A high school improvement report has provided the South Putnam School Board with a picture of what needs to be worked on to make the students educational environment better.
South Putnam High School Principal Kieth Puckett reported to the board during Monday's meeting about the high school's ISTEP scores and school improvement report. With school improvement, Puckett said that he wanted to focus on four main areas -- remediation, advisor/advisee, parent access student's grades on the Internet and expansion of course offerings.
Even though the high school excels at doing more with less, there are some changes that might mean a little more work.
Puckett told the board that he was not satisfied with this year's ISTEP scores. "They're (the scores) confident, they're at or near state average, they're competitive with other schools, but we want to be outstanding," Puckett said.
Puckett provided the board with a score summary card that compared last year's scores to this year's and showed how general education, special education and free and reduced students performed. Puckett said there were some problems with the test scores and that there are groups that need help.
To help with these problems, Puckett recommended offering remediation English and math classes for each grade level during the school day. South Putnam is the only school corporation in the county that does not offer remediation during the school year.
"Let's catch these kids, and let's see what we can do for them," Puckett said.
Puckett also said that he was requesting from Area 30 Career Center that they provide South Putnam students with year along remediation and continuing to use the summer school remediation offered by the state.
Puckett continued on to inform the board that he wanted to build the advisor/advisee mentoring program back up. Puckett said that he felt that it was important for students to have that kind of contact with the teachers.
Giving the parents the ability to view their children's grades on the Internet would be a nice addition, but it is not possible at this time. Puckett provided the board with a quote for a server and a subscription fee corporation wide, but they are very expensive.
Puckett said that he was looking for more options, but he knew they had to work with the constraints they have.
With expanding the current course offerings, Puckett said the school needs to offer Advanced Placement courses so that, starting with next year's sophomores, students can graduate with an Academic Honors diploma. Some AP courses Puckett is thinking about adding to the schedule are AP English, calculus, government and U.S. history.
Puckett said the school was looking at having the student take Internet-based classes on a Virtual Academy. He also said the school was looking at making their Technological Education Department the envy of other Tech. Ed. departments.
The board will hear from the other schools on their ISTEP and school improvement reports in the coming months.
In other business, the board:
-- Approved Supt. Bruce Bernhardt's request for intra-inter transferring of funds to balance out the yearly budget expenditures.
* Learned that there were some high school students who received the status of student of the month. This month's winners are seventh-grader Ally Torr, eighth-grader Seth Arnold, ninth-grader Wes Bratcher, tenth-grader Eric Drawbaugh, eleventhgrader Samantha Callahan and twelfth-grader Lacey Goss.
* Learned that Puckett received a certificate from Ball State University administrative intern Scott Miller for his many contributions for molding Miller's skills in the administrative field.
* Approved to advertise for a temporary loan for three funds totaling $2.8 million.
* Approved the hiring of Pamela Riner for part-time food service worker at the high school and Kim Franklin for nurse/office aide at Reelsville Elementary. The board also approved the resignation of high school part-time food service worker Jenni Halcomb, the transfer of Reelsville Elementary aide Lori Siddons to Administrative Office Secretary as a 12 month employee and maternity leave for Ryanne Comeford from the high school and Maggie Lewis from Central Elementary.
* Approved the Old National Trails Interlocal Agreement. This agreement allows ONT to become its own administrative center, taking away the responsibility from North Putnam.
* Learned from Supt. Bernhardt that the corporation has had an excellent first semester and is looking forward to a good second semester.
The next regularly scheduled meeting is set for Tuesday, Jan. 16 at 7 p.m. in the music room at Central Elementary. This meeting is open to the public.