Elmwood school board updated on reading camp, technology plans PDF Print E-mail
Written by BILL RYAN Sentinel Staff Writer   
Thursday, 21 November 2013 09:53
JERRY CITY - Members of the Elmwood Board of Education received some preliminary information for long-range technology plans in the district, and learned how students who attended the Summer Reading Camp fared very well in testing and advancement through their participation in the camp.
Reports showed that overall, of the first- through third-grade students who participated in the camp, roughly half advanced a level in reading. The other half stayed at the same level, with not one student regressing.
Of the 111 students who attended in the three grades, 56 remained at the same level from over the summer; 38 students improved one level; 12 grew two levels and five students grew three levels in reading.
The results were better than the results of the students who did not participate in the camp. The board thus questioned whether it is worth the cost considering there was not a "significant" difference between the groups. However, it was then pointed out that many, if not most, of those participating in the camp had been invited to attend as they had been identified as "at risk" in reading skills.
Comparable numbers for those that did not attend found 76 students who remained the same, 48 who grew at least one level and 18 regressed.
The other good news reported to the board advised how 110 students were identified in 2013 as at risk, compared to only 38 this year. It was noted that the population is changing as one grade moves out of the study as a new younger class moves in.
The first step in the district's technology plan was provided to board members. The first step provided on Monday included a listing of current computers, smart boards, and other technological inventory now used.
The report also indicates the district needs to increase its device count by 2014-15 due to state recommendations for required online assessments. This will be an ongoing project to stay up, if not ahead of, technological changes.
In addition, six Elmwood High School students involved with the Engineering/Robotics team will be heading to North Dakota to compete in the regional level of the BEST Robotics competition.
Gatekeeper 2013, this year's theme for the robotics event, which required the teams' robots to move inventory in different stages. The higher the difficulty of movement, the more points the robots earned.
Elmwood High School, coached by Eric Poffenbaugh, qualified for the regional competition by finishing second last month at Bowling Green State University.
Superintendent Tony Borton will be driving the robot, along with the luggage for the six students to the competition Dec. 6-7. The coach will accompany the students who will fly to the event.
Borton explained the logistical reasons for the itinerary at Monday's meeting of the school board. Regulations prohibit them from driving the students that far. However, the sensitive structure and systems of the robot could pose challenges for its safe arrival as cargo on a plane.
"We will transport the luggage to make it as easy as possible for the students at the airport," Borton told the board.
Funding for the trip will be made through the Career/Technology budget.
The board approved the travel unanimously, along with trips by the high school baseball team for a scrimmage in Cincinnati next March; and for the high school softball team for a tournament to Akron in April.
Borton also told the board of pending legislation, both at the state and national level, which could give greater latitude for school officials to have in stock and be able to use EpiPens for students who may be having an allergic reaction.
In other action the board approved half contracts for Brian Endicott as an assistant wrestling coach and Westley Lee as a junior varsity assistant wrestling coach.
The board approved a $600 donation to the athletic department for materials and painting of the stadium ticket booth from Gary Rhodes; and $246 from Trinity United Methodist Church in Bloomdale to be split evenly between the FFA, the Troubadours and the marching band.
The next meeting will be held at a special time of 6 p.m. on Dec. 9. The organizational and regular January meeting is set for Jan. 13.

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