TNReady test scores will not impact students final grades this year in DeKalb County
The Board of Education took that action Thursday night during the regular monthly meeting held at DeKalb Middle School.
Students across the state started taking the online standardized tests last month but thousands couldn’t log into the system or complete the exams due to technical problems. As a result, state lawmakers adopted legislation to keep the TNReady tests from counting against students, teachers and schools.Test scores may only count if they benefit students, teachers and their districts.
The legislation specifies:
•Each local board of education may choose the percentage within the range of zero percent (0%) to fifteen percent (15%) that scores from the TNReady assessments administered in the 2017-2018 school year shall count on a student's final grade for the spring semester.
During Thursday night’s meeting, the board of education set that percentage for DeKalb County at 0% for the spring semester.
In other business, Director of Schools Patrick Cripps updated the board on personnel moves since last month.
Sydney Johnson, Sarah Noe, and Carol Swope were all granted a leave of absence as requested while teachers Holly Espinosa, Melanie Fitzgerald, and William Jarvis, and educational assistant Heather Soto have all resigned.
Susan Hinton, Adult High School Supervisor/Instructor gave her annual end of year report to the board.
The DeKalb Adult High School served 13 students during the 2017-18 year. The students earned 40 credits and three either have or will soon graduate.
“DeKalb Adult High School is not for everyone, however, if you dropped out of school in your junior or senior years, you should consider coming back and completing your education,” said Hinton.
“It can make a big difference in your life, especially in your paycheck”.
“It doesn’t matter to us why you didn’t finish high school. What matters is that you are exploring ways to earn a high school diploma for adults now in the most convenient way,” Hinton continued.
“Now is the time to complete your high school education. At DeKalb Adult High School, you get a second chance to earn a high school diploma”.
Hinton also read from essays prepared by two students who explained the positive benefits of having participated in the Adult High School program.
How to become a student at Adult High School:
*Be a DeKalb resident, 18 years of age or older
*Request an appointment at the DeKalb County High School Guidance Department at 615-597-2249.
*Send your transcripts to DCHS
*Meet with the Adult High School Supervisor for a conference
*Adult High School begins and ends on the school calendar/hours differ.
*You may work online and at school as well.
In other action, the board also gave permission for the formation of a high school fishing club.
Karen Knowles, Principal at Northside Elementary School updated the board on activities there. “We are excited and we will come back with some specific numbers for you next month but we are finishing our benchmarks Friday. That’s our math and reading assessments that we give three times a year and we have experienced huge growth. It’s a huge celebration for Northside students, faculty, and staff. Everybody has played a part. We are really excited about that,”she said.
“Next Wednesday, May 16 we will have awards day at Northside starting at 8:15 a.m.; Thursday, May 17 we’ll have a musical at 8:30 a.m., 12:30 p.m., and 6:30 p.m.; and Friday, May 18 we’ll have a talent show at 12:45 p.m.. Everybody is welcome to attend,” said Knowles.
Amanda Dakas, Principal at DeKalb Middle School also gave an update.
“I want to acknowledge our PTO. The parents of our community and the community as a whole, they have done a really nice job of supporting our teachers through Teacher Appreciation Week and also our Career Day. It went over very well. We had several teachers, Suzette Barnes and Angela Johnson who oversaw our Career Day and we had every industry in DeKalb County and even Life Flight from Vanderbilt and other resources there to show our students the possibilities for their future. We appreciate everyone who participated in that,” said Dakas.
“We would also like to celebrate our benchmarks. So far what we have noticed is that we have anywhere between 1.5 years and 4 years worth of growth that we are seeing through reading and in math. We have lots to celebrate and we are very proud of our teachers for that and our students”.
“Upcoming dates, Tuesday, May 15 is our musical night performance at 6:00 p.m. and our talent show will be at 1:00 p.m. on Wednesday, May 16 and then on Monday, May 21 we will have 6th & 7th grade awards at 9:00 a.m. and 8th grade awards night will be at 6:00 p.m.” she said.
Director Cripps reported that DCHS will have Senior Awards night on Monday, May 14 starting at 6:00 p.m. in the gymnasium and the high school graduation will be Friday, May 18 at 7:00 p.m. on the football field. Members of the Class of 2018 will participate in a Senior Walk at Smithville Elementary and DeKalb West School on Thursday, May 17.
Cripps also mentioned that this is Teacher Appreciation Week. “ I want to say thank you to our teachers for their hard work and dedication. They have the opportunity to change a kid’s life each year and for generations to come so to them and to our educational assistants and administrators, thank you for the work you do. It’s also nurses week and we want to thank our nurses for taking care of our kids,” said Cripps.
School Board member Jim Beshearse also recognized Earl Jared and Aaron Young of the maintenance department for their quick response in putting out a fire in an air conditioning unit on the high school roof last week.