BAINBRIDGE -- Bainbridge and Roachdale elementary school and North Putnam Middle School, for the most part, improved on ISTEP+ scores over 2009 test results, with some areas still in need of improvement.
In mathematics, superintendent Mary Sugg Lovejoy noted that Bainbridge Elementary increased its scores in every grade and all were above the state average, with grade four achieving 7 points higher than the state average and a 4-point jump overall. Third and fifth grade scores increased by 6 and 5 points, respectively.
All grades at Roachdale Elementary were also above the state average, with fifth grade seeing the biggest jump -- 14 points -- placing 94 percent of the students in this grade at the passing level.
"We certainly have some areas to celebrate, but also some areas we need to work on," Lovejoy said at Thursday's school board meeting.
At North Putnam Middle School for language arts, sixth grade saw a 6-point jump in scores over last year, while seventh and eighth grade scores increased by four and nine points, respectively, Lovejoy reported.
Middle school results for math were mixed. Sixth grade scores jumped by 6 points and eighth grade scores increased by 9 points over last year. Seventh grade scores dropped 13 points, she said.
"We're going to dig and try to analyze why that occurred," Lovejoy said.
Lovejoy also noted that Roachdale Elementary third grade scores were 11 points higher than the state average, and all grades at that school achieved scores higher than the state average.
Bainbridge Elementary School had a bit of a drop at the fifth grade level in language arts, she said.
Exact scores will not be released until Lovejoy has a chance to share them with her staff, she said.
Lovejoy said she attributed gains in language arts to the Turn-Around effort at the state level as well as the READ 180 program designed to help students with their reading comprehension.
"I applaud the efforts of our teachers: strong improvements have been made in some areas, while we still need to analyze areas of concern," she said. "It gives credence to all the changes that were implemented last year."
Lovejoy said parents will be able to access information about their students' individual results in the fall.
In other business, the board approved 5-2 (board member Mark Hoke and secretary Charlie Boller opposed) the reduction of instructional assistant from seven to six hours per day.
Lovejoy pointed out this would not effect the helpers of special needs students, and is working to making a staggered schedule with principals later this month.
The board also discussed approving personnel for the 2010-11 school year, and voted 5-2 to hire Stacey Bean as treasurer and health aide (Boller and Jacquelyn Simpson opposed) and 6-1 to hire Linda Keuneke as math teacher at the high school (Carl Blau opposed).
The board also unanimously approved the hiring of Robin Smith as cafeteria manager at the middle school and the retirement of corporation bus driver Judith Skinner.
It also decided to hold off until Aug. 12 on voting to approve the hiring of Helen Blubaum as site coordinator at the high school. As part of this job, Blubaum would work through the Western Indiana Knoy Learning Center's credit recovery and academic assistance grant project.
"I have a hard time approving anyone who's retired over anyone who's jobless right now," board secretary Charlie Boller said.
Jon Buser pushed to vote on the approval of other new extracurricular employees due to volunteer staff members needing to determine their schedules. All hirings but Blubaum's were approved as presented.
Community member Robert Schmitz also presented his idea for tearing down the concession stand at Bainbridge Elementary School and replacing the mini-barns with a 24-foot-by-24-foot stand and additional bathrooms.
The project will be completed with donated supplies and business support, which he has been receiving since late spring, he said.
Lovejoy commended his efforts.
"That's one thing that makes this community so special -- getting people to donate things and procure these items," she said. "We appreciate it."