Mt. Vernon Register-News

February 25, 2013

Most seniors on track to graduate

By RICK HAYES
rick.hayes@register-news.com

MT. VERNON — — By RICK HAYES

rick.hayes@register-news.com

   MT. VERNON — Mt. Vernon Township High  School’s senior class  is on track to graduate 92 percent of its students this spring, it was reported at Tuesday’s Board of Education meeting.

 “Reports indicate the class of 2013, at the end of the first semester has 92 percent of its seniors on track to graduate,” Superintendent Mike Smith noted.

   “There’s probably another five to 10 students who are within a half credit to a credit of that, and we’re really focused on making sure through our (computerized recovery program), from the courses we have available to help those students get an extra credit or two to make sure they graduate too,” Principal Wes Olson said.

   “Our goal is to get everyone at least a benchmark of  90,” Smith added.

   “I can tell you just by looking at the three semesters we’ve been looking at, this is a one semester gain,” reported Assistant Principal Rob Pipher, who provided the first semester Dash Board report at the meeting. “Seventy-eight  percent were on track at the end of last year so that’s a 14-percent gain with our seniors.” Pipher said the sophomore class is the only one that has fallen off, which is at 83 percent. First semester freshmen stood at 86 percent.

   Pipher indicated that failing grades have also shown a decrease, comparing numbers from the start of school last  year to the start of school this year.

   “This year we’re at 87 percent of A's, B's and C's, which is a great improvement, but more importantly, the failing grades have dropped. We started at 7 percent and are down to 4 percent. I think that on that end we’re doing a lot better, which does a lot for curriculum. We don’t have as many students making up courses,” he said. “We’re able to offer them a wider range of courses because they are not failing the courses they are in.”

   Pipher indicated that although there is no benchmark studies to compare the current numbers, he said, “I think we’re moving in the right direction by identifying these areas that has helped us narrow down and focus on the areas we need to improve on grade wise.”

   As of Jan. 31, the district’s beginning check balance stood at $6.4 million, including revenue of $1.1 million and expenditures of $2.7 million. The ending check balance as of Jan. 31 is $6.6 million, according to Treasurer Angela Brentlinger. She also reported that payroll on Feb. 5 was nearly $78,000, which includes $10,008 above contracted amounts.

   The Finance Committee will meet at 4 p.m. on March 5, it was reported, followed by the Building Committee meeting at 5:30 p.m.

   At the last Building Committee meeting, Board members heard from FGM officials that school officials are moving out of the schematic design phase and into site development for the new high school.

Smith said the district will be finalizing the design stage within 60 days, at which time the District will move into the construction document stage, which is about a six-month process.

   “We are schedule with that,” Smith said. “We continue to revise the plan based on input. If we make revisions, we need to make sure we remain on time and on budget.”

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