GRAFTON—Every year, the Taylor County Board of Education visits the five schools in the county to hear updates from the principals and other school personnel. On Tuesday, the board made their last stop at Grafton High School.
The meeting was held in the Mary Battle Field Room and Principal Lori Shumaker welcomed the board members and presented them with handout with data about the progress at the school.
“Last year, we did a live show, I thought we would do something different this year,” said Shumaker.
The sheet included grade data, discipline data, AP data and attendance data from this year, and previous years to show the progress that school has made.
In the grade data section, the school has seen a steady increase in improving grades. In 2017-2018 school year, 86.1 percent of student’s grades were between an A and a C, so far in the 2018-2019, year that number has increased to 88.4 percent.
For the discipline section, the number of incidences has decreased from 276 in the 2017-2018 school year to 238 in the 2018-2019 school year. That number has greatly decreased from 2016-2017 school year where there were 485 incidences.
In addition, the number of students choosing to take AP classes have steadily increased over the years with 49 students in 2015 to 64 students in 2018. The attendance rate at the school has also increased from 92.8 percent last year, to 94.9 percent this year.
Shumaker also shared the Governor’s Workforce Credential data with the board members.
“This is the top 15 percent of graduation completers. Eight students were awarded this credential in the 2018 school, and there are currently 55 students eligible this year,” she stated.
Also, this year, the school adopted a new drug free policy and Shumaker reported that 129 individual tests have been performed and 125 of those tests were negative.
“We followed the policy for the students that tested positive, and the parents were very corporative with helping their children,” she reported. “One of the students has retested twice and the results were negative. The other students will be retested in the next month.”
The four-year graduation rate at the school has seen a steady increase over the years. In 2011, the graduation rate was 71.05 percent. In 2018, the school had a four-year graduation rate of 92.52 percent.
“GHS has increased our graduation rate for the third year in a row,” Shumaker revealed. “The 2018 graduation rate is a new record for GHS.”
Taylor County Board of Education President Austin Upton asked if she had any data for the graduation rate so far this year.
Shumaker reported that she did not have the data for this year yet, but believes the overall rate will be at least 90 percent.
In addition, she shared will the board that the percent of students meeting or exceeding mastery in math increased by 10 percent over the last three years. The percent of decrease for students not meeting standards is 40 percent.
In the state assessment for writing and language, the percent of students meeting or exceeding mastery in writing and language this past year is 21 percent greater than it was three years ago. The percent of decrease for students not meeting standards is 36 percent.
At the conclusion of explaining the data, Shumaker told the board that the Grafton High School Speech and Debate Team was present at the meeting to demonstrate their skills.
Before the team got started, Speech and Debate Coach Teresa Dalton, asked the board members to write a topic on a piece of paper, so that student Trevor Swiger could prepare a seven-minute speech about the topics.
While Swiger prepared his speech student Jamie Dotson shared with the board members some of their accomplishments. At competitions the students competed in various categories including prose, poetry, impromptu and declamation.
After a few minutes, Swiger was ready and presented his speech to the board members. His speech contained all of the topics that the board wrote down. After, the board praised him for his job well done.
Each student also stood up and shared some of the work they have done in competitions. From discussions about voting to a tale of Robin Hood, the team showed off their skills.
After the presentation, the board members congratulated the team and their coach for all of their hard work.
The board members also heard updates from Lucas McCall with Faculty Senate and Drema Gainer with Local School Improvement Council.
In other business Shumaker, approached the board with a proposal to add an additional math class at the school.
“The class would be for be a financial/mathematics course for seniors,” she explained. “We would have an opportunity to create a fourth math course. This year Harrison County is using a course called Financial Algebra Mathematics.”
We have the opportunity to create this class here for our seniors,” she voiced. “We hear from parents that students do not know how to do taxes, buy cars, take loans all of the math that is life.”
She explained that they are requesting to have this course added in the course catalog. The course would be designed for students that are low to average in math and that are currently taking trans math.
“This course would reteach a lot of skills and the traditional mathematics,” Shumaker stated. “We believe it would benefit our seniors a lot more than the current course we are teaching.”
The board agreed that the course be beneficial to the students in Taylor County and approved the request.