This week’s school board meeting in Greenfield had a lot to do with student success as school board members heard a presentation about ongoing programs that support student success, programs that have helped students graduate despite seemingly insurmountable odds.
McClain Principal Matthew Shelton spoke briefly about being pleased with the progress shown on the state report card, particularly the graduation component, released a few months ago, which depicts a new star-system of grading. The district received five stars on the graduation component.
Shelton said it’s the result of work that has gone on for many years through programs like the McClain Visual Learning Center (MVLC) which is headed up by coordinator Jarrod Haines.
The program provides students the ability to take online courses that are in line with state standards and requirements, Haines said, and can be used “as a complete school service … or used to support students with credit recovery and enrichment options.”
The MVLC program, according to Shelton and Haines, has been able to help students at risk of not graduating become more engaged in their learning, stay in school, and earn their diplomas.
That the program is successful, Haines attributes to the team behind it which consists of Haines, Shelton, assistant principal Randy Closson, and all three guidance counselors. Teachers also play a crucial role in the process, he said.
Haines provided a few examples of students who have been successful in the program, students who likely would have dropped out of high school due to seemingly enormous obstacles in their lives. But with MVLC, all are and were able to work toward reaching their diploma.
Closson said the MVLC program “is doing wonders.” Then he talked about another aspect of helping students succeed, something that is ongoing in the district helping to create a more positive environment for everyone. It’s called Positive Behavioral Interventions and Supports (PBIS) and it’s a state program meant to facilitate a climate in schools that supports student well-being, academic achievement, and success.
The initiative is about a shift from punitive measures to positive interactions and changing the mindset of how desired behaviors are achieved. It’s about a positive and supportive environment that helps students succeed.
“It’s a blessing,” board member Sandy Free said, that the students have this kind of support at school. She said you never know what a student has been through, what is going on with them outside of school, and she is grateful that students are able to find this sort of support within the schools.
In other business, athletic director Tim Bolender gave an update on winter sports, including the news girls wrestling team. He said the team just had its first match, but things will pick up for the girls in January. While about a dozen girls began the season, the team is now down to six, who Bolender said are showing up every day and working hard. Bolender also stated that the formation of this girls wrestling team is historic and will be recalled in posterity.
Bolender noted that the new spaces provided by the new gym lobby and locker room expansion project are working out well. Along with that project came a renewing of the photographs that hung in the old lobby and trophy cases. The school has been working to replace most of the photographs with new and brighter reprints.
Bolender said Monday that several of the photos of individuals have been returned to those who are pictured. He said anyone on the All-Ohio wall can reach out to the athletic department to get their photo. They should call 937-981-4812.
He said the plan for the team pictures, which is pending administration and school board approval, is to hold a sealed-bid auction on Feb. 4 during an all-day basketball event against Hillsboro.
In other matters, board members recognized art students, all members of the National Art Honor Society and McClain Art Club, for sharing their creativity across the community through the years at various places like the Highland County Health Department, Highland County Community Action in Greenfield, the Jefferson Street Business Center, YUSA, and in the pre-COVID years of visiting local nursing homes to do crafts with residents, which they hope to return to doing soon.
Art teacher Rachel Soards, who noted that not all of the art students were able to make the meeting due to other obligations, said that the kids involved make it all easy for her. “They are a great group of kids,” she said.
Employment recommendations approved were: certified substitutes, Caden Wisecup, Katrina Williams and Camden Yates; Wendy Coonrod, aide/monitor; Madison Shannon, aide/monitor, clerical, cafeteria; Lacey Hawkins, aide/monitor, clerical; Megan Todd, aide/monitor, clerical; Judy McCarty, cafeteria, clerical; Ethan Hurtt, girls track assistant; Evan McGlone, spring weight room supervisor; and Kyler Willis, middle school wrestling.
The next scheduled meeting of the Greenfield Board of Education is Jan. 9 at 6:15 p.m. in the central office boardroom. The purpose of the meeting is for organizational purposes, where the meeting day and times for the year are determined and the board leadership chosen.
Angela Shepherd is a correspondent for the Greenfield Exempted Village School District.