Hendricks County Flyer, Avon, IN

School News

March 14, 2014

School board approves grants, discusses literacy

DANVILLE — The school board here approved two grants for the Danville Community School Corporation at its Monday evening meeting.

The first is a $15,000 technology grant for a conference that Danville has been selected to host. The corporation was chosen by the Indiana Department of Education Office of eLearning to host one of the 19 summer conferences throughout the state.

The board gave approval to utilize the $15,000 grant for “Conference on a Couch” — a conference on June 20 to capture what goes on in between sessions at a conference.

“Some might say some of the things you get out of it is what goes on in between sessions,” Tim Kasper, director of eLearning at DCSC said.

Technology at the high school has also improved with implementing My Big Campus, a Learning Management System that extends the classroom to a safe and engaging online environment; #247Tech which is having teachers come together to discuss what’s working in their classrooms; and a student center where students can go to their fellow students for help.

The other grant that was approved was one through the Division of Homeland Security. The grant was for about $17,000 from the state and is a matching grant. It is for the purchase of keypads and cameras for the middle school, PACE program, etc.

In other news, the middle school here plans to implement a literacy program for fifth- through eighth-graders.

Principal Matthew Vandermark said they plan to focus on writing and reading strategies to help the students become better writers.

“Our goals for our students are to use research-based reading strategies for routine writings, implement a writing focus for them and to improve writing through common writing process,” he said. “We want to recognize the students’ weaknesses and identify students’ needs.”

Teachers at Danville Middle School started giving input about this literacy program last year, and the school has started to work on the student’s expectations such as complete sentences, spelling, capital letters and paragraph format.

Teachers will report their students’ progress every quarter.

“As of now, 70 percent of our students write at an 80 percent expectation,” Vandermark said. “We want to get all the teachers to grade the writing the same away eventually as well.”

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