School administrators outlined improvement plans for Carroll County Schools to increase state achievement scores over the next year.

Each school principal reported to board members how teachers plan to increase scores in the core curriculum and for Gap students.

Carroll County Schools Superintendent Lisa James asked each principal to present a plan to the board so everyone understands the steps being taken to prepare for the next statewide test.

"We've learned a lot from last year's test," James said.

The Alternative Learning Center for Carroll County Schools has been utilizing programs for reading and other subjects, principal Ed Nelson said. One of the programs - e2020 - allows the school to increase difficulty of the lessons to help student achievement.

The school has begun to assign "real world" readings from outside of a textbook, such as car and animal magazines. Students blog daily to help develop writing and language arts skills

Cartmell Elementary School Principal Doug Oak told board members teachers are honing in on assessments and an appropriate level of rigor. Oak also told the school board the school needs to focus on multiplication.

"We have a multiplication crisis in our school," he said.

Oak said students need to understand the basic fundamentals before moving on to a higher level of mathematics, and the school also needs to focus on writing.

The high school has been focusing on before- and after-school tutoring, math and reading labs and a "Gold Block," which allows for testing interventions, study sessions, mentoring time and test-taking skill sessions, principal Tom Stephens said.

Most middle school students can't stay after school for extra help, principal Dana Oak said, but the school had been implementing Flashback Fridays where students review vocabulary for social studies and science and "Scrimmage" tests that allow students to see what the statewide tests may look like.

Kathryn Winn Primary School Principal Gerda Wise noted that even though her students aren't tested with the statewide tests, the school still has high expectations for students.

"I'm constantly pounding high expectations," Wise said. "Our children have to be pushed."

Students are monitored weekly to see growth in achievement to allow children to score well on statewide tests once they move to Cartmell Elementary.

"They are doing a lot of great work in the building," James said of the district's schools. "And you can tell."

In other business:

• Tommy Unker served his last meeting as a school board member. Unker was appointed to the board in September 2004, and he was first elected to the board in November 2004. He had served eight years and three months.

"We want to say thank you," James said. "It is real dedication."

The board presented Unker with a crystal apple for his years of service.

School board chair Mona Kindoll said Unker has participated in four major building projects in the past eight years.

"We're going to miss your expertise," Kindoll said.

• The school board honored two high school students as Champion Kids at the meeting. James gave awards to Tyshawn Embs for his achievements in football this season. James also honored Nicole Sculley for her singing achievements.