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Many future projects are in the works at the Winfield School District. TRi Architect presented a presentation of possible plans for the Intermediate building’s remodel, sports complex and the bus parking and maintenance consolidation from the Intermediate to the high school. This presentation was made in order to establish how long each part of the projects would take and which should become a higher priority should the district run a future bond issue. The board members have to decide what renovation will be done first, second and third. In other construction news, the middle school’s bleachers were inspected and were reported to need repair. The 20 plus year old bleachers will be upgraded on the south side of the gym to seat 422 individuals. “The school rarely uses both sides of the bleachers, and at this point we are thinking of ways to work with the space on the north side of the gym where the bleachers will be taken out and not replaced. Future plans may include a stage with storage underneath,” reported Jim Chandler, Superintendent. The district will pay for the new set of bleachers by removing the plan to re-asphalt the high school and doing the demolition work to the existing bleachers in the middle school themselves.
In public comments, a concerned citizen spoke to the board members. He asked them to rethink the bidding process to maintenance and repair projects. It was suggested that bids should be opened up to the public once the maintenance work reached a certain dollar amount. The board took this into consideration.
In new business, the Special Education program (Sped) will be receiving grants this school year to help and cover all the needs of the students within the program. The Special Education Improvement Grants are for Post Secondary Transition ($15,000) and Grades 3-5 Achievement ($15,000). The Post Secondary Transition Grant has provided the
staff with technology such as iPads for special apps to be downloaded for the learning process, training for the check and connect program, and to purchase BASIC II starter sets (iPad programs for the Sped students). With this all adding to the already dedicated staff, the district hopes to decrease the amount of Sped dropouts and have a better success rate for the students enrolled. The Grades 3-5 Achievement Grant will also go towards helping the graduation rate improve. A Dibels classroom set was purchased for grades K-5.
ACT scores have been a high priority for the Winfield High School. Within the last few years there has been ACT prep courses available for students to attend before taking the ACT, and now all juniors and qualifying seniors (first time taking the ACT) will have their test paid for by the district. Each junior and first time senior will be encouraged to take advantage of the prep course and the paid exam. Many students said they wouldn’t be able to take the test due to cost so the district stepped up to help.
The Warrior Pride Band has scheduled a trip to Chicago in late May. The trip will be a learning experience for the students to see the city and also be exposed to playing in front of crowds and learning from other bands. The trip is planned for the beginning of summer to avoid any missed days of school and to hopefully encounter good weather while there. They will fundraise to cover the costs of the trip.
John Neels, was recognized for all the technology support he has provided for the district since he has been with them. With all the new technology, Neels has been very thorough in teaching the teachers how to use the smart boards, and iPads to the best of their abilities.
In the Superintendent report, Jim Chandler spoke about the R-IV School District being recognized as a fully accredited school district. They will be re-evaluated in three years. The attendance for this school year is currently higher than this time last school year reaching 96.79 percent attendance. Last year’s discipline referrals at this time were totaled at 254. This year the number is much lower, sitting at 109 occurrences.
In administrator reports all buildings reported literacy plans being constructed to better improve testing scores and understanding of what the students are reading. All buildings reported a decrease in referrals and an increase in attendance and Warrior Way tickets that were being handed out. In the Primary and Intermediate, over 600 grandparents came out for Grandparents day. They also hosted an information night for parents to attend about the new math program, Singapore. One hundred and twenty three (123) parents came out to better understand the new approach to how math is being taught. Another parent night is planned for Nov. 8. The district is working hard to get everyone on the same page after the program switch.