Each of the buildings within the Greenfield Exempted Village Schools district has a confidential safety plan in place, and the matter of student safety is always an ongoing effort on the part of the staff and the administration, superintendent Joe Wills said at Monday’s board of education meeting.
With the “heightened concern” following the deadly shooting at a Florida high school on Valentine’s Day, Wills said he and resource officer Kevin Little and district safety director Bradley George, who is also the district’s transportation supervisor, are meeting with each and every staff member, whether individually or in small groups, to address any concerns that staff may have regarding their building’s safety plan.
Wills said that student safety is discussed throughout the year. Drills are also practiced throughout the year.
“We are just trying to take a more proactive approach in trying to meet with staff individually,” he said.
On another matter, Greenfield schools, as previously reported, received a check from DP&L in January for more than $12,000 for the energy savings associated with the district’s replacement of about a quarter of the lights across the district with energy-efficient LED bulbs. The superintendent reported Monday that the money has been used to purchase more LED bulbs, and replacing lights in more areas of the district has already commenced.
Changes initiated last year in kindergarten through second grade at Rainsboro Elementary are working for the students, according to teachers speaking at Monday’s meeting.
Kindergarten teacher Christy Wagner and Title 1 teacher Janet Gaddis told the school board about the success of some changes that have taken place with the students in regard to “differentiation,” and accomplishing that through flexible grouping of students in reading and math.
It used to be that students meeting with an intervention specialist would be pulled from the classroom, but the Rainsboro teachers have tried to limit the disruption of students and maximize their learning by the intervention teacher coming to the classroom and working with small groups of their own while the homeroom teacher does the same. The flexible groupings allow for student rotation based on an individual students’ needs. According to the educators, this way of doing things has more than doubled the students’ daily “small group, leveled instruction.”
“The students are always with a teacher,” Gaddis said. That makes for “minimal interruption,” according to Wagner, who added that interruption was a big issue before because students given independent, meaningful activities to do while other students were in small groups wasn’t always a productive endeavor.
The teachers see that the changes are truly helping the students, Wagner said.
Rainsboro Principal Quincey Gray said that they are looking to extend the flexible group learning to beyond second grade in the near future.
Third-grade teacher Marci Reeves, who brought along a couple of her students, also detailed a learning program utilized by her students. It’s called Compass Learning and it is done on the computer. It is an individualized program that is based on a student’s needs, she said, and keeps things challenging for the students. She said it is not only educational, but “kid-friendly, intriguing and entertaining.”
The students each told board members what they liked most about Compass Learning, and one student demonstrated the program on a laptop for board members.
Items on the consent agenda that were approved by the board of education included a donation from Ed and Cora Hamilton, the schedule of events of the McClain Quick Recall team for its trip to Illinois in April, and the annual Washington, D.C. middle school trip in April.
Employment recommendations approved by the board were: Jennifer Carroll, cook; Shannon Coleman, cook; Heather Smith, cook; Tricia Shope, bus driver; certified substitutes Rylee Bouillion, Brandon Uhrig, Cathy Faulconer, Joshua Stackhouse and Maredeth Robinson; Olivia Simmons, aide/monitor, cafeteria; Melissa Trent, cafeteria; Payton Smith, student worker in cafeteria; and Keith Penwell, softball volunteer.
Board members went into an executive session during Monday’s meeting to consider employment and the purchase of property, and to discuss “charges or a complaint relating to a student,” according to Wills prior to the executive session. No action was taken when the board went back into open session.
The Greenfield Exempted Village School District Board of Education next meets in regular session on March 19 at 7 p.m. in the central office boardroom. The meetings are open to the public.