New Earle Superintendent putting focus on math, literacy
Knowles also making attendance, good behavior a priority
com Earle School District is making a push to boost its reading and math scores and has also implemented a new policy aimed at reducing bad behavior.
First-year Superintendent Tish Knowles briefed the City Council on the district’s plans at the September City Council meeting and said one of the things administrators want to stress to parents is the importance of making sure students attend school.
“We are really keeping a watch,” Knowles said. “So if you know people who are not bringing their children to school, just remind them how important it is.
We can’t get our reading scores up if students are not present – especially on testing days.”
Parents will be contacted by the parent liaison after a certain number of absences with follow up phone calls and e-mails from the student success coordinator, school counselor, and principal, as well as a home visit.
Knowles said the district has also changed the way they report and handle behavioral problems. The district abolished corporal punishment last year and instead has implemented positive behavior intervention and support measures based on the PBIS (Post Behavioral Interventions and Support) model. PBIS is designed to instruct staff in ways to prevent disruptive behavior and enhance the overall school environment.
PBIS coaches work with teachers to provide support and instruct them about effective classroom management techniques or ways to address the needs of a specific student.
“We have a PBIS coach this year for anger intervention and support,” Knowles said. “We are working in teams to try to make sure we are disciplining students appropriately.”
Knowles said administrators are also spending more time evaluating classrooms and teachers and have implanted stricter accountability measures in each building.
“We go in the classrooms every week,” Knowles said. “I take notes and when I get back to the office I enter those notes into the computer of what I see in the classroom and I write to the principal. The teachers and principals are going to be held accountable for what I see. If we are not held accountable for our actions, we can’t do better. So we are doing our best to work through the process and put plans in place to take care of these issues.”
Knowles said she feels the district is moving in the right direction.
“We have a lot of challenges,” Knowles said.
“But we have a bright leadership team working together and I think it is going to be a great year.”