Montabella superintendent and school district grades reviewed

By Meghan Nelson • Last Updated 8:34 pm on Tuesday, March 21, 2017

From left, Montabella Community Schools Board of Education Student Representative Sidney Lint, Trustee Katie Ludwig, President Jann LaPointe, Superintendent Shelly Millis and Trustee Eylie Foster listen to information about how to help students meet Michigan test scores. — Daily News/Meghan Nelson

EDMORE — Montabella Community Schools Board of Education members graded Superintendent Shelly Millis’ performance after reviewing student test scores.

Both Montabella and its superintendent received their annual evaluations during Monday night’s board meeting.

Curriculum Director Jacki Frederick presented the annual education report to board members and discussed how the district fared against the state and their goals.

Montabella Community Schools Board of Education Treasurer Sherri Miel, left, and Secretary Ivan Renne discuss Superintendent Shelly Millis’ evaluation during Monday’s meeting. — Daily News/Meghan Nelson

The report is an annual requirement by the Department of Education. When looking at data, Fredericks reminded board members that the information was from test scores from a year ago before reviewing some of the data that stood out and presented it to board members.

One statistic she presented was current fifth grade students’ math scores during their third and fourth grade years.

“As third graders, the first year we had our new math series, they blew the test out of the water,” Fredericks said. “As fourth-graders, they had a significant decline. When you look at that group compared to the group prior to them (this year’s sixth-graders), there was still an increase.”

One area the district did poorly in was elementary school science, and no students who took the state science tests scored as proficient in science.

But in seventh grade science data, 40 percent of students scored as partially proficient, which was similar to statewide data.

Another highlight was Montabella’s ninth grade social study scores increase significantly from 2014-2015 ninth-grade students.

“We are now making plans for school improvements for next year and we haven’t seen results of our strategies from last year,” Millis said. “It’s an interesting process. We’re going off of last year’s data assuming we’ll be similar this year.”

Strategies at the elementary school include implementing a reading series, having specialized small classes for at-risk students, providing a technology coach and continuing professional development.

At the junior/senior high school, strategies include specialized small classes for at-risk students in geometry, algebra I, and algebra II; lab classes for middle school English language arts and math; a technology coach to work with teachers; and professional development.

The state scores impacted Millis’ superintendent evaluation, which board members completed Monday.

School board members were split between whether Millis was minimally effective or effective on student achievement and progress on district school improvement plan.

“As Jacki presented today, I don’t think we met the established goals,” Millis said. “I think minimally effective is probably what the data says. For school improvement goals, we were kind of all over the place.”

Members ultimately decided to go with minimally effective for student achievement and progress portion of the superintendent’s evaluation.

Other components of Millis’ rating included other areas such school improvement, leadership, research and differential instruction, processes, professional learning. The school board marked Millis as effective or highly effective in all those areas.

School board trustees calculated Millis’s rating to be a 3 out of 4, meaning their superintendent is effective.

“That’s what I’ve said all along,” School Board Secretary Ivan Renne joked.

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