students on because those students go somewhere, so we have to fix the problem. The under-arching problem is their reading and math levels so we have to fix it. Engage2learn has proven methods of solving those two issues in a short amount of time and then sustaining that growth after the initial implementation.”

The Wichita Falls ISD board of trustees will make a decision at their next meeting on Tuesday, Jan. 17.