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Wednesday, May 4, 2016

Future plans for school discussed

Wednesday, March 31, 2010

Jeff Bell
Community members and school corporation officials met Tuesday to discuss the future.

"We want to foster an environment in which parents and the community can feel connected," Clay City Jr./Sr. High School Principal Jeff Bell said.

The goal of the evening was to open the lines of communication to keep information about the school flowing.

Bell began the evening with the discussion of Public Law 221 School Improvement Plan.

"We are required to submit the information to the Indiana Department of Education once a year," he said.

The plan is a packet of information consisting of the school profile, which includes the community data, student characteristics, instructional data, curriculum and instruction and instruments used in assessments.

Other information includes the school's mission statement, vision statement, the discipline and safety of the learning environment. There is also information on the current educational programming information such as the instructional strategies and the implementation of the Indiana academic standards.

One of the main goals is to increase reading comprehension across the curriculum.

"Reading comprehension is the biggest thing to help each student no matter the grade level," Bell said. "It ties everything together."

To help increase reading comprehension the students take part in the DEAR (Drop Everything And Read) program as well as word of the day.

"I am really fired up about this," Bell said. "All the data shows improvements at every grade level."

The topic progressed to the report of the North Central Association Quality Assurance Review (NCAQAR), which Clay City received full accreditation.

To earn accreditation, the school must meet seven standards, engage in continuous improvement and demonstrate quality assurance through internal and external review.

Bell spoke with community members about the findings from the visit such as the commendations and recommendations for the school.

"Teachers and staff members are to be commended for their effort to incorporate differentiated teaching styles into their lesson plans, expediting the development and use of teaching strategies and intervention for all students," Bell read from the report. "Leaders are commended for fostering a positive learning atmosphere among all grade levels."

As Bell and community members discussed the findings of the NCAQAR the topic of the Academic Booster Club (ABC) came up. The ABC is much like the Parent Teacher Organization (PTO) at the elementary level.

"We really want the support of the parents to help foster and promote education," Bell said. "I want a representation for all the student body. The more I think about it, the more excited I get because of it."

School board member Forrest Buell and at-large school board candidate Barbara Nicoson were in attendance to listen to discussion.

There will be another meeting for the community concerning the same items Monday, at 6:30 p.m., in the auditeria at Clay City Jr./Sr. High School.

There will be a "Dropout Summit" from 6:30-8 p.m., tonight, in the North Clay Middle School Media Center. The goal of the summit is to bring public awareness to the challenges schools face in ensuring that "at-risk" students stay in school and graduate.

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