Area ‘F’ schools’ leadership will remain the same

MONTGOMERY COUNTY, Ind. (WLFI) – Four schools in our area received a failing grade last year. Elsewhere in the state, principals were told they will be losing their jobs at the end of the year after their schools received an F grade. But area superintendents have a different idea.

“I think it’s really sad that we have come to a point in education that we feel like we have to label schools,” Northridge Middle School Principal Angela Blessing said.

Blessing was frustrated and devastated when she found out her school received an F grade from the Indiana Department of Education. It was the only school within the North Montgomery School Corporation to get a failing grade.

Three schools within the Community Schools of Frankfort got an F– Green Meadows Intermediate Elementary, Blue Ridge Primary Elementary and Suncrest Elementary.

“The state Department [of Education] has asked any superintendent who has a school that has received a failing grade to submit some documentation to indicate they have taken a very close look at the leadership,” Community Schools of Frankfort Assistant Superintendent Joel McKinney said.

McKinney said the district submitted those documents, and the leadership at the failing schools will stay as is.

That is not the case at some schools in Gary and Hammond where principals were told they were being fired.

North Montgomery School Corporation Superintendent Colleen Moran also submitted documents to keep staff the same.

“She had to fill out the rubric saying she believes and the school board believes I was effective enough to lead this building as well as the staff,” Blessing said.

Educators said so much of a school’s grade is based on the ISTEP+. So, this year Northridge teachers are teaching students what exactly the ISTEP+ means. They’re explaining it in terms of an Olympic game.

“We’re trying to make it very fun and positive about how they look at the test,” Blessing said. “They have been preparing all year for this by the things that they’re doing. So, are they giving a gold medal effort, a silver medal, bronze?”

McKinney said last year students’ math scores stayed about the same, but reading scores were down. Both corporations will begin the ISTEP+ next week.

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