Thursday, February 18, 2016

District #51, School Board meeting February 16, 2016

School Board, Feb. 15, 2015
Fruit Monument's High School Award
Winning Band at Practice.

Trevor Olkowski, a junior at GJHS, was selected as the 2015 Southwest League All-conference Boys Golf Player of the Year.
R-5 Teacher, Al Kreinberg renewed his National Board of Certification, a personal and public statement about his commitment to the teaching profession.
The work on the new building for R-5 and TOC is going as planned.
Fifteen teachers from the schools piloting the PBL, (Lindsey), gave their reports on that process. Eight elementary teachers gave glowing accounts of evidence in their classrooms of student growth and advancement, particularly a Kindergarten teacher who has 28 students, revealed when school Board member Andy Williams asked her about her numbers. Today’s bar for Kindergarten students is very close to the expectations we formerly saw at grade one level. No one said how many aides she has or parent volunteers.
One teacher described the program or system as a shift, getting students to become aware of their responsibility to learn, using
“Habits of Mind”, a poster found in each classroom for motivation.
Truly the system is good, and as some of our school pilot it, those good points become evident.
Then, it took a middle school teacher’s honesty to give the practical points that need to be addressed if the District intends to implement it in all schools.
It was pointed out that only independent work and learning is robbing the enrichment and motivational aspect a good teacher brings to each class, the information that can inspire students in so many ways for later life experiences and careers.
 The teacher pointed out that teacher direction is still needed in some form, independent learning is not the only key to advancement.
Included in the teacher’s opinion was, “Unless sufficient technology is available, students will not be able to do the work required. Just having a cart of laptops is fine but such robs teaching and work time due to passing and then retrieving said computers each class, 20 to 30 minutes lost in fact.”
Time was another factor. Besides keeping records on each student’s level, there is no time to work with other teachers in other disciplines so as to really access information about individual students and what might best work for them. 
The teacher noted that each student marks his progress on wall charts as each skill is mastered.
“You have those that finish early and do extra, those that make most of the steps, those that cannot seem to make many and those that are not interested,” the teacher, who actually supports the new system, noted. “There are consequences as unless goals are met, students stay behind until they meet those goals.”
Saturday schools might be needed. Perhaps summer intervention classes as well. The question “What about consequences for 8th graders who lag behind, what should their consequences be?”
It was noted that elective classes, which actually have used a form of PBL for years, see their class time shortened, some even have a class cut so they then are required to teach a remediation class, thus short changing students of a whole learning experience. The arts, tech ed, life skills all are essential components of students, our leaders of tomorrow.
The lone eight-grade teacher noted that emotional and social goals are not included, thus causing another hole in dealing with the student in the PBL system.
The school calendar was next on the agenda, a report about which can be found in the Daily Sentinel, February 16.

No comments: