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Brainerd School Board: Forestview Middle School helping kids to not fall behind

With middle school a prime preparation time for

academics, Forestview Middle School Principal Jon Anderson said that FMS is taking a new approach to make sure its students are staying on course.

In its first draft form for the 2012-13 school year, Anderson said a task force of sorts was formed to make sure that seventh- and eighth-grade students pass all core subjects — math, language arts, social studies and science — they are enrolled in.

“Our mission statement is to put together a four-part plan to focus on what is required of them to pass and what we (the school) need to do to ensure that happens,” said Anderson.

Based on four pillars, Anderson said first the group needs to define a passing grade, identified Monday as a student required to pass two of three trimesters; communication plan for parents, students, teachers and counselors at mid-trimester and end of trimester; and academic support plan and course of completion plan. Anderson said current options being considered for completion would be summer school, afternoon targeted services, during school-day pull out of class rotation and Saturday school.

Anderson added that while focus is on what the students can do to improve and prepare academically, FMS is focused on doing everything they can to help them.

“We want to use this group to support these students and help them move along,” said Anderson.

According to Anderson, a total of 30 seventh graders, six percent, failed core classes in the 2011-12 year with 22 students failing only one core course during the year. Forty-nine students, or 11 percent, in eighth grade also failed core classes in 2011-12. Results reported Dec. 10 show 12 students in seventh grade currently failing core courses and 25 students in eighth grade.

Academic progress does not affect graduation until students are in ninth grade, but Anderson said a solid academic foundation needs to first be established in middle school to be successful in high school.

In other action, the board:

Approved a contract between the district and Ski Gull, allowing ski program participants and coaches to use Mount Ski Gull lifts and chalet during practices and racing events.

City Attorney Tom Fitzpatrick said their may be adjustments in the form of housekeeping items and as they pertain to reimbursement to the district due to students who pay out of pocket for season passes instead of the program supplied day passes but ultimately he would like to see the contract approved.

Board members unanimously approved the agreement between the district and Ski Gull.

JESSI PIERCE, staff writer, may be reached at 855-5859 or Follow her on Twitter at (@jessi_pierce).

Denton (Denny) Newman Jr.
I've worked at the Brainerd Dispatch with various duties since Dec. 7, 1983. Starting off as an Ad Designer and currently Director of Audience Development. The Dispatch has been an interesting and challenging place to work. I'm fortunate to have made many friends, both co-workers and customers.
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