WARSAW — The Warsaw Community School Board met Tuesday, Sept. 15, for the monthly board work session. During two presentations were given on topics that once implemented, will provide students with new and exciting opportunities.
Amy Sively, newly appointed principal of Lakeview Middle School, presented the board with information on the recent announcement by the Indiana Department of Education of LMS’s receipt of a school improvement grant. According to Sively the grant will give a total of $723,100 over a five year period.
The purpose of the grant is to create a dramatic change at LMS. Teachers will be given multiple development opportunities that will provide them with necessary skills to meet the needs of all students. Sively explained the application process for the grant was highly competitive with over 30 schools competing for grants.
The plan to utilize the funding will include five different stages, one for each year. During year one, 2015-2016, staff will work to develop the program through development of power standards and creation of pre- and post-tests and common formative assessment. Sively hopes to also increase communication with staff, develop a system to provide remediation on power standards during the school day, incorporate book studies and begin planning for after-school enrichment opportunities.
In years two through five, mini grants for teachers rated effective and highly effective will begin to be utilized for classroom resources.
In addition, opportunities to participate in training for EL efforts in the classroom or teaching high ability students will be available. Teachers can receive certification through this process while teaching skills to future generations of teachers.
A release time for peer-to-peer learning will be incorporated with leadership opportunities for staff provided. After school enrichment times, personal development on co-teaching for special education an general education teachers, and family nights will be developed.
David Robertson, chief academic officer for WCS, discussed the receipt of another highly competitive grant for the incorporation of a dual immersion program for elementary students. WCS was one of five school corporations in the state awarded the pilot grant for $200K.
According to Robertson, the funds will be utilized to develop and implement a world language immersion program within WCS. Starting immediately, WCS educators and administrators will begin the process of shaping a program that will best meet the needs of the students, parents and global business community.
By traveling to schools throughout the country with similar programs, Robertson hopes to answer important questions and develop plans for the program. Current plans for the program will offer one kindergarten class world language immersion at Eisenhower Elementary. Each following year WCS hopes to add one section to each grade level as a choice to parents.
Both WCS Superintendent Dr. David Hoffert and Robertson stressed this is not an EL program, instead, the program will work as a gateway to becoming multilingual for both English and Spanish speaking students. It is hoped the program will help students refine academic standards in both languages.