PRESCOTT - Prescott School will hire the Center for Educational Effectiveness to audit the instructional program and to make recommendations for improvements in school performance.
Prescott Junior Senior High was recently named as one of 50 schools statewide eligible to apply for School Improvement Grants. Blue Ridge Elementary in Walla Walla is the only other school in Walla Walla County on the list.
Rather than make one of four drastic changes schools that receive the grants must agree to, Prescott opted to pay for the intensive audit.
"It is going to cost us money, and the district and the board believe that instead of dismissing the principal and some of the staff, we'll do this study instead of going into one of those four areas of restructuring," Interim Superintendent Bill Jordan said.
The four restructuring models that go with the grants include a turnaround model, where the school's principal would be replaced along with half the school's staff. The district would commit to working closely with principals to selecting new staff and programs.
A second option would convert or close the school and reopen it as a charter school or charter management organization, or an education management organization.
The third option would close the school and enroll students in higher-achieving schools within the district.
The fourth option would be transformation, where the principal would be replaced and instructional reforms instituted.
The CEE study will begin in February, followed by planning focused on study results.
The study will look at the history of student performance. Faculty, staff and parents will be interviewed, and classroom observations will be made.
Once the study is done, CEE will make recommendations, noting strengths and "improvements that we should make to get ourselves out of this Tier II situation," Jordan said.
Carrie Chicken can be reached at email@example.com or 522-5289.