R2 Begins Office Renovations

The Richland 2 School Board met Tuesday evening, May 28. Board member Barbara Specter was not in attendance. A quiet moment of prayer for the three Spring Valley High School members involved in last Friday‘s serious traffic accident was offered.

Renovations to the District Office have begun. The Planning Office has been moved into Longleaf Elementary School, which was under capacity. Some sections of Human Resources will be housed on the Windsor Elementary Campus in portables. A group of Richland Northeast parents have complained that the portable housing for the County Sheriff’s Deputy, located in the RNE parking lot, gave a negative impression of RNE. So the portable will be moved to Windsor Elementary.

First on the District Office renovation priorities is the removal of the portables to make way for a parking lot. With the portables removed, the paving is expected to begin June 10. It would be more reasonable to expect the paving to be saved for last – instead of having construction and equipment on the new asphalt. There was no discussion on how the building itself would be re-configured or for what use.

The second in a three-part presentation of Common Core was given with a focus on how professional development emphasized the new Common Core standards. Common Core standards have been fully integrated into the lessons of kindergarteners through second-graders in Richland 2. Common Core State Standards have been set for the subjects of English Language Arts (ELA) and Math. In 2014/2015, our students will be tested in a standardized test similar to the PASS or HSAP currently used.

The District will continue to offer professional development and training throughout the summer for teachers and non-certified personnel – particularly with emphasis on integrating Common Core standards into our curriculum. Nancy Gregory and the ELA and Math coaches reported on what has been done and what is expected to be done until the 2014/2105 year of full implementation. District coach Mary Lostetter, whose contract was not extended by the District due to her higher salary as an experienced teacher, was encouraged by Board member Melinda Anderson to continue to find ways to share her wealth of knowledge regarding math instruction in middle and high school students.

Knowing that Common Core as our new state educational standards has garnered much discussion, Gregory and her team have gathered community and parent resources from around the country and personalized the information into pamphlet per grade of what each student is expected to learn. Drafts of a seventh-grader’s year plan were delivered to the Board.

This being the last Board meeting of the school year, Board members waxed poetic about the success of the students and the hopes for a safe school year. Chairman Bill Fleming ended the comments, saying that the Lonnie B. Nelson Elementary ACE students exemplified what is good and right in our District with their hearty presentation, evaluating current carpool safety and ways to motivate parents to comply with their safety standards. Superintendent Katie Brochu and Chief Academic Officer Sue Mellette were also in full agreement.

Skipping a meeting date, the Board will meet again June 25 at Killian Elementary. In the meantime, The Voice will share its research regarding Common Core and a summer series on the good, bad and ugly of Choice in Richland 2 high schools. We deeply appreciate your comments and phone calls with thoughts on direction even when they are divergent from one another. Please keep it up!

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