West Jeff Schools: Helping with language barriers

(Posted Feb. 14, 2024)

By Linda Dillman, Staff Writer

The Jefferson Local School District board of education is taking steps to help the local international community, approving testing assistance for Ukrainian students.

At their Feb. 13 meeting, board members approved an as-needed contract with Marta Shishio to serve as a bilingual end-of-course translator for the high school/middle school at a rate of $90 per test section.

The four students are taking proficiency level tests. The state is reimbursing the district for translation costs.

“This doesn’t happen too often,” reported Superintendent William Mullett.

In other action, the board accepted the following donations:
• $850 worth of basketballs and footballs from Toys for Tots;
• $2,800 from the music boosters for stand carts and chair carts for the middle school/high school band;
• $500 from the family of Jake Forrest to the class of 2024 for senior scholarships;
• $150 in clothing from Lauren Holbert and family; and
• winter coats valued at $800 to Norwood Elementary from Ron Mast.

On April 8, the district is closing school buildings and using a calamity day due to the total solar eclipse occurring on that day. Mullett said the closure is in anticipation of a large volume of traffic in the area.

“All school activities will be cancelled, including athletic events,” he said. “The district will provide students with solar eclipse glasses to take home with them on April 5.”

Norwood Elementary second-graders are holding a donation drive Feb. 26-March 1 to benefit the Humane Society of Madison County. Students are collecting original Clorox bleach, puppy pads, towels, treats, toys, dog/puppy food, and cat/kitten food. Purina brand is preferred.

A new scholarship at the high school is helping marching band students pursue higher education. The Bidwell-Hall scholarship, named for Frederick and Sharon (Bidwell) Hall, is for graduating seniors to assist them with college costs. One $7,500 scholarship will be awarded on an annual basis and is non-renewable.

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