GES, GHS joins 154 additional schools for AMSTI

Published 12:00 am Saturday, February 17, 2007

Greenville High School and Greenville Elementary School have both been selected for inclusion in the Alabama Math, Science and Technology Initiative (AMSTI), the state department of education's initiative to improve math and science teaching.

GHS and GES were two of 154 additional schools chosen to participate in a program that state educators said has produced major gains in student achievement in math and science.

Both GES Principal Claire Jones and GHS Principal Dr. Kathy Murphy said they were proud to be selected as an AMSTI school for 2007-08.

&#8220GHS is in constant pursuit of opportunities to increase student learning and achievement and to aid teachers in this journey,” said Murphy. &#8220AMSTI is another opportunity for our school to engage in a best practices approach for math and science.”

Murphy said AMSTI would further strengthen science, math and technology programs already in place at Greenville High School. The school's science department, she said, already has implemented a &#8220hands-on” approach to learning with Science in Motion, and the school has received a &#822021st Century” designation for its commitment to the use of technology in the classroom.

&#8220Our students will be even more competitive nationally in these two critical areas of study (with AMSTI),” said Murphy.

Jones said she was disappointed when Greenville Elementary wasn't selected for the AMSTI program last year. The selection process, she said, is highly competitive.

&#8220As an administrator, I know without a doubt that students must be engaged in the learning process,” she said. &#8220Students retain more knowledge when they are actively involved in hands on learning experiences.”

Jones also said state accountability scores should improve with the implementation of AMSTI at GES.

&#8220A large number of AMSTI schools at the elementary and middle school levels made significant improvement in student achievement for math and science as measured by the Stanford Achievement Test and Alabama Reading and Mathematics Test,” she said.

AMSTI schools are provided with &#8220kits,” which can contain such items as math materials, lab ware, chemicals, graphing calculators, global positioning devices, and weather monitoring equipment. These kits are ready to use by both the teacher and students and once all activities are completed the kit is returned to one of nine AMSTI sites across the state.

Teachers are indoctrinated in AMSTI during a two-week summer training course prior to the school year.

&#8220I am confident that these schools' faculties will find the upcoming training insightful, invigorating and refreshing,” said Superintendent Mike Looney. &#8220More importantly, they will return armed with ideas and strategies to help students grasp the most complex mathematical and scientific concepts.”

Looney said having AMSTI at GHS and GES represents an &#8220important stop” in making the Butler County School System one of the best in the state.

&#8220We recognize our journey must begin by providing our teachers in the trenches with the best sustained professional development,” he said.