Paw Paw School asks for staff training, substitutes
Paw Paw School requested additional staff development from the Morgan County School Board at their January 17 meeting. They also asked for funding for substitutes so teachers can observe successful learning environments in and outside of the county.
Also needed were Time to Teach training with Morgan County Schools Social Worker Gary McDaniel to help with behavior issues as well as increased therapeutic counseling time.
An intern comes four days a week to provide counseling. There are no counseling services in the area, Principal Michelle Fleming said.
Fleming also requested funding for training a secondary reading interventionist and a secondary reading intervention program. Their seventh and eighth graders need reading help, she said. An assisted reading class has been implemented for those grades.
Paw Paw High School met adequate yearly progress last year, but Paw Paw Elementary did not achieve adequate yearly progress in the math subgroup, Fleming said.
All groups made improvement on the WESTEST 2011 in writing in the same class comparison of percentage of students at mastery.
Five out of eight classes made improvement in Reading and Language Arts in the WESTEST 2011 exams.
Strategies were implemented to address deficiencies in English and Language Arts skills which included a positive behavior support program for grades seven-eight, intervention sessions twice a week for those grades, after-school homework help and classroom visits and staff training from the county reading coach.
The high school had a graduation rate of 100% last year. The elementary school had an attendance rate of 98%, Fleming said.
They have five trained personnel doing the Instructional Practices Inventory, which is a 5-second snapshot of what is happening in a classroom to assess the level of learning engagement, Fleming said.
Teams enter classrooms over the course of one day and take 100-150 snapshots of a school with no names attached.
Classrooms are rated on whether students are actively learning and teachers are engaged in lesson instruction.
They were working on strategies to increase student engagement and focusing on reducing time off task in the classroom, she said.
Bullying incidents have decreased at Paw Paw Schools, she said. Character education programs have been initiated over the last few years to address bullying. With the Rachel’s Challenge program, a bullying prevention taskforce was formed.
Guidance counselor Tina Stickley developed the Preventors FlashMob dance routine where students wear black shirts with their weakness written on front and how that weakness can be a strength written on back.
If their weakness is being sensitive, it can also mean that they care and are a great listener, Fleming said. People can be picked on for their weaknesses.
“Report bullying” works
A new form was made available to Paw Paw students last year where they can report incidents of social, verbal, physical or cyber-bullying and turn it in. Students can remain anonymous, if desired.
There is now a paper trail for Assistant Principal Melinda Kasekamp to follow, Fleming said.
Fleming rarely sees a bullying report form now. If an incident arises, they meet with kids and put strategies in place to correct the behavior.
Stickley and art teacher Terah Ware also work with the Too Good for Drugs program.
School facility improvements include a door buzzer and a Lobby Guard visitor kiosk for signing in. The kiosk is still being installed.
Heat was installed in the elementary school main office. The bathrooms and the locker rooms in the high school need renovations.
They have great after-school activities and third and eighth grade summer camps. The school just had Math Field Day and their Social Studies Fair and Science Fair, Fleming said.
The third and fourth grade classes put on a play for the school called “Red Writing Hood.” A spelling bee and a Health Fair were scheduled.
Fleming said they have an excellent staff and a community where everyone supports what is needed to make a difference in children’s education.