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OMS earns C on school report card

Administrators implement new strategies for improvement

Opp Middle School earned a C on the state report card, but Principal Sharon Spurlin said they are making changes to improve. Spurlin said they have restructured their school day to include the Bobcat 45, which is a web-based program that building learning paths for each student and can be used at home. The Bobcat 45 began a year or two ago, but this year, they have worked to refine it. “We looked at our data,” Spurlin said. “Students use a computer program for a bulk of the time. We pinpoint their needs and they work their individual plan. In that time, if students are struggling, the teacher has one-on-one instruction time with the student.” Enrichment is a portion of the Bobcat 45. That means if there is a fifth grader, for example, who loves reading and scores on a 9.9 grade level, they are able to be exposed to higher level reading. The same goes for students whose reading levels may not be on grade level and need some extra help getting to their goals. “Every student is working on a plan that is built for them,” Spurlin said. Students also have independent student data folders that allow them to see their progress. Spurlin said that middle school also brings its own unique set of challenges with hormones. Restructuring the school day allows students to spend a block in reading and a block in math. In turn, they incorporate reading and social studies together and science and math together. “Fifth graders are elementary students. They need a little extra time, less movement throughout the day,” she said. Another thing OES has implemented to help the students is Greek House. “Students did not have a voice,” Spurlin said. “The best way to do that is to be in small groups. Students feel comfortable speaking what’s on their minds.” Through these small groups, Spurlin said they have talked about suicide prevention, how not to be a bully, courage and perseverance, to name a few.