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Highlights from the January 22nd Board of Education Meeting

Below are highlights of the January22th Board of Education meeting.
Please remember, these are just highlights and should not be considered the official minutes.


The Board of Education and OPN Architects engaged in discussion regarding possible dates for an upcoming bond vote in addition to the scope of work for the project. After discussing the advantages and disadvantages of a September or December 2018 vote, the school board agreed that it is in the best interest of the district to move forward with the aim of a September 11th vote. The board also decided the scope of the bond vote should be limited to the construction of two, new 5th-6th grade intermediate buildings to address immediate needs. Discussions will continue on the subject of school renovations in addition to the possibility of a future elementary and high school as part of the district’s long term plan.

Members of the Elementary Homework Guiding Coalition also shared an update during the work session. The group was created to define what homework should look like at the elementary level and, specifically, at each grade level. After representatives from the seven elementary schools met from November through May, recommendations were made to support literacy homework and remove any punitive measures from current homework practices.

The guiding coalition determined homework should be:
• Intentional, purposeful and relevant for all students
• What is best for students, not teachers
• Differentiated
• Something students can do independently
• Put the learner (student) in control
• Tied to standards

The team will now move forward to develop procedures based on evidence-based practices and then share the information with staff, parents and the board. The goal is to finalize and implement the plan for the 2018-19 school year. Lastly, a Middle School Homework Guiding Coalition has been developed and is scheduled to meet January 29th.

During the regular meeting, the board discussed their visit to the Compass Alternative High School Program on January 8th. The school board noted that the learning atmosphere was very positive and that Compass felt like an extension of the high school rather than its own entity. Board members remarked that providing another path and opportunity for students to learn and be successful is key and coincides with Linn-Mar’s values and mission.

The voluntary Compass program is designed to provide an alternative education for students in grades 9-12 in the Linn-Mar and Marion Independent school districts. While enrolled in the program, students earn credit toward their resident high school diploma. Great job and thank you to everyone at Compass for a wonderful visit!

The next meeting of the Board of Education will be February 5th at the Learning Resource Center.

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