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Chatfield School Board discusses literacy plan

By Mitchell Walbridge

Mon, May 28th, 2012
Posted in Chatfield Education

Chatfield School Board members met on Tuesday, May 22 for the final meeting before the conclusion of the 2011-2012 school year. Items on the meeting agenda included several alterations in the district’s staffing and the approval of the newly initiated literacy plan that the elementary school will implement in the next academic year.

The meeting began with district patron time where community volunteer Sandra Sullivan briefed the board on the landscaping projects occurring at the elementary school. Sandra reported that there are now a variety of trees that border sides of the school. Grant money awarded to the district have allowed for the landscaping to occur. Next, community volunteers plan on buying more plants to add to the trees.

In other business elementary principal Craig Ihrke focused his monthly report on two main items, MCA III math results and the passage of the district’s literacy plan. Ihrke said that overall results showed improvements in math scores in students from grades third through fifth. Third grade results ultimately rose from 59 percent meeting or exceeding the standards last year to 82 percent this year. Ihrke did remind board members that this was a different test, but is still a continuation of the MCA series.

Chatfield’s updated literacy plan will help students learn to read better by third grade. New criteria for this plan include having students read at or above their reading levels by third grade, having professional learning communities among staff members, having a strong volunteer base to allow for individual assistance, and encouraging parent involvement. Chatfield teachers and administrators believe that this new plan will further educational success in the district’s students. The public will also be able to review the plan soon as it will be available on the school’s website.

Secondary principal Randy Paulson had similar news to report in improvements in MCA math scores for middle school students. Both seventh and eighth grade test takers saw marginal increases in scores. Paulson then put spotlight on all of the end-of-the-year events such as the 13th annual FFA banquet, the middle school achievement program, and the senior scholarship banquet. A sincere appreciation for support went out to sponsors such as the Rick Bell State Farm Insurance Agency, Root River State Bank, the Lion’s Club, teachers and advisors, the Commercial Club, and the Chatfield Education Association.

As the school year reaches a conclusion, Superintendent Ed Harris noted that preparations are always ongoing for future school plans. Staff members will be undergoing continual development at programs such as the Summer Academy. Harris also recognized district retirees Jan Mathison for 39 years of service and Marsha Thieke for 26 years of service.

Before adjourning, important dates were announced. The district’s last day of school is May 31 followed by graduation on June 3 at 1:30 p.m. The next board meeting is scheduled for June 19.

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