By Steve Peterson
West Sioux High School sophomores are now required to take a pre-American College Test (ACT) test known as PLAN, said Grades 6-12 Principal Ryan Kramer.
“It used to be an optional test but counselor Jim Hansen and myself decided to make it mandatory this year to get good information on every student. It shows the areas they need to work on before they take the ACT in their junior or senior year. If they are less successful in an area we can look at the scope and sequence of the instruction,” said Kramer in a report at the Dec. 16 school board meeting.
All ACT subjects are covered in the PLAN test format.
“Statistically this group does well in standardized tests. It beat all the national averages,” said Kramer.
“It gives the kids some practice,” said West Sioux Shared Superintendent Randy Collins.
In other reports the school board members an update on the English as a Second Language Classes by teachers Trent and Lila Richards. They said a recent session at the elementary school was very well attended and was a good way to connect with the Spanish speaking community.
“It shows that the school building as a community resource and it’s not just used from 8 a.m. to 4 p.m. but for athletics, music, and many other events,” said Kramer.
Collins, in financial matters, said the school district’s finances remain strong five months into the fiscal year. “Due to the increased enrollment two years ago, with 67 students coming in, the General Fund has $230,000 more in reserves; expenditures are up only $110,000 over last year. We’re building the reserves to $2 million,” said Collins.
School board members voted unanimously to approve a Modified Allowable Growth Application for Dropout Prevention.
“This funs such programs as At-Risk. It’s taxes raised locally to help students stay in school,” said Collins.
Established a joint school board meeting with Akron-Westfield Community School District for Jan, 30 at West Sioux. Iowa School Board Association will give a professional development presentation.
Gave direction to Transportation Director Gerad Gradert to purchase a new van to be used for transportation of special education students to Sioux City.
Regarding capital projects, Kramer said needs next fiscal year may be a new boiler for the elementary building, a new mower for the high school and middle school building and transportation.
In personnel the school board voted unanimously to accept the resignation of elementary teacher Megan Cross. “We will be filling that position with one long-term substitute,” said Elementary Principal Carrie Thonstad.
Hired Mark Van Oort as assistant high school wrestling coach. The vote was unanimous.
Set the next regular school board meeting for 6 p.m., Jan. 20 at West Sioux administrative offices. Meetings are open to the public.
The school board held a closed session to discuss Collins’s contract but no action came in public session.