Parents of students at Coldwater’s Max Larsen Elementary are receiving a letter this week from Coldwater school officials explaining the why and what’s next regarding Max Larsen being named a Focus School by the State Board of Education. It was a topic at last night’s special meeting of the Coldwater Board of Education. Ten percent of the schools in Michigan were designated Focus schools as part of the state’s new Top-To-Bottom ranking list. Those schools have the largest achievement gaps between the building’s top 30% of students and the bottom 30%, based on average scale test scores. Coldwater School Superintendent Dr. Tina Kerr told the school board last night a lot of good schools have been identified as focus schools, so the marker isn’t being taken as an end of the world kind of thing. But she added that it will mean a tremendous amount of work with accountability issues and that’s a good exercise for the district and they’ll be looking to do the same for all of the buildings in the system.
The special school board session last night was called in part to allow the board to ratify a new 3-year contract with CESPA, the Coldwater Educational Support Personnel Association. The agreement was approved earlier by the union by a 41-to-4 margin. The Board also approved the appointment of Dianne VandenHout as Legg Middle School Assistant Principal. VandenHout will also continue her duties as Coldwater Athletic Director.