After a drop in enrollment last month, Kilgore ISD saw an increase of six students in December to end the fall semester.
The 4,076 students in KISD is still 27 fewer students than last year’s December totals, but it is six more than November’s number of 4,070 and 23 more students than the 4,053 students enrolled at the start of school.
Every school except the high school saw an increase in students. Kilgore Primary School, Chandler Elementary School and Kilgore Middle School each saw an increase of two students. Kilgore Intermediate School had one more student than November, and Kilgore High School saw a decrease of one student.
KISD Assistant Superintendent Richard Nash presented to the board results of the district’s push to reevaluating its focus when it comes to discipline.
Rather than just telling the student what he or she did to warrant the disciplinary actions, he said, the focus this year has been to use those moments to teach the students and help them.
“This year one of our focuses is we’re reevaluating and working on our RTIB (Response To Intervention or Behavior),” Nash said. Nash has attended two trainings at Region 7 ESC and administrators have worked with TEA representatives in Austin to better understand restorative discipline practices and how it might fit in KISD.
“These are some things that we’re working on to continue to improve because discipline is always one of those things until you see all zeroes up there, you’re not there, and if you see all zeroes, either something’s wrong or something’s really, really, really, really, really good.”
The number of offenses that campus administrators have handled in their offices this year, compared to last year, have decreased at four of five campuses.
KPS saw a decline of 12 percent. KIS saw a 24 percent decrease. KMS had a 26 percent decline, while KHS saw a 35 percent decrease.
Chandler Elementary School was the only school that saw an increase in offenses between the fall semesters of 2016 and 2017 with 235 offenses this year compared to 221 last year, a 6 percent increase.
The increase is related to bus referrals and a strict approach at the beginning of the year, Nash said.
“Some of it was, too their push at the beginning of the year, letting those students know, these are our expectations and you’re going to be held to it. They had higher numbers early, and since then it has decreased dramatically,” he said.
Board President Dereck Borders requested for more information on the bus referrals and for those to be separated from on-campus discipline problems. With more details, though, he and other board members said they can look into where additional personnel may be needed on buses.
“What’s going on on that bus is not indicative of management on the campus,” Borders said.
“It’s a whole different environment because you have all age groups on there… There’s a different dynamic there,” Board Vice President Scott Montgomery added.
In total, the district had a 22.6 percent decline in offenses from the first semester in 2016 to the 2017 fall semester.
“I’m very proud of our teachers and our administrators. They’ve been doing a good job of investing in our kids,” Nash said, noting he was glad to see some numbers have declined and some students who were repeat offenders are no longer. He will meet with campus administrators in January to discuss discipline more specific to the campus.
The board will meet Tuesday, Jan. 16 at 6 p.m. to conduct its annual evaluation of Superintendent Cara Cooke and will meet for its next regular board meeting Jan. 22.