Rosenberg Elementary School once more

Rosenberg Elementary School, currently known as Coastal Village Elementary School, will get its old name back for the next school year.

The name on the side of the building says Rosenberg Elementary, but for years that hasn’t been the case.

Soon, however, the elementary school will once again go by its historic namesake.

Galveston Independent School District’s board of trustees this month voted to change the name of Coastal Village Elementary School back to Rosenberg Elementary School for the next school year and, with it, making several curriculum changes.

The school was originally named after Henry Rosenberg, an island philanthropist who moved from Switzerland and was active in real estate and banking.

The trustees’ vote was only on the name change, said Trustee Anthony Brown, who abstained from the vote. The staff made the curriculum decision, he said.

The historic campus was renamed Coastal Village Elementary School shortly after the Knowledge is Power Program charter took over operation of it in 2009, and retained the name when the district and that program ended their partnership in 2014.

The district is redesigning the school because of its failure to meet performance measures and because of severe teacher turnover, Superintendent Kelli Moulton said.

“My feeling is that this is what Moulton and her team do for us,” Trustee Johnny Smecca said. “These are the decisions they make for us.”

Coastal Village is the lone remaining Galveston Independent School District campus rated “improvement required” in the most recent Texas Education Agency’s 2017 accountability results. There was one other district campus on the list — Weis Middle School — but that has since been joined with Central Middle School.

The rating is based on data collected during the 2016-17 school year.

Repeated failure to meet demands for improvement can have a range of consequences, including intervention by state education officials.

The Texas Education Agency in 2015 announced La Marque Independent School District would cease to operate and be annexed by the Texas City school district, citing consecutive years of either poor academic or financial performance for the closure.

As part of the redesign plan for Coastal Village Elementary, third- and fourth-grade students will be moved from the campus and distributed to other district campuses, Moulton said.

The students’ new campuses will be Burnet Elementary, Morgan Elementary and Parker Elementary, officials said.

“The design provides that each year Rosenberg Elementary add an additional grade level,” Moulton said.

The campus will serve students in pre-kindergarten through second grade this next school year, Moulton said.

Former Austin Middle School Principal Cathy Van Ness also was named executive principal at the campus, officials said.

Van Ness had previously overseen the district’s magnet program at the Austin campus. During her tenure, the school received a coveted 2017 Blue Ribbon Schools designation.

Founded in 1982, Blue Ribbon Schools is a U.S. Department of Education program that recognizes public and private elementary, middle and high schools where students perform at very high levels, officials said.

Van Ness also will oversee two administrators who will be principals in residence, officials said.

Redesigning Coastal Village Elementary is the second major move the district has made in response to struggling school ratings.

To address issues at struggling middle schools, trustees last year approved hiring eight new positions as part of what they call a campus “turnaround team.”

The hirings came at a steep price of $670,000, however.

Matt deGrood: 409-683-5230; matt.degrood@galvnews.com

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