Hilltop Elementary School To Pilot New Reading Series Next Year

Worline WEBBy: James Pruitt

Hilltop Elementary School is going to be a pilot program for a new reading series for its third- and fourth-graders,

The school received $24,000 in free materials for the program recently which include manuals for each teacher and text and workbooks for the students, Principal Laurie Worline said. Each teacher will get 90 smaller books (30 for each reading level).

The program invites students to compare two texts (fiction vs. nonfiction or two nonfiction). The series is connected to current standards, where the old series is not, Worline said. The comparison aspect is part of the state standardized tests, she said.

“If we decide to go with the company after we piloted it this year,” Worline said. “Then we would be buying these same material for K, one, two, five and six.”

If the school declines, it has to pay to ship them back, she said.

The series has one teacher very excited.

“In Betty Tanner’s eyes this is everything she has been waiting for 18 years,” Worline said.

Superintendent Larry Long said the UPS driver had to make three or four trips to bring all the materials into the building. Tanner’s excitement was clear to anyone who was watching, he said

“Betty was in today and she was happy as a lark,” Long said. “It’s going to be a big shot in the arm.”

In other news:

Five high school students are participating in the OGT summer intervention program. The school offered science, social studies and math, Principal Steve Riley said.

The students need to improve their proficiency scores in order to graduate. They are the last class to be able to take the OGT program, he said.

Middle school student Brianna Bell was nominated for the Broadcom Masters national science fair competition. She was selected to be one of the Top 10 percent of all science projects nationwide, Riley said.

The Top 300 will be announced in September. From that list, the Top 30 will get to go to Washington D.C. The overall grand prize is worth $25,000, Riley said.

The elementary school had a successful Track and Field Day, Worline reported.

“It was a beautiful, beautiful day,” Worline said.

Police Chief JR Jones came out to help with the Tug O’ War, she said.

Worline said the first “Donuts for Dads” was a success. About 100 dads attended, plus all the kids.

“We filled the part of the gym we had, so we will have to open up a little bit more,” Worline said.

The school has opened up its Accelerated Reader program for the summer and has given 15-20 quizzes. While that may not be a lot, Worline said since this is the first time it has been offered in the summer, it’s a start.

The elementary school will be implementing some changes in policies in the coming year.

One is to address a growing trend of people calling about dismissals of their children after 2 p.m.

“It’s really hard to track down kids when they are at specials to get a message to them,” Worline said. “So I put a change in there they have to call by 2. Not that I won’t take a message, but this way Karen can say ‘I’ll take it today, but next time you need sure you do it by 2 o’clock.’”

The staff is concerned about not losing track of any student, Worline said.

The other is making sure parents have updated their emergency contact information.

The district decided against using a rubberized material for the floor of the playground area. The cost and contents of the material turned the district away, Long said.

James Pruitt may be reached at

© 2016, Forrest Church. All rights reserved.


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