The Mission of ACS is to inspire, encourage and support every student to achieve at high levels academically and socially as responsible citizens by doing whatever it takes.
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This is an exciting time to be a student in Anderson Community Schools! ACSC has embarked on many new adventures including our new C.O.M.P.A.S.S. and AHS Online Academy programs... (CLICK ON THE ARTICLE TITLE TO SEE THE ENTIRE ARTICLE.)
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Retired teacher: $100 daily
Finding a Way
After one quarter of the 2015-2016 school year we are pleased to report a number of positive changes in our school system’s culture and philosophy “Where YOUR students are OUR priority!”
Our school mantra is Whatever It Takes and it all began last year with the Faces of ACS. The Faces of ACS (student pictures randomly chosen) are on the side of all of our corporation vehicles as we advertise the above stated philosophy. How? We simply ask our teachers and staff to develop the appropriate and professional relationships it takes to show our students and their families how much we care about their future. Your first question should be is it working? In order to be successful you must have order in the classroom so let me share a few of our first quarter disciplinary statistics with you compared to the first quarter of the 2013-2014 school year.
Finding a Way
If a student is sent to our Deans for behavioral issues we log those entries. Log entries during the first quarter of the 2013-2014 school year were 6192. Log entries for the 2015-2016 school year were 4157. This is significant in the quality of change that is being embedded in our school’s culture in every building and allows our teachers the opportunity to impart knowledge in a safe, healthy, and orderly manner.
Secondly, we had 1125 In School Suspensions in 2013-2014 and first quarter this year we had 548. Out of School Suspensions were down from 475 to 209 as we look for alternatives to placing students on the streets. Our GAP program for high school students, the Success Academy at our middle school and high school, and our newest program COMPASS, all center around the philosophy that some students learn differently but all students can learn.
At Anderson Community Schools we take very seriously the assessments we are mandated to provide our students. Over the last few years we have become more concerned about the validity and reliability due to the multiple changes made to testing.
We are also concerned with the amount of time it takes away from classroom instruction to provide tests. According to the comprehensive report by the Washington-based Council of the Great City Schools “Eighth graders spent an average of 25.3 hours—or more than four school days—taking mandatory tests in the 2014-15 school year, the highest number of hours in any of the tested grades. That's not counting optional tests and those given periodically by teachers to gauge student progress.” With multiple hours of testing there should be improved results; however, the study states, “There is no correlation between time spent testing and improved math and reading scores.”
Because of the above stated concerns and research the Board of School Trustees adopted Resolution #R-2015-54 which in summary states that we have no faith in the results of the 14-15 ISTEP+ test and therefore, the Board of School Trustees of the Anderson Community School Corporation approves Anderson Administration to proceed with utilizing data, results and letter grades from the 2013-2014 school year. Why?
Recently, during the August 2015 Indiana State Board of Education meeting, information was provided that there are issues with grading portions of the 2014 ISTEP+ test – a main factor in the state’s rating system of schools; and there were two different versions of the ISTEP+ test; and there was a difference in the rigor of the two versions of the ISTEP+ test.
We all believe in accountability but we must find a way to make sure students are truly being assessed, through multiple measures, not one standardized test.
We will honor our school’s grades as determined by the state’s A-F grading policy, but we know it is not accurate, nor an adequate portrayal, of the excellent education each of our students is receiving by our excellent teaching professionals.
On October 28, 2015, we were excited to send 48 pre-calculus and calculus students to Purdue University as Mr. Ziuchkovski’s class provided Purdue with a proposal entitled STEMulating Indiana. All faculty and graduate students, along with dignitaries were invited to hear our students speak about their Calculus project.
The proposal from our students was a comprehensive proposal aimed at improving the status of STEM (Science, Technology, Engineering and Mathematics) education statewide at all levels and providing a future workforce that is competitive in an increasingly STEM focused society.
We are very proud of all of our students but this was an honor for some of our seniors to present their findings and research about STEM. STEM is an area of concern and many universities are spending a great deal of time and research money across the United States.
Congratulations seniors in Mr. Ziuchkovski’s class!
December 14, 2014
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