From “IR” to a Premier School Model

Since taking leadership in the 2017-2018 school year, Principal Doug Burak and his campus staff worked swiftly to develop a nurturing and enriching environment at Leonides Cigarroa Elementary, a campus educating a surplus of refugee students in the heart of the Webb Chapel Neighborhood. In 2016, Cigarroa was classified as an “Improvement Required” campus by state accountability measures, with less than 10 percent of third graders reading on grade level.

Through institutional relationships formed with Cigarroa staff over the last several years, United to Learn has helped to develop healthier and more aesthetically-pleasing environments through ongoing campus improvement projects, and build teacher competencies and strong child-centered cultures through SEL educator professional development trainings across the whole campus. Cigarroa also benefits from its partnership with Parish Episcopal School that deploys weekly literacy tutors and donates resources for their student-incentive store.

Third Grade STAAR Reading results illustrate that Principal Burak’s executed vision of building a child-centric community had a considerable impact on student learning.  As of last spring, 57 percent of Cigarroa third graders are now reading on grade level, reflecting a 48-percentage point increase over the past four years, and completely repositioning Cigarroa Elementary as a premier campus model for student growth and achievement.

“The support of U2L has been life changing for Cigarroa and this entire community.
Our gains are a direct result of your work.”

– Principal, Leonides Cigarroa Elementary