“the school has seen its students’ scores in math and reading slip in a way he described as “fairly alarming.”

Susan Endres:

Portage public school leaders are touting several changes this year that they say should help improve student scores and meet other goals.

Schools across the district are releasing students two hours early every Friday to give teachers time to collaborate with each other and look at data to help inform what they’re teaching and how.

“It’s a paradigm shift,” Bartels Middle School Principal Tim Rueth said of professional learning communities, or PLCs, during a school board meeting last month. “Someday when I give my retirement speech, I think this is really going to be one of the biggest changes I’ve seen over 30-plus years of education. This truly changes the way that we do things in schools.”