Jonathan Alder looking at land purchase

The Jonathan Alder school district has its eye on a land purchase for the construction of a new building to replace Plain City Elementary.

At the school board’s Sept. 8 meeting, board member John Adams said the board is working with Plain City government officials on a final land acquisition measure.

Adams said the land acquisition for the new elementary building would most likely be in an area southwest of the village where the heaviest housing growth is expected over the next few years.

"We’re pretty much looking in an area bordered by (U.S.) 42, Georgesville Road and Converse Huff (Road), if that gives you an idea,” Adams said.

Discussions between the school board and the village are needed to target the final land acquisition as the board has safety issues regarding traffic control, sidewalks and similar issues, according to Adams.

"Safety for our students is our top priority,” Adams said.

Grading levels

Parents of elementary students in the district are expected to see a new grading level on their students’ classroom work soon following action taken by the board of education Sept. 8.

Board members approved a request from Superintendent Doug Carpenter to add the grading level of "needs improvement” to elementary school grading levels, which will offer teachers four grading levels of student progress.

Carpenter said the district has been working with a three level grading scale of "O” for outstanding; "S” for satisfactory and "U” for unsatisfactory.

Following discussions with district teachers and building administrators, the consensus is that the three level grading scale is actually unsatisfactory in grading the progress of some students, Carpenter said.

"There were several teachers who asked to have the needs improvement category to the grading scale,” said Kelly Hicks, principal of Plain City Elementary.

Hicks added that the extra grading level, which will be inserted between S for satisfactory and U for unsatisfactory, will help teachers convey a more accurate assessment of students’ progress in some cases.

Carpenter said the change in grading scales at the elementary level was requested by teachers during the previous school year but the grade level change needed board approval to make it official.

"One of our goals this year is to look at all of our grades this year and see if some changes need to be made in our grading procedures,” Carpenter said. "I think it is worth trying this new grading scale (at the elementary level) for a year and then revisit at the end of the year, if necessary, to see how successful the new grading scale is for our students and our district as a whole."

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