The District 84 Board of Education met on Sept.12 and was given a complete curriculum review and update.
Good news items of the meeting included the recognition of the high testing scores from the Sleepy Eye School District, as well as the successful FFA trip to the state fair. It was also mentioned that there has been improvements made to the concession stands at the high school.
Media Specialist Nancy Moore, along with Social Studies teacher Kevin Schneider, presented an update on the curriculum for Sleepy Eye Public Schools. Along with the basic curriculum, plans include K-12 English Language Arts, revised independent tutoring, and new high school social studies electives.
It was also presented that more testing will take place. Board Chair Darla Remus questioned whether more testing is an accurate way of assessing the needs for students or not.
“You just assess the students by the testing,” Remus said. “What if the child is a good student but doesn’t test well?”
Moore reassured that these assessment tests will be shorter than normal, more of them will be one-on-one, and the kids won’t be graded on them.
“The kids are so used to it now that we don’t see so much of that test anxiety as we did before,” Moore said. “The comfort level is a lot higher.”
Schneider said students will also work on their reading and math skills more often each week through an intervention program. The board questioned whether or not the kids would show up, in which case Shneider said Principal Laffen would intervene.
Moore was happy to announce that the Sleepy Eye schools are leading in science, math and reading.
She also said the social studies department is considering getting iBooks which would be read through an iPad instead of buying text books.
Superintendent John Cselovszki reported for Principal Laffen and said the school will soon review the cell phone policy for students. Cselovszki also reported student numbers have dipped from last year.
The action items that were approved were:
- Resignation of Jared Schwab;
- Medical leave request until the end of the first semester for Tamra Smertneck;
- Torry Berg as part time School Readiness instructor, Debra Kruse and Cindy Hornick as SPED paraprofessionals, Kelly Schmitz as the long term sub for FACS, overload for Kris Bloedel, Shane Laffen as JH Tennis Coach;
- Open enrollment requests: 10 in from New Ulm and one out to Cedar Mountain;
- 2012-13 staff development report;
- ECFE programs for 2013-14 school year;
- Certify 2013 payable 2014 levy for max amount “pending information becoming available from MDE”;
- Call for snow removal quotes for 2013-14;
- A $100 donation to the library and $40 to PBIS by Dan and Sheila Schmid on behalf of Jane Hurley, donation of the orange sports schedules by McCabe’s Ace Hardware;
- MOU between Sioux Trails and SEPS for School Linked Mental Health Services for the 2013-14 school year, MSEA contract for the 2013-15 school years;
- Working Directives for Non Certified Staff as presented.