Clinton-Massie Elementary School staff, students earn their ‘A’ grade


By Gary Huffenberger - ghuffenberger@wnewsj.com



Clinton-Massie Elementary School Principal Jennifer Updike is very pleased with her building’s “A” grade on the state report card.

Clinton-Massie Elementary School Principal Jennifer Updike is very pleased with her building’s “A” grade on the state report card.


Gary Huffenberger | News Journal

ADAMS TOWNSHIP — At the Clinton-Massie Elementary School (CMES), growth made by students — whether gifted or the lowest 20 percent in achievement — is a key piece for why the state recently gave the building an A grade, said the principal.

At a Monday night session of the school board, Elementary School Principal Jennifer Updike thanked the school’s teachers and staff for “working to meet the needs of all of our kids.”

The “Progress” category in Ohio school report cards looks at the growth that all students are making based on their past performances.

At CMES, all four sub-categories earned an A for students’ growth: gifted, lowest achievers, students with disabilities, and the overall student enrollment.

Updike mentioned a couple strategies used at the elementary school that she believes contributed to the building’s A in the Progress category.

One practice is to break out a class into smaller sessions in the classroom, helping to meet the individual needs of a greater number of children.

A second thing, she said, is a daily, 30-minute long RTI (Response to Intervention) program. During that time, the young students receive intervention if they’re struggling, or get enrichment if they’re doing well. That helps bring about growth for both lower- and higher-achieving students.

“So we’re also meeting needs at that time as well,” the principal said.

Thanks to “Map Assessment” testing begun in August at the elementary, data already are being used to personalize instruction there.

Teachers are using Map Assessments “to drive instruction,” said Updike.

She gave an example. As principal, she walked through a fourth-grade classroom Monday and a student there was working on the same math skills as is her eighth-grade child.

Later in the board meeting, Superintendent Matt Baker said that during his first talk in the district as superintendent he asked the teaching staff to “just love on the kids, just care about kids, then the [state test] scores will take care of themselves.”

Administrators such as he look at and worry about the standardized-testing grades — that’s the job of administrators, said Baker.

Also during Updike’s report to the board of education, she noted Rachel Sams and Jennifer Horner work in conjunction with staff to address students’ mental health.

“I can’t express how thankful I am to have their support. Their work is life changing for our students,” stated Updike.

In a separate report to board members, Support Staff Supervisor Stephen Ford said the district is looking for substitute bus drivers and substitute custodial workers.

During a Finance Committee report, school board member Chris Harrison spoke about how participation in OhioCheckbook.com will provide the public more visibility and transparency regarding district finances.

OhioCheckbook.com is an Ohio Treasurer’s Office website. It displays checkbook-level spending of participating state and local governments, and participating school districts, posting their expenditures online. That enables citizens and taxpayers to see how their tax dollars are being spent.

There’s no cost for school districts to take part in OhioCheckbook.com. At Monday’s meeting, board members approved participation.

Clinton-Massie officials hope to have the district’s checkbook website launched by Oct. 1, said Clinton-Massie Local Schools Treasurer Tracy Parker.

The next regularly scheduled Clinton-Massie board meeting will be 7:30 p.m. Oct. 15 in Room 533 at the middle school on the Lebanon Road campus.

Reach Gary Huffenberger at 937-556-5768.

Clinton-Massie Elementary School Principal Jennifer Updike is very pleased with her building’s “A” grade on the state report card.
https://www.wnewsj.com/wp-content/uploads/sites/22/2018/09/web1_updike.jpgClinton-Massie Elementary School Principal Jennifer Updike is very pleased with her building’s “A” grade on the state report card. Gary Huffenberger | News Journal

By Gary Huffenberger

ghuffenberger@wnewsj.com