School News

School board asks Superintendent to focus on math & reading scores, ARP spending for school year

by Kate Evan

The Morgan County School Board chose three goals for Morgan County Schools Superintendent Kristen Tuttle to achieve during the 2023-2024 school year. Her annual evaluation will be based on these goals.


Tuttle’s first goal is that Morgan County students will improve reading and math scores by 4% by June 1, 2024.  This will be measured by beginning of the year (BOY) and middle of the year (MOY) assessment data, iReady/IXL, Science of Reading implementation progress, professional development provided and  parent education by June 1, 2024.

Tuttle’s second goal will be to  adjust the American Rescue Plan Elementary and Secondary School Emergency Relief (ESSER/ARP) budget and plan to ensure liquidation by September 30,2024 and evaluate programs and positions to continue within the regular Fiscal Year 2025 budget or remove.  This includes the ESSER/ARP budget, personnel season actions, Fiscal Year 2025 budget completion, completion of projects and purchase evidence.

Morgan County Schools Superintendent Kristen Tuttle.

Tuttle’s third goal is to mentor and train the new assistant superintendent and assist in the development of a plan for reorganization of central office responsibilities due to pending retirements.

Actions include a new organizational chart and duties list and a successful first year evaluation of the assistant superintendent.

School board president Aaron Close said that the board doubled the academic improvement percentage goal from 2% to 4% for the Superintendent this year. Close also commented on the ARP (American Rescue Plan) funding that is being discontinued.

“As the Board of Education’s ARP funds are depleted and required to be spent in a timely manner, the Superintendent is going to have an important task to determine which ARP funded programs are the most impactful.  Over the next two years the Board of Education and the Superintendent will be working closely to determine how best to sunset positions and programs that can’t be adequately funded with the regular and excess (special) levies,” Close said.

“The climate and culture of the current school buildings is positive and we are excited to see the Superintendent continuing her positive relationship building with our staff,” Close added.

“We will be placing intense emphasis on standards-based instruction across the board. Additionally, we are focusing on Science of Reading training and implementation of the new iReady screener/benchmark at the elementary level,” said Tuttle

“We were disappointed in our academic performance at the secondary level and plan to support teachers with professional development in a variety of instructional strategies.  We will also be providing instructional coaching and leading professional learning committees on targeted topics. I plan to be more hands-on this year with instructional observations, walk-throughs and feedback to keep the focus on teaching and

learning,”she said.

“That goal will be the largest focus for me.  I will also be spending a great deal of time spending down the ARP funds and reworking our budget to try to keep positions and programs that are working and reducing in other areas,” Tuttle said.

“I look forward to working with Mr. Duelley in his new capacity.  He is a positive new addition to county leadership,” Tuttle added.

Jeromy Duelley is the new Morgan County Schools Assistant Superintendent.