(Posted May 17, 2017)
By Kristy Zurbrick, Madison Editor
London High School is celebrating three firsts. Principal Chad Eisler reported on the achievements at the May 16 school board meeting.
The show choir earned the first superior rating at state competition in the school’s history. The group notched top marks at district to advance to state. In both cases, they performed three prepared songs and one sight-read song.
Ellie Shoemaker is the first London High School student to win a district title in the Rotary International 4-Way speech contest. She first won the local competition hosted by the London Rotary Club, then competed at district. She also presented her speech, touting the importance of supporting local businesses, at a district Rotary conference.
The school’s winter guard, an extension of the fall color guard that performs as part of the marching band, also claimed a school first, winning a state championship title. The competition took place in April.
In other reports, staffer Kylie Pritchard outlined findings of a committee formed in January to review and improve the district’s English and language arts instruction. The group realized they needed to set common expectations of students and use common resources across all grade levels.
Starting next school year, the new resource for grades K-5 is “Wonders,” a curriculum from education publisher McGraw Hill. It places heavy emphasis on phonics for grades K-2 and Greek and Latin roots for grades 3-5.
The new resource for grades 6-12 is McGraw Hill’s “Study Sync,” designed to work with technology. It features an extensive digital library, “hypes” the start of new units with videos resembling movie trailers, and mimics social media in some of its applications. For example, students will post comments on “blasts,” short reading assignments, just like they would post comments on social media outlets.
“I think students will be more engaged, honestly, than with what we’re doing now,” Pritchard said.
In fiscal news, Superintendent Dr. Lou Kramer said he and Treasurer Kristine Blind are looking at ways to trim $50,000 to $100,000 from the budget. One possibility is to reduce or retire certain programs, said Kramer. He and Blind plan to present a draft plan to the board at the June meeting.
Also, the board tabled a vote on pay-to-play fees for next school year after board member Marv Homan said he wants to discuss the possibility of doing away with pay-to-play fees. He said the fees might be keeping some students from being involved with extracurricular activities.