After hearing from various central office coordinators and supervisors, parents heard from the principals of each school, who outlined their campuses’ goals for the coming year.
District Parent Involvement Coordinator Karen Elston explained that each campus has had parent meetings in previous years, but since the district now receives its AdvancEd accreditation system-wide, the leaders decided to have the community-wide parent meeting so everyone could know what’s going on at all the schools.
Indian Valley Elementary School Principal Monty Abner said the goals at the city’s K-2 elementary school are to demonstrate growth and achievement in reading and math, improve writing skills and create a climate that fosters continued academic growth by encouraging students to become leaders.
At Pinecrest, which serves grades 3-5, Principal Gary Rivers said the goals are to make adult advocates available to all students, to increase reading and math proficiency, and to decrease reading achievement gaps among socioeconomic groups. He cited Saturday school and professional development as steps to meet those goals.
Principal Debbie Barnett unveiled goals for Nichols-Lawson Middle School, which serves grades 6-8. There, goals include students being able to read and understand non-fiction and test at or above grade levels in math, and more students being proficient in science assessments. Students will be expected to use accurate language in speaking and writing, and teachers will demonstrate good organizational skills. Also, faculty will learn to use data as a resource to improve student achievement.
At Sylacauga High School, Principal Matt Hubbard said the first goal will be to increase the graduation rate by 2 percent for the 2013-14 school year. The school will also develop and implement a schoolwide comprehensive assessment system, and increase student performance on the ACT test. Hubbard also called for an increase in math scores, and for collaboration with Nichols-Lawson Middle School to assure students have a smooth transition from middle school to high school.
All the goals are related to the system’s shared vision of turning out students who are ready for college, career and community.
Superintendent Dr. Todd Freeman said the school system will embark on creating a five-year strategic plan, and parents and other stakeholders will be invited to a meeting on Oct. 29 at 6 p.m. at Sylacauga High School to give input on what the community wants from its schools.
“The schools are your schools, and we want what you want for your children,” Freeman told parents.
He said the best foundation a child can have is a supportive parent and a great teacher, and that foundation will remain strong through parent involvement in the schools.
PTO officials from each school gave brief updates on their groups’ activities, and parents also heard from Bobby Hall, student services coordinator; Jennifer Rosato, special education coordinator; Michael Robinson, technology coordinator; Kelley Wassermann, child nutrition program coordinator; Lisa Dickerson, chief finance officer; Carol Martin, RTI/assessment coordinator; Nathaniel Seals, transportation supervisor; and Greg Atkinson, president of the Sylacauga Schools Foundation.
Contact Bill Kimber at email@example.com