Superintendent upset with test scores

W hitehall Central School District Superintendent Elizabeth Legault has been analyzing data and researching educational policy in an attempt to turn around some disconcerting trends at the district.
Legault reported to the board of education on Monday, that she had received data from the state for grades 3-8. Although the students are doing “fantastic” in science, that is not the case for mathematics and English Language Arts (ELA). Legault was particularly concerned with the reading comprehension in grade 5, where well over 90 percent of students are reading below the recommended grade level.
“It is not okay for our kids to not be at this level and we cannot be complacent for much longer.” Legault stated, “There is no more room for excuses.”
As she strives to change this trend, Legault has sent educational books to teachers, board members, faculty and staff, illustrating the necessity of data driven instruction, intensive intervention and working well in planned learning communities.
“I think intensive intervention and the new block schedule will help students push and pull each other to success, through heterogeneous groupings.” Legault added.
Start Date, Special Meetings Set
In order to prepare the educators and staff of the schools for the ensuing changes, Legault has established some special meetings and superintendent’s days.
On Aug. 28 there will be a new teacher orientation, to help prepare the district’s 10.5 new hires for the upcoming school year and give them an opportunity to settle in before the school year begins.
Additionally, Legault has pushed back the official school start day to Thursday, Sept. 4, in favor of implementing two superintendent’s days on Sept. 2 and 3.
Legault explained that the first superintendent’s day will consist of the usual state mandated information, while the second will be more involved with the block schedule, teacher planning and organization.
“I want people to feel like they have their feet underneath them.” Legault explained her rationale.
Board member Frank Barber joked, “Are you sure the students will be agreeable to start a day late?”
Walking the District
In an effort to get parents and guardians more involved in the learning process, Legault said she has been walking around the district, speaking to parents and guardians, telling them what the school has to offer and hopefully getting students enrolled.
“I’ve been introducing myself, telling them what we have to offer and making sure their children are enrolled in school.” Legault elaborated, “I want people to know that we as a district are accessible and if I have to, I’ll go to them.”
She has already perused Broadway on her quest to get students enrolled and said that she has already revisited a home that didn’t enroll their kid, after she first spoke with them.
Legault said she plans to continue her campaign to the mobile home park, Dresden and Hampton.
“There are some houses that need our attention in this district.” She said.
Legault did note that as she makes her way around the district, enrollment for the upcoming school year is slightly up.

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