A successful literacy endeavor at the middle school was one of the things Greenfield Exempted Village Board of Education members heard about at their regular meeting Monday held in the middle school gymnasium.
Middle School Principal Ron Sexton spoke to board members about his opportunity to stay on in the school district as middle school principal following his stint as interim superintendent. He said it has been a lot of fun and he is enjoying it. His wife has joined the district as a substitute.
He said that in his time at the district reading scores have been a convern. He said one of the ways low reading scores are being addressed is through Success Period, a time of day every day that any student under a certain level in reading gets needed reading intervention.
He introduced teachers Tati Weaks and Leah Unger, who have been working with an online reading program that tailors itself to the individual student and their needs.
The Lexia program, according to Unger and Weaks, is working and they are not only seeing vast reading improvements, but students enjoy reading. The online program is combined with silent reading in the classroom, individual lessons with the teachers, “book talks,” and audible books.
Unger noted that students that used to avoid reading are now able to have discussions about what they are reading. Both teachers noted that students are excited about their accomplishments.
There are other things at play with the low reading scores like learning disabilities, generational illiteracy, and dyslexia and a more accessible way to screen for it, both teachers said. But they also emphasized the importance of literacy not only in the learning environment of school, but in being a successful adult.
Sexton said he goes into the classrooms and sees students that just a few weeks ago hated reading, actually enjoying reading.
“They are excited,” he said.
The endeavor was applauded by the school board members, with Marilyn Mitchell saying that it is possibly the best thing she has heard about happening in the district.
At another part of the meeting, Sexton introduced middle school students he called “leaders in academics and athletics.”
Sexton first introduced Racheal Roman, coach of the seventh grade volleyball team, which won the league championship. Sexton said it was the first time the seventh grade team won the league.
Assistant Principal Randy Closson introduced the middle school’s September Students of the Month. The honored students were: sixth grade —Laura Barber, Kaylynn Shumaker, Maguire Ross, Reese Roble, Olivia Stegbauer, Lillian Saunders, Amber Badgley; seventh grade — Kylea Toney, Jeremy Webb, Jimmy Parsons, Maura Roll, Carson Coonrod, Leland Ewry, Brooke Baldwin; and eighth grade — Eli Bogard, Alena Hamman, Cailyn Kerr, Kenton McGlone, Dillon Milburn.
In other matters, board members accepted the district’s five-year forecast presented by Treasurer Joe Smith. The forecast showed the following projected year-end balances: 2020 — $7.91 million, 2021 — $8.09 million, 2022 — $8.11 million, 2023 — $6.87 million and 2024 — $4.31 million.
Smith said the twice-yearly forecast, mandated by the state, is a “snapshot” of what is currently known. The forecast is affected by many variables, the largest being the state budget, and as the state budget and other variables factor in, the projections are modified accordingly.
In her report to the board, Superintendent Quincey Gray said a district newsletter, which will be a quarterly publication, will be available for students, staff, and families next week. It will also be available electronically on the school’s website (greenfield.k12.ohio.us) and social media sites for community members to access.
Board members approved the itinerary for a trip for Spanish students in June 2020. Spanish teacher Ashley Rowland spoke to board members about the process, and what the trip to Costa Rica would entail. Rowland and fellow Spanish teacher Savannah Cameron will be on the trip. Since both have traveled to Costa Rica before, one or both of them have already been to each location on the itinerary.
Rowland said they will always be together as a group, travel by bus and have the same driver. Their travels include tourist sights and a school visit. The goal, Rowland said, is for the students to speak as much Spanish as possible during the trip, and be able to have a time of immersion in the culture.
“Our lives have been changed by international travel,” Rowland said, adding that she and Cameron are excited for the students “to have the same opportunity.”
Currently, they are working on fundraising ideas to present to McClain Principal Jason Potts. The trip will cost each student just under $2,500.
Board members accepted the resignation of Helen Roe, middle school family and consumer science teacher, effective at the end of the current school year. She is retiring.
Employment recommendations approved by the board were: Kenneth Clifford, bus driver; Carol Wend, clerical and cafeteria substitute; April Collins, cafeteria substitute; Wes Smith, softball assistant; Richard Bivens, middle school wrestling; Ed Bolender, girls softball; Morgan Faulconer, dramatics assistant; Bradley George, boys swimming coach; Keegan Rawlins, wrestling assistant; Randy Abbott, boys eighth grade basketball; Mikel Prichard, boys seventh grade basketball; and certified substitutes: Vincent Benton, Robert Hixson, Hope Abner, LuAnn Roe, Teresa Myers and Josh Carroll.
The next regular meeting of the Greenfield Exempted Village Board of Education is at 7 p.m. Nov. 18 at Buckskin Elementary.