Madison-Plains hunts for solution to math problems

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“We’re really taking a beating,” said Superintendent Bernie Hall at the April 15 Madison-Plains Board of Education meeting regarding the district’s math program.

The board’s agenda included acceptance of the resignation of a math teacher, the third to resign during the course of the 2007-08 school year. Emily Ervin’s resignation took effect April 7.

Hall said he is working to find replacements and hopes to establish some continuity in the district’s math instruction.

To supplement personnel, the district plans to implement a software program at the high school next year that would “fill the gaps” for students struggling with certain areas of math. Principal Chris Clark explained that the program includes a pre-test, which will determine what a student needs and doesn’t need to cover, as well as a post-test to see how far they’ve progressed.

Students will be able to use the program at school, at home and over the summer. The areas they work on are up to them. Clark said students he has talked to about the program are receptive to the idea.

Also on the math front, the board approved the purchase of a new textbook series for kindergarten through sixth-grade. The Envision Math books offer an alternative instruction method, one that is more visual, to the traditional method laid out in textbooks purchased last year.

Teachers will choose between the traditional and Envision textbooks based on each child’s learning style. The flexibility will give teachers more tools to help students, especially those making the transition from fifth-grade to sixth-grade math. The cost of the Envision textbooks is $6,000.

Pin numbers for lunch

By October, very little cash will ex-change hands as Madison-Plains students make their way through the lunch line.

The board approved the purchase of a point-of-sale system that will assign a pin number to each student. Parents will deposit money into a personal account, against which lunch costs will be deducted each time a student makes a purchase. The system also can be used to collect school fees.

Superintendent Bernie Hall said the system will speed up the lunch crowd flow, as well as remove any negative connota-tions for students on low-cost lunch programs. Board member Michael Brandt also noted that the system will allow the cafeteria crew to track inventory and note what items sell better than others.

Treasurer Scott Hiles said the system will be installed one school at a time starting in September. The system’s up-front cost is $23,643.

Property Sale

The district will sell 5.4 acres of surplus real estate located next to Madison Rural Elementary on Old Xenia Road. A date for the auction has not yet been set.

No More Pay-to-Participate Fees

Extracurriculars won’t cost students extra come the 2008-09 school year. The board voted unanimously to eliminate the pay-to-participate activity fee for middle school and high school.

“We thank the community for supporting Madison-Plains so we could do this,” said board President Dave Hunter, referring to the voters’ passage of a tax levy this past year.

Summer P.E. and Summer School

This summer, 36 of the high school’s estimated 120 incoming freshmen will get their physical education requirement for graduation out of the way before they even officially start high school.

To free up students’ academic schedules during the regular school year, the district offered this year’s eighth-graders a chance to earn a half-credit of high school P.E. by taking classes June 9-27 at the high school.

During that time, participating students will receive 120 hours of instruction in a variety of gym classes. The cost per student is $120. The teacher will earn $20.18 per hour.

The district also will hold summer school for students in third through sixth grade June 9-27 at the high school. Classes will be held five days a week from 8 a.m. to noon. June 9 will serve as a work day; June 10 is the first day of class for students.

The tuition cost is $35 per child. Teachers will earn $125 per day. One teacher leader, who will be compensated $150 per day, will oversee paperwork, discipline and returning third-grade test results to the Ohio Department of Education.

Personnel

The board granted three-year administrative contracts to Patricia Passwaters as special education director and Linda Nier as Madison Rural Elementary principal. Two-year administrative contracts went to Madeline Holt as Midway Elementary teacher leader and Joe Penney as technology coordinator.

The board accepted with regret Jim Miller’s resignation, which will become effective May 30. Miller, a middle school science teacher and high school athletics coach, has served the district for 33 years.

Mark Your Calendar

The junior/senior prom will be held from 7 to 11 p.m. May 17 at The Procter Center outside of London.

The high school band camp will take place from July 27 through Aug. 1 at Rio Grande College in Rio Grande, Ohio.

The next Madison-Plains Board of Education meeting is set for 7 p.m. May 29 at Midway Elementary.

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