Tuesday, August 24, 2010

Live reporting - Middle School Improvement Plans

2. Guests/Presentations
a. Middle School’s School Improvement Plans

Annie Sullivan - Principal, Beth Wycoff
a continuation and update of items from prior years, continuing what is going well
adding and adjusting to areas that need to be to continue to make progress
Made Adequate Yearly Progress (AYP) with hard work, continuing to devote effort to maintain that progress
added the bullying policy to the handbooks and to the objectives

Horace Mann - Interim Principal, Michael Levine
Speaking to the effort although not from direct and detailed exposure due to his new role
Gave thanks to those who helped prepare him for this

Remington - Principal, Paul Peri
Did meet AYP in math subgroups but did not meet AYP in the English areas
There are six performance ratings, all the schools in Franklin are in the highest category
Due to this high category a drop of a few points is not doom and gloom, there is work to be done and efforts are underway to provide the progress to meet AYP

Cafasso - looking at the enrollment for the middle schools, enrollment overall is down at all three schools but there are spikes in specific grades. Can you talk to us about class sizes and where you have concerns? Where are the pain points?

Wycoff- I am concerned about by 6th Grade class sizes. We lost a position so the class sizes are going up to 28-29. That is a deep concern for us. Took every class list and even out the classes manually. I think the other grades are managable but not what we had when I came here. I'd like to get back to the class sizes where we could have 18-22.

Peri - You can get in to the low 30's in the Unified arts classes. We are looking for additional furniture from one room to move to another where needed. We are relying on everyone in the building to come together.

Levine - 32% have class sizes over 25, the bulk in the 6th grade; 26, 27 ... The teachers change their strategies to accommodate the individualized instruction. As this gets to the heart of our success, this is an issue.

Glynn - With the changes in class size, how does this affect the performance?

Peri - there is a correlation between class size and goal performance. The goal is to hit 100% in 2014.
Wycoff - something gives at some point. We have all of these other factors, students in warning but not making progress, are we moving the advanced up as much as we are capable of. At some point, when you have these numbers in the classroom, something gives. We have done quite well here in Franklin. The dam will break but not because there is a valiant effort. To accommodate three extra bodies, you can't understand unless you are in the room with them.
Levine - I'll just add that when I started teaching, this was the discussion. I won't say when I started. There was evidence to suggest that smaller class sizes do create better performance. We need to do as much as we can to decrease class size.

Franklin, MA

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