QUESTION: I heard that Longview ISD lowered the standards for kindergarten admission to Hudson PEP Elementary School between the fall testing and the spring testing. Is that accurate?
ANSWER: The district says it did not change the admission standard between the three times the test was administered. For review, in fall 2018 the district changed the process by which students are selected for to attend Hudson PEP, Longview ISD’s elementary campus for average to above-average students. In years past, parents or teachers had to request a student be tested for admission. In the fall, the district began administering the Iowa Test of Basic Skills to all students in kindergarten through seventh grade twice a year, with those results determining whether students qualified for Hudson PEP.
Kindergarteners must have a cumulative score of 420 on that test to qualify for admission, according to information the district previously provided, and district testing coordinator Catina Love said the score was not changed between each testing period.
I thought it would be interesting to see the breakdown of students who qualified for Hudson PEP during each administration of the Iowa Test of Basic Skills, as provided by Love:
Fall 2018: East Texas Montessori Prep Academy — 60; Johnston-McQueen Elementary School — 15; out of district or students attending private kindergarten — 34; Spring 2019: East Teas Montessori Prep Academy — 72; Johnston-McQueen Elementary School — 54; out of district or students attending private kindergarten — 8; Summer 2019: Two students who had moved into the district qualified for Hudson PEP.
Love said there are no major changes planned in testing procedures this year. Those dates have not been set, she said.
Q: The Longview ISD school board rep for our area doesn’t have an email or contact phone number listed on the district’s website so that we may contact her. Why?
A: You can now find that information online at w3.lisd.org/board/meet-the-trustees/ .
When I originally checked there were two who didn’t have contact information listed, Ava Welge and board chairwoman Virginia Northcutt, but their contact information was added after I asked the district about it. District spokesman Matthew Prosser told me the contact information on the website represents board members’ current work information — but Northcutt had recently changed jobs, and Welge had recently retired.
As that contact information is public information, he said the district is glad to provide it when requested. It’s online now, but he said people can always call the district’s main line at (903) 381-2200 and ask to speak to the superintendent’s secretary or someone from the communications office to request board member contact information.
Also, he said the “Let’s Talk” link on the district’s website provides a way to reach school board members as well. It’s a yellow tab on the right side of the page. When you open it, go to the “Select a Topic” heading at the top and pull down to school board. Prosser said those messages are shared with all school board members.
Q: On the issue of the George Richey Road expansion that you wrote about in June, I need a phone number to find out if they are going to be tearing down houses from Panther Park all the way to Gilmer Road.
A: I’m sorry that you missed that phone number when I published it. You can get more information by contacting Steven Swindell with the The Texas Department of Transportation at (903) 510-9100.
You can also see the proposed alignment and how it affects properties in the project area by visiting tinyurl.com/txdotstudy and clicking on the subhead that says “Final Recommended Alternative” under the “downloads” heading.