LAKE JACKSON — Plenty of parents reward their children for bringing home good grades. Brazosport ISD is doing the same for its high-performing staff members.

Teachers and administrators at O.M. Roberts Elementary School gathered in the school library Thursday for Desserts for Distinctions, a program in which the district provides sweet rewards for teachers at campuses that earned distinctions as part of the state’s accountability system.

“It shows how much work they put into their own learning,” Principal Jennifer Nabors said of the students.

Superintendent Danny Massey presented a banner to recognize the school’s achievements and a check for $41,500. Each teacher will receive a bonus of $1,000 this month — $200 for each distinction received, he said. Members of the school support staff will receive $100 per distinction.

“The quality of education is dependent on the quality of the teacher,” Massey said. “That’s why it’s so important that we support and give the resources our teachers need to ensure our students are learning at high levels.”

It’s unusual for a campus to receive five distinctions, he said, noting Roberts didn’t receive any in 2018. The difference shows there’s a lot of growth at Roberts and the teachers have worked very hard, Massey said.

Roberts, A.P. Beutel and Bess Brannen elementaries received five distinctions from each the Texas Education Association, the most an elementary school is eligible to receive. Three schools earned two distinctions, and four schools earned one. Freeport Intermediate earned six of seven possible distinctions.

Distinctions are awarded for outstanding achievement based on performance relative to a group of campuses across the state that are of similar type, size, grade span, and student demographics, according to a news release from Brazosport ISD. The five distinctions earned by the three elementary schools were for Reading/ELA, Mathematics, Academic Growth, Closing the Gaps, and Postsecondary Readiness.

Altogether, Brazosport ISD schools received a 31 distinctions for the 2018-2019 school year, up from 15 distinctions for the previous year.

This kind of academic achievement reflects not only on the schools and the teachers, but the students as well, Massey said.

Of course, the students and not the distinctions are the focus of the teachers, Nabors said.

“They hold all of our students to very high expectations, and they meet all of our students at the level they’re at,” she said. “Our main focus is to grow every kid, and that’s what they did.”

Corinna Richardson is the features writer for The Facts. Contact her at 979-237-0150.

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