School improvement plans implemented at Triton

BOURBON — Triton School Corporation school board members found out what is in the improvement plan for the elementary and middle schools at the meeting Tuesday night.
There, formal presentations were made by the elementary and secondary School Improvement Committees, which had just completed their work.
Far from being a “mission statement” placed in a binder and put on a shelf to gather dust, the Strategic Planning Committee report from last school year was visibly present, with concrete action steps outlined by the Improvement Committees.
The Elementary committee, composed of Principal Jeremy Riffle, Christine Cook – Curriculum/Data Analyst, Jack Carpenter, Jill Finley, and Shawna Shively, reported that the 2013-014 goal for the elementary school is: “At least 90% of students will read at or above grade level.”
The objective used to achieve the goal is that “Students will learn grade-appropriate Tier 2 and Tier 3 vocabulary.” Tier 2 is academic vocabulary that is used across subjects and contexts. Tier 3 words are those that are domain-specific and represent concepts learned in specific courses of study. This objective is driven by the fact established by research that reading comprehension is highly dependent on vocabulary knowledge.
The Jr./Sr. High School Committee members included Cook, Principal Michael Chobanov, Assistant Principal Robert Ross, teachers Rodney Younis, Carrie Orlowski, Susan Dietzel, and parents Evelyn Stichter and Jennifer Mosier. Teacher Ron Brown, chair, reported to the Board that the committee had decided to narrow the secondary school goals to three key academic fundamentals:
• Goal #1 — “Implement ‘Positive Behavioral Intervention Supports’” will be achieved by implementing bullying prevention education for all students by the end of the school year.
• Goal #2 — “Implement ‘Early College: A Pathway to Success’” will be approached by recruiting/marketing to eighth-grade students, parents, and the community the Early College (EC) to begin fall 2014. EC will be a small learning community (15 to 25 students maximum) at Triton High School that allows students to earn a 30-credit transfer certificate or a 60-credit associate’s degree while still in high school.
• Goal #3 — “Improve Math and English/Language Arts ECA and ISTEP+ three-year trend of students meeting standards to at least 90%.
Fourteen interventions will be implemented to help students achieve this goal, including a math remediation lab, A Plato/Resource lab for assisting students who fall below state standards in English/Language Arts, and differentiated instruction to meet the learning needs of students.
Continuing the data reporting, Superintendent Donna Burroughs reported on the corporation’s Annual Scorecard, in which Triton scored well compared with state averages. The current graduation rate is 93.8 percent, and the number of students on target to graduate with their cohort (class) is 97.4 percent.
The annual “grade report” of school corporations will be announced shortly. Each school corporation and each school will receive an A-F grade based upon set criteria.
In addition to these reports on educational goals, the following personnel actions were taken:
• Retirements — Connie Feldman, bus driver, and Kris Berger, bus mechanic;
• Hires – Steve McBride, varsity softball coach and jr. high softball coach, Bill Keyser, varsity softball assistant, Brad Hargrave, varsity baseball assistant, Jake Burnett, JV baseball coach, Dave Carpenter, jr. high boys golf;
• Approvals — Jeff Mellott, volunteer softball assistant, and teacher contracts.
Future Farmers of America club members Andrew Chupp, Brooklyn Bitting, and Bryce Carswell reported to the Board on their recent trip to the FFA National Convention held this year in Louisville, Ky.
Burroughs reported that $1,200 was received in donations for the new Triton Educational Fund maintained by the Marshall County Community Foundation.