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District offers help to homebound students

By Staff, 09/15/21 10:14 AM

PRESCOTT – It was workshop time for the Prescott School Board at its September meeting.

Ray Beardley, with First Security Beardsley, was in town to provide training for panel. Because of this, the board made short work of its agenda.

The panel approved a policy to provide educational services for homebound students. Superintendent Robert Poole said this is needed for when students can’t addend school for medical reasons and to provide continuity of education for them. He said the district has such a situation at this time. He added the district needed a policy in writing showing these services are being provided, though they’ve been provided in the past.

The board also approved spending $25,152.36 of ESSER money for a new program to help students catch up from getting behind due to Covid last year.

Angie Bryant said this is a literacy and ACT program for students in grades 9-12. The district received samples last spring, and let the teachers see it over the summer. This program, she continued, is highly rated and should provide what the district needs for a solid curriculum. The program is both digital and uses books.

Poole recognized the girls golf team for finishing second in district and earning a spot in the state tournament. He added more than 20 students participated in the livestock show at the Nevada County Fair and, hopefully, some will make it to the state fair. He said the board will get an update on the OYEA program next month, adding the students really like it and a lot are participating.

Bryant talked about the school’s improvement plan, reminding the board this is required annually for each campus as well as the entire district. The three areas being focused on are literacy, math and science, though the district didn’t have plans to address science in the original plan. With ESSER money, she said, these plans can be supplemented and the district should see whether they’re working by the end of the year.

Part of the plan is to increase the response to intervention time to help students, checking the depth of their knowledge, seeing where they’re having problems and working to correct them. For k-12 literacy, new reading programs are being put in place. These are: Alexia, Power Up and Core 5, all are evidence based. The key to success with these programs is making sure students have time to work with them, and let teachers know when added instruction is needed.

For math, a new K-2 program is being introduced that’s recommended by the state and based on the principle of NCTM. This program is designed around tasks and solving problems in real life situations, while increasing students’ fluency in math. “It’s important to get students thinking about what they’re doing,” she said. Using these programs, she added, showed an improvement in ACT scores last year.

Prescott Junior High School is using the QEST program for math and Prescott Elementary School is on the list and should be able to start teacher training next year. She pointed out the district needs a “growth mindset” in teachers. Bryant added the district received a $60,000 grant for math.

C.R. Cranford was approved to do request for quotes for the new health/physical education facility. Poole said Cranford is already on site building the new elementary school and the has done good work for the district. Jerry Hollingsworth will do the design work for the building.

Poole said the district was approved to get its own police department and will start with two officers, with plans to add a third later on. These officers will be school employees.

The district has 936 students enrolled, with 360 in PES, 273 in PJHS and 303 in PHS.