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Coosa County school employees attended In-Service this week in preparation for the upcoming school year.
Superintendent of Education David Stover Jr. opened the In-Service by welcoming everyone back, as well as welcoming new faces. He also shared everything the school system is thankful for accomplishing at Central Coosa. The capital improvements around the facilities are the more obvious improvements, but there are a lot of other things to be proud of that may not be so obvious.
Some of the improvements Superintendent Stover announced are that support staff members’ pay increased to a minimum of $15 an hour, substitute teacher pay increased to $100 a day, and coaching supplements increased 25%, which will allow us to be more competitive in attracting and keeping high quality staff members.
Also, high school students will have an increased opportunity to earn dual credit with Central Alabama Community College (CACC). Our students currently have the opportunity to take CACC classes at no cost, with some of our graduating seniors already on track to earn their high school diploma and associate degree from CACC simultaneously.
In addition, dual-enrolled students have the opportunity to take some of their CACC classes on our campus at the Coosa County Career Tech Center. This includes health sciences (nursing) coursework, as well as criminal justice coursework.
The principals of each of the schools also shared some great news.
Central Elementary principal Kara Forbus shared the impressive data from their iReady Math and Reading scores which made everyone proud. By the end of the school year, Central Elementary had a 133% typical growth rate in reading. This is impressive because the target growth rate is 100%, which the elementary school far exceeded.
The percentage of students at the Early On Grade level in reading increased by 15%, and the percentage of students at the Mid or Above Grade level in reading increased 23%.
In math, CES had a 14% increase in the percentage of students at the Early on Grade level and a 16% increase in the percentage of students at the Mid or Above Grade level in math.
The iReady results for the students attending the CES Summer Literacy Camp were even more impressive because their growth rate in reading was 146%. That translated into a 38% increase in the percentage of students at the Early on Grade level and a 19% increase in the percentage of students at the Mid or Above Grade level who attended camp.
Teresa Franklin, senior professional development specialist at i-Ready, said, “I am so excited about the reading and math growth made by the students at Central Coosa Elementary in 2022-23. The goal in i-Ready is for a school to show 100% progress toward typical growth by the end of the year, and the students far exceeded this target in reading. The progress made in math was 97%, which is also an outstanding accomplishment for a school! The leadership of the district and the school definitely played a major role in this academic achievement, but it could not have happened without the hard work of the teachers and the students. Congratulations!”
Central High School principal Brandi Lee had a lot to be proud of, as well. Mrs. Lee shared that five of our six math and science teachers at the high school are either TEAM certified or in the process of becoming TEAM certified.
In addition to that, we continue to have a science coach on staff and have added a math coach to our staff, as well. This means our students are receiving even higher quality instruction in math and science.
In addition, the SAFE after-school program has invested $108,000 in our students and staff. The program, facilitated by teacher Jacques Mitchell, pays high school students to stay after school to receive tutoring in either career preparedness skills such as interviewing, resume writing, etc. or receive ACT tutoring. Our students can look forward to improved ACT scores for all these efforts.
Staff members also got to hear from Courtney Layfield of United Way who shared all the ways United Way supports our students and provided teachers with an opportunity to contribute to United Way with payroll deduction.
Alesia Ruffin, Uniserve specialist, spoke on the work that the Alabama Education Association (AEA) does on behalf of educators. Thank you, also, to Mrs. Ruffin and AEA for providing breakfast for our staff members.
Former Coosa County schools superintendent Mr. Todd Wingard shared with the faculty about the ValuTeachers investment program. Coosa County Sheriff Michael Howell closed out the morning by speaking about school safety measures and inspiring the teachers about the special calling they have in young people’s lives.
Staff members and visitors ended the morning by enjoying lunch together and fellowship time before going to their rooms to prepare for open houses and the first day of school. Thank you to Donna Calhoun from Ed’s Deli in Goodwater for providing dessert.
We are excited about the continued progress Coosa County schools will make during the 2023-2024 school year and look forward to seeing all our students Monday morning at 7:15 a.m.