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Crawford Schools won't forget about high achievers

July 23, 2008
Debbie Ade, the high ability coordinator for the Crawford County Community School Corp.'s five elementary schools, updated the corporation's board of trustees last Tuesday night about state-mandated changes to the program.

Ade, also principal at English Elementary, said the state requires high-achieving children must be identified by one of three categories: overall high achievers, high achievers in language arts, and high achievers in math.

According to the new law, all schools must address high-achieving children in grades kindergarten through 12, Ade said.

To indicate what research says about high achievers, Ade gave school board members and those in the audience a quick quiz. What they learned may have surprised a few:

•High-ability children don't thrive with more work. Instead, they need different work.

•Do not use a high-ability child to tutor another child in order to have each child progress. The high-ability child doesn't learn more.

•Just because a child has high ability in one area does not mean the child has high ability in all areas.

•Do not expect high-ability students to be model students.

•Intelligence is not inherited and, therefore, can change.

•High ability cannot easily be measured by intelligence tests and tests of achievement.

•A good teacher cannot teach any student. Teachers of gifted students need special abilities.

•Even if the curriculum is accelerated for all students, services are still needed for high-ability learners.

•Not all children have high ability.

•Most children do not suffer emotionally and socially when grade accelerated.

•The brightest students tend to make the lowest achievement gains in school.

•High-ability students are not needed in all classes so that students do not lack positive role models for academic and social leadership.

Ade said the law was passed because high-ability students were not making the same type of gains as other students even though they were at the top of the scale with the Federal No Child Left Behind Act.

Ade said Crawford County's plan includes having a high-ability coordinator at each of the corporation's schools and better equipping teachers to address those students.

Earlier in the meeting, Crawford Circuit Judge K. Lynn Lopp swore in newly elected trustee Lee Holzbog and re-elected school board members Debbie Kaiser and Tim Jellison. Holzbog served on the board in the 1980s.

The board then voted 7-0 to keep Kaiser its president and to make Donnie Benz vice president and Jellison secretary.

As part of its annual reorganization meeting, the board also voted 7-0 to reappoint Martha Stroud as corporation treasurer; to approve an annual salary of $2,000 and a per diem stipend of $64 for additional meetings for board members; to approve a per diem of $35 for meals incurred in state and $50 for those incurred at out-of-state meetings and the corporation-approved (IRS) rate for mileage expenses; to appoint the junior high school principal to serve as the board's representative to the Crawford County Youth Service Bureau Board; to designate the Clarion News and The Corydon Democrat as the newspapers for publication for official notices; and to approve the members of the board of trustees to serve as the corporation's board of finance.

In other business, the board:

•Approved, 7-0, the following consent agenda items:

—Garry Sheller as vocational welding and Jasper Engines and Transmissions instructor;

—Donna Gray as a volunteer advisor for the Family, Career and Community Leaders of America;

—The first reading of several NEOLA policies;

—Dennie Stroud as a volunteer for the corporation;

—Pam Nemeth, current secretary at Marengo Elementary, as assistant treasurer for the corporation and to post the secretary's position;

—Karen Sheller, current teacher at Leavenworth Elementary, as assistant principal at CCJSHS in charge of the junior high school and to post her teaching position;

—Mary Fetz as the corporation's representative to the Crawford County Library Board;

—The adoption of "Growing Toward Greatness" as the corporation's vision statement and "Crawford County Community School will provide a quality education, challenging ALL to be successful" as the corporation's mission statement;

—A curriculum stipend of $80;

—Shannon Kenner's resignation as remediation aide at Milltown Elementary and to post the part-time position;

—Switch the elementary schools to a nine-weeks grading period;

—Lisa Schaftlein as assistant track coach for 2007-08 and 2008-09.

—Michelle Fitch's resignation as head cook at English Elementary.

—The bid of Reliable Propane Inc. It was the low bid.

—CCJSHS Assistant Principal Amy Belcher's maternity leave from Sept. 25 to the end of the semester.

—Gerald Hodges as boys' varsity tennis coach and Jeff Balmer as junior high school cross county coach.

•April Fraze as Title I teacher at Milltown Elementary.

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