East Clinton third-graders are a bright light in 2019 state test scores


By Gary Huffenberger - ghuffenberger@wnewsj.com



Stephanie Evans, left foreground, urges East Clinton officials to continue offering Family and Consumer Sciences courses.

Stephanie Evans, left foreground, urges East Clinton officials to continue offering Family and Consumer Sciences courses.


Gary Huffenberger | News Journal

LEES CREEK — The scores of East Clinton third-graders are among the highest in the 19 school districts in the region, according to preliminary data from 2019 state testing.

East Clinton Local Schools Supt. Eric Magee distributed the data this week to school board members, calling the third-grade results “very promising.”

In looking at the overall picture, though, there is still room to improve and the district is “still a long way from where we want to be,” the superintendent added.

Third-grade data at East Clinton in English language arts (ELA) show an 80 percent proficiency rate, compared to an average 71 percent rate in the region and an average 66 percent rate statewide.

Furthermore, this spring’s third-grade ELA proficiency rate of 80 percent at East Clinton is up from last year’s rate of 56 percent in the district and a 65 percent rate two years ago.

These same third graders also did quite well on math with an 85 percent proficiency rate, compared to an average 75 percent rate in the region and an average 67 percent rate statewide.

When the numbers are good like this, then district officials ask themselves the question “what can we do to replicate this,” said Magee. Similarly, they also try to narrow down the contributing factors, he said.

On the other hand, the state test scores from the East Clinton sixth and seventh grades have been a struggle and continue to be, said McGee. The proficiency rates for ELA and math at both of those grade levels were under the average rates for the region and for the state.

In contract, East Clinton eighth-graders this spring either equalled or surpassed the average rates for the region and the state in the subjects of ELA, math, and science.

The lowest proficiency rate posted this spring at East Clinton came in high school geometry: a 31 percent rate of proficiency. This is 9 percentage points below the region’s average in high school geometry, and 13 percentage points less than the state average.

East Clinton Local Board of Education President Linda Compton asked why geometry continues to have low scores in the district. McGee mentioned some turnover in the math department and a relatively low statewide average in geometry as considerations.

However, he added it’s “something we need to look at.”

In other school board news:

• The board OK’d a $322,970 contract with the Highland County Water Company to run a water line from State Route 73 into Lees Creek where the middle and high schools are located. Currently, those two schools utilize two wells, one of which will go out of operation when the new middle school building is constructed.

Highland County Water has said it will pay 40 percent of the overall project, with the school district covering the remaining 60 percent which comes to the amount already mentioned of a little over $320,000.

The school will utilize Permanent Improvement funds to pay its portion of the water line project.

• The board approved the agriculture science program being provided by Great Oaks starting with the 2019-20 academic year, effectively making East Clinton agricultural education a satellite program of Great Oaks Career Campuses.

At the April board meeting, Magee said the main reason for the change is to be able to best provide for East Clinton agricultural education students.

Changes are not expected in the events or operations of the East Clinton FFA chapter. The basic change pertains to funding, and that the agricultural education program will be managed through Great Oaks.

• Citing financial reasons and a lack of student interest, the Family and Consumer Sciences (FCS) teacher position at East Clinton was abolished, resulting in Katherine “Kathy” Klimach losing her job.

Before the board’s voting took placeStephanie Evans plead for FCS’ continuation, saying she saw that FCS is “on the chopping block,” but she thinks there are other ways to make cuts.

In this day and age of split families when children are not receiving domestic training, said Evans, all students need to know how to cook, do laundry, balance a checkbook, and be productive in society.

Compton said when the board takes action on something such as the proposed Reduction In Force (RIF) of the FCS certificated teacher, district officials consider a lot of different things, including financial constraint.

• The board approved ELA guided reading materials for the Sabina and New Vienna elementaries at a cost of about $73,300 (to be paid through Permanent Improvement funds). It also approved textbook adoption for the high school and middle school social studies at a cost of $48,500 (also paid through Permanent Improvement funds).

• The superintendent announced the following jobs remain open in the district: high school math teacher, high school intervention specialist, New Vienna Elementary School intervention specialist, an educational aide at the high school, and potentially an educational aide at Sabina Elementary School.

Reach Gary Huffenberger at 937-556-5768.

Stephanie Evans, left foreground, urges East Clinton officials to continue offering Family and Consumer Sciences courses.
https://www.wnewsj.com/wp-content/uploads/sites/22/2019/07/web1_astros-1.jpgStephanie Evans, left foreground, urges East Clinton officials to continue offering Family and Consumer Sciences courses. Gary Huffenberger | News Journal

By Gary Huffenberger

ghuffenberger@wnewsj.com