School Improvement Plans approved by Elkin City Schools Board of Education

By Wendy Byerly Wood -

While the school year has been operating for two months, members of school improvement teams in Elkin City Schools have been working hard to prepare goals and plans for improvement.

Although the school system was ranked fourth in the state academically for 2016-17, and in some categories first, the staff continue to seek ways to improve on their achievements.

During the most recent school board meeting, the administrators from Elkin Elementary, Middle and High schools presented their school improvement plans for approval.

EES Principal Pam Colbert went over the elementary school’s four areas for improvement and the goals.

The first area for improvement was in reading, where Colbert said the school’s goal is to increase the percent of students proficient in reading from 77 percent to 80 percent on the end-of-grade exams.

In the area of math, the school plans to increase its proficiency to 70 percent from 67 percent.

For both of those goals, teachers plan to use data to determine which students need additional focus and to extend their reach for gifted students.

Science was a third area for improvement for the school as Colbert said the staff wants to increase proficiency from 78 percent to 80 percent while increasing interest in STEAM (Science Technology Engineering Arts Mathematics) projects and quality project-based learning projects.

The fourth goal focuses on health and safety in an effort to decrease classroom and school discipline incidents while improving student health through improving health assessments.

Principal Lisa Pendry of Elkin Middle School presented her goals a little differently, grouping them based on the priority focus.

Under student personal development, the two goals focused on addressing students’ mental, physical and social elements to maximize academic learning and citizenship, and implementing a positive behavioral interventions and support program in order to reward good behavior and have an understanding of expectations.

The health aspect is being addressed through a full health class being built into the students’ schedule this year, Pendry said. Also, an online bullying class has been developed.

On the academic end, the school has three goals to address. Pendry said those are to increase math proficiency to 70 percent and reading proficiency to 75 percent, while also providing professional development in specific content areas for staff members.

“We want to keep moving forward on the great strides we had last year,” she told the board.

The high school’s School Improvement Plan was actually approved last year as a two-year plan, explained Principal Joel Hoyle.

The goals include increasing proficiency scores on Math I and English II, focusing on improvements to the school climate in response to the work condition survey, increasing the ACT and WorkKeys proficiency and improving on parent and community involvement.

He said staff member Nick Tomlin has been researching where the school is lacking in the parent and community involvement area through surveys he’s been having people fill out at events such as the symphony concert and football games.

Following the overviews of the School Improvement Plans, the school board approved them all unanimously.

Wendy Byerly Wood may be reached at 336-258-4035 or on Twitter @wendywoodeditor.

By Wendy Byerly Wood