Teacher Recognitions At USD 320 Board Meeting

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Teacher recognitions topped Wamego’s Board of Education meeting. Wamego High School teacher Mary Lonker, and West Elementary teacher Abby Ross were recognized as Wamego’s Teacher of the Year nominees.

Wamego approved hiring an additional ESOL para. At Monday’s USD 320 Board of Education meeting, Superintendent Denise O’Dea presented the proposal for the ESOL Para to support the remainder of the 2012-13 school year, and would support 7 elementary school students. According to Director of Curriculum, Dr. Mary Kay Siebert, there are currently 27 students in the Wamego School District with ESOL needs, and the K thru 5 needs were not being met. Board member Amy Schwein asked about next year’s needs, and O’Dea said to expect a proposal for next year too. The board unanimously gave their support.

The Wamego Board of Education heard a proposal to upgrade the Middle School Technology Lab. At Monday’s meeting, Principal Vici Jennings and Teacher Jerry Johnson presented a detailed proposal for the upgrade. According to Johnson, the room currently housing the technology lab was intended for a metals shop when the school was built in 1992. The shop was never put into operation, and instead a state-of-the-art technology lab was installed. At that time, 8 modules were purchased and the room was designed for individual work stations.

Each of the modules were chosen to spark students’ interest and encourage them to explore skills that might lead to further exploration in high school class choices and possibly for a chosen career.
Some of the labs include Dynamic Earth, Electricity, Energy, Power and Mechanics, Engineering Bridges, Graphic Communications and Research and Design. Weather and Weights and Measures are new offerings. Johnson said with the upgrade, there are opportunities to add curriculum to the sixth grade technology class.

The upgrade would include a complete overhaul and remodel of the classroom with new modules, furniture, computers, a server, and increased electrical support, at a cost of over $71,000. A 4-1 vote approved the proposal, with Mark Bettencourt voting no. He said he was in favor of the project, but wanted to look at the operation first.

Wamego High Schools grading policy was discussed again. At Monday’s Board of Education meeting, President Phil Wethington asked the board for their suggestions on the data they would like the administration to supply in order to evaluate the current grading policy. After the November 20-12 Board meeting, a committee was formed to further study the grading policy, and as yet, nothing has come out of the committee.

Board member Richard Weixelman wants to know how many students, and the percentage per class that are retaking tests, and how many times per test. Board member Amy Schwein would like to see data on AP classes, the number of students taking those classes and the grades, and how many of the WHS graduates are taking remedial classes when they get to college.

Wethington said once the Board comes up with a list of the data needed, they would like to coordinate the data with the recommendations that come from the committee. He pointed out that at the time the grading policy was approved four years ago, the follow-up data was requested, but never received and faults the board for never establishing the criteria.