Board OKs curriculum cycle for 2018-2019

Webster City school board members heard a presentation by Erin Miller, director of teaching and learning, about how the district approaches curriculum development and the process for adopting new curriculum.

“When we’re thinking of it, I think it’s a mistake to say that we’re only on a curriculum cycle for a year. It’s an ongoing cycle of continuous improvement,” she said. She said the work includes looking at standards and what the district asks the students to achieve and how it is measured.

She said the process can take several years from research to adoption and then evaluation of the curriculum. The adoption of curriculum is staggered, she said, based on many factors, including cost of curriculum programs and how quickly teachers adapt to the new programs.

“It’s a lot to ask them to implement brand new curriculum materials two years in a row,” she said. “So that’s a reason to slow the pace and let them have some space to learn one before we throw something else at them.”

Following the presentation, the board approved the 2018-19 curriculum cycle.

Several fundraisers were brought to the board for approval. Three of the requests were from the high school band as the group moves forward with raising money for new uniforms. The fundraisers include giving Fareway and HyVee customers the option to round up purchases, canvassing local businesses for donations, and selling “Once a Lynx, Always a Lynx” window clings.

The other fundraising requests came from the fifth grade Project Explore to collect money from Advisory students for Red Cross hurricane relief efforts. The high school Spanish Club will sell Christmas sugar cookies and Butter Braids to help fund club activities. The high school athletic department will host a Hot Shot contest during home varsity basketball games to raise funds for the athletic department.

Board member Rich Stroner said he had received comments from parents who wondered if they could just give a check at the beginning of the year for fundraising, rather than being targeted with each club’s fundraising activities. Board Secretary Cathi Hildebrand said the process might prove to be an “accounting nightmare.”

In other business, Superintendent Dr. Mandy Ross was appointed the District Title IX coordinator and Erin Miller was named as the district coordinator for Section 504 and Title II. Ross said the district is due for an equity audit from the Iowa Department of Education Dec. 18 and 19. The appointments are in preparation for that visit, she said.

Gifts from sources were accepted by the board Monday night. Yesway and its customers donated several bins of school supplies, which Ross said had been distributed to area schools. The family of H. Dean Simpson also donated historic WCHS year books and articles to the district.

After the first of the year, Ross will seek bids for a comprehensive facilities study, following approval from the board. The study will include all buildings in the district as well as Northeast Hamilton. Ross estimated the study could cost in the $20,000 to $25,000 range.

Resignations were acknowledged from Jordan Lundquist, high school food service department, Janis Roe, part-time high school food service and Adriana Magdaleno, middle school para-educator. Contact recommendations were approved for Dylan Elsberry, Sunset Heights para-educator and Cole Nokes, assistant middle school wrestling coach.