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Mitchell School Board Takes Steps To Improve State Grade

Last updated on Tuesday, September 13, 2011

(MITCHELL) - The Mitchell School Board is embarrassed that when the Indiana Department of Education handed out letter grades, Mitchell flunked.

"As a board we are extremely concerned," said Board President Chris Shaw during the Mitchell School Board meeting Monday night. "We will not just stand by."

The grade was based on test scores and reflect the assessments schools have been getting since 1999.Under state law, any school that did not make Adequate Yearly Progress in the federal No Child Left Behind program could receive nothing higher than a C. The AYP standard includes attendance, graduation rates and test scores.

Mitchell schools: Burris Elementary, Hatfield Elementary School and Mitchell Junior High School all received a D,. Mitchell High School received an F. All four schools failed to make AYP.

Shaw said the board will work on a solution. He directed Superintendent Steve Phillips to meet with administrators and develop a plan so the school will have a passing grade by spring.

"And a D is not a passing grade," Shaw said. "I'd like to see an A."

The Board will meet in October to devise a plan, Shaw said.

According to the Indiana Department of Education, if Mitchell's schools don't improve and remain on academic probation they could be subject to state intervention, which may involve personnel changes, merging with another school, or assigning a management team to operate the school. Mitchell High School has been on probation for the past two years.

In other business:

* The board approved the 2012 budget. Superintendent Steve Phillips informed the board in their August meeting that due to general fund expenditures greatly exceeding revenue, it's important that there is a reduction in spending.

Because of a declining enrollment, Mitchell schools expect to receive less money from the state in their general fund, which is their main operating account.

This year, the general fund total is $13,308,457. For next year, the school is advertising a general fund budget of $12,916,872.

The rest of the budget is funded though local property taxes and state and federal money. The school budget for 2012 is $20 million.

* The board accepted the resignation of Brad Abplanalp as the high school assistant track coach.

* Approved maternity leave for Lindsey Seitzinger. Allison Kern will replace Seitzinger while she is on leave.

*Approved the hiring of Sharon Randolph who will be Mitchell High School café manager. She is replacing Joyce Tanksley, who retired.

* Approved Buddy Hall as MJHS boy's track coach and Brian Bolton will be the sixth grade boy's basketball coach.

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