Tarleton, Marlin ISD partner to create district improvement alliance

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STEPHENVILLE, Texas—Tarleton State University and Marlin ISD recently formalized a collaborative partnership to coordinate ideas, initiatives and resources, and to create an Alliance Steering Committee with representatives from both entities that will periodically evaluate an improvement plan in the coming years.

Marlin ISD’s board of trustees approved the MOU with Tarleton, which will be headed by university representatives Dr. Russ Higham, associate professor and director of Waco programs, and Dr. Anna Fox, assistant professor of curriculum and instruction. In addition, the MOU involves Marlin community members and MISD administrators.

“The College of Education is always excited to actively partner with schools in our service area, and we are pleased to see our connections in Waco grow to include Marlin ISD,” said Dr. Jordan Barkley, dean of the college. “Drs. Higham and Fox eagerly embraced this opportunity to work with Marlin ISD and to close the gap often realized between P-12 and higher education. We are confident that partnerships such as this one will help us to produce better teachers while also helping schools boost student achievement.”

The alliance will assist Marlin ISD as it continues to reinvent and transform into a successful and sustainable learning environment dedicated to all students. Tarleton will serve in an advisory capacity and collaborate with MISD to provide assistance with an emphasis on student post-secondary readiness. Tarleton assistance will support the tenets of the public school district’s No Excuses University, including: Culture of Universal Achievement, Collaboration, Standards Alignment, Assessment, Data Management, Interventions and Post-Secondary Readiness.

Primarily focusing on Marlin’s elementary campus, Tarleton will advise the district on initiatives related to staff mentoring and collaboration, post-secondary services for MISD students and Marlin community members, while the university assists the district in working toward academic proficiency in the areas of reading, writing, math and science.

In addition, the MOU outlines post-secondary readiness initiatives with a proposed review of curriculum practices and necessary changes to prepare Marlin students for post-secondary study.

Tarleton also will partner with MISD to explore college connections for students and parents through best practices, such as community turnaround initiatives, adult education and post-secondary opportunities for the community, staff-to-staff partnerships to promote student social services, counseling/mentoring services for staff and students, as well as on-site professional development opportunities.

The agreement will expire June 30, 2018, at which time the MOU may be renewed for two one-year terms. The MOU was officially approved Feb. 17 by the MISD school board.

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