HAVILAND — Academics and maintenance projects were the major topics of discussion during the Wayne Trace Local Board of Education meeting Monday evening.
Tim Manz, curriculum director, and principals in the district discussed ways they are using data collected through the help of a pair of software programs to help teachers and students target improvements when it comes to assessments.
“Last year when I got here, we did a nice job of looking at the data by grade level, to see what goals we need to work on. This year we decided to narrow our focus to groups of students, to see what goals we could address by groups,” said Manz. “We met with the teachers and TBTs (team-based teams) about their Target Times (time set aside to work on improving standards that will be on state assessments).
“We wanted a resource that could be used to look at individual students that would be manageable for the staff, and something we could measure progress with,” continued Manz. “Something I used (while at Antwerp) was (the program) Star Renaissance. We started by coming up with groups, then looked at state test results from last year, and we gave students adaptive tests at the beginning of the year to see where they scored.”
Manz explained that through Star Renaissance, they could see the adaptive testing results, and compare the data to last year’s, and the past three year’s assessments to better analyze the data. Through another program called Edulastic, teachers and administrators could tailor practice tests for individual students to help them work on the areas they need help, so that they could see growth by the time state assessments are taken.
Board vice president Dick Swary asked if this instruction was just held during Target Times, or if it has spilled over into regular instruction, to which Wayne Trace Junior/Senior High School principal Mike Myers said: “How can it not? The teachers are seeing positive feedback from use of the programs.”
Asked board member Pat Baumle: “I love the data and the visuals, and these are good tools, but are they being used? If we can use this to get the growth we need, we need administrators to hold teachers accountable for using it.”
Myers, Wayne Trace Junior/Senior High School assistant principal Brock Howe and Grover Hill Elementary principal Kevin Wilson shared that teachers need more time with the software, and some professional development, to really be able to use it more effectively.
Sean Pfeiffer, maintenance and transportation supervisor, updated the board about projects in the district that may need to be addressed in the near future.
Projects that will need attention either now, or in the near future, include: roof repairs at Payne Elementary and Wayne Trace Junior High School; bleachers for the gymnasiums at all three campuses; doors around the high school gym; painting of the ceiling in the high school gym; and upgrades in the restrooms by the gym at Payne Elementary. The members were going to look at the proposals made by Pfeiffer, before making any decisions in the near future.
Introduced to the board was social worker Brooke Thomas of Defiance/Paulding Consolidated Job And Family Services, who is providing services in the district on a part-time basis. Thomas shared her background, and that she sees students at each of the three schools when they are referred to her by teachers/administrators. Based on the problem, Thomas then works with the families, and law enforcement when necessary, to address the problems.
A grant received through her employer is paying to provide services by Thomas for the rest of 2019-20, but Student Wellness and Success Funds are expected to be utilized to pay for her services in 2020-21.
In his report to the board, Myers shared information from art teacher Angie Stokes about advanced art student Anastasia Crates, who was selected as a Journey Award winner following her participation in the Cleveland Clinic’s eXpressions art program. The program gives students from across Ohio the chance to collaborate in a summer research internship at Cleveland Clinic.
The Journey Award is granted to 10 students based on their statements depicting the experience with eXpressions and the impact it had on them. Crates, was selected as a Journey Award winner based on what she wrote about the process of creating her piece, which was based on heart disease research.
In other business, the board:
• accepted the resignation of the following individuals: Jeanne Gribble, as junior high concessions manager at the end of 2019-20; and Abby Hornish, as seventh-grade girls volleyball coach.
• voted to employ the following individuals: Korbin Slade as a sweeper at Grover Hill Elementary; and Tim Willborn as weight room supervisor for the remainder of 2019-20.
• approved the following teacher professional development days for 2020-21 school year: Two-hour delays: Sept. 25; Dec. 11; Feb. 12, 2021; March 12, 2021; and April 23, 2021. Full day: Nov. 9.
• authorized membership in the OHSAA for 2020-21.
• thanked Pond Seed Company of Scott for a donation of $1,000 to be used to assist students who need assistance paying for lunches.