Franklin administration responds to SOL scores

Published 11:01 am Friday, August 23, 2013

FRANKLIN—The Franklin Public School administrators have analyzed the data, they know where they are and they know where they have to go.

“We are excited about the year coming up,” said Dr. Shannon Smith, director of instruction. “We realize that we have a great deal of work to do, but we think we have the staff in place to get the job done.”

Smith said providing the support that the teachers need on the building level would be the important job on the administrative level to improve Virginia Department of Education’s Standards of Learning scores.

“Our job is to make sure we support our teachers, so they can deliver the content to the children, in a manner that (the children) can understand it and apply it,” she said. “One of the things that we have done is look at the scores, and then try to get staff development on the division level, as well as consultants, who have the background, and they are quite credentialed, especially in the area of mathematics.”

Smith said they would continue to collect data this year.

“Obviously, with the scores, we are going to do a lot of things that are new, but mainly we are just looking at where we are and putting in support,” she said. “We’ll let the data that we collect throughout the year determine what we have to put in place.”

Superintendent Dr. Michelle Belle echoed that administration needed to support the teachers.

“I want them to understand that we are going to make sure they are supported,” Belle said. “We will give them what they need in order to be successful in the classroom with our resources. We are dedicated to make sure they are successful in the classroom.

“We are an extension. We are here to lend the support they need to be successful in the buildings.”

Smith said the parents have been on board, and one thing they could do is to continue to show support to the school district in its efforts.

She said teacher turnover has been a big problem in recent years.

“It has something of an impact, but that is not unusual for a rural area,” Smith said. “Luckily we are almost fully staffed.”

“A lot of it is teachers moving just to be closer to home, or more so the money,” Belle added. “That’s why the board is adamant about getting the 3 percent increase for teachers this year. We want to be as competitive as possible.”

The administration will go more in depth with the SOL scores on Thursday, Sept. 19, at the Franklin City Public Schools’ regularly scheduled 7:30 p.m. board meeting.