The Clinton Herald, Clinton, Iowa

Top News

January 29, 2013

Lincoln faces closure

School officials say data doesn’t support Lincoln program’s format

CLINTON — A fresh approach to increasing student success at the high school level in Clinton could lead to the Lincoln campus closing as early as next school year in order to give all students the same academic opportunities, school officials discussed Monday.

“Its not being done on a whim. It's based on data,” Superintendent Deb Olson said. “We look at the data not supporting the format that’s going on, we need to try something else.”

The Response to Intervention program is a three-tiered district-wide system that aims to prevent student’s academic struggles with intervention intensity increasing at each level. The RTI program has been implemented in dramatic fashion at Clinton High School, the RTI team explained during a lengthy discussion with the Clinton School Board on Monday night. The new actions implemented include changing teacher schedules and offering afterschool programs in order to provide all students, even those in advanced placement and honors courses, with extra help. The program allows students to move throughout the tiers depending on the level of help they need and aims to remove the stigma associated with needing more intense tutelage.   

All students receive help at the tier I level, which includes parent teacher conferences, college career nights and other activities. Tier II students receive more intense programs including a lunch study table that takes them out of lunch to work in a group setting with teachers. Tier II students can also attend a sixth period after school where they receive additional help. Between 5 and 15 percent of students fall into this category. The top tier includes students who need the most intense level of help, generally 1 to 5 percent of students.

 The program has so far improved the  academic success of all students. Students on the top tier — those classified as “behavioral disorder” or “BD” students, attending classes online or at Lincoln High — still face harsh statistics.

District officials can celebrate the decreasing number of failed courses at the high school level that went from 480 in the 2009-2010 school year to 184 in the same period of the current year.

However, they are also reminded the outlook is not as rosy for tier III students. The graduation and attendance rates for students in tier three remain low.  BD students have a 10 percent graduation rate while only 40 percent of the 55 students assigned to Lincoln attend school daily.  

“I think we've got to align tiers one, two and three. It's really imperative that we do that,” CHS principal Karinne Tharaldson Jones said.

Aligning the three tiers would include combining the BD program with at-risk students as well as closing the Lincoln campus.  

While tier III students would still have access to more individualized and intense instruction, they would also be given access to the opportunities at CHS that increase their chance of graduation and success after high school. According to Olson, the district would utilize the house behind CHS to offer two or three classes for students needing tier III intervention.

“The reasons kids go to Lincoln is lack of credits, poor attendance and we’re working hard at the freshman and sophomore level to reduce that so it reduces the number of students that build into that tier III as we go forward, because we’re reducing them at the younger ages,” CHS assistant principal and principal of Lincoln Brian Galusha said.

He said the focus is also to let students know that not doing work is not acceptable.  

School district officials said they’ve received objections from a number of people who have heard rumblings of the idea and don’t want to see the Lincoln campus close. While sympathetic, officials say they believe the move would be the best for students.  

“I think it's very emotional for everyone because people love Lincoln,” Tharaldson Jones said. “What we're trying to do is get kids back into the courses available at Clinton High, get interventions and come back.”

Tharaldson Jones said she would like to see Lincoln students reintegrated into CHS as early as next school year.

“This is not about saving money. It's about doing what's best for the kids,” Olson said.

1
Text Only
Top News
  • Taylorville couple wins $20M lotto jackpot

    A Taylorville couple has celebrated winning a more than $20 million Illinois Lottery drawing.

    Steve and Wilma Durbin were presented with their winning check Thursday afternoon at a grocery store in the central Illinois city where they purchased the ticket. The couple took a lump sum payment of $8.1 million after taxes.

    The Taylorville Breeze-Courier reports the Durbins hit the jackpot in the April 10 Illinois Lotto drawing. That was just two weeks after they were married.

    April 17, 2014

  • Branstad signs school radon bill into law

    The Iowa Department of Education must gather information from schools about whether they are testing for radon gas under a bill Gov. Terry Branstad has signed into law.

    Branstad signed the bill Thursday to require school districts to tell the department about radon testing by the end of this year. The department must then report to the Legislature by January.

    April 17, 2014

  • VIDEO: Boston bomb scare defendant appears in court

    The man accused of carrying a backpack containing a rice cooker near the Boston Marathon finish line on the anniversary of the bombings was arraigned Wednesday. He's being held on $100,000 bail.

    April 17, 2014

  • Lindley, Tom.jpg Golf turns into snooze-fest without celebrities like Tiger and Phil

    The Masters lumbered on last week without two of pro golf's biggest names, Tiger Woods and Phil Mickelson, and fans changed the channel. The PGA needs someone with star power if it's going to lure people back to the game.

    April 17, 2014 1 Photo

  • The case for separate beds

    The other night I slept on a twin bed in the guest room of the house I share with my husband and our two kids.
    It was the best night's sleep I've had in years.

    April 17, 2014

  • Raw oysters spike U.S. rise in bacterial infections, CDC reports

    Raw oysters, so good with hot sauce, increasingly can carry something even more unsettling to the stomach: A bacteria linked to vomiting, diarrhea and pain.

    April 17, 2014

  • Consumer spending on health care jumps as Affordable Care Act takes hold

    Nancy Beigel has known since September that she would need hernia surgery. She couldn't afford it on her $11,000 yearly income until she became eligible for Medicaid in January through President Barack Obama's signature health care law.

    April 17, 2014

  • Astronomers spot most Earth-like planet yet

    Astronomers have discovered what they say is the most Earth-like planet yet detected — a distant, rocky world that's similar in size to our own and exists in the Goldilocks zone where it's not too hot and not too cold for life.

    The find, announced Thursday, excited planet hunters who have been scouring the Milky Way galaxy for years for potentially habitable places outside our solar system.

    April 17, 2014

  • Defend 'Obamacare' unabashedly, some Democrats say

    With enrollments higher than expected, and costs lower, some Democrats say it's time to stop hiding from the president's health care overhaul, even in this year's toughest Senate elections.

    Republicans practically dare Democrats to embrace "Obamacare," the GOP's favorite target in most congressional campaigns. Yet pro-Democratic activists in Alaska are doing just that, and a number of strategists elsewhere hope it will spread.

    April 17, 2014

  • Search for Chicago site for George Lucas museum

    As Yoda might say: A site for a museum you must find.

    Those are the marching orders Chicago Mayor Rahm Emanuel is giving a dozen civic leaders as the city searches for a potential location for an interactive museum to house filmmaker George Lucas' collection of art and filmmaking memorabilia.

    April 17, 2014

AP Video