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Shelby County School Board: District on pace to meet some of its goals

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Lunch prices to rise 10 cents

By Todd Martin

Shelby County Public Schools Chief Academic Officer Lisa Smith gave the school board an update at its meeting Thursday night on the progress toward its goals, which were set last year.

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Superintendent James Neihof did remind the board that the timeframe for the goals has not expired, and he said he hoped this refresher could lend a hand for the board’s focus on setting goals for the 2012-13 school year at its meeting on March 22.

Smith’s presentation touched on each of the five categories of the board’s goals, which follow the district’s theme of the “5 Main Things.”

Curriculum Alignment

·       Smith noted that with the change in standards, teachers are working on implementing those into the curriculum. “This is on-going work for us,” she said.

Instructional Norms

·       The district has met the standard of conducting new teacher induction this year, and Smith said she’s very excited about the work involving Thinking Strategies. “We’re developing our own team to train our district teachers,” she said. “They will complete their training in May and will offer their first training session in June. We hope all our teachers, by the end of this year, will have had at least a two-day training session in Thinking Strategies.”

Professional Learning

·       “This follows curriculum alignment very closely,” Smith said. “The measurement will come from our K-PREP scores.” Smith also noted the work the district, administration and teachers have done with data boards.

Intervention

·       The board set goals of 10 percent decreases in students below grade-level in MAP testing and on students not meeting benchmarks on EPAS tests. There has only been a 3 percent decrease in MAP testing, but there is still one test session remaining. The district did not meet the goal on EXPLORE or PLAN tests but still could reach its marks on the ACT test, which was administered last Tuesday.

Enrichment

·       The board set goals of 10 percent increases in the number of students scoring at or above grade level on MAP and on students meeting the benchmarks on EPAS tests. The district has not yet met the increase on MAP and has failed to reach it on EXPLORE or PLAN tests. The ACT scores have not been seen yet.

·       The district also set a goal to increase AP class enrollment and to maintain the percentage of students passing the AP tests. The district did increase the number of students taking AP tests, from 819 to 1,080. The AP exams will be taken at the end of the school year.

Lunch prices increase

The board voted to raise school lunch prices because of a mandate from the Healthy, Hunger Free Kids Act. Meals increased by 10 cents to $1.85 in elementary schools and $2.05 in middle and high schools.

“We’ve been able to dodge the increase the last couple of years, but to keep federal funding we have to increase what we charge for students that pay for the meal to be able to receive the full price of a meal from the government for students that are on free or reduced lunch programs,” Neihof said.

He said Shelby County charges the lowest price for school lunches in the surrounding area.

Also at the meeting, board members:

·       Recognized sixth-grader Hanako Boucher for winning the district spelling bee. Boucher was scheduled to compete in the Derby City Spelling Bee on Saturday.

·       Heard a presentation from Southside teachers and students on the school’s third-grade Art With Heart program.

·       Agreed to employ J. Quintin Biagi, PSC Architectural Firm and BG1 for the Wright Elementary Roof Project.

·       Approved the bond depository.

·       Approved on first reading a revised Shelby County Public School Board Policies and review of revised administrative procedures.

·       Held a closed session for discussing legal issues.