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Principal Tom Harmas to implement new ISTEP remediation plan

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Principal Tom Harmas talks to Assistant Principal Amy Skeens-Benton at the homecoming pep session. Harmas plans to implement a new remediation program.

Principal Tom Harmas talks to Assistant Principal Amy Skeens-Benton at the homecoming pep session. Harmas plans to implement a new remediation program.

Principal Tom Harmas talks to Assistant Principal Amy Skeens-Benton at the homecoming pep session. Harmas plans to implement a new remediation program.

Manahil Nadeem

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Last year, over 400 sophomores did not pass ISTEP, according to Principal Tom Harmas.

“The biggest thing we are working on right now is the remediation plan. Last year, we had over 400 kids that did not pass ISTEP, whether it be language arts or math,” Harmas said. “We’ve put together a remediation plan that will use our math and English teachers as coaches for these students.”

According to Harmas, the remediation plan he is implementing is different from what the school had in place before.

“In previous years, we gave the students a packet to finish by a set time. So, it was much more self-directed. We expected them to go to SRT on three different occasions for a half hour each. Afterwards, we allowed them to take the test again,” Harmas said. “This time, we’re going to narrow it down to those areas on which they struggled on the test, give them an opportunity to take some assessments to see if they know it already. These assessments will allow us, administrators, to see what the students have learned since they took the test and what they still need to work on.”

Harmas said the new remediation plan will be less self-directed.

“In this plan, each student has a teacher assigned to them as their coach. So when they have questions or when they do assignments, their coaches will be looking at those and seeing where they need help,” Harmas said.

According to Harmas, he also wants to give the Principal’s Advisory Council (PAC) more power and influence in decision-making.

“Dr. Harmas has already changed the structure PAC a lot and we have only had one meeting,” student body president Ben Goldberg said. “For example, at the next meeting, he is planning to go back through Homecoming and talk about what the students liked and disliked. I think he really wants us to have a more active role in the decisions being made about our school, which I, personally, really appreciate.”

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