Dina Coverstone stepped out of the classroom at the beginning of the school year and had what she termed as an eye opening and learning experience. Due to a generous financial gift from the Laudeman family, Coverstone became an instructional coach for teachers at Syracuse Elementary School.
During Tuesday’s regular monthly meeting of the Wawasee school board in Syracuse, Coverstone, who had been a fifth-grade teacher at Syracuse Elementary for several years, gave a report to the board on what she did during the school year.
She said she wasn’t sure what to expect and it took time to build relationships and trust with teachers in the 25 classrooms in the building. She worked with teachers in a variety of areas including helping them to follow academic standards, goal setting, teacher self-assessments, mapping out strategies for reading and math time, co-teaching with a few teachers, designing lessons for technology integration and much more.
Coverstone noted when she goes back to teaching in her own classroom, she feels she will be a better teacher because of what she has learned from other teachers. She said her eyes were opened to the many good things teachers are doing in the building and also the reality sometimes teachers need a little help or encouragement. Coverstone will return as instructional coach for the 2015-16 school year.
In other business, the board heard a brief report from Milford School sixth-graders Nyla White and Alex Greer on their iCare project. During the spring of each year at the school, as part of the Impact project students take on service projects. Ryan Connor, assistant principal, said the iCare team decided to continue their project on further than the normal few weeks.
Their project involves wanting to visit three or more hospitals and “paint smiles on kids faces.” They said it is important to know someone cares. They also hope to give kids toys, blankets, tied pillows, bracelets and more.
The team will be raising funds for their project. Other team members include Casey Yankosky and Erin McGreevy.
Also on the agenda, during her report to the board Joy Goshert, director of instruction and curriculum, said IREAD-3 preliminary results were released by the Indiana Department of Education May 6. As a corporation, Wawasee had 84.9 percent passing. Milford had 76.8 percent passing, North Webster 85.4 percent and Syracuse 90.4 percent. The final results, though, may be different after remediation and retesting and won’t be posted until June.
Goshert also noted ISTEP+ online testing continued to be a headache with constant interruptions and eventually all Wawasee schools were approved to take part two of the test with pencil and paper. Only makeup testing is being done now and will conclude Friday, May 15. Results for ISTEP+ will be released in August.
In other business, it was noted Wawasee High School’s Academic Super Bowl teams were recognized as being in the top 10 of Class 2 of the Senior Division in Indiana. Schools are grouped together in classifications based on their size.
WHS had two Academic Super Bowl teams qualify for the state competition May 9 at Purdue University. Both the science and social studies teams placed third at the state. It was the ninth year in a row the social studies team qualified for the state.