The principals of all Wilmington public schools were in attendance at Wednesday’s School Committee as they discussed their School Improvement Plans with the members.
First up was Eric Tracy, Wilmington High School principal. The School Committee’s main questions involved the building’s library, which was the subject of concern during its accreditation process.
There is no online catalogue at the school library, which still uses a card system.
“Obviously that’s not right,” said Robert Hayes, who stressed the importance of the facility. “A library isn’t about reading. It’s about learning.”
Tracy said the school has already addressed integrating the library with the curriculum, and he believes progress has already been made.
“It’s not just about what books are on the shelves,” said Tracy. “We’ll definitely be able to make more than sufficient progress.”
The Wilmington Middle School goals focused on MCAS scores in math from the eighth grade students.
A total of 50 percent of eighth graders were in the warning or needs improvement section of the results, which is an increase of 13 percent from the previous test when 37 percent of students fell in that category. The state average of students in those areas is 47 percent.
“The eighth grade has been an enigma,” said principal Christine McMenimen. “We wonder if they realize the accountability and responsibility they have with the test. You hear a lot of, ‘Does this count now?’ That’s one piece of the puzzle. The teaching needs to be another piece of the puzzle.”
North and West Elementary School principals also discussed testing. To prepare for the testing, teachers at the schools took the exam and noted where they thought children might have troubles. Then, they saw where the students struggled, and the areas didn’t always match up.
As a result, the teachers were able to see how they could help improve their lessons.
Shawsheen Elementary educators look to reach adequate achievement for a second straight year, so the school can be removed as a “school in need of improvement.”
The School Committee next meets on Nov. 9.