Category Archives: Bath Schools

MEAP results released. How are they and why is it now gone?

Results

According to the official Michigan school data website, both Bath Township and DeWitt schools performed average on their scores. Students were very proficient in reading and writing, but then struggled on mathematics.

“I feel like this happened because math takes a lot more years of schooling to get good at, while students’ writing improves year after year because they start that at such a young age.” said Lori Webb, the Scott Elementary school principal in DeWitt.

Origins

The MEAP test, which started in the 1970s by governor William Milliken, was created to test current elementary and middle schools students’ skills. The skills tested were mathematics, reading, science, and social studies. This test also involved high school students until 2007 when they decided to change their test to the Michigan Merit Exam.

 

Scott Elementary was one of many schools to take the MEAP this year. Photo Taken by Mike Moffat

Scott Elementary was one of many schools to take the MEAP this year.
Photo Taken by Mike Moffat

Closure

It was announced that the MEAP test will close and the school board is going to try a new type of testing for students next year. The type of testing will be on computers and they will have an adaptive system for the students.

Since the goal of these tests is to have students get more than half of them correct, the adaptive system will adjust to when the student gets a question wrong, the next question will be easier, but if they get the question correct, then the next question will be harder. They are using this new test called the Smarter Balanced Assessment Consortium (SBAC).

“I like this new idea of testing,” said DeWitt schools Superintendent John Dieter, “It’ll really be beneficial to the students to see where they are at in certain subjects depending on the difficulty of questions.”

Others don’t think highly of this change though, because since the MEAP dates back so far, that they wonder why change now?

“I personally liked the MEAP testing,” said Sally Fizzell, fourth grade teacher at Scott Elementary, “I was around teaching when these tests were first released, and even though they weren’t popular with the students, it really gave us a sense of how we are doing as teachers too.”

Here are the results from DeWitt Junior High School in mathematics. Graph provided by Michiganschooldata.org

Here are the results from DeWitt Junior High School in mathematics.
Graph provided by Michiganschooldata.org

The Future

Now that this change is occurring, teachers and students are going to have to make the necessary adjustments to the new testing system.

Mentioned in this transitional document, the Michigan school district feels that this transition will result in faster results as well as a more simple scoring system. Also mentioned in the document were other benefits, which will include more relevant lesson plans, and featuring more measures of seeing student’s growth in topics.

“After looking at all the pros and cons of this situation, I can’t help but see more pros,” said Keith Cravotta, DeWitt Junior High School principal, “With the advances in technology over the years, why wouldn’t you want to make this process easier to get scores and make the test easier to take?”

About the SBAC

This new test is meant for children in grades third through eighth as well as juniors in high school. It questions their skills in English, math, and reading, with the purpose of meeting each state’s common core standards. According to their website, this test is the best preparation for kids getting ready for college as well as starting a career in whatever field they prosper in. Not only beneficial for the students, educators will be able to compare their students’ score and adjust accordingly with the pace and material that they teach.

“I feel that this new testing system will be tough to adjust to,” said Cammie Jones, a fourth grade teacher at Scott Elementary, “But once we all finally get used to it, it really will help us look at what we need to do to become better teachers as well as making sure the kids are getting the best education they can get.”

Overall, changes have been made and the whole school system of Michigan has to get used to it. This new test system has a four-year, $175 million grant from the United States Department of Education, so it looks like it has national support and is ready to be taken on in Michigan come spring of 2014.

 

http://www.magisto.com/video/OQRANUIXByo9XA1pYw

https://storify.com/mgmoffat13/meap-results-released-how-are-they-and-why-is-it-n

 

For questions or comments, contact Mike Moffat at moffatm2@msu.edu

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RESA Program helps students prep for college

By: Mike Moffat

Bath-DeWitt Reporter

Program Overview

Imagine being able to get hands on experience as a junior in high school and gain credits toward college. Clinton County’s Regional Education Service Agency program has 11 different courses for credit at Lansing Community College.

This program is available to all the schools in Clinton County, and runs during the whole school year. Students from DeWitt High School, Bath High School, Fowler High School, and others job shadow potential courses.

DeWitt High School is one of many that takes part in the program Photo taken by Mike Moffat

DeWitt High School is one of many that takes part in the program
Photo taken by Mike Moffat

Health Popularity

“Our most popular course being taken in this program has got to be allied health,” said Margo Hazelman, Clear Education coordinator. “It allows a wide variety of different options from students to choose from in the health field, from working with children, to working with the elders.”

The more popular topic in allied health is child development. The students travel to the Fuerstenau Early Childhood Center and host special events such as reading hours, or giving them the experience of teaching a child.

Early Childhood Center Photo taken by Mike Moffat

Early Childhood Center
Photo taken by Mike Moffat

“I really like seeing the students’ reactions when they get a first hand experience like this,” said Kathi Senita, principal at Fuerstenau Early Childhood Center. “It really helps them determine whether they are right going into this age group, or if they want to move up to higher education.”

“My favorite part about teaching this course is seeing the students make the connections with the real world,” said Karen Stutzman, allied health professor at Lansing Community College. “Their actions now can help reflect their future, and they really get a sense of why this program helps them prepare.”

Real Hands-On Experience

On the other hand, another popular course in this program is the construction trades class. This course gives the students an overall of the career building structure.

“We go to sites that are currently in progress and see what their layout is going to look like in the end,” said Ross Pope, construction professor at Lansing Community College. “The students can get a really good look at what goes into building the project such as the materials needed, the floor blueprints, the number of hours needed for the project, etc.”

Overall, these students get credit for participating in this program toward Lansing Community College and it gives them a nice head start going into college. Whether it is criminal justice, sports medicine, or emergency services, the RESA program has a spot for these students’ future.

 

For questions or comments, please contact Mike Moffat at moffatm2@msu.edu

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Library millage a concern in Bath

Bath Charter Township set forth a proposal for a new millage for a public library that went to a vote yesterday, Nov. 5.

The millage, which will support an independent public library, is set to collect $89,000 each year of property taxes and is set to go through 2016. The millage will only support the functioning of the new public library.

Bath held five polling locations throughout the town for yesterday’s vote. The polls were open from 7 a.m to 8 p.m., lending the community a large window of time to vote.

“We’ve had a pretty decent flow,” said Barb Sweet, volunteer at polling center. Two of the locations kept steady voters all throughout the day.

The proposal has sparked confusion around the town. Bath recently opened a library center, a satellite of the Dewitt Public Library, in October. The new millage for an independent public library is not in support of the library center.

“Asking for a millage is a tough haul,” said resident Dave Snider.

Many residents like the idea of a library for using the technology it provides. Commonly, residents like the idea of the library center but the funding of an independent library may be too much. The Bath Library Center is funded through a proposed budget, while a new library will be funded directly from taxes.

“As strange as it feels to not vote to support a millage, this millage is ill timed and inadequate to support a library, so I would like to see us continue with this beginning library and build until we see what kind of community support it has before we attempt a millage,” said Bath resident Martha Mikko.

Many residents are concerned of the impact of the millage on the library center itself. The vote on Tuesday was a citizen petition, where many signatures allowed the board of trustees to pass the proposal to a vote.

“As a library committee member, I know I want to have a library millage, but I want it to provide enough funds,” said Theresa Kidd, Bath resident and secretary to the Library Committee board. “We don’t need a state of the art library, we just want a library that fits our needs in Bath.”

Bath residents would see an increase of taxes if millage was approved. Millage results came through with only 299 in favor and 625 against.

The Bath Library Center faces the repercussions if a millage is passed for a new library.

The Bath Library Center faces the repercussions if a millage is passed for a new library.

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Voting will take place on a millage for a new library in Bath.

Voting will take place on a millage for a new library in Bath.

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Bath to provide library center for community members

Bath is set to welcome a new addition that could potentially open doors for many of the citizens – their own library center.

Bath Library Center, a satellite site of Dewitt District Library, will be a small library located within Bath Corners shopping mall. It will offer a wide selection of books for children while working to serve older age groups.

Brought together largely by volunteering efforts and donations, the soon to open Bath Library was granted a budget to open. Bath Township Board gave a total of $75,000 to open and supply the center with books and equipment. The budget will be available for 17 months through 2013 – 2014. Community members have varied feelings on the project.

“My feeling as a resident is we need to see if this works,” said Paul Shaheen, community member and cofounder of Lansing Community Foundation. “Getting off the ground is the important thing.”

The library is still in the process of having a rounded and complete selection of books, as well as a computer center. The computer center will be a large addition to not just the library center but to the community.

“We don’t have any of that capability in Bath,” said Paula Clark, Bath Township supervisor. “That would fill a gap.”

The computer center would offer a space for students to work on assignments, as well as community members to be able to apply for potential jobs. The expansion into computers could lead to a marketing advantage for the library.

“We want to market the library,” said Shaheen. “They [youth] can Facebook, Twitter about what we’re doing.”

The library has not published a definite schedule of hours due to wanting to run a trial to see what best fits the community’s needs. The trial will run for six weeks until a schedule can be decided upon.

“[This is] just for the community to get comfortable,” said Deb Mercer, Chair of the Library Committee. “Good opportunity for us to become established.”
The grand opening of the Bath Library Center will be Sunday, October 20th from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m and will feature free refreshments.

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Bath Truck or Treat to give children safe fun

A hearse is just one of the many vehicles passing out goods at Bath's Truck or Treat.

A hearse is just one of the many vehicles passing out goods at Bath’s Truck or Treat.

The holiday of Halloween might have once been a night dedicated to those of youth, but has become a time for adults. Many wonder where children come into play for this once youthful holiday.

Bath Township, a small rural town where door to door trick or treating is close to impossible, is set to hold an annual event where kids are the focus of the night. Truck or Treat, once centered on an opportunity for large trucks and rigs to appear in a car show as well as provide treats for kids, will be held at the Bath Elementary school parking lot.

““It gives an opportunity, especially in some rural areas, for kids to trick or treat,” said Bath Elementary principal Zachary Strickler. “I grew up in a rural setting and I know what it’s like. You come to one central location and it gives the students an opportunity to get a lot of treats without being too spread out.”

Events like Truck or Treat to LaVelle Gipson – Tansil, Senior Academic Specialist of Child Development at Michigan State University, are limiting children of communities.

“I think what we’ve done is not taught children safe and unsafe kinds of things. When we take children to artificial settings, we take them from communities they are aware of,” said Tansil.

This event, put on by Bath Township Parks and Recreation, will host area businesses. The businesses will have the opportunity to pass out treats to children as well as promoting themselves through business cards and potential giveaways.

“This is more for the kids but it’s a great opportunity for businesses to get their name out there,” said Bath Parks and Recreation Director, and Truck and Treat coordinator, Becky Goodwin.

With the difficulty of living in a rural town, Truck or Treat may lend an opportunity for children to experience a true Halloween.

“The kids can come and trick or treat in one location so that they’re not walking around,” said Goodwin. “They approach a vehicle and whoever that business happens to be hands them candy.”

According to Tansil, this activity limits children from a true cultural experience and discovery. Media seems to have played a role in events such as Truck or Treat and the desire to strongly uphold children’s safety.

“Media sharing devastating information is instantaneous. Media sells and we don’t hear about all the wonderful things that children are experiencing in the world,” said Tansil. “The media can be a wonderful tool to help parents successfully or make them hysterical.”

According to Goodwin, numbers are down within Bath for trick or treating. With the rise in local subdivisions numbers are increasing due to the ability for children to safely walk around.

Truck or Treat will focus on children’s safety. The event, once held at Bath Corners Shopping Mall, is placed in Bath Elementary School’s parking lot so that no traffic is allowed to enter.

Truck or Treat will be held on Monday, October 26, 2013 from 6 P.M. to 8 P.M. at Bath Elementary parking lot. The event will be moved to Bath Middle School in event of poor weather.

Bath Charter Township's Parks and Recreation put on the event Oct. 26.

Bath Charter Township’s Parks and Recreation put on the event Oct. 26.

Children from Bath area schools enjoy the goodies of  the event.

Children from Bath area schools enjoy the goodies of the event.

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Bath Elementary Students ‘Walk To’ the Extra Help They Need

bildeThe Bath Elementary School administration has come up with the ‘Walk To’ Program in order to help students who need extra assistance in reading and math. Bath Elementary has an intervention team that assists teachers in providing students with the extra help they need.

According to Nikki Mosser, an intervention teacher at Bath Elementary, the school used to use what they referred to as the ‘pull-out’ and ‘push-in’ models to give students in need extra assistance. Students were pulled out of class to receive help and intervention teachers were placed in classes to give extra help. After the Bath Elementary intervention team discovered the ‘Walk To’ Program was being used in other school districts, it is now being implemented in the school. All students are required to ‘Walk To’ their own classroom teacher, another classroom with a different teacher at the same grade level, or with an intervention teacher.

“I think this is a great idea,” said Bath Elementary School parent Barbara Wymon. “My son has always needed extra help in math, and he has always felt as if he was being put on the spot when he was pulled out of the classroom. Now that all students are required to move to another learning environment, he feels more comfortable.”

All students are divided into groups based on reading and math levels within their grade level. Students are required to ‘Walk To’ the classroom that teaches their math and reading levels. The ‘Walk To’ program is in effect Monday through Thursday for an hour each day.

According to Bath Elementary principal Zachary Strickler, because this is a new program to Bath Elementary it is expected that changes will be made to ensure the program is benefiting the students.
“So far it has shown to be successful,” said Strickler. “Changes will be made to the program beginning in January according to the progression of students.”

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Students pay to participate in school sports

By Tiara Marocco
Bath-DeWitt Connection Staff Writer

Bath, MI – With the budget cuts affecting schools’ athletic programs, Bath schools have implemented “pay-to-participate” to help their athletics prosper.

Many schools in Michigan have experience a drop in funds for extra-curricular activities and athletics.

Bath High School Football Field
Photo taken by Tiara Marocco

“Pay to participate came about in our district in about 2002,” said Matt Dodson, Bath High School principal, “and it started at $50-75 for the whole year.

“We’ve had to raise it to about $100 and that pays for a student to play as many sports they want for that whole school year.”

Keeping it manageable

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