Grand Ledge Public Schools attendance, behavior and course-passing rate plan is working at Hayes Middle School.
According to Hayes Middle School Principal Chris Groves, A-B-C, or attendance, behavior and course-passing rate, is a plan that aims to help struggling students get back on track.
Groves said he believes the most important part of the plan is attendance and if the kids can get to school on time than the district’s plan is already working.
According to Groves, this is much easier said than done.
“If you compare the numbers from last year to this year, they are actually going up,” said Groves. “This is due to the fact that we have a lot of kids that are commuting to our school this year.”
Groves said the school is trying their best to keep the absence rate down and have gone as far as to create tip letters. Groves said a tip letter is issued to students who are continuously late to school. This is a way for the school to notify parents of the student’s tardiness.
Groves says that tip warning letters are helping bring down the number of absences to match last year’s numbers because parents are getting involved and making sure their kids are on time every day.
“Tip is a court ordered attendance policy we have instituted at the middle school,” said Groves. “If a student is continuously absent they must fill out the tip and their parents must go in front of a judge to get the problem worked out.”
Discipline and behavioral problems between students is also something the middle school is trying to correct. Groves said with the addition of child protective services, counselors are now able to talk to the children as soon as a problem breaks out.
“Most of our problems have been typical middle school problems like kids calling each other names,” said Groves.
School board President Linda Wacyk said she is happy that counselors are able to meet with students right away. Wacyk said she was impressed with the data because it shows that children are getting into fewer confrontations.
Principal Groves said the school is starting to monitor pass-fail rates to ensure every student is doing their best.
A strong way of watching the pass-fail rates is the academic enrichment class.
Groves said this program is designed to prevent students from “falling through the cracks” and bring their grades up to a passing mark.
Groves said another program that helps students that are failing is the advisory class program and the use of Comet Pride connection.
Comet Pride connection are forms that can be filled out by teachers for students that come to them asking for after school help. Students are able to request help from any teacher.
Denise Green, a teacher at Hayes Middle School who helps with advisory classes, says a lot of students approach her and ask for help, or ask for help filling out a Comet Pride connection form.
“I believe, I can’t speak for all teachers, but I do think a majority of the kids are using these Comet Pride connections,” said Green. “These are probably being used mostly for English and Math.”
School board Vice President Sara Clark Person had only great things to say about the programs.
“These are the kinds of reports I am delighted to see and hear about because we, as a board, concentrate too much on financial matter,” said Person. “We need to keep our focus on the kids and their success as they make the transition from middle to high school.”
Groves said that he is happy about A-B-C right now, but added there is still work to do to eliminate all the problems the middle school is having. Groves said he wants every student to be successful and continue that success through high school.