The Herald Bulletin

Afternoon Update

Local Education

February 11, 2014

School leaders outline student improvement plans at public hearing

Principal hopes to foster more parent involvement

ANDERSON — Administrators and teachers at Anderson High and Highland Middle schools outlined their plans to improve student achievement by the end of this school year Tuesday night during a hearing at the Anderson Community Schools Board of Trustees meeting.

Each school has been classified as a "priority" school by the Indiana Department of Education because for two or more consecutive years they have received a “D” or “F” on annual accountability grades. A public hearing to share improvement plans is required by law.

Highland Principal Kelly Durr told board members that by May 14, the school has set a goal to improve the overall performance and pass rates in English and language arts for 75 percent of students in the sixth through eighth grades by 5 percent; and by 5 percent in the same group in math.

Students currently in the seventh grade will be the focus of special intervention in the area of English and language arts because test results show their performance is lagging. Durr said the goal will be to achieve a 7 percent increase in pass rates for those students.

The plan calls for dedicated homeroom periods to help students with areas of need, implementing more professional development programs for teachers, promoting effective use of data and forming "communities" among the school's 1,500 students.

In addition, Durr said she hopes to foster more parent involvement and hold community meetings during the school year.

Anderson High School Principal Terry Thompson said areas that need to be addressed are declining end-of-course assessments, in English and math, as well as college and career readiness skills that have declined markedly in recent evaluations.

Thompson engaged eight teacher-led teams to address such areas as school leadership, climate and culture, curriculum assessment and time management.

"Our plan is totally going to be teacher driven," Thompson told board members.

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