Belmarez said, “I am real proud to get that news. It shows that our students are really doing all they can to meet the challenges in front of them.”
Along with the high rating of the district, the high school also received an exemplary rating along with the elementary school. The junior high school received a recognized rating.
“I am not only proud of our students and young people but also our teachers. They do a tremendous amount of extra work,” Belmarez said.
“All the research in the world tells you it begins with your campus principals and they must be high achieving to produce top-notch results like this and that they are.
“We have that culture of success that is built in here and we are out to maintain it.
“Many of our staff members have been in place for a number of years and I think you need that continuity to build a culture of success and accountable.”
While tangible benefits from the state are few with the rating, it does offer intangible rewards.
“What it means is we are achieving at the highest level that the state gives,” Belmarez said. “It is definitely not perfection but we are at the highest level the state can give.”
Success, Belmarez said, is expected, but everyone in the district knows that doesn’t come without work.
“It is expected but it is also worked hard toward by everyone,” he said. “You can’t just expect something and then watch it happen.
“We take measured steps to achieve academic success.”
And while the district has the highest rating possible from the state, there is still more work to be done.
“You can always do better on an individual student level and there is a lot more to be taught than a passing level on the TAKS exam,” he said. “We can still do better and we are going to figure out how to get there.”
Jason Collins is the editor at the Bee-Picayune and can be reached at 358-2550, ext. 121, or at editor@mySouTex.com.