The Wawascene was created by Dr. Mark Stock, former Superintendent of the Wawasee Community School Corporation. Due to its local popularity, Dr. Stock has left the blog site to future Wawasee administrators.

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Thursday, September 14, 2006

Board Meeting Highlights

At Tuesday night's regular monthly meeting, The Wawasee Board of School Trustees:

1. Approved claims, minutes and personnel items
2. Heard a report on the Wawasee Middle School Mentoring Grant and Program
They learned that the grant ends next year. The goal is to expand the number of adult mentor volunteers. The number of student/mentor matches is still higher than the other mentor grant programs that are operating. Students, parents, and Bowen Center representatives attended the meeting to express their thanks for supporting the program. The next big hurdle is continuing the program after the grant ends.
3. Approved the financial report
4. Approved the 2007 budget
5. Authorized Mr. Evans to make reductions in appropriations at the budget hearing
6. Approved the tax neutrality resolution (which essentially states that the tax rate to annually fund pension bonds is being taken from other funds and is not an additional tax)
7. Heard a report from the Superintendent on class sizes, Primetime funding history, ISBA conferences and upcoming insurance meetings.
8. Heard a report from the Director of Curriculum on ISTEP testing and upcoming professional development activities


itsrich said...

Mr. Stock, do you feel a parent could make a difference by attending the School Board meeting? How would a parent attending make a difference in my child’s education?

Dr. Mark J. Stock said...

Interesting question. I believe parents do make a difference. However, I must say that I believe that a parents best opportunity to make a difference comes from staying involved in your child's education at the classroom and PTFO level. Then, by attending an occasional school board meeting they can stay on top of the public issues and discourse that occurs at the board level.

It might be interesting for you to know that public board meetings do not require public input at all although we allow it. Board meetings must be IN public only so that the public can see and understand the issues under debate and consideration. Most school districts do allow some forum for public input although most regulate it some form or another.

Most parents have found that coming to every board meeting is a difficult schedule to keep. In fact, some think the word was misspelled. They said it should be called a "Public Bored Meeting." :-)

Anonymous said...

Regarding the Mail Journal's comment that the high numbers in 2nd grade are being looked at district wide - what about the high numbers in other grades? Third grade at Milford is up to 27 students in both classes. Other grades also have high numbers. It could be the MJ article was misleading. Hopefully high numbers at other grade levels are also being discussed.

Dr. Mark J. Stock said...

We do watch all the enrollment trends even the year before when making our staffing decisions, but the options are still limited by the total corporation's enrollment in the fall. However, we have tried to help by adding a teacher assistant at Milford.

Anonymous said...

I feel that an assistant does not make-up for the large numbers. My daughter was in kindergarten a few years back. Her class had 29 students and an aid floated between two classrooms. It was a wasted year. Her teacher didn't realize she could read until after Christmas when I informed her. She had never had time to sit with each child and see what they could do.

Please stop spending money on staff that oversee "programs" such as AR and AM. Put teachers where they are needed.. With the children. Research shows that AR and AM don't help children (except research provided by the company trying to sell it). Research shows that class size does effect learning.

Deb Gaby said...

"Overseeing" the AR and AM programs is just a small part of the math and reading coaches' jobs. The "reading coach" and "math coach" positions are an evolving work in progress. My job has not been the same year to year since its inception. Growing and learning! In the beginning much of my time was helping classrooms implement the programs as these programs were chosen by each of the schools to be a part of an improvement plan. This meant providing in-service to teachers and to work with students in a whole group, a small group, or one to one to meet the criteria of the plan. This was in addition to compiling stats and making sure the programs were running as smoothly as possible.
The reading coaching job now involves most of my time in classrooms collaborating with teachers on reading and math strategies, and preparing and modeling focus lessons that concentrate on strategies that are based on experience and the latest findings on reading instruction. A smaller amount of time is still spent making sure that the programs run smoothly, expanding title and quiz collections, compiling stats, and coaching instructors through different stages of implementation.
I understand feelings of skepticism about research of AM and AR programs. You can find research pros and cons on any subject from medications to weight loss. This is also true of all educational programs and practices. One size doesn’t fit all. What I do know is that we become better readers and better mathematicians by practicing those skills. I also know that it provides a way to differentiate instruction so that individual student needs are better met. These two programs are a tool that provides a way for teachers, parents, and students to monitor practice. Both programs also build the life skill of goal setting and how to meet a goal. However, neither of these programs provides instruction. That is the role of the team of educators in each building and it is the reason why the programs are just a piece of the bigger picture of math and reading instruction. We’re still learning and will continue to learn how to “paint” that picture.

As far as smaller class sizes, I wholeheartedly agree. However, the coaching positions have no relevance on the number of teachers hired for each grade