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‘Coaches’ help students, teachers

‘Coaches’ help students, teachers
By KEVIN BOWDEN
Staff Reporter
A team of “coaches” is continuing to work with students in the Union City School System in an effort to help them reach their full potential academically.
Connie Hitt is working as an “instructional coach” at the middle school and Monday night she provided the Union City School Board with an overview of how the academic coaching program is working for students.
Mrs. Hitt, who retired after 30 years as a teacher, has returned to the school system as a coach. She outlined all the activities she is involved in to help students at the school.
She described her position as being the “easy help button” for teachers and said she is directly involved in helping teachers improve instruction so they can become more effective in the classroom.
In addition to working with teachers to help them become more effective, Mrs. Hitt also cited the Book Storm program at the middle school as one of the ways she is helping students.
Students at the middle school are being encouraged to read 5,000 books by the end of the school year, which breaks down to about three books per student. There are grade-level competitions and students are being offered incentives when they reach certain goals in the program.
Martha Jo Stewart, who is serving as a data coach for the school system, reported to the board about her work helping teachers. She specifically works on breaking down state statistical reports and test results to identify areas of strength and weakness and then works with teachers to create action plans and strategies to help students.
The reports from the two administrators illustrate the aggressive efforts the Union City School System is making to help at-risk students.
Also during Monday night’s 20-minute meeting, the school board:
• Elected board members Curtis McLendon and Karl Ullrich to serve as delegates at the upcoming Tennessee School Boards Association Annual Conference in Nashville. The conference is scheduled for Nov. 12-15 at the Opryland Hotel and will include a leadership conference, clinic sessions and an awards banquet.
• Approved a $17,150 state grant that will reimburse the school system for energy-efficient lighting fixtures installed at the middle school.
• Was given an update on recent band and athletic achievements, including Union City High School golfer Mollie Stone’s 22nd place finish in the state golf tournament and UCHS student Daniel Williamson’s second place finish in the Union University Cross Country Invitational. Director of Schools Gary Houston also reported on numerous awards received by the UCHS Golden Tornado Marching Band.
“They represent us really well,” Houston said of students in the band program.
Houston also reported the UCMS football team has gone 5-2 this season and will travel to Brighton tonight for the first round of the playoffs.
• Was informed by Houston that Brittany Kendall has been reassigned as the school system’s federal projects/special education coordinator and Lea Adams has been appointed to fill her position as the READ 180 teacher at the middle school.
Morgan Stone, the school board’s student representative, led the Pledge of Allegiance at the start of Monday night’s meeting. Prior to the official start of the meeting, board chairman Glenda Caudle led a prayer.
Absent from Monday night’s meeting were board members Dr. John Clendenin, Dr. Wright Jernigan and Campbell Rice.
Published in The Messenger 10.11.11

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