2017-10-05 / Front Page

Davison school board hears about great teaching and improved test scores

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The Davison Board of Education held its regular meeting last Monday night. The meeting was full of good news agenda items, highlighting Davison Community Schools’ positive growth.

The Kids First Award was presented to Bradley Clegg, a French teacher at Davison Middle School. Clegg received a certificate, a $100 Visa gift card and a commendation letter. The letter, which was read into the board minutes, said in part that Clegg, “…treats students (respectfully) every hour of the day.” The letter went onto to say that Clegg creates a “sense of belonging, a place (students) want to go.”

The board also heard a report from Eric Chorley, the assessment coordinator for Davison Community Schools, about the progress made in various standardized tests.

Chorley told the board that much of the progress made in third, fourth and fifth grade math scores was due to a math coach working with students and the students’ access to a math lab. Sixth grade math scores were still lagging since, according to Chorley, these students did not have the same access to the math coach or math lab.

The sixth grade math curriculum has been changed, according to Chorley, so that future sixth-graders will have access to the same resources available to third-, fourth- and fifth-graders.

Chorley pointed out that whether students receive a free/reduced lunch had an impact on their test scores. School superintendent Eric Lieske also said that it is “… not new information that poverty matters. We are the only ones that can break the cycle of generational poverty, for the period of time we have the kids during the day.” Board secretary Karen Conover agreed, adding that “free and reduced lunches are the only way to measure economic disparity.”

Chorley explained that the way the district spends money on educating students is impacted by how the state of Michigan allocates funds to local school districts.

“We are not in a collaborative atmosphere anymore,” Chorley said. “The state is pitting districts against each other for students, and the students lose. We are doing more with less (money).”

He added that Davison Community Schools is spending its money more wisely than similarly situated school districts.

Conover put a finer point on the matter, saying, “We stretch those dollars until they squeak.”

In other news, the board approved the eighth grade trip to Washington, D.C., and the Davison High School Band and Orchestra trip to New York City.

Also, the Davison Community Schools Parent University will be held on Oct. 10 at the high school, where a spaghetti dinner will be served. Michigan State Police will be on site to educate parents on how to make sure their kids use social media safely.

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