Print School principals pleased thus far
Written by Mark Lineberger   
Monday, 31 October 2011 00:00

It’s a little bit more than a quarter of the way through the new school year at the Camp Verde Unified School District, and administrators seem to be in agreement things have gone pretty smoothly so far.

The school’s students and faculty are still adjusting to doing things “The Camp Verde Way,” part of a new reteach and enrich program the school district has been testing out after adopting some practices from the Vail Unified School District, sometimes referred to as Camp Verde’s sister school district.

Students in Camp Verde Middle School teacher Abbie Franklin’s homeroom finish up a math drill first thing in the morning Friday, Oct. 21. The everyday math drills are one of the new strategies being used by the administration to help Camp Verde Unified School District students better understand the subject matter being presented to them.For several years since adopting these methods, the Vail schools have consistently received high marks for achievement and performance.

The goal is to promote more students to the next grade level who actually have a better understanding and grasp of the subject matter they’ve been taught.

Camp Verde Elementary School Principal Debbie Pottorff said things have been going well so far this year.

“It’s been a busy year; we’ve got about a quarter of it under our belt,” Pottorff said.

Administration is also pleased the school received a “B” rating from the Arizona Department of Education, a new measurement of overall performance that replaces the old system of labeling schools “performing” or “performing plus.”

Pottorff said the new letter scores might make a school’s performance rating more easily relatable to a wider audience. In this case, the B score equates to “above average performance,” Pottorff said.

The school is also making strides with the reteach and enrich program, Pottorff said, with a focus on math this year in grades three through five.

“We’re hoping to see improvement in our AYP [annual yearly performance] scores,” Pottorff said.

Math is also a focus at Camp Verde Middle School, which last school year fell short of its AYP goals.

Principal Danny Howe said one way the school is doing that is by having students gather for daily “math drills.”

Howe said the school is also working on integrating the new “beyond textbooks” program, a project that gives students and teachers access to a wide range of digital education materials and not just the familiar traditional paper-printed books.

“It’s still in the second year,” Howe said. “It takes time. That’s something they’ve told us time and time again, but I feel like we’re doing very well.”

Howe said he feels that the middle school has gotten off to a great start this year.

“It’s going well,” Howe said. “We’ve got a great staff and great students.”

It’s also been a good year at Camp Verde High School, where Principal Bob Weir said the school was seeing some successful expansion of its career and technical education course offerings.

The school is also focusing on a program called Character Matters, which strives to instill good values in the students.

School gets out a little earlier this year, Weir said, which has made it possible for kids to have more study hall time and athletes to be home earlier after practices.

Weir said he hopes extra time spent studying will translate into improved academic performance.

“It’s been a good year,” Weir said, adding he was impressed to see more than 150 students with perfect attendance so far this year.

Steve King, principal at South Verde Technology Magnet School, said he also had “no complaints.”

King said a stricter attendance policy was producing good results.

“Some didn’t get it, so we had to let them go,” King said, adding total enrollment was still holding steady at around 66 students.

The Main Street school also recently redesigned some of its classroom space and has upgraded much of the technology used by students there.

“We’ve got iPads and lot of new e-readers,” King said. “It’s great, and the students are using them every day.”