School board continues review of curriculum

This article submitted by Linda Stelling on 11/4/97.

In a continuing effort to get updated on the curriculum program within the school, the Paynesville Area School Board met with staff members at their meeting Tuesday night, Oct. 28.

First of the department chairs to speak to the board was Jackie Campbell, guidance and counseling. ďWeíre off to a great start,Ē she told the board. ďMy goal is to meet with all the seniors before Christmas.Ē

ďPeer tutoring is going well. We would like to expand the Big Brother-Big Sister program in school to work with elementary students in single parent homes,Ē she added.

Beth Realdsen, health department, told the board their goals are to have the graduation standards in place this year, and to continue to support the need for a health curriculum in grades six and seven. She also voiced a concern with student habits on the consumption of pop and candy. ďI have heard reports where some students drink more than six cans of pop daily,Ē she said.

In the math department, Denise Landsteinerís report stated the goal in the elementary school is to align the present math curriculum with graduation. Murry Rafferty, representing middle school math, said their goals are to continue basic math skill instructions, place emphasis on problem solving and logical reasoning and to improve test scores.

Bill Brinkman, high school math, voiced a concern that by the end of 10th grade, students will have met the two-year math requirement and wonít be required to take any more math. ďWe need to do something for those students who do not pass the graduation standards tests,Ē he stressed. ďThere are 15 students needing to retake the test this year. Do we offer them night classes to help them prepare for the test or summer school?Ē

Rita Brossard, media and technology, informed the board the elementary school has a problem. In order to bring the Internet into the computer lab, they would need to discard the 2E cards (drill and practice) which are in the computers. ďThe teachers need to decide which option they want, to continue with the 2E cards or have the Internet. Until we get new computers, it has to be one or the other.Ē

Jane Hjelle, special education, said she would like to develop a life skills curriculum for the middle and high school special education students. ďMany of these students are not able to take regular classes and need to learn functional things they would be using in day to day living,Ē Hjelle said.

In the foreign language department, Dave Wilke, German and Spanish instructor, said the department goal was to review graduation standards regarding the introduction of world language into the elementary as well as the high school. ďOther goals are to enhance the students foundation of German and Spanish, be consistent with cultural days (once a week) and to plan a Spanish trip for the 1999-2000 school year,Ē Wilke said. ďThere is a concern that as student enrollment of foreign languages increases, the staff will be overloaded,Ē he added.

Chris Quale and Ron Fuchs said the social studies department is continuing to implement the graduation standards and working on upgrading elementary technology. ďLast year we had new curriculum at all levels and found it a little overwhelming on how best to implement it. This year, we know what works and what doesnít and are making adjustments,Ē Quale said.

Quale mentioned the need for more computers in the elementary classrooms. In the second grade, there are four classrooms sharing two computers with CD roms. ďItís like having a car to drive one month then giving it to someone else to use the next month and you walk,Ē she said.

Return to Archives