NEW VIENNA — East Clinton educators are looking at the content of their current grades K-5 report cards and considering ways to revamp it to make it more parent-friendly and teacher-friendly.
A teacher committee at both of the district’s two elementaries have conducted staff and parent surveys, New Vienna Elementary Principal Allen Seitz reported to the EC school board.
Staff want report cards to be a bit more manageable and not take as much time, and parents would like to see the marking system be the more familiar A, B, C, D, F markings rather than S+ and N and the like, said Seitz.
Sabina Elementary Principal Matt Willian also was at the board meeting and said the idea is not to get rid of standards-based evaluations in the students’ report cards, but to make some tweaks in how teachers communicate those standards and report those grades.
Willian noted, “ ‘A, B, C, D, F’ is something that is universally known.”
The teacher committees examined elementary report cards from the surrounding area, and some of their higher-rated report cards use the familiar ‘A, B, C, D, F’ system, he said.
A member of one of the teacher committees said they need to make the report card informative for the parents, simplify its language, and come up with a rating system that’s familiar.
Board member Robert “Doc” Carey likes how teachers are driving the process — for one thing, it will make it easier for them to explain the card to parents.
Willian said they are not ready to make a proposal to the board yet on recommended changes, but hope to have one soon.
In other matters, NV Principal Seitz said students there have completed all state testing and the preliminary math and science scores have been received. He said he is pretty pleased with the scores especially given what schools have gone through the last couple years with the pandemic.
Some changes are in the offing for next year, Seitz reported. Some classrooms will be rearranged so students are arrayed together by grade level.
“We’re kind of here and there right now, so [wanting to be] a little more effective in transitioning,” he explained.
Also, third-, fourth- and fifth-grade teachers will be “departmentalized” next year, meaning there will be one teacher who teaches math and science, while the other teacher will have English and social studies.
This will enable the teachers to focus on their two subject areas instead of trying to cover all four areas, Seitz said.
He gave a shout-out to the building’s PTO, who he said gave a lot of support during Teacher Appreciation Week, delivering food, massages, and flowers to teachers there.
The PTO has helped put on a Muffins with Mom where over 300 students and mothers attended the event, and the PTO also will be helping out on fun Field Day activities at the end of the school year.
At Monday’s school board meeting, the board of education approved the creation of a tutor teaching position for the 2022-2023 and 2023-2024 school years at each school in the district to address pandemic-related learning loss. These positions will be paid for by using American Rescue Plan (ARP) Elementary and Secondary School Emergency Relief Fund (ESSER Fund) dollars.
These monies can be applied to needs until Sept. 30, 2024.
The board also approved Jefferson County Educational Service Center for Summer School program using ARP ESSER funds, and approved a technology purchase of 200 Chromebooks at an approximate cost of $60,000 (ARP ESSER funds, too).
Superintendent Eric Magee reported Monday night they have narrowed down the search for a new athletics director to a couple candidates, and have done some first-round interviews for a boys basketball coach.
The superintendent also said they are trying to resume the Astro Pride Committee group after a pandemic pause. The hope is to expand its role beyond graduation day, and focus on “building the pride of being an Astro, proud to be from this community, proud to be who we are,” said Magee.
School nurse Lisa Stephens is retiring effective Aug. 31.
Reach Gary Huffenberger at 937-556-5768.