“April 27 was a tragic day in the history of Bradley County, but it was one of our finest moments,” said Sgt. Ruthie Forgey of The Salvation Army. “It was an unbelievable blessing to see how we came together as a city and county,” after the tornado outbreak of 2011, she said.
Forgey said a portion of the money will go toward gym equipment for Michigan Avenue Elementary School and classroom materials for Blue Springs Elementary School. The check was presented to Johnny McDaniel, director of Bradley County Schools. The teachers gave Forgey loud applause.
Bradley County’s teacher in-service’s theme was “The Guiding Light.” Said master of ceremonies Steve Hartline, “It always changes, even the dead are brought back to life, and old ideas are used again.” Proceedings involved discussion on Common Cores, COACH, and a lighthearted song sung by Christian Mann about the rigors of teaching.
McDaniel said county schools will be taking a three-legged approach to this next year: Common Core, Project COACH and Voyage to Greatness.
“What an opportunity we have every day to touch the life of a child and shape the future,” McDaniel said. “We say we are a welcoming center of excellence ... and I expect you to do your best for these children.”
McDaniel explained COACH would be replacing TEAM, the state-provided model of evaluation. The TEAM model of evaluation placed pressure on teachers to meet more than 50 targets of teaching within one observation. Feedback from teachers, principals, supervisors, and board members called for an improvement of the system.
According to a recent press release, COACH is a collaborative coaching model based on brief 10-minute, unannounced observations over the course of the entire school year. Professional licensed teachers are observed six times a year for a minimum of 60 minutes. Apprentice licensed teachers are observed eight times a year for a minimum of 90 minutes.
McDaniel said Bradley County Schools met all the main categories for achievement in the recent TCAP testing. According to McDaniel, the schools missed in the subgroups for economically disadvantaged students and those in the special education program. All parents will be receiving the individual scores of their children.
“All that we do is related to preparing students for real life, for helping them get to the next level,” McDaniel said.
Sherry Shroyer and Nat Akiona spoke on “Making Sense of Common Core.” Akiona said the Common Core standards provide a vision of what is taught. Teachers will be undergoing Common Core training this week. They will working with the actual assessment questions students will see in October.
“We want you to know exactly what your students are seeing, so you know exactly what to teach,” Akiona said.
McDaniel closed out the meeting with closing remarks of encouragement for the teachers and staff of Bradley County.