January 16, 2014

Study program making an impact

By Jerry W. Kram

The new program the New Town school system is using to track unfinished assignments is having an impact on student performance, according to principals who spoke at the school board meeting Tuesday.

Middle School Principal Andrew DeCoteau said that he has noticed a big change since the Middle School implemented the Power of ICU program. The program keeps track of student assignments and notifies both teachers and parents when those assignments are not turned in on time. DeCoteau said that early in the year there were more than 600 assignments that were outstanding. That number has dropped to about 60, a 90 percent decline.

"Since we’ve implemented the program, even the kids are keeping an eye on what assignments are finished," DeCoteau said. "I have to give a lot of credit to our teachers as well. They are going above and beyond in helping kids make sure they don’t get on that list."

High School Prinicipal John Gartner said he has noticed some improvement as well. He said that since students are getting more of their assignments turned in, they have started seeing their grades go up. One result is that more students are getting As and Bs instead of Cs.

"I think we are going to have more students on the honor roll than I can remember ever having," Gartner said. "The kids are starting to see the results of their hard work for themselves and are kind of getting excited about it."

One area where that is still a concern is absenteeism. Superintendent Marc Bluestone said the school still has far too many students who have missed 10 or more days of class. If those students don’t make up the time they automatically fail the classes they missed.

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