Jasper School Board Members Get Updates

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Published on December 18 2012 9:37 pm
Last Updated on July 14 2013 4:07 pm
Written by Greg Sapp

Jasper school district board members Monday got a series of reports on academic activities.

Presentations were made on state assessment data highlighting that District schools have closed the achievement gap between low-income and non low-income students in six of nine subjects across Grades 3 thru 12.  The most significant gains were achieved at Newton Community High School including 17% in Reading, 26% in Science, and 35% in Math.  There was an update on the Response to Intervention program that school officials said is part of the reason for the improvement, and on professional development efforts in which the high school is engaged.

The Board also concurred with some moves designed to improve educational achievements.  They include assessing Kindergarten students by trimesters instead of semesters beginning next school year; realigning the high school Math curriculum to integrate with common core standards by offering Math 1, Math 2 and Math 3; and realigning Computer Concepts to be taught at the junior high and Keyboarding to be taught at Newton Elementary.  The Board discussed a common core communications plan, a Math textbook adoption; and a common schedule between Jasper County Junior High and Newton Community High School.

Board members also discussed the Illinois 5 Essentials Learning Survey.  The survey is a result of education reform law.  In February, the District will ask students and teachers to complete the survey.  Parents will complete the survey in 2014.  Results of the survey will be posted to the new school report card.

In other business, the Jasper board passed a tax levy for the new fiscal year; agreed to seek bids for two new school buses; and agreed to pursue trading a truck and replacing it with a minivan.

Jasper Superintendent Dan Cox reported the District is still owed mandated categorical dollars from the State totaling more than $361,000, and reported on proposed legislation that could result in shifting teacher pension responsibilities from the State to the individual districts.  Cox also updated the status of property tax appeals for 2009 and 2010 filed by Ameren.

Jasper board members approved Tina Shipman as 7th grade volleyball coach, Keri Sowers as a Special Education teacher, and Randy Brooks as a bus driver.  The Board also expelled two students through the end of the school year, but stayed the expulsions and placed the students on Principal's Probation.  One will serve the probation at Safe School, the other at Jasper County Junior High School.