USD 410 board hears of new learning model

ORIGINALLY WRITTEN ALEEN RATZLAFF
Unified School District 410 Superintendent Gordon Mohn at Monday’s regular Board of Education meeting spent considerable time explaining a model that provides context for the district’s approach to student learning.

“Citizenship, character and ethics are necessary tools for life,” Mohn said. “Reading and math are the tools (to achieve life-long learning).”

Mohn said the district’s Leadership Team has developed a tentative set of agreements concerning curriculum mapping, student assessment, adult and student learning and evaluation that will facilitate change.

Hillsboro Middle School principal Corey Burton explained curriculum mapping, which will track resources, assessments, standards and student learning in instructional areas such as social studies, reading, language arts, Spanish, math, science and fine arts.

With the standard set by “No Child Left Behind” and Kansas Assessments that all students must score at proficiency level in reading and math skills, Mohn said the district needs strategies that will ensure students will improve and attain those goals.

The proposed strategies and tools would include annual state and other academic assessments that monitor math and reading as well as the development of character traits, skills and knowledge necessary for success in life.

One option, Mohn said, would be to have all high school seniors enroll in a course in which they complete an “exit project” designed to demonstrate their integration of learning.

“We’ll continue this discussion,” Mohn said.

In his building report, Hillsboro High School principal Dale Honeck said that last Wednesday, teachers sent out more than 90 progress reports for students who are performing at a lower level.

These reports are intended to alert students and parents regarding areas of concern before quarter grades are distributed, he said.

“Most of the students haven’t turned their work in,” Honeck said about the number of reports sent out.

Activities director Max Heinrich said nearly 25 students-including eight students from Goessel-are participating in Hillsboro Middle School wrestling.

He said he expects both the boys’ and girls’ basketball teams to do well in district play.

Also, he added, the Scholars’ Bowl did well this year.

“They had a great season,” he said.

In his report, Evan Yoder said there has been a lot of sickness-teachers as well as students-at Hillsboro Elementary School these past couple of weeks.

Yoder said the upcoming in-service meetings for teachers will focus on a program that will help students identify bullying behavior and faculty and staff will implement consistent consequences for those who practice such behavior.

Business manager Jerry Hinerman reviewed numerous aspects related to the district’s use of increasing bandwidth and expanding Internet connections.

Regarding action items, the board:

  • approved issuing a supplemental contract to Holly Lindsay to serve as an assistant high school softball coach.
  • approved renewal of administrate contracts for Corey Burton, Max Heinrichs, Dale Honeck and Evan Yoder for a two-year period.
  • approved purchase of two 24-passenger buses from Hillsboro Ford at a price totaling $91,958.
  • authorized the superintendent to finalize purchase of a mid-sized or smaller used car from Wright’s Chrysler/Dodge/Jeep at a cost not exceed $10,000.

    The vehicle will be used for transporting a student to OASIS in Florence. Because of special education requirements, the student must be transported alone rather than with other students.

  • authorized the superintendent to contact three architectural firms in order to arrange interviews with the board to look at long-term facility needs.
  • approved USD 410 hosting the fall regional tournament next year.
  • took no action regarding requests for membership in Kansas Education Coalition and Schools for Quality Education.

    During the meeting, the board went into executive sessions to discuss issues including potential property acquisition and matters of personnel.

    Board president Brent Barkman and member Mark Rooker were absent from the meeting.

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