Alder lists goals for next year

The Jonathan Alder Local Schools Board of Education and school administrators are on their way to finalizing goals and a community report card for the 2008-2009 school year. The two issues topped discussions at the board’s work session May 6 and and their regular meeting May 10.

District goals are divided into four categories—High Touch, High Tech, High Performance and facilities. The collective list is as follows:

• expansion of a breakfast program to as many buildings and students as is cost effective;

• creation of a district newsletter;

• implementation of the newly de-veloped ninth-grade schedule that strives to ensure every ninth-grade student has at least eight school credits by the end of their sophomore year;

• provide targeted assistance for stu-dents who need help in achieving minimum credits;

• initiation of a financial advisory group consisting of seven community members, two board members and the school treasurer;

• more paperless communication with parents to reduce paper costs within the district;

• collection of data to track individual students as they progress through grade levels;

• preparation for a new reading program;

• another look at the district’s grading system;

• development of local grade cards for each school building;

• taxpayers’ renewal of a permanent improvement levy in 2009;

• preparation for the second phase of the district’s building project, which began a few years ago.

At the May 10 meeting, the board focused primarily on the “High Touch’’ goals, which target student needs. Most of the discussion centered on the ideas of an annual district report card and a regular district newsletter.

Carpenter provided the school board with a draft of the district annual report. The idea, he said, would be to post the report on the district’s web site and mail an executive summary to the entire community. The report would include easy-to-read charts and graphs.

Board member Steve Votaw said he liked the draft of the district annual report. He suggested that it also include the number of seniors headed to college and the amount of scholarship money earned by those seniors.

Board member Christine Blacka suggested that the report also include the number of student community service hours.

Carpenter said he would present a revised draft to the board after incorporating their suggestions.

In other business, board member John Adams reported that Tolles Career and Technical Center received a $100,000 Seniors to Sophomore state grant which allows high school students to earn college credits. Tolles is one of 42 Ohio public schools to receive a grant through the program created by Governor Ted Strickland.

Tolles’ program will begin as a two-year, half-day business academy. Students can acquire college credits while in high school prior to continuing their education at Columbus State or Ohio University.

Carpenter said Tolles’ program can “piggy back’’ with Jonathan Alder’s college credit program in which students earn college credits through the district’s physics classes. Jonathan Alder’s partnership is with Clark State University. Carpenter said students could get credits for both colleges.

“This is really cool stuff for our students,’’ Carpenter said.

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