School board talks testing and code

Jacob Lane · Thursday, August 22, 2013
The West Liberty Community School District Board discussed participation in a new assessment for kindergarten, Monday, as well as changed district code to allow substitutes married to board members to work for the school.

West Liberty helped set the standard last year for all future kindergarten classes that will use the AIMSWeb assessment. The program is completely web-based, and tracks student development throughout the year.

“Every two weeks we monitor students' progress, and we're now commissioned to write goals so that they are at their grade level,” Early Learning Center Principal Missy Johnson said.

A graph is created in the areas of math and reading for each kindergarten student that they must follow. However, if the student does better than intended, expectations are set higher on the graph.

“Every school would do this,” added Johnson, “And we are required to send those results to the state.”

The state recently required all districts to test their kindergarten classes at the beginning of the year in order to allow for a timely intervention if needed.

Even though West Liberty helped standardize AIMSWeb, it still hasn't decided what test will be best for its students. However, the kindergarten received four I-Pads for participating.

In other news, the board approved a change in language in the district school code to allow substitutes married to board members to work for the district.

Until now they could only work until they earned $2,500, but then the code barred them from any further services.

However, since substitutes are chosen by principals, not the board, the board decided to make the change.

"We don't want our school administrators limited to who they can call for substituting just because that substitute is married to a board member," West Liberty Superintendent Steve Hansen said.

The changes only needed to be made at a district level, since state code already allows for this.

In other news:

Parking lots in front of the elementary building and at the Early Learning Center were patched and repaved over the summer. The playground at the ELC was also sealed for maintenance purposes.

Also, installation of new cooling units in the eastern part of the elementary building was successful; next summer units will be added to the rest of the building and the ELC building.

Finally, Jose Zacarias, Emily Geertz, Nicolaas Van Every and current board member Kevin Minor have officially filed paper work to run for the school board positions.

Two seats will be opening up, and the election is planned for Sept. 10
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