Tunnicliff gives summer review, 2010-2011 preview to board

— The Carman-Ainsworth Board of Education received a summer review and 2010- 2011 preview from Asst. Supt. Steve Tunnicliff at its Aug. 17 board meeting. Tunnicliff gave the board an in-depth look at the work that occurred over the summer, first touching on the district’s summer school program.

Elementary-age children, who attended summer school, participated in a six-week program that met four days a week. The elementary program, which was for all elementary students in the district, was held at Randels and Rankin Elementaries. An average of 288 students a day attended Randels and an average of 165 students a day attended Rankin. At Carman-Ainsworth Middle School, Tunnicliff reported that an average of 85 students attended each day, and eighth-grade students utilized PLATO, an online, digital curriculum where the teacher is physically in the class- room, but students complete their work online and at their own pace. “It was the first time PLATO was used at that grade level,” Tunnicliff said.

At Carman-Ainsworth High School, 87 students were enrolled in 121 courses, with 86 percent passing. The high school’s summer program utilized four PLATO sessions, and two face-to-face offerings. “Physical education is a common make-up in the summer for the high school,” Tunnicliff said. In regards to PLATO at the high school, Tunnicliff said the high school “manipulates” the curriculum.

“We’ve been doing PLATO long enough to where we can enhance it, and students have to pass the exit exams,” he said. The high school also had eight students enrolled in online courses with Brigham Young University (BYU) and of the eight, three completed the coursework.

After the summer school overview, Tunnicliff moved on to human resources, saying the district hired 21 new teachers who attended a recent orientation. The district is still looking to hire one, new full-time speech pathologist; one, new part-time art teacher; and one administrative position, a new high school assistant principal. Tunnicliff also reported to the board that the district finalized contract language with the Carman-Ainsworth Education Association (CA-EA), and the finalized language will be posted online at the district’s website, www.carman.k12.mi.us,
prior to Sept. 1.

Tunnicliff also reported on Universal Screeners and Response to Intervention (RtI), saying the district will utilize computer adaptive math and reading screeners for students in grades K-11. “All students will be screened three times a year, in the fall, winter and spring,” he said. The screeners are composed of 25 questions, which are used to determine a student’s grade level in the subject.

“Students identified for intervention can be assessed up to one time a week through an integrated progress monitoring system, which is pretty important to us,” Tunnicliff said.

Tunnicliff also touched on instructional technology for the district, saying the district purchased 100 computers, which included replacements. The district also purchased 41 Interactive Short-Throw Projectors, which essentially turn any hard surface in a classroom into an interactive whiteboard for instruction. Tunnicliff said the Short-Throw Projectors will be implemented in fourth and fifth grades.

Other instructional technology purchases and programs include WiiMote Systems for the high school, which are compatible with existing LCD projectors, StandardScore and the SuccessMaker Efficacy Study. Tunnicliff closed out his presentation by touching on how the district will measure success with a year’s growth model, and that a proficiency model and growth model will be used for every year of high school.

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