With the push to increase student achievement, determined through various assessments including the CRCT, SIP (School Improvement Plan) is becoming a popular new acronym in education. At the Pickens County Board of Education meeting last Thursday, December 12, 2013, three school administrators presented their school's plans.
Mr. Neil Howell, principal of Jasper Middle School, was first. He started his presentation thanking the shareholders. He introduced his team of teachers and then got busy talking about data. He broke down the data by ethnicity, enrollment and then dove in to discussing Criterion-Referenced Competency Tests (CRCT). Howell also introduced the CCRPI (College and Career Ready Performance Index). According to Mr. Howell this is the new accountability in Georgia and he listed the web-site. If you go to the web-site, CCRPI, you can see all the data for all the schools in Georgia. Mr. Howell explained how data is used to drive student achievement.
"Dig down deeper to the students so you can individually monitor and plan for students to get through these deficits,"
Mr. Howell indicated that each year the data is looking better and better, which of course is the way you want to see it go. More information on Jasper's School Improvement Plan can be found here:
Next up was Dr. Chris Lemeiux from Pickens County Middle School. He started off with some gifts for the Board, one being the fact that his presentation was only 21 slides long. He acknowledged his staff in the audience and spoke about how proud he is of every one of them. He then showed an "inspirational" video and handed out chocolate to each of the board members thanking them for different things they do.
Lemeiux then introduced PCMS's theme which is "the magic happens in the classroom". He talked about how in order to know where you are going you need to know where you have been. He started by talking about 2001-2002, when PCMS was on the "Needs Improvement List" and worked his way up to present day data. He explained that currently the students are doing better in reading than in science and social studies. He explained that the science and social studies test have more reading for meaning than the actual reading test. Again that specific data can be found at CCRPI
More information on the Pickens Middle School SIP can he found here:
Principal Eddie McDonald of Pickens High School was the final presenter. He explained that page 2 of the SIP outlines the subgroups and where they want to improve in those subgroups. He went through the data for each EOCT (End of Course Test) and in virtually all areas the scores for percentage passing are above the state average. The exception to that is math. Next year they are going to go year-long. He hopes going year-long in those classes will improve the scores. McDonald showed a video for the latest reading program he would like to purchase. The program is called Achieve 3000. This program works with each student on their level.
McDonald talked about how they are constantly trying to improve communication with stakeholders. He reviewed that PHS is on Facebook, you can like them on Facebook and they are also now on Twitter. You can start following them on twitter if you are a twitterer. Mr. McDonald also announced that Pickens High School is going to have a mobile app. He hopes it will available in January. Watch for that, it sounds like it is coming soon.
As you may already know attendance is a big part of school success. Pickens County Schools have a well-advertised attendance slogan and they make it a priority to recognize schools with top attendance. Dr. Carlton Wilson at Jasper Elementary had the highest attendance for the month at 96.67 percent. Jasper Middle School was in second place.
Neil Howell and Dr. Carlton Wilson display the attendance banner that is hung at each winning school for the month.
There is a virus at Harmony Elementary School that is impacting their attendance. Absences are growing daily. They are using cleaning supplies and working closely with the health department. Hopefully the weekend gave everyone an opportunity to get better so all the kids can enjoy this last week at school before the break.