Changes to school permit policy OK’d

WC?board adopts new science curriculum for K-8

High school students who don’t yet have their drivers license, and who live within one mile of school will soon be able to obtain a school permit to drive to practices at three locations around Webster City.

Superintendent Mike Sherwood brought proposed guidelines for the policy change. He said currently the policy says students must live more than one mile from the school to be eligible for a school permit. He brought the matter to the board last month after there were some requests from parents to allow the students to drive to practices in spite of living within a mile of school.

Those locations include Briggs Woods Golf Course, The Links Golf Course and Diamond in the Rough, a pitching and batting practice center located just south of U.S. Highway 20.

“Driving to one of these locations would be allowed once the school sanctioned practices begin,” Sherwood said. “It is not allowed before school sanctioned practices begin or after they end.”

Sherwood said he had also had a question about an 8th grader who was 14 and whether the student would be eligible for the school permit.

“Our practice has been after they are done with their 8th grade year,” he said.

Sherwood added that the permits would be issued just before the sports practices are scheduled to begin.

The board unanimously approved the policy change. Sherwood said the policy would go into effect immediately.

Dr. Adam Zellmer, director of teaching and learning for the district, presented the options for the new kindergarten through eighth grade science curriculum adoption. He said the staff had been reviewing curriculum that meet the Next Generation Science Standards.

“The new NGSS standards are very different from any standards we’ve had in any subject area and they are very different for science as well,” he said. He added that the instruction would integrate other subjects reading and writing, math and English language.

He presented a diagram to the board members which showed how all of the core ideas could be bundled together and taught.

“We’re getting away from the rote memorization. That’s not as important as understanding how to take those facts and then develop arguments to defend why things happen,” he said.

“Investigations are also important,” he added. “We want lots more investigations. Not just reading about science but doing it. Getting their hands in there, even as young as kindergarten.”

He recommendation for the k-4th curriculum was for Aspire Science, and STEMScopes for grades 5 to 8. Zellmer said the STEMScopes curriculum would pair nicely with the Google Classroom practices used at the Middle School.

Zellmer said the tentative costs for the Aspire Science curriculum for a 7-year lease and all of the materials was $111,933. For STEMScopes, the cost was $74,821.

The board approved the curriculum proposals. Zellmer said training for staff would begin during a May 10 professional development as well as June 4 and in August.

In other business, the board:

• approved the district’s audit report;

• approved the voluntary transfer of Clint Howard, director/teacher at Hamilton High to middle school physical education;

• approved the juvenile court liaison contract renewal

• reviewed the official canvass of the April 3 district reorganization election.