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Saturday, June 25, 2016

Principal reflects on school year at Forest Park Elem.

Friday, June 12, 2009

With the completion of another school year, Forest Park Elementary Principal Connie Cook is cleaning her office and reflecting on the 2008-09 academic school year.

"We have had some very successful programs," she said. "The classroom teachers have worked to strengthen core teaching in all subject areas based on the Indiana Academic Standards."

For a half-hour in the morning, the core standards are reviewed for English/language arts one week then the next week, the focus is on math, and the two subjects are alternated on a weekly basis.

Forest Park was one of the schools piloting the Response to Intervention (RTI) program, a three-tiered model designed to meet the instructional needs of all students in every grade. Based on the students scores, they are divided into groups so some receive remediation and some receive enrichment. For 25 minutes a day students work on reading skills based on their level in the Title 1 room. Teachers keep tier three students in the classroom and implemented the Voyager Pass Port Program.

"All students received differentiated instruction based on student need," Cook said.

Accelerated Math, a pilot program used at Forest Park and Meridian, has seen positive impact at both schools.

The program gives a student a list of objectives and practice questions to work on, and after scoring 80 percent on the practice questions, they can then complete a test. If the student scores 80 percent on the test, they start again with a new set of objectives.

Connie Cook
"Jeane Harris told me it is the best program she has had to increase student math performance for all kids," Cook said.

Forest Park continues to focus on parent involvement with a successful open house, family fun night, special persons breakfast, showcase night and field day.

Cook is also satisfied with results of the Climate survey, composed by Steve Gruenert, a professor at Indiana State University.

"The results for Forest Park were very good and we are pleased with them," she said.

Even though Forest Park didn't meet Adequate Yearly Progress (AYP), the students, staff and parents have all worked hard to help each individual student.

"With the implementation of new programs and instructional strategies, the staff is confident that we will continue to see academic progress," Cook said.

Forest Park also received two grants, the continuation of the Ready to Learn, Ready Schools grant as well as the Wireless Generation Diagnostic Tools grant, which was also awarded to Meridian Elementary.

On Aug. 11, new kindergarten students and parents are invited to an open house at Forest Park Elementary to meet teachers and receive a book as well as school supplies.

Cook also said that Forest Park parents should watch for a date to pick up free school supplies.

Only one person retired from Forest Park, secretary Jane Ann Robbins left the Clay Community School Corporation after 33 years.

"It was a very good year and we are looking forward to the start of the next school year," Cook said.

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