SIDNEY — Administrators, teachers and the school board at Fairlawn Local School have not only agreed to continuing working in unison to improve student achievement but are fine-tuning the effort.
On Monday, Nov. 5, the school board conducted a work session prior to their regular meeting, with improvement of the state report card a top priority. The district was issued an overall C grade.
Superintendent Jeff Hobbs said he continues to meet with Middle School/High School Principal John Stekli and Elementary Principal Karen McRill in making improvements to their respective grade levels.
Hobbs spoke of the effort by saying, “Overall achievement is at the forefront and finding ways to make our students more successful on the state tests. Fairlawn has terrific educators, who work very hard, and our goal is to find better ways to generate positive outcomes from that hard work.”
Hobbs reported the elementary staff will put reading improvement plans in place for those students who show any potential for being below grade level. He claimed this will insure the district’s K-3 reading score will be accurately assessed.
He said, “At the high school level, we continue to monitor the state’s guidelines for graduation test points. We monitor every student’s progress to insure they remain on a path to graduation. As well, we are looking into potential credentialing options that could improve the district’s Prepared for Success indicator grade. All juniors and seniors will have opportunities to take practice ACT tests to potentially enhance their performance on the real exam.”
At a previous meeting, Stekli told the board that several students in grades 7 to 10 were participating in the Ohio Writing Project. He noted that proven teaching methods are also being incorporated into other grade levels.
During the same meeting, McRill expressed concern that the current, four-person team of teachers for all the elementary school students was not working, as reflected in the district low grade for achievement. She strongly proposed teams of two people per grade should be established.
According to improvement plans, McRill indicated she will continue to network with other school districts, seeking ways to enhance the Fairlawn programs.
In formal action Monday, the board unanimously approved a $100 stipend for each certified staff member who completes 15 hours of gifted professional development. Hobbs said this will give Fairlawn Gifted Served Status, which will increase overall gifted performance index.
The board also entered into two service contracts for the remainder of the school year.
Kim Rank was hired as interim athletic director at a rate of $23,870 annually. Mark Henman was hired as a resource officer at a rate of $27 per hour.
In other business, the board:
• Accepted a donation of $200 to the Seth Rogers Memorial Scholarship Fund from Larry and Barb Rogers.
• Employed Marcella Zircher as a substitute aide for the balance of the school year at a rate of $10 per hour; and as substitute school bus driver upon her completion of her bus driving certification at $17.25 per hour.
• Hired Adrienna Cook as a substitute cook at $10 per hour.
• Awarded one-year, limited service contracts to Aaron Cox as Laptop Program facilitator at $4,000 per year, and Meghan Petty as night custodian at a rate of $17.37 per hour.
• Employed Debra Middleton as a part time secretary for $15.56 per hour.
• Agreed to compensate a student’s family that resides outside the district to transport their child to and from school privately.
• Adopted a wellness policy to provide healthier snacks to students.
The writer is a regular contributor to the Sidney Daily News.