When Batesville Community School Corp. students take standardized tests, “even making a 1 or 2 percent gain is a big deal because of how high we’re scoring” already, superintendent Dr. Jim Roberts told trustees June 16.
Data coaches are being assigned to each school to gather, analyze and share test data with other teachers so that they are “more effective in using data in order to drive curriculum.” Five data coaches, all Batesville Primary School teachers, have been named: Amanda Brooks, Angie Weigel, Cathy Ollier, Lindsey Huster and Olivia Shadday. Each will get a $500 stipend.
A new software package called Pivot, created by Five-Star Technology Solutions, Sellersburg, will allow school leaders to track students’ scores from grades K-12 and “make really good decisions” about the learning process.
After they receive the information, “teachers can look at their entire class … and they can break that down into a target group (such as English as a Second Language, high-ability and other categories). It can be a very laborious task otherwise. We do a pretty good job already,” according to Roberts.
Melissa Burton, director of student learning, is training the coaches on how to understand the many assessment scores.
The initiative will be funded by the federal Title II program. BCSC shares about $34,000 of that funding annually with Oldenburg Academy and St. Louis School. The money must be used for professional development and to improve curriculum and instruction.
Trustee Dr. Steve Stein wondered how test information was gathered in the past. The superintendent said administrators, counselors and grade level teams did the work. “We’re wanting to streamline that and make it a little more efficient.” Trustees approved the coaches’ positions.
Tim Hunter, buildings and grounds director, updated attendees about the Batesville Primary School mechanical renovations being done by EMCOR Construction Services, Fort Wayne. “We cleared all the activity out of BPS for the summer.” BPS students will attend summer school at Batesville Intermediate School. Principal Heather Haunert and her staff are working from the un-air-conditioned gym. “Much of the demolition work has been done.”