Christopher W. Jackson, principal •
Santa Fe Elementary School • Cleburne, Texas
Jump on the Santa Fe Express!
Santa Fe Elementary opened in the fall of 2007 in Cleburne, Texas, as a new pre-K through fifth-grade campus. Located in the east part of town with 74 percent minority and 91 percent of our students qualifying for free and/or reduced lunch, our school faced challenges from the first day we opened our doors. Our staff was new, we had no identity as a campus, and there was very little district curriculum support.
We did the best we could, but it wasn't good enough. The school year ended with state test scores low enough that we received an "Unacceptable" rating from the Texas Education Agency, and a state monitor was assigned to our school. We felt defeated.
However, choosing not to give up, we began building a PLC within our campus and started writing common assessments, analyzing student-level data, and implementing a system of interventions for students who were not performing. Team norms were developed, and a sense of campus identity was born within our faculty. Since 2007, our passing rates on state tests have increased by 19 points in science, 29 points in writing, 8 points in reading, and 27 points in math. That puts us at the top of the list in Johnson County in terms of academic gains over the last four years.
We still have a lot to improve, but our learning community spirit and the confidence we have gained will take us to the next level!