One local school district is showing marked improvement in teaching elementary school students in core subjects. Each meeting, the Pinckney Community Schools Board of Education invites representatives from select schools in the district to give a presentation on all that’s going on throughout the year. Thursday night’s meeting was a joint presentation from the principals of the two elementary schools.

Principal Les Sharon of Country Elementary and Principal Yvonne Taylor of Farley Hill shared what was mostly good news to the Board. The focus early on was math and reading skills from their 2nd and 3rd graders. Using RIT scores, which measures student’s learning growth, both schools were above the national norm in math, and very comparable to each other. This was big success to Sharon, who saw a 26-point increase in students meeting or exceeding standards in Country Elementary. He attributed much of that to the settling down of staff after consolidating elementary schools a couple of years ago, as well as getting everybody on the same page academically across the district. He said if you don’t teach the entire curriculum, it creates gaps, and that the next grade level needs to be able to take advantage of what you’ve done in the previous grade level.

PCS Superintendent Rick Todd said this is confirming the data they have, saying this shows that when schools commit to doing something and working together within themselves to achieve it, it very clearly works. In reading skills, second graders at both schools are slightly above the national average, but third graders dip slightly under. Both principals stated in their improvement plan to further work on their reading model, which uses the Journeys system. (MK)