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All Children Ages 0-5 in Potter County Enter School Ready to Succeed and 1 more... less...

Result: All Children Ages 0-5 in Potter County Enter School Ready to Succeed

Indicator: % of Amarillo ISD Students At Approaches Grade Level or Above for Grade 3 Reading (All Students)

Current Value




Line Bar Comparison

About the Data


STAAR (State of Texas Assessments of Academic Readiness): A comprehensive testing program for public school students in grades 3–8 or high school courses with end-of-course (EOC) assessments. The STAAR program is designed to measure to what extent a student has learned, understood, and is able to apply the concepts and skills expected at each grade level or after completing each course for which an EOC assessment exists. Each STAAR assessment is linked directly to the Texas Essential Knowledge and Skills (TEKS). The TEKS are the state-mandated content standards that describe what a student should know and be able to do upon completion of a course.

STAAR replaced the TAKS in the spring of 2012, although students who entered 10th grade before the 2011-2012 school year continued to take the TAKS. This process is part of the TAKS to STAAR transition plan. In 2015 the last students had taken the TAKS test, so the first students will graduate with a completed STAAR end of course assessments.

On March 16th, 2020, Governor Greg Abbott waived the STAAR for the 2019-2020 school year because of the COVID-19 pandemic.



Story Behind the Curve

What factors, from 2016 to 2019, have pushed up on the data?

  • Better understanding of poverty and its impact
    • Poverty rate in Potter County is going down
  • Increasing focus on Early Childhood education
    • Solid foundations for children birth to five - focus on phonemic awareness, environments that are supportive of early learning and development
  • Early Educators supporting reading
    • Teacher emotional support
  • Access to books, culturally diverse books
    • Increased digital access to early childhood learning resources (PBS
  • More Parent engagement, involvement at home
    • Home Visiting Programs support
  • Less stress for family (family financial stability, parent education job training, livable income, economic security)
    • Social service agencies providing coverage to support health

What factors, from 2016 to 2019, have pushed down on the data?

  • Classroom environments key
    • Teacher preparation 
    • Emotional burnout of teachers
  • Amount of individuals and/or families who could be classified as the working poor is increasing
    • Parents working 2 jobs, less time to connect with their children to read
    • Basic needs aren't satisfied, learning is harder, education takes backseat
  • Geographical segmentation based on race or socioeconomic status
    • Racial/ethnic disparities
  • Challenging behaviors in classroom prevent student from learning and/or distract other students
    • Cultural barriers
    • Language barriers/ hesitations in reading to children based on language proficiency
    • Barriers to English language learners - including limitations of parents or families
  • Less access to resources tutoring enrichment programs
    • Inequitable access to better childcare environments
  • Buy-in about the importance of early learning involvement
    • Parents unaware of strategies to support learning


  • Current partners in the coalition
  • Family childcare providers - reading support
  • Storybridge - reading support
  • Amarillo Library System - reading support and access to books
  • Food banks/Snack pack - food security for families
  • Bilingual education reps from AISD (including Migrant Director)
  • Living Intentionally Ministries - addressing poverty
  • Amarillo College - addressing poverty
  • Faith-based partners
  • PEACE, AC Education Department, Workforce Solutions - Increasing focus on early childhood education
  • Parents
  • Daycare providers
  • Healthcare providers
  • Business community
  • No Limits No Excuses


Evidence-Based Practices

  • Boston Basics
  • Head Start
  • Parent engagement – research-based

(e.g., HIPPY)

  • Align early childhood curriculum with school readiness requirements
  • Home Visiting and parent engagement
  • Reading high quality content increases vocabulary 


Promising Practices

  • Increase the amount of books in the home
  • Is there a movement?
  • What books?
  • Creating a culture

Low Cost/No Cost

  • Story bridge
  • Access to libraries
  • Using PBS
  • Bright-by-text
  • Epic on digital 
  • Training though PECE libraries
  • Focus on birth-to-five
  • Access to books
  • Church connections
  • Living intentionally


Off the Wall

  • Door to door talking to families – community campaigning
  • Events where we collect books
  • Free entrance to event w book
  • Book club offers
  • Somehow utilizing postman as they are at everyone mailbox daily
  • Utilize the preservice teachers to connect with families for tutoring 
  • Continuing the 1:1 video connection with families/children after COVID-19 to continue services



  1. Increase public awareness about the importance of brain development for children 0-5 through partnerships with media as well as using social media
  2. Provide informal quality experiential learning birth to five (e.g., public libraries, HVP, Text 4 Baby, Boston Basic, Bright-By-Text, Storybridge) so that children ages 0-5 are on track to reach milestones 
    • Promote a love of reading amongst children and families through book drives and other opportunities (i.e., Little Libraries)
  3. Implement a cross-community survey that increases knowledge and understanding about early learning in Potter County

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