Brewton Middle School offers improvement plan

Published 4:17 pm Wednesday, October 18, 2006

By By Kerry Whipple Bean – publisher
Officials at Brewton Middle School are using new teaching methods to improve student performance, Principal Doug Prater told school board members Monday.
Although the middle school achieved all of its academic goals under the No Child Left Behind Act this year, the school remains in &#8220school improvement” because it did not make all the adequate yearly progress goals the previous year.
But &#8220school improvement” may be a deceiving label for the middle school this year.
Academic achievement in Alabama is measured mainly by scores on the Alabama Reading and Math Test, Prater said.
This year, the state allowed half credit for students who were partially proficient in a subject. Brewton Middle School didn't need the help.
Still, because it remains in school improvement, Brewton Middle School is submitting an improvement plan to the state Department of Education that illustrates its academic goals and strategies for improvement.
Among the strategies are the implementation of the Alabama Reading Initiative as well as other intense learning methods focused on students who did not meet academic goals.
Two years ago, BMS did not meet its reading goals for students in certain demographic groups, including special education students, students living in poverty and African-American students.
Prater said a school committee has examined the data from the past two years to identify weaknesses and make improvements.
Prater said eighth grade is weakest in reading right now.
Goals include increasing the percentage of students who meet the baseline goal to 95 percent reading and moving up 5 percentage points in math.
In addition to setting academic goals, the school is also looking at other areas of improvement - even in how students change classes.
Students now move through the hallways in shifts, which lessens the chaos.
School board member Lillie Dove, a longtime educator, praised the middle school for its efforts.
In other business at Monday's meeting, the board: