High-performing Houston-area schools: How Windsong Intermediate is closing the achievement gap in its classrooms

Students at Windsong Intermediate
Students at Windsong Intermediate (FISD)

At KPRC 2, we’re proud to showcase the schools and educators providing students with outstanding education in the area we serve. Here, we will profile some of the highest-performing schools in the Houston area to get a glimpse at what makes them so successful.

Windsong Intermediate School

Grades: 3-5 | Address: 2100 W Parkwood Ave, Friendswood, TX 77546 | Phone: (281) 482-0111

Located in Friendswood, Texas, Windsong Intermediate School is roughly a 30-mile drive south of downtown Houston. The school is one of Friendswood Independent School District’s six campuses, which all received A ratings from the Texas Education Agency for the 2018-2019 school year. Among the high-rated schools, Windsong earned the highest performance rating with a score of 97.

By the numbers

Total enrollment: 559

Economically disadvantaged students: 4.7%

English learners: 1.3%

Students Receiving Special Education Services: 13.1%

Ethnic Distribution among students: African American (0.9%), Hispanic (15.9%), White (69.9%), American Indian (0.5%), Asian (8.6%), Two or more races (3.9%)

Student-teacher ratio: 15.4 to 1

Number of teachers: 36.3

Average teacher experience: 16.8 years

Average teacher salary: $60,722

Number of counselors: 1

Students at Windsong Intermediate
Students at Windsong Intermediate (FISD)

TEA School Report Card

With an overall score of 97, Windsong Intermediate School earned an A for exemplary performance during the 2018-2019 school year.

The comprehensive score measures how well the school served its students, encouraged high academic achievement and growth and prepared students for success in college, a career or the military.

The TEA assesses the school’s performance in three different domains to determine its overall score: student achievement, school progress, and closing the gaps.

Student achievement gauges how much students learn and what they’re capable of by the end of the year. School progress determines how students at a given school perform over time and how that growth compares to similar schools. And the closing the gaps measures percentage of different groups of students that performed above state goals.

Here’s how Windsong Intermediate School fared in these three categories:

  • Student Achievement: 95
  • School Progress: 91
  • Closing the Gaps: 100

For more information about Windsong Intermediate School, click here to view the performance report.

Students at Windsong Intermediate
Students at Windsong Intermediate (FISD)

The school’s honors:

  • The TEA awarded the school with six of seven possible distinction designations for outstanding performance during the 2018-2019 school year. Windsong Intermediate received designations for the categories ELA/reading, comparative academic growth, postsecondary readiness, science and comparative closing the gaps.
  • The school earned a score of 100, the highest possible score, for its work ensuring different groups of students performed above state goals.

4 questions with the school’s administrators

We asked school administrators to tell us more about Windsong Intermediate. School officials released the following responses.

Q: What sets the school apart from other schools in the Houston area?

A: The parent's willingness to invest in education through Education Foundation Grants, the teacher's ability to bridge new techniques with those that are “tried and true”, the support and direction of our district leadership- always pursuing cutting edge education practices, shared understanding amongst staff that our leadership believes in and supports us, teachers willing to try new ways of teaching through hands-on activities and authentic practices, high teacher morale, strong parent involvement and support, high academic performance by all student groups (special education, dyslexia, and all subgroups), and students are encouraged to set learning goals and they take ownership in meeting the goals.

Q: What programs does the school offer?

A: Mars rover, robotics, Art Club, Garden Club, Character Club, Student Variety Show that showcases student talent, Choir, partnerships with the city for community ed classes, digital citizenship classes built into library time, student council, participation in spelling bee, continental math league, geography bee and language Olympiad challenges.

Q: What steps does the school plan to take to maintain its success and improve upon it going forward?

A: Campus Strategic plan calls for a high level of student engagement and student “buy-in,” a deeper study of the latest teaching reading strategies, continued education to stay on top of new teaching practices, continued growth of strategies in the area of Social and Emotional learners to make sure we are reaching those struggling students and building those relationships, focus on student choice and individual student growth.

Q: What’s are some interesting facts about the school?

A: Nelda Guerra opened the school as Principal in 1999 and has remained the principal for 21 years. There’s very little teacher turn over - most that have left because of retirement or moving away.

Do you know an educator, school, or program enriching the education of students in the Houston area? Tell us about it at click2houston@kprc.com.

About the Author: