GREENCASTLE -- South Putnam High School principal Kieth Puckett presented the board with a county, state and district-wide comparison of ISTEP+ scores and a year-by-year analysis of Graduation Qualifying Exam results from the past few years at the board's regular business meeting Monday night.
For the most part last year's ISTEP+ scores were in the high 70s and low 80s -- slightly above or on par with county and state averages at the seventh and eighth grade levels. Puckett attributed these results to consistency in teaching methods from classroom to classroom and adequate preparation in the lower grade levels.
"It's a one-school approach, and I think that will help high school teachers in that they get kids who have all been brought up the same way," he said.
Overall, Puckett said he was pleased with the district's results.
GQE passing rates have also improved from 64.5 during the 2005-'06 school year to 72.5 during the 2008-'09 school year, he said.
"I'm proud as can be with our kids, our teaching staff, but it's inescapable that the strength of South Putnam is in the families. It's the family values they give us every year -- that's South Putnam," Puckett said.
Puckett reported the school's End of Course Assessment exam results from this year were above state and county scores with the exception of Algebra I. The school had an average score of 68, while overall the county had an average of 75.
He explained the county average was higher because one district in the county had an average of 89.
To remediate those students who did not pass, Puckett said the school is involved in a night school program with Cloverdale and has an algebra lab where students can go to prepare for the re-test.
Athletic director Matt Griswold also presented the board with some of the highlights from the progress being made on his department's hazing handbook. He stressed the issues of bullying and hazing are something he does not take lightly.
The most important preventative measures are supervision, coaches modeling respect, enforcing rules and policies, involving students and parents and finding healthier ways to welcome new members to group activities, he said.
The district is also prepared to issue weather-related alerts, Superintendent Bruce Bernhardt said, and noted the alert system is "up and ready for when the weather gets here."