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Area schools and districts have joined with those across the state in planning ways to help students learn and improve test results.
All schools and districts were required late last week to submit plans to the state Department of Education to meet ambitious new goals on the K-PREP student test.
Local schools and districts submitted plans to meet their individual needs to improve student learning and performance.
Kelli Bush, assistant superintendent for instruction for Elizabethtown Independent Schools, said administrators looked after 2012 assessment results were released to them in October for areas in which students performed well and where there were areas for growth.
Finding areas in which students were underperforming drove the district’s improvement plan, she said.
“The bottom dollar is that ultimately, you want to improve each and every student’s learning,” she said.
Plans for improvements focus on state goals for all schools, such as improving college and career readiness. The last test results were the first to measure that aspect, and they gave a benchmark for performance, Bush said.
Plans unique to the district include improving teaching in every classroom by continuing to encourage teachers to share strategies with each other and looking at best practices that can be incorporated, she said.
It will also be important to improve the systems in place to identify students who need extra help and set aside time for them, Bush said.
Bush, who was principal for five years at Morningside Elementary School, said she has seen such plans lead to student improvement, and she is optimistic they will help.
Each principal formed similar plans with their staffs to address areas where they showed room for improvement, Bush said.
The plan submitted for Hardin County Schools details how the district’s swift growth has been accompanied by challenges in maintaining consistent improvement in academic progress.
Opportunities for improvement include on-demand writing. To help with that, schools are implementing a new training method to help students improve in that area.
The recently implemented monitoring system in the district has been effective at regularly finding areas for improvement so educators can meet and talk about the best ways to address academic issues as they arise, according to the plan.
The main goal is to continuously improve in-class instruction, according to the plan.
Amanda Reed, instructional supervisor for LaRue County Schools, said her district’s plan focused on identifying needs and suggesting ways to meet those needs.
“The root of the issue is still the same as it’s always been,” she said.
A major area for improvement is closing the achievement gap between special education students and their peers, Reed said.
Local educators also are considering how to enhance strategies already in place to identify students who need extra help and those who should be more challenged in their classes, she said.
The district’s graduation rate, another area being stressed statewide, already is high. Educators will work to make it even better and promote college and career readiness, Reed said.
She is confident the measures will be good for students and lead to improvements in test scores.
Amber Coulter can be reached at (270) 505-1746 or firstname.lastname@example.org.