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Board of education hears instructional, technology updates

Madison Board of Education learned that district students earned an average score of 23.4 on the American College Test (ACT).

Reporting on the instructional committee, secondary education director Dr. Camille Wright said the staff takes pride in ACT results. Last year, the district encouraged all students, even at-risk, to take the ACT, thus lowering the overall average score slightly.

“If you make 18 on ACT, you’re very likely to score an A on that subject in college courses. It’s called a cut score. At Bob Jones, 85 percent of students scored above the cut score. At the state level, it was 65 percent,” Wright said.

Also, about 40 percent of Madison City students scored above the cut score in all subjects — twice the state average.

Technology coordinator Katrina Allen updated the board on recovery efforts since the network crash in May. “We’ve come a long way since Memorial Day. I’m going to try not to remember Memorial Day,” Allen said.

Citing accomplishments, Allen presented a long check list, including recovery of faculty folders; re-installation of printers, copiers and virus software; rebuilding of servers, web portal, Moodle platforms and wireless controllers; and system backup and replication.

Teachers need training in technology use and are frustrated with software because “they didn’t know how to use it in the first place, used it incorrectly or have given up,” Allen said.

The technology department is working diligently to re-establish credibility lost in the last six months, Fowler said. The district plans to increase WiFi access.

Avoiding conflict of interest, the board issued an engagement letter with a Birmingham law firm in collecting taxes related to education in Limestone County. The district’s counsel, Lanier Ford law firm, represents Limestone County.

The board approved updates to bylaws, along with superintendent and district’s 2012-2013 goals and objectives. As a “barometer for a successful school year,” Fowler recommended implementing common core in math, keeping the district financially strong and restoring and “forging ahead” with technology.

The board approved resolutions for National Principals’ Month in October and outgoing mayor Paul Finley. Mike Weaver has returned from military service to his work as the chief school financial officer.

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