School principals reported on the district’s report card from the state during the Monday night meeting of the Hollow Rock-Bruceton Board of Education.
Joe Norval, principal over Central High and Middle Schools, presented student academic achievement and academic growth scores for grades 6-12 from the 2017-18 testing year.
As Norval pointed out, these grades received a score of 1.4 out of 4 for academic achievement and 2.5 out of 4 for academic growth as compared to the previous testing year.
“I’m not happy with the 1.4, but we’re taking steps to improve that,” said Norval.
The high school received a Ready Graduate score of 1.0 out of 4 as a measurement of the percentage of students who scored 21 or higher on the ACT in the spring of 2018.
Norval said this score should rise significantly on next year’s report card considering new, rigorous ACT prep curriculum that has been implemented during the current school year.
“We’ve made some leaps in that area,” he said.
Grades 6-12 were reported at 3.7 out of 4 when it comes the percentage of students that were absent for 10 percent or more of the 2017-18 school year, with both excused and unexcused absences being counted by the state.
“That’s a score that we want to go down,” said Norval.
Central Elementary principal Deborah Martin presented report card scores for her school.
Martin reported a total academic achievement score of 2.0 out of 4 for grades 3-5.
“We went up in every single academic area, except science, which went down a little,” said Martin.
CES students scored 2.7 out of 4 in academic growth.
“That’s something we definitely need to improve on,” said Martin.
She did point out that third graders at CES scored better in Math than any other school district in the county.
“I’m proud how we faired on that,” said Martin.
CES students received a score of 4 out of 4 for chronic absenteeism, but as Martin pointed out, they had an abnormally high level of absentees due to flu and other illnesses during the reporting period.
“I just want to express to our teachers our appreciation for all their hard work and dedication,” said board chairman Brad Hurley.
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In other business:
•The board honored seventh grader Anna Kee for winning this year’s Central Middle School Spelling Bee. Anna, who is the 12-year-old daughter of Marty Kee and Belinda Evans, won the bee by correctly spelling the word “irked.”
•The board went ahead and approved the district’s annual audit report, even though the auditor could not make it to go over the report with the board.
•The board amended the school’s Tobacco-Free Schools policy to include the prohibition of vaping products and paraphernalia anywhere on school property.
•The board passed a policy update regarding promotion and retention.
•The board opted to put off reviewing the board’s annual evaluation of Director of Schools David Duncan until the April meeting because a couple of board members were absent Monday night and one board member had not yet turned in his completed evaluation form.
•The board authorized Duncan to refinance the district’s bond debt on school facilities through the Memphis firm Duncan-Williams. According to Duncan, this should save the district around $51,000 over the five-year term, and the debt should be paid off by April 1 of 2024.
•The next regular board meeting was set for April 8 at 6 p.m.