CCR-1 School Board Examines Student Achievement

By Mike Scott
The Clark County R-1 School board looked at programs  for students at both ends of the academic spectrum during their Thursday evening, September 13 meeting.
The board approved a partial curriculum for their gifted students program.  Black Hawk principal Danial Boatman reported to the board that the program has been re-designed to expand the use of hands-on activities and experiments.  For example, 4th grade students in the gifted program will have units included Forms of Energy: Electricity, Missouri, Biomes, Problem Solving-Geometry, Literature Study and Independent Projects.
“I think we have a better product here. These are lessons that came from others teaching the field that are having success,” said Boatman.
The board also reviewed the Adequate Yearly Progress report.  As previously reported, the district failed to meet standards in two specific areas: Math and Communication Arts scores from the MAP tests, among students with learning disabilities.
“Missouri’s tests are significantly harder than most other state, which helps our kids, but at the same time gives our state a black eye when it’s reported our kids aren’t meeting the test standards,” CCR-1 Superintendent Ritchie Kracht said.
The district will be required to develop a plan to address the shortcomings.
In other business, Kracht reported that the electrical projects at both Black Hawk and Running Fox Elementary School are nearly completed.   However, the board did approve change orders to add electrical outlets for for computer labs at both schools.
The board also addressed concerns around the taller seats in the new school buses.
“If you’re a driver, or sponsor or chaperone, you cannot see what is going on,” said board president Steve Otte.  Otte suggested developing a seating policy for all buses.  Supt. Kracht will meet with drivers, coaches and sponsor and bring back suggestions to the next meeting.
Boiler repairs at three district building are expected to be complete within the next 30 days.  At the middle school, mechanical work should be finished this week, with electrical and control work next week.  Repairs at Black Hawk should be finished this week, and at Running Fox next week.
“Hopefully, by October 5, all of these boilers will be repaired and running.
The board approved several budget amendments  to the 2007-08 budget.  The changes, which reflect additional tax revenue and changes in expected expenses, have a positive net change of additional $128,459.
“If it weren’t for these major projects, we’d be operating in the black this year,” Kracht said.
The board also added two additional “make-up days” to the calendar in the event of a hard winter.
The board also took up the topic  of a curriculum for the Weightlifting class.
“I think there should be more testable material than showing  up, changing shorts, and lifting a barbell,” said board member Dr. Matt Cormier, who suggested adding physiology information to the class. 
“Essentially, we’re providing time for athletes to work out,” Cormier said.  “Let’s make them think about what they are doing, and why they are doing it.”
“I don’t think it’s that different than band,” Kracht said.  “We don’t test them on music history.  They show up, they play, they march, they get an “A”.
Cormier made a motion to expand the weightlifting curriculum to include testable material on anatomy and physiology.   The motion passed on a 6-0 vote.