Lubbock ISD proposes turning Smylie Wilson into magnet school to

Lubbock ISD proposes turning Smylie Wilson into magnet school to improve ratings

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LUBBOCK, Texas -

For the past two years, Smylie Wilson Middle School has received an "F" rating from the state, and the district is looking to make a change.

Lubbock ISD is proposing turning Smylie Wilson into a magnet school.

"When we ran their data from 2013 to now on the new accountability model, they would've been a 'C,' and then a 'D' for two years, and then an 'F' for four years, and so the campus is moving in the wrong direction, and we know we need to do something drastic," Kathy Rollo, superintendent for Lubbock ISD, said.

To improve the outcomes for students at Smylie Wilson, Rollo said the district has proposed rezoning the attendance boundary and sending students to both Irons and Mackenzie Middle Schools. 

"Then, reopen the Smylie-Wilson facility as a reimagined magnet campus, with a project based learning and STEAM focus," Rollo said. "So, teachers would work in interdisciplinary teams and design learning experiences for students around real world problems. That helps them learn the standards, but also in a very relevant, fun, hands-on way."

Being in an environment with a higher performance will help Smylie Wilson students rise to that same level, Rollo said.

"What we have seen in the past when we have combined two schools, one higher performing and one not as high performing, is we see the students from the lower performing campus actually rise to the level of expectations at that school. So, we really feel like this is a win-win," Rollo said.

The district will not add more students without additional support at Irons and Mackenzie. Rollo said it would add another assistant principal, counselor and other staff to ensure the class size average does not go up.

"In fact, we really want to make sure that it either stays where it is or even is a little less, so that the students are getting the support that they need," she said.

First, the district wants to gather input from parents and the community. It will host a meeting Tuesday, Nov. 12, for Smylie Wilson families. Another meeting for Mackenzie families is scheduled for Monday, Nov. 18, and a meeting for Irons families is scheduled for Tuesday, Nov. 19. 

The school board will vote on the plan Thursday, Nov. 21.


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