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PSD provides report to public

By Staff, 10/13/21 2:56 PM

PRESCOTT – Everything is on track for the new Prescott Elementary School to be done by April.

This was part of the information provided to the Prescott School Board at its October meeting in the annual report to the public. Superintendent Robert Poole said the road behind thenew school is coming along as well.

He said financially the district had one of its best years ever, with the ESSER funds helping. The district’s goals, he continued, haven’t changed. They’re still to focus on reading and math, improve scores and make sure students are given the best education possible.  He pointed out PES has been named a model PLC in the state this year, and the district wants Prescott Junior and Prescott Senior High schools to become district PLCs.

Angie Bryant, the district’s school improvement/federal program coordinator, provided the bulk of the report. She said there has been growth in grades 1-10 from the fall of last year to this fall in reading and math. The exceptions were grades 8 and 10 in literature and 7 and 9 in math. Overall, she said, the district is making progress, but there’s a long way to go. She told the board test scores from this spring will be compared to those of last spring to see what the difference is.

To correct problems at the elementary level, she said, specific programs are being used to help improve reading skills. She pointed out the district is seeing growth by using evidence-based programs. For math, problem solving skills are being added from kindergarten to Algebra II. These programs are aligned with the ACT Aspire program, which may be eliminated at the end of the year.

These programs allow the district to follow growth on grade level as well as individual students.

PES Principal Kimberly Grimes said PES is continually working with the PLC to improve. At the end of the third year of the PLC, she told the board, PES applied for the model school program, explaining all aspects of what the school did and what it plans to do to improve. “We’re not where we need to be,” she said.

Bryant said the junior high is focusing on ACT prep test readiness skills, using a reading program to help students improve their reading and literacy skills, along with programs used for math in classrooms. The idea, she said, is to make sure students are always engaged in learning. It’s important, she continued, for students to physically be in class. To help improve attendance, a point system has been adopted, with students earning points when they come to class. Their parents are notified when they’re absent.

In talking about the ACT Aspire program, Bryant said this could be the last year for it as it doesn’t line up with what’s needed. The district is using the QWest program to transition in math.

Prescott High School is using the same programs, with students being more focused on ACT prep. Students in PHS< she added, are rewarded for having no tardies or absences.

Poole said one of the problems with the ACT Aspire program is there’s no student accountability and students don’t take it seriously.

PHS Principal Tommy Poole said students have said they don’t take it seriously and it doesn’t mean anything to them. To get them more involved with this testing, the district will be offering monetary rewards with students making $10 for each of the four categories involved if they do well. This is being done in grades 9-10.

Robert Poole said cell phone money will be used to pay for these rewards.