The Weekly Newspaper serving the citizens of Morenci, Mich., Fayette, Ohio, and surrounding areas.

  • Front.sculpt
    SKEWERS, gumdrops, and marshmallows are all that’s needed to create interesting shapes and designs for Layla McDowell Saturday at Stair District Library’s “Sculptamania!” Open House. The program featuring design games and materials is one part of a larger project funded by a $7,500 Curiosity Creates grant from Disney and the American Library Association. Additional photos are on page 7.
    Morenci marching band members took to the field Friday night dressed for Halloween during the Bulldog’s first playoff game. Morenci fans had a bit of a scare until the fourth quarter when the Bulldogs scored 30 points to leave Lenawee Christian School behind. Whiteford visits Morenci this Friday for the district championship game. From the left is Clayton Borton, Morgan Merillat and James O’Brien.
    DNA PUZZLE—Mitchell Storrs and Wyatt Mohr tackle a puzzle representing the structure of DNA. There’s only one correct way for all the pieces to fit. It’s one of the new materials that can be used in both biology and chemistry classes, said teacher Loretta Cox.
  • Front.tar.wide
    A TRAFFIC control worker stands in the middle of Morenci’s Main Street Tuesday morning, waiting for the next flow of vehicles to be let through from the west. The dusty gravel surface was sealed with a layer of tar, leaving only the application of paint for new striping. The project was completed in conjunction with county road commission work west of Morenci.
  • Front.pull
    JUNIORS Jazmin Smith and Trevor Corkle struggle against a team from the sophomore class Friday during the annual tug of war at the Homecoming Games pep rally. Even the seniors struggled against the sophomores who won the competition. At the main course of the day, the Bulldog football team struggled against Whiteford in a homecoming loss.
    YOUNG soccer players surived a chilly morning Saturday in Morenci’s PTO league. From the left is Emma Cordts, Wayne Corser, Carter and Levi Seitz, Briella York and Drew Joughin. Two more weeks of soccer remain for this season.
  • Front.ropes
    BOWEN BAUMGARTNER of Morenci makes his way across a rope bridge constructed by the Tecumseh Boy Scout troop Sunday at Lake Hudson Recreation Area. The bridge was one of many challenges, displays and games set up for the annual Youth Jamboree by the Michigan DNR. Additional photos on are the back page of this week’s Observer.
  • Front.homecoming Court
    One of four senior candidates will be crowned the fall homecoming queen during half-time of this week’s Morenci-Whiteford football game. In the back row (left to right) is exchange student Kinga Vidor (her escort will be Caylob Alcock), seniors Alli VanBrandt (escorted by Sam Cool), Larissa Elliott (escorted by Clayton Borton), Samantha Wright (escorted by JJ Elarton) and Justis McCowan (escorted by Austin Gilson), and exchange student Rebecca Rosenberger (escorted by Garrett Smith). Front row freshman court member Allie Kaiser (escorted by Anthony Thomas), sophomore Marlee Blaker (escorted by Nate Elarton) and junior Cheyenne Stone (escorted by Dominick Sell).
  • Front.park.lights
    GETTING READY—Jerad Gleckler pounds nails to secure a string of holiday lights on the side of the Wakefield Park concession stand while other members of the Volunteer Club and others hold them in place. The volunteers showed up Sunday afternoon to string lights at the park. The decorating project will continue this Sunday. Denise Walsh is in charge of the effort this year.

Morenci administrators discuss MEAP results 2013.03.13

Written by David Green.


There’s more than one way to study results from the state’s MEAP tests, said Morenci secondary principal Kelli Campbell.

The tests are given to students in grades three through eight throughout the state and results can be compared to state averages. Additionally, scores are often compared to those obtained in other nearby districts.

A more valuable comparison for her is to look at what’s called cohort groups—comparing the scores of last year’s fourth grade class to their scores as fifth graders, for example, and then comparing them again as sixth grade students.

Following the progress of each individual class can show continuing improvement or stagnation.

“All of our cohorts improved in math and reading,” Campbell told school board members at the March 4 meeting.

Morenci mirrored the situation statewide in showing a weakness in the science portion of the test, and Morenci students also scored low in sixth and ninth grade social studies.

“Those scores are substantially lower than where we would like them to be,” she said.

Each year administrators prepare a detailed school improvement plan that’s partially based on MEAP test results. A variety of data sources are used in addition to the MEAP.

Morenci students were doing quite well in meeting state standards, said elementary school principal Mary Fisher, until the “cut score” standards were changed. Cut scores separate students into categories such as advanced, proficient and partially proficient.

When the change was made to meet a higher standard, the scores posted by many schools suddenly looked very weak.

The district is adjusting to the changes and scores are on their way up, she said.

RETIREMENTS—Retired teachers Pat Burnard (16 years with the district), Dennis Quist (34 years) and Liz Jarrell (36 years) were honored at the board meeting and presented with clocks.

DISTANT LEARNING—Morenci is part of a consortium seeking federal Title II-A funds that would provide teacher training for distance learning opportunities. Siena Heights University would be part of the project.

IMPROVEMENT FUNDS—$56,000 remains in leftover funds from the middle school building project. A public address system that would tie together the middle and high school buildings was listed as a high priority during a discussion at the committee level. 

Technology coordinator Hilda Jones mentioned the need for replacement of the main internet infrastructure and also the need for new computers for teachers.

Teachers are being asked to do much more via the internet, she said, but older computers often make that a challenge.

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