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Lanett school administrators share  improvement plans

LANETT — Administrators from the Lanett City School System informed the board about each school’s Continuous Improvement Plan for 2019-2020 this past Thursday.

Missy Smith of W.O. Lance Elementary told the board the elementary school has implemented its new reading program to include kindergarten. She said the goal is to show growth in every grade level for the Alabama Comprehensive Assessment Program or ACAP.

“We’re really expecting our kids to become better readers and be better prepared,” Smith said.

She said the elementary school’s strategies will involve differentiated instruction for students with the use of whole and small group activities.

“We want to make sure the kids have a chance to work independently but also to work in a small group to make really sure that they know the core things they need to know,” Smith said. “Hands-on instruction is real big for us in elementary school. The kids need not just to hear it and see it, but do it.”

She said the elementary school’s English-learner population is growing fast, so the district is curving its curriculum to make sure those students can score well in the English proficiency assessments. Also, the school wants to ensure those students can understand what they are being taught in the classroom.

At Lanett Junior High School, Principal Donna Bell said the school wants to increase its ACAP scores by 5 percent in math and reading.

She said the junior high school started a program this past year called Classwork. Bell said it’s an online program for reading, math and science. The program takes past test data for students and uses it as a benchmark for students.

“It makes individualized education for students,” Bell said. “So, they do not have to learn material that they already know. It focuses on material that they don’t know.”

She said teachers could use that data to put small groups together and focus on a specific topic with groups of children.

Lanett High School Principal Bryant Lumpkin said the high school also wants to see a 5 percent increase on the ACT in reading. The high school saw 100 percent academic growth on the state report card.

Lumpkin said the reading benchmarks need to continue to climb so students can understand how to complete specific projects.

“My students may know how to do the math, but if they can’t understand the word problems and what it is asking, they’re not going to be able to do it,” he said.

For math, Lumpkin said the high school’s strategy is targeted mathematics instruction, meaning it will focus on hands-on instruction as well as small group work.

Also, he said the high school has a motivational goal for students to get involved with extracurricular clubs, sports and groups. The school also has an attendance goal.

“We want to decrease the number of students who are excessively tardy and have absences in school,” Lumpkin said. “We really monitor attendance close and how many tardies students have and who’s been out. We are constantly calling parents.

“We do have attendance rules in place, not only for attendance but for academics and behaviors and we have a positive support system in place to reward students.”