The early stages of a plan designed to challenge teachers and students with different learning styles was presented to the Madison School Board on Wednesday.

The professional development plan was explained by Katie Jenner, director of learning at MCS. 

The plan, currently in draft form, combines new instructional strategies, the assessment of district and statewide data, curriculum development and operational development. 

"Every student in a teacher's classroom, not only do they look different on the outside, but internally the way they learn is even more different," Jenner told the board. 

"We need to continue adding to the tool belt with our instructional strategies," she said.

Primary goals of the plan include curriculum alignment and mapping in English and math, the intervention process for struggling students, data analysis and developing a common language for professional development. 

 "In order to really move ourselves along as a district, we have to pace ourselves. We have to continuously re-evaluate. We have to really be aware of how we're implementing," Jenner said.  

Also at the meeting, Jill Mires, principal of Madison Consolidated Junior High School, presented a student achievement plan to the board. 

The plan was required by the state because the junior high was categorized as a priority school.

Schools become a priority school after receiving a D grade from the Indiana Department of Education for two consecutive years. 

The grades issued from the IDOE are based on school ISTEP scores. 

Mires and her staff developed four specific, measurable, attainable, realistic and timely (S.M.A.R.T.) goals based on data studied after the school was given the priority status.

The goals are to increase the number of students who show growth in the bottom 25 percent and top 75 percent of the junior high school and increase the overall performance in math by 5.8 percent and in English by 8.5 percent.

Accomplishing the last two goals would bring the junior high school up to 80 percent proficiency in both English and math. 

The school will also have two monitoring visits from the state. The first on April 4 and the second sometime in May. An outreach coordinator will meet with the junior high school's administrative team and spend between 90 and 120 minutes observing classrooms.

Mires said that the news seems bleak, but that she has faith in her students and staff.

"We're not a D school," Mires told the board. " We just need to prove it to the state."

As an incentive to her students, Mires has promised to shave her head this summer if the school can improve its state letter grade. 

In other business:

• Superintendent Ginger Studebaker-Bolinger announced the resignation of Alvin Sonner, assistant principal of Deputy and E.O. Muncie elementary schools, and Lisa Cutshall, director of eLearning. 

Bolinger said that Sonner is retiring and Cutshall has accepted a job outside the school district. 

"I told her I feel like I'm losing my left arm," Bolinger said about Cutshall's departure. 

• The board approved a snow day make-up plan presented earlier this month by the school. 

Students will attend school March 31 through April 1, built-in make-up days scheduled for the end of spring break. School will also be extended one hour every school day this week, next week and March 31 through April 1. The school also requested waivers for April 18 and May 3. Those days will be used as eLearning days. 

• The board approved a pay raise for substitute teachers. 

Pay rates for substitute teachers with a minimum of 60 semester college credit hours will increase from $50 to $60 a day. Substitutes with an Indiana teacher's license, retired licensed teachers or people holding a bachelor's degree will increase from $65 to $75 per day.

• The board approved open bidding for cafeteria items. The school will receive bids for dairy and bread products and other cafeteria supplies.