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County principals discuss plans to improve schools

October 3, 2011

By COLLEEN MCCARTHY
sdnedu@bellsouth.net

The Oktibbeha County School District Board of Directors heard three of the four county principals elaborate on their plans to improve student achievement.
East Oktibbeha County Elementary Principal Yolanda Magee said she recognized her students had special needs and the teachers and administration were working to meet those needs. Using test data, the students at EOCES are placed into groups for tutoring. Teachers work with parents to make sure they are informed on how their children are doing.
Magee also said consistent, sound teaching was a focus at the school. She and other administration members are observing teachers in the classroom on a regular basis. She said she gives the teachers feedback and opportunities to improve. Also, Magee said the school has implemented an incentive program for students with good behavior and perfect attendance to ensure they’re spending as much time in the classroom as possible.
West Oktibbeha County High School Principal Leonardo Thompson said his school has started an after school program and Saturday tutoring to help struggling students. The school’s administration will visit area schools ranked “high performing” to see what those schools are doing to get positive results. He asked the board for help with transportation for the Saturday tutoring so more students could participate.
West Oktibbeha County Elementary Principal Andrea Temple said her school hopes to move from a “successful” school to a “star school” within the next few years. The teachers are focusing on improving the students’ critical thinking and writing skills, which she said will help improve test scores. Temple said she meets with her teachers on a bi-monthly basis to discuss student progress and to give recommendations.

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