Schools began using Opportunity Culture in:
Learn more about the Opportunity Culture initiative in Waco ISD by visiting the district website.
In 2020, Waco ISD began designing their Opportunity Culture plans for implementation in fall 2021. Waco ISD, along with La Vega ISD, designed Opportunity Culture with paid teacher residencies in partnership with Tarleton State University. In addition to working with Tarleton State University, La Vega and Waco ISDs are working with Texas Tech University.
The universities are members in the University-School Partnerships for the Renewal of Educator Preparation (US PREP). As members of US PREP, the universities will spend three years piloting, scaling and sustaining the Teacher Preparation Quality Objectives, which will result in the training of teachers who are ready to meet the needs of their K–12 students. Taken together with the Opportunity Culture model, candidates receive compensation during their residency year.
Superintendent Susan Kincannon said: “A major challenge that we face is a higher teacher turnover rate than many other districts. “We hope that the Opportunity Culture model will help retain our best teachers by offering them new opportunities to grow as educational leaders and better prepare the new teachers who will follow them in the classroom.”
Waco ISD Demographics
When Waco ISD began designing its Opportunity Culture in 2020, the district had 26 schools serving 14,475 students. Of those students, 61 percent were Hispanic, 28 percent were Black, 8 percent were white, and about 91 percent were economically disadvantaged.
- Public Impact Press Release: Texas Initiative to Add Paid, Financially Sustainable Opportunity Culture Teacher Residencies Expands