SBDM meets, BCHS addresses CSIP, incoming freshmen to see rotation schedule changes

Barren County High School SBDM council met Thursday. The meeting was rescheduled from Nov. 12.

Trina Rickard, assistant principal, spoke at the meeting regarding the school’s CSIP, Consolidated School Improvement Plan.  

The CSIP has been changing a lot lately, according to Brad Johnson, principal.

The school sets its CSIP, although the state can amend learning targets, forcing the school to adjust its CSIP.

“They’re [Kentucky Department of Education] sending emails daily,” Johnson said.

With new requirements of education stipulations, the Kentucky Department of Education updates schools with information used to amend their CSIPs.

The CSIP is formed to close gaps among different performing groups in a school. Per the Every Student Succeeds Act of 2015, and a mandate to begin this year, schools become targeted for support and intervention if a portion of students perform below the state accountability scores.

BCHS has been placed in TSI, Targeted Support Intervention.

“Around 30 students have caused us to go into TSI,” Rickard said.

The group is defined by lower test scores and performance levels than the general population.

“We’ve addressed this and addressed this,” Johnson said. “We’re doing all we can to raise these numbers.”

Johnson said the school is trying to change some environments, such as test proctor and student dynamics.

The consequence beyond TSI is CSI, Comprehensive Support Intervention. School’s recede into CSI when consecutive school years demonstrate at least one group in the school who continues to perform below state accountability measures. The state has set stipulations describing consequences when schools perform consistently low.

The school has set goals to improve some areas. Student who attain proficiency in math currently sets at 45.6 percent but is planned to increase to 52 percent.

“We try to make it reasonable,” Johnson said. “Each year, you have to raise these percentages.”

BCHS is currently attempting to decrease novice score rates in hopes of increasing the number of of proficient scores.

The school has performed field tests over the last two years, despite the lack of feedback from the state. The class of 2018 was given a science based test which the school did not receive feedback on. The state is holding BCHS accountable for science scores this year.

BCHS is focused on three categories in its TSI, reading, writing and math.

“Theoretically, we are accountable for reading, writing and math,” Johnson said. “Reading and writing proficiency should be the focus of the whole school.”

BCHS’s goal is to improve writing proficiency percentages from 52.4 to 60 percent by 2021.

Along with curriculum, CSIP involves other factors such as graduation and transition rate. BCHS has integrated early graduation for student who demonstrate good cause.

“There are seven to eight Christmas graduates now,” Johnson said.

The school intends to increase its current gradation rate from 95.6 percent to 96.5 by 2021.

“Our graduation rate is really good,” Rickard said. “We’d like to raise that number if possible.”

Amendments to state graduation requirements have initiated changes at BCHS. Next year, the ASVAB assessment will not be given.

Beginning July 2018, the state mandated schools to ensure their students pass a civics exam per graduating. The school designs the exam, but students cannot graduate without passing the assessment with at least 60 percent comprehension. BCHS is currently assessing students in classes like social studies and history but intends to assess students with the civics class.

BCHS plans to revise the incoming freshmen rotation schedule to include a civics curriculum. Freshman students will take physical education/ dance, literacy, health and civics. The schedule will reduce each rotation from 12 weeks to nine weeks.

Transition rates are intended to increase. This number represents students who are prepared to transition from high school to college or the workforce.  

Currently, BCHS has a 74.8 percent rate but plans to increase this percentage with more students involved in college and career ready courses.

Career readiness is 61.7 percent but is projected to increase to 64 percent by 2021. The number of students enrolled in college preparatory courses such as AP and dual credit is increasing.

“We feel like that rate is going to increase,” Rickard said.

Other information included the state’s approval for schools to administer ACT tests to sophomores.

Despite the state denying the budget could pay for every sophomore and junior student to take the exam, it did approve districts to administer the ACT alongside juniors.

The exam fee is $35, cheaper than the test’s normal cost at $50.50.

Members were in approval of an ACT given to sophomore because of useful data it would provide the school.

“You could do a lot with that data,” Lori Crowe, parent council member, said. “It benefits them and you get an official score report.”

Sophomores would be required to take the ACT again their junior year despite taking it the year before. Sophomore exam scores would not be in the accountability records like junior ACT scores are.

The state did not inform the district of this information until Tuesday. The state has set a Dec. 7 deadline for districts to order exams for sophomores.

“Things are literally changing each week,” Johnson said.

At this time, the school plans to meet with sophomores and send a one-call message to inform parents of the opportunity.

BCHS recently completed instructional rounds. The studies include school and board members who travel to classrooms and assess certain traits.

BCHS focused on student feedback.

“Feedback was more structured, not so much praise,” Kelley Ross, council member, said.

The last assessment focused on student engagement.

“We’ve made strides in student engagement,” Johnson said.

The school budget and personnel was last on the agenda.

The budget currently sets around $100,000 from the initial approximation of $143,000.

Personnel was discussed in a closed meeting.

The Dec. meeting has been cancelled since the Nov. meeting occurred late. The SBDM is scheduled to convene on Jan. 14.