Classes will be offered to aid
students on basic skills tests

This article submitted by Linda Stelling on 12/15/99.

The Paynesville Area School Board approved offering special reading and math classes to help students pass the upcoming basic skills tests at their Tuesday night meeting, Dec. 7.

The Minnesota Basic Skills Tests are set for Feb. 1 and 3, 2000.

The district has about 84 students in grades nine through 12 that have not passed the basic skills tests (math and reading). Five of the students are seniors who need to pass the test before graduation. Four of the five are special needs students.

The compensatory education plan has Michelle Anderson, English instructor, and Melinda Zachman, math instructor, teaching students who have not yet passed the tests. Attendance is voluntary.

Students would have the option of taking the reading courses on Monday/ Wednesday or Tuesday/Thursday and math would be offered on Mondays and Wednesdays after school. The courses would run from Jan. 3 to Jan. 27.

John Janotta, high school principal, informed the board that of the students who took the classes last year 60 percent passed the test.

"It is our goal to have all the students pass the tests," Zachman said. "The state has special accommodations for special needs students, enabling them to pass the test along with their classmates."

Anderson told the board this will be the third year the after school classes will be offered.

In other businessÉ
•The board approved the learner outcomes (achievement goals) for the Family and Consumer Science department (formerly known as home economics).

The learner outcomes were established by instructors of the Family and Consumer Science department for courses taught in the seventh through 12th grade.

•The board approved a student gender nondiscrimination policy for the district. The purpose of the policy is to provide equal educational opportunity for all students and to prohibit discrimination on the basis of gender. "I feel the policy is comprehensive and more complete in the spirit of the law," superintendent Howard Caldwell told the board.

The board designated Caldwell as the districts human rights officer to receive reports and complaints from students, parents, or staff members.

In the event the complaint is against Caldwell, then the person should report to a school board member or to the school board.

•The board approved hiring Ginny Chevalier as a part-time instructional assistant in the special education department.

•The school board cancelled their first meeting in January due to the school board convention. The board will meet for the month on Tuesday, Jan. 25.

•The board was reminded that their meeting on Tuesday, Dec. 21, will be held at 2 p.m. in the middle school media center with the youth advisory council.

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