USD 410 board hears of district?s ESL program

Unified School District 410 Board of Education heard an overview of the district?s English as a Second Language Program.

Sixteen students?preschool to seventh grade?are part of the ?ESL pipeline,? said Ellyne Wiebe, Title 1 coordinator and director of the ESL program.

?It?s one of the fun components of my day,? Wiebe told the board about working with the ESL program. ?It?s also one of the challenging things.?

Spanish and Chinese are the first languages for these English Language Learners, she added.

Wiebe and para-professional Marcia Findeiss work with the students 30 to 45 minutes four days a week and focus on speaking, reading, listening and writing, those areas appropriate for individual students.

ELL students must test fluent in all four areas, she said, adding that proficiency in academic language can take students as much as six to nine years.

Wiebe also reported about challenges she faces as well as her dreams for the district?s ESL program.

In the evening?s learning showcase, teacher Dustin Dalke shared samples of students? design work in the Animation class, which is part of one of the newest career pathways in the district.

?There?s a lot of work involved with everything that?s going on,? Dalke said.

In the course, computers have facilitated rather than driven the work, he said.

?(The course content is) new to the kids,? Dalke said, ?and new to me.?

The next level, he said, will be focusing on students learning to use the computer to build and animate basic shapes.

In his quarterly building report, Hillsboro Middle School principal Greg Brown covered a review of the testing status of students and the establishment of a counseling team and routine teacher support.

Superintendent Steve Noble reviewed the district?s ?report card? from the Kansas State Department Education. Performance indicators, student demographics and other information is accessible to the public at

In other business, the board:

? approved the maintenance staff funding agreement with Tabor College for 2011-12 regarding the Joel H. Wiens Stadium/Reimer Field.

? met in an hour-long executive session regarding matters of non-elected personnel.

? approved contracts for Noble, effective July 2012 to June 2014; Jacob Shenk as assistant wrestling coach for the high school and middle school; Terach Antoine as assistant HHS wrestling addendum; Bob Woelk as drama coordinator; Dustin Dalke as drama assistant; and Jeff Haslett as assistant coach for HMS/HHS track.

? heard brief reports from board members Mark Rooker regarding TEEN?s annual Mash-up scheduled for Jan. 16 in Herington, and Deb Geis about Marion County Special Education Cooperative?s most recent meeting as well as an update from David Shephard, MCSEC director.

? met in executive session regarding negotiations.

Board members Gary Andrews and Chad Nowak and clerk Jerry Hinerman were absent from the meeting. Evan Yoder substituted as clerk and recorded minutes.

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