Online enrollment boosts Centre's head count

Staff writer

Superintendent Jerri Kemble reported Monday that preliminary enrollment at Centre USD 397 did not meet expectations, but increased enrollment in the Kansas Online Learning Program makes up for the loss in brick-and-mortar students. She said the district expected an enrollment of 245 but so far, only 231 have enrolled for the 2012-13 school year.

“That vision we had for maintaining the district is paying off,” she said.

Virtual school coordinator Vickie Jirak reported that enrollment in the online program was capped at 103, an increase of 15 from the previous year. In addition, eight Centre High School students are enrolled in online classes. Eight faculty members are being paid as student learning advocates for those in the online program.

Kemble also informed board members of a new push by the Kansas Department of Education to focus on “Common Core Standards” which specify exactly what students are expected to learn at each grade level. She said schools are moving away from focusing on state assessments and “adequate yearly progress.” The Common Core standards will ensure graduates will be prepared for college or working careers.

She said the common core standards allow each district to match the needs of its students by selecting its own multiple pathways for students to follow.

Kemble praised the district’s leadership team — Angela Basore, Laura Vinduska, Karen Nickel, Kara Luce, and Malory Jacobs — for its role in assisting teachers in understanding the standards and learning how to implement them in their classrooms. Teachers are excited about the new focus, she said. The standards are national in scope so teachers can get lesson plans from others across the country.

“We’re moving in a great direction,” she said. “We are going to be on top of it.”

After a 25-minute executive session with Kemble, the board approved Melanie Pollock as a teachers’ aide in the elementary school. She currently works part-time in the district kitchen. She will work an additional 1.5 hours per day at $9 an hour and will assist students in reading and math.

The board also employed Mark Hager as the assistant high school boys’ basketball coach and Kara Luce as the cheer sponsor.

Steve Jirak was appointed as a delegate to the Kansas Association of School Boards Convention Nov. 30 to Dec. 2 in Topeka. All other board members were named as alternates.

 

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