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May 18, 2012

WHS DECA shows off national award

WASHINGTON — Washington High School DECA advisor Bill Turner had show-and-tell at the Washington Community Schools Board meeting Thursday night.

Turner passed around a trophy for the board to admire as he explained that 16 WHS students attended the DECA International Career Development Conference in Salt Lake City, and Connor Brashear and Austin Bush placed first there in the stock market game. It’s the first time WHS has taken first-place honors at the event. In another first, Turner told the board, WHS also has three students serving as state officers.

Following an informational report on end-of-year performance data, former Assistant Superintendent Becky Dayton was presented with a plaque by board President Steve Frette for her years of service to the school corporation. He said she started with corporation as a teacher at Northside Elementary in 1969 and worked her way up to assistant superintendent in charge of curriculum most recently. Though Dayton officially retired at the end of 2011, she’s still working as a consultant for the corporation.

In her report, Dayton told board members the schools are making progress toward the goals set in “Plan on a Page.”

“We’re getting very close in all categories,” she said. “The trends are all moving upward.”

According to Dayton and Superintendent Bruce Hatton, there’s been some confusion with the IREAD-3 results. The Indiana Reading Evaluation And Determination (IREAD-3) assessment measures reading standards through grade 3 to ensure reading proficiency before the students move on to grade 4. Superintendent of Public Instruction Tony Bennett had stated that students with learning disabilities and those just learning English would not be included in the results; they would receive waivers. However, that was not the case; those students were included.

“Our school scored well,” Dayton said, followed by a slight pause. “Did not make the 90 percent the state had set out as our goal.”

With all students included in the results, Washington was at 82.6 percent. Without those students, the score would be 93.1 percent.

“We have dynamics and demographics that are different from other schools,” Dayton explained.

She said teachers have and use remediation tools with students struggling to learn reading skills.

“Even though they would have a waiver, we still want to give those students everything we can and get them ready for the fourth grade,” she said.

Dayton reported ISTEP assessments are complete and results should be available at the end of the month.

She said math is still the students’ strength, with 81 percent mastering math skills in the third quarter and 78 percent mastering English and language arts skills.

Attendance remains good, she continued, and she did not note any expulsions in the third quarter.

The administration has been working with a consultant to create a teacher evaluation plan, which Dayton said is nearing completion. She said the plan is slated to be presented to teachers on May 24 and to the state by July 1.

In personnel news, Lauren Hannan, of Overland Park, Kan., was approved as girls soccer coach. Hannan, who graduates from DePauw University Saturday with a degree in education studies, will be offered a two-year contract and will be assigned as a staff member.

Also, the board accepted the retirements of French teacher Mary Fran Bennett and junior high assistant Principal Steve Jones, and the resignations of teachers Kristina Killion and Steve Bullock, all effective at the end of the school year.

They approved the appointments of Stephanie McClure as North Elementary volleyball coach, Robert M. Petty as high school assistant golf coach, Cindy Wilson as high school Beta Club co-sponsor for 2012-2013, Joe Bateman as custodian I at Griffith elementary, Carla Tolliver as custodian II at the junior/senior high school, and Brett Matteson as an elementary teacher.

In other business:

• Textbook adoptions were approved.

• Elementary, junior and senior high school handbooks were approved.

• Approval was given to apply for all grants for the coming school year.

• Two NJROTC field trips were approved.

• The donation of an original 1878 graduation announcement, which was the first WHS graduating class, was accepted from the Class of 1957 reunion Planning Committee.

• Hatton announced the last day of school is May 23, and commencement is at 2 p.m. May 26 in the WHS Gymnasium.

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