LEWISBURG — The Tri-County North Board of Education met Monday, Dec. 19, to discuss peer tutoring and preparing student’s for exams.
The meeting opened with administrative reports presented by TCN principals and Superintendent William Derringer.
Joe Finkbine reported on activities in grades K-5:
•They have been completing a “passport to discovery” focusing on Antarctica. This unit teaches the elementary basic facts about the continent. They even made snow cones for the kids to have a fun experience with ice. Principal Finkbine explained that “90 percent of the world’s ice is in Antarctica.”
•The 1st grade has been using a program called Eastbark, it runs through an IPad and takes the data the school collects three times a year to assign the students to an appropriate level. It diagnoses a child’s data to see where their strengths and weaknesses are. The program works on the individual students’ weaknesses to improve learning ability. For this semester, the program has only been focusing on math.
•Between the fall and spring assessment tests, there has been an improvement of nine points. Normally students improve by 11 points by the spring, but utilizing Eastbark they have gained 20 points. The school’s test scores are now in the 58th percentile, where before they were in the 45th percentile.
•In the spring, TCN Elementary will expand the program to work on reading skills as well.
Principal Joe Hoelzle reported on grades 6-12:
•Due to 2-hour delays, exams have been delayed as needed. There was supposed to be a movie shown created by the Drama Club, but an exam had to take that slot. The movie is now shown during lunch.
•The Student Leadership Club volunteered to start running peer-to-peer tutoring. There are seven tutors and roughly 16 students receiving tutoring.
“The peer tutors might be able to connect a little better than a teacher who is 30 years older than the kids,” Hoelzle said.
•The school also ran an “exam boot camp” to help students study.
•End-of-course retakes will begin after break. Students in the junior class need to accumulate 18 points on the course test. •Principal Hoelzle explained how retesting students may reflect badly on the school’s achievement.
“Every time you retest a kid it counts as a tested kid,” he said. “Let’s say that this year we have 80 sophomores taking the grade 10 U.S. History test. But last year 75 percent of our 80 sophomores passed the test, so we had 60 pass last year. Now we have 20 that still need enough points to graduate. So if I retest all 20 of those kids in U.S. History this year, now I’m actually testing 100 [kids] instead of 80.”
The passage rate will decrease this year, but the administration is doing everything they can to get as many students to pass as possible, even if that cannot be reflected in the results.
•Geometry teacher Shari Ferguson applied to be on the Ohio Math Standard Revision Committee and was accepted. It will be a two-day commitment and the state will reimburse the school for her substitute teacher. She will be going to Columbus to help revise the standards.
•Three students were recognized for placing in the Geography Bee.
•Numbers for the Senior Citizens Holiday Luncheon have been dropping over the years, but he still receives many positive comments on the event.
•The district newsletter will be going out before the New Year. Every parent in the district will be getting it.
•The middle school and high school handbook has the wrong date for when students report back to school after winter break. Students should report back on Wednesday, Jan. 4, 2017.
•Calender options were shared with the Board in preparation for the upcoming organizational meeting.
•Being winter break, projects will begin on the upkeep of the school facility. Lights in the high school and middle school gym will be updated to LED to save money. The high school and middle school cafeteria will have its tile replaced. Paper towel and toilet paper dispensers will be updated.
•No calamity days have been used as of yet, only two hour delays.
•Lewisburg Police Department is getting a new K-9 officer Derringer hopes will help control drugs in the schools.
Under new business, four items were discussed:
•Board President Larry Seibel was nominated and accepted the President Pro Tem position for the 2017 organizational meeting.
•The Lewisburg Trail Riders donated a gift of $361 to the Archery Club and Walmart offered a monetary donation of $50 for the Senior Citizen Holiday Luncheon. Both donations were accepted.
•A legal assistance fund contract was approved for $250.
•The Ohio School Board Association (OSBA) Membership was approved for 2017. The membership costs $3,610 annually.
Tri-County North Board of Education’s organizational meeting will be on Wednesday, Jan. 11, at 6 p.m. in the district office.The next regular school board meeting will be on Jan. 16, at 7:30 p.m.
Reach Kelsey Kimbler at 937-683-4061 or on Twitter @KKimbler_RH