Board discusses i-Ready program

Damon Huff - [email protected]

The Mason County Board of Education discussed i-Ready implementation and security at its meeting on Monday, June 11.

Mason County Superintendent Rick Ross said the district will be meeting with partners about the planned police substations on campuses.

“The plan is to have a 16-by-16 out from the bus garage to serve those three schools,” Ross said. “The second one will be where the records room is now at the STEAM Academy.”

Ross also said the district will be getting a system that will have a display in every classroom for notifications.

“It will be able to say things like ‘there’s a tornado’ or ‘there’s an active shooter,’” Ross said.“Teachers and staff will be able to communicate with us to tell us if they’re OK.”

According to Ross, the district is looking into products that will allow teachers to message students directly in case there is chaos.

“If we were to go with this system, we’d be one of the first school districts in Kentucky to have such a system,” Ross said.

Special Education Director Holly Kimble gave an update on i-Ready implementation in the district after one year of using it.

According to its website, i-Ready is a diagnostic program for reading and mathematics that pinpoints student needs down to the sub-skill level and monitors whether students are on track to achieve end-of-year targets.

According to Kimble, after a bit of a learning curve transferring to the new program, the teachers and students adjusted to i-Ready.

Kimble said three diagnostic tests were given last school year for i-Ready. Students were compared to their peers in the district as well as on a national level.

Kimble said in math, there was great growth throughout the district.

“We’re still not up to the national average but we’re not too far off,” Kimble said. “Our kindergarten is actually out-performing.”

Kimble said none of the numbers were alarming for a first-year implementation, as everyone is still getting used to the system.

The numbers in reading were much the same as the math numbers, according to Kimble.

According to Kimble, there was strengthening in the implementation of i-Ready throughout the year and students were consistently passing online lessons in both subjects.

“I know we have a long way to go but I feel like we are definitely on the right track,” Kimble said.

Kimble said the principals are working to be consistent next year K-8 for how teachers and principals should be monitoring the data and implementing it into the Royal Diploma process.

“We’re also going to be implementing some best practices,” Kimble said. “We had some teachers who were really rock stars with this so we’re going to have sort of an idea bank where teachers can share ideas across the board.”

The board held its first reading of a Kentucky State Boards Association policy and procedures update which, according to Ross, has a lot of language related to charter schools.

“I don’t anticipate that ever happening (around here), but we have to update our policies to reflect the law,” Ross said.

Ross said now there is only a 15-day wait period on job postings instead of 30, which he said would help the district expedite the hiring process.

Damon Huff

[email protected]