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Wednesday, May 4, 2016

New programs benefit area students

Friday, September 21, 2012

New and innovative programs in the Monett R-1 School District were described in reports to the Board of Education during the August meeting.

Russ Moreland, director of the Scott Regional Technical Center, said dual credit opportunities for students have started with Crowder College in welding and diesel technology. Discussion has begun on expanding the arrangement next year, including adding marketing.

College credits are available for automotive technology students with Ozark Technical College.

Moreland is serving on a statewide committee to develop a proposal on technical skill attainment. Without a common standard to show skill achievement in specific technical skills, it is difficult to compare programs and gather data to drive improvement efforts.

In his ongoing efforts to promote Scott Tech, Moreland hoped to visit five school districts this year. He plans to make presentations to every sending school in a three year period. Moreland said he typically asks a couple teachers and invites students from districts he visits to accompany him.

Scott Tech classes have a communication arts credit embedded in them this year. The approach enhances essential communication skills so that students taking technical and career training will not fail to learn what their classmates are receiving back at their home high schools.

Instructors are meeting weekly to track student progress on the added discipline. A series of on-going professional development meetings are planned partnering with the Ozark Writing Project to increase literacy in all program areas.

Special services director Elaine O'Neal reported 27 teachers and instructional coaches participated in co-teaching workshops over the summer. Co-teaching by more than one faculty member has been expanded into kindergarten, first and second grades this fall.

Sixteen counselors, teachers and para-professionals took training through the Crisis Prevention Institute. School psychology Crystal Shannon made presentations at three campuses on the Teacher Assistance Team process and documenting interventions.

O'Neal and colleague Meghan Kimani planned to receive additional training in the READ 180 reading intervention program. The training would help them better support teachers using software to improve curriculum, instruction, assessment and professional development.

Monett Elementary School principal Susie Gasser reported her faculty had been assigned to read Rafe Esquith's book "Teach Like Your Hair's on Fire: The Methods and Madness Inside Room 56" over the summer.

Gasser planned to host a training session in the Emerging Language and Literacy Curriculum that provides developmentally appropriate language and literacy practices for preschool children. The four-day workshop was open to Monett faculty and teachers from area schools.

The Monett Lions would conduct their annual screening of students' visual skills on Sept. 26 and Sept. 27, looking for symptoms of amblyopia so that corrective action could be started, Gasser said.

Principal Annette Cozort at Central Park Elementary reported her campus is continuing to work on becoming a professional learning community school. Collaboration during the first month of classes concentrated on planning strong instructional lessons and adding information to the Build Your Own Curriculum software program that helps align instruction with state expectations.

This is the second year for training and implementation of the Positive Behavior Support program. Instructional videos were being added to teach students how to play safely on the playground.

Intermediate School principal Peg Bryan reported the new schedule for the sixth grade exploratory classes provided opportunities for students to try new studies. As a result, Bryan said 68 students this fall enrolled in band.

In May, fifth grade math students received a packet of math practice worksheets to focus on basic skills and multiplication facts over the summer. Those who logged their efforts will be invited to a "fun math" celebration.

At Monett Middle School, principal Dr. Jonathan Apostol reported his faculty was working on team building and improving the intervention system introduced last year to help with academic skill deficiencies. Apostol hoped to build on the system this year to support students with work ethic deficiencies.

Middle school teachers were using each other's "compass points." The strategy provided an understanding of how teacher operates when they work in a group. Teambuilding remained a major focus for the year.

Collaboration is also a key strategy, with two teachers leading the same class. Apostol said this year's focus will be to engage in a conversion about essential outcomes, curriculum mapping, common grading practices and using the same assessments of students.

High school principal David Steward reviewed facility improvements completed over the summer. He said sound in the gym was significantly improved at the opening assembly. Asher George, a senior, had been placed in charge of updating the televisions placed on the walls by the stage in the commons.

Professional development efforts continued to focus on new instructional strategies that integrated technology into each class. Each professional development session between faculty this year will feature two departments sharing their best practices. Teachers would be given time to build the strategies into their lessons.

The Board of Education next meets on Oct. 25.

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