Cumberland School Board

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Published on May 5 2012 12:49 pm
Last Updated on July 14 2013 4:07 pm
Written by Greg Sapp

Cumberland school board members this week decided on curricular and course changes at the middle school and high school for the coming school year.

Sheila Plummer outlined the curricular and course changs at the high school.  Debbie Musielak spoke to the English department changes and presented reasons for the recommendations, including an alternative to English IV for senior students who may not be planning on continuing on to college as a possible elective for underclassmen.

Teachers said there should be no problems with class size, since it is simply students moving from one class to a different one.  Classrooms will not be shared and many of the changes would continue to improve the study hall arrangement.

Musielak also talked about offering French as a foreign language alternative.  When asked about student interest, it was noted that 41 students have currently requested to take French.  Students will also have the option to take both French and Spanish.

Brian Muhr explained that the changes would benefit students planning to attend college.

Natalie Hurd spoke to the Board in favor of reinstating Art into the middle school curriculum, and indicated the addition would carry over into regular academics.

Ed Blome spoke to the addition of Intermediate Algebra for students who are not ready for Algebra II and help those students meet the current three-year Math requirement for graduation.  There was also information that the changes would make it easier for the school district to meet IEP requirements for special education students regarding time spent in regular classrooms.

Andy Thoele shared information regarding moving the flex period to the end of the day.  Thoele said there would be educational benefits in moving the flex period, including students leaving for sports not missing educational time, an incentive to students to maintain at least a C average to gain rewards at the end of the day, or for juniors and seniors to sign out 30 minutes early at  the end of the day.  When asked about students leaving early to go to work, Thoele said the change would add 20 minutes to the end of the day.  The current system allows seniors to sign out an entire period early at the end of the school day, even those who are failing.

There were questions over who would monitor the flex period system.  Board members heard that a report could be printed daily for teachers to know what students were ineligible.

The Board voted 4-2 to approve the middle school and high school changes.  Marje Jackson, Steve Layton, Rob Plummer and Cheryl Flood voted Yes, Laurie Titus and April Flood voted No.

The Board also met in closed session to discuss personnel matters and then moved back into open session to hire Kevin Macha as K-12 fulltime instrumental and vocal music teacher for the coming school year.