“Weapon-free School Zone” exists around DeWitt Public Schools

by Laina Stebbins
Bath-DeWitt Connection Staff Reporter

DEWITT — At a time in American society when gun violence has become familiar news and mass shootings dominate the media circuit, many communities across the United States have changed their gun safety policies to better respond to a possible threat. In DeWitt, it’s mean no guns in schools. In the Administrative Guidelines for DeWitt Public Schools, it is stated that “The Board of Education prohibits professional staff members from possessing, storing, making, or using a weapon in any setting that is under the control and supervision of the District for the purpose of school activities approved and authorized by the District.”

Adopted by the Board in February, this policy provides just a few exceptions for this ban, including weapons under the control of law enforcement. Bruce Ferguson, police chief for the City of DeWitt, sees a need for these gun-free zones. Even more so, Ferguson sees a need for preventative measures and education to stop violence before it starts.

Getting out of school to study the Bible: released time study is the law

By Diamond Henry
Bath-DeWitt Connection staff reporter

DEWITT — When you think about modern-day public education, religion does not come to mind. In the city of DeWitt, however, that might not be the case. DeWitt Public Schools participates in a program called released time. This program is not school-sponsored, but students in the district are allowed to leave school for up to two hours a month and taken to an off-campus location for Bible study. Not many people are aware of this program.

DeWitt Public Schools incorporate new teacher evaluation process

By Tiara Marocco
Staff Writer

DeWitt – DeWitt Public Schools Board of Education has implemented a new educator evaluation process this school year to encourage and improve teacher and student growth. According to the DeWitt Public Schools website, this evaluation focuses on four major categories, student growth and achievement, pedagogical skills, management of the classroom and professional responsibilities with each out of 25 points. Teachers are required to do a self-evaluation and in their first to fifth years of teaching, required to create an Individualized Development Plan (IDP) while tenured teachers must complete a Teacher Growth Goal (TGG).  All teachers are required to have an administrator walk through, observe their class and provide feedback.  They are also required to provide a goal reflection at the end of the school year. Depending on the teachers’ status of first year, probationary year or tenured, they are required to have a formal observation, make a pre-observation and post-observation form and mid-year evaluation. Creating the change

This evaluation process was changed because of the new law requiring a yearly evaluation.  Potter and administration took this time to not only change the evaluation to be fit for a yearly process but also to improve the way teachers and students progress throughout the school year with this evaluation.