GRIFFITH | With a remediation plan in place to improve disappointing student test scores, Griffith Middle School students are brushing up on their math skills before the 2014 ISTEP+ tests.

Superintendent Pete Morikis said a Math Help Team, consisting of Kathy Planer, Tom Radtke and Cindy Leber, is coaching the students.

"They really hit the ground running" after the state-assigned school letter grades were issued in December, Morikis said.

The Indiana Department of Education gave letter grades of A to Beiriger and Wadsworth elementary schools. Ready Elementary School received a C.

The middle and high schools received D and C grades, respectively.

Morikis said the plan involves targeted instruction and identifying skills that need improvement.

Prior to the new plan, 80.3 percent of seventh-graders were expected to pass the upcoming ISTEP+ math test. That number has grown to 82.5 percent, Morikis said.

Similarly, the number of passing eighth-graders is expected to rise from 84.6 to 91.5 percent.

"What they've done to help the kids is really great," Morikis said.

He said there is time to further boost improvements before the ISTEP+ tests are given later this semester.

In the meantime, Morikis said better communication is needed between parents and teachers.

He said a recent Parent Teacher Council meeting drew only four parents.

One parent, Delana Warner, asked if the board would accept help from parents who are based at home.

A parent panel could meet frequently with the administration and take answers back to the parents, she said.

"I just really think this is a good idea," Warner said.