By Kathryn Schiliro
The county Board of Education (BOE) unanimously elected to OK revisions to the school system’s policy as it relates to students in the Gifted program.
The policy change calls for a support team of teachers to be formed should the grades of a Gifted program student slip below the program’s required averages. The student is then placed back in the regular classroom until his or her grades are brought back up, at which point they can be admitted back into the Gifted program. The support team is in place to monitor the student’s progress, system administration explained to the school board.
The policy update “aligns us with the state,” Superintendent Dr. Ralph Bennett said, about the change.
Currently, the primary, elementary and middle schools have Gifted programs. The high school’s Gifted-equivalent program are Advanced Placement (AP) and International Baccalaureate (IB) courses.
About 4 percent of the county’s student population are in the Gifted program, administration said.
At the meeting, the BOE also voted unanimously to extend an agreement with Hope Church of Madison to allow them to continue using space at the high school for services on Sunday mornings. While the request from Hope Church asked for another year, the board approved use of the high school for six months.
This is the third time the BOE has received such a request from Hope Church, Bennett said, and it’s the longest running facilities use agreement between the board and another entity. While the church’s written request to the BOE stated the body was “earnestly seeking a permanent location,” board concern centered around the perception of a kind of permanent relationship between the school system and the church.
The church does pay for the use of the facility, and Bennett told the board they do leave it in good shape each Sunday.
In other news, the board unanimously approved the following personnel actions: the recommendations for hiring a primary school ECE teacher, high school Business Education teacher and high school English teacher; the decline of a contract for a middle school Agriculture teacher; and the inter-system transfers of a primary school paraprofessional to the Alternative Education Program and two substitute bus drivers to full-time bus drivers.
Additionally, Bennett told the board he OK’d a fundraiser involving Spirit Nights at local restaurants for the primary school’s Parent-Teacher Organization (PTO). On a given night at varying local restaurants, beginning in the upcoming school year, a portion of proceeds will go to the school’s PTO.
To approve a policy change regarding the Gifted program;
To approve a six-month facilities use agreement with Hope Church;
And to approve a personnel list.