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NILES SCHOOLS Poor test scores concern board



Published: Fri, January 25, 2002 @ 12:00 a.m.



Niles earned the second-lowest proficiency test scores in Trumbull County.

By DENISE DICK

VINDICATOR TRUMBULL STAFF

NILES -- District scores on the 2002 report card have one school board member questioning what the district is doing wrong.

"I ache right now for our proficiency test scores," said John Davis, board member, at a school board meeting Thursday.

The district met 15 of the 27 performance standards on the state proficiency test, placing it in the continuous improvement category.

That made Niles the second-lowest scoring district in Trumbull County. Warren scored the lowest, with five. Last year's report card indicated the district met 14 of the standards.

Earlier plan: In June 2000, the district adopted a continuous improvement plan aimed at addressing the areas where the district didn't meet the standards. Davis questioned if there's a problem with the plan since other districts have been able to increase their scores more than Niles.

A community committee was established to devise the plan.

Davis also is concerned about the loss of state money if scores don't improve.

Terry Swauger, board president, said it takes a concerted effort among teachers, students and parents to improve the test scores. No one solution works for every district, he added.

"There's no quick fix, no guaranteed solution to make scores go up," Swauger said.

Superintendent Patrick Guliano said the district has updated its attendance policy to try to address that problem. Pupils can't learn if they don't come to school, he said.

Parenting: Rocky Riviella, board member, pointed to a lack of participation from parents.

"Parent involvement in this city is pretty much nil," he said. "What we need is a truant officer in this district to get these kids in school or to enforce the law and send their parents to jail."

What else: In other business, board members approved a resolution supporting a proposed project to expand and renovate the locker room at Bo Rein Memorial Stadium. Under the resolution, the costs of building, construction and zoning permits are the responsibility of the Frontliners, the booster organization for the McKinley High School football team. The group is conducting a fund-raising effort for the project.

All work will be done by DSV Builders Inc. of Warren at no cost to the district.

At a school board meeting last summer, members of the Frontliners complained of conditions of the cramped locker room.

The addition will add 3,000 square feet to the 6,000-square-foot building.

The locker room houses lockers, shower facilities and equipment. When the locker rooms are being used, the equipment has to be pushed out of the way to make room, making it inaccessible for working out.

dick@vindy.com




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