High school sets achievement goals

By Jane Krogman

Change is constant at Moffat County High School. With the end of first semester, class changes and new student enrollments as well as semester exams are keeping everyone busy. As you've read earlier in the Craig Daily Press, the changes don't end there.

The high school has been busy throughout this fall, establishing achievable goals. This is the first of a five-year cycle to bring about significant growth both in student achievement and in the climate for learning at MCHS.

I want to take a minute to let you know about the work that has been done by the student council, the faculty and staff, and the parent advisory committee. Each of these three groups of stakeholders has given considerable input into the establishment not only of the goals but of the strategies to reach these goals.

The goals that will become the foundation for improvement at MCHS include two achievement goals:

1.) All students will improve in literacy skills and 2.) All students will improve in math skills.

Additionally, a climate goal has been identified to improve the communication among students, teachers, parents, and administration.

Over the next semester, we will specifically be working to make more positive contacts with parents/guardians of MCHS students and to redefine the role of student council as a tool for communication.

Also, as part of our communication goal, we will be working on a plan to reduce the amount of out-of-school suspensions and to implement a program for natural consequences of misbehavior. Rather that utilizing suspension as a punitive action, we would like to make consequences real and meaningful to the student, focusing on educational value.

In the realm of mathematics, the school district has begun a review of the curriculum to more closely align our curriculum with the state standards. This process, originally set for the 2003-04 school year, was moved up after careful consideration of the achievement of our students. During this process, members of the district-wide curriculum review committee and the math task force will review and restructure the curriculum to ensure greater student achievement. Additionally, all teachers at MCHS will work to emphasize the uses of mathematical concepts within their courses.

Typically, language usage and mechanics concepts are confined to English coursework. However, over the next semester, the teachers at MCHS will be working to determine common rules and common grading standards for language usage and mechanics as well as writing. For example, a student may write a paper for his/her science or history class; when the teacher grades that student work, it will be graded for both scientific or historical concept development as well as the use of the English language and standard writing concepts. In this manner, all teachers require students to utilize acceptable English standards.

Over the next few months, we will be working to bring about these and other significant changes to improve both the learning climate and student achievement. It is with great thanks to the faculty and staff, student council, and parent advisory committees that we have been able to collaboratively create a plan for the future at MCHS.

All interested parents/guardians and community members are invited to visit the school as well as to attend parent advisory meetings, which are held on the first Monday of each month.

Watch for future weekly columns about the issues that affect education at MCHS! (Jane Krogman is the principal of the Moffat County High School.)

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