Goals, successes highlight board session

Contributed by Ken McLemore

HOPE – Goals and successes in the fourth quarter of the 2018-2019 academic year were reviewed Monday night and policy revisions made by the Hope Public Schools Board in its first meeting of the summer.

HPS School Improvement Specialist Carla Narlesky took the board through the high points for the 2018-2019 academic year.

Narlesky said Clinton Primary School teachers have asked for professional development time for new teachers to better implement the new Eureka Math curriculum, and “fidelity checks” are being developed for the curriculum and Benchmark literacy instruction on that campus.

Beryl Henry Elementary School has shown Star Assessment improvement in both fifth and sixth grades, with 81 percent of fifth graders increasing their reading scale and 90 percent increasing their math scores. She said 71 percent of sixth grade students have increased reading scale scores and 92 percent have increased their math scores.

ACT Aspire Bootcamp and Writing Bootcamp were offered at Yerger Middle School, Narleskysaid, and discipline referrals for the campus dropped dramatically throughout the academic year this year.

Those figures show declines in referrals from 2017-2018 of 163, 157, 153, and 112 through each quarter to 95, 84, 63, and 61 in 2018—2019. Both of those were down from 166, 183, 210, and 315 in the four quarters for 2016-2017.

Hope Academy of Public Service students registered 2,000 hours of community service during the year; its Denny’s Place Science Garden won Arkansas Master Gardener of the Year Project; and 11 HAPS students will attend a Google Summit at Southern Arkansas University in Magnolia this summer.

Narlesky said the Creative Action Team School graduated its first class of five seniors in May, while students grew an average of 11 scale points on Star Assessments.

A shift of Hope High School to Title I status is being met with leadership development in advance of the change; and, the addition of enrichment and remediation “CATS” days will create opportunities for greater student achievement, Narlesky reported.

In other matters Monday, the board:

–Adopted a certified personnel policy concerning teacher recruitment stipends and rejected policy changes regarding bereavement days, payroll frequency, and sick leave notice.

–Adopted classified personnel policy modifications to strike redundant language in bus driver sick leave policy, adopt bereavement leave notice, and reject elimination of language defining family members.

–Adopted campus handbook recommendations, except for HAPS campus, which needs clarification.

–Adopted Arkansas School Board Association model policies, and modifying the recommendation on advertising on school buses.

–Adopted a district water bottle policy to comply with grant requirements.

–Approved a student transfer from South Pike County School District to the HPSD, with an opinion from district lawyer Allen Roberts that the action will not violate current federal court orders.

–Approved a facilities rental request for Clinton Parent-Teacher Organization.

–Accepted the recommendation of administration regarding personnel for summer school at Clinton Primary, year-end reassignments, new district hires, and resignation of AFJROTC Instructor MSgt. Arthur Mickles to be replaced by MSgt. Jeremy Grice, and hiring middle school assistant band director Michael Herron to replace Kathryn Rose.

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