Subject:  Assignment of Accreditation Status to the Sierra Blanca Independent School DistrictTo: Sierra Blanca ISD Stakeholders

    The purpose of this letter is to inform you that the 2015-2016 accreditation status of the Sierra Blanca Independent School District is Accredited-Probation.  Under state law, the accreditation statuses that may be assigned to districts include Accredited, Accredited-Warned, Accredited-Probation, and Not Accredited-Revoked.  A status of Accredited-Probation means that a district exhibits deficiencies in performance that, if not addressed, will lead to revocation of the district’s accreditation status.

    The Sierra Blanca Independent School District has been assigned an Accredited-Probation status due to the ratings assigned to the district in the state’s academic accountability rating system and financial accountability rating system.   Specifically, the Sierra Blanca Independent School District was assigned a 2014 and 2015 financial accountability rating of Substandard Achievement and a 2014 and 2015 academic accountability rating of Improvement Required.

    The district is taking the following steps to address the areas of identified deficiency.

    With regard to the Financial Accountability Rating System we have taken these measures:

    • Worked closely with our Texas Education Agency Monitor, Mr. Fred Liner to ensure that school board governance and administrative policies and procedures are properly implemented.
    • Contracted with Region 19 Education Service Center to provide the board of trustees with the training that is required for all board members.
    • Conducted an internal financial audit with the assistance of Gibson Consulting.
    • Have contracted with Region 12 Education Service Center to provide assistance and oversight on all school finance matters.
    • Written a Fiscal Procedures Manual to ensure appropriate fiscal procedures are followed.

    To address the academic accountability issues, the administration, faculty and staff have:

    • Contracted with Texas Education Agency Professional Service Provider, Jan Brown, to draft and implement a Targeted Improvement Plan.
    • Contracted with Alpine Independent School District, as the fiscal agent for the 588 Special Education Cooperative, to ensure that the needs of our special education students are properly met.
    • Using the Eduphoria and Renaissance Star Enterprise systems, implemented a data-driven instructional decision making process.
    • Contracted with Region 19 Education Service Center to provide training to teachers on understanding the Texas Essential Knowledge and Skills and on research-based pedagogical practices.

    Under law, if the current accreditation concerns for the district are not addressed, the district may be assigned an accreditation status of Not Accredited-Revoked.  A Not Accredited-Revoked status means that the TEA no longer recognizes the district as a Texas public school.  Districts with an accreditation status below Accredited also may be subject to additional accreditation sanctions as referenced in statute and rule.

    For more information regarding the assignment of accreditation statuses to school districts, you may access the TEA website at http://www.tea.texas.gov/accredstatus/.  This website will provide you with background information as well as links to the Texas Education Code and current commissioner’s rules related to accreditation.

    If you have additional questions regarding the assignment of an Accredited-Probation status to the Sierra Blanca Independent School District, or if you would like additional information about the district’s ongoing improvement efforts, please contact Ebby Loeffler, Superintendent at 915-369-3741.



    Ebby Loeffler