Progress made on ISTEP scores at Milan

Beth Rumsey
Staff Writer

Efforts to improve ISTEP+ scores at the Milan Community Schools have paid off, according to a report prepared by the schools’ principals. This report was presented to the Milan School Board at their regular meeting on Monday, September 20.

According to elementary school principal Jane Rogers, the scores of English/Language Arts and math tests taken in the spring of 2010 were higher than those from the previous year. The scores were above the state average with the exception of the 2009 Grade 5 score, which was below the state’s score by two percentage points for both English/Language Arts and math.

The middle school saw an increase in scores. Again, the scores were higher than the state’s scores for both years and in both categories. The high school end of course assessments for English 10 and algebra were up, with the eighth grade accelerated algebra class scoring 100%.

According to middle school principal Marty Layden, the improvements were due to remediation, tutoring sessions, and setting school improvement goals.

Several patrons expressed their disappointment when they were unable to ask questions as part of the regular meeting. After adjournment, a patron asked when they would have a chance to address the board. According to board president Doug Norman, patrons were given an opportunity to speak after the ISTEP+ presentation when he asked if there were any questions.

The patron explained that he thought the questions were to pertain to the presentation. Norman explained that a volleyball game played in the gym at the same time made it difficult to hear. Norman explained that the patrons comments will be heard at the October meeting.

Personnel resignations included Sherri Cunningham as middle school spell bowl sponsor; Beth Vierling, middle school academic team sponsor; and Cinda Ahlrich, middle school student council sponsor.

The board unanimously approved the employment of Tiffany Taylor as a special ed aide contingent on funding from ROD. Also approved were Rob Riley as varsity wrestling coach; Jack Day as 7th grade basketball coach; and Brenda Walter as middle school spell bowl coach.

Volunteers approved include Sherri Zornes as elementary GT coordinator; Gayle Healy as middle school and high school GT coordinator and Laura Hicks as high school art club sponsor.

Interim Superintendent Steve Gookins reported the official student count, taken on Friday, September 17. According to Gookins, the 2010 count of 1,192 was down by 37 students. He noted that there were 28 transfers, which helped to keep the student count up. The special ed count will not be official until December, according to Gookins.

In other business:

• The board granted permission for the superintendent to make any needed changes to the budget when requested by the DLGF.

• The capital projects plan and bus replacement plans were approved as advertised.

All board members were in attendance. The next meeting will be held on Monday, October 18 beginning at 7 p.m. at the elementary cafeteria.