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Shelby County School Board: Diplomas, goals highlight agenda

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Board will award diplomas through recovery project

By Todd Martin

This Thursday, the Shelby County Board of Education will award diplomas to students who previously had given up their chances at a graduation.

Started in the 2011-12 school year, the diploma recovery project allows students that were one-time dropouts the opportunity to receive a diploma from their former school by attending evening courses and using online resources and testing through COMPASS to earn credits toward graduation.

Last May the district celebrated its first recovery project graduate during a board meeting and its second in December, and this year the district will celebrate again, at Thursday’s meeting at board offices, 1155 Main Street. Cropper student Marco Osorio Sapon, who recently completed two years worth of studies in one school year, also will receive a diploma.

Board goals

The board will also review its board goals, which were discussed and developed during a workshop at the meeting on March 28.

The board will hear these revised goals and consider them for approval:

  • KPREP reading and math scores will increase 6 percent per year.
  • The percentage of students scoring in the 70th percentile nationally of reading on the MAP test will increase to 59 percent.
  • The percentage of students scoring in the 70th percentile nationally of math on the MAP test will increase to 57 percent.
  • The graduation rate will increase to 88 percent, but board member Eddie Mathis challenged moving that to 90 percent or higher.
  • The percentage of students finishing school College or Career Ready will increase to 80 percent.
  • KPREP distinguished scores will increase to state averages or by 2 percent, whichever is higher.
  • Students scoring 30 or better on the ACT will increase by 10 percent.

District officials also discussed the possibility of opening the curriculum to allow a more fluid educational path for students. Although Superintendent James Neihof said he was not yet ready to bring such a policy to the board for a vote.

Also at the meeting, the board will:

  • Recognize A Place to Sleep founder Jessica Carter.
  • Hear a report from Energy Manager Sherman Adams.
  • Hear reports on the Northside Early Childhood Center and Southside Elementary School building projects.
  • Consider approval of new and revised job descriptions.
  • Consider approval of accepting technology offers of assistance and related budget amendments for 2012-13.
  • Consider approval of student fees for 2014-14.
  • Consider approval of payments and claims.
  • Consider approval of intent to apply for the OVEC Community Early Childhood Councils grant.
  • Consider approval of intent for the Student Achievement Division to apply for the America’s Farmers Grow: Rural Education grant through the Monsanto Fund.
  • Consider approval for Heritage Elementary School fifth-grade students to use a common carrier for a field trip.
  • Consider approval of waiving board policy to allow Odyssey of the Mind Teams to compete in the World Finals on Sunday, May 26 and to use a common carrier for travel.
  • Consider approval of waiving board policy to allow the Shelby County High School volleyball team to practice on Sundays in preparation for tournament play.
  • Consider approval of the regular bard meeting minutes for April 11.