The Herald Bulletin

Afternoon Update

Local Education

February 11, 2014

Public comment sought on school improvement plans

Hearing scheduled at ACS board meeting tonight

ANDERSON — Highland Middle and Anderson High schools need to improve their school grades, and community residents will have an opportunity tonight to react to plans and offer suggestions about how to do better.

Each school has been classified by the Indiana Department of Education as a “priority” school because for two or more consecutive years they have received a “D” or “F” on annual accountability grades.

As part of their “School Improvement Plan,” each school is required to hold a public hearing, said Daniel Altman, spokesman for the Department of Education.

Anderson Community Schools interim Superintendent Tim Edsell said the leadership of each school will discuss a summary of those plans to the public. A more detailed plan must be submitted to state education officials.

“They’re in the process of finalizing that now,” Edsell said. “I think it’s an opportunity for any interested parent to listen to a summary of the plan and listen to the leadership team.”

Generally, there are eight “turnaround principles” schools must adhere to that involve creating goals and strategies in place that will result in positive gains, he said.

School corporations are graded by the state’s office of Accountability to determine how each school district aligns with state goals in four areas of assessment: mathematics, English and language arts, college and career readiness, and graduation rates.

For 2013, ACS schools received an overall letter grade of D from the Indiana Board of Education. That letter grade was unchanged from 2012, but the district did improve on the graded scale from 1.14 to 1.76.

Anderson High School received D grades in 2012 and 2013 respectively; Highland Middle School received grades of F and D in the same period, according to state accountability data.

In both cases, Edsell said the schools are making good strides to improve and are implementing strategies “that I believe are going to make a positive impact on our students.”

Like Stu Hirsch on Facebook and follow him @stuhirsch on Twitter, or call 640-4861.

If You Go What: Regular meeting of Anderson Community Schools Board of Trustees Where: Administration Center, 1600 Hillcrest Ave., Anderson When: 6 p.m. today

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