Medina Journal-Register — MEDINA — With just more than half the school year over, Wise Middle School Principal Elaine Wendt addressed the Medina Board of Education Tuesday night to update its members on the progress of her school’s action plan.
The multi-faceted approach to the year included three main goals to achieve: an improvement in state assessment scores, the creation of a building-wide educational philosophy and culture, and the creation of a way for teachers and staff throughout the middle school to jointly review data in order to improve classroom instruction.
The plan’s uniqueness stems from the addition of fourth and fifth graders to the middle school and the subtraction of the eighth grade class (now in the high school). Wendt said the new setup in the building has led to some “growing pains,” but she added those were expected with the change.
She said one ongoing challenge has been the combination of two different staffs from the middle school and elementary school. Different styles and methods of teaching are needed to reach different students of different ages, and that range has increased with the change enacted this year to house grades four through seven. The change has also led to a wider range of student activities.
With the process of achieving the action plan goals ongoing, and with many of the targeted completion dates set for June, Wendt expressed confidence in the teachers and staff at the middle school.
One goal left board member John McCarthy with a question. Since state testing requirements change frequently, board member John McCarthy asked whether it was fair to evaluate teachers based on an assessment “game that’s constantly changing.”
Superintendent Jeff Evoy said teacher evaluations take a number of factors into account. He said he observes teachers during the year to see how they perform in class.
“Good teaching is good teaching,” Evoy said. He noted that teaching practices are weighted along with student testing performance.
Squires resigns from school board.
In what can only be described as a begrudging, reluctant vote, the Medina Board of Education unanimously approved the resignation of board member Susan Squires Tuesday night.
Squires’ resignation is effective March 12.
Citing job and family concerns, Squires said she felt she could no longer give the board the attention it deserved from her.
“I fought very hard to win this seat and I feel very strongly about serving the board and the community,” she said.
However, her out-of-town job no longer allows her to do so.
“The district deserves to have someone who is here in the community full time,” she said.
Board member Chris Keller praised Squires for her service, and his sentiments were echoed by the rest of the board.