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This school year ended with three-fourths of Shelby County grade school students reading on or above grade level – or you might say that 25 percent left school for the summer lagging behind.
That was the gist of the latest MAP (Measures of Academic Progress) report by Chief Academic Officer/Deputy Superintendent Lisa Smith told members of the Shelby County School Board at their meeting Thursday night.
The board, including Superintendent James Neihof, expressed disappointment that those numbers were not higher.
“Our students must exit primary school as proficient readers and writers,” he said. “Literacy is the key to success.”
Said board member Sam Hinkle: “I’m sorry we didn’t meet it; but we’ll take another swing at it next year.”
Hinkle is referring to what the board refers to as its First Big Goal, which is to send all fifth-graders on to middle school at or above grade level in reading and math.
Smith stressed that even though not all students were where they are supposed to be in terms of reading, district-wide, that percentage is nearing what she refers to as “Core 80,” an indicator that the core instructional program is meeting the needs of students as a whole when 80 percent of student are at grade level.
She said there are a total of nine grade levels at four schools that have reached the Core 80 mark, and 17 others have between 70 and 80 percent of students on grade level.
She also said 41 percent of those who are below grade level district-wide are on track to get on grade level.
In math, 70 percent of students are on or above grade level, with 43 percent of those who are behind on track to be on grade level.
Smith said the spring MAP scores showed that in reading, 78 percent of fifth-graders are on or above grade level (up 10 percent from the winter) and 75 percent are at or above grade level in math (up 15 percent from the winter).
Smith said that the top four schools most proficient in reading at the end of the year were Painted Stone, with 81 percent of students reading at or above grade level; West Middle had 80 percent; Shelby County High School 77 percent and Collins High School at 76 percent.
In mathematics, Painted Stone had the greatest percentage of students on or above grade level, with 81 percent. It was followed by Clear Creek, 75 percent, and West Middle, 74.
Smith said that although students are making progress, the rate of improvement is not rapid enough to suit principals and teachers.
Hinkle said the MAP scores do more than just reflect the progress of students but of teachers as well.
“It’s a means of seeing how we [educators] are doing, too,” he said.
“This is a goal we expect to strive to meet each year; it is a goal that’s embedded in our Main Things one and two,” he said, referring to Curriculum Alignment and Instructional Norms, respectively.
New heating and cooling control system for SCHS
The board voted unanimously to spend $44,000 to install a new HVAC control system for Shelby County for next year.
“We had several power outages on Memorial Day weekend, and the whole motherboard went down,” assistant superintendent for operations Kerry Whitehouse said.
He said a repair would have cost $26,000, and because SCPS would be reimbursed $17,000 by its insurance company, the cost of the new system would be the same.
“We will get twenty-six thousand dollars back in one year in energy savings from the new control system,” he said.
Now, maybe next year, SCHS will be able to join East Middle and Collins High School in attaining an Energy Star award, an honor that on Thursday was bestowed upon Collins by David Baird, executive director of the Kentucky School Board Association.
Collins Principal Anthony Hatchel said he was proud of his faculty and staff for being so energy conscious but said that the majority of the credit had to go to the designers of the building.
“We’ve made every effort not to use unnecessary energy, and our staff has collaborated with our energy manager to do that, but really, the building is designed to be extremely energy-efficient,” he said. “It’s just an unbelievable school facility.”
Also at the meeting, the board approved:
§ Funding for a new playground at Heritage Elementary and a new preschool playground at Wright Elementary under the district’s unmet needs. The decision on both had been tabled at the previous meeting to wait for more information on the need for new playgrounds. Both were approved due to safety at Wright and student observation and being proactive before Heritage’s equipment moves beyond repair. The cost is $20,000 for Wright’s preschool playground and $18,000 for Heritage’s playground and new layout.
§ Employing Chenoweth Law Office on an as needed basis.
§ Allowing athletic teams to compete in summer events.
§ Leave-of-absence requests.
§ Awarding of contracts for uniform rental, mop and rug service, asphalt work, pizza, soft drink and sanitation services.
§ Awarding contract for sale of portable classroom unit.