When teachers returned to W.T. White High School last week, they saw that each of their name cards had seven stars.
The stars weren’t for decoration: they represented the seven out of seven academic distinctions the campus received from the Texas Education Agency for outstanding student performance. W.T. White High School was the district’s only comprehensive high school to receive all possible distinctions, and the school’s principal, Elena Bates, credited the teachers and students who committed to exceeding expectations.
“We have an incredible team of educators, students, supportive families, and a leadership team who deserve to take great pride in this accomplishment,” Bates said. “We are looking forward to another great school year where we can build on these successes.”
Bates said that teachers provided individualized instruction to students to address specific areas where they struggled. The school saw the greatest gains in student growth over the school year.
W.T. White High School was one of 30 Dallas ISD schools that received all possible academic distinction designations; 149 schools received at least one distinction.
Distinction designations are awarded to campuses based on achievement in performance indicators relative to a group of 40 campuses of similar type, size, and student demographics. Depending on campus grade levels and type, the number of potential distinction designations can vary. Up to seven distinction designations can be earned for
• Academic Achievement in English Language Arts/Reading;
• Academic Achievement in Mathematics;
• Academic Achievement in Science;
• Academic Achievement in Social Studies;
• Top 25 Percent: Student Progress;
• Top 25 Percent: Closing Performance Gaps; and
• Postsecondary Readiness.
“Earning one or more campus distinctions is noteworthy and should be a source of pride in a community,” said Commissioner of Education Mike Morath. “Earning all possible distinctions is a significant accomplishment and should signal to parents that there is extraordinary work taking place on that campus.”