International Leadership Texas. College Station

8,860 Views | 54 Replies | Last: 3 mo ago by Tigermom84
Turf96
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Just to let some know that the school now has 7 out of 9 grades on a waiting list so filling up at this time. If you have a coming 4th grader or 8th grader I believe there is still space. They keep waiting lists for all grades. Heard from Keller parents if you want in sign up as the waiting list can get crazy. Amazing to see it grown so fast. I remember driving by when it was first started wondering what the little school was. Now it is fast becoming a big school.

As I've stated here before we have had a great experience at the charter. With The three languages it is really neat to watch them grow. Many great opportunities in our area and this is just another one that has been a blessing to our family. Our children have grown a lot over this last year. The staff has been very incouraging. Probably the most encouraging is that they fully support almost any interest the kids have after they behave and make good grades. The makeup work support has been very refreshing. Discipline issues have been handled in a timely manner. To me it truly is school done like it used to be to a degree where you are expected to follow rules or don't participate. We need more of this instead of holding schools hostage by bad behavior and poor work ethic. The tablets each kid have and the programs they have on them have been a great asset to foster better knowledge retention. Overall I give the new school an A to this point.

Here is to another great year.
Ratsa
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Where's the IL high school going to be located next year? On the current campus, or are they building a new school elsewhere?
EliteElectric
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Just got my daughter in for K and there was a lottery drawing so apparently even the Kindergarten is full.
www.elitellp.net
phatpat21
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Yap had my daughter in the lottery for Kindergarten and she is on the waitlist, 81 no less.
So college hills here we come, which I've heard nothing but good things
Turf96
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I believe the model at other places that IL has built is to evaluate space and see if they can keep next year freshman on campus but due to growth almost never works out. This years 8th grade class was small as would be expected but I have heard they have worked deals with churches or places similar for a year while they bond and construct the high school. I believe their business model is to be very financially responsible and not build until they can fill a large part of it. Very little empty space.

I've heard rumors that they will eventually build a k-8 somewhere north of town and build a high school starting soon that will be fed by both. We were told on our child that they would be in new high school by the time they got there. I believe that to be so. Not sure where it will be but I can assure you in my mind it will be worth the drive if the first year is any indication.
Ratsa
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I had heard the same things about another K-8 school opening in Bryan in the fall of 2019, and then having both K-8 schools feeding into one high school. It looks like the rapid expansion of IL schools may be slowing down a bit .

Texas' fastest-growing charter network planning massive bond package
WoodAg
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That is an interesting article, Rasta. I'm honestly shocked that hasn't been posted on here before. If it has, I can't believe I missed it.

So the leader many were idolizing on here last year was demoted because they are in a "perilous" financial position.

Then they plan to issue $400 million in junk bonds? Does anyone know if this happened? Article is nearly 6 months old so assume it did.

An additional $4-8 million in interest annually?
10 days of operating cash on hand?

Sounds like some work to do.
lost my dog
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WoodAg said:

That is an interesting article, Rasta. I'm honestly shocked that hasn't been posted on here before. If it has, I can't believe I missed it.

So the leader many were idolizing on here last year was demoted because they are in a "perilous" financial position.

Then they plan to issue $400 million in junk bonds? Does anyone know if this happened? Article is nearly 6 months old so assume it did.

An additional $4-8 million in interest annually?
10 days of operating cash on hand?

Sounds like some work to do.
If you read the Chronicle, this is old news.

But the attitude on this board was so anti-CSISD after the rezoning issues that there has been a bit of wishful ignorance. Plus, to be honest most parents do (and should) focus on their child's experience, not school finance.

I am very curious to see how it plays out over the next 5 years
WoodAg
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Understand that it's "old news" which is why I said it came out six months ago.
Just interesting that I don't remember it being brought up by anyone until yesterday.

My gils' education is certainly number one to me. But being financially responsible is going to be up there, as well.
I'm not talking about going line by line through the budget and wining about how much they spend on office supplies, etc.
But, if there is leadership changeover mandates by the financial situation of the district that seems important.
Issuing a record number in junk bonds, or at least attempting to, seems like a Hail Mary. Maybe it's literally the only thing they can do.

I can't imagine the uproar on here if csisd or bisd was in this situation.

Of course, education is easily number one and I can overlook a lot of leadership decisions as long as that is strong.
I will say that I have seen several on here post , who have transitioned to the charter, about how csisd is basically evil because of administration.
They then turn around and talk about how much their kids loved it and was a great education. I don't see them concerned about this. Maybe they shouldn't be.

Edit: reading through this again, I'm guessing Ratso (emphasis on guess) posted that link in response to Turf literally saying "financially responsible". They may be and this may be a completely fake news article. But the perilous comment definitely flies in the face of responsibility.
cslifer
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There are folks around here that would have to be institutionalized if any of the local ISDs tried to borrow that much at that rate. Yet IL Texas does it and nobody seems to mind, lets not forget that they get state funding so it is OUR tax dollars going to pay those junk rates.
Having 10 days operating cash on hand doesn't exactly scream stability...
Turf96
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[Do not make personal jabs at other posters on this forum. This is your last warning. -Staff]
Jinx
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Our oldest will be starting K in 2020 so I am hoping the 2nd K-8 option will be reality soon!
The Anchor
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AG
Jinx said:

Our oldest will be starting K in 2020 so I am hoping the 2nd K-8 option will be reality soon!
2020 seems light years away...then I realized it's already 2019
Love Gun
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I just want to know when they plan on fixing the traffic situation for afternoon pickup.
ladyinmaroon11
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AG
We received a spot for next year. I'm curious how this school is comparing to the Dual Language program in CSISD. I've heard good things about IL Texas and about DL and we are trying to decide which will be a better fit.
Big12Champ06
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I've heard good and bad about both. We applied for both for K and got into neither so I envy your position.

A parent of a current CSISD dual student told me that IL Texas got several teachers from CSISD especially in the higher grades. So the experience this year has been different than in the past. I've heard from more than one person that communication with teachers at IL Texas is difficult. Little to no response about struggling kids. CSISD told me directly that they're probably a better fit for kids who may not be the "perfect behavior" type.

Good luck deciding. Either way, we're going to move up a spot on a waitlist!
Turf96
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I can honestly only respond to my experience. Not sure why anybody would have difficulty in reaching a teacher at IL Texas. We have had direct contact with all the coaches and teachers this year. Almost every teacher does exactly the same as CSISD and emails out lesson plans for the week. You have every teachers direct contact by week 2. We have had parent teacher conferences with every teacher and no issues. I've spoken to the administration on multiple occasions. My experience is if you can't have contact with a teacher you are not trying hard enough.

As for IL Texas 3 language system it has been great fun. We were just having fun counting as high as we could last night in Chinese. The chrome books each student have and the programs such as DUO LIngo have helped a great deal. They also help us to know where our student is on practice time. I'm sure CSISD has something similar as well. The language has been a great experience for us. I've said many times here we like IL Texas. I'm sure soon somebody will come here to argue my opinion with me. Seems as though I'm not entitled to say anything positive.

Best of luck to you in either route you take. I am very thankful for IL Texas. CSISD has been nice as well except a few issues here and there.
Gangster Octopus
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I'm glad to see IL is getting it together. Our son started there, but they were still suffering through major growing pains. His class was extremely overcrowded due to them not hiring enough teachers before opening their doors.

Over a couple of months, we had exactly ZERO correspondence sent home from his teacher - no syllabus, no basic "about me" info, no nothing. During that time, my son was punched twice by the same student. Neither time did we hear anything directly from the teacher until after my son told us. We visited with the administration both times and all we were told was "we're working on it." One of the things that sold us on IL initially was that they made a big deal about how attendance is a privilege and not a right. The longer we were there, the less we believed it.

Once we received word that a new teacher was hired and that my son's class would be split, we elected to move to the new class. However, after visiting with the new teacher, we found out she came from a Head Start program in a much smaller district and was in no way ready to start teaching within the next 48 hours. She showed up to the school the day before her class was starting with no supplies or lesson plans. Her response was "they gave us everything in head start - no one told me I'd have to outfit my own class." We then started to discuss reading levels and she had no clue about leveled reading. I knew it was time to pull out of IL.

We kept my son home for the next two days while we completed his transfer back into his normal school and couldn't be happier with our decision. He's back to thriving and doesn't dread having to go to school every morning.

We have friends who love IL and their kids are doing well. I'm thinking we just drew the short straw.
Turf96
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Sorry to hear that and I know some of this did happen. I don't thjnk they ever anticipated the demand so soon when it first opened. I know it did catch them off balance a bit. There were some growing pains in beginning but many of those discipline issues were dealt with as they said they would. As with all schools some remain but the issues are almost non issues at this point. The academic help and accountability have been very nice. I wish our kids had had this school from the beginning. Our child has been in 3 school systems and this is far and away the most positive. To us school is personal growth as well as education. This school has afforded us that in spades. Best of luck back at old school.
EBrazosAg
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AG
Gangster Octopus said:

I'm glad to see IL is getting it together. Our son started there, but they were still suffering through major growing pains. His class was extremely overcrowded due to them not hiring enough teachers before opening their doors.

Over a couple of months, we had exactly ZERO correspondence sent home from his teacher - no syllabus, no basic "about me" info, no nothing. During that time, my son was punched twice by the same student. Neither time did we hear anything directly from the teacher until after my son told us. We visited with the administration both times and all we were told was "we're working on it." One of the things that sold us on IL initially was that they made a big deal about how attendance is a privilege and not a right. The longer we were there, the less we believed it.

Once we received word that a new teacher was hired and that my son's class would be split, we elected to move to the new class. However, after visiting with the new teacher, we found out she came from a Head Start program in a much smaller district and was in no way ready to start teaching within the next 48 hours. She showed up to the school the day before her class was starting with no supplies or lesson plans. Her response was "they gave us everything in head start - no one told me I'd have to outfit my own class." We then started to discuss reading levels and she had no clue about leveled reading. I knew it was time to pull out of IL.

We kept my son home for the next two days while we completed his transfer back into his normal school and couldn't be happier with our decision. He's back to thriving and doesn't dread having to go to school every morning.

We have friends who love IL and their kids are doing well. I'm thinking we just drew the short straw.
Texas Tribune a pretty fair, if left of center, news organization. Here is their rating review of IL Texas. It shows location of Richardson since that is their HQ location. It covers all the IL Texas ......Houston, BCS, DFW, .....

https://schools.texastribune.org/districts/international-leadership-of-texas/
cslifer
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Thanks for posting that, it is pretty comprehensive.
A few things stood out to me, much less experienced teacher making less money being the biggest. To me this sounds like new teachers gaining experience and moving on. I also found it interesting that while more thank average kids were enrolled in AP classes, the passing average was much lower.
AggieMom_38
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Someone correct me if I'm wrong, but the data on the link looks to be IL Texas in general (not specific to the CS "branch"). For example, a previous thread indicated that the pay is actually higher at IL Texas compared to CSISD (at least for entry). And I don't see how there could be ACT/SAT scores (edit to add: and AP classes) for our community's new Charter given they only go to 8th grade. And the foreign language info doesn't seem to make sense given all students are in the trilingual program. Again, I may be misunderstanding what is reported, but I guess I wouldn't put much weight on that report as the data reported doesn't make sense (even the at-risk of dropping out seems odd given the discussion about behavioral problems not being tolerated and basically ending up back at CSISD/BISD).
cslifer
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As the previous poster said, it takes the IL"district" as whole. So far as dropping out goes, a transfer obviously wouldn't show as a drop out. How can you not put much weight in the data reported by the school itself? Not putting weight in a report because you may not understand the data is a dangerous game, the data in some economic reports from the treasury doesn't make sense me, but I can't write them off.
AggieMom_38
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Sorry I missed that - makes sense. So, to me this is pretty irrelevant as CS is a different situation than those cities. I think it'll be exciting to see what happens with the Charter. I hope it's as strong a school as I hear from families that are there. That'll give our community another educational option (and other options for teachers) and will hopefully encourage CSISD, BISD, etc.to find ways to better their own districts. A Dare I say a little "competition" is a good thing (in my humble opinion)
cslifer
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How is it irrelevant? What is different about the campus here a one in DFW? They are run by the same people using the same policies and budget. That is like ignoring a report about CSISD because the school your kid is at is "different". It is judging overall performance/health of the district. Would you buy stock in a company that is in overall bad shape simply because the location in your town is new and shiny and appears to be doing well but doesn't have any numbers to back it up?
AggieMom_38
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Because the data is not based on the school we are referring to and CS is a quite different community than DFW, Houston.... And, the teachers, leadership, pay rates, the student population... just seems quite different IMO. My point is that it will be more valuable and more relevant when we see how the school actually performs. And, yes, I would buy stock in a company that was performing poorly but looked to be doing the "right" things (the stock may be undervalued and I may end up being a big winner), but regardless, I just don't see data based on DFW, Houston, whatever being easily comparable to what may happen in CS.

I just don't understand why you are so anti-charter and so willing to jump on the idea that's it's no-good -- the original post was simply about enrollment numbers being strong and that the charter seems to be in high demand. I don't understand the negativity about a new option in our community unless someone is personally harmed by this alternative doing well (maybe in your job you are, I don't know). I don't have kids there (and never will) but I am happy that our community has different educational options (particularly public options - private schools already exist for those that can afford) - and maybe this will lead to the districts the charter pulls from innovating and learning new/improved educational approaches. That's a good thing. Now I'm done responding to you (how many times have I said that to you on various threads)
cslifer
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When say that the school here is under different leadership than the others you made it quite obvious you don't understand how school districts work. All the schools in the district are under central administration, the principal is essentially a branch manager. There are only so many things they can change or control. Local leadership may change things a bit, but not as much as you think in the over scheme of things.
As for your assumption I am against the charter school you are entirely wrong. I am not. I just look at things realistically and not through rose colored glasses.
So far as student population and pay being different, got any numbers to back that up or just another assumption?
CS_Aggie
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Several friends had their kids at IL charter school this past year. Without exception, they are people who were generally happy with the education their kids were receiving in the elementary schools of CSISD. After a year at IL charter, however, they've all said they didn't know what they were missing until they moved to the charter school. They loved their first year at the charter school and they are ALL going back next year. The trilingual program is something everyone seems very pleased with. Also have great teachers, great principals, great facilities. There is no question the charter school is a huge win for our community. All I have heard is great communication from teachers. This year, I believe every grade is on wait-list. The word is out that the charter school is an amazing opportunity for kids in our community. One friend's child was in the group that went to Paris over spring break--what an awesome opportunity!
Tigermom84
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AG
There is some misinformation on this thread and I guess it's again, like always, all about "data" and not about what is really happening.

The bonds issued to purchase campuses were always the plan, the superintendent is just following through. Since charters don't have access to state funds for facilities, they have to get creative to build these campuses. Kudos for getting it done. It's not $4-8million in EXTRA interest causing untold amounts of financial distress, that's just the difference between what they have to pay vs a regular district. If the state can make some changes and allow charters to have access to I&S funding too, then that will be a game changer, and my thought would be refinancing the debt to some sort of rated status, maybe even with PSF backing it up. Yet another good move for ILT.

The super is most definitely NOT demoting himself, he needs additional help given the growth (which will probably slow a little bit i imagine. 17campuses in 6yrs is monumental). He needs additional leadership to shift some responsibilities. Again, crazy how he runs this many campuses across a HUGE geography on less money that local administrations do.... I know for a fact that he was here personally in the past 30 days meeting with the principal, trying to understand HOW in the heck she filled up this campus in 2 years, when he told her it would take 4+ yrs to fill up. Again...very curious...

ILT College Station is in the top 3 campuses as far as quality of education in the entire ILT district. Based on how "easy" the STAAR test was for my kiddos this year, compared to previous years when it was "SO HARD" shows me that my kids are learning at a much higher level than they were before. And the trilingual curriculum is just plain fun. Turf is right. I've even taken up mandarin myself!

Having this option has been FANTASTIC, I hope the state tax dollars continue to funnel towards ILT. They are doing MORE for kids and families with LESS money than ISDs, and it should definitely lift the quality for all schools across the board. Competition IS a good thing.
cslifer
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Ummmm...if one entity is paying more to get the same thing isn't that the very definition of paying extra? Entities that borrow at junk rates do so because the have to, because they are viewed as higher risk due to their financial position being less than desirable.
How can anyone say they are in "the top 3" when they haven't even finished a year? One would have to do some Enron style accounting to come up with a result like that.
Tigermom84
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AG
When the government skews the benefits so that one entity has access to money and another one doesn't, sometimes you have to take risks to make it equal.

Edit to address the second point added later: ILT tests across their own campuses at the beginning of the 4th six weeks (I believe that's when it was). You might call it "quality control".
Turf96
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Thanks for getting the thread back to what it was about. I intended for it to be an announcement to parents that things were filling up. Some of us don't facebook and twitter all the time. Wanted anybody that wanted a chance to know they are about to be left out. We are very happy with our first year. I've stated above this is the 3rd school for our child and by far and away the best we have had. Some want to paint this as a slap at CSISD and it isn't intended that way. The other school hasn't got defensive that I like the charter school better than them. I don't like how we were treated in rezone and I've stated that. I haven't said it was a bad school or painted it negatively. In fact I fought hard to stay in it. As you know I still have students in CSISD but somehow I don't support that school. News flash I'm not married to one option of education.

This forum is very difficult as the Mods can talk to you but to my knowledge I can't talk to them. It makes it difficult for them as well I believe. I get warned for posting at individual posters but every time I say anything postive about ILT I get harassed and second guessed. I guess I'm not allowed to defend anything. That one that always follows me always says they have no issue with me but the actions show something much different. It just gets frustrating. Not fair to other posters to have to listen to either of us.

At a huge risk for issues I'll state one thing on the derailment of the intent of this thread. To say a district runs things and basically the principle and counselers are just branch managers may on surface seem correct although I say a little kingly. My experience with education is admin takes care of funding and policy, principles and counselors create culture, and educators are the heart and sole. I actuallly see true value at teacher level, and least value at administration but you are free to believe other way. I hazard to guess if you ask any student who they want to thank it would start with a teacher and probably not the CFO or supt of a school district. They deserve some credit but probably have less control at a local level then they believe in their own minds.

I'll present exhibit A now that if districts ate all the same then why the deeply passionate battle over zoning of two schools both in CSISD? Do they not have same district leadership? Do several feel a very different value in schools( this goes both ways so not slamming one school or other)? Why would that be? Could it just be that the principles and counseled do make a difference afterall? I would argue yes. If you want to argue district look at district. When you argue schools you just may want to look at schools. Just the way I see it. Sure some don't and that is fine.
AggieMom_38
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I'm curious how the charter handles the star. My experience in csisd when my kids were in those grades was pretty frustrating. Lots of time spent on prepping for the star to the point that "strong" students did little to nothing the weeks leading up while the struggling kids were given attention so they'd perform ok on the test. Then after star was over, it was just movie watching time (I remember the one year my son watched the same movie 3 times the last two weeks of school after star was over). It seemed like April-May were a complete waste. I always thought this was a teacher (or school) issue but cslifer educated me that it is likely a district/super approach/policy. Any insight on what the charter does related to star testing would be interesting.
Tigermom84
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AG
ILT weaved staar practice into a normal educational day. Kids weren't even aware that they were preparing for it (vs other schools that have "boot camps" and cram sessions to prepare, like you said where the smart kids are bored and the average to below average kids are super busy). My kiddo struggled a lot in math, and when I questioned the teacher about how to get ready for it, the teacher said "don't worry about it, we've already figured out where to individually focus with your child, and we are on top of it". That explains why it was "easy", and testing day was basically a non-event I guess!
cslifer
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I did not say a word about a single specific policy. Instead of making things up how about posting those numbers you mentioned about different pay and student population.
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