Superintendent reports on school improvements

Several improvements have been completed recently in school facilities, Aberdeen School District Superintendent Jane Ward reported to the Aberdeen School Board trustees during the regular school board meeting held Wednesday, Oct. 16. Present at the meeting were trustees Herb Bohrer, Elaine Blik and Todd Lowder. Trustee Mike Shackelford was absent and the Zone 5 trustee seat is still vacant.

Ward said the high school boiler had been repaired and the inspector indicated it passed inspection and is now functional. The high school commons area was painted. The steps in the high school by the office have been replaced. Also, new floor cleaning equipment has been purchased.

Ward will be submitting a professional development plan indicating how the district is going to implement the Common Core, technology, and plan for the Smarter Balanced test to the state.

She also is working with high school principal Travis Pincock to assure the plan for alternate graduation meets state requirements.

Ward gave a special thanks to Kristi Copeland for her efforts to get donations for the Aberdeen Booster Club. She also thanked all those who contributed to the Booster Club. Those donations will be used to purchase needed items identified by the athletic department.

Administrator reports

Elementary principal Robi Jo Colton was absent but submitted a written report. In her report, she said the elementary building conducted a lockdown drill on Oct. 8. It went smoothly and students and staff are more aware of procedures each time they conduct a drill.

On Oct. 8 the elementary leadership team met to create the building SMART goal for the WISE (Ways to Improve School Effectiveness) tool. The leadership team discussed and decided on five indicators the building will work on. The next team meeting was scheduled for Oct, 22 and they will add tasks to the indicators and submit the information.

During harvest break Colton submitted the ReflexMath grant for the fourth grade teachers. This grant focuses on math fact mastery. Fourth and fifth grade teachers will implement this program into their math plans to help the lower-level math students perform at grade level. Erika Ingersoll sought out the grant and invited the teachers to apply. They are currently awaiting further information from ReflexMath.

In addition to math journals, the elementary school has implemented improvements at each grade level for the 2013-2014 school year. In the third grade they have increased writing time to four days a week and integrated Spalding with spelling/language lessons in an effort to increase writing skills. In the fourth grade they have increased ELA time by 30 minutes to implement Daily 5 and added journaling during their writing time. In the fifth grade they have developed planners/assignments sheets in homework academy (during lunch) for students who are struggling to complete homework, and new performance grouped math/social studies/science rotations to assist students not at grade level,

Data days are scheduled for Friday, Nov. 1, for K through 12.

Parent/teacher conferences are scheduled for Thursday, Nov 7

High school principal Travis Pincock reported harvest break went well. He knew not every farmer finished, but the students returned back to school after the break.

The soccer teams held senior night during harvest. Pincock thanked the senior players for their commitment to the program during their four years.

Middle school principal Ann Mennear told the board about an upcoming Gear Up event, paid for through that program, featuring a nationally known motivational speaker, Carlos Ojeda Jr. The event will take place on Wednesday, Nov. 6, in the American Falls High School Fine Arts Center. His appearance is a combined Aberdeen School District and American Falls School District sponsored event culminating with a dinner in the American Falls High School cafeteria at 5:30 p.m. Board members were invited to attend the seminar and the roasted chicken dinner.

She reported she attended a conference for Migrant Education directors on Oct, 8. During this conference she learned about changes to the migrant program’s quality control process, as well as how to plan a family literacy event. Both of these are requirements of the Migrant Education Program (MEP).

Wrestling and girls’ basketball start this month in the middle school. Mennear thanked the volunteer coaches Layne Arnoldson (wrestling), Julie Beck (seventh grade girls’ basketball) and Melissa Chappell Turner (eighth grade girls’ basketball)

SPAN (Suicide Prevention Action Network) will present a workshop to district teachers on Friday, Oct. 25.

Parent/Teacher conferences are Thursday, Nov, 7

The Snake River High School leadership class will come to the middle school and present an alcohol prevention assembly on Tuesday, Nov. 12.

Special services director David Vaughn pointed out that he would be attending an IEP with Common Core standards training with special education teachers.

He reported that playground and building duties are going well. There are at least two adults on each playground and in some areas more than two.

The special education staff is currently evaluating students referred for special education testing at data days, Vaughn said. These are students who have been given various interventions to help them in reading, math or written language but have not responded well to these interventions.

David Brainard conducted screening for all kindergarten students. He will recommend some of these students for further evaluation of speech difficulties.

Vaughn said he will be observing students referred for attention difficulties at data days. He will also be having teachers and parents fill out rating scales to determine if some of these students have ADHD.

Consent items

The following consent items were presented: approval of Sept. 18 regular meeting minutes, approval of claims for September, September financial report, county tax report, building budget reports and overnight trip request for the FFA to travel to Louisville, KY. All items were approved.

Business items

School policies on Prohibition Against Harassment, Intimidation and Bullying, Homeless Student Education, Homeless Student Education: Notification of Denial of Enrollment, Homeless Student Education: Appeal of Denial of Enrollment, Disclosure Requirements for Bond and Levy Elections, Financial Emergency, District Expenditure Website, Time and Effort Reporting Policy, Time and Effort Reporting Procedure, Time and Effort Supervisor’s Certification/Assurance, Time and Effort Personnel Activity Report, and Time and Effort Employee Certification/Assurance were approved. The policy on Restraint and Seclusion was scheduled for a second review and will be discussed at the Wednesday, Nov. 13, meeting.

Trustees approved the mechanical maintenance supervisor job description reviewed at the Sept. 18 board meeting.

Approval of the alternate graduation requirement was postponed as state approval had not been received yet. It will be added to the Nov. 13 agenda.

The district received a letter of interest for the open seat for Trustee Zone 5. The letter was submitted by Russell Sidell.

The regular board meeting scheduled for Wednesday, Nov. 20, was rescheduled to Wednesday, Nov. 13. They will meet at 6 p.m. to conduct interviews for the trustee Zone 5 position.

Trustee input

Trustee Lowder requested that an item be put in the school bulletins expressing the board’s appreciation for the teachers and staff. He said he has heard good things about the school basketball coach from several parents. He is happy about the football team and looks forward to the basketball season as well.

Trustee Blik said she is thrilled with school sports and is looking for the football team to go to state. She is glad about the plant facilities improvements.

Trustee Bohrer said a meeting about open meeting laws conducted at Fort Hall had conflicted with this schedule, but wished the board could have attended. He gave thanks to Blik and Lowder for being in the homecoming parade and said he was glad he could be in the parade also. He is happy with the results of the homecoming football game. He congratulated the athletes and cheerleaders. He said he appreciates the teachers who do good work and hopes parents appreciate the work teachers do. He said everyone likes to see Aberdeen students succeed. He is happy to be serving on the board.

The meeting was adjourned until Wednesday, Nov. 13, at 6 p.m.

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