CHMS to improve in reading

Published 9:20 pm Monday, November 17, 2008

After low reading scores in Charles Henderson Middle School’s state proficiency exam, Principal Chresal Threadgill is taking steps to improve.

While reading scores have improved since the school started the Adequate Yearly Progress (AYP) evaluations in 2003, Threadgill told school board members Monday reading remains an area of concern, particularly for special education students.

“These numbers are too low,” Threadgill said. “This (-8.22 in special education) could prevent us from making AYP.”

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In response, Threadgill has added reading to the seventh and eighth grade curriculum and implemented literature in English classes, as well.

“Numbers are higher in sixth grade because they actually have a reading class in sixth grade,” Threadgill said.

While the reading classes for seventh and eighth grades have started this year, Threadgill said students who scored high enough on the exams did not have to take them.

“The majority of them do, and special education students do, as well,” Threadgill said.

For students who don’t have to take reading courses, Threadgill said the English class is enough to sustain their skills, with a new textbook that includes writing, vocabulary, grammar and literature all in one.

Beginning in January, students will begin preparing once again for the AYP exams, through Alabama Reading Math Test practice every day.

Starting last year, Threadgill added a 20-minute block into students’ daily schedules to offer lessons on math to improve those scores. This year, reading will be part of it, as well.

Also in Monday’s Troy City School Board meeting, Superintendent Linda Felton-Smith declared this week American Education Week to honor teachers and school officials.

As part of it, the Troy Education Association will serve breakfast to employees at all schools and the central office Tuesday morning to show appreciation.

The board also approved a leave of absence for Elizabeth Mosley, a special education teacher at Troy Elementary School, which will take place from January to May.

In her absence Felton-Smith said she will be replaced temporarily by a certified teacher.

The next school board meeting will be held Dec. 15 at 5:15 p.m.