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SH makes changes regarding HA students

High-ability students are more likely to wind up with their high-scoring peers in coming years in the South Harrison Community School Corp.
In the past, students were moved in and out of the high-ability program in math and/or language arts based on ISTEP scores, teachers weren’t told who the HA students were, parents weren’t informed that their student may benefit from an enriched program and many students were identified in some grades while other grades had few-to-no students identified as HA, Tami Geltmaker, director of curriculum, instruction and assessment, said during the May 3 meeting of the SHCSC Board of Trustees.
Also, cluster grouping, in which HA students in a grade level are assigned to a classroom with a teacher who has specialized training in how to teach gifted students, wasn’t being followed in some cases.
Geltmaker said the new plan is to accurately identify HA students through CogAT (Cognitive Abilities Test) in kindergarten and second and fifth grades to determine those students in the 96th percentile and higher. Once in the HA program, students remain in the program until the parent takes the student out of the program or the student goes through RtI process.
‘What happens is students who are high ability get their work done early and there’s really nothing in place to push them,’ Geltmaker said. ‘We want to see the students push each other to succeed.’
Ways students can be engaged with other HA students include Camp Invention, academic bowls, college competitions and service learning projects.
A second meeting of the Broad Based Planning Committee was set for May 11, as was a meeting for parents of students in K-6 who have been identified as HA. Camp Invention will take place in June. Down the road, the corporation hopes to provide teachers for cluster classrooms with the Dept. of Education HA Language Arts Units to pilot, and the corporation will recruit HA teachers for each building (currently there are none in Corydon Elementary or Heth-Washington Elementary schools).
Several special recognitions were made at the meeting, with the Corydon Central High School concert band receiving a gold medal April 16 at the Indiana State School Music Association Organizational Festival, Corydon Central Junior High’s Academic Super Bowl team being named the overall winner at the April 9 Lanesville Invitational and individual medalists at the April 15-16 Skills USA Indiana Competition: Silver ‘ Craig Hess (South Central Junior-Senior High School) for welding/fabrication and Lawrence Howard (SCJSHS) basic health care; and Bronze ‘ Destiny Avis (SCJSHS) and Brian Wood (CCHS), both for Web design. Also, Tracy Carrillo was selected as a 2016 Fellow in the Woodrow Wilson MBA Fellowship in Education Leadership program at Indiana State University, resulting in her receiving a $50,000 scholarship.
The corporation is footing $100 of the cost for students to attend Camp Invention, with one scholarship available in each SHCSC building.
The trustees approved an early education grant agreement totaling $156,400 spread across two years from the Indiana Family and Social Services Administration and the Harrison County Community Foundation.
Near the end of the meeting, the board approved Policy 5840, which deals with students, criminal gangs and criminal gang activity. The policy is required by the state.
Dr. Mark Eastridge, superintendent of the school corporation, announced an open house at each school building from 6:30 to 8 p.m. Monday, May 23.
‘We are focusing on parents whose students could attend South Harrison but don’t,’ he said. ‘Our hope is that we can get the parents in the buildings to see what we have going on with our Advanced Placement programs and dual-credit program and they’ll want to join our schools.’