GRAFTON—The Taylor County Board of Education met on Tuesday at the Taylor County Technical Center.
Grafton High School Principal Joseph Findley welcomed the board to the center and presented a powerpoint presentation. The presentation highlighted the programs that are offered to students at the center.
According to Findley, the technical center offers many different courses for students to take, which include, Therapeutic Services, Agribusiness Systems and Plant Systems. There are 13 different Technical paths all together.
Some of the benefits from these courses are; a simulated workplace, workforce readiness, certifications and EDGE Credits, along with Academic Clubs that have State and National Competitions.
In other business, Anna Jarvis Elementary School (AJES) Principal Heather Gunderson, presented the board with a power point presentation. The presentation showed what school improvements have been made over the past four years that she has been at the healm.
Gunderson told the board, that she feels AJ is one on the biggest contributing elementary school, of the graduates of Taylor County.
“ I wanted the board to have a better understanding of the process of the improvements made,” she added.
The power point presentation highlighted The Learning System. Gunderson shared that she attended a RESA 7 training. The training was about school improvement, and how principals can improve their schools.
“There were three points to The Learning System; understanding becoming a learning system, understanding the cycle of continuous improvement and understanding the standards of professional learning,” continued Gunderson.
She also explained how she implemented them into the process of improvement at AJES.
“We are very proud of where we are today. Several members of the staff are present to speak to the board, as well,” Gunderson added.
In the 2015-2016 school year, the school implentmented a new math and reading curriculum.
Assistant Principal, Shelly Stead spoke to the board about the math curriculum used. Eureka Math, she explained, is different from what we know. It was built around the core principals. Students need to know more than just what works, but why it works. The system helps the students become fluent in math.
Debbie Spadofore, addressed the board with information about the Journey Reading Series that the school uses.
She explained the General Summative Assessment (GSA) requires students to demonstrate their understanding of text through writing.
“Balance literacy is the framework the teacher’s use in the classroom. Balance literacy has five components word work, vocabulary, fluency, comprehesion, and writing. The Journey Series is everything we need for those components,” Spadofore shared.
Gunderson shared with the board, that one of the biggest things we did to improve student achievement, was to give teachers the opportunity to work together, and talk about their curriculum.
According to Gunderson, the teachers have a common planning time within the school day to discuss curriculum and student data.
“It is so important, especially because the number of new teachers that we have every year,” said Gunderson.
She ended the presentation by telling the board, “ I am really proud of the progress made, and what we have found out about ourselves and our students.”
In addition, the board recognized the Spelling Bee, National Geographic and Social Studies winners from the Taylor County Middle School.
The Spelling Bee winners were Roan Dworaczyk, Ariana Mooney and Justin Gainer.
The Social Studies Fair winners were Alex Himes and Tyler Fetty.
The National Geographic winner was Justin Gainer.
The spelling bee winners were in the top 13 in the region of all the RESA 7 counties. There were 48 students total in the competition.
The board members congratulated the winners, and thanked them for their hard work and dedication. The members also wished them luck on their future endeavors and hope to see them back soon for other accomplishments.