SYRACUSE — Every five years, the Wawasee Community School Corp. goes through an accreditation process where a team visits and thoroughly examines the school district. The school corporation is preparing for a visit from AdvancED next week for the accreditation process.
Joy Goshert, assistant superintendent, gave a report to the school board about the upcoming visit during the board’s regular monthly meeting Tuesday evening, March 14, in Syracuse. She noted the process will actually begin Sunday evening, March 19, when the accreditation team meets with the central office staff and school board.
The team will then meet with parents, community members and the assessment, curriculum and teaching committee (more commonly known as the ACT committee) Monday, March 20. During the morning of Tuesday, March 21, the team will visit Wawasee High School and Milford School and then in the afternoon visit Syracuse Elementary, North Webster Elementary and Wawasee Middle School.
An exit report will be given Wednesday, March 22. The team will visit several classrooms, Goshert noted, with a focus on what students are doing and how they are engaged in learning. “This is really all about continuous improvement for the school district,” she said.
The accreditation team will focus on five standards: purpose and direction; governance and leadership; teaching and assessing for learning; resources and support systems; and using results for continuous improvement.
Also during her report to the board, Goshert said part one of ISTEP+ testing is finished and about two-thirds of the IREAD-3 test is completed. The first part of ISTEP+ was completed with minimal issues. “We have a much better feel for how things are going unlike about the last four years,” she said.
In other business, Kim Nguyen, principal of WHS, gave a report on the school’s improvement plan. He said the school has about 945 students enrolled with the most recent graduation rate being 88 percent, just below the goal of a 90 percent rate.
The school has an improvement team and also several school quality teams covering the areas of climate, Positive Behavioral Intervention and Supports, known as PBIS, college and career, literacy, academic support and professional development and technology.
Nguyen noted school attendance has dropped by about 3 percent in recent years. In addition to a 90 percent graduation rate, the school wants 25 percent of students in dual credit or advanced placement classes, which has been easily exceeded, and 90 percent of students passing end of course assessments in English and algebra.
Other agenda items included:
• WHS winter sports state qualifiers were recognized including Paige Miller (girls swimming), Braxton Alexander (wrestling), Brady Robinson (boys swimming) and Reagan Atwood (gymnastics).
• The board approved two donations of $50 each (Foyle Plumbing and Mr. Rooter) to Milford School for the courtyard, as well as the donation of a bird feeder, shepherd’s hook and bird seed from Ace Hardware in Nappanee.
• The board approved the donation of $1,004 from a pancake breakfast fundraiser held at the Knights of Columbus Hall for the Wawasee High School Leadership Committee and more specifically for the annual school Pow-Wow.
• A donation of $1,000 for the WHS Choral Department from Doug and Kristen Rassi was approved.
• A donation of two small engines from Kohler Engines to the Wawasee Career and Technical Cooperative was approved. They will be used in the small engines classroom at WHS.
• Wawasee received a 2017 digital learning grant from the Indiana Department of Education.
• Several out of state or overnight trips were approved including WHS Robotics Club to Louisville, FFA to West Lafayette and Greenwood, WHS advanced placement classes to Chicago, WMS band and choir to Muskegon, Mich., and WHS DECA to Anaheim, Calif.
• And the board approved the resolutions necessary for the summer construction projects to move forward.