The Marshall School Board reviewed the Achievement Gap Report (AGR) when it met June 19. According to the report, the scores are right on target for the district.

The AGR program was established in 2015-2016 for participating schools to create performance objectives which include reducing the gap between low-income students and other students in the same grade.

The Marshall School District identified instructional coaching and one-on-one tutoring as the two areas to reduce the achievement gap, according to the report.

Also, according to AGR, the instructional coach provided more than 200 hours to the elementary school and the Early Learning Center (ELC). During the second semester, this coach needed to fill in as a third grade classroom teacher. The report also said that for the one-on-one tutoring program, the district uses a multi-tier system of supports to help students succeed.

This included meeting to collaborate about students and reviewing data to make decisions to best help these students.

District Administrator Daniel Grady said that the students use the i-Ready assessment, used three times a year, to determine if goals are being met.

“It informs the teacher on the skills they are mastering,” he said.

This report was for the achievement levels for students in kindergarten through third grades. Grady said the targeted class size is 23 students and below. For this year, all the grades were below this standard with the class size average being 17.6 for the kindergartner students; 19 for the first grades, 20.3 for second grades; and 21.0 for the third grades.

In the 2019-2020 year, it is expected the average class size will be 18.5 in kindergarten; 17.6 in the first grades; 19 in the second grades; and 20.3 in the third grades.

For reading, the district’s goal is to have the students by at above/approaching goals. According to the AGR, 100% of the kindergartners and first graders met the goals, while 98% of the second graders and 85% of the third graders did.

In math, 100% of the kindergartners and first graders met the goals, while 98% of the second and 93% of the third graders.

March for funding

Marshall High School was to be a stop on 60-mile march to Madison June 24 at 12:30 p.m. This march is organized by public school advocates hoping to persuade the Republican lawmakers to increase funding for K-12 education in the 2019-2021 budget. There was $500 million already proposed, but the march is to support more funds.

The march started at Palmyra-Eagle High School, one of the schools that the referendum in the spring election. The March was June 22 to 25 and was to end in Madison. The three categories of funding that education advocates are hoping will be increased are funds for special education, mental health and bilingual and bicultural aid.

Grady said that an increase of funds would always be helpful and that the march is independently organized.

Exit interviews completed for all departed staff

All district employees who are not returning to the district participated in an exit interview, Grady reported to the board. He said 14 employees left, many due to location, family issues or other career opportunities. Two additional employees left the district due to budget cut reductions, Grady said.

“I asked the questions, why and how can we do better?” he said. “And how can I grow the district and do a better job. They were all great conversations. I was welcoming the feedback.”

“There was nothing hidden. Is it hard to say goodbye to employees? Of course it is,” Grady said.

The district officials also surveyed parents and caregivers and 242 of them filled out the survey. It was about 30 families less than last year that participated

The board officials voted to have the district’s annual meeting Sept. 18 with the budget hearing beginning at 6 p.m., the meeting at 6:30 p.m. and the board meeting beginning at 7:15 p.m.

The board officials thought that having the meeting after the year began would be advantageous to bring more people to attend.

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