Highlights from 2/21/13 school board meeting

The state of state funding
Taking time to think
Athletic Update
Extracurricular Update

The February 21, 2013 school board meeting was I believe the shortest I have experienced.  There is not that much new going on right now, but here are the highlights:

  • The Athletic Boosters annual fundraiser, Flight Night, will feature 2012 Reds Hall of Famer “The Mayor” Sean Casey and special guest Todd Benzinger.  The event, which will take place March 14 from 6-10:30 pm, will be MC’d by sports columnist Paul Daugherty.  Tickets are $50, with VIP tickets $100.  Call 576-2208 for ticket information.
  • Over 600 high school students have been invited to take AP classes next year.  Students are invited based on their scores on the PSAT and PLAN tests, which provide predictive information on what AP classes students are likely to do well in.  The EXPLORE test, the first in the ACT series (EXPLORE, PLAN, ACT) is given to eighth graders.  We are now using data from the EXPLORE test compared to student performance in ninth grade to predict success in honors classes.  Based on eighth grade EXPLORE tests and teacher recommendations, over 300 students have been invited to take honors classes their freshman year.  The honors program is a great feeder program into the AP program, and this type of evaluation as early as possible helps raise the rigor for our students, so they are college and career ready when they leave Milford.
  • Treasurer Debbie Caudle is monitoring the $750,000 in reductions made this year by line item to ensure these savings are achieved.  She expects no issue in achieving these and the other reductions the board requested for 2012-13 (2% of non-personnel expenses.
  • Thank you to Joe Kuethe, who donated eight flat screen monitors, valued at $400 each.

3 Responses to “Highlights from 2/21/13 school board meeting”

  1. Don Lykins Says:

    I wish the board would focus their discussions around one thing: Higher Academic Achievement. Best way to get taxpayers of all types supporting your schools is delivering high performing schools over a sustainable period – a proven method of increasing property values. Milford has NOT done this, although achievement has increased steadily over the last 5 years, it still lags other local districts significantly.

    As taxpayers we should NOT settle for these mediocre results. Our children are capable of much higher academic performance. As parents we should DEMAND better results, more rigorous curriculum resulting in higher test scores resulting in higher advanced reading and math proficiencies. At McCormick only 54% of 3rd graders are reading at the Advanced levels, where other districts produce over 80%. Ask MORE from our parents, teachers and of course our students!

    IMHO – 3 things are holding Milford back: 1)Benchmarks (targets) are too low 2) culture is not focused on high achievement 3) class sizes are too large.

  2. andreabrady Says:

    Hi Don,
    I’m curious why you don’t think the district is achieving? In just a few years, we’ve increased our performance index from 100 to 105.1; we’re now in the top 10% of districts in the state. We are higher than Loveland and many other local districts.

    This is a huge jump for just a couple years. This is coming from changes in philosophies & approaches (culture), which is hard to do overnight, and we expect further increases in how our students achieve.

  3. Don Lykins Says:

    See, that’s just it. You don’t target high performing districts. I aim higher than Loveland.

    My targets are Wyoming(112), Madeira (111), Mason (110), Sycamore(109), considered tier 1. Tier2 are Mariement (109), Forest Hills (107), Lakota (106). Tier 3 is Milford (105), along with Loveland, Ross, Kings.

    Wyoming has two elementary schools who consistently deliver 81% of their 3rd graders with advanced reading proficiency. McCormick only has 54% (2011/12 data). They do this by establishing a culture of higher benchmarks/targets, smaller class sizes, reading intervention with parent volunteers – all at nearly the same per pupil spend as McCormick. I’m writing a case study on this.

    Of course, many of these districts spend more per pupil, however look at their property values. Could our houses be valued 30-50% higher if Milford produced Tier 1 level performance? I think so and might conduct research to find out.

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