School board talks tests and finances

USD 210’s Board of Education met Monday, June 19 at Central Office’s new Main Street location. Board members Barry Hittle and Paula Rowden were absent.

Dawson Kerbow and Jacob Eckert, two members of the HHS boys’ State Champion track team came to the meeting, and Athletic Director C.J. Korf presented them with a certificate of recognition. The boys’ families also attended to see them honored.

Board members then reviewed district-wide assessment data, as presented by Superintendent Adrian Howie. Information from the state assessment, AIMSweb, MAP and even ACT tests was carefully evaluated by administrators. Mr. Howie acknowledged that “teaching to the test” is not the district’s goal – “teaching and learning” is the goal of Hugoton schools. All the tests’ data can provide a snapshot of each individual student and indicate whether help is needed.

HHS Principal Melody Witt discussed with the board the desire for the high school to move to a semester grading system instead of the former nine-week grading period. This policy is more aligned with the way colleges grade. The board will continue this discussion at the July meeting.

CJ Korf then presented two different Dual Activity policies for the board to review before July’s meeting. Board members agreed a formal policy could help settle disputes when they arise. Mr. Howie told the board building handbooks and changes for the coming year were available to look over.

Board members approved pursuit of early childhood grants to benefit the preschool program and Parents As Teachers. They then talked about the classified pay scale, and Mr. Howie reported he will ask for approval of the scale at July’s meeting. Teachers’ absences were also discussed, and the superintendent told the board the district had spent $15,000 under budget on substitutes.

Board members and Superintendent Howie then entered executive session for 30 minutes to discuss personnel changes. Upon exiting executive session, board members opted to terminate the employment of Sandra Ruiz and Mara Martinez. The board also approved personnel changes as recommended by Mr. Howie.

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