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Marengo BOE purchases used vehicles for district

The Marengo County Board of Education purchased a used service truck and used cargo van for $35,265 and $26,665 respectively during the Dec. 19 meeting. Both vehicles were purchased from Windham Motor Company.

Superintendent Luther Hallmark also announced that the district was awarded a $30,000 Catastrophic Trust Fund grant from the ALSDE.

The district schools also went through reclassification by the Alabama High School Athletic Association. Sweet Water High School and Marengo High School will be Region 2 and A.L. Johnson High School will be Region 3 for the 2020-21 and 2021-22 school years.

ALJ Principal William Martin informed the BOE of new practices in place to focus on school culture and overall improve student behavior, such as implementing a new tardy plan, increasing classroom monitoring by Martin and using a shared Google document spreadsheet for teachers to keep track of student misbehavior across the entire school rather than just in one classroom.

“We found that in order to teach [students], you have to make sure the behavior is in order,” Martin said.

ALJ Instructional Coach Phyllis Mabowitz followed Martin’s presentation with a data breakdown for the school’s academic improvements. Academic growth is extremely high with a score of 99 out of 100 from the ALSDE for the 2018-19 school year. However, academic proficiency was scored 42 out of 100 by the ALSDE. Improvements with individual students has been two-fold with a decrease in both percentage of students below grade level and the average years below grade level in both reading and math.

The percentage dropped from 61 percent to 42 percent below grade level in math and average years below from 1.92 years to 1.37 years. In reading, the percentage dropped from 60 percent to 53 percent below grade level in math and average years below from 2.09 years to 1.3 years. The original data was taken from Spring 2019 and the current data is from December 2019.

For math and reading spanning from third to eighth grade, all students were either above average or high average.

“We’re making that actual, every year gain that you’ve got to make, and we’re filling those gaps of how far behind we were,” Mabowitz said.

(This article originally appeared in the Wednesday, January 1 issue of the Demopolis Times.)