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Both Running Fox and Black Hawk Elementary students will benefit from the expansion in the use of expanded use of the Study Island program, the CCR-1 elementary school principals told school board members at their December 17 meeting.
“We have it for grades 3-5,” said Running Fox principal Katrina Nixon. “And we’re purchasing it for grades K-2. It hits all the core areas, and has a lot of interactive features so they don’t get bored.”
Study Island provides goal-oriented learning specific to each students. It allows teachers to identify each students strengths, and find out where they need to improve to master the subject at hand.
Running Fox has been using the software for about 15 years.
“We have focused on grades 3-5 because that’s who takes the MAP tests,” added Nixon.
The MAP test can be overwhelming for students. Study Island helps by giving students practice on the kinds of questions they will see on the test.
“Just being able to manipulate the test can be a challenge, said Betsy Parrish, Black Hawk principal. “Our previous program was not preparing the kids for the MAP test.”
So why has Running Fox been using this successful program, and Black Hawk has not?
Two reasons: money and technology.
“Our issue is devices,” said Parrish. “It doesn’t work on iPads, and we have 160 Chromebook for 400 kids. We get the leftovers. Kids in grades seven and ten get new Chromebooks, and the old ones get passed down.
The pricing for the software recently changed, making it more affordable to schools with a larger student population.
It’s not just for elementary students either.
“Our SPED teachers are really looking at it,” said High School principal Jason Harper. “We’re planning on moving to it year, and SPED will start using it in the spring.”
The board also discussed planned improvements to the block house at the activity field. The district has approximately $42,000 left from the bond issue, which must be spent on facility improvements. Among the ideas discussed is expanding the concession stand area at the activity field by about 400 square foot.
Some of the work will be completed by the Building Trades classes. Renovations to interior of the building are expected to cost about $29,388. Expanding the concession stand area forward, under the canopy, would add an additional $6332.
“We have a beautiful facility,” said board member Kari Bevans. “Will we have control of how it looks?”
Board member Kevin Ross also compared the food served in the concession stand to food available at other facilities in the Clarence Cannon Conference.
Prior to the next meeting, the board will tour the existing facility to review before any action is taken.
The board also voted to change the MOCAP policy. MOCAP is the The Missouri Course Access and Virtual School Program, which allows students to take some or all of their classwork online at district expense.
“We want to make sure they’re doing quality work,” said Supt. Dr. Ritchie Kracht, noting that currently, the school is not allowed to review MOCAP student performance, even though the school is paying and will grant the diploma. Kracht also pointed out that different MOCAP providers have dramatically different costs to the district.
“They are not getting and education from us,” said board member Craig Hunziker.
“But their test scores count as ours. And in theory, we could have a Valedictorian or Salutatorian who have not taken a class from us,” Kracht added.
“Area superintendents are working with the legislature on this,”
To make sure MOCAP students are receiving a quality eduction, the board voted to require students and their parents allow the school district to review their MOCAP classwork. To achieve that permission, they have added language to the enrollment form.
In other business, Kracht reported on maintenance projects expected to be completed during the Christmas break.