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Highlights from the April 9th Board of Education Meeting

Below are highlights of the April 9th Board of Education meeting.
Please remember, these are just highlights and should not be considered the official minutes.

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Mark, Hutcheson, Director of High School Teaching & Learning, provided the board with an update on Blended Learning and was joined by several high school students who offered insights on their experiences with the program. Blended Learning is the interaction with course content using a combination of the best face-to-face and digital instructional methods available to teachers and students. Following the completion of the first and second quarter, a student survey was conducted to determine if the Blended Learning courses met the students’ digital expectations and the effectiveness of the learning experience.

Additionally, students were asked what they liked most about the Blended Learning experience and what could be done to further improve the Blended Learning program at for the district. Results indicated that Blended Learning sections averaged a 2.3% higher assessment and performed better than the traditional sections 78% of the time. Students in the Blended Learning program have responded very positively and teachers have indicated a better ability to provide enriched learning experiences and individual remediation. Students have also shown appreciation for the opportunity to exercise self-direction and independence in learning. For 2018-19, the Blended Learning program will expand to 28 sections with approximately 750 students participating. The program will also be expanded to include additional teachers (approximately 15% of the staff for the 2018-19 school year).

High School Counselors Elizabeth Kreher and Jennifer Thurston shared information about the high school counseling program and discussed RAMP, the Recognized ASCA (American School Counseling Association) Model Program. The RAMP program aligns the LMHS counseling program with the ASCA national model and takes a proactive approach in reaching students. In providing proactive services, the counseling program is able to reach every student through small/large groups and individual counseling. The vision of the program is that the students of Linn-Mar are self-aware, independent, self-sufficient adults who graduate with transferable employability skills and are passionate about their future.

A Facilities Advisory Committee update was also shared with the board. The board reviewed and discussed the district’s 10-year capital plan, including a timeline and key components of the plan.

During the regular meeting, Board President Sondra Nelson read the following proclamation for the designation of Volunteer Week in the district as April 15-21, 2018.

In 1974, former President Richard Nixon issued the first-ever proclamation for National Volunteer Week with the following words: “I urge all Americans to observe the week by seeking out an area of their community in which they can give to a needy individual or a worthy cause by devoting a few hours, or more, each week to volunteer services.” It is with this spirit that we, the Linn-Mar Board of Education, issue the following proclamation:

Whereas, the Linn-Mar Community School District has a volunteer program in place that allows friends, family, and community members to volunteer their time and talents to our students;
And whereas, 
our students, staff, and administrators are grateful for the hundreds of hours our volunteers share with the district;
Now, therefore,
the Linn-Mar Board of Education does hereby designate the week of April 15-21, 2018, as Volunteer Week as a way of showing our thanks to the volunteers that selflessly give of their time and talents to serve the Linn-Mar Community School District.
We call upon the Linn-Mar students and staff to recognize our volunteers by observing them in special ways throughout the week to honor all that they give to the district.

The Board also approved the certified budget for fiscal year 2019 as presented by Chief Financial/Operating Officer JT Anderson.

The next meeting of the Board of Education will be April 23rd at Wilkins Elementary.

To view the full agenda and exhibits please visit the Board/Policy website.