Green Local schools has new programs

Published 12:00 am Wednesday, August 29, 2007

Green Local School District has several new programs both in the high school and the elementary school in science, engineering and Web media.

The high school is in its second year implementing career technical classes as part of the High Schools That Work, a Southern Regional Education Board’s school improvement initiative.

The goal of the initiative is to prepare students for careers and further education by improving curriculum and instruction in high school and middle grades.

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As part of the High School That Work initiative, the Advisor/Advisee program was implemented where all teachers are assigned about 12 to 13 students whom they advise throughout the school year both academically and socially.

Green High School’s pre-engineering II course is associated with Project Lead the Way, designed to develop student interest in the

engineering field at an early age.

“Our goal is to implement a third and fourth engineering class over the next two years,” said David Hopper, high school principal. “This class will cover aspects of engineering, such as statics and dynamics, strength’s of materials, thermodynamics and kinematics.”

A Web media class focuses on student’s developing the school Web page and keeping it up to date on a daily basis. They will also assist faculty members in developing their class Web pages.

Elective classes have been added to the curriculum including geography, economics, creative writing and business management.

“Green High School has implemented various leadership teams to aid in the continual school improvement process,” Hopper said.

The teams meet once a month to focus on key issues at the school. The teams are:

Curriculum Leadership team focuses on the curriculum and instruction issues.

Transitions Leadership team focuses on easing transitions for students from grade level to grade level.

Guidance and Public Information Leadership team focuses on the Advisor/Advisee program and to coordinate any public releases related to the school.

Evaluation Leadership team was developed to oversee all of the school data, specifically test scores.

Overall School Leadership team oversees the all the leadership teams and the overall wellbeing of the school.

The Teaching Pathway program available to juniors and seniors is in its second year and gives students a preview of a teacher education program at the college level.

“This has been a great opportunity for us to motivate our own students to enter the teaching field and eventually come back home to teach,” Hopper said.

Also, a Financial Services and Risk Management class is in its second year helping students with the necessary skills to analyze data with several areas of concentration — accounting, commercial banking, corporate finance, financial planning, insurance, investment banking, money management, real estate and risk management.

“The governor has made it mandatory that high schools teach this class or one very similar in the near future,” Hopper said.

The high school also has implemented a new quarterly assessment program Measures of Academic Progress using the online testing system for students, parents and teachers to help students with individual growth.

Last year, an intervention period was implemented for students who need extra help.

“We have seen a dramatic improvement in quarterly report card grades as well as OAT and OGT test scores for individual students,” Hopper said. “Enhancing student achievement will always be our goal while teaching life skills simultaneously — although, teaching life skills successfully have been difficult to achieve over the past few years with the new testing era. The testing aspect is obvious and we must deal with that, but trying to teach students about their future in the real world as a person has to become a focus again nationwide.”

Four new teachers have been added at the high school including Joe Mullins, high school science; David Edwards, band; Nathan Smith, junior high science; and Tricia Kestner, hearing impaired.

Green Elementary School

Green Elementary School is opening a new Science Lab with Ohio Department of Education and Southern Ohio Medical Center grant money to fund the project.

The lab was renovated from an unused outdoor storage building and offers hands-on science kits and resources, technological upgrades and cooperative learning opportunities.

“We believe a quality foundation in science and math instruction is vital to our students’ career choices in the future,” said Jodi Armstrong, Green Elementary and Primary schools principal.

Last year, an elementary library was started with numerous genres of literature and lessons.

“One of my favorite quotes about the library came from a third-grade student after his library class,” she said. “He exclaimed upon leaving the library and entering the hallway, ‘The library is awesome. I’m glad I’m just in the third grade. That gives me three more years to read all those books.’”

The Bobcat Boost is an after-school program funded through a 21st Century Community Learning Center Grant at the elementary school.

Students are provided help with homework as well as enrichment choices, such as, cooking, art, woodworking, computers, line dancing, puppets (life skills), reading and

math games, sign language, sewing and many more.

Green Primary and Elementary schools participate in Measures of Academic Progress testing three times each year.

“This information is diagnostic in nature and provides a wealth of information regarding students’ current growth — goal-setting and projected growth,” Armstrong said. “This information is used as a valuable data piece for driving instruction.”

This year the school has upgraded to a Web-based provider for the accelerated reader and accelerated math programs.

“This change allows students to choose from a much larger collection of books while teachers have more access to diagnostic reports to target their instruction,” she said.

The school also has a hearing handicapped cooperative unit. Students from both Lawrence and Scioto counties are given instruction in both language and sign. A certified teacher and interpreter work together.

“ We set very high expectations for the educational communities of Green Primary and Elementary,” Armstrong said. “These expectations begin with our core belief that all students can learn. We not only ‘talk that talk,’ we ‘walk that walk.’”

Goals include continuing progress and achievement in all areas of the Ohio Achievement Test while providing a safe and inviting learning atmosphere where all are motivated to do their best everyday, she said.

“We, as a school, are proud to work together with parents and community members to provide quality programs for those we love the most — our children.”