by Jennifer Parker
LA VETA- At the Re-2 school board meeting it was noted that parent-teacher conferences were not well attended for middle and high school grades, with only 28% participation this year while the elementary grades had 100% participation. Superintendent Dave Seaney feels it may have been due in part to a lack of communication to parents. Usually a letter of notification is sent out, but no letter was sent this year. In a related matter, the district will soon be linked to a communication service that will provide phone calls to teachers and parents regarding about weather-related cancellations or upcoming activities within the school.
Several students will be going to Oklahoma for an FFA Judging Contest on November 12-13. The Board opted not to hire an assistant basketball coach for the high school girls; instead there will be adult female chaperones attending each of the games. Many students want to continue the Music Program on Fridays. It is led by Dave Auriello who brings an understanding not only of instruments, but also of the music industry.
Board member Sam Law suggested showing interested persons what the Garland Street and Charlie’s Park projects would entail. This would give people a chance to voice their opinion. She would also like to see the projects referred to in the future as the East and West End projects because there is so much more to each that is not implied by the current names
The idea of a new weighted grading system for Re-2 was the main topic for discussion. Students who are taking college courses for credit would be graded on a 5.0 system rather than the traditional 4.0 method. A student could easily choose to take an easy class such as PE and receive an A, yet a student who takes a much harder class and receives a B would have a lower GPA without the weighting of grades. Teacher Bree Lesser and Counselor Rick Sciacca were in agreement that the GPA is a major factor in determining a valedictorian/salutatorian. They want to make sure that students who are attempting to take college level courses are not punished by the current grading system.
Also discussed was how students might qualify for these courses. Colleges have an accuplacer test that entering students must take to be eligible for the courses. Lesser and Sciacca feel that an application process should be put in place by the district to identify students who are ready for these courses. Students who do not take these programs seriously and receive an undesirable grade put the school at risk. Colleges may retract the courses. Re-2 pays for these courses, whereas most schools do not and it is much less expensive than actually being enrolled in a college/university. Teachers are hoping that all students involved will be appreciate the opportunity. Some seniors will graduate this year with an average of 17 to 30 college credits. The next regular board meeting will be on Dec. 9 at 6:30.