Italy JH & HS is doing a great job. The teachers put forth a lot of effort to help the students. My oldest graduated in 2010. My youngest is a freshman in 2013. In 2010 the school was a zoo. The students could do just about anything and not get in trouble so long as they were nice to the lady that was the principal. The teachers only cared about the kids that did well. My 9th grader loves the school. There are many new teachers that show they care. They offer tutoring almost every day and the library stays open extra hours for the kids. The new principal is very strict but is good with the kids. He has been there for three years and many things are better. The tests scores are getting much better and the discipline is awesome. I am glad my kids go to sxchool in Italy.
Italy High School has made a great turn around. The new teachers are mostly wonderful. There has been a strong push toward academic excellence. Recently the paper reported 71% of the students competedin aacademic competition. Many of them earned medals. The Band is awesome. The discipline has completely changed. The teachers are doing a great job. I am glad I didn't take my kids out of the school! I even talked my sister into moving back to town.
I could probably point out more cons then pros these kids have had a different principle every year and the new one isn't much better than the others. Students aren't recognize unless they are in sports the principle called a meeting with my kids grade telling them that he would like them to get more involved in school activities such as AG, sports, and band. Being a recognized campus only because of sports mainly football is all the principle wants only have probably 180 kids at the most at the school only a couple he can remember by name. He even took at student out of school too eat after saying it was a closed campus. All the good teachers have left as well as the traditions the Schoo Song isn't even from the heart. Every year the senior class would get on the floor at the peperally and do the song but one of the couches wants to take it away because his football boys who aren't seniors aren't being noticed during the song. The school has just gone down hill it's pretty sad that unlike every school Italy doesn't have A day and B day instead ha 8 class that are 45 min. long if looking for schools here look else where.
I have discovered that good teachers teach well in spite of the administration and good administrators administrate well in spite of good or bad school boards; and students who want to do well and learn advance in spite of all of the above and in many cases, even in spite of the parents they have. So, Italy has seen better days, but has been flawed with a series of mediocre school boards making mediocre decisions, especially on personnel decisions. Even though I regret the non-return of the former AD who was a very admirable and fair man for all the students, I think some of the new hires for the next year will be beneficial. Also, the Elementary Principal is doing a wonderful job and is appreciated by staff, children and parents and Italy is blessed with some long-time excellent teachers, i.e. Shepherd, Morgan, Moreland, Davis, Holden (one of the best HS math teachers I have ever seen) and some others. The biggest downfall I see right now is the community failing to recruit and elect intelligent, fair, open-minded board members that are able to see the big and long-term picture for a robust school district of this size.
Not many schools in Texas decide to get rid of a District Champion winning football Coach, especially one who does things right and who has the kids respect. During the term of Coach Bales Administration of the Athletic Department there have been multiple playoff appearances in almost every sport. There have been regional appearances and State Qualification by Italy Athletes. All while done in an honorable sportsmanship like manner that taught the kids that citizenship and hard work were essential characteristics for young people. As a citizen and a tax payer in the Italy ISD I am shocked at the amount of turnover in Administrative ranks in Italy ISD. In the last four years Italy ISD has gone through: - Three Superintendents - Three High School Principals - Three Elementary Principal - Three HS Counselors And all of this change has occured at considerable cost to the taxpayers of Italy ISD, ALL while school employees have been lectured ad nauseum by the Board about the need to save money
This school has a lot of potential. New administration and some veteran teachers that truly care about their students. Teachers need more support and encouragement from the community. A few Parents that spend too much time griping at the school instead of making their kids accountable for their actions contributes to a LOT. The teachers are spread thin and then given the blame for whatever goes wrong. The community needs to wake up and take care of the people that part time raise their children or they are going to run out or wear down all the teachers that are actually worth keeping.
Italy High School can be summed up in three words: Failure to achieve. I could point out some exceptional teachers and staff but unfortunately they can only reach so many students and can only do so much. Being a student who wasn't interested in athletics, I was, for the most part, ignored. Yes i participated in other extra-curricular activities but that meant next to nothing compared to the sporty students, that's the attitude of the the place: if you don't play, you're on your own. On the side of academics, yeah they'll give you a training to pass the standardized tests, but those are really different than the things I've run into in college, had I not learned from outside sources, I would have been totally unprepared even for junior college. The management, when I attended was nothing short of a circus act. The principle was childish, scheduling was outdated and ineffective (the same 8 classes every day as opposed to an A/B system), and disciplinary system was also wholly ineffective. Students had little to no respect for rules and staff. Take my advice parents, if you're coming to the area, try one of the many fine districts around this one because IISD simply does not cut it.