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Friday, Apr. 29, 2016

School preps for new year

Friday, June 19, 2009

With a change in office locations, Northview High School principal Tim Rayle is preparing for the 2009-10 academic school year.

One of the new programs in the works for the fall, which Rayle hopes will have a huge impact curtailing and preventing possible drug use in students.

"We are hoping to have a proposal to the school board in July for suspicious drug testing," he said. "Our primary concern is to help the students get off drugs that they are addicted to, not punish them."

The process, which will involve written documentation from teachers who have reasonable suspicion of students through observation, will be turned into Rayle. The student(s) in question will then be asked to discuss the accusations with Rayle and parents present or over the phone.

"It has been brought to my attention through the Principals Advisory Committee that we are missing meeting the emotional needs of the students," he said. "Our goal is to help the students and this is a way that will enable us to do that."

The Principals Advisory Committee is made up of students who are not already involved in other organizations. Rayle said the students in the committee are made up of the majority of the student population and appointed by a teacher.

Another new program that NHS is implementing in the fall involves mentors.

"We are really targeting the incoming freshmen that have attendance and grade problems," he said.

Each freshman in the Freshmen Assistance Program will be paired with one of 50 teachers who will volunteer as mentor to the student.

"Our goal is to have students be held accountable to an adult in the school building," he said. "For those that are not receiving that support at home then they will have it here."

Michelle Burk and Jeff Gambill are targeting the teachers and Rachel Sparks and Brock Leslie are in charge of the 80 sophomores to seniors recruited into the program called Connect Four.

"Statistics show that students who feel connected to their school will do better and become a more productive member of society," Rayle said.

NHS, Clay City High School, Cumberland Academy, the Clay County Prosecutors Office, Community Corrections and Clay Circuit Court Judge Joseph D. Trout will all be working together to have a mimic of the GRASP (Generating Responsibility Through an Alternative to Suspension Placement) program with the hope of having a proposal for the school board by July.

"It is court administered for an alternate form of school suspension," Rayle said.

Students will be ordered to appear before a judge with their parent. Court costs will be assigned and students will be notified as to the number of days they will be suspended. During suspension, students will attend half a day at Cumberland Academy doing the homework they would be doing in class and then in the afternoon, students would be working with Community Corrections.

"We are hoping this will cause students to stop and think before doing something that would result in a suspension," he said.

However, Rayle admitted if the corporation loses money through the Governor's proposal, then they would rethink programs.

NHS missed making Adequate Yearly Progress (AYP) in two categories in free and reduced student population participation rates.

"We missed it by 2.3 points in English and 2.4 points in math," Rayle said. "This could result in a child being sick on test day or coming in late."

Rayle said the school made AYP in all categories with the exception of free and reduced participation.

Some positive news from NHS is the 7-percent increase in graduation rate as well as a 4-percent improvement in the overall pass rate in ISTEP+ GQE (Indiana Statewide Testing for Educational Progress Plus Graduation Qualifying Exam). Rayle is pleased that 90 percent of graduates are pursuing higher graduation.

"Our academics are the strongest they has been in history and it's growing," he said. "Our NWEA (Northwest Evaluation Association) growth was tremendous and it shows across the board.

"In language usage, we experienced a growth of 3.2 (points) the typical growth is 1.4. In math, the growth was 4.8 the typical growth is 2.4 and in reading, we experienced a growth of 4.4. The typical growth is 1.7," he added.

Academic Teaming has also been implemented in preparation for the new ECA (End of Course Assessment) GQE.

Among the accomplishments of the 2008-09 academic school year: the Northview Marching Knights won their seventh state marching title during the Indiana State School Music Association State Finals. Twenty-seven students were inducted into the National Honor Society and 24 students earn a spot in the West Central Regional Science Fair with Gwyn Snow earning a spot in the State Science Fair. Students via NovaNet took a total of 678 courses and nine students won BPA (Business Professionals of America) district championships, six national qualifiers and two national Torch Award Winners.

"After school tutoring was implemented in math and science," Rayle said. "Over 40 hours of free tutoring by math and science teachers as well as peers has been offered and many students have taken advantage of it.

"It was a very fantastic year and we are preparing for another," he added.

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Way to go, Northview!

-- Posted by Leo L. Southworth on Sat, Jun 20, 2009, at 9:35 AM

..how to say this without appearing "negative" while being realistic and not wearing rose colored glasses...

Mr Rayle along with many of the staff at Northview have made some solid improvements with a lot of hard work. Northview has had serious problems in areas of student acheivement expectations and academic teaching quality in specific classrooms.

That said, Northiew still has a long way to go to be up to par with other state high schools. Only with support both monetary and staffing, can Northview continue to work towards parity with other schools in the state. This was one of the main points the survey Dr Gruenert made [see http://www.thebraziltimes.com/story/1546...

when he presented his findings at a previous board meeting that were left out of the article in The Times. He stated that only when support from administration outside of individual buildings is increased would the schools truly meet their potential.

If we as taxpayers don't insist upon this happening, the schools cannot continue to improve nor can they maintain their current level.

I still do not see this happening from central office or the board at acceptable level either with monetary funding nor staffing. The decisions that are still being made seem to be in favor of physical plant and extra curricular activities to the detriment of academics.

While at building level, the staff continue to be creative to stretch staff and teacher contact with students, further limitations are dictated from above.

As I am sure it will be with the other schools in the county, the staff is being as creative as it can possibly be while being further handicapped by decisions from central administration, board, and even at state level. EACH level has to keep students' academic opportunities at the top of priority list and I do not believe this is the case at multiple levels by their decisions, right up to the most recent ones.

-- Posted by Jenny Moore on Sun, Jun 21, 2009, at 8:21 AM

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