Drew Central school improvement plans; readying kids for the workforce


At the Drew Central School Board meeting held in their cafeteria on Thursday, May 25, they began to get ready for the next school year. They began the meeting by holding the school board election which was concluded by a vote to keep the board the way it was.

After the group came out of executive session, they approved the school improvement plans presented by the principals of each school.

The elementary school is planning to make two main changes. The first of which is to designate 30 minutes of the day to identify students' possible learning or behavior challenges. This time is referred to as response to intervention, or RTI time.

The elementary school is also increasing from one to three dyslexia specialists.

The middle school principal, Patti Smith, announced that the strategic reading they had been doing was successful due to the increase in testing scores since they began. Strategic reading is a reading curriculum attempts to strengthen reading comprehension. 

It was also announced that next year it is planned for strategic math to be added alongside the strategic reading. Strategic math is a curriculum that provides research based math problems to give children real world application to the math they are practicing.

The high school has not yet gotten back their ACT Aspire Test Scores so they have decided to wait on further action until they have received these scores. Instead, Principal Kenny Pennington discussed what they had already been doing this school year.

He said they had been working on increasing the level the high school taught at as well as the level students are assessed.

The entire school improvement plan was approved for all three schools.

Drew Central also approved two spendings, the first of these was the Skillsoft Enterprise Licensing for $24,000. The Skillsoft Enterprise Licensing is to be mostly paid for by a grant from The National Association for Women in Construction Education Foundation, but Drew Central had to match 10 percent of the grant.

E-rate funding was also approved at a cost of $26,171 which is estimated to be approximately 15 percent of the schools e-rate funding for the year.

Superintendent Kimbraly Barnes was approved after this to be the Drew Central member of the Southeast Arkansas Education Service Cooperative Board for the next two school years.

The school board meeting ended by approving to consider adding a dentists office into the school at the request of Mainline Health Clinics.

The next meeting is scheduled for Thursday, June 20.