Milan schools deal with low graduation rate

Beth Rumsey
Staff Writer

A public hearing regarding Milan High School AYP (Annual Yearly Progress) rating was held at the regular school board meeting on Monday, March 14. The public hearing is required as per PL221 for schools that are put on academic probation.

According to high school principal Rich Healy, Milan made five out of ten categories for AYP. In English and math the state target is 95% with MHS earning 91% in English and 95% in math.

Graduate rate is also taken into consideration for AYP. The rate is an average of three years. Milan’s rate of 76% is below the state rate of 82%.

Action has been taken to address some of the issues that affect AYP. Revisions to the school improvement plan are being considered to meet the needs of at-risk students, according to Healy.

The graduation rate is another factor for improvement, according to Healy. He explained that 89% of the current seniors will need to graduate at the end of the school year. The issue will continue to be discussed between the patrons, the board and the school.

High school Spanish teacher Emily Kugler requested the board consider a class trip to Spain for the Spanish 3 and 4 classes during Spring Break 2012. The trip will then be available every two years.

According to Kugler, the proposed trip will provide an educational experience for students and allow them to use those language skills learned in class. There will be a variety of cultural venues that will include visits to historical sites and museums.

The students will hold fundraisers to fund the trip, according to Kugler. The trip would cost about $3,000 and would include transportation fees, accommodations, meals and museum fees.

Superintendent Thomas Reale presented information regarding a balanced calendar for the board to review. Reale explained that several area schools are considering a balanced calendar with a few schools making plans to switch.

According to Reale, a balanced calendar has several advantages including a shorter summer break, which improves a student’s retention of what they learned the previous year. It also gives a two-week break after every nine weeks, which allows students and teachers to recoup between grading periods.

Information about an energy savings program was presented for the board’s review. The program uses technology already in place to help reduce energy consumption that could result in a savings of about 10% per month.

The cost of the project is about $46,700 with a 10-year warranty. The board unanimously approved to table the request until the next meeting for further research.

In other business:

• Resignations accepted included Barbara Crabtree as middle school instructional aid; Randy Combs as 8th grade boys basketball coach; Roy Adams as reserve wrestling coach; and Brianna Kraushar as girls reserve basketball coach.

• Recommendations approved were Heather Thomas as middle school instructional aid; Caitlin Sauerhage as boys varsity track coach; Emily Frye as girls varsity track coach; Jeremiah Loehmer as reserve baseball coach; and Jeff Carson, Don Barton, and Frank Haugh as volunteer varsity softball assistant coaches.

• The sale of raffle tickets by the band boosters was approved.

All board members were in attendance. The next meeting will be on Monday, April 18 beginning at 7 p.m. at the administrative office.