On Tuesday night, the Butterfield-Odin School board approved hiring a new ESL staff member, 6 to 1, to make sure students understand their teachers within the classroom.
Superintendent Steve Thomas recognized one of the most significant issues in the school is the language barrier. He described speaking to a student sitting at the back of a class. The student didn't understand a single word Thomas was saying.
Thomas asked the board to consider hiring a new ESL staff member that doesn't necessarily need to be a teacher. The new member could be a para, and funded through the A&I grant.
Board member Kristy Haseman asked the board if they'd like to continue the search for a full-time superintendent in January. The conversation slowly drifted to Thomas' current performance.
As Thomas' plans to share new initiatives with the board, member Andy Pierson didn't agree with new.
"We need to do a better job in the basics," said Pierson. "I was hoping [Thomas] would recognize we don't have any discipline, accountability, and rigor."
Pierson described a situation where a class was given a take-home test on a Friday, due Monday. By Tuesday, only two students had returned the exam.
Thomas stated, after various classroom walkthroughs, he and Principal Tyson Walker are aware and working on a plan over winter break.
During the walkthroughs, "I was surprised by the behavior," said Thomas. "I can almost guarantee the current behavior will end while I'm here, but it will take time."
Member Michael Hernandez brought concern from parents to the meeting about the elementary pick-up road. Some parents have been seen doing u-turns, and have come close to hitting students. Member Renae Meyer recalled there had been talk in the past to have the road become a one-way street. But the suggestion never made it to the city. Member Pam Xayaphonesongkham also suggested placing barriers, as it had been used in the past for cars to stay off the road during recess.
Principal Tyson asked, for the time being, for names to be passed along to him to contact the parents who are causing the concern.
The elementary pick-up road will remain an on-going discussion.
Member Shannon Sykes and technology coordinator and teacher Aaron Wollschlager informed the board the staff will be using GoGuardian, security software that will provide more control over the students' Chromebooks. The software filters websites and could raise flags, such as if a student were researching suicidal content. There's also in-class monitoring for teachers to supervise Chromebooks in the classroom in real-time.
The current enrollment report is at 229 students. Last month reported 227.
Other Approved Items:
–Approve 2019 Payable 2020 Levy Limitation and Certification
–Approve to post-pone 2018-2019 Audit presentation by Abdo Erick & Meyers for January.
–Hire full-time office personnel, 12 applications were submitted.
The reorganization meeting is scheduled for January 7, 2019, at 7 p.m. in the Media Center. The next regular meeting is to be decided.