Q: What is happening at my child's school.
A: In an effort to help transform Sam Houston into a high-quality school option, the MISD Board of Trustees recently approved a contract with Third Future Schools, a nonprofit organization with a proven track record of success running high-performing schools in Colorado. Students at current Third Future Schools have shown 1.5 -2 years academic growth as measured by the NWEA MAP assessments (nationally norm-referenced assessment). Starting in the 2020-2021 school year, Third Future Schools (TFS) will take the lead on school improvement efforts at Sam Houston. TFS has operated partnership schools in Colorado and is excited to bring its innovative school model to the Midland community.
Q: Do I have to take any actions or next steps?
A: If you would like your child to continue attending Sam Houston, no further action is required. Your child will automatically have a seat at the school. If you would like to explore other school options, you can apply to schools of choice and magnet schools through Round 2 of Apply Midland by April 30. Seats will be assigned on a rolling basis. Please visit www.midlandisd.net/apply to learn more about your child’s school options and to access the online application.
Q: What might change at Sam Houston next year? What will stay the same?
A: As Sam Houston adopts the Third Future Schools model, some changes will be implemented to improve academic outcomes for students. Third Future Schools is focused on differentiated instruction, using technology, and flexible learning environments, to provide each student with personalized support. To this end, potential changes could include new formats of instruction, some new teachers, and revisions to the school calendar and school hours. Dr. Thurston will remain the principal of Sam Houston, and most teachers will be staying as well.
Q: How can I learn more about these changes?
A: Third Future Schools will be hosting virtual town hall meetings to answer any questions and share more information about the partnership with Sam Houston. The link to join the meeting will be posted on Sam Houston’s website and Facebook page. In the meantime, you can watch a recent Q&A with Mike Miles, the founder of Third Future Schools, that took place at Sam Houston in February. You can also contact Dr. Thurston at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Q: Why is the school changing from what was established in 2018?
A: Unfortunately, the transformation of Sam Houston to Sam Houston Collegiate Prep did not create the accountability improvements hoped for. Thus, the school entered their 4th year in School Improvement status which requires certain actions to avoid state takeover. The 2019-2020 School Year’s waiving of STAAR by the Texas Education Agency does not alter this. A partnership with Third Future Schools allows Sam Houston to continue down the college preparatory pathway, maintain current campus leadership and allow current students to stay at Sam Houston.