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School Board hears CATS progress

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Value of keyboarding class also discussed

By Ashley Zsedenyi

The LaRue County Middle School Proficiency Report was presented to the school board Monday night.

Principal Corey Keith said steady growth has been made on CATS testing the last two years. In 2006, LCMS was ranked 13th out of 17 area schools with a score of 72.3, while in 2007 LCMS improved the score to 78.9 and jumped to ninth out of those 17 schools. This year, LCMS improved to a score of 80.1 and is ranked seventh out of 17 area schools.

Consistent growth was also shown with No Child Left Behind results in mathematics. In 2006 LCMS was ranked 17th out of 17 schools with a score of 23.7, in 2007 the score jumped to 55.2 and LCMS was ranked sixth, and this year LCMS jumped up to third of 17 schools with a score of 63.8, behind Taylor County and St. Charles.

NCLB reading scores have also grown, but Keith said, “We can do better.”

In 2006, LCMS ranked ninth of 17 schools with a score of 62. In 2007, LCMS ranked fifth with a score of 68, and this year the score improved to 69 while the ranking remained the same.

Keith said he is “proud of the growth” that has been made over the past two years, adding that the dedication of the teachers and staff is essential to making improvements.

Improvements are being made through continued refinement of curriculum maps; monitoring student progress through PAS Testing, common assessments and scoring sessions, and through focused use of data; monitoring instruction, with 348 walkthroughs done as of Dec. 11; continued involvement with the SAM project and Learning Centered Schools; professional development in reading; teaming, which is in its second year; and targeted skills classes and flexible grouping.

Board member Dick Greenwell voiced concerns of the removal of the keyboarding class during the consolidation of LCMS and the intermediate school.

Greenwell said it is a “needed” class, but he’s “not sure where to put it.”

“In today’s society, you will have to know how to type,” he said.

Keith said there is an option of keyboarding during the targeted skills time and as an after school class, but that the focus has been on core content.

Superintendent Sam Sanders said he thinks the class should begin in elementary school and be built on in middle school by focusing on word processing and spreadsheets.

He said he would be meeting with the administration later in the week and would discuss the issue.

In other business, the board unanimously approved:

•The acceptance of the Hodgenville Elementary School addition project as complete;

•Authorization of the HES addition project BG-4 document showing the total cost of construction as $761,742.65;

•The recommendation of Phil Fulkerson, director of transportation and maintenance, to accept the low bid from Joe Hill Automotive for a tractor with attachments for $26,521.00;

•The BG-4 document for the athletic facility showing the total cost of construction as $214,935.59 and acknowledge the absence of a final payment application;

•The transfer of $51,000 from the General Fund and the $500,000 previously removed from escrow to invest in a 12-year CD, instead of 14 years by adding a little more money, for the repayment of the QZAB Bonds.