Pinckney Community Schools is working hard to towards helping struggling math students in one of their elementary schools.

Country Elementary Principal Les Sharon went before the Board of Education Thursday night to discuss his School Improvement Plan. Much of the focus was on 3rd graders who weren’t advancing in math up to the same levels as others in the state over the course of each school year. Data suggested that 1st and 2nd graders were showing accelerated growth, but that trend was then reversing when students reached 3rd grade. Various reasons were discussed. One was teacher turnover. Where Farley Elementary has had the same teachers for 3 years, Country has 7 different educators teaching in 3 classrooms over that time.

Sharon said as a result of this some of the teachers have had limited background in 3rd grade curriculum coming in. He also noted inadequate administrative support and oversight on his part, for example, saying he needed to better. Superintendent Rick Todd said he appreciated Sharon owning the problem, complimenting him and the other principals in the district for taking their performances personally.

Todd said this slowing of learning in 3rd grade math was unique to Country Elementary, and that Farley Elementary was showing better than average numbers. Sharon then shared ideas they have begun implementing to help turn things around. He said they now teach math at the same time every day, and students are being taught the same material at the same time across classrooms. Todd said they have focused their curriculum and are working hard to make sure they implement it with fidelity and strong instructional integrity. (MK)