TCAP results give OC school officials reasons to smile

TCAP results give OC school officials reasons to smile
By CHRIS MENEES
Staff Reporter
The Obion County School System is seeing green.
And green is good when it comes to a summary of test scores.
Obion County School Board members received a summary of the school system’s TCAP composite — which includes English, math, science and social studies scores from 2012 — during their session Monday night at Lake Road Elementary School.
Nancy Hamilton, assistant director of schools and supervisor of instruction for grades 9-12, provided a color-coded chart which showed positive growth in all grades. A comparison with 2010 and 2011 scores showed marked improvement.
Dark green was used on the summary to show gain above the growth standard and there was plenty of green on the summary.
“Green is good,” she said.
The summary also showed Obion County schools’ achievement accountability and NCE (normal curve equivalent) scores, comparing them with state averages. Obion County was shown to be “very much above” state averages in all grades, according to Mrs. Hamilton.
“So we are very pleased with the scores,” she said, noting there are some areas of concern which are being addressed by local educators.
While one side of the summary showed growth from year to year, the other side showed the state’s achievement goals for the school system. There are new achievement goals — percentages of proficient or advanced in each grade in various subjects — to be met for 2012-13.
“They are judging us both ways,” Mrs. Hamilton said.
Obion County Director of Schools David Huss said under the Race to the Top education initiative’s new goals and standards, the Obion County School System is an Intermediate system and has no schools listed on the Focus list, which is the 10 percent of schools in the state with the largest achievement gaps between groups of students.
At last month’s board meeting, Huss characterized the county school system as “very solid” based on the 2012 TCAP and end-of-course test scores and value-added report.
The system is at the highest level which can be attained for the second consecutive year for value-added scores and all individual schools have very good evaluation composite scores.
In other action during Monday night’s meeting, which was opened with prayer led by board member Willis Easley, the school board:
• Approved monthly personnel, substitute teacher and financial reports and technology equipment declared surplus for disposal.
The personnel report listed the resignations of teacher Shannon Preuett and transportation employee Hope Zeller; leaves of absence for Black Oak Elementary teacher Cande Taylor, Obion County Central High School teacher Shannon Lyon, Lake Road teacher Bethany Ellegood (extension), Lake Road custodian Tula Bradley, Black Oak custodian Britney Choate and OCCHS food service employee Jessica Butler; and the hirings of teachers Destiny Rhodes and Kimberly Crews.
Substitute teachers approved for addition to the list included Emily Belote, Kendall Fielder, Tiffany Fowlkes, Ashley Meadows, Johnny Dyer, Cathy Cunningham, Angela Morrow, Galen Hall, William Denman, Paul Bearden, Lyndsey Hayslett, Tawana Henderson, Kimberly Wade and Deborah Nieves.
• Approved the second and final readings of amendments to board policies regarding school board meetings, charter schools, separation practices for tenured and non-tenured teachers, evaluation of the director of schools, suspension/expulsion/removal and student wellness. First readings were approved at last month’s board meeting.
• Approved on second and final reading the adoption of a board policy regarding safe relocation of students. It was presented for first reading at last month’s session.
• Voted to approve the Extended Contract program proposal for the 2012-13 school year. The total amount allocated to the system by the state for the school year is $41,900, a decrease of $24,300 based on the amount received during the 2011-12 school year.
Huss said all activities within the proposal represent the most effective and efficient use of extended contract resources in meeting the highest priority needs of students. Activities funded with extended contract funds include remediation, intervention and tutoring.
• Approved a low bid from Townsend Door and Hardware for the purchase of 105 student lockers for South Fulton High School at a total cost of $12,278.
• Approved the appointment of members to textbook adoption committees.
• OK’d a request to declare property at Black Oak and OCCHS as surplus, with the items to be sold for disposition. The items include surplus cheerleading uniforms and accessories at Black Oak and surplus band instruments and accessories at OCCHS.
• Approved on first and final reading an amendment to board policy regarding ADA grievance procedures.
• Approved on first readings amendments to board policies regarding use of Internet and substitute teachers.
The amendment regarding substitute teachers was approved by a vote of 4-2, with board members Fritz Fussell and Scott Northam voting against it. The policy update pertains to contracting with third party employers to provide substitutes, but it does not authorize the action. The Obion County School System does not have a need to contract with a third party and it was noted the policy update likely affects the state’s larger school systems.
• OK’d overnight student trips for South Fulton Middle School’s Beta Club and South Fulton High School’s FFA.
• Welcomed Lake County School Board members Cora Hughes, Vivian Windsor and Kristie Montgomery, who visited to observe.
Board member David Lamb was absent from Monday night’s 30-minute meeting.
Staff Reporter Chris Menees may be contacted by email at cmenees@ucmessenger.com. Published in The Messenger 10.2.12

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