CISD releases new accountability system to help each learner achieve success


Nrithya Mahesh

Coppell ISD launched its Community Based Accountability System (CBAS) on Sep. 15 to measure CISD’s improvements as a district in several areas. The Sidekick Staff writer Ishana Sharma has the story with the details about the system. Graphic by Nrithya Mahesh.

Ishana Sharma, Staff Writer

Coppell ISD created its Community-Based Accountability System (CBAS), a program designed to measure growth and success of students in all areas, rather than basing success on State of Texas Assessments of Academic Readiness tests.

 CBAS launched its first dashboard on Sept. 15.

“We realized a long time ago that our kids are way more than that one [test],” Cottonwood Creek Elementary School Principal Dr. Andrea Penny said. “Some children make a lot of growth, but they still may not pass the STAAR test. So [the board] started looking at ‘OK, what are other things that make our kids in Coppell successful?’”

Apart from standardized STAAR tests and academics, learners’ performance and achievements will be measured in numerous ways. Unique course options are provided at CISD, including a wide range of CTE, fine arts and athletics programs. In addition to these courses, clubs that aid student growth academically are offered at the district. This includes the National Junior Honor Society/National Honor Society, Science Olympiad and UIL Academics. 

This district hopes CBAS new way of operating helps learners be more successful as CISD incorporates a more diverse set of factors into regular learning methods.

“We felt that the state’s accountability system was too narrow and only told one part of a very important story,” Coppell Middle School North Principal Dr. Greg Axelson said. “The Community Based Accountability System tries to tell all the other parts, in addition to the academic part of the story.” 

In the 2021-22 school year, CISD began by focusing on three pillars: student learning and progress, professional learning and quality staff and safety and well being. During this academic year, CISD will incorporate two new pillars: engaged, well-rounded students and fiscal and operational systems.

In the 2023-24 school year, CISD will focus on all seven pillars, the last two being student readiness and community engagement and partnership. 

“We call that gradual release,” New Tech High @ Coppell Principal Joseph Smith said. “All seven is a shock to the system, and that’s a lot to keep track of.  We’re taking it a bite at a time, and then eventually we’ll be ready to look at all of these different pillars and hold ourselves accountable to those.”

These pillars were created and determined from the values of Coppell as a community. About 50 school districts from the state met up at a single location and discussed what values each of their communities hold. All these values were then categorized into sections related to academic achievement such as fiscal and financial responsibilities, operations of the school district and safety and student well-being.

“[Coming up with the pillars] was a long collaborative process, but I think the end result was a really good set of pillars,” Dr. Axelson said.

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