Southside ISD is STAAR Ready

Matthey Middle School 7th grade students prepare for the STAAR Reading exam.

The next two weeks at Southside ISD from May 3 to May 12 could mark a new era of high academic expectations for Southside’s students. Students throughout Texas are required by law to take the State of Texas Assessments of Academic Readiness (STAAR) exams. “The expectations are very high. Some people would just put aside the state testing, but we’re not. We are embracing the opportunity to showcase what our students have learned and the great job that our teachers and staff have done,” said Superintendent of Schools Rolando Ramirez.

From the moment the first bell signaled the start of the school year last August, teachers and administrators have worked non-stop to prepare students for this moment and for a life of success. “It’s critical because we need to certify that learning is taking place. We want to make sure that our students have the same opportunities that students anywhere have. We have the mindset that we’re going to work together, we’re going to meet the challenge, and no matter what, we’re going to be successful,” said Superintendent Ramirez.

All three of Marina Domingos’ children are making good grades. Now that it’s STAAR time, she says she’ll be sending them out the door with extra encouragement. “I always tell them, ‘The sky’s the limit. You can do it! Just relax. It’s natural to be nervous but just relax and say a prayer,'” Domingos said.

Sandy Freidberg is one of the District’s parents and an elementary teacher. She offers this advice when coming across a question students may not know. “Take a deep breath. Close your eyes, skip the question and once your head is clear, go back and answer that question,” Freidberg said. “Encouraging them to do their best is extremely powerful,” she adds.

Matthey Middle School principal Miguel Martell credits Southside’s teachers for preparing students. “This is the first year we’ve had kids back. There’s a lot that goes into testing, so they’re prepared and have done all the hard work to put everything in place so our students can be successful,” said Martell.